President Barack Obama’s prescription for peace in the Middle East could be a deadly mistake for the United States, retired Marine Lt. Col. Oliver North tells Newsmax.TV.
The former National Security Council member was commenting on Obama’s speech at the State Department where he laid out his vision for the Mideast after the killing of Osama bin Laden and the struggles for reform in the region that have rocked long-established regimes in countries such as Egypt and Libya.
“I think we ought to look very carefully at a very naïve, utopian idea for how the world works,” North said. “And the idea of stepping back, as Mr. Obama has done, from a leadership position when we are the world’s superpower is a deadly mistake for the United States. It offers opportunities for our adversaries and makes our allies very insecure.”
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Obama devoted a major portion of his speech to Israel and pushed for the country to negotiate a peace agreement with the Palestinians. The president endorsed a key and controversial Palestinian demand that borders for a Palestinian state be based on the national boundaries that existed before the 1967 Six Day War when Israel occupied East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is to meet with Obama at the White House Friday, quickly rejected the idea, calling the 1967 lines “indefensible.” North characterized the idea as something “Jimmy Carter could be proud of.”
“What he obviously intends to do is to try to build on whatever momentum he has in the Arab world, the Muslim world, by attacking America’s only ally in that part of the world, the only real democracy in that part of the world and that’s Israel by pressuring them on the 1967 border issue,” North said. “It’s been around since Jimmy Carter and obviously he’s returned to that same political philosophy.”
North also questioned the wisdom of putting forth such a proposal the day before Netanyahu’s visit to the United States.
“To do this on the eve of Netanyahu’s visit to the United States clearly shows this man’s ego, and I’m talking about Mr. Obama’s, and his willingness to savage, as I call it, the only ally we’ve got in that part of the world,” North said.
On other topics, North said:
- Obama considers the death of Osama bin Laden to be “the game changer” in the region but it is “anything but clear that the outcome of what’s transpired in Egypt or what’s going on today in Syria or anything’s that’s happened in Bahrain or Yemen is going to end up in with positive change for the people.”
- The president sees the war on terror coming to an end and that view will be reflected as the budget process moves forward. “I think you’re going to see dramatic cuts to America’s defense posture . . . If you abandon everything out there, pull out of Iraq in its entirety and cut down to nothing in Afghanistan over the course of the next three years, you could end up with Iranian hegemony over that entire part of the world. That’s not good for anybody and it’s certainly a threat for those allies we do have in the Persian Gulf.”
- That the situation is Iran is not yet a second U.S. missile crisis but Iran will exploit every opportunity they have, making deals with China for missile hardware and North Koreans to get nuclear weapons equipment, technology and know-how. “There no doubt we have adversaries in that region.”
- That Syria will not transform itself overnight. The regime’s goal is to maintain itself and they are doing everything they can to repress the people who want self-determination.
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