Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice berated President Obama’s foreign policy on Monday, as Israel expressed its shock over his latest outreach to Iran in which the Islamist regime has also dismissed his appeal.
"What we’re seeing is that when the United States steps back and speaks softly, nobody listens," Rice told Fox News.
"Americans also don’t like the world that they get when the United States is not deeply engaged and deeply involved."
She added that the "American people are ready . . . for stronger American leadership."
Rice spoke six days after a stunning Republican victory that saw the GOP increase its majority in the House and regain control of the Senate, where new chairmen of key committees are likely to press the White House for a muscular role around the world. The hawkish Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., will take the chairmanship of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, while Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., a fierce critic of Obama’s defense cuts, is expected to chair the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Over the weekend, Obama faced more criticism over his attempt to appeal to Iran to help fight the terrorist army of the Islamic State (ISIS), which has overrun the Iraqi military and continues to threaten Baghdad.
Dan Gillerman, a former Israeli ambassador to the United Nations, denounced Obama’s letter to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as "appeasement."
"It’s sleeping with the enemy the morning after sending him a love letter," he told Fox News on Saturday.
"To do this is a sign of weakness. The message it sends out to its allies, to America’s allies, especially to Israel is a message of weakness, of a weak America. And, the worse thing is the message it sends out to the Iranians is how eager the United States is to that deal. How eager the United States is to this evil, fundamentalist, cruel, extreme, cynical regime in Tehran…"
The Wall Street Journal
on Friday first reported that Obama sent Khamenei a secret letter last month pointing out that the Islamic State is a threat to both the United States and Iran and nudging the Iranian leader closer to a nuclear deal as a Nov. 24 deadline approaches.
Khamenei, however, appears to have rejected any attempt at cooperation with Obama. On social media, he accused the West of creating the Islamic State to make Muslims fight each other and added that "we do not trust" U.S. or European leaders.
Rice’s criticism of Obama’s foreign policy was just her latest blast at the White House’s "lead-from-behind" strategy. In March, she warned of a "vacuum" in world affairs when she spoke at the annual dinner of the National Republican Congressional Committee in Washington.
"There’s a vacuum because we’ve decided to lower our voice. We’ve decided to step back. We’ve decided that if we step back and lower our voice, others will lead, other things will fill that vacuum," said Rice,
who served as America’s top diplomat under President George W. Bush.
"When America steps back and there is a vacuum, trouble will fill that vacuum."
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