Today I pressed Secretary of State John Kerry for an answer on when we could expect our government to declare Middle Eastern Christians targets of genocide. Our exchange took place during a hearing of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, which was exercising its obligation to review the State Department’s budgetary proposals.
Target the Terrorists, Worry About Assad Later
It’s disturbing that for some of my congressional colleagues and other government officials, even as ISIS makes known its imminent plan to attack the American homeland, we must relegate these terrorists to secondary status.
My special satisfaction was to be in the House chamber today, when my friend Ashraf Ghani – now after years of struggle the president of Afghanistan – addressed a joint session of Congress. So begins a fresh new day in the history of U.S.-Afghan relations.
The exclusion last week of Kurdistan from multinational talks in London to address the rising threat of the Islamic State has to be one of the most dismaying blunders in recent U.S. diplomatic history. The Kurds’ glaring absence from the invitation list is yet another betrayal of America’s friends, an outrage that only complicates the world’s efforts to fight Islamic terrorism.
I’ll be brief, as of course the president was not last night.
Among the most disturbing, even tyrannical, federal programs of the last decades has been what has commonly called “asset seizure” or “asset forfeiture.” It simply means officers of the law can confiscate a private citizen’s property – cash, bank accounts, a car, a boat, a house, whatever – and not return it even if the citizen is innocent of any crime.
Recently the House passed, by an overwhelming margin, a resolution to condemn the Russian Federation for actions considered hostile and aggressive within its sphere of influence, specifically with regard to the politically torn country of Ukraine.
Ten Members voted “nay,” myself among them. I wish to explain why I took this unpopular position.
The least that can be said about the president’s strategy for dealing with the Islamic State as presented last week is that it is something. For far too long there has been no strategy at all. Now the president calls for a long-duration commitment to use force to defeat the world’s newest barbarians.
When Secretary of State John Kerry last Sunday morning inadvertently told an aide with Fox News’s open mic in front of him that he needed to get to the Middle East “tonight,” where did he go? He went to Cairo. The Egyptians, as we know, have been attempting to broker a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, who are engaged in bloody fighting in Gaza.