Where does US foreign policy stand in the Middle East?
Former U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz reacts
- Duration 8:30
- Date Sep 14, 2012
Former U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz reacts
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Protesters there attacked the German and the American embassies today.
Police met the protesters with live gunfire and -- were eyewitness reports of people on the ground.
-- no word officially.
Of any injuries.
Ironically it was just sixteen months ago that President Obama was speaking about the Arab Spring and this exact region.
In America think of the defiance of those patriots in Boston who refuse to pay taxes to -- Or the dignity of Rosa Parks -- -- -- set courageously.
In her seat.
So it wasn't -- Hundreds of protesters took to the streets.
And in the face of batons and sometimes bullets.
They refused to go home.
What we're seeing unfold overseas today is raising new questions.
About whether the president's approach to the Middle East has failed.
Here's what Charles Krauthammer had to say about a special report about the Obama doctrine last night.
What we're seeing on the screen is the melt down the collapse.
Of the Obama policy on the Muslim world the ironies and began in Cairo in the same place with -- speech he made.
The inning was presidency in which he said he wanted to new beginning -- mutual respect implying.
That under other presidents particularly bush there was a lack of mutual respect which was an and so.
To the United States which had gone to war six at times in the last twenty years on behalf of oppressed of the Muslims in Kuwait to Kosovo.
Iraq and Afghanistan.
And and and elsewhere as so to imply.
That we somehow -- -- treated to Muslims which was the premise.
His speech and -- the Iraq War had inflame the Arab world against us well there was no storming of the US embassy in Cairo.
-- -- -- Joining me now Paul Wolfowitz is the former assistant to the secretary of defense under Donald Rumsfeld.
He also served as president of the World Bank -- it's a pleasure to have you here thank you so much for being with us on this day.
-- -- review your thoughts on Charles Krauthammer is assertion that that this is what we are witnessing now is the failure.
Of the Obama doctrine in the Middle East.
And since we're on this day or the so soon after -- -- had to say that.
I knew Chris Stevens not well but he was a fantastic human being a great ambassador and now.
The United States is without any ambassador in Libya and it's a tragedy for our relations there for those people -- that has to be said.
I believe that.
What Charles Crowder missed that is exactly right about -- apologetic posture that Obama has taken.
With the Muslim world and -- in the Arab world I wouldn't include those comments.
I think it was appropriate to welcome.
The courage of Arab freedom fighters.
Against their dictators including.
Most notably in Libya and now today in Syria.
Truth of the matter is -- as we see in -- he doesn't do much for them when they're standing up and fighting.
But the United States has nothing to apologize for we have is Charles Krauthammer said we have.
Gone to war risked our people's lives.
Over and over again for people who frequently happening Muslims I would have -- Somalia to that list of his in the Kurds in Northern Iraq it's a long list.
We should be.
In -- appropriate way.
Taking credit for it and stop this nonsense about somehow we have to apologize because some.
Obscure people who know what is even sure who they are -- posted a video on YouTube.
Anderson say do you do not tie anything we're seeing today to what we saw in the Arab Spring.
Oh of course it has -- -- doing that but you know what here's what I believe we're seeing today.
Is in the extremist groups including al-Qaeda.
They were caught back footed on the Arab Spring because these were uprisings they had nothing to do -- -- They were honestly I think the people who were fighting for the most part were fighting for freedom.
But the freedom is unfortunately -- freedom for bad actors to.
Try to take over as well and in Libya.
It's very important to emphasize that your viewers may not know because this doesn't get covered but back in July they had an election.
The Libyan people voted freely and fairly for the first time in over forty years.
And the Muslim Brotherhood came in a distant second and these extremists who seem to be behind many -- Texas so called seller fees didn't even show.
But they have the guns and one of the reasons they have the guns -- not people with a more reasonable outlook is because the United States.
Having rescued Ben -- with our air attacks then decided to leave the supply of weapons to other people who don't share our interests or values -- things happen in Syria today.
That that our viewers may it may not know that you're one of the people who believe that we needed to go to war in Iraq.
And that was something of which President Obama was very critical.
And you heard Charles Krauthammer is talking about President Obama when he first took office talking about a new beginning.
One -- where we would see mutual respect.
Between the United States of America and those in the Muslim world that -- seem to be a veiled reference to the policies under President Bush.
Do you you know there was a belief by many this country that we needed to reset after President Bush that we need instead of what many perceived as angering some in the Muslim world to reach out and open hand to them.
Do you in your thoughts on on that and where it's -- Well one of the reasons people thought that it's because they were so happy falsehoods told about President Bush including the notion that he lied about the reasons for the war.
We went to war there -- went to war in Afghanistan because of a threat to the United States but in the process.
We are also helping to liberate.
Millions of Muslims that were suffering under brutal dictatorships.
And I think it's unbecoming of the next president -- states not to say that he can.
Say whatever he likes about how.
This is misunderstood in the world but to suggest that somehow the people who criticize -- are.
Are correct in that this was a war on Muslims which is what unfortunately -- widely believed I think it's his place to try to correct that.
How do we get past this now if they have perceived weakness if they -- How do we re establish America as.
An entity with with which they need to deal and perhaps which they need to fear.
Well I think I think you're right it's we.
I think Machiavelli said it's more important to be feared than be loved it's kind of nice if you can achieve both -- respected might be a better word than feared.
But it should be clear too that we're talking about long process these it'll take a long time to work their way out.
Horrible conditions of the Arab world have been developing over decades.
Including by the way in Iraq where you had a terrible dictator ruling for decades and it takes decades to recover from that sort of experience.
But I think what is essential is that people first -- all need to understand.
-- the United States continues to be involved in the message you send when you say -- prohibiting gay -- we're finished with Iraq the war in Iraq is over -- it's not over but the US is out.
That -- -- -- same message that in a couple of years will be out of Afghanistan even if there's a war.
It says to people you can't really count on the United States so if you stand up to the extremists.
You're doing it on your own.
And frankly I think there's been way too much.
Boasting about killing Osama bin Laden it was great to kill Osama bin Laden.
But in a way you might almost speculate that these attacks which are curiously timed for September 11.
Our message from al-Qaeda that -- is.
We're still around.
And we'll still be around questioned the people ask is will the Americans be around under and I think obamas left the big question mark on them.
Paul Wolfowitz thank you very much we -- moments and.