In the Arena

New Column: Romney’s Foreign Policy Choice

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I have a new print column out today, about Mitt Romney’s foreign policy choice: will he be a realist in the manner of George H.W. Bush or a neoconservative idealist, in the manner of George W?

Speaking of which, and given the impending climax of the Iran nuclear negotiations, I think it’s very counterproductive–indeed, maddeningly stupid–for the U.N.’s Ban Ki Moon to travel to Iran next month for the Non-Aligned nations annual globaloney festival.

Normally, this wouldn’t matter. It’s nice that third world politicians can have a chance to travel to some lovely spot and trade corruption strategies, even though the “aligned” world–the US v USSR cold war feud–is 20 years gone. But the UN has imposed strict sanctions against Iran and the negotiating team that is attempting to move Iran toward compliance with the nuclear non-proliferation treaty is a UN team. This is one of those rarest of occasions, a moment when the UN might actually get something substantial done. This sort of relevance seems entirely alien to Ban. We need a united front right now to convince Iran that it is going to have to compromise here and Ban is doing the compromising by attending this stupid meeting.

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ChowT
ChowT

Foreign policies,  Cayman Island, Switzerland, Monaco, Bermuda or Virgin  Islands?

filmnoia
filmnoia

I suspect that one of the prez debates is going to be solely on foreign policy. Willard really doesn't have a leg to stand on. I'm sure Barack will tell the voters in no uncertain terms that Willard''s foreign policy team is studded with neo con losers from the last disastrous administration. Beyond that, and the fact that OBL was killed under Barack's watch, the debate should be bereft of content, unless Willard wants to reprise the old McCain ditty,  "bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, Iran."

fhmadvocat
fhmadvocat

I would over to see Willard debate foreign policy because, if anything, it is President Obama's strongest part of his presidency.  Even low information voters can understand that we got Bin Laden's under Obama's watch.  If anything, the right wing can not critcize what Obama has done, only what he has allegedly said.  I will probably watch the debate with some friends and suggest we take a drink each time Romney mentions Obama "apologizing" for America ( no matter how false the claim).  I don't know what Mitt can say, other than calling England a "small island which makes nothing the world wants" is not the best way to woo our best ally.

LiberalLies2012
LiberalLies2012

Say what Joe?  You should really watch this video.  Then come on back and let's talk foreign policy and who will be better at it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

ChowT
ChowT

You can watch yourself, thank you.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®©
ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®©

Says a willfully ignorant gooper who voted for Bush and Cheney both times.

Understand, rusty?  You have no standing.  Your only contribution to a foreign policy debate is to illustrate what not to do.

~

Amy Smith
Amy Smith

Bill Clinton helped sink his wife's chances for an endorsement from Ted Kennedy by belittling Barack Obama as nothing but a race-based candidate.

"A few years ago, this guy would have been getting us coffee," the former president told the liberal lion from Massachusetts, according to the gossipy new campaign book, "Game Change."

The book says Kennedy was deeply offended and recounted the conversation to friends with fury.

After Kennedy sided with Obama, Clinton reportedly griped, "the only reason you are endorsing him is because he's black. Let's just be clear."

Amy Smith
Amy Smith

Bill Clinton helped sink his wife's chances for an endorsement from Ted Kennedy by belittling Barack Obama as nothing but a race-based candidate.

"A few years ago, this guy would have been getting us coffee," the former president told the liberal lion from Massachusetts, according to the gossipy new campaign book, "Game Change."

The book says Kennedy was deeply offended and recounted the conversation to friends with fury.

After Kennedy sided with Obama, Clinton reportedly griped, "the only reason you are endorsing him is because he's black. Let's just be clear."

sacredh
sacredh

Kill em' all and let Haliburton sort em' out.

bobell
bobell

Why are you stealing Rusty's lines, sacred?

sacredh
sacredh

I've been out most of the morning. If rusty used that line, just shoot me now. Please.

sacredh
sacredh

bobell, I know and I think it's great. It's more than a little sad too, but when an entire political party loses it's collective mind, it's hard not to rejoice when they embrace idiocy.

bobell
bobell

Rusty never used it, sacred.  But it sounded so much like him I just gave him credit anyway.

Actually, almost anything sarcastic said around here (and there's lots of it) could be mistaken for something said literally by one of the righties.

Paul Dirks
Paul Dirks

The reality of today's world is doctrine-averse. Diplomacy and the use of force must be subtle, most often multilateral and attentive to the facts of a rapidly changing world rather than to some overweening ideology.

Of course, that sentence applies just as strongly to questions of economics.

MrObvious
MrObvious

We've witnessed Romney's smooth foreign policy chops. Short of rubbing a foreign leaders shoulders he'll work hard on ensuring GWB is not considered the worst foreign policy disaster of this great nation.

ChowT
ChowT

Mr. Leader, hahahahahahahahah

bobell
bobell

It'a mildly encouraging to see that Romney, at least, is showing signs of rationalty in foreign policy. Of course, being Romney, he ould well be lying, and he may yet flip-flop on his more moderate positions under pressure from the right. And it's not as if he has any foreign-policy experience on which to draw.  But for the moment, at least, he cannot be evaluated as a total disaster in foreign policy.

Ryan, on the other hand, seems to be a blank slate on which the noeconservatives are trying to write. Romney obviously wants us to pray for his continuing good health.

MrObvious
MrObvious

He'll fold like a cheap chinese made lawn chair.

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

I disagree.  The UN's actions against Iran are at the behest of the UN Security Council.  Ban doesn't have a vote nor any power of note.  Him going isn't a signal of a weakening of the UN's resolve (since the UN's resolve is really the Security Council's resolve) and nobody with serious understanding of foreign policy is going to mistake that.  So with no consequences of serious note, it is worth recognizing that Iran still is a member of the UN, it's hosting a meeting of a sizable block of UN states, and they're meeting under a similar concept to the fundamental idea behind the formation of the UN.

EDIT: The UN is supposed to be a neutral party. Boycotting an event is inherently non-neutral.