Grenell: Obama Administration Negligent on Middle East Policy

Tuesday, 09 Oct 2012 05:16 PM

By Stephen Feller and Kathleen Walter

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Susan Rice, President Barack Obama's Ambassador to the United Nations,  should resign, according to former Romney advisor Richard Grenell.

Speaking 24 hours after Mitt Romney gave an impassioned speech on foreign policy at the Virginia Military Institute, Grenell said the lack of a policy on Syria, where rebels need to be armed, and Rice’s lack of effective work at all in the last three three years, is not effectively representing American values or supporting American interests in the Middle East.

“I came to the conclusion a while ago that Susan Rice should step down because she wasn’t able to really represent the American people very well,” said Grenell, who was the spokesman for the last four ambassadors to the U.N.

“She has not spoken out when she should have spoken out. She’s been in Washington way too much when her job is really at the U.S. mission in New York trying to bring about forceful U.S. policy positions at the U.N... There’s a lot of proof that she has been very weak, has not represented the American people. I actually thought she should have resigned a while ago. What we’re seeing is a U.S. ambassador to the U.N. that hasn’t been prepared and hasn’t done a very good job and yet the media have largely ignored that and there is this laughable media narrative that she should be considered to be the secretary of state.”

Watch the exclusive interview here.



Officials should have paid more attention to warnings and requests for additional security from Christopher Stevens, the long-time U.S. ambassador who was killed in an ambush on the embassy in Libya. Grenell said to expect Congress to dig into the apparent intelligence failure that resulted in the facility being burned down by extremists in the area.

“Libya is a very dangerous area right now, and what we’re seeing is that he knew that,” Grenell said. “He cabled back to Washington and said, ‘Al-Qaida is growing in this area.’”

Grenell condemned what he saw was a political response from the White House, on all sides of the Libyan bombing, from the initial claim by Rice that the attack was a spontaneous one due to a film offensive to Muslims, and then in moving too cautiously in the aftermath because it is an election year.

The aggressive approach Romney outlined in his speech is better not only for U.S. interests, but for the people of the Middle East, Grenell said, using the Governor’s suggestion that Syrian rebels need to be armed, carefully, but soon because what started out as a civil war in that country is now spilling over into Turkey and will soon turn into a humanitarian crisis.

“It’s actually a moral obligation, to be honest,” Grenell said. “Because if you just put your head in the sand and ignore the fact that 30,000 Syrians are dying and that this is inevitably going to be a one-sided war and go on for a while, then you’re open to the fact that you’re ignoring the other side and you’re ignoring human suffering.”

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