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Bolton blasts Obama on Iraq, Iran

From NBC's Lauren Appelbaum
WASHINGTON -- In a speech here at the Conservative Political Action Conference, John Bolton, Bush's representative to the UN, admonished the young Obama administration for what he sees as not focusing enough on foreign affairs and making decisions based on what the left wants and not what is best for the country.

On Iraq, Bolton chastised Obama for what Bolton said is a plan to withdraw troops without regard to any progress in the country. "We've just seen a vindication of President Bush's surge policy in the recent provincial elections," Bolton said to loud applause. "The surge policy had both a military and a political component. The military component has had extraordinary success. The political component is making considerable progress. But we're seeing an administration so committed to satisfying the left of the Democratic party that it could well jeopardize all of that."

Bringing up Obama's statements as a candidate of offering carrots and sticks to Iran, Bolton argued Obama does not know how to handle negotiations with that Middle East nation. "This is a clear piece of evidence of the naiveté of the Obama administration and its faith in negotiations."

Partially as a result of this, Bolton warned that the United States' enemies will challenge the Obama administration. He cited the Russians in seeing a weakness in Obama's response to the invasion of Georgia and said Russia will test Obama. "Just as Khrushchev challenged President Kennedy shortly after his inauguration, more is coming on that front."

During the Q&A, Bolton suggested that the Obama administration might not always be pro-Israel. "I don't know what the Obama administration will do in response, but I would certainly hope they would come to Israel's assistance," Bolton said when asked if the administration would help Israel if attacked by Arab nations. "But I think there is no guarantee of it. I think the more likely response is to appoint a special envoy and try to negotiate an end to the hostilities."

Bolton also criticized Secretary of State Clinton for not discussing human rights with Chinese leaders during her visit there. "Regardless of where you put human rights, you don't give it up for nothing before you even land in Beijing."