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

    Top US General: Turkish Media Report ‘Absurd'

    General Dunford rejects ‘irresponsible' claims of coup involvement by former four-star Army General Campbell, who led NATO forces in Afghanistan before retiring earlier this year

    Video Saving Ethiopian Children Thought to Be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at efforts of one African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children

    Protests Over Western Troops Threaten Libyan 'Unity' Government

    Fears mount that Islamist foes of ‘unity' government plan to declare a revolutionaries' council in Tripoli

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora