Panetta: Obama Weakened U.S. Credibility, Abandoned Iraq

Posted on Sun 10/05/2014 by

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Bolt New 01By Andrew Bolt ~

This is news, even here in Australia…..TonyfromOz.

panetta-senate-testimony-11-6-9Barack Obama’s former Defence Secretary agrees – the president has been a weak leader:

Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is criticizing President Obama for leaning toward, then deciding against military action against Syria for its use of chemical weapons.

“By failing to respond, it sent the wrong message to the world,” Panetta says in his new book…

In August 2012, Obama said the U.S. would reconsider its opposition to military involvement in the Syrian civil war if President Bashar Assad deployed or used chemical or biological weapons. “That’s a red line for us,” the president said….

But even after Assad used chemical weapons, killing hundreds of Syrian civilians, Obama planned a Rose Garden address in which it was widely expected to announce airstrikes against Assad, Obama instead said he would consult with Congress.

“President Obama vacillated, first indicating that he was prepared to order some strikes, then retreating and agreeing to submit the matter to Congress,” according to an early copy of the book purchased by The Associated Press. “The latter was, as he well knew, an almost certain way to scotch any action. By mid-2013, a majority of Congress could not agree on what day of the week it was, much less a resolution authorizing the use of American force in the Middle East.

“The result, I felt, was a blow to American credibility. When the president as commander in chief draws a red line, it is critical that he act if the line is crossed. … Assad’s action clearly defied President Obama’s warning.”

Panetta’s book, titled “Worthy Fights,” is scheduled for release next week…

On Iraq, Panetta chided Obama for not keeping a residual U.S. force behind, which he said could have helped provide training and security to Iraqi security forces and blunt the Islamic State group’s recent takeover of parts of northern and western Iraq.

“My fear, as I voiced to the president and others, was that if the country split apart or slid back into the violence that we’d seen in the years immediately following the U.S. invasion, it could become a new haven for terrorists to plot attacks against the U.S.”

Andrew Bolt is a journalist and columnist writing for The Herald Sun in Melbourne Victoria Australia.

Andrew Bolt’s columns appear in Melbourne’s Herald Sun, Sydney’s Daily Telegraph and Adelaide’s Advertiser. He runs the most-read political blog in Australia and hosts Channel 10’s The Bolt Report each Sunday at 10am. He is also heard from Monday to Friday at 8am on the breakfast show of radio station MTR 1377, and his book  Still Not Sorry remains very widely read.

Read more excellent articles from Andrew Bolt’s Blog . http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/