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Faith, Freedom, and Foreign Policy: GOPs Dissect Obama Record at Evangelical Conference

Christie: Obama’s “pulling back of American influence and American ideas across the world is having catastrophic effects.”

Rodrigo Sermeño


June 29, 2014 - 12:05 am
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WASHINGTON – Republican lawmakers at an evangelical conference this month lambasted the Obama administration’s handling of recent global events, highlighting what they called a lack of leadership.

“All of these things are happening, in my opinion, because of a lack of clarity and principle in American leadership in the statement of who we are,” New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said at the Faith & Freedom Coalition’s “Road to Majority” event.

He said leadership abroad requires making sure “our friends know who our friends are, and that our adversaries know who they are as well.”

“Leadership is about telling who you are and what you stand for, and then speaking it directly, loudly, and understandably so that not only your supporters know who you are, but the people who are against you know who you are, too, and have respect for where you stand,” Christie said.

In his first time addressing the social-conservative group, Christie said Obama’s “pulling back of American influence and American ideas across the world is having catastrophic effects.”

He slammed the president for failing to “speak clearly, profoundly, and inspirationally” about the nation’s role in the world.

“Whether it is drawing a red line in Syria and then not enforcing it, hurting America’s credibility and allowing the Russian leader to fill the vacuum of leadership in a way that will not be good for the world, and then watching how that movement moves from Syria to now causing the issues they are causing in Iraq,” Christie said. “All of these things are happening in my opinion because of a lack of clarity and principle in American leadership.”

Many of the speakers addressed the situation in Iraq where the American-trained army collapsed against an offensive mounted by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and Sunni tribes displeased with the government of President Nouri al-Maliki.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who spoke before Christie, criticized the president for the conflict in Syria and how it may have contributed to the ongoing turmoil in Iraq.

Christians fled Iraq for Syria during the 2003 invasion because they were afraid of the Shiite government that the U.S. helped install, Paul said.

“President Obama is arming Islamic rebels in Syria. The vast majority of Christians in Syria are on the opposite side of the war. We are arming Islamic rebels who are intent on killing Christians,” he said.

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) listed “the horribles” that have happened in recent weeks due to President Obama’s belief in “fantasy foreign policy,” where “good intentions equal success.”

Bachmann cited the rise of Boko Haram in Nigeria, the crisis in Ukraine, and ISIL’s lightning advance toward the Iraqi capital as examples of the foreign policy of a president who “does not understand what works and what does not work in the real world of real bad guys.”

“Terrorists are on the march in Iraq. Terrorists so brutal, so violent, that even al-Qaeda has renounced them. These terrorists virtually in a blitzkrieg took over one-third of Iraq. In a stunning display where they have taken not only American tanks, American trucks, and American high-powered weapons. They have also now reportedly taken chemical weapons caches,” she said. “This is a direct result of the foreign policy failures of Barack Obama.”

The speakers, however, failed to provide any concrete steps for what the Obama administration should do in Iraq.

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All Comments   (18)
All Comments   (18)
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Christie, Paul, and Bachmann? Two likely criminals and a compromised Libertarian. That's it? What pathetic "leadership".
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
For the first time in 1,600 years in Mosul, mass was not held a week ago. A Christian woman and her daughter were gang-raped in their home because they didn't have the money to pay jizzya. Christians are being crucified, and girls are being killed for not wearing the hijab.

And, what does FCMABBHO have to say about the criticism of his policy? That the world is "messy."
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
Here is a good dissection of a certain president's personality traits that naturally lead to problems of "leadership" and everything else about the man.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
Prior to World War II, nearly all of them ended that way.

How many times was Alsace-Lorraine fought over?

The way European countries used to fight wars was: The side that was losing, sued for peace. They paid some tribute and they gave up a bit of land and some of their overseas colonial possessions, and that was that.

Unconditional surrender and regime change was the exception, not the rule.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
[One war has nothing to do with the other.]

You have to be one of the dumbest posters I've ever read. That's like saying WWII had nothing to do with WWI.

[Saddam's violations of the cease-fire agreement did NOT necessarily require us to invade Iraq. ]

What do you suggest? A harshly worded letter? Honestly, if you're not an Obama lackey, it's a damn shame. Because you could be Joe Biden Jr.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
What I would have suggested was funding covert opposition to Saddam inside Iraq, combined with an energy policy that made the West much less dependent on oil and natural gas from Iraq.

As I said, which you ignored:

Prior to 9-11, NO ONE in government was talking about marching to Baghdad and bringing about regime change by U.S. invasion.

But at the first meeting at Camp David after 9-11, Wolfowitz sprang his pet theory: Saddam "must have" had a hand in 9-11, because he "clearly was" at least a big a terrorist threat to America as al-Qaeda was.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
[energy policy that made the West much less dependent on oil and natural gas from Iraq.]

Not to point out the obvious, which apparently is not so obvious to you, but America, pre Gulf War and certainly now, had very little dependency on Iraqi oil and natural gas, the latter now completely self-sufficient if we so chose.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
[Prior to 9-11, NO ONE in government was talking about marching to Baghdad and bringing about regime change by U.S. invasion]

Apparently, there are two universes: (1) Reality - the here and now; (2) Sinz54.

Removal of Saddam had been debated since the Gulf War. 9/11 was simply the impetus after Saddam continued to house terrorists, pay for assassinating Jews, and most importantly to the discussion at hand, thumbing his nose at 16 U.N. resolutions that you continue to conveniently ignore like an Obama groupie.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
“[President Ronald] Reagan spoke often of peace through strength, and I fear that some in our nation, some in our party have forgotten the first part of the sentence, that peace should be our goal even as we build our strength,” Paul said.

I agree.

There are just some in the GOP who just love to see the U.S. kicking somebody else's butt--anybody's butt.

I don't think there's a single opportunity to use military force that guys like McCain and Kristol have opposed.

"Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business."
-- Michael Ledeen, Foundation for Defense of Democracies
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
Monday-morning quarterbacks are always champs...
In their own minds. So blame coulda shoulda
Don't cut it. The mistake wasn't toppling Sadaam or
Trying to establish a democratic state. The mistake was that
The left, democratic politicians, and their media clones sabotaged
And beat up an honorablel game plan for sheer political gain until America
Bought their snake oil and put the father of all snake oil
Salesmen into the WH. Now howz that
Snake oil working out for you Sinz?
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
Sinz is a classic enabler, fence straddler, and sometimes Obama lackey under the same delusions of most Leftists - we can negotiate with irrational players.

24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment

Removing Saddam Hussein was the mistake. Everything flows from that single ridiculous attempt to link Iraq to 9/11, it will be remembered as single most boneheaded move by a US president for many decades.
The 2nd biggest boneheaded move was President Clinton bending over and allowing repeal of Glass Steagal, paving way for Banks to steal their depositors funds and gamble on high risk loans and derivative trading. The resulting collapse of Bank system demonstrated weakness and corruption, the bailouts proving socialism for corporations and banking is not only tolerated but encouraged.
These two events lined the pockets of same groups with massive profits at zero risk, paid for with blood, limbs, lives and sweat of average Americans.

And people wonder why the world views USA as a declining power..? America spent its reserves and will on a failed invasion of Iraq, on failed care of its own Soldiers, on failed banking system and corporate fabric.
Terrorists see the USA for what it has become; a broken system unable to manage itself. We spent 40 Billion on broken weapon systems, but refuse to invest in our own soldiers well being and care. We spend 800 Billion on banking system repairs, but refuse to spend 10% of that to fix our own water, gas and electrical logistics. The USA wired trillions to European banks in 2007 and 2008, none of it secured by any collateral, and now hold hat in hand asking for repayment.
Terrorists see the USA without blinders; a corrupted bloated society unwilling to care for its own, unable to pay its bills, impotent to regulate its banks, incapable of simple maintenance.
Take the blinders off and see how far America has Fallen in 30 years. We have this government because we never demanded better.

Let them have Iraq, we never should have invaded in the first place and have ourselves to blame for continued American limbs and lives lost on an ignorant presidents egotistical decision. We have larger problems in hand than continue lining pockets of banks and defense contractors.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
There you go again. Is the only defense of Obama you have 'But Bush ...'? Pathetic and tiresome.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
I have a question for the critics who oppose the deposing of Saddam. Was it a mistake to boot Iraq out of Kuwait?

Because if the first was not a mistake, then I submit the second Iraq War was not either. And I base that on a simple fact.

To save his skin, Saddam Hussein agreed to a series of U.N. Resolutions. Shortly thereafter, the then brutal dictator begin to thumb his nose at 16 different U.N. resolutions over a period of 11 years and was warned time and again to stop or he would face consequences. Saddam chose poorly.

If rules are not going to be enforced, then what is the use of even trying to negotiate the end of war? Now I do take issue with how the second Iraq War was conducted. It was a risk and perhaps foolish to believe we could establish a Democracy in a nation of ingrates, fanatics and cowards. But I don't see unless we are willing to simply conduct a slaughter or leave a nation in turmoil, we had much choice.

So I submit your suggestion would paint America into a corner with only two alternatives. Either we isolate ourselves as a nation, having nothing to do with world affairs; or, when we choose to go to war, we so annihilate the enemy that nothing is left to negotiate.

The blame for what is transpiring in Iraq right rests solely with an administration that inherited a war won, the voters who voted for this feckless administration and then gave back everything sacrificed in the name of political expediency and naivety, and the people of Iraq and Syria.

Assuming you are right, then we should pull every troop we have off the 36th parallel north in Korea. We should pull every troop we have from Europe, Asia and Africa and bring every one of them home.

But if you think this is in America's long term best interests, then you are as myopic as those that voted for Hope & Change.
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24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
Bush never lost sight that Saddam tried to have his father (HW) killed and nothing else mattered. Cheney wanted a war and nothing else mattered to him. The rest were either desirous of a war to test out their ideas on military size and equipment, Rumy and Wolfy and some that just hated everybody not like them.

And you ignore the obvious need to crush al-Quiada and the Taliban in Afghanistan. Screw Iraq and Saddam. He was doing nothing more to us than trying to tweak our noses. He could have been dispensed with at any time, but the fools rushed in and the real source of trouble was given second billing. Hell even Pakistan was a greater danger to us than was Iraq.

None of the other suggestions you make as a result of your assessment hold water or make any real sense. The alternatives you offered are neither one realistic. Bush was wrong to invade Iraq and forego the opportunities to destroy al-Quiada and the Taliban in Afghanistan. The war wasn't won and our appointment of a government for Iraq offered nothing beyond civil war. Did you miss something there?

There is no defense for pissing away the opportunity to commit our full attention to the people who attacked us and completely destroy them while diddling with Bush's personal demon. That one stupid move has drawn us into an area wide conflict based on the two primary branches of Islam that we had managed to stay out of for the past 50 years, since the end of WWII. There was never any war won in Iraq, just a temporary truce until we got out of their way.

After Kuwait, Saddam never really wanted anything to do with us other than tweak us when he could. The real problem was he was just too stupid to walk away from a confrontation.

No real solutions to the crap happening today. I'll suggest one. Everytime more than 10 al-Quaida sympathizers gather, we drop a hellfire in the middle of them. We can do that in Iraq, Syria and numerous other countries. Who made us the World's policeman and told us to enforce the rules.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
One war has nothing to do with the other.

Saddam's attack on Kuwait was aggression against the territorial integrity of another sovereign nation, a member of the United Nations. Kuwait's sovereignty had to be defended. We did that. We kicked Saddam's forces out of Kuwait.

Wars don't need to end by conquering the aggressor. Sometimes they do; sometimes they end in armistice in which both sides are preserved.

Saddam's violations of the cease-fire agreement did NOT necessarily require us to invade Iraq.
The proof is that NO ONE was talking about invading Iraq until 9-11 happened and Paul Wolfowitz stupidly blamed Saddam for it.

You do agree that had 9-11 not happened, the U.S. would never have invaded Iraq, despite Saddam's violations? Prior to 9-11, did Bush ever talk about invading Iraq? Did anyone?
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Wars don't need to end by conquering the aggressor."
Name one that really ended that way.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
You mean to say that empires were created as a result of peaceful announcements like "We are here, we take over your country because we feel like it". BTW what business the US had going into Dar al-Islam without knowing anything about islam? CIA's proxy war against the USSR in Afghanistan during the eighties, the operation "Desert storm", the "War on terror", the incitement of anti-Ghaddafy forces that resulted in the botched Benghazi mission, the helping of "moderate" rebels in Syria. What about all those wars? Who won them?
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
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