Sen. Cruz: There Is a Virtue in Standing Unshakably With Our Friends and Unshakably Against Our Enemies
Delivers remarks at ACT for America’s 10th Annual Conference
September 5, 2018
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) today addressed ACT for America’s 10th Annual National Conference. There, he discussed his involvement in various national security victories achieved in the last two years, including moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem and withdrawing from the Iranian nuclear deal. He also discussed his legislation to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization.
“I continue to urge the administration,” Sen. Cruz said. “Just as with the embassy and the Iran deal, the lines remain the same. The debate remains the same. And the reason remains the same. There is a virtue to clarity. To standing unshakably with our friends and to standing unshakably against our enemies. I believe in peace through strength. Everyone here does. So, I thank you for your clarity and for your strength because that is helping to produce major national security victories for our nation.”
A complete transcript of Sen. Cruz’s remarks are below, and a video of his remarks may be viewed here.
“Thank you very much, and welcome to Washington. Thank you for your leadership. Thank you for standing up for defending this nation. Thank you for standing up for truth. Truth is a radical and sometimes even a revolutionary concept. And, the men and women here believe in speaking the truth and addressing the threats and perils that face this nation.
“You’ve picked an interesting week to be in Washington. I just came moments ago from the Kavanaugh hearings. They continue to be fiery. They continue to be a political circus. They continue to be punctuated about every two minutes with some young leftist getting up in the back screaming and yelling. Sometimes they’re screaming and yelling things that make some sense, other times they’re screaming and yelling things - one as she was being hauled out was just screaming ‘Mother Earth, Mother Earth!’ I don’t know if ‘Mother Earth’ will save you.
“So, what we’re seeing in those hearings is a manifestation of rage, the rage that is there on the far left. And that rage is visceral, it is real, and it is dangerous. It is dangerous when you have a chunk of our nation that is consumed with hatred for the president, at a level that reason and rationality don’t matter. It’s simply hatred.
“I remember in December when we passed the tax cuts, as we were voting on the Senate floor, up in the gallery one young man called out ‘Stop killing me!’ And, so I paused and looked at him and said, ‘Really? We’re cutting your taxes. How exactly does that work? You know, if paying less money to the federal government would kill you, you can just send in more, the Treasury will deposit the check.’ But it’s a manifestation of where we are.
“Let me say despite all the craziness--and there is a lot of craziness--if you don’t like the news then give it 20 minutes and it will change. Despite that, we are seeing incredible victories for the American people. I want to highlight on two major foreign policy decisions that we have seen in the last year, both of which had enormous consequences, and both of which are related.
“The first is a decision that President Trump made to move our embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. Now, as you know, presidents from both parties had made that promise. Both Republicans and Democrats had said they would move our embassy to Jerusalem. And the presidents in both parties had broken that promise when they got into the Oval Office.
“In the Trump administration there was a vigorous argument about whether to move the embassy. Both the State Department and the Defense Department opposed moving the embassy. And the argument that was made, was that moving the embassy would inflame, would enrage the enemies of Israel and the enemies of America. My response was, ‘like they started out so happy with us already? When they’re promising death, what’s the next step beyond that?’
“I engaged actively in that debate in that argument with the President. And part of the argument that was posed within the administration for not moving the embassy is the same argument that had been posed in prior administrations. Which is it will enrage the Arab Spring and it will somehow stand as an impediment to negotiating a grand Middle East peace deal.
“Now I’ll confess I’m skeptical that there is a grand deal to be had any time soon. And anyone who has spent any real time understanding the issues, understands that the impediment to peace is not Israel. Nobody wants peace more than Israel does. It is Israeli babies who are being murdered by the terrorists.
“But I don’t believe we will ever see a real peace, unless and until the Palestinian leadership number one, acknowledges Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state, and number two, renounces terrorism. As long as they remain in a unity government with Hamas, an avowed terrorist organization, peace is not to be had.
“But I’ll tell you the argument I made to the President and to the administration, I said ‘fine, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe you guys can work some magic that I don’t see. Okay. In any event, moving the embassy will increase the chances of peace happening.’
“Why is that? Because moving the embassy will be seen by our friends and our enemies as a testament of American resolve. It will be seen as a step that America stands with our friends despite being criticized on the pages of the New York Times. Despite the ‘tut-tutting’ of the United Nations. Despite the intelligencia wanting us not to. And that will also be seen as a sign that we will stand up to our enemies.
“And what I predicted to the President, I said, ‘listen, if you move the embassy we can expect our allies in the region, the Egyptians, the Jordanians, the Saudis - you can expect them to speak out loudly against it. They will feel they have to because of domestic political reasons.’ But I said in my view, they will be secretly relieved. And the reason they will be relieved is they will think any president, any administration with enough backbone to move the embassy to Jerusalem, might, might, might just have enough backbone to also pull out of the Iranian nuclear deal.
“So, a couple of months ago, I had the incredible privilege - I was in Jerusalem for the opening of our embassy. It was on the 70th anniversary of the creation of the modern state of Israel. And I will tell you, I’ve been to Israel many times but I have never seen, number one, the jubilation, the dancing in the streets. That was a level of celebration that exceeded anything I’ve ever seen before.
“And I will tell you at the opening I visited with quite a few Israelis, quite a few Americans, particularly those of an older generation, those who survived the Holocaust, who were reduced to tears, and said to me over and over again, ‘I never thought I’d live long enough to see this.’ It was a powerful, powerful day for America. And it was a statement that was heard throughout the world. Thankfully, the president made the right decision.
“The second foreign policy decision that I mentioned that’s closely intertwined is the decision to withdraw from the Obama Iranian nuclear deal. I continue to believe that is the most important national security decision that has been made in the last two years.
“The Iranian nuclear deal was nothing short of catastrophic. Sending billions of dollars to people who want to kill us, is a spectacularly bad idea. I have joked more than once that ironically Obama may have retroactively deserved the Nobel Peace Prize, because he managed to do something that for decades, if not for millennia had proven elusive. He managed to unify the Israelis and the Arabs. All he had to do was get behind giving the Iranians nuclear weapons and suddenly the Israelis and Arabs are both like, ‘are you out of your mind?’ It’s almost like they know something the Obama White House didn’t. Like these guys are really nuts, they’ll use them.
“That deal sent over 100 billion dollars into the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism. And we know that money has been used, and will be continued to use to murder Americans, to murder Israelis, to murder our allies.
“Within the Trump administration, there was similarly the same battle that happened over moving the embassy. The lines were identical. You had State and Defense both arguing, ‘no, no, no, don’t pull out of the deal. We’ve got to keep the deal.’ I argued vigorously in support of pulling out of the deal. One of the people who was supporting that argument was Mike Pompeo who was then at CIA, now at State. John Bolton, who was on the outside, was very engaged in this argument as well. But it was an argument that really, within the administration, raged. As you know, the President once again made the right decision and pulled out of the deal. It was the right step.
“And if you look at Iran, when the Ayatollah Khomeini says, ‘Death to America’ and ‘Death to Israel’ I believe him. Those are not merely empty words. Those are the words of a religious radical zealot. And what I have urged the President - and as we’ve seen since we pulled out of the deal, we’ve seen the Iranian economy start to go in a free fall. We’ve seen the Iranian people escalating protests. Protests that are important. There is nothing that would be a greater victory for U.S. national security interests than to see the Ayatollah’s reign tumble.
“I am perfectly happy to say America should support a regime change when the regime is headed by a murderous theocrat who is doing everything he can to try to kill us. And the economic pressure that the administration is putting forward is enhancing the pressure on the regime. That is very beneficial.
“The so-called father of the Iranian nuclear program, a scientist who has since gone to meet his maker, many say at the hands of the Mossad, he had written into his last will and testament, that he wanted the following words written on his tombstone: ‘Here lies a man who sought the annihilation of Israel.’ Now just think for a minute of the bilious hatred that would drive you to write that in your will, that the only thing you want to be known for, for all eternity, is your deep, visceral hatred, your murderous rage. That’s why giving them billions of dollars was so dangerous.
“I would note, that that clarity is closely related to the bill we were talking about just a minute ago. The legislation that I’ve introduced to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization. You know, we live in an era of political correctness. But during the Obama regime, it was beyond political correctness. It was an Orwellian double-speak. I chaired a hearing on the willful blindness of the Obama administration to radical Islamic terrorism. What we’ve heard, among others, is a DHS whistleblower who explained the Department of Homeland Security had edited or deleted over 800 records to remove references to jihad or Muslim Brotherhood. Simply to delete them. And that it was a purge directed by the White House in writing and they used that word - purge - purge out any references. That blindness is dangerous and makes it vulnerable.
“The men and women here know the Muslim Brotherhood’s motto is ‘Jihad is our way and dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.’ This is who some in the press and some in the political world urge us to think of as a moderate group. Well, read the Brotherhood’s explanatory memorandum on the general strategic goal for the Brotherhood in North America. It says, ‘the process of settlement is a civilization jihad process. The Muslim Brotherhood must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the western civilization from within and sabotaging its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believer.’
“Muslim Brotherhood does not hide that they are a terrorist organization.
“Here’s what the Department of Justice said about the Muslim Brotherhood during the Holy Land Foundation trial: ‘The government’s case includes testimony that in the early 1990’s, Hamas’ parent organization, the Muslim Brotherhood, planned to establish a network of organizations within the U.S. to spread a militant Islamist message and to raise money for Hamas.’
“Egypt has already designated the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization. Perhaps because they have seen firsthand what that terror looks like, and the slaughter that it can produce. We need that same clarity. So, I thank you for urging Members of Congress to pass the legislation. I would note also, the administration can do this. We need to pass the legislation, but the administration can do so on its own as well.
“I continue to urge the administration. Just as with the embassy and the Iran deal, the lines remain the same. The debate remains the same. And the reason remains the same. There is a virtue to clarity. To standing unshakably with our friends and to standing unshakably against our enemies.
“I believe in peace through strength. Everyone here does. So, I thank you for your clarity and for your strength because that is helping to produce major national security victories for our nation.”