In a speech at the Heritage Foundation on Wednesday, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) telegraphed the tactics he would use should he find himself running against Hillary Clinton for president in 2016, criticizing the “Obama-Clinton foreign policy” as an abject failure.
“Today, the consequences of the Obama-Ciinton foreign policy is that our friends no longer trust us and our enemies no longer fear us,” he said.
Although world polls have demonstrated that respect for the U.S. and our leadership fell to historic lows during the previous administration and began to recover immediately after Obama took office in 2009, Cruz seems to think that no one respects us any longer.
Cruz suggested that it was weakness displayed by Obama and Clinton that led to the rise of ISIS, even though it was the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq in 2011, in compliance with an agreement negotiated by the Bush administration that was the major contributing factor.
“In the Obama-Clinton foreign policy, all members of the international community are equal, be they nations or not, and should be dealt with respectfully and with empathy,” he said. “Let me be very clear: When it comes to radical Islamic terrorists who are crucifying Christians, who are beheading children, what our foreign policy needs is not additional empathy. It needs clarity and force and resolve to defend the United States of America.”
He concentrated heavily on the administration’s dealings with Vladimir Putin, mocking Clinton’s “reset” of relations with the man who would reconstitute the old Soviet Union. He called for a more hardline approach, including withdrawal from the START agreement, installation of missile defense systems in Eastern Europe and arming Ukraine in their fight against Russian separatists.
He dismissed the Russian economy falling into a recession with falling oil prices saying that it has “had no discernible effect.”
Instead of negotiating with Iran to dismantle its nuclear weapons development program, Cruz says we should be imposing more sanctions on them and demanding that they stop all nuclear programs including those for peaceful purposes such as electric production.
“Here’s a hint: if a nation calls you the Great Satan, it ain’t good,” he said.
He also attacked the administration for allegedly considering imposing sanctions on Israel for its ongoing practice of building settlements on Palestinian land although it has not announced any such sanctions. The claim that sanctions are being considered was made by the right-wing web site, The Free Beacon which picked up a story from the Israeli paper Haaretz which reported that the U.S. might choose not to veto a U.N. resolution condemning the settlement expansion program.
Cruz concluded his remarks saying that he was “hopeful and optimistic that two years from now we will see a very different president whose word can be trusted by friend and foe alike.”