President Barack Obama is “paralyzed” by fear when it comes to doing anything to end hostilities in Syria, former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton wrote on Monday.
China and Russia will never allow U.N. sanctions to bite, said Bolton, and the president has no back-up plan to deal effectively with the Damascus regime and its backers in Iran, he adds.
“Mr. Obama's real failure is not reliance on the cumbersome, ineffective U.N., but his unwillingness to confront Iran, which is determined to maintain Assad in office,” Bolton wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed
“Mr. Obama knows that if he confronts Iran directly in Syria, any chance will disappear for a negotiated settlement to Iran's quest for nuclear weapons. While he should have long ago understood that diplomacy will never persuade Iran to renounce its objective of becoming a nuclear power, he has not.”
“Despite Iran's obvious role [backed by Russia and China] in defending Assad's brutality, the president cannot bring himself to admit his Iran policy's futility. And Mr. Obama is entirely unwilling to risk foreign adventures that might imperil his re-election.”
Bolton, an adviser to GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, said the only way to end the brutality in Syria is for a change in the White House.
“President Obama seems paralyzed for two basic reasons,” he wrote. “First, he is committed to a U.N. process almost certainly doomed to failure; and second, he fears taking on the real nemesis in Syria, namely Iran's ayatollahs.”
He said the United States has to move beyond sanctions and diplomacy, and toward regime change in Tehran. “Mr. Obama seems unable or unwilling to understand that Iran is an enemy of the U.S. and that its nuclear and regional hegemonic ambitions must be thwarted, or the ayatollahs overturned.
“Such an uncertain leader cannot handle a critical confrontation effectively. Unfortunately, we may have to wait for a more resolute president rather than proceed and fail in Syria with a weak one.”
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