Eric Cantor used his experience visiting Auschwitz as a springboard for a warning against the dangers of isolationism.

The Jewish House majority leader made the comments during an address recently at the Virginia Military Institute.


“Standing there as the frigid wind swept through the eerily quiet ruins of the camp, I could not help but regret that American action in World War II came too late to save countless millions of innocent lives,” Cantor said of his trip to the notorious Nazi camp.

“Many Americans, and politicians from both parties, want to believe the tide of war has receded,” he said. “As was the case in the wake of World War I, many want to believe the costly foreign interventions of recent years can simply be put behind us.”

Though much of the speech focused on President Obama’s foreign policies, Cantor used the lessons of World War II to draw a parallel to Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

“This isolationist sentiment lasted years, until the bombing of Pearl Harbor woke the American people from their slumber,” he said. “We must not repeat the same mistake by reducing our preparedness, accepting the notion that we are one of many or ceding global leadership to others.”

“Like all Americans, I hope to see Iran abandon its nuclear aspirations through peaceful negotiations, but hope is not a strategy,” he said.