News / USA

US Lawmakers React to Obama Speech at West Point

Sen. John McCain speaks during a forum with veterans in Phoenix, Arizona, May 9, 2014.
Sen. John McCain speaks during a forum with veterans in Phoenix, Arizona, May 9, 2014.
Michael Bowman
One of Barack Obama’s top congressional critics in foreign policy matters has responded forcefully to a speech in which the president mapped out his vision for U.S. engagement around the globe.

President Obama’s 2008 campaign opponent, Republican Senator John McCain, has repeatedly blasted what he sees as a lack of American resolve and action from Syria to Ukraine.  It was no surprise he criticized the president’s speech at the U.S. Military Academy in which Obama made a case for multilateralism and diplomacy first, with U.S. military force always at the ready.

McCain seemed to take personal umbrage at the president’s assertion that his critics are overly eager to see U.S. troops deployed around the world.  He spoke from his home state of Arizona, on Phoenix radio station KFYI, the Barry Young Show.

“None of us want to send troops to Syria, and for him [Obama] to continue to set up this straw man that all ‘interventionists’ want to send American troops everywhere - that is patently false,” he said.

McCain said, while deploying U.S. troops to Syria is not an option, the United States should be arming rebels fighting the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

The Republican senator was equally critical of Obama’s timeline for withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan.

“We are now seeing a replay of Iraq in Afghanistan, and one can only question whether this whole basis was that he [Obama] would be able to say at the end of his term that troops are out of both countries.  And that is in disregard to, I think, to the future security of this country.  It is a very sad time, and now he is going to talk about counter-terrorism and other things that obviously are needed.  But the first thing the United States of America needs to regain is its credibility,” he said.

McCain said U.S. vacillation on the world stage will exact “heavy prices” in “American blood and treasure.”

The chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Republican Ed Royce, had a similar reaction to the president’s speech.  In a statement, Royce said, “Too often, strong words have been followed by weak actions, or no actions.  The result has been a general loss of U.S. credibility, making successful foreign policy nearly impossible,” said the senator.

Democrats reacted more favorably to Obama’s address.  In a statement, the top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Eliot Engel, said, “President Obama made a clear and strong case for American leadership in the 21st century and why the United States must remain engaged around the world ... By working with our partners around the world to promote freedom, prosperity, and opportunity, we also advance our own interests, creating stronger relationships to contribute to the global economy and project stability across regions.”

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid