Amb. Bolton says Trump airstrikes not a step deeper into war in Syria.

The Kuhner Report
Friday, April 7th

Amb. Bolton reacts to President Trump’s limited airstrikes in Syria. He believes President Trump did the right thing. Do you agree with Amb. Bolton?


Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Tonight I order a targeted military strike on the air feel. In Syria from where it chemical attack. Was warm. It is in this vital. National security. Of the United States to prevent and deter their spread and use of deadly chemical. Weapons. 106 here on the great WRKO. OK last night. The president trump board heard a massive tomahawk missile strike. 59 tomahawk missiles were launched from the USS Porter and the USS Ross. Aimed at a Syrian air base the air base was. Practically destroyed badly damaged. The numerous Syrian planes were taken out. It was a blow to Syria's air force. And I saw its ability to wage an air campaign. And so the question now is do you support president trumps air strike. Joining us now is former UN ambassador John Bolton ambassador Bolton I just wanna be straight up with you. I completely. Disagreed with Trump's actions last night I know you favorite. Tell me why I'm wrong. Well I think gad glad to be with you again. Look I think that. That the strike was the correct decision and I thought it was. A strong and decisive move it was very. Limited targeted precise. And it was in response to something. That is very much in the national security interest to the United States you know as Syria. Is a party to the chemical weapons convention as is the United States that convention. Prohibits the use of chemical weapons. And I think whatever our country. That's part of an anti proliferation. Agreement. Uses a weapon of mass destruction chemical biological or nuclear. That it does adversely affect the United States I don't think this strike. Commits the United States one where the other in the conflict the inside Syria I think the ball is now on this. Courted Syria and and Russia. And I do think we need to be thinking leaving aside for second about what happens in the Middle East once we defeat I basis. Because I don't want to see. Us gaining a critical victory over that terrorist group but saying the position of Iran and its surrogate in the region. Including the aside government. Emerging stronger position to threaten our friend the George in the Arab monarchies and Israel. So this is I don't I don't I know in the debate I've heard during the course of last night this morning. A lot of people have tried to. Read into this pro or con. The idea that this now can attest to the civil war in Syria and I really don't think that's right. I think that. The the the doors open for more steps to a question about that. But I think that'll depend on what Syria and and Russia dues so. I I think the I I can I should I support what happened and I'd be interest to your response. Ambassador if you remember the 2013. Chemical weapon attack. And Obama drawing the Red Line and everybody jumped to the conclusion that a sought was behind it. When the UN did their investigation Carla del Pont de herself said. It appeared quite likely that in fact it was the Muslim rebels. Who had used chemical weapons. The false flag to draw the United States through the western. Our community in to intervention potentially against the song. What overwhelming conclusive evidence do we have. That I saw it actually did launch that chemical weapons attack why the rush. Why not wait a couple days let the UN investigate let the Russians make their case. Well let us make our case. Why they were rushed to control the current or the rush to judgment and the rush to conclusions when we going to when he thirteen. That it may have been very likely a false flag operation. Well remember in 2013 and then in subsequent. Cases. That the DC use of the chemical weapons. This really could be ascribed to the rebels only in some of the uses and look I don't I don't think some of the rebels who were. L news strike al-Qaeda. Muslim extremists one of the reasons why I haven't favored. The US aiding as the rebel forces that either during the the Obama administration are today I don't think there's any question that the government to Syria had extensive chemical weapons that it was prepared to use. As. As the father of the current. Aside dictator. Head to head had taken steps against his own people before. So in my view. See the propensity of the regime's use a chemical weapons was was clearly established and you know that's why. The Russians. When they heard the Red Line argument we're prepared to negotiate to eliminate the it's as stockpiles of Syrian chemical weapons that they had that this period has long denied they ever had. And I think what we saw was exactly what you would expect. From a and arms control agreement with Syria and Russia is they complied with that in part. But they didn't comply with that in part and that their purpose of evasion was clear right from the beginning. So that even after John Kerry and Barack Obama declared victory and that you still saw uses of chemical weapons. That I think could properly be attributed to the regime data indicates that the strike on Tuesday. The argument from the regime and Russia was that the that they've been the Syrian planes had hit a rebel stockpile. That the evidence just wasn't there to support that. And if they had had evidence I think the other Russians in the Syrians would have produced at so I think it was right not to let a lot of time go by I think the at Providence so the response the strike. Demonstrated seriousness. And and I think the outraged reaction from. From Russia and North Korea and Iran and and and all the usual suspects. Shows that this was. That they're correct response that by the truck administration. Ambassador. If you actually look at it from a science point of view for a second. He has a president now in the White House who before the chemical weapons attack essentially is policy was. Hands off Syria who govern Syria is up to the Syrians. So we had somebody that wasn't looking for regime change he had won a big victory and allow ball. He now has American special forces on the ground looking for a final push to defeat crisis in Rocca. He has the full support of Russia he's now holding a winning hand the war seems to be going his way. He's got all the momentum. Why would you then launch it chemical weapons attack. All but could do is alienate the western world may be bring in the Americans for intervention. Maybe even drive a wedge between himself and his biggest partner Russia. If you look at it from a science point of view he has zero interest zero. In launching a chemical weapons attack so why would he do it. Well I think I think he has a lot more than zero interest I think this is an opportunity for him to find out. Whether it the trumped administration. Is says. Two lists as its predecessors it was a kind of experiment. And in that sense he may well have thought that much like Barack Obama. Trump was all talk and no action. And so this is. I don't know this for sure and I don't I don't like to point the finger. Necessarily but that we did have statements by senior trapped administration officials in the past week or ten days. Essentially saying that they had no trouble with. Aside remaining in power so he may have thought he was enabled it's somewhat more dramatic contrast but remember. Dean Acheson famous speech in 1950 where he draws the US defense parameter in the western Pacific. And leaders have South Korea. And with that a few months North Korea's invaded South Korea this this is what happens when you make statements and don't think through the implications. So as they say I I can't prove it that the sides thought he had been given a green light by the administration. But I thought those comments were ill advised when they were made. And even more ill advised in retrospect. Ambassador are nor against time and I wanna ask you just one final question. I think this goes to the heart of the debate on this. What actual threat. Does the Asad regime posed to the United States he hasn't declared war on America. He hasn't threatened to hurt America or pack America. If anything and he's brutal I agree with you these are very brutal man he uses very brutal means. But he is the most effective. Ground force. In Syria to defeat and rolled back whether it be Al you know elmo's route. Or Al al-Qaeda or crisis or the radical Islamic terrorists. So what ultimate threat does a sawed most of us. Well I think he poses multiple threats for us and our friends in the region the aside regime would not be empowered today without support from Iran. And looking at the conflict. In the region and what will happen once ice uses to see it is I think it will be next. Six to nine months. I think it's important that we not allow Iran and its surrogates to come in with an even stronger position. Than before. And in that sense Syria remains at war with Israel. And to have the kind of capabilities that that it does it is a threat to Israel and that's one reason why. Prime minister Netanyahu was so supportive this morning. Trapped administration's decision. But I think there's a larger point to you know it yesterday. Was the 100 anniversary of the United States entering World War I on the most tremendous things it's ever happened. And the one recollection. It's probably the single most important thing Americans remember about World War I. Was the use of mustard gas the first use really in modern warfare poison gas of chemical weapons. And one of the first things we did in the Coolidge administration. After the war. It was tried put in place of prohibition on use of chemical weapons it was their first experience with a weapon of mass destruction. And the the impression that is left around the world. Landed a totalitarian. Regime like society uses of weapons of mass destruction and gets away with that. It's something that I don't think the United States can afford I don't believe anybody else is gonna do anything about it I think that's what our responsibility is. And I think this strike against that air base effectively destroying it as far as we can tell from early reports. Send this signal to any other country with chemical or biological weapons and perhaps even more importantly nuclear weapons like rot in North Korea. That unlike Barack Obama's administration were not gonna sit. Back and let them develop and deploy these capabilities. If there's any way to avoid it. So I just think that was a very important thing do I think it touched basic America's national security interest and that's why I think he the president did the right thing. We have been talking with former UN ambassador John Bolton. Ambassador I hope he's still remain friends. Absolutely out about it except I cried and felt all right take care.