Opinion

Bolton says Obama ‘taking a pass’ on chaos in Egypt

Former United Nations Ambassador John Bolton isn’t letting up on what he considers the Obama administration’s foreign policy failures.

On Fox News on Friday, the frequent critic of Obama policy and long-shot potential presidential candidate said the president is “taking a pass” as the largest Arab country and neighbor of Israel is racked by violent political convulsions.

johnboltonAs the Egyptian army maintained its control while cracking down on supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi on Friday, Bolton said a “very chaotic period” is likely just beginning in a country that receives more than a billion dollars in aid from the United States every year.

And the Obama administration appears to have little interest in controlling where that aid is going or where it ends up, Bolton said.

“There is hardly any evidence at all that the Obama administration has a policy. Obviously in a delicate situation you want to be careful about what you say publicly, but that is different about what you are doing and saying behind the scenes,” he said.

“And what’s curious to me, the administration, after a very bland statement (about the Morsi overthrow) … has just apparently been inactive.”

Besides accusing the Obama administration of basically sleepwalking through the Egyptian crisis, Bolton downplayed talk that U.S. aid to the country would have to be suspended or halted because U.S. law forbids assistance to countries whose democratically elected governments are overthrown in a military coup.

He said the Obama administration should just acknowledge that a coup has occurred and issue a presidential waiver to cover the Egyptian circumstance — something he said all relevant laws would allow.  That would enable aid – especially military aid to the people now in charge – to continue, he said, without trying to pretend a coup hasn’t happened. Acting like Morsi wasn’t deposed in a coup, he said, would be “another example of not wanting to face up to the reality we see on the ground.”

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