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Romney Promises Military Aid to Syrian Rebels [VIDEO]

FreedomHouse, Flickr

In a wide-ranging foreign policy speech to the Virginia Military Institute on Monday, leading presidential contender Mitt Romney berated the policies of the Obama administration, citing a failure to support our allies, and an over eagerness to compromise with our enemies. He implied that Obama lacked a “national security strategy for the Middle East,” and promised a renewed commitment to military spending.

Romney emphasized the historical precedents of American leadership in fostering democracy throughout the world, and drew a contrast between that history and what he characterized as weak leadership from the Obama administration. He accused the president of abandoning democratic revolutionaries, stating “when millions of Iranians took to the streets in June of 2009…the American president was silent.”

Of particular note is Romney’s position on the Syrian conflict, suggesting that the US should do more to aid the rebels. “More than 30,000 men, women, and children have been massacred by the Assad regime over the past 20 months,” he said, but that the Syrian people “feel that our president is indifferent to their quest for freedom.” He promised to ensure that the Syrian rebels “obtain the arms they need to defeat Assad’s tanks helicopters and fighter jets,” and that Iran is coming to the aid of the Syrian dictator Assad, “because they know his downfall would be a strategic defeat for them.”

He promised to bolster the military and fully fund missile defense, stating that “on this, there will be no flexibility with Vladimir Putin.” The “flexibility” comment is in reference to Obama’s statement to the Russian Prime Minister that he would be “more flexible” after the election.

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