By Sam Dorman
Published October 09, 2019
"View" co-host Meghan McCain called out former National Security Adviser Susan Rice on Wednesday, suggesting she couldn't criticize President Trump on Syria given what former President Barack Obama did while Rice served in his administration.
"How do you criticize Trump's hands-off approach to the Middle East when President Obama's approach wasn't much better?" McCain asked on "The View."
She pointed to Obama's decision to withdraw from Iraq and his refusal to act after Syria crossed his "red line" of using chemical weapons.
Their discussion came amid controversy surrounding Trump's decision to pull U.S. troops out of the war-torn Middle Eastern nation ahead of an incursion by Turkish forces.
That move, Rice argued, was "super dangerous" and abandoned Kurdish forces "to the wolves." "The president has traded our national security for I'd like to know what," she said at one point.
Rice argued that Trump's decision sent a message that the president was willing to ditch U.S. allies on a whim.
"When the president wakes up on the wrong side of the bed, we'll throw you under the bus," she said of the diplomatic message.
She also suggested that Trump's decision was impeachable since it left the Kurds to deal with thousands of detained ISIS terrorists who would likely be released as Turkey invaded.
"They have no choice but to fight and defend themselves," Rice said of Kurdish forces.
"Those prisoners are either going to be released or escape. That's more than 10,000 fighters that can threaten us in the region," she said.
Although Rice praised Trump's decision to use military strikes against Syria in response to chemical weapons attacks, she defended the Obama administration's relatively tepid response during his second term.
Rice said that she was the "lone dissenting voice" among Cabinet members who thought it was a mistake to ask Congress for authorization to use force.
Upon reflecting on that situation, Rice decided she was wrong to favor force and thought Obama was successful in leveraging diplomacy after the nation's chemical weapons attacks.
"I was right about the politics -- I didn't think that President Obama would be granted support from Congress and he wasn't -- but I think I was wrong about the policy," she said.
"Because at the end of the day, it was possible through diplomacy to get 1,300 metric tons of sarin gas and chemical weapons out of Syria."
Critics, however, have argued that Obama's decision led to the chemical weapons attacks that Trump faced under his administration.
Trump's military strikes, she argued, were appropriate but "led to nothing."
"The use of force -- unless it is translated into diplomacy and action that yields lasting results on the ground -- is not sufficient," she said.