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As the presidential candidates prepare for their third and final debate on Monday, recent polling suggests Mitt Romney has cut into President Barack Obama's sizable lead on foreign policy issues. But if his demagoguery on China (where he apparently still profits from his portfolio of Bain investments) and Libya (where he accused the president of "empathizing" with the attackers) has fueled that uptick, Romney's laughably long list of foreign policy flip-fops, flubs and follies may come back to bite him. As it turns out, the man who got a "Four Pinocchio" rating for his repeated claims that Obama apologizes for America has a lot to apologize for.

Romney Opposed U.S. Strikes Against Bin Laden in Pakistan. In December, Romney brushed off Chuck Todd's suggestion that Obama deserved credit for ordering the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden:

"I think in a setting like this one where Osama bin Laden was identified to be hiding in Pakistan, that it was entirely appropriate for this president to move in and to take him out," Romney replied, later adding that "In a similar circumstance, I think other presidents and other candidates, like myself, would do exactly the same thing."
As it turns out, not so much. Throughout 2007 and 2008, then-Sen. Barack Obama declared, "we must make it clear that if Pakistan cannot or will not act, we will take out high-level terrorist targets like bin Laden if we have them in our sights." Like President Bush and John McCain, Romney opposed unilateral American action to kill the Al Qaeda chieftain and his henchmen:
"I do not concur in the words of Barack Obama in a plan to enter an ally of ours... I don't think those kinds of comments help in this effort to draw more friends to our effort..."There is a war being waged by terrorists of different types and nature across the world," Romney said. "We want, as a civilized world, to participate with other nations in this civilized effort to help those nations reject the extreme with them."
Of course, Romney's confusion about whether or not to respect Pakistani sovereignty may have something to do with his past reversals about whether or not killing Osama Bin Laden even mattered. After insisting in late April 2007 that "It's not worth moving heaven and earth spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person," Romney, under fire from the right, reversed course just three days later and declared of Bin Laden, "He's going to pay, and he will die." (That also explains his ridiculous comment five years ago that "I want to double Guantanamo," and his plans now to revive the Bush administration's regime of detainee torture.)

Romney's comical past on Afghanistan and lack of policy specifics on its present largely explain why the GOP nominee was so noticeably silent on the topic at the Republican National Convention.

(Continue reading below the fold.)

Romney Flip-Flopped on Support for the Iraq War. Four years ago Mitt Romney felt pretty good about killing Saddam Hussein. As Byron York noted, during a January 2008 GOP debate Romney was asked, "Was the war in Iraq a good idea worth the cost in blood and treasure we have spent?" Mitt's response?
"It was the right decision to go into Iraq. I supported it at the time; I support it now."
But despite no new evidence in the intervening three years, by 2011 Multiple Choice Mitt was not so sure:
"Well, if we knew at the time of our entry into Iraq that there were no weapons of mass destruction -- if somehow we had been given that information, why, obviously we would not have gone in."
Under assault by the right, Romney abandoned that position within 24 hours. And the U.S. not only should have gone in, but should have stayed. He called the rapid—and very popular—transition of American forces from Iraq "tragic" and insisted a residual force of 30,000 troops should have remained.

Romney Talks Tough Even as Bain Profits in China. "If you are not willing to stand up to China," Romney told a GOP debate audience last October, "you are going to get run over by China." In February, he took to the pages of the Wall Street Journal to explain "How I'll Respond to China's Rising Power":

I will never flinch from ensuring that our country is secure. And security in the Pacific means a world in which our economic and military power is second to none...The sum total of my approach will ensure that this is an American, not a Chinese century. We have much to gain from close relations with a China that is prosperous and free. But we should not fail to recognize that a China that is a prosperous tyranny will increasingly pose problems for us, for its neighbors, and for the entire world.
But not problems for Mitt Romney's bottom line. As Americans learned from the New York Times in March, Bain Capital, whose investments still earn Mitt Romney millions annually, bought the video surveillance division of Chinese company that is a major supplier to the government in Beijing. And as it turns out, Romney's investments in Chinese outsourcing firms almost included the controversial telecommunications infrastructure giant Huawei:
The Asia fund withdrew from another deal in 2008 that could have proved politically embarrassing to Mr. Romney. After the Bush administration objected, Bain dropped plans to team up with a Chinese technology giant, Huawei, to buy 3Com, a network equipment maker that supplies software and equipment to the Pentagon and other federal agencies.

Bain Caught Up in Romney's Failed Iran Disinvestment Campaign. China isn't the only location where Bain's business activity created political problems for Mitt Romney. In 2007, it ended his crusade for pension fund disinvestment from Iran after only a single day.

Romney followed the lead of his friend and current Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was touring the U.S. calling for pension funds to unload any holdings in companies doing business with Iran. Romney began his own grandstanding on Iranian disinvestment the next month by targeting the Democratic-controlled states of New York and Massachusetts. On Feb. 22, 2007, Romney sent letters to then New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer, Sens. Chuck Schumer and Hillary Clinton, as well as state comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli urging a policy of "strategic disinvestment from companies linked to the Iranian regime."

As it turns out, scrutiny begins at home. As the AP and others detailed, Romney's former employers and colleagues at Bain had links to very recent Iranian business deals:

Romney joined Boston-based Bain & Co., a management consulting firm, in 1978 and worked there until 1984. He was CEO of Bain Capital, a venture capital firm, from 1984 to 1999, despite a two-year return as Bain & Co.'s chief executive officer from 1991 to 1992.

Bain & Co. Italy, described in company literature as "the Italian branch of Bain & Co.," received a $2.3 million contract from the National Iranian Oil Co., in September 2004. Its task was to develop a master plan so NIOC -- the state oil company of Iran -- could become one of the world's top oil companies, according to Iranian and U.S. news accounts of the deal.

Bain Capital, the venture capital firm that Romney started and made him a multimillionaire, teamed up with the Haier Group, a Chinese appliance maker that has a factory in Iran, in an unsuccessful 2005 buyout effort.

Caught flat-footed by his hypocrisy that took the AP less than a day to uncover, Romney feebly responded:
"This is something for now-forward. I wouldn't begin to say that people who, in the past, have been doing business with Iran, are subject to the same scrutiny as that which is going on from a prospective basis."
(Republican Tommy Thompson is learning that lesson the hard way in the Wisconsin Senate race, as his own investments in companies making money with the mullahs in Tehran has come under that very kind of scrutiny.)

Romney Calls for Indictment of Ahmadinejad on War Crimes Charges. While Romney's Tehran disinvestment immediately crashed and burned, his campaign to prosecute Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for war crimes continues.

In January 2007, Romney joined his "close friend" Netanyahu among the speakers at the Herzliya Conference. There, he first announced his support for Netanyahu's approach. Then in the fall of 2007, Romney took his case to the United Nations. He not only demanded the General Secretary Ban-Ki-Moon "revoke any invitation to President Ahmadinejad to address the General Assembly," but insisted that the UN prosecute the Iranian President for his 2006 boast that he would "wipe Israel off the map."

"If President Ahmadinejad sets foot in the United States, he should be handed an indictment under the Genocide Convention."
That accounts for Mitt's passing comment during the Nov. 22, 2011 CNN national security debate. When Romney said he wanted to "indict Ahmadinejad for violating the Geneva—or the Genocide Convention," he was just awkwardly repeating an agenda Bibi has been pushing for years.

Pushing for years in the U.S., that is, without success. Last year, Mother Jones explained why. For starters, "U.S. policy has been to not honor the International Criminal Court; we are not a signatory to the Rome Treaty." In addition:

It's widely interpreted that a statement supposedly egging on genocide is not legally considered a tool of genocide, unless it can be taken into evidence as proving direct intent and premeditation. Furthermore, it would be unprecedented to indict a foreign leader for a genocide that hasn't even taken place yet.
Romney Said He Does and Doesn't Need Congress to Okay Iran Strikes. Leaders of both American political parties are in agreement that Tehran must not acquire nuclear weapons and that "all options" must be on the table, including military strikes against Iranian installations. Mitt Romney just isn't sure whether he needs the blessing of Congress to undertake them.

Asked by Bob Schieffer of CBS if he would need Congressional authorization to strike Iran, Romney answered with a big "no":

"I can assure you if I'm president, the Iranians will have no question but that I will be willing to take military action if necessary to prevent them from becoming a nuclear threat to the world. I don't believe at this stage, therefore, if I'm president that we need to have a war powers approval or special authorization for military force. The president has that capacity now. I understand that some in the Senate for instance have written letters to the president indicating you should know that a containment strategy is unacceptable. We cannot survive a course of action which would include a nuclear Iran we must be willing to take any and all actions."
The notion that "the president has that capacity now" would have come as a surprise to Truman, Johnson, Clinton or even Bush when it came to the successful nuclear tests by the Soviet Union, China or North Korea. But even leaving those historical speed bumps aside, the 2012 version of candidate Mitt Romney would come in for criticism from his 2007 incarnation. During the Wall Street Journal/MSNBC GOP debate in October 2007, Romney gave Chris Matthews a much different response to the same question:

MATTHEWS: Governor Romney, that raises the question, if you were president of the United States, would you need to go to Congress to get authorization to take military action against Iran's nuclear facilities?

ROMNEY: You sit down with your attorneys and tell you want you have to do, but obviously the president of the United States has to do what's in the best interest of the United States to protect us against a potential threat. The president did that as he was planning on moving into Iraq and received the authorization of Congress...

MATTHEWS: Did he need it?

ROMNEY: You know, we're going to let the lawyers sort out what he needed to do and what he didn't need to do. But, certainly, what you want to do is to have the agreement of all the people -- leadership of our government as well as our friends around the world where those circumstances are available.

Contradicting both positions, Iran-Contra figure turned Romney adviser Elliott Abrams demanded President Obama go to Congress now for authorization of military force against Iran. If President Romney's neocon advisers resurrected from the disgraced Bush team get their way, he's going to need it.

Romney's Changing Red Line with Tehran: Nuclear Weapon or "Capability?" If his recent rhetoric is any reflection of President Romney's plans, the American people should be preparing for war with Iran. Because while the Obama administration has drawn its red line with Iran at the actual development of an atomic weapon, Romney is once again insisting Tehran cannot be allowed to reach "nuclear capability." By that murky standard, the mullahs may have already crossed the line to trigger a pre-emptive attack by a Romney administration.

To be sure, Romney has been less than clear on this vital point. In July, his aide Dan Senor (who as PR flack during the occupation of Iraq famously told a group of reporters a year into the war, "Off the record, Paris is burning. On the record, security and stability are returning to Iraq.") announced, "If Israel has to take action on its own, in order to stop Iran from developing that capability, the governor would respect that decision." But in a September interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos, Romney contradicted that line, saying he has the same "red line" as Obama: "Iran may not have a nuclear weapon." Of course, Mitt was in turn contradicted by his adviser Eliot Cohen, who claimed that Romney "would not be content with an Iran one screwdriver's turn away from a nuclear weapon." And during his address at VMI earlier this month, Romney seemingly reversed course again:

"I will put the leaders of Iran on notice that the United States and our friends and allies will prevent them from acquiring nuclear weapons capability."
Romney Says Russia is Threat Number One. In the fall of 2009, Romney authored an article titled, "Iran: Biggest Threat Since Soviets." But earlier this year, he changed his mind.

That about-face came in the wake of Obama's open mic comment to outgoing Russian President Dmitri Medvedev that he would (naturally) have more "flexibility" after the November election. In response, Romney declared Russia is his new enemy number one:

"These are very unfortunate developments and if he's planning on doing more and suggest to Russia that he has things he's willing to do with them he's no willing to tell the American people, this is to Russia this is without question our number one geopolitical foe, they fight every cause for the world's worst actors, the idea that he has some more flexibility in mind for Russia is very, very troubling indeed."
Romney's Confused Opposition to the START Treaty. Of course, Romney's confused response to the new START agreement between the United States and Russia should trouble all Americans. Would-be Commander-in-Chief Romney didn't merely oppose the nuclear arms control pact favored by virtually the entire U.S. defense establishment, but revealed he didn't understand it at all. As Steve Benen explained in March:
A couple of years ago, as debate over the New START nuclear treaty was intensifying, Mitt Romney decided to weigh in on the debate with an op-ed, hoping to demonstrate some acumen on international affairs. It didn't go well. Fred Kaplan wrote at the time, "In 35 years of following debates over nuclear arms control, I have never seen anything quite as shabby, misleading and -- let's not mince words -- thoroughly ignorant as Mitt Romney's attack on the New START treaty."

Sen. Dick Lugar (R-Ind.), arguably the Republican Party's most respected voice on foreign policy, issued "an unusually harsh statement," calling Romney out for his nonsense.

Romney Calls for $2 Trillion Increase in Defense Spending. Romney's nonsense also extends to his indefensible defense budget. Romney slammed Republican leaders--including his own running mate Paul Ryan—for voting for the August 2011 debt ceiling deal that is set to sequester $550 billion from the defense budget over the next decade. But not to content to rest there, CEO turned Commander-in-Chief Mitt Romney would spend money like a drunken sailor, adding $2 trillion in new Pentagon outlays without either a strategy to justify it or funding to pay for it.

As Romney explained in September:

"I want to maintain defense spending at the current level of the GDP. I don't want to keep bringing it down as the president's doing. This sequestration idea of the White House, which is cutting our defense, I think is an extraordinary miscalculation in the wrong direction."
Romney is proposing to do for the Pentagon what spreadsheet users like him call "fill right." By setting defense spending as fixed percentage of gross domestic product (GDP), the DoD budget would fall and rise along with the economy. The result is a golden shower for the military that would make Ronald Reagan look like Mahatma Gandhi.

Whether or not the United States is at war or peace, or as it is now, drawing down from a conflict, the implications of Romney's four percent "floor" are mind-boggling. CNN noted in its analysis that the price tag could reach $2.1 trillion over the next decade. As the Boston Globe detailed in March:

The cost appears to be far greater than when Romney first broached the idea several years ago, when the nation was spending closer to 4 percent of GDP on defense. Under next year's budget, defense spending is projected to be about 3.2 percent - yet Romney has stuck by his 4 percent vow. Put another way, that means Romney proposes spending 61 percent more than Obama at the end of a decade-long cycle, according to the libertarian Cato Institute.

Enacting such an increase at the same time that Romney wants to slash taxes and balance the budget could cost trillions of dollars and require huge cuts in domestic programs. As Romney's website puts it matter-of-factly, "This will not be a cost-free process."

That's right. By 2021, even a peacetime Romney defense budget would approach $900 billion a year. That open spigot would come despite the fact that baseline U.S. defense spending (that is, outside of "overseas contingency operations" war funding for Iraq and Afghanistan) has risen during every year of the Obama administration so far.

Romney Opposes and Supports a Two State Solution in the Middle East. Mitt Romney's now famous "47 percent" closed door speech in May didn't merely reveal his true feelings towards half the American people. As it turns out, Romney was also brutally honest in his views about the Middle East process and the prospects for two-solution between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

On the most pressing diplomatic issue in the region, Romney told his deep-pocketed donors that the United States should do—wait for it—nothing:

"I look at the Palestinians not wanting to see peace anyway, for political purposes, committed to the destruction and elimination of Israel, and these thorny issues, and I say, "There's just no way." And so what you do is you say, "You move things along the best way you can." You hope for some degree of stability, but you recognize that this is going to remain an unsolved problem. We live with it in China and Taiwan. All right, we have a potentially volatile situation but we sort of live with it, and we kick the ball down the field and hope that ultimately, somehow, something will happen and resolve it. We don't go to war to try and resolve it imminently."
"Living with it," that is, persistent but "manageable" levels of violence, is exactly Benjamin Netanyahu's approach. On that point as with his opposition to a Palestinian state, Mitt stood with Bibi. As Romney put it in a Jan. 26 Republican debate:
"There are some people who say, should we have a two-state solution? And the Israelis would be happy to have a two-state solution. It's the Palestinians who don't want a two-state solution. They want to eliminate the state of Israel.

And I believe America must say -- and the best way to have peace in the Middle East is not for us to vacillate and to appease, but is to say, we stand with our friend Israel. We are committed to a Jewish state in Israel. We will not have an inch of difference between ourselves and our ally, Israel."

Or to be more accurate, not a single inch of difference between Romney and his good friend and former Boston Consulting Group colleague, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Not, that is, unless American voters obviously object. Which is why during his speech two weeks ago at the Virginia Military Institute, Romney contradicted everything he's been saying in public and private for years:
"Finally, I will recommit America to the goal of a democratic, prosperous Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security with the Jewish state of Israel. On this vital issue, the President has failed, and what should be a negotiation process has devolved into a series of heated disputes at the United Nations. In this old conflict, as in every challenge we face in the Middle East, only a new President will bring the chance to begin anew."
As Romney's sad record shows, what a new president would really mean is return of bluster and confusion to the White House. Romney hasn't just already failed the commander-in-chief test. His inability to make up his mind and penchant to mock friends and allies would leave America with an unsteady hand in the Oval Office and a fool on the world stage.
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Comment Preferences

  •  Not a surprise, obviously, that Romney is... (24+ / 0-)

    ...the same on foreign policy as he is on all policy: all over the map, on two (or more) sides of every issue, confused about the actual status of many issues, confused about what he himself has said on an issue. He likes the thump his chest in this arena, a long-time trait of Republicans and conservative Democrats, and he's packed his foreign policy advisory team with Bush retreads, but it really is impossible to determine how he would really behave from "Day One" were he to win the Presidency. I certainly hope we don't get to find out.

    Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

    by Meteor Blades on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 04:32:34 PM PDT

  •  With Bush's advisors and Bush's attitude on (16+ / 0-)

    foreign policy, Obama should end tomorrow's debate with this:

    You have a clear choice for our country:  Do you want my second term, or George W. Bush's third term?
    •  I mean to say that ROMNEY has Bush's advisors (8+ / 0-)

      and attitude on foreign policy.

      My awesome closing line remains intact. :)

    •  Romney Can't Be Consistent or Deeply Knowledgeable (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      abraxas, sethtriggs, vcmvo2, jfromga

      The only way Obama loses tomorrow night is if he gets lost/flummoxed in weeds of details and responds to Romney's attacks as if this was some kind of scholarly debate amongst intellectually honest peers.  I don't believe he'll fall into that trap again!  

      Every attack form Romney needs to be rebutted with extreme prejudice at the level from which it comes.

      I look forward to President Obama going on the offensive and calling Romney out on all of the various fip flops on foreign policy and demanding detailed answers to specific questions.  

      If all Rommey has to offer is cheap shot attacks, he loses.  If his affirmative positions are in conflict with his past positions on the same issues...and that is brought out and rubbed into his face, he loses.

      I don't believe Romney is capable of articulating any kind of honest holistic facrt based vision of his foreign policy.....all he knows is to attack and throw out lines of focus grouped bs.

  •  "Don't want to enter an ally" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nailbanger, doraphasia, sethtriggs

    No I suppose not - if you're going to put it that way.

  •  Picking fights to justify more military spending.. (20+ / 0-)

    that's what we'll get with Romney.

    Mitt Romney treats people like things. And he treats things - corporations - like people.

    by richardak on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 05:05:08 PM PDT

  •  Mitt Romney in 2007 (12+ / 0-)

    As the Bush administration announced sanctions yesterday on a unit of the Iranian military, former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, in perhaps the broadest warning yet among the Republican candidates, told voters in New Hampshire that he would advocate a military blockade or “bombardment of some kind” if Iran did not yield to diplomatic and economic pressure to give up its nuclear program.

    Ron Reagan: "Sarah Palin's constituency are people who wear red rubber noses and bells on their shoes."

    by AnnetteK on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 05:06:02 PM PDT

  •  The perfect FP Debate Eve diary. (16+ / 0-)

    Well done, Jon Perr.

    "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

    by Sybil Liberty on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 05:07:10 PM PDT

  •  Pitch Perfect ad (8+ / 0-)

    Such a simple hook, Really?. You can only try and reason with these guys claims for so long. Sometimes you just gotta get down to the brass tacks of it.

  •  Military policy (12+ / 0-)

    Foreign Policy magazine recently named the eight worst generals in American history.

    Of these, seven are dead.

    The eighth -- Iraq War thumper Tommy Franks -- is one of Mitt's principal advisors.

    I don't want Mitt anywhere near any foreign policy decisions for our country.

    Proud Member of the Big Bird Wing of the Democratic Party.

    by noweasels on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 05:10:42 PM PDT

    •  It's not clear what criteria it's ranking the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      generals on, and dear god that is a right-wing comment section...

      Not to say that Gen. Tommy Franks is good, just that the source is kind of unreliable.

      Never attribute to malice what is owed to ignorance or honest disagreement.

      by ConfusedSkyes on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 06:52:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  According to the Brian Williams special on the (9+ / 0-)

    Anniversary of the Raid it was pointed out that some 32 years prior Sec Gates was in the Situation room of it's day in the Whitehouse when the Raid to rescue the Iranian Hostages went horribly wrong..

    So there he is 32 years some of later and in the current situation room watching the mission unfold one of the Super Secret Stealth Helicopters fails.

    Yep he's in a position to call this raid Gutsy.....

    Maybe just maybe any president would have bombed the bejesus out of 10+Square blocks but a commando raid???

    The 1st Amendment gives you the right to say stupid things, the 1st Amendment doesn't guarantee a paycheck to say stupid things.

    by JML9999 on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 05:10:57 PM PDT

    •  Yes -- there's more in current Vanity Fair (6+ / 0-)


      Gates favored taking the shot from the drone. He spoke quietly but forcefully. He acknowledged that it was a difficult call, and that striking from the air would leave them not knowing whether they had gotten bin Laden, but he had been working at the C.I.A. as an analyst in 1980 when the Desert One mission to rescue the hostages in Iran failed. He had, in fact, been in this very Situation Room when the chopper collided with the C-130 at the staging area in the desert and turned that rescue mission into a fireball. It was an experience he did not wish to revisit. He had visibly blanched the first time he had heard that McRaven was planning a helicopter-refueling stop in a remote area outside Abbottabad, similar to what had been done in Iran in 1980. As defense secretary, Gates knew the importance of maintaining the flow of fuel and matériel to American forces fighting in Afghanistan, which depended on Pakistan’s goodwill. There was so much to lose, he said, and the evidence for bin Laden’s presence in the compound was still flimsy.
      Excellent article here: Vanity Fair.

      Proud Member of the Big Bird Wing of the Democratic Party.

      by noweasels on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 05:19:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Powerful commercial (7+ / 0-)

    Hope it's used often.

  •  We know that, but does the GOP care? (6+ / 0-)

    No.  Just because Romney is who he is he could dance around naked, call the President of Iran names and still come out as being more knowledgeable.

    That should give anyone pause that a portion of the American people don't give a damn about being lied to as long as it isn't that Kenyan Muslim Socialist Communist in the White House.

    People should be ashamed to be taken in by Romney's pathological lies.  They are letting FOX spoon feed them in terms of information.

    "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." --Benjamin Franklin

    by politicalceci on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 05:14:23 PM PDT

  •  Umphfff...... (9+ / 0-)

    Run that commercial all over the place. It's devastating to Romney. It actually makes me despise Romney more than I did before seeing it. And that's saying something.

    Please proceed, Governor .....

    by TomK1960 on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 05:16:27 PM PDT

  •  as Jesse says, "Get out the Bushes" (5+ / 0-)
    Contradicting both positions, Iran-Contra figure turned Romney adviser Elliott Abrams demanded President Obama go to Congress now for authorization of military force against Iran. If President Romney's neocon advisers resurrected from the disgraced Bush team get their way, he's going to need it.

    yksitoista ulotteinen presidentin shakki. / tappaa kaikki natsit "Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) 政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

    by annieli on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 05:16:29 PM PDT

  •  Candidate Mitt Romney said no (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    politicalceci, doraphasia, sethtriggs

    Candidate Hillary Clinton said no.

    Candidate John McCain said no.

    Candidate Barack Obama said yes.

    The American people said yes.

    President Barack Obama said yes.

  •  Avoid Foreign Entanglements Or War Over "Respect?" (7+ / 0-)

    i don't recall the Founders advocating a world wide rampage to root out people abroad who don't love or fear us in exactly the right way.

    There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

    by bernardpliers on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 05:19:49 PM PDT

  •  The only thing that is surprising is how many (6+ / 0-)

    Americans enjoy being lied to. One thing is for certain, this election is turning more into a referendum than a choice unfortunately. Barrack Obama, or the Amazing Investment Banking Parrot. Say something to it, and it'll repeat it back to you!

    •  If You Aren't an Unusually Active Current Events (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      abraxas, sethtriggs, kingfishstew

      enthusiast and getting almost all your information from niche American and foreign sources, a big chunk of the country is going to be giving you the same fantasy picture of reality. Mainstream media generally presents the most extreme bs as a credible position, then there's church, employer, more than a little commercial culture.

      The election was always going to be a referendum. That was being telegraphed nonstop from Nov. 2008.

      Romney delayed it for a few months but no matter how inept he himself is, global corporate advertising and rightwing religion are a bigger and far more competent force than he and his campaign.

      All the attack ads I'm seeing in Ohio are referendum.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 05:50:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  If Romney was the President (7+ / 0-)

    No call will be made to kill Osama because he said it was worthless to chase him.enough said!

  •  Unfortunately... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mjbleo, Gooserock

    Unless the polls are rigged it doesn't seem to matter how incompetent, inept or insanely ambitious Romney is, he keeps hanging around and may well be winning.   BTW, wonder if Bain and Mitt profit from a strong dollar in China?  Getting "tough" with China would likely involve an effort to devalue the dollar through fed action. Mitt has threatened to replace Bernanke for being too interventionist with the QEs so his threats regarding China are mere theater.

  •  Obama needs to wear a Big Gold Chain, with... (0+ / 0-)

    Obama needs to wear a Big Gold Chain, with a giant gold cross, sporting a savagely tortured depiction of Jesus that is so heinous it looks like Cheney himself did the scourging and the nailing in.
    Then ask Rmoney why he doesn't ever wear a cross.

    "I'm not familiar precisely with exactly what I said, but I stand by what I said, whatever it was." Mittens

    by olo on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 05:25:16 PM PDT

  •  Just watched the clip (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mjbleo, RandomNonviolence, sethtriggs

    Any President would have made the call? Hindsight is 20/20, Mr. Romney!

    •  it is always easy to lob shots (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Thursday Next

      from the cheap sheets when you have to make none of the tough decisions or have the families of our troops awaiting your decision as to whether they safe or you send them to war.  The man has never had to make a decision even close to that.  I just don't trust his judgment based on his ineptness in everyday no-risk decisions.  How tough was it to make decisions about investments with other people's money that would affect the lives of strangers knowing that whether the companies succeeded or failed, you gained financially.  He flatout frightens me.

  •  its hard to be a player (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    doraphasia, khughes1963

    on foreign policy when your experience consists of a vacation in france avoiding serving in vn and counting your money in the cayman islands, but i'm sure he will bs his way through it like he does everything else in life.

  •  Back When Our Enemy Was USSR and Big Money's (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    interests could've been in jeopardy from nuking just as much as any army private, these kinds of observations about Romney would've had him run out of contention by the power structure long ago.

    But today the media and the military/industrial/intel complex all stand to gain from inflaming mideast war, without any of the risks they faced from the cold war turning hot. We'll take some terrorist hits sure, but there's no chance of continental meltdown.

    So there's nobody to care about this discussion other than everyday voters for whom these matters are complex and remote. And as we've seen from the focus groups reported earlier this year and demonstrated on screen during debates, less informed voters won't believe the Republicans' policies are what they are, and when they're disputed in a debate voters turn off the correcter.

    The etch-a-sketch temporary-gaffe appears to be focus tested reality. It's not going to be easy at all to make Mitt's catastrophic positions hurt him.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 05:44:40 PM PDT

  •  "If we take the candidate at his word... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    (admittedly hard to do since his "word" is pretty meaningless, but in view of his...) Neocon War Cabinet of foreign policy advisers, will institute some policies that  (emphasis mine)

    ...are to the right of Bush...

    ...a Romney presidency would move toward war against Iran; closely align Washington with the Israeli right; leave troops in Afghanistan at least until 2014 and refuse to negotiate with the Taliban; reset the Obama administration’s “reset” with Russia; and pursue a Reagan-like military buildup at home. The Washington Monthly dubbed Romney’s foreign policy vision the “more enemies, fewer friends” doctrine, which is chillingly reminiscent of the world Obama inherited from Bush...

    Even if Romney is just doing what comes so naturally to him, pandering to the right, given that he's surrounded himself with so many chickenhawk warmongering neocons who are chomping at the bit for another session at using the trigger of US military might, if he should gain power, he just might not be able to stop what he's already put into motion:

    ...Romney’s embrace of the neoconservative cause—even if done cynically to woo the right—could turn into a policy nightmare if he becomes president...

    Few advisers personify the pugnacity of Romney’s foreign policy team better than Bolton. He has been a steadfast opponent of international organizations and treaties and seems never to have met a war he didn’t like. Shortly before the invasion of Iraq, he told Israeli officials that Syria, Iran and North Korea would be the next US targets....

    Today there’s little daylight between the candidate and his most militant advisers. “When you read the op-eds and listen to the speeches, it sounds like Romney’s listening to the John Bolton types more than anyone else...”

  •  You are way off base! Fact free zone. (0+ / 0-)

    On Monday evening Romney will abandon every one of his crazy foreign policy positions, smile at the camera, and dare the moderator to question him on it. It will take every ounce of Obama's talent to make it clear to his audience that the man is just bullshitting us!

  •  A Wolf in Sheep skin (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Excellent article showing just how dangerous Willard really is to the world with his hawkish foreign policy vision,  but also his domestic policy vision. He's only a candidate now - let us work hard to make sure he never makes it past candidate.

    Romney is a very dangerous man. He is the meat suit of the extreme right and the Mormon church. Completely and utterly bought and paid for - follow the money and the power. There is scientific evidence that the very wealthy and powerful have differently wired brains than most human beings. They have a tendency to view others as objects and rank them on how useful they are to them and tend to lack empathy for others.

    He's a con man just like his hero Joesph Smith, so hungry for power he will do and say anything. He cares nothing for most Americans or most of the worlds citizens as evident from his pathological lying and savage behavior - As a young man bullying students and teachers alike, to his systematic corporate raiding which demolished countless pensions and American jobs.  He is the wolf wearing the skin of the sheep he has slaughtered and he is attempting to lie and buy his way into the most important and powerful job in the world.

    "Today we say all art is political. But I'd say all art has to do with ethics. Which after all really comes to the same thing. It's a matter of attitudes." ~Ingmar Bergman

    by Digital Auteur on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 06:21:45 PM PDT

  •  what an incredibly powerful 54 seconds (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    that video is.


    play, repeat, play, repeat.

    Toleration is the greatest gift of the mind; it requires the same effort of the brain that it takes to balance oneself on a bicycle. -Helen Keller

    by ridemybike on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 06:27:10 PM PDT

  •  while I love reading this on DK... (0+ / 0-)

    if it doesn't leave Obama's lips - making it a must parrot for the brain dead orgasmic hamsters of the media - it's just text on my screen.

    HE has to say it.

    HE has to force it into the air.


    HE has to do it in simple terms.

    cheerleaders need not apply.

    by kravitz on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 06:50:53 PM PDT

  •  Tie Mitt to Bush's foreign policy (0+ / 0-)

    The key to the debate is to remind voters that with Romney we would go back to the Bush model of endless war, with rosy predictions of easy victory and lowballed costs. Remind them that there is a connection between foreign policy and domestic policy: if we are not fighting wars, we can invest in our country.

  •  Sure steady hand (0+ / 0-)

    From a foreign policy standpoint Obama has done the most important thing very well.  He is honest, consistent and predictable.  Anything but that can be dangerous.

    Romney has some wonderful qualities (none spring to mind, however) but he is completely dishonest, the essential definition of inconsistency and can change his position on anything at any time.  That is the last thing our allies want and a very dangerous thing for our enemies.  

    It's not as though I needed a new reason to vote for Obama, but this might be the most important reason.

  •  The Romney-Bush Foreign Policy (0+ / 0-)

    How is Romney's foreign policy different from George W. Bush's? Is there something voters like about going to war? For example, do they like having American soldiers killed? Do they particularly like paying for far-off wars (with debt)?

    I think Romney needs to explain how he's going to rein in the war mongers in his administration. A real President tells the generals what to do, like Lincoln did. Apparently, Romney has no desire to do that--and no expertise to draw on if he needed to.

    Based on his performance in the Republican debates he seems to think he can bully our allies into helping us and scare our enemies into capitulating. What if, like Obama, they turn out to actually have a bite?

    And if he's going to war, is he willing to increase taxes to pay for it? Our credit card is maxed out.  Is he prepared to get bogged down in a war that will require a draft? Is he up for sending, say, 500,000 troops into some country in the Persian Gulf?

    He and his buddies on the right think we should cede control of our foreign policy to Israel. They have literally said there should be "no daylight" between our policy and theirs. If Israel wants to go bomb Iran, they want to just follow suit.

    This guy has no understanding of the consequences of war, yet he's all-in for war with Iran. I just don't think the American people are prepared to have another one of these excursions blow up in the President's face. If they thought the Iraqi experience was expensive (probably $1.5 trillion and counting) and they're tired of being in Afghanistan how much are they going to want to spend, say, another couple trillion on Iran?

  •  George W. Bush, the Sequel (0+ / 0-)

    some movies should never have a sequel.

    The man is an idiot,  he has never thought about a foreign nation as a nation, but only as a place where investments can occur.  Otherwise he sees them through a lens distorted by John Wayne war movies.  Places to kick ass just because we can.

    Such a freaking disaster.

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