Bolton Unimpressed with Obama’s Speech

Former U.S. representative to the U.N. John Bolton tells National Review Online that President Obama’s speech last night was “disappointing but not surprising.” “The most significant thing about Iraq is the idea that he wants to ‘turn the page,’” says Bolton. “That may satisfy the left wing of the Democratic party, but it’s impossible to turn the page on Iraq given the continuing strategic interest we have there. I think it’s indicative of the isolationism that forms a big part of his philosophy. It reminded me of George McGovern’s 1972 Convention speech when he kept saying ‘Come home America.’”

Bolton also warned that the president’s commitment to a scheduled withdrawal from Afghanistan was dangerous: “I think this is a decision driven by his domestic political consideration and I think we’re going to pay for it down the line. I still see him as having no strategic vision, no real understanding what the implications of these steps are, but continuing to play the playbook that he’s been following since his campaign.”

Finally, unlike other commentators, Bolton wouldn’t have given Obama brownie points for a hat tip to former president George W. Bush. “I don’t pay much attention to rhetorical flourishes like saying a nice thing about George Bush or praising the troops,” he says. “It just shows how far we’ve come that saying a nice thing about the troops cheers people up. Even George McGovern had the wit to do that.”

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