The Hill: Sen. Tim Scott: As president, I will restore peace though American strength
The terrorist attacks on innocent children, women and men were disgusting. A music festival turned into a killing field. Babies beheaded, bodies paraded around like trophies, and women and children thrown into the back of trucks and kidnapped. The world has been brought face-to-face with pure evil.
America stands with Israel in sorrow, in solidarity and in strong resolve that these heinous acts of war will not go unanswered or unpunished.
It is not enough for President Biden to condemn these despicable attacks now that they’ve taken place, as he rightly did on Tuesday. Our commander-in-chief needs to stop making massive policy misjudgments that embolden our enemies, alienate our allies and make horrible attacks like these more likely.
President Obama’s own defense secretary, Robert Gates, famously said that Joe Biden was on the wrong side of every major question in foreign policy and national security for 40 years. So, tragically, it is no surprise that President Biden’s term has been a disaster for our security, our vital interests and our allies — particularly in the Middle East. The president’s humiliating Afghanistan surrender cost 13 servicemembers their lives and cost our nation credibility and deterrence. It signaled to terrorists that this administration will allow the United States to be outfought, outsmarted and outlasted. Or look at President Biden’s massive blunder just before Putin invaded Ukraine, bizarrely stating that just a “minor incursion” might not be too bad.
Time after time, the Biden administration has revealed a lack of backbone — and bad actors around the world smelled blood in the water. It’s not just hesitation or incompetence. It’s a series of systematic mistakes based on a backward worldview.
The last time Biden was part of an administration, he and President Obama sent pallets of cash to Iran, rewarding Tehran for supporting terrorism and pursuing nuclear weapons. Republicans warned that Iran’s terrorist proxies, including Hamas, would reap some of the windfall. But the political left was so desperate to cuddle up to Iran, they didn’t care whether Israel’s enemies got to line their pockets.
More recently, during his own presidential term, Biden has taken one opportunity after another to create daylight between the United States and Israel. He has meddled in Israel’s domestic politics. He practically made Prime Minister Netanyahu beg for a White House invitation that should have been automatic. Just a few weeks ago, President Biden made the now-infamous decision to unfreeze $6 billion more for Iran. That is fungible money for a terrorist-funding state. Iran’s president has already declared the regime will spend the funds however they please.
Even after the stomach-churning attacks on Israel, the Biden administration blunders have just kept coming. Both the administration’s newly established Office of Palestinian Affairs and Secretary of State Blinken made online postings that tried to tie our ally’s hands by demanding a premature ceasefire. Both posts were deleted after backlash.
It is embarrassing and absurd that President Biden held a staff picnic at the White House as Hamas held American citizens hostage. It is unacceptable that he ended his public workday at lunchtime on Monday amid this crisis.
We need a tough, capable, full-time commander in chief who is loyal to our allies, lethal to our adversaries and understands that the road to peace runs through American strength.
As president, I will bring back a Middle East policy that treats our friends like friends and enemies like enemies. I will stop desperately chasing bad deals with Iran, and strengthen and extend our sanctions instead. I will shut off the funding that Joe Biden restarted to the UN’s irredeemably flawed Palestinian aid programs — because the best investment we can make in peace and stability is backing Israel 100 percent. I will rebuild and reinvest in American military dominance, so the arsenal of freedom is fully stocked for ourselves and our allies. And I will put terrorists across the world on notice with one simple policy: If you take an American life, it is guaranteed to cost you yours.
Finally, while we watch this devastation that is fueled in part by President Biden’s retreat from peace through strength, Republicans must not head down the same mistaken path.
Vivek Ramaswamy has said the definition of success is reducing America’s support for Israel. At one point, he proposed that we let the Chinese Communist Party take over Taiwan as long as we relocate some factories first. Gov. Ron DeSantis once dismissed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as just some “territorial dispute.” Some voices on the right have begun talking about America like we’re a declining country, a failing empire, that needs to cut our losses and pull up the drawbridge.
That idea is dead wrong — and it’s dangerous. The last thing the Republican Party needs is a Joe Biden wing on foreign policy. As President Reagan once said, “Of the four wars in my lifetime, none came about because the United States was too strong.”
The American people are not in decline. American courage and values aren’t in decline. We’re just stuck with a weak president who is in retreat. All we need to do is turn around.
I am running for president to stop the Biden retreat, restore peace through strength and double down on American power. Only a strong and confident America will be positioned to help our friends in Israel say, “never again.”