Oliver North, calling President Barack Obama "Jimmy Carter on steroids," said Russian President Vladimir Putin was "handed" Ukraine because Eastern Europe was left without leadership.
"If you could have imagined that someone is happy that Obama is president, it has to be Jimmy Carter because he is no longer the worst president in our history," the former Reagan administration official told Fox News' Sean Hannity on his show Wednesday, reports The Washington Free Beacon
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But North does not advocate sending American troops to the Middle East or to settle the protests in Ukraine
, where fierce clashes between police and protesters — some including gunfire — shattered a brief truce in Ukraine's besieged capital Thursday, killing at least 19 people.
The latest deaths came in a new eruption of violence just hours after the country's embattled President Viktor Yanukoyvch and the opposition leaders demanding his resignation called for a truce and negotiations to try to resolve Ukraine's political crisis.
The decades-long battle is raging over the nation's identity, where loyalties are divided between Russia and the West.
North said Wednesday that the lack of American credibility in Ukraine, as well as in the Middle East, indicates a "total failure of leadership" by Obama.
"Proof that the old axiom 'into any vacuum a leader will eventually come,' Putin has been handed this by what is essentially Jimmy Carter on steroids," North told Hannity.
Putin is "literally taking Obama to the cleaners ... by that I mean, from Syria, Iran, Egypt, the Middle East, Ukraine, on every level," Hannity said. "And earlier, Poland and the Czech Republic. Putin literally is taking over in areas where Russia was — and the former Soviet Union were long gone."
North said former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton shares the blame for the problems, but Obama has "left us bereft of leadership in the part of the world where we desperately need to have it."
North insisted he is "the last person in the world" who would advocate sending American troops to help stop the Ukraine protests, and civil wars in Kiev, Syria, and Egypt.
"But it would have been nice to have had the credibility, of being at least respected by adversaries or admired by our allies," North aid. "And we have neither as a consequence of [Obama's] total failure of leadership."
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