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And now we're joined by John Bolton former US ambassador to the United Nations he's in Washington DC today to talk about.
Everything I said earlier mr.
ambassador but first I -- -- wanted to start with that release of oil from.
World emergency stockpiles half of which coming from our own strategic petroleum reserve.
What does that say about our relations with say an Iran and does it put Iran on the ropes a little bit because.
You sold the fight that erupted a mine in OPEC.
But does that put them -- at least some sort of short term disadvantage.
I don't really think so I I think this release was entirely political.
There's nothing merely amounting for the kind of strategic crisis.
That the petroleum reserve was created for or that would justify release.
And I think the saudis and others had made it clear that whatever the disruptions.
In Libyan production caused by the civil war there they would make up -- all OPEC is all but is often in disarray.
And the saudis and others have their own ways -- just increasing production without regard to other quotas that OPEC agrees on.
So I I think this was actually -- mistake I think when you use the petroleum reserve in this kind of way you're undercutting its purpose and sending a signal of of weakness when there's no need to do it well you know it's interesting because they'd -- White House is case is that there is a supply problem especially with what's gone on in Libya of course a lot of the oil.
The comes out of -- goes to Europe but not to the United States but one thing that we were talking about ambassador -- then it's entirely possible.
There -- come over thinking this but it was brought up.
The reason we're talking about is -- one of our gas and oil analyst brought it up is that may be.
There are other problems supply problems that are either already there or about to make themselves evident in other countries -- whether -- yen -- -- -- Sudan.
We already know about Libya and this move is almost preemptive.
And not just purely political as the initial analysis seems to -- what do you make of that theory.
Well if that's a theory I don't think much avid Yemen doesn't produce very much oil to begin -- -- in Sudan you do have difficulty because of the in pending civil war there but that's more of a Chinese problem than anything else and is as you look at Libya.
At production has come back on stream in the eastern part of the country the ancient province of ceramic a controlled by the opposition.
And lucky if there's an oil production problem worldwide we can solve -- in the United States without anybody's help by drilling more here so I think the whole thing is entirely artificial you know that reserve was created basically for military purposes for our fleets and for our.
Air force and army if it look like supplies would be tight internationally and and to use it for price adjustment purposes I I think is really contrary to the basic reason we set it up to begin -- Mr.
ambassador -- web let's turn our attention to what's going on in Europe and Greece saying you wrote recently.
About -- I -- math and windy think America will truly wake up and -- -- paraphrase what you said.
Realize that I -- -- does little or nothing for us.
Well it's -- surprise to me that we haven't already you know -- proposed in that article that you mentioned that we basically abolish the IMF that may sound radical but I have to admit I stole that idea.
From former secretary of the treasury George -- Former secretary of the treasury now -- Bill Simon.
Former chairman of Citigroup.
Walter -- and hardly -- group of of radicals the point is that with the end of the fixed exchange rate system and the adoption of floating exchange rates.
The basic purpose of the IMF -- ended and as secretary Schultz said.
What that governments use the IMF for now is to do things that their own got their own people wouldn't approve of if you ask them straight up and I think the bailout of Greece and propping up the Euro is exactly what secretary Schultz was talking about -- the internal politics sir.
Our interest even if you work are -- we all agreed that that you were right the the the odds of something like the elimination of the IMF happening in the very near term seemed to be.
Remote but you know you never know what's gonna happen but that said.
The -- the current structure of it and who's gonna take over for that's -- -- it's actually a speaker Christine Lagarde as the French.
Finance minister seems to be the favorite but it's and it's always assumed.
That a European.
-- will lead the IMF and and it's almost self serving as -- and in many ways because as you say.
That's basically been their their main business here the last few years is to bail out Europe looks like it will be.
For the the -- you know at least the foreseeable future.
Well I think Christine Lagarde may be the last European head of the IMF you know she benefits because the developing countries don't have the voting weights in the IMF and they're divided among themselves they they want somebody other than European but.
Resilience water Brazilian Chinese want to Chinese and so on so I think the Mexican Central Bank governor is unlikely to prevail.
But but a Third World person could do it next time -- in some say well we don't want to.
Cross the Europeans because then will lose the presidency of the World Bank which.
Another Bretton Woods institution the United States is traditionally -- I say so be -- I think it's time to privatize the World Bank anyway.
-- reaction to the president's plan to start withdrawing troops from Afghanistan beginning with 101000.
You're you're hearing from Mike Mullen chairman of the joint chiefs along -- General Petraeus is suggesting that it seems to be too aggressive is that.
Oh I think it's the wrong move the only reason we're talking about withdrawing anybody now -- because eighteen months ago when the president announced the surge he said that in the summer -- eleven.
He'd start withdrawing troops utterly -- related to conditions on the ground in Afghanistan or whether.
We're achieving the objectives that we need to achieve there.
You know the more you read the president's speech from Wednesday night the worse it gets it really increasingly strikes me as.
The contemporary equivalent of George McGovern in 1972.
Saying com home America.
This is a this is a big mistake for the United States it -- an enormous signal of weakness.
Not just in Afghanistan and Pakistan but throughout the Middle East and around the world.
It's just sad Republicans are now somewhat split on this issue because it's a real failure presidential leadership and the criticism -- Let's come from both the left and the right the president and -- -- -- one of the more interest in developments is that some of that criticism from his left.
Is coming up from Democrats but from Republicans and then you have somebody like the ambassador Bolton says now.
We we we need to stay in Afghanistan we need to be more aggressive make that case for us especially for those in in your party -- you might ordinarily agree with and other matters who are saying.
Now's the time to get out.
But the pole star for -- an American national security policy is what's in our strategic interest and we've got two interest in Afghanistan one.
Is preventing that country from again becoming a base for international terrorism under the control of Taliban or al-Qaeda or other Islamic radicals second.
We must prevent instability there from spilling over into pockets done and risk having that government.
-- radicals and terrorists and putting a very substantial arsenal of nuclear weapons.
Or more into terrorist hands where they could be used on a worldwide basis.
Have we been their along time yes how long were we in Europe after World War II.
Fighting the Cold War we're still there we we we cannot look at this and say ten years is too long we've got to have attention spans.
That are sufficient to meet the threats that are posed against this we didn't ask for this we didn't ask to be attacked.
But we need to do what we need to do to defend ourselves to make sure it doesn't happen again.
Ambassador John Bolton enough for investors the United Nations with us here in Imus in the morning and covered a lot of ground a lot of different issues the other.
Big big issue that we wanted to talk to you about.
Has to be Libya.
You know it's been going on now for a while it's tough to see what the end or how this -- this conflict and in Libya basic stores rating on the cover the Wall Street Journal this morning the Moammar Qaddafi might flee.
Tripoli I mean what.
How do you see this all winding itself up -- what's the end game in Libya and how close are we to it.
Well I think we're actually fairly close I have nothing good to say about president Obama's conduct in this intervention he went in for the wrong reason he's.
Led very poorly it's a real example of presidential incompetence and national security affairs.
But to come back to that -- -- there is an American strategic interest and removing Gadhafi from power.
I ever since he threatened to return to international terrorism had the president.
Acted swiftly and decisively three months ago I think this thing would nearly be over by now and I think we're very close to achieving.
The correct objective no thanks to the president's leadership so today in the house they're going to be several votes on what to do.
I think the Republicans.
-- -- -- -- suck it up and do the right thing even though it's a frustrating and unfair that we're carrying president water forum we've got to do the right thing for the country.
And that's authorize this operation to continue.
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