Tags: Syria | bolton | syria | action | threat

John Bolton: Syria a 'Political Problem' Obama Created Himself

By Bill Hoffmann   |   Friday, 06 Sep 2013 05:19 PM

President Barack Obama took no action against Syria earlier this year when proof first emerged that the Assad regime was using chemical weapons, former Ambassador John Bolton says.

"We had substantial evidence the Assad regime had crossed that red line in March of this year and he didn't do anything there," Bolton told former Congressman Allen West, guest host of "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

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"It was a political problem he had created for himself."

Bolton, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, said the president and his advisors have had to refer to the Assad regime’s actions as being a violation of international norms, not international law.

"The fact is, Syria never signed the chemical weapons convention and the Geneva Protocol of 1925, which some people say does not forbid the use of chemical weapons in intrastate conflicts, civil conflicts within national borders," he said.

"That's not to say this is not horrible, but it's not a violation of international law and I very much worry when you hear our president talk about international norms … [that] somehow the American military is out there enforcing philosophical concepts as opposed to vital American national interest."

But Bolton said he believes the president does have the constitutional authority to direct the U.S. military to go after targets in Syria.

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