“REASSERTING AMERICAN LEADERSHIP”
by Sharon Rondeau
(Dec. 2, 2014) — The Strength and Security Project (SPP) commenced an informational presentation at approximately 12:15 p.m. EST on Tuesday titled “Strength and Security: Building a Modern Foreign Policy.”
Sen. Ted Cruz is to be a featured guest.
The presentation was made in Washington, DC and live-streamed to individuals who registered in advance. It was indicated to be “sold out.”
Announced on September 11, 2014, the SPP is a project is an initiative of Concerned Veterans of America (CVA) and sponsored by The Weekly Standard. SPP was founded by Pete Hegseth, who is an Iraq war veteran and the first speaker.
CVA is also working on a project to improve veterans’ health care following the revelation that dozens of ill veterans have passed away over the last year while awaiting medical appointments and tests. The problem was found to be widespread and facilitated by some Veterans Administration staffers maintaining two sets of records to deceive anyone checking on the promptness of appointments.
At the podium was a sign with the hashtag “#weaknessisdangerous”.
At 12:23 p.m., The Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol took the podium.
Hegseth reminded his audience that two years ago, CVA gave its first presentation to “empower good people to do the right thing.”
CVA opposed the nomination of former Sen. Chuck Hagel for Defense Secretary and approved of his announced departure last Monday.
At 12:30 p.m., Cruz began to speak, contending that there has been a “vacuum” of leadership over “the last six years.” “It has not made the world a safer place,” Cruz said. “It seems like the whole world is on fire right now,” Cruz said, attributing it to “the Obama-Clinton foreign policy.”
Cruz asked rhetorically how “reasserting American leadership” could be achieved, then mentioned a recent trip he made to Israel, where he spoke with a former Soviet dissident.
Cruz stated that both Democrat and Republican Senators are bewildered at the dearth of leadership under Obama, who Cruz said should be “speaking out” against the imprisonment of Pastor Saeed Abedini, who has been tortured and denied medical care for being a practicing Christian visiting Iran two years ago.
It is now known that Obama is negotiating with Iran over its nuclear ambitions.
Cruz invoked the story of Meriam Ibrahim, who was condemned to 100 lashes and death by hanging for “apostasy” and “adultery” as a result of her Christian faith.
Cruz said that Obama’s foreign policy is based on “photo-ops” and “international norms,” not necessarily the interests of the United States. He called Vladimir Putin “a KGB thug” and said that the Obama regime had been confident of its level of knowledge of his tactics. “When you’re dealing with a dictator or a thug, they don’t respect weakness,” Cruz said.
He reminded the audience that Obama canceled an antiballistic missile program to “appease Putin.” He decried national security as having been politicized by “the Democrat Party.”
Cruz said that Obama’s initial announcement that he “had no strategy on ISIS” surprised “0.0% of people.”
Cruz reported that Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey told him that ISIS could not be annihilated in 90 days. “How do we take them out and protect Americans…” Cruz asked, then related that Obama has not “focused on taking them out.”
He indicated that he does not believe that the Obama regime is serious about destroying ISIS.
“I believe we’re repeating the mistake of the 1990s with the Clintons,” Cruz said, then revealed that Wendy Sherman, who “failed” at negotiations with North Korea, has been appointed to negotiate with Iran.
Cruz called North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un a “megalomaniacal narcissist,” which some have also called Obama.
He said that Obama lifted sanctions against Iran just as they were effecting the “crumbling” of Iran’s economy. He said that two of Obama’s three defense secretaries have “written books” unflattering to the Obama regime.
Cruz mentioned the new National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which will come up for renewal at the end of the month. He criticized Obama for calling Maj. Nidal Hasan’s fatal attack on 13 fellow soldiers at Ft. Hood, TX in 2009 “workplace violence.” Cruz said that Republicans and Democrats on the Senate Armed Services Committee agreed that the incident should be officially termed a “terrorist attack.”
Cruz ended his remarks at 1:01 p.m. to significant applause. Hegseth then took the podium and asked if there were questions from the audience.
The first question asked about Obama’s hypothetical vetoes of anticipated Republican-passed legislation following the swearing-in of the new Congress in January.
Cruz said that he believes “one of three things will happen:” that Obama will sign the legislation; that Democrats will side with Obama in doing so; or that Democrats will join Republicans to form a veto-proof majority.
Cruz referred to an op-ed in USA Today outlining steps he believes should be taken by the new Congress, one of which is to “safeguard constitutional liberties.”
At 1:08 p.m., Rep. Tom McClintock was introduced by Hegseth. McClintock was elected to Congress in 2008 and is a member of the House Budget Committee.
Update, December 3, 2014: The full video of the presentation can be viewed here.