Bill Clinton cautions Obama: Beware looking like a 'total wuss' and 'total fool'
Bill Clinton cautions Obama: Beware looking like a 'total
wuss' and 'total fool'
By Harold Maass | The Week – Thu, Jun 13, 2013
The former president says the current president may regret staying on the sidelines if Syria's war worsens
In a rare split over foreign policy, former President Bill Clinton said President Obama risks looking like a "total wuss" if he
lets public and political opposition to intervening in Syria dissuade him from taking decisive action to help rebels topple the
"If you refuse to act and you cause a calamity, the one thing you cannot say when all the eggs have been broken is, 'Oh my
god, two years ago there was a poll that said 80 percent of you were against it,'" Clinton said in a question-and-answer period
first reported by Politico. "You look like a total fool."
SEE MORE: 20 awesomely titled trade magazines
Clinton, speaking with Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) at a Tuesday event that was closed to the press, contrasted Obama's
reluctance to wade more deeply into Syria's widening conflict with the 1999 NATO intervention in Kosovo, which included
the bombing of Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic's forces. "You just think how lame you'd be," Clinton said. "Suppose I
had let a million people, two million people be refuges out of Kosovo, a couple hundred thousand people die, and they say,
'You could have stopped this by dropping a few bombs. Why didn't you do it?' And I say, 'because the House of
Representative voted 75 percent against it?' "You look like a total wuss, and you would be."
The comments provided an unexpected boost to the rising chorus calling for beefing up support for the rebels — McCain is
one of the biggest supporters for intervention, and Clinton's wife advocated arming Syrian rebels when she was Obama's
secretary of State. Margaret Hartmann at New York notes that former presidents usually avoid publicly criticizing current
ones, especially on foreign policy, and suggests that Clinton might not have intended for h