President Barack Obama has one remarkable ability that few presidents ever have emulated, former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton said on Wednesday: the ability to say something with a straight face when he really thinks exactly the opposite.
“He has done this for three years, say something about what his position is which is 180 degrees opposite to what his position actually is. It’s absolutely remarkable.
“He talks about protecting the middle class, but he is doing exactly the opposite; or being a strong friend of Israel when, in fact, he is the most hostile president to Israel since the state was created in 1948.
“He does it over and over again and he gets away with it,” Bolton told stand-in host Steve Malzberg on New York-based AM 970 The Apple on the morning after Obama’s State of the Union address.
When the president talks about having the “closest” cooperation with Israel, he really means “having knock-out, drag-down arguments over the Iranian nuclear weapons threat,” he said.
“The Obama administration is putting enormous pressure on Israel not to take military action, you could see it in what the president said last night.
“He keeps saying, ‘No options are off the table, but what we really want to do is talk to Iran, negotiate with them.’ And when Iran hears that, they know that, in fact, the military option is off the table as far as the U.S. is concerned.”
Negotiating with Tehran can never succeed, Bolton said, adding, “The Iranians want nuclear weapons. We don’t want them to have nuclear weapons. There is no acceptable position.”
Bolton, who served as U.N. ambassador under President George W. Bush, said Obama is “forfeiting everything we have won at such a great human cost since 9/11” by deciding to pull troops out of Afghanistan.
“It is part of a narrative he is trying to create that the war on terror is over. What he is trying to do is define the enemy in the war on terror to be a very narrow sliver of what’s left of al-Qaida, hiding out between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
“He defines away the rest of al-Qaida all around the world. He defines away the terrorist threat from the Taliban in Afghanistan, from the Iranian continued support of war in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and elsewhere and the threat of the rising tide of radical Islamicist thought throughout the Middle East contrary to the hopes of the Arab Spring.
“Things are getting much graver in my view, but Obama’s trying to paint a picture that everything’s rosy, everything’s fine.”
Bolton, who is supporting Mitt Romney for the Republican presidential nomination, has been mentioned as a potential secretary of State in any GOP administration. He said he has not discussed the idea with any of the candidates.
“But I believe, and after last night’s State of the Union, I believe it even more, that this election is absolutely critical to America’s future. And if we are to be the kind of country we once were, we have got to get a new president.”
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