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    Jul 25, 2012 4:25 PM GMT
    "Romney Promises “the Opposite” of Obama’s _____ Policy"

    By Daniel Larison • June 18, 2012, 4:00 AM

    Mitt Romney has apparently pledged to stop selling Israel weapons and must have ruled out military against Iran:

    Mitt Romney told evangelical Christians that he’ll do “the opposite” of what President Obama has done in dealing with Israel.

    It’s at these moments that Romney’s reflexive opposition to anything associated with Obama ceases to make sense. Yes, an incumbent’s partisan opponent will make opportunistic attacks, and it is unavoidable that those attacks will be based on deliberate misrepresentations and distortions of the incumbent’s record. That is the way of things, and it’s generally considered “smart” politics. However, it doesn’t do Romney any favors to go on record to claim that he will be the exact opposite of Obama on Israel. Obama has been fairly conventional in reliably backing Israel on every important issue that doesn’t conflict with longstanding U.S. policy, and even when the Israeli government is at odds with U.S. policy Obama has tended to back down. Romney claims that he would do the opposite of this.

    This is not an exaggeration of Romney’s remarks. According to the report, he said, “Well, I think by in large [sic] you could just look at the things the president’s done and do the opposite.” So under a Romney administration the U.S. would have taken Ankara’s side in the dispute over the flotilla raid? President Romney would have refused to pursue additional sanctions on Iran at the U.N.? Instead of giving up on negotiations with Iran early on, he would have pressed ahead with a policy of engagement? Rather than abandoning the pressure to freeze settlements, Romney would have threatened to cut off aid unless Netanyahu yielded? That’s what “the opposite” of Obama’s Israel policy would actually be. Romney is taking for granted that his intended audience doesn’t know that and doesn’t care, and he’s probably right.

    Romney reiterated his fanatical position on unthinking solidarity with U.S. clients:

    I would not want to show a dime’s worth of distance between ourselves and our allies like Israel. If we have disagreements, we can talk about them, you know, behind closed doors. But to the world, you show that we’re locked arm in arm.

    Yes, because U.S. interests are clearly advanced around the world by reinforcing the perception that there is no meaningful difference between the United States and Israel on any issue. In other words, U.S. interests will take second place to the need to promote a phony common front to the world. Romney certainly knows something about putting forward a phony front. It’s useful to know that Romney’s priorities are still as confused as ever.

    Romney’s bad ideas are not limited only to relations between U.S. and Israel. He has more than enough bad ideas for the entire region to spare. On Syria, he said:

    Instead of watching what’s happening in Syria from a dispassionate distance, I would be leading in Syria by encouraging our friends there like the Turks and the Saudis to prove weapons [sic] to the insurgents in Syria.

    The report doesn’t explain why Romney thinks that encouraging the Saudis to arm a rebel movement is a sign of good leadership. If it tells us anything, it is that Romney is not one to be trusted with making such decisions. It doesn’t seem to occur to Romney that the Saudis don’t need U.S. encouragement to do this, nor does he seem to realize that what the Saudi government desires may not be all together good for American interests.


    Posted in foreign policy, politics.

    When a staunchly conservative site such as this THE AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE points out how stupid Romney's statements are, I do believe its time for conservatives in general to take note and reconsider a vote for this Obviously bought and paid for lap dog. I hope his Sugar Daddy Adelson is happy with how his money is being used to show the ignorance in their far right rhetoric. LOL
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    Jul 26, 2012 7:09 PM GMT
    Brooks: Romney “Looks Like an Idiot” on Foreign Policy By Daniel Larison • July 20, 2012, 10:14 AM

    “Mitt Romney has been wandering around the country trying to find a place to disagree with Barack Obama,” he said during a panel discussion at the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition’s annual conference. “He’s desperately trying, and every time he does, he looks like an idiot, because he has to say something so far out there on Russia or whatever it is.”

    Brooks’ observation is similar to the one I’ve been making for a while. I agree that Romney’s overreaching in his foreign policy criticisms is a product of his need to exaggerate differences with Obama, and as a result he keeps making blunders. I would add that Romney has been embarrassing himself with his arguments on Russia policy for a long time before he made his “number one geopolitical foe” blunder, and that blunder simply takes Romney’s apparent antagonism to Russia to an absurd extreme. Romney identified Russia as “our number one geopolitical foe” because he does disagree with Obama.

    The problem in this case isn’t that Romney is inventing differences that don’t exist, but that the differences that Romney insists on having over Russia policy have put him in a ridiculous position of having to pretend that Russia is our preeminent foe. Much like that claim, the arguments for his preferred Russia policy have little or no merit. What really makes Romney look “like an idiot,” as Brooks says, is that he keeps repeating those arguments in spite of the fact that they have so little merit. Of course, he keeps repeating them because this is what Republican hawks say about Russia policy all the time, and he is echoing what they say.

    Rogin describes Romney’s characterization of the “reset” as an abject failure as a “far more defensible critique” than the “number one geopolitical foe” claim. I suppose a lot of things would be “far more defensible” than pure nonsense, but that isn’t saying much. Romney’s “abject failure” claim is defensible only if we pretend that Romney’s definition of failure is the opposite of the word’s normal meaning. The “reset” was not intended to eliminate all disagreements with Russia, it was never going to change Russia’s internal political and legal systems, and it wasn’t going to transform the Russian government’s understanding of Russian interests so that they always coincide with our interests.

    The policy sought cooperation on a limited number of issues where the U.S. and Russia have common interests, and on the whole it has been successful in securing some Russian cooperation on certain issues at very little cost to America, and it has generally contributed to reduced tensions and improved relations overall. In other words, it did almost exactly what it was supposed to do. Romney’s “abject failure” description of Russia policy is defensible in the same way that it would be defensible to denounce Bush’s largely successful India policy as a complete disaster because it didn’t compel India to hold a plebiscite in Kashmir (i.e., to do something that its government doesn’t want to do and would never do under foreign pressure). In other words, it isn’t defensible at all.


    Posted in foreign policy, politics. Tagged David Brooks, Josh Rogin, Mitt Romney, Russia.