Obama a failure as Commander-in-Chief, Bolton charges
October 23, 2012 | Joanne Hill - Correspondent
John Boldton was in Calgary and Toronto last week and denoounced US President Barack Obama as a failure as Commander-in-Chief and talked about the consequences of a second term, which he hopes does not occur. (Photo: Joanne Hill)
TORONTO – US President Barack Obama’s failure as Commander-in-Chief must be considered by Americans voting in the Nov. 6 presidential election, said John Bolton, former US Ambassador to the UN.
Bolton, a lawyer and diplomat, spoke to audiences in Calgary and Toronto last week about the consequences of a second Obama term, which he said he “profoundly” hoped will not happen.
Although most Americans are focused on the economy, their international enemies will not stand idly by as the US gets itself back on track financially and Obama has demonstrated that he will not protect them from international threats, Bolton warned.
“Unlike every other American president in a long line since Franklin Roosevelt, Barack Obama basically doesn’t care much about, and doesn’t pay much attention to, national security issues,” Bolton told the audience at Toronto’s Winter Garden Theatre. “He’s unlike the long list of presidents, Republican and Democrat alike, whose first thought when they wake up every morning is, ‘What threats does the United States face today and what do I need to do about it?’”
Rather, Obama believes that his mission to make America less assertive and reduce its influence on the world stage will transform historical adversaries into allies, said Bolton.
“It’s that lack of interest in the external challenges that really distinguishes him, where he confronts foreign policy only when he has to. It’s one reason why he wasn’t qualified to be president in 2008 and he’s not qualified to be president today. That’s why there’s a crisis in American leadership around the world.”
For example, Obama has “basically gutted” America’s missile defence program while allowing Russia and North Korea to increase theirs and he has not taken sufficient measures to prevent Iran from its “long-sought objectives, both of getting a nuclear weapon, and of getting ballistic missile delivery systems,” he said.
“The Obama administration approached the Middle East for four years as if the greatest threat to peace and security there was Israel building apartment buildings in east Jerusalem. That was the focus whereas, obviously, the real threat is Iran: the world’s central banker of international terrorism...arming and financing terrorists all over the world.”
In all likelihood, Bolton predicted, Iran will achieve its nuclear goals. Although it is “delusional” to think that Iran can be deterred from using nuclear weapons as the Soviet Union was during the Cold War, even if that were the case, if Iran gets nuclear capability, other countries in the Middle East will rush to follow suit, he said.
Obama’s behaviour on the international stage is driven by a belief that the world is not a threatening place and this has caused him to fail in his primary duty to the American people, said Bolton.
“So this prospect of a nuclear Iran, the nuclear proliferation [it] will inevitably bring, the risks and dangers to Israel [and] to our Arab friends in the Middle East, all combined with the terrible prospect of international terrorists getting their hands on nuclear weapons, shows why the world gets to be more and more threatening....
“Adam Smith said the first duty of the sovereign is to protect the society against the violence of other societies and it’s that duty, that fundamental duty, to protect the United States, that Obama has failed in his first term and risks failing even more dramatically, if there’s a second term.”
Journalist Brian Lilley of Sun News Network, which co-sponsored the events with Spectre Live, introduced Bolton and shared the stage with him during the question-and-answer session.