Rep. Gohmert on Obama foreign policy: Soldiers ‘getting killed under his command for no reason’
TAMPA, Fla. — Texas Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert told The Daily Caller on Wednesday that President Barack Obama‘s foreign policy failures have largely avoided public scrutiny. Obama, he said, should be taking far more flak for them.
While the economy and jobs are clearly the biggest issues of this election season, Gohmert said it’s unfortunate that many Americans believe Obama is an effective foreign policy leader.
“We’re told by polls that many Americans think Obama is good on national security, or better than Mitt Romney, and I think they need to be educated. That’s what it tells me,” Gohmert said in an interview at the Republican National Convention.
“This president is destroying our credibility and hurting our national security in more ways than people can imagine. So I think that need to be one of the things we talk about.”
Gohmert drew on an observation of former U.S. Navy Admiral Mike Mullen that “our biggest national security threat is our overspending. But there are other national security threats. We’ve had thousands killed and the media’s not talking about it. We need to talk about it.”
“There have been thousands killed since this president took over — thousands of our military,” Gohmert added. “They beat up on [George W.] Bush every day another soldier was killed. They were out there showing coffins and things. But not with this president.”
“This president has put in place rules of engagement, that certainly were put there under his command, that are getting our people killed.”
Gohmert went on to observe Obama’s public promise to withdraw from Afghanistan in 2014. The president, he concluded, has “left these guys out there with rules of engagement that don’t allow them to adequately defend themselves.”
The Texas Republican calls those rules of engagement “politically correct stuff.”
“He’s out there apologizing to the Afghans if there’s anything that even remotely looks like a mistake on our part, saying ‘they’ll answer for it, they’re going to be held responsible, we’re going to punish them,'” Gohmert said.
“Meanwhile, our men and women are being killed constantly. Our guys are put in an untenable situation. And this commander-in-chief — after he apologizes to the Afghans — we’re not hearing a lot of apologies to those family members who lose somebody in Afghanistan because he’s got them in this untenable situation. It’s time to make this an issue because people are getting killed under his command for no reason.”
Gohmert also said Army General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, “sold out his troops, his soldiers, his military members” to provide political cover for Obama from critical former Navy SEALs.
“It is imperative, when you’re on active duty, to not be openly critical of your chain of command because that violates good order and discipline of the military, so that has to be that way,” Gohmert said.
“However, once you’re a veteran, you have an obligation to speak out and point out who are the bad leaders so that others can know. You have that obligation to your brothers and sisters who are still in the military. … When a general or a flag officer says that a veteran does not have a right to criticize the commander-in-chief, clearly that general or flag officer didn’t sell his soul for 30 pieces of silver. He sold it for stars of silver and he has no right to say such a thing.”
Dempsey, the army general Obama picked to lead the Joint Chiefs, said recently that it’s improper for former Navy SEALs to use a newly formed super PAC to attack Obama for national security leaks allegedly emanating from his White House. Dempsey added he that thinks it’s wrong for anyone to use “the uniform for partisan politics” because it may “erode the trust the American people have in their military.”
“One of the things that marks us as a profession in a democracy is [that] it’s most important we remain apolitical,” Dempsey said. “That’s how we maintain our trust with the American people. The American people don’t want us to become another special interest group. In fact, I think that confuses them.”