Sen. John Barrasso Mocks John Kerry's Climate Change Fears

Friday, 29 Aug 2014 10:28 PM

By Cathy Burke

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Secretary of State John Kerry ought to focus more on the immediate and deadly threats to the United States from around the globe than the menace he predicts from climate change, Sen. John Barrasso writes in a biting criticism of President Barack Obama's foreign policy.

In an opinion piece for The Wall Street Journal, the physician lawmaker, a Wyoming Republican, rebukes Kerry for proclaiming that climate change is ""the biggest challenge of all that we face right now." 

"The greatest threat to Americans 'right now' is not climate change," he writes. "The greatest threat is people with the intent and capacity to do us harm—and the president's failure to lead the fight against them."

Ticking off challenges in the Middle and Far East that pose an immediate and deadly threat to U.S. interests, Barrasso snipes "it might help the president and his colleagues understand why Mr. Obama's foreign-policy approval rating is about 36 percent" in a recent Gallup poll. 

For example, Barrasso writes, the "vacuum" the United States created by withdrawing troops from Iraq has let "others … fill it," including the militant Islamic State (ISIS).

"The recent beheading of American journalist James Foley showed how serious ISIS is about 'drowning' our nation in blood, as the group said in the video of the murder posted on YouTube," he writes. 

And in Afghanistan, he notes, "the administration says it still intends to pull out the remaining 30,000 troops by the end of 2016." 

"If it does, the country will quickly become a terrorist haven once again," he says. "The Obama administration seems to have lost the will to win. The terrorists have not."

Barrasso also lashed out at President Barack Obama's "lack of resolve" toward the Kremlin that's "led to Russian troops in Ukraine and Russian-supplied weapons shooting a passenger plane out of the sky," and at his continuing negotiations "on Iran's illicit nuclear program," warning:

"An Obama administration desperate to strike a deal is likely to strike a bad one."

In Syria, Barrasso laments, it's been "more than three years since President Obama said the time had come for President Bashar Assad to step aside."

"ISIS already has strongholds in Syria, while the Free Syrian Army desperately needs more U.S. assistance," he writes, adding North Koreans "continue to test nuclear weapons." 

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