Did Obama's address to UN General Assembly make the grade?
Former UN Ambassador John Bolton weighs in
- Duration 4:29
- Date Sep 25, 2012
Former UN Ambassador John Bolton weighs in
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Receive so much attention and more than we have heard from the president today.
About the events in Libya on September 11 -- about the life of Chris Stevens or ambassador who was murdered the president called those responsible killers.
But there was only one reference to the word terrorist than it did not apply to Libya.
Now a year ago the speech was largely about the Arab Spring in the birth of a new day in that part of the world.
A year later the theme seems to have given way to the reality of handling the extremists and various countries that are fighting for power and attention ambassador John Bolton former US ambassador to UN Fox's contributor -- the speech -- Mr.
ambassador how was it.
Well -- give it a bad -- say it was like a great big warm Fuzzy blanket.
The president comes out in favor of tolerance there's there's your breaking news.
But the problem with the speech was that it was infused.
With the fallacy of moral equivalency that.
They're sort of extremism and intolerance everywhere and it's all the same and that's the best example the Israelis and the Palestinians.
Is that they both have problems that they've got to put behind him is if terrorist attacks on the one hand and legitimate self defense on the other are equivalent.
And it's that moral equivalency that I think running throughout the speech.
Is is a very good idea of Barack Obama's view the world and one where America's place senate is not what most Americans think it should it.
Ambassador -- -- -- entire attention to another section of the speech and it was the one place where President Obama.
Sort of put the -- that we're seeing in the Middle East in a larger context which I think a lot of people.
Urging him to do in some ways he's had more broadly the events of the last two weeks speak to the need for all of us.
To address honestly the tensions between the west and Arab world moving to democracy.
Just as we can't solve every problem in the world the United States has not will not seek to dictate.
The outcome of democratic tensions -- brought.
Your thoughts on that.
Well that that is a statement that the United States is not -- -- interfere.
But whether it's in our interest to do so or not and there was one very interesting addition to the speech not in the prepared text.
After the president gave what I thought actually was a very good defense of the First Amendment -- are the best we've heard from the administration in this last two weeks.
He then said we understand that there are many nations that don't share our view of the First Amendment or each share our view of freedom of expression.
And then he added this that was not in his prepared text he said we accept that.
Which is a way of saying to these regimes well go ahead and repress speech and and and allow this kind of -- activity we've seen.
I thought that was a statement about an unwillingness of America to asserted centrists that that gives license to those.
Who who would who would take advantage of and.
Overseas how are these speeches received.
What one assumes that there is immediate translation and Arabic -- up -- Al-Jazeera probably several other.
Networks overseas watching this and and now you have repeated references to the video to the film.
What what what is the -- I think if I were to continue to bring that topic up.
It it if you truly believe that it was the film -- the video of inside and all the people into the street two weeks ago.
Well as we discussed before the speech I I think this is a real mistake that is not the cause of this unrest in the Middle East and the continuous repetition of that.
As the reason for the assassination of ambassador the assaults on our embassy.
I think simply convince people that the president doesn't understand what's at stake here I think that there were there were other revealing passages as well.
That are consistent with the theme of declining American influence he said for example.
That we will end our war in Afghanistan.
In 2014 which is what he would do if you were reelected we will -- -- -- that's very true.
And fortunately al-Qaeda and Taliban are not -- ended their war and therein lies the problem so.
I think in various parts of -- the broader Middle East and around the world people will see this as as another.
That piece of evidence of the president's unwillingness to assert American interest around the world.
-- thank you very much ambassador Bolton.
Joining us with some thoughts on the --