The Corner

Cantor in VMI National-Security Address: ‘No One Has Been Brought to Justice’ for Benghazi

In a major speech today at the Virginia Military Institute that wasn’t short on criticism, House majority leader Eric Cantor laid out foreign-policy goals for the Republican party and made a surgical critique of much of President Obama’s foreign policy, but left room for jabs at libertarian-friendly isolationists.

Cantor kicked off with a call to buck interwar-esque isolationist sentiments, saying that Americans should reject “the notion that we are one of many or ceding global leadership to others.” He then ran through a laundry list of foreign-policy challenges with proposed responses, including Iran’s nuclear program, North Korea’s nuclear program, Syrian incubation of radical jihadists, testiness between the U.S. and Russia, unfriendly governments in South America, and what America’s relationship with Afghanistan should look like in coming years.

Iran was at the top of the docket.

“Like all Americans, I hope to see Iran abandon its nuclear aspirations through peaceful negotiations, but hope is not a strategy,” Cantor said, criticizing the agreement with Iran for letting the country keep enriching uranium and improving its centrifuge designs.

“We should lay the groundwork now for additional sanctions in the event Iran violates the terms of the interim agreement,” he said.

He also criticized the president’s handling of the Syrian civil war — especially his response when Assad used chemical weapons, crossing the red line Obama had set — and said that we should “coordinate an international effort to support the moderate opposition.”  

And he talked Benghazi.

“Since that deadly day no one has paid a price for this outrageous attack, no one has been brought to justice,” he said. “What message does it send to the terrorists that an American ambassador can be killed with apparent impunity?”

A Cantor aide told the Hill that the speech was designed to present an alternative to Obama’s foreign policy without veering into the kind of isolationism that appeals to the GOP’s ascendant libertarian sympathizers. He described America’s role in the Middle East as that of “a partner to guide the way” to Democracy and said it ought to ally with moderates.

Most Popular


Courage: The Greatest of Virtues

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is Jonah Goldberg’s weekly “news”letter, the G-File. Subscribe here to get the G-File delivered to your inbox on Fridays. Dear Reader (Or Listener), As the reporter assigned the job of writing the article about all of Sidney Blumenthal’s friends and supporters told his ... Read More

My American Dream

This morning, at 8 a.m., I did something I’ve wanted to do for as long as I can remember: I became an American. I first applied for a visa in early 2011, and since then I have slowly worked my way through the system — first as a visa-holder, then as a permanent resident (green card), and, finally, as a ... Read More

The Gun-Control Debate Could Break America

Last night, the nation witnessed what looked a lot like an extended version of the famous “two minutes hate” from George Orwell’s novel 1984. During a CNN town hall on gun control, a furious crowd of Americans jeered at two conservatives, Marco Rubio and Dana Loesch, who stood in defense of the Second ... Read More