The United States could be jeopardizing American interests abroad by not clearly articulating our priorities and our agendas, retired U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Antonio Garza tells Newsmax.TV in an exclusive interview.
“I hate to think that we would back away from any place where we have to be representing our interests and making clear what the U.S. position is on a whole range of issues,” Garza tells Newsmax. “I always think it’s a mistake to back away from countries and regions where we clearly have an interest and need to represent and articulate very clearly what our priorities are around the world.”
Watch the exclusive interview here.
Garza, who served as ambassador from 2002-2009, said he did not know Ambassador Christopher Stevens, who died last week in an attack at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo along with three other Americans.
“I was in Washington last week and did visit with several people that did know him,” he said. “They said he was an extraordinary representative and ambassador.”
Such attacks at American outposts around the world — including those outside a U.S. military base in Afghanistan and the U.S. Embassy in Indonesia on Monday, leaving at least one person dead — create “a heightened sense of what the stakes are,” Garza said.
“There are going to be some challenges in terms of our diplomatic missions around the world. It’s just a different level of awareness, a different level of security. It does remind you of the need just to be a bit more vigilant and that we can’t take anything for granted in the world.”
The overall anti-American sentiment in the Middle East that is being seen as a response to a film made by a California real estate developer that Muslims consider offensive has forced the United States to draw “bright lines” in the region, Garza said.
“Don’t be mistaken: We have plenty of friends and allies in this world — and we’ve got to make it very clear to them where we stand on the issues of the day and what is acceptable,” he said. “The notion that somebody can operate and terrorize outside of the global community is simply unacceptable.”
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