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Tags: rumsfeld | obama | leadership | vacuum

Donald Rumsfeld: Obama Has Created a 'Leadership Vacuum'

By    |   Wednesday, 21 August 2013 06:58 PM EDT

President Barack Obama has created a "leadership vacuum" in the world and is partially to blame for Egypt’s woes with his attitude that everything there can be "warm and fuzzy," former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld says.

"The people in Egypt believe we have been supportive of the Muslim Brotherhood because we were eager for early elections, totally ignoring the reality that Adolf Hitler was elected in an election and then tried to consolidate power," Rumsfeld told Newsmax TV on "The Steve Malzberg Show"

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"[Hitler] did successfully and caused a war. [Ousted Egyptian President Mohammed] Morsi has been trying to consolidate power and the people of Egypt have opposed it."

Rumsfeld, who served as Secretary of Defense under Gerald Ford and George W. Bush, said the "single most important relationship" the U.S. currently has in the Middle East is with Egyptian military, which recently ousted Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood.

That action that has put the country on the verge of civil war as the military clashes with Morsi supporters who want him and the Muslim Brotherhood reinstated.

Hundreds have been killed as the fighting continues — a tragedy for a country as vital to the U.S. as Egypt, according to Rumsfeld.

"Egypt's the most important country . . . kind of an educational center for the Arab world. We have an excellent relationship," Rumsfeld said.

"They have been the anchor in the stability with their Camp David Accord agreement with Israel."

But the Muslim Brotherhood’s rise to power has been a serious threat to that.

"It is an authoritarian theocracy. They're the ones who killed Egyptian President Anwar] Sadat [in 1981], they are determined to eliminate the concept of the nation state, they don't believe in democracy, they don't believe in tolerance," Rumsfeld said.

Unfortunately, he added, Obama "started out with an attitude, a view point . . . and believed that by apologizing and talking to [the Brotherhood] that everything could be nice and warm and fuzzy.

"Right now the Middle East is in turmoil . . . Somebody has to step up and, I mean think what Abraham Lincoln did during the Civil War. He imposed Martial Law and suspended habeas corpus.

"He had to otherwise the United States wouldn’t have been orderly, it wouldn't have been able to function."

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Rumsfeld said Secretary of State John Kerry has really been dealt an "enormously difficult hand" in being appointed to the post this year.

"He is faced with a series of bad policies and bad actions by the Hillary Clinton State Department and the Obama White House over a period of four and a half years . . . All the momentum is in the wrong direction," he said.

"The behavior of the administration has been to create a leadership vacuum in the world and that vacuum is being filled by people who don't have our values, who don't have our interests.

"If that [Egypt] turns to civil war and the Suez Canal is closed or the Muslim Brotherhood breaches the agreement with Israel, [Obama is] going to wish he had taken sides."

The latest accusations by Syrian rebels that the Assad government used deadly chemical weapons, reportedly killing hundreds near Damascus shows the "sad state of affairs" U.S. policy is in.

"When the United States says something or does something, it has an effect where that action has taken. But the other thing it has is an effect all over the world because other countries look at it and say, well, the president said this and he's not following it up," Rumsfeld said.

"Well, he either shouldn't have said it or he ought to follow it up because he's sending a signal that America is withdrawn, that America is in decline, that the contribution to a more peaceful and stable world that the United States has provided during my adult lifetime is over, that the United States is in decline.

"Why else would Vice President [joseph] Biden have to stand up and say we're not in decline? That says we are in decline because people know it, they smell, they can feel it."

Commenting on the sentencing of Army Pfc. Bradley Manning to 35 years behind bars for leaking classified U.S. documents to Wikileaks, Rumsfeld believes it is too lenient.

"He deserves to be punished seriously. The idea of someone who engaged in that kind of action — harmful to the United States of America and to the American people — getting out in a relatively short period is certainly a signal to others that they can get away with murder."

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President Barack Obama has created a leadership vacuum in the world and is partially to blame for Egypt's woes with his attitude that everything there can be warm and fuzzy, former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld says.
Wednesday, 21 August 2013 06:58 PM
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