Tampa: Republican Senator John McCain, who had contested against Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential polls, has said the US has drifted from its role as a global leader under the present leadership.
"Unfortunately, for four years, we've drifted away from our proudest traditions of global leadership, traditions that are truly bipartisan," said Senator McCain, while addressing the Republican national convention in Tampa, Florida.
McCain, who has been highly critical of Obama's policies, accused his administration of failing to deal with various national and international issues effectively, and making things complex and "much harder" to solve.
McCain, who suffered a crushing defeat to Obama in the 2008 Presidential Elections, said that the US can no longer afford to stay the course adopted by the Obama Administration.
"We can't afford to stay on that course any longer. We can't afford to cause our friends and allies, from Latin America, to Europe, to Asia, to the Middle East and especially in Israel, a nation under existential threat, to doubt America's leadership," he said.
"We can't afford to give governments in Russia and China a veto over how we defend our interests and the progress of our values in the world," he said, accusing the Obama administration of putting both country's security and those who defend it in "danger".
"Their government leaks the secrets of their heroic operations to the media!," he alleged.
He also cornered Obama on his military policies, particularly over withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, and said The US can't go for another USD 500 billion trimming of the defence budget on top of the nearly USD 500 billion in cuts that Obama is already making.
"I believe we can't afford to substitute a political timetable for a military strategy. By committing to withdraw from Afghanistan before peace can be achieved and sustained, the President has discouraged our friends and emboldened our enemies, which is why our commanders did not recommend these decisions and why they have said it puts our mission at much greater risk," he said.
Noting it is high time the US should stand for the cause of human freedom and back the demand of the "long-suffering" people for "liberation from their jailers and torturers and tyrants".
"The leader of the free world must stand with them. Unfortunately, this is not happening," he said.
Making mention of the people's upsurge in Iran against country's rulers in 2009, McCain said the US, at that time, "missed a historic opportunity" by not giving "full moral support" to the revolution which could have pulled the country out of a "brutal dictatorship" that has "terrorised" the Middle East and "threatened" the world.
On Syria, McCain accused President Bashar al-Assad of "murdering men, women and children" in his "savage and unfair fight backed by Iran and Hezbollah and Russia".
"More than 20,000 people have perished. Extremists are gaining ground, and the conflict is becoming more dangerous by the day for our allies and for us," he said.
McCain said the demand for American leadership in the world has never been greater and people don't want less of America, they want more.
"Everywhere I go in the world, people tell me that they still have faith in America. What they want to know is whether we still have faith in ourselves," he said.
First Published: Thursday, August 30, 2012, 11:21