Map showing Mitt Romney's confusion over Iran's shoreline -- that it doesn't go through Syria
As Mitt Romney attempted to show he could hold his own in a foreign policy debate against President Barack Obama Monday night, he offered a little geography lesson.
Syria is Iran's only ally in the Arab world. It's their route to the sea. It's the route for them to arm Hezbollah in Lebanon, which threatens, of course, our ally, Israel.
Which goes to show that, for Romney, geography is just as weak a subject as arithmetic. Because not only does Iran have 1,500 miles of coast, it doesn't border Syria. The Romney camp apparently claims that what Romney was referring to is the fact that once you go from Iran through Iraq or Turkey, Syria is Iran's route to the Mediterranean Sea, but that's ... kind of different from his grave, condescending implication that Syria and Iran were ready to become one joined force of evil with access to the sea, as if any minute now Iran would be proceeding through its immediate neighbor Syria and launching a massive navy into the Mediterranean to, uh, invade Italy?

The question is if Romney simply wanted to say something that sounded knowledgeable and scary, or if he personally believed what he was saying, just as he really truly thought the president had not called the Benghazi killings an act of terror until two weeks after the fact. But that's the choice between intentionally dishonest and strategically ignorant for partisan reasons. Not much of a choice in a presidential candidate.

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Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Tue Oct 23, 2012 at 06:48 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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