Skip to main content

Mitt Romney
Romney plays the "weak on defense" card again.
In a Wall Street Journal op-ed published Sunday, GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney reiterated a 62-year-old Republican accusation that Democrats are weak on defense. This time the offender is Barack Obama, whose policies, Romney argues, is losing the Middle East to chaos just as it was argued in 1950 that Harry Truman had "lost China" to the commies. Implicitly and explicitly, he blames Obama for the turmoil that has attended the Arab Spring and for dissing Israel.

As usual with Romney, there are plenty of complaints about current policy and nothing but boilerplate talk with no specifics about what his foreign policy prescriptions would be. For instance:

By failing to maintain the elements of our influence and by stepping away from our allies, President Obama has heightened the prospect of conflict and instability. He does not understand that an American policy that lacks resolve can provoke aggression and encourage disorder. [...]

In this period of uncertainty, we need to apply a coherent strategy of supporting our partners in the Middle East—that is, both governments and individuals who share our values.

Not one word about how he would have handled the uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Bahrain or Syria differently. We do hear that he would be nicer to Israel. Most specifically when it comes to Israeli concerns about Iran, In Romney's views, as molded by senior adviser Dan Senor, that means following lockstep with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's views demanding that the White House draw a "red line" regarding Tehran's alleged pursuit of nuclear weapons.
This means restoring our credibility with Iran. When we say an Iranian nuclear-weapons capability—and the regional instability that comes with it—is unacceptable, the ayatollahs must be made to believe us.
How specifically this last would be accomplished in a way that Obama has not done is left to our imaginations. Actually, given the advisers Romney has aboard his campaign team—men and women who have long been down with bombing Iran—nothing is left to the imagination. Comply or die is the message here. That is, give up uranium enrichment program or else.

Whether Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapon is a point of contention among many people well-acquainted with Iran's nuclear program. Iran's leaders claim it is solely for peaceful purposes. But even many who believe that Iran is on the nuclear weapons path argue that bombing Iran's nuclear facilities—aside from the moral and international legal issues—likely contains a plethora of bad consequences, including the deaths of thousands of people, perhaps tens of thousands, in addition to the Iranians who would be killed. Such an attack would also not likely end Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons if it is doing so, only slow it down. And yet Romney apparently has no worries about the Middle Eastern chaos produced by such a move.

Everything we know about Romney's foreign policy views points to someone far out of his depth, with a two-dimensional view of the world embedded in an embarrassingly shallow version of American exceptionalism. And that is just what we know, which isn't much given Romney's failure to provide the necessary details. What it seems to amount to is an unrestrained, uninformed approach that is mostly balled fists and a do-you-f'n-know-who-we-are approach to diplomacy.

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 09:18 AM PDT.

Also republished by Adalah — A Just Middle East and Daily Kos.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site