How effective was President Obama's UN speech?
All-Star panel weighs in
- Duration 9:21
- Date Sep 25, 2012
All-Star panel weighs in
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In every culture.
Those who love freedom for themselves must ask themselves.
How much they're willing to tolerate freedom for others.
And that is what we saw play out in the last two weeks.
There's a crude and disgusting video.
Sparked outrage throughout the Muslim world on this we must agree there is no speech that justifies mindless violence.
Syria has witnessed the killing -- tens of thousands of people the president of Egypt is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Our ambassador to Libya was assassinated in a terrorist attack.
Iran is moving toward nuclear weapons capability.
We somehow feel that -- at the mercy of events.
Rather than shaping.
-- Romney and President Obama in New York the president speaking to the United Nations General Assembly today let's bring in a special panel on foreign policy Steve Hayes senior writer for the weekly standard.
Welcome Liz Cheney chair of keep America safe dot com.
And Rudy Giuliani senior vice president and of national security and international policy at the Center for American Progress a leading liberal think tank here in Washington.
Thank you all for being here Steve let me start with you your thoughts overall on this speech.
And kind of the position in the president was making about the Middle East overall.
Well I think I think he's on the the president tried to give a speech that echoed the themes of his Cairo address which was probably very well received in the hall it's the kind of speech that you can see any UN general assembly people nodding their heads along.
And he did get several different.
Rounds of applause for that in the comments he's making.
I thought there was some tension in the speech frankly -- -- you talked.
At one point about the video -- at some length about the video that crude -- video made clear that the United States government didn't have anything to do with it.
This is sort of a reprise of the kinds of things that we've heard from the administration over the past couple weeks.
But in an interview on the view that was taped yesterday and aired today the president said the best way to handle the video is to marginalize that kind of speech by ignoring it.
The administration's can't -- -- I would argue over the past couple weeks.
On the video in explaining what's happened.
In the region has been based on a discussion an extensive discussion.
Of the video so the president spent a lot of time on the video today in his speech which I thought contradicted what he was saying in his interview with -- the -- pretty.
Well you know I I think the speech at the United Nations was important because the president really addressed the Iranian issue he said.
That Iran can't be contained that we've got to prevent them from having in particular weapons capability so I think it was very clear on that issue.
I also think that there was an important note in his remarks where he talked about religious tolerance not just simply the Islamic issue.
But also against Christians and Jews and people of other faith in every corner of the world including the Middle East so.
No I think it was important because it was the general assembly of the United States so he couldn't have been clearer.
In terms of addressing the Iranian issue.
-- I should point out you have informally advise the Romney campaign we wanted both of your expertise on foreign policy your thoughts on.
The present some of these.
Points that he made to the U one.
You know my AM overall sense watching the speech was that it was a lot of rhetoric.
Punctuated by moments of what -- and -- called delusion.
He talked about the moment that we're living through the Middle East now he said this isn't real period a season of progress were his words.
There was no recognition at all that any peace and security in the world since World War II -- come from American leadership from American military might.
No recognition that we face a threat from Islamic Jihad.
It was a lot of what we've heard him say before and I think you know he did have some statements about a -- has some statements about Syria.
That there's no reason that I can see for people to believe it's going to be followed up by any action you know he didn't even take the action of -- and meet with any other world leaders -- there.
I won't play -- clip where he talks about Iraq and Afghanistan and the way forward what has happened and what.
War in Iraq is open.
American troops have come all.
We've begun a transition in Afghanistan.
And American -- allies -- end.
Our war on schedule and 4014.
Al qaeda's been we could.
And Osama bin Laden is normal.
There was some criticism Steve about ending a war on schedule.
But you can -- the war on schedule the formulations doesn't make much sense to me frankly -- -- -- you think there is no schedule for war you have to fight a war until you win the war at least you know if you're an administration doesn't want to talk about winning the war as this administration has chosen not to at least to achieve your objectives.
It the way that he talked about it in that sense it made it sound like the timing mattered more than the outcomes and I think that's really a problem if you're over there fighting.
Is there such a weakness here on Afghanistan you know now that we know Rudy that that patrols the joint patrols have stopped with the Afghans and clearly the attacks have increased is.
-- ending the war on schedule.
The right message for the president to be saying to Afghans to the talent to whoever.
I think -- were at.
That ten -- point in the war in Afghanistan.
And it's been -- NATO coalition.
Secretary Gates who served both President Bush and President Obama.
Was part of the dialogue at Lisbon -- really talked about 2014 being the date of transition.
And that token the Chicago -- that I think was the consensus of the NATO.
You know I think you work -- way through the situation and so there's a timeline for.
The exit of -- son.
There is a plan for using the drones and other critical US capabilities against terrorist networks and -- time.
And elsewhere so I think you've got to look at all of these.
Potential tools coming in combination as you assess a 2014 days.
Was this crucial is meant for domestic consumption for this election was this -- speech for the world to say we.
What you is that what was this you know.
Well I can't imagine given where we are in the election cycle and given what we know about this president's.
A prayer or activation of his own political fortunes this was meant to be a speech for the US public I think.
You know and I think on the issue of Afghanistan.
You know we're now in a situation where we see your resurgent Taliban where a situation where we may well be walking away from a nation that will in fact.
Be able to be -- safe haven once again for terrorists because believe that a broken place.
This notion that we're ending our war on schedule -- we can imagine Winston Churchill saying that.
You know you don't -- -- there's not a schedule except for victory there ought not be but I think this president.
Has shown he's very interested in heading for the exits and what that means is that American influence across the region and across the world has been diminished.
I get through the other question is Syria he says today that the future must not belong to a dictator masters -- people where we're at I guess more than.
A year since the president first called for Bashar Al Assad to step down.
And people on both sides of the aisle have had.
Said in -- when will that.
Point -- -- Syria is important but first let's just get back after -- sang we shall have 69000.
NATO troops in country.
And we've just gotten to the point where.
We've taken the surge element and brought them home side.
So you know it's -- they measured schedule.
You know not to the same schedule that Iraq was prescribed.
Memorandum of agreement but.
You know there's still a sizable force and -- congress done.
That is doing their work every day to assist in the civil transition and then you know there's a concentrated effort on the other side in order which is.
Hockey -- now in some serious serious important.
It's important because.
One of the challenges and we could go through a host of examples from Iraq to Somalia.
Is what do you do after a tyrant leaves office and it's a painful process sure we're seeing.
Transition to democracy in in Egypt we're seeing a different government in.
Libya and now and so but it was trying to guess there's a call for a dictator did to leave.
Lose his power.
Twelve months thirteen miles and -- so if we use military force and the dictator was out.
We still have all of these other humanitarian issues of of transition and so I think.
It's important for the US to work in conjunction with his partners particularly.
Our partner and NATO partner Turkey as well as the other regional powers to come to.
-- path forward that can and the war.
The civil war in Syria and I think Secretary Clinton has spoken on this many times are.