There is plenty of room to take on the "successes" of the current administration. This is a good start for Mitt. h/t
Of all the leaders who have called Lexington, Virginia, their home,
none is more distinguished than George Marshall — the chief of staff of
the Army who became secretary of state and secretary of defense, who
helped to vanquish Fascism and then plan Europe’s rescue from despair.
His commitment to peace was born of his direct knowledge of the awful
costs and consequences of war.
General Marshall once said, “The only way human beings can win a war
is to prevent it.” Those words were true in his time — and they still
echo in ours.
The attacks on America last month should not be seen as random acts.
They are expressions of a larger struggle that is playing out across the
broader Middle East — a region that is now in the midst of the most
profound upheaval in a century. And the fault lines of this struggle can
be seen clearly in Benghazi itself.
The attack on our consulate in Benghazi on September 11, 2012, was
likely the work of the same forces that attacked our homeland on
September 11, 2001. This latest assault cannot be blamed on a
reprehensible video insulting Islam, despite the administration’s
attempts to convince us of that for so long. No, as the administration
has finally conceded, these attacks were the deliberate work of
terrorists who use violence to impose their dark ideology on others,
especially women and girls; who are fighting to control much of the
Middle East today; and who seek to wage perpetual war on the West.
I know the president hopes for a safer, freer, and more prosperous
Middle East allied with the United States. I share this hope. But hope
is not a strategy. We cannot support our friends and defeat our enemies
in the Middle East when our words are not backed up by deeds, when our
defense spending is being arbitrarily and deeply cut, when we have no
trade agenda to speak of, and the perception of our strategy is not one
of partnership, but of passivity. . . .
It is time to change course in the Middle East. . . .
I will put the leaders of Iran on notice that the United States and
our friends and allies will prevent them from acquiring nuclear-weapons
capability. I will not hesitate to impose new sanctions on Iran, and
will tighten the sanctions we currently have. I will restore the
permanent presence of aircraft-carrier task forces in both the Eastern
Mediterranean and the Gulf region — and work with Israel to increase our
military assistance and coordination. For the sake of peace, we must
make clear to Iran through actions—not just words—that their nuclear
pursuit will not be tolerated. . . .
I will champion free trade and restore it as a critical element of
our strategy, both in the Middle East and across the world. The
President has not signed one new free-trade agreement in the past four
years. I will reverse that failure. I will work with nations around the
world that are committed to the principles of free enterprise, expanding
existing relationships, and establishing new ones.
I will support friends across the Middle East who share our values,
but need help defending them and their sovereignty against our common
In Libya, I will support the Libyan people’s efforts to forge a
lasting government that represents all of them, and I will vigorously
pursue the terrorists who attacked our consulate in Benghazi and killed
In Egypt, I will use our influence — including clear conditions on
our aid — to urge the new government to represent all Egyptians, to
build democratic institutions, and to maintain its peace treaty with
Israel. And we must persuade our friends and allies to place similar
stipulations on their aid.
In Syria, I will work with our partners to identify and organize
those members of the opposition who share our values and ensure they
obtain the arms they need to defeat Assad’s tanks, helicopters, and
fighter jets. Iran is sending arms to Assad because they know his
downfall would be a strategic defeat for them. We should be working no
less vigorously with our international partners to support the many
Syrians who would deliver that defeat to Iran—rather than sitting on the
sidelines. It is essential that we develop influence with those forces
in Syria that will one day lead a country that sits at the heart of the
And in Afghanistan, I will pursue a real and successful transition to
Afghan security forces by the end of 2014. President Obama would have
you believe that anyone who disagrees with his decisions in Afghanistan
is arguing for endless war. But the route to more war — and to potential
attacks here at home — is a politically timed retreat that abandons the
Afghan people to the same extremists who ravaged their country and used
it to launch the attacks of 9/11. I will evaluate conditions on the
ground and weigh the best advice of our military commanders. And I will
affirm that my duty is not to my political prospects, but to the
security of the nation.
Finally, I will recommit America to the goal of a democratic,
prosperous Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security
with the Jewish state of Israel. On this vital issue, the President has
failed, and what should be a negotiation process has devolved into a
series of heated disputes at the United Nations. In this old conflict,
as in every challenge we face in the Middle East, only a new President
will bring the chance to begin anew.
I believe that if America does not lead, others will — others who do
not share our interests and our values—and the world will grow darker,
for our friends and for us. America’s security and the cause of freedom
cannot afford four more years like the last four years. I am running for
President because I believe the leader of the free world has a duty, to
our citizens, and to our friends everywhere, to use America’s great
influence — wisely, with solemnity and without false pride, but also
firmly and actively — to shape events in ways that secure our interests,
further our values, prevent conflict, and make the world better—not
perfect, but better.
Sir Winston Churchill once said of George Marshall: “He . . . always
fought victoriously against defeatism, discouragement, and disillusion.”
That is the role our friends want America to play again. And it is the
role we must play.
The 21st century can and must be an American century. It began with
terror, war, and economic calamity. It is our duty to steer it onto the
path of freedom, peace, and prosperity.