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Sen. Cruz: President Obama’s claims on U.S. foreign policy belong in the realm of fantasy

Speaks on Senate floor to present realistic account of issues impacting U.S. overseas

February 4, 2014

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(202) 228-7561

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, today spoke on the Senate floor to offer an accurate account of issues impacting our nation abroad. Contrary to President Obama’s claims in his State of the Union address last Tuesday, news reports published since confirm reality to be quite different.

“I wish we all lived in the Utopian world President Obama painted on Tuesday, but in just one week numerous news reports suggest this world belongs more in the realm of fantasy than reality,” Sen. Cruz said. “American leadership is not defined by global opportunities to ‘do good and promote understanding,’ contrary to what President Obama claimed last week. American leadership is defined by defending and promoting the values that have made our nation great. We do this not by ignoring unpleasant realities or refusing to admit failure, but by facing our challenges and accepting responsibility for our actions, while speaking out with a clarion voice for the freedoms we enjoy, which should be the aspiration of every man and woman on the planet.”

Regarding Syria, the President claimed that Syria’s chemical weapons are being eliminated. But in reality, we have learned in recent days that the process has not proceeded as promised, with the Assyrians ignoring their deadlines and only 4 percent of stockpiles eliminated. Syria’s brutal dictator, Bashar al-Assad knows there is no threat of force to encourage him to comply. After three years of rudderless U.S. policy, more than 130,000 are dead, millions of refugees are displaced, and the oldest Christian communities on the planet are threatened with extinction.

Regarding Iran, the President claimed, “It is American diplomacy, backed by pressure, that has halted the progress of Iran’s nuclear program.” In reality, no enriched uranium has been destroyed and no centrifuges have been dismantled. In fact, the Iranians quickly refuted the President’s claim, since announcing that they have not halted their progress in the slightest. While billions of dollars now flow into Iran because of a recent and terrible deal struck to relax sanctions, there has still been no renunciation of Iran’s state sponsorship of terrorism that has killed Americans in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan and Iraq, and the mullahs have executed 40 people in the first two weeks of January alone. That should be no surprise knowing that Iranian President Hasan Rouhani has gloated, “The Geneva deal means the surrender of the big powers in front of the great nation of Iran.”

In his only mention of Israel, the President claimed, “American diplomacy is supporting Israelis and Palestinians as they engage in difficult but necessary talks to end the conflict there” and reassured that Israel that “America will always be at their side.” In reality, reports suggest that Secretary of State John Kerry is working behind the scenes to encourage European countries to “threaten” Israel with boycotts if the Israelis don’t agree to the framework Kerry is expected to propose. Rather than threats, Israel needs to hear that the United States:

  • Values its unique status as a strong democratic ally in the Middle East,
  • Appreciates its difficult security situation with the threat of a nuclear Iran,
  • Will rigorously defend it from attacks by international institutions and attempts to undermine its economy through punitive boycotts, and
  • Is unshakably committed to preserving its security regardless of “peace process” status

Regarding Ukraine, the President claimed, “In Ukraine, we stand for the principle that all people have a right to express themselves freely and peacefully, and have a say in their country’s future.” In reality, Ukraine’s former President said last week that the country teeters on the brink of civil war; protestors have been brutally tortured and murdered; and the Ukrainian people’s constitutional rights have been trampled. This former Soviet Republic’s corrupt and autocratic leader has pulled away from a proposed trade agreement with the EU and path to NATO membership and thrust Ukraine back into Russia’s sphere of influence, depriving the United States of an important economic and security partner. The United States should look for concrete actions to demonstrate support for the opposition, starting with free-trade agreements and partnerships in the energy sector, such as releasing exports of liquid natural gas from the United States.

Other crucial international issues were simply ignored by the President.

Regarding Benghazi, the President claimed nothing. In reality, we still have no answers why four Americans were murdered in a preventable attack by al Qaida terrorists and why, more than 16 months later, no one in Washington or Libya has been held accountable. Congress, the American people and the families of the fallen deserve the answers that only a joint select committee of Congress, which Sen. Cruz has called for, can provide. Although the President was forced to address Benghazi in his interview before the Super Bowl, he refused to answer if he was informed the night of the attacks that they were the work of terrorists or why the talking points were scrubbed to eradicate any mention of terrorists.

Regarding Pastor Saeed Abedini, an innocent American citizen brutally imprisoned in Iran for peacefully practicing his Christian faith, the President claimed nothing. In reality, Abedini has been unjustly jailed for more than a year. There is no more compelling evidence that the Supreme Leader in Tehran represents the same repressive Islamist regime today that he has for years, and that his goal is not peaceful rapprochement with the West but the preservation of his own power. The President of the United States should be demanding Abedini’s release, not making his captors into diplomatic partners.

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