Romney and Foreign Policy Plattitudes
Romney goes to The Wall Street Journal to present us with a foreign policy statement. Like all Romney policy statements it is devoid of substance and loaded with neoconservative platitudes and talking points.
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. 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.
It means placing no daylight between the United States and Israel. And it means using the full spectrum of our soft power to encourage liberty and opportunity for those who have for too long known only corruption and oppression. The dignity of work and the ability to steer the course of their lives are the best alternatives to extremism.
But this Middle East policy will be undermined unless we restore the three sinews of our influence: our economic strength, our military strength and the strength of our values. That will require a very different set of policies from those President Obama is pursuing.
OK Mitt, what different policies? How would your policy differ from Obama’s besides turning US Mid East policy over to Bibi Netanyahu? In reality Romney has no foreign policy ideas of his own and has been possessed by the neocons. Doesn’t Mitt realize most American’s are not real crazy about the neocons and their endless wars? I guess not. I wonder if the Mormons have exorcisms.
Think about this: Mitt Romney is running for president on a platform of indistinguishable and conjoined exceptionalism for the U.S. and Israel. And because Israel faces a vastly greater military threat, this means America would abandon its own independence of action and consign its fate to Bibi Netanyahu, a man whose views on peace and security are highly controversial in Israel itself.
Republican foreign policy thinking has had to go through a lot of twists and turns to arrive at this extraordinarily anomalous place. But the bottom line seems to be remarkably similar to the one embraced twelve years ago by George W. Bush and his advisors, who took office determined to wage war with Iraq, despite the cover of all the middle-school bully-boy talk of preventing war by plotting it constantly.If Romney wins and the United States supinely follows Bibi into yet another, and this time vastly more dangerous, Gulf war, nobody can say we were not warned.
The thing that is so puzzling about this is it’s not going to get him any votes from those who wern’t going to vote for him anyway and could cost him the vote of some who would have.
But this pile of empty verbiage is amazing in at least one respect: somehow, Romney managed to write an entire piece about Middle East policy without mentioning either Iraq or Afghanistan. An odd omission, perhaps explainable by the fact that both of these long-term wars were fairly well devastating to the jingoistic “American strength” line Romney’s feeding to the right — so Romney just pretends they don’t exist.
Cross posted at Middle Earth Journal