Tags: Barack Obama | Donald Trump | Israel | Middle East | Support Israel | Trump Administration | War on Terrorism

Bolton: Trump Off to Good Start Repairing Obama Damage

Image: Bolton: Trump Off to Good Start Repairing Obama Damage
President Donald Trump speaks in Saudi Arabia during first visit of his presidency. (AP Photo)

By    |   Monday, 22 May 2017 03:04 PM

President Donald Trump's speech in Saudi Arabia was music to the ears of our partners in the Middle East, but that is just the beginning of what needs to get done, John Bolton wrote in a column for the New York Post.

Trump eradicated the hangover of former President Barack Obama's ill-fated speech in 2009 when he thought tip-toeing was what allies wanted to hear.

"Obama was fundamentally wrong to believe that Muslims heard 'war on terror' to mean 'war on Muslims,'" Bolton wrote in the Post.

"The victims of this terrorism have already included more Muslims than those of any other faith. The Muslim world understands this is not a 'battle between different faiths,' as Trump said, even if Obama did not," Bolton wrote.

But Trump's work is only beginning, Bolton added.

"Preparing for possible conflict with Iran is very much on the minds of the Arab leaders Trump just met," Bolton wrote. "Arms sales alone don't constitute a strategy against Iran because its preferred tactics rest on terrorism and nuclear intimidation . . . With Iran's nuclear capability ever nearer, even more forceful U.S. (or Israeli) action may be required."

Bolton says Trump's itinerary of traveling from Saudi Arabia to Israel was symbolic in that uniting two key players — however unlikely the fit — against a common enemy would be beneficial to them all.

"Of course, Iran sees the same constellation forming, and will doubtless increase its financial, political and military support for Hamas to ensure that it fails," Bolton wrote.

Which brings everything back to Trump's speech — it is just the beginning.

"Rhetorically, Trump's speech brought welcome relief to his Arab audience after eight years of Obama's blindness to Iranian and terrorist threats," Bolton wrote. "But actions must follow.

"What he needs to accomplish most urgently is the expedited destruction of the ISIS 'caliphate' in Iraq and Syria, followed by concrete steps to eliminate Iran's nuclear-weapons program, and ultimately the Ayatollah's regime," Bolton concludes. "If such actions follow his words, then his speech will have been a success."

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President Donald Trump's speech in Saudi Arabia was music to the ears of our partners in the Middle East, but that is just the beginning of what needs to get done, John Bolton wrote in a column for the New York Post.
John Bolton, speech, Saudi Arabia
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2017-04-22
Monday, 22 May 2017 03:04 PM
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