By Arun Kumar (IANS)
Keeping up his tirade against President Barack Obama, Republic presidential candidate Bobby Jindal has suggested that "non-aligned countries like India and Vietnam are desperate and hungry for American leadership.
"From my perspective, it's a complete failure," said the Indian-American governor of Louisiana, who prefers to be called only "American", of Obama and his presidency showing a complete ignorance of the changed political realities of today.
"In seven short years, we no longer stand with Israel. In seven short years, we're on the verge of allowing Iran to become a nuclear power, starting a potential nuclear arms race in the Middle East," he told Fox News.
"After winning the Cold War, we're about to allow (Russian President Vladimir) Putin to continue to threaten Eastern Europe. He's already in the Ukraine. "We've allowed ISIS to grow in the void that he created in Iraq and now could be creating, is creating in the rest of the Middle East, including Afghanistan," he said.
"China's rising. We've got countries that are looking for American leadership."
Asked what he would do, Jindal said he would put two brigades in Eastern Europe. "But right now, it's not clear to me we've got the resources to do that because he keeps -- this president keeps -- hollowing out the military.
"And China, 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," he said.
But "it starts with a vision of America as playing a unique role in the world. This president -- I think when he leads from behind, when he criticizes America, he doesn't embrace American exceptionalism.
"We understand that America is different, America is special," said Jindal. "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."
Accusing both Obama and Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton of trying to divide America, Jindal said: "I'm tired of this president and Hillary trying to divide us. You're exactly right. It's by class, gender, race, everything.
"I'm tired of hyphenated-Americans. We're not Irish-Americans or Indian-Americans or African-Americans or rich Americans or poor Americans. We're all Americans," Jindal said for the umpteenth time, distancing himself from his Indian heritage.
He also agreed with the interviewer's suggestion that a recent Washington Post story "saying as an Indian-American that you had abandoned the Indian-American community" was a "racial comment".
"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."