Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Full video of the CNN Republican primary debate on foreign policy

The video is here:

I highly recommend this debate.

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Michele Bachmann wins foreign policy debate, Santorum second

Here’s a summary from the highly-biased pro-Romney Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Post.

Excerpt:

The foreign policy debate Tuesday night was a surprise on many counts. It was lively and serious, which many debates haven’t been. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) exceeded expectations. Rick Santorum showed personal restraint (not complaining about the lack of attention) and displaying his depth of knowledge.

[Bashes Gingrich for a while]

[...]At the other extreme was Bachmann who was poised, informed and knowledgable throughout. She made clear that Obama’s lack of leadership is responsible for Iran’s progress on a nuclear weapon. She defended aid to Pakistan which is in our national security interest. She made an excellent point about sending our dollars to China, which in effect builds up its military at the expense of ours. She pivoted on an energy question to chide Obama for delaying on the Keystone pipeline. If she performs this well in future debates, look for her to make progress reclaiming support in Iowa.

[Praises Romney for a while]

[...]Santorum also had a strong night. He turned the conversation on the “war on terror” to a discussion of jihadism. He defended foreign aid (a smart, but not popular position). On the immigration issue he wove in his support for an economic plan focused on reviving American manufacturing. And he got Romney to agree in the closing round that we have an acute national security problem in this hemisphere. He was calmer and more presidential than he has been in past debates.

However, Gingrich definitely got stung by his support for amnesty. He may be smart, but he’s quite moderate on many issues. Not as liberal as Romney, though.

I think it’s time that the Republican party give Michele Bachmann another look. And I think Santorum is a solid on social and foreign policy issues. He’s just moderate on fiscal issues.

More about Michele Bachmann

Speeches:

Reactions from her first debate performance:

Profiles of Michele Bachmann:

And here are some of her media interviews and speeches in the House of Representatives.

Related posts

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Did Obama’s foreign policy make America more respected abroad?

Map of the Middle East

Map of the Middle East

From Investors Business Daily.

Excerpt:

In the Middle East, where U.S. military involvement and diplomacy are most closely watched, President Obama is held in lower regard in the Arab world than President Bush was in the last year of his presidency.

Obama is not only less liked than the supposedly hated Bush, he can’t even hold a candle to Iran’s grubby, menacing Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Zogby reports that in Egypt, 31% of Egyptians agree with Iran’s policies compared with 3% for Obama’s, with similar figures in Jordan. Among Egyptians, just 5% hold a favorable attitude toward the U.S. compared with 9% in 2008.

[...]Clinton will do no better in bilateral talks with the Turks — a nation that has moved so far away from its long alliance with the U.S. it can only be called a former ally — on Syria, Iran and Israel/Palestine.

In these countries, Obama’s policy can be summed up in a litany of ineffectual maneuvers.

On Syria, the first move was to succor, then to scold as the dictatorship indifferently sheds streams of blood in the streets of Damascus — showing the fundamental disconnect between what the brutal Syrian regime is and what the Obama administration thinks it is.

After throwing Tunisia and Egypt, two pro-Western allies, overboard, the administration ineffectually grasps a problem in Syria as the bodies pile up.

On Iran, Obama policy shows even more weakness. The president wasted two years coddling the monster regime that threatens a region of more than a billion people. He missed a chance to support a student uprising in 2009 and now watches as Iran’s illegal nuclear program speeds ahead with little fear of consequences, more brazen and closer to realization.

Whatever this learning-curve policy amounts to, it garners no international respect.

Then there’s the stance the White House has taken on Israel, abusively telling its ally to retreat to 1967 borders. It emboldened provocations from Palestinian terrorist groups and showed the rest of the Arab world that it pays more to be America’s enemy than its friend. Now the Arab League is moving to recognize Palestine.

It turns out that what foreign powers respect is strength, not weakness.

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Government troops shooting protesters in Syria

Now that violence has broken out in Jordan and Syria, countries where we have much more vital strategic interests, will Obama open up a fourth and a fifth military front as well?

Excerpt:

Even as the Obama administration defends the NATO-led air war in Libya, the latest violent clashes in Syria and Jordan are raising new alarm among senior officials who view those countries, in the heartland of the Arab world, as far more vital to American interests.

Deepening chaos in Syria, in particular, could dash any remaining hopes for a Middle East peace agreement, several analysts said. It could also alter the American rivalry with Iran for influence in the region and pose challenges to the United States’ greatest ally in the region, Israel.

In interviews, administration officials said the uprising appeared to be widespread, involving different religious groups in southern and coastal regions of Syria, including Sunni Muslims usually loyal to President Bashar al-Assad. The new American ambassador in Damascus, Robert Ford, has been quietly reaching out to Mr. Assad to urge him to stop firing on his people.

As American officials confront the upheaval in Syria, a country with which the United States has icy relations, they say they are pulled between fears that its problems could destabilize neighbors like Lebanon and Israel, and the hope that it could weaken one of Iran’s key allies.

The Syrian unrest continued on Saturday, with government troops reported to have killed more protesters.With 61 people confirmed killed by security forces, the country’s status as an island of stability amid the Middle East storm seemed irretrievably lost.

For two years, the United States has tried to coax Damascus into negotiating a peace deal with Israel and to moving away from Iran — a fruitless effort that has left President Obama open to criticism on Capitol Hill that he is bolstering one of the most repressive regimes in the Arab world.

[...]Indeed, the crackdown calls into question the entire American engagement with Syria. Last June, the State Department organized a delegation from Microsoft, Dell and Cisco Systems to visit Mr. Assad with the message that he could attract more investment if he stopped censoring Facebook and Twitter. While the administration renewed economic sanctions against Syria, it approved export licenses for some civilian aircraft parts.

The Bush administration, by contrast, largely shunned Damascus, recalling its ambassador in February 2005 after the assassination of a former Lebanese prime minister, Rafik Hariri. Many Lebanese accuse Syria of involvement in the assassination, a charge it denies.

When Mr. Obama named Mr. Ford as his envoy last year, Republicans in the Senate held up the appointment for months, arguing that the United States should not reward Syria with closer ties. The administration said it would have more influence by restoring an ambassador.

Diplomacy only works when it is backed by the CREDIBLE threat of FORCE. For two years, Obama didn’t show that he was willing to use force, and it emboldened the Iran-backed Syrian government to behave violently. Look at how Obama fumbled the Iranian election, where civilians were being shot down in the streets. That’s what causes violence – appeasement of evil. If evil people thought that they were going to have to pay a price for being evil, then they wouldn’t be evil. Obama made friends with bad people – he emboldened them to do bad things.

What is the strategic advantage of war in Libya?

From ABC News.

Excerpt:

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said that Libya did not pose a threat to the United States before the U.S. began its military campaign against the North African country.

On “This Week,” ABC News’ Senior White House Correspondent Jake Tapper asked Gates, “Do you think Libya posed an actual or imminent threat to the United States?”

“No, no,” Gates said in a joint appearance with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. “It was not — it was not a vital national interest to the United States, but it was an interest and it was an interest for all of the reasons Secretary Clinton talked about.  The engagement of the Arabs, the engagement of the Europeans, the general humanitarian question that was at stake,” he said.

Why didn’t the Obama administration go to Congress before engaging in military action in oil-rich Libya?

During his campaign for the Presidency, in December, 2007, Barack Obama told The Boston Globe that “The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.”

Earlier in 2007, then-Senator Hillary Clinton said in a speech on the Senate floor that, “If the administration believes that any — any — use of force against Iran is necessary, the President must come to Congress to seek that authority.”

Bush debated the war in Iraq for 6 months and got permission from Congress before going in. Why couldn’t Obama do it? Why does Obama have to rush to war?

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Obama’s weak foreign policy may lead to WAR in the Middle East

Map of Middle East

Map of Middle East

First article from the left-wing Huffington Post. (H/T Gateway Pundit)

Excerpt:

In its first year, the Obama administration cut funding for democracy and governance programming in Egypt by more than half, from $50 million in 2008 to $20 million in 2009 (Congress later appropriated another $5 million). The level of funding for civil society programs and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) was cut disproportionately, from $32 million to only $7 million. Though funding levels for 2010 are not yet available, they are expected to show an increase to $14 million, says Stephen McInerny, the director of advocacy at the Project on Middle East Democracy. He notes that the Bush administration slashed economic aid to Egypt in the 2009 budget but kept the funding for democracy and governance programs constant, while Obama cut funding to those programs in an effort to make the cuts more proportional and under pressure from the American embassy in Cairo.

Second article, from the LA Times. (H/T Gateway Pundit)

Excerpt:

The Obama administration said for the first time that it supports a role for groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood, a banned Islamist organization, in a reformed Egyptian government.

[...]The statement was an acknowledgment that any popularly accepted new government will probably include groups that are not considered friendly to U.S. interests, and was a signal that the White House is prepared for that probability after 30 years of reliable relations with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

Third article, from National Review. (H/T Hyscience)

Excerpt:

Hamas’s overt intervention in Egypt is an alarming development, although a predictable one. It is worth pointing out that Hamas is not merely colluding with the Muslim Brotherhood. Hamas is the Muslim Brotherhood. That, of course, will not be what you hear from our foreign-policy experts, such as Obama adviser Bruce Riedel, who are busily sculpting their narrative about how the Brotherhood — the font on modern jihadist terror — has renounced violence and is really nothing for us to be very concerned about. But the stubborn fact is that Hamas is the most prominent of the Brotherhood’s Palestinian branches, whose operations long predated Hamas and brought Hamas (a/k/a, the Islamic Resistance Movement) into being.

So that’s what’s happening in Egypt… Hamas is moving in to take control, just like Hezbollah controls Lebanon (now). But why now? Why didn’t this happen when George W. Bush was President?

Well, Barack Obama is no George W. Bush.

Let’s review:

  • Obama insulted our British allies
  • Obama insulted our Afghan allies
  • Obama backed Iran’s suppression of pro-democracy protestors
  • Obama did nothing when Russian tanks rolled through Georgia
  • Obama did nothing when Hezbollah took over Lebanon
  • Obama backed the socialist Zeyala in Honduras
  • Obama met with Chavez, Ortega and Morales and kept silent while they insulted the United States
  • Obama did nothing while Turkey became increasingly Islamicized
  • Obama cut funding to democracy and governance programs in Egypt

And what is the end game of all of this weakness and moral equivalence?

Excerpt:

The circle is now complete. This week Barack Obama truly became what many people believe he was all along, the long lost second term of Jimmy Carter’s presidency.

[...]First he criticized the weakened leader of Egypt, Hosni Mubarak. Next Obama threatened to emasculate Mubarak’s standing with the Egyptian military by reducing US financial aid if Mubarak didn’t allow the protests and revolution in the streets to continue.

Obama followed up by tacitly signaling that he supports the violent Islamic protests which are backed by the Shariah-compliant extremists of the Moslem Brotherhood, which is the only real opposition party in Egypt to the thirty-year dictator Mubarak. After that, like Carter, Obama showed constant indecision and weakness, which is having the result of undermining our allies and empowering the forces of insanity and evil on the ground in Egypt and other destabilized countries in the region like Tunisia, Lebanon and Jordan.

Just like Carter, Obama got us to this point by undermining our only ally in the area, Israel, and empowering all of her regional enemies for the first two years of his presidency. That undermining has led us directly to these out of control events.

At this moment, of the four nations that border Israel, two of them, Syria and Lebanon, are client states of Iran waging constant war and the other two which both have brokered peace are facing internal turmoil, Jordan is facing Islamic protests in her streets and the relatively stable tourist destination Egypt, is exploding in revolution.

The way Obama is handling the Egyptian crisis there can only be one outcome. The Moslem brotherhood will seize total control of the nation and turn the Arab world’s most populace country into a totalitarian Islamic theocracy just like Iran. Egypt’s fall will be a strategic disaster for the US because Egypt borders Israel and controls the vital Suez Canal which connects the Indian Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea. The Suez is one of the most vital water-ways in the entire world because it is the shipping lane that allows Middle East oil to get to the consumer countries in Europe.

If Egypt falls to this kind of governance total war will quickly come to the Middle East with catastrophic strategic and economic consequences for the whole world.

Strength doesn’t cause wars – weakness causes wars. When you are strong, aggressors know that aggression will cause them plenty. Obama, and his constant apologizing and appeasing and siding with terrorists and dictators, is what REALLY causes wars.

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