WASHINGTON: Thrashing the foreign policy of Obama administration, Republican presidential aspirant Bobby Jindal has sought steps by the US to take the mantle of global leadership, saying even non-aligned nations like India and Vietnam are desperate and hungry for American leadership.
“We would work not only with our allies, like Japan and South Korea and Taiwan. We’d work with non-aligned countries like India and Vietnam that are desperate and hungry for American leadership,” 44-year-old Jindal told the US news channel.
Jindal, who last month announced his bid for the 2016 presidential elections, was responding to questions on addressing the challenges being posed by the Islamic State militant group in the Middle East.
“You got a president who won’t even name the enemy. You’ve got leaders in the Middle East that understand the threat of radical Islamic terrorism.
We’ve got a president won’t even say those words! He would rather criticize America. He would rather declare war on trans fats and junk food. He would rather declare war on the Crusades and medieval Christians,” Jindal alleged.
Obama, he said, needs to tell clerics and Islamic leaders that they need to explicitly recognize the religious rights of others with different beliefs.
“Going back to foreign policy, we stand with Israel. I would make it clear to Iran, I don’t care what deal this president signs, I’m not abiding by any deal unless it truly gets rid of their enrichment capacity, their enriched uranium, anytime, anywhere inspections,” he said.
“This president leads from behind, when he criticizes America, he doesn’t embrace American exceptionalism the way that you and I do.
We understand that America is different, America is special. We are unique, and we’re unabashed to say so. It’s not arrogance to say that we are a special country and that we are going to protect our interests and our allies. And we’re going to back that up,” he said.
Responding to a question, Jindal acknowledged that a recent story on him by a leading US daily was racial.
“I was offended by ‘US newspaper’ saying as an Indian-American that you had abandoned the Indian-American community, and something to that effect. I felt that was a racial comment,” the interviewer asked.
“Absolutely. Look, they can’t fathom the fact that you can be conservative and smart or that you can look a different way and still be a Christian,” Jindal said.
“We don’t judge people by their backgrounds. We just people based on ideas, accomplishments. Look, the Democrats are about to crown Hillary Clinton right in an open contest. Let’s compare our records. Let’s compare our policies,” he added.