Decorated military veteran and best-selling author Oliver North tells Newsmax that, with the recently announced cuts to the U.S. military, the Obama regime is looking like the “Jimmy Carter administration on steroids.”
North also asserts that President Obama’s efforts to deal with the growing Iranian threat have been an “abysmal failure” and warns that Israel will not “sit idly by and wait to be incinerated” by Iranian nuclear weapons.
North served in the U.S. Marines for 22 years and rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel. He also served on the staff of the National Security Council during the Ronald Reagan administration.
North now hosts “War Stories with Oliver North” on the Fox News Channel and is the founder of the Freedom Alliance foundation.
In an exclusive interview with Newsmax.TV, North assesses the Iranian threat and the effectiveness of the sanctions imposed by the United States and its allies.
“Clearly the sanctions have not yet worked,” he declares.
“We’ve been at this now for 10 years. It predates even the Obama administration. The abysmal failure of this administration is the failure to recognize the real and growing threat Iran poses with their insistence on enhancing nuclear power and building nuclear weapons.
“There’s no doubt in anyone’s mind at this point that Iran is now building nuclear weapons and already has the means to deliver some with intercontinental ballistic missiles.”
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North was asked whether Obama would be willing to use military force against Iran if sanctions and diplomacy fail to curtail their nuclear weapons program.
“After the experience we’ve had with the Arab Spring, or the leading-from-behind theory with Libya, and what’s not been done to enhance the opportunities for freedom in either Syria or Iran, it seems inconsistent with what’s transpired already to expect that in the future this administration would be willing to do the kinds of things necessary with military force to prevent Iran from putting a nuclear warhead on the end of one of those ballistic missiles and attacking, for example, Tel Aviv,” he responds.
“So it looks like the United States is a hollow threat.”
Conflict with Iran appears increasingly inevitable, according to North.
“It certainly seems the Iranians are intent on carrying out the threat to deal with the Little Satan, meaning Israel, destroy it completely, and attacking in any way they can U.S. interests and personnel,” he says.
“They are currently holding a former U.S. Marine as a spy after he went back to visit family members in Iran, and have promised to execute him. They’re threatened to kill a Saudi ambassador here in the United States. And of course, they’re fomenting terrorism in Iraq and elsewhere in the region.
“It all leads one to believe that past is prologue, and dealing with Iran the way [the Obama administration is] going about it seems to be an utter failure.”
North adds that “there are very limited things we can do” about the former Marine threatened with execution in Iran.
“My hope is the Iranians will come to their senses and understand that putting this young American to death is about the worst thing they can do right now.”
As far as what Israel is likely to do about the Iranian threat, North comments: “Israel has emblazoned above the doors of almost every public building the words ‘never again.’ That’s not a political slogan in Israel. It reflects what happened in the Holocaust, and they mean it: Never again are the people of Israel going to face extermination as they did back in the 1930s and 1940s.
“So what you have to expect is that the Israelis are not going to sit idly by and wait to be incinerated while the Iranians prepare their final nuclear weapons test and actually go ahead and launch one.”
North slams the Obama administration for announcing deep cuts to the American military while the nation is still at war.
“It looks to me like this is Jimmy Carter’s administration on steroids, if you consider what Carter did in the aftermath of the Vietnam War, the cuts that occurred then,” he says.
“The Carter administration took us right down the tubes, and it took Ronald Reagan the better part of seven years to rebuild America’s defenses.
“What we need to focus on in this election is a president who is going to be a real commander in chief so that America can continue to be a deterrent to aggression from Iran, North Korea, China, any one of the places where you can see a blowup.”
The resolve and capability of fighting a two-front war and winning it, “that idea for the first time in over 70 years has been dismissed by this president. Every potential aggressor, be it Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, or Ahmadinejad in Iran, looks at that as a sign of weakness. It cannot bode well for America in the midst of a war to start demobilizing today.”
On Iraq, North tells Newsmax: “Every U.S. military commander who knew anything about what was going on in Iraq wanted to leave a residual force on the ground in Iraq” and yet “you ended up with a total withdrawal. It left them adrift and the potential today for increased Iranian subversion and espionage in the country has gone up dramatically.”
Similarly, in Afghanistan “the concern we all ought to have is, are we preparing to pull the rug out from under the Afghan national security forces.
“What’s most important is that, at the end of the day, we have got to have friends in Afghanistan. We still need friends in Iraq. The real problem in the region is what’s going on in Iran — a real serious, present danger, and likely to get a whole lot worse, particularly as they threaten to close the Strait of Hormuz or develop and launch nuclear weapons.
“Without those bases in places like Afghanistan and hopefully in Iraq, our ability to respond to that kind of threat diminishes rapidly.”
Asked which of the Republican presidential candidates would be best suited for dealing with the Middle East, North responds: “My candidate of preference is ABO — anybody but Obama. And I believe any one of them would do a better job than the current commander in chief.
“But I’m a close friend of Newt Gingrich. He certainly has a better grasp of the history of the region and our national security needs than any of the other contestants, and certainly far more than the incumbent.”
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