In the Arena

Romney on Foreign Policy

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A basic rule of thumb: Ignore foreign policy speeches by challengers in presidential elections. In most cases, they don’t know anything. They lack the detailed intelligence knowledge that a President has about a dicey situation like the civil war unfolding in Syria. Or they bend the truth in order to score points–Bill Clinton on China, John Kennedy on the “missile gap,” Richard Nixon on the possibilities of a negotiated peace in Vietnam, George W. Bush on the need for a “humble” foreign policy. Or they feature the thinking of ideologue advisers who tend to see the world as they want it to be rather than the way it is actually is. Mitt Romney’s speech today had all these flaws.

Romney’s overseas simplicities have been annoying from the start. His inclusion of congenitally bellicose and warmongering advisers–John Bolton shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near a keyboard, much less the situation room–has weakened his credibility. His constant misrepresentation of the President’s position on Israel, muted today, has been a skeevy theme. His insistence that we should always, always agree with Israel–repeated as “no daylight between us” today–is ridiculous and dangerous: Israel’s national security is not identical to ours; Israel’s positions on its illegal West Bank settlements works very much to our disadvantage in the region. His rhapsodic support for Iran’s Green Movement betrays a showbiz sensibility more than the realities on the ground. The Supreme Leader would have loved to make the contest in the streets a battle between the Islamic Republic and the Great Satan; he could have killed a lot more people with the rationale of treason if our President had become a cheerleader for the protesters. (Oh, and by the way, the Green Movement leaders are every bit as hard line as Khamenei on Iran’s nuclear program, and harder line, if you can believe it, than Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. These things are complicated!) By the way, I still don’t know what Romney’s actual policy differences are from Obama on any other these things. That he’d have a coherent, one-size-fits-all strategy? Uh-oh.

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So it was a speech to be taken with several grains of fault. But I must say: Romney delivered it well. He’s really found his voice and his style. The attacks on Barack Obama were measured, more in sadness than in anger and, delivered that way, they seemed more plausible even when they were hogwash. Indeed, this may have been an early indication that Romney’s debate performance can be carried forward into a successful, perhaps winning, candidacy. This race is, officially, joined. From here on out, every day is huge for both candidates.

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Ven Konuru
Ven Konuru

You did it again Joe! "They lack the detailed intelligence knowledge that a President has"?? Did you preach Obama the same thing when he suggested closing Gitmo when he was running for the President? Please stop writing and form a cheerleading squad for Obama! 

ohcomeonPA
ohcomeonPA

"But I must say: Romney delivered it well. He’s really found his voice and his style. The attacks on Barack Obama were measured, more in sadness than in anger and, delivered that way, they seemed more plausible even when they were hogwash. Indeed, this may have been an early indication that Romney’s debate performance can be carried forward into a successful, perhaps winning, candidacy."

And you say that like it's a good thing.  Style over substance - campaigning with the stars!  It'd be funny if it weren't so important. 

herrer
herrer

His foreign policy is no different than what the president is doing.  Obama since taking office has done the same policies as GBush.  As far as Iran well he already has sent ships to Iran just in case and has had sanctions in place.  So what more can you actually do.  You put more sanctions then what they are already impacting the country as it is.  Joe also brought out a good point that the opposition party in Iran is much more hard core than the current government in place and this is a very complex issue than just saying I am going to be tough. 

lurch3
lurch3

There is no way Romney should be in charge of our nuclear arsenal. Like Obama said, Romney is a shoot from the hip kind of person. Look at his disastrous "foreign tour" he made. He had headlines across the globe, calling him Nitt Witt Mitt. He was a bumbling idiot. He made George W seem like a genius.

If this idiot is elected, we will be mired into more wars. Where the rich all make big bucks with their Halliburton like contracts. A deep depression, after finally crawling out of the last GOP mess, and more dead soldiers.

I'm sick of it all.

Yeshuratnam
Yeshuratnam

Liberal

media columnists and Team Obama are misleading American people by saying that

Romney, like Bush, will drag the country into a war. Democratic presidents were

responsible for major wars -- Roosevelt in WW II, Truman in Korean War, Kennedy

and Johnson in Vietnam War and Clinton in Serbian War. Bush was forced to

retaliate for the terrorist 9/11 attacks. Romney is not interested in any war.

In Syria he does not want America’s direct intervention. His idea is to help

Turkey and the rebels. His plan to strengthen the military is to have a strong

America at a time when Putin, Ahmadenejad, Hu Jintao are upgrading their

weapons and equipment. . Putin said recently that Russia must have a powerful army to counter the foreign

powers’ efforts in creating tension near Russian borders.   Last June, a number of Russian strategic

nuclear bombers conducted a training operation in the Arctic without notifying the U.S. The

following month, a Bear H Strategic bomber actually entered into U.S. airspace

off of California, prompting U.S. jet interceptors to scramble to meet the

bomber and force it to turn back. 

Then in August, there were reports that a Russian Akula-class attack

submarine armed with missiles had patrolled undetected for a month in the Gulf

of Mexico. According to various sources, the submarine had gotten near

the U.S. Navy’s Atlantic submarine fleet based at Naval Submarine Base Kings

Bay on the coast of southern Georgia. Iraqi Prime Minister

Nuri al- Maliki made a statement that his country would strengthen military and

energy ties with Russia.  Putin met the Chinese leaders and assured them that   Russia

would cement its military alliance with China, including an increase in joint

exercises in the Asia-Pacific.  Romney,

unlike Obama, has correctly understood the geopolitical situation today and has

recommended a strong military as a standby and not for a war.

 

Sue_N.
Sue_N.

I'll admit, I didn't watch, listen to or read Willard's foreign policy speech; why bother – I remember the Bush years, and he's got the same guys whispering in his ear. Also, he knows jack-all about anything.

What bothers me, though, is his apparent bellicosity toward Russia. Seriously, what are his intentions there? Is he looking to launch Cold War II, The Sequel? The man seems to have a serious burr up his butt about Russia, has even called Russia an "existential threat" to the US (really?), and I want to know why, and what he would do with/about/to Russia as president.

How many wars are enough for us?

askerman
askerman

 Sue didn't need to watch.  She gets her "news" from PMSNBC during her time of the month.

Sue_N.
Sue_N.

Aw, how very sexist of you.

Ladies and gentlemen, your GOP.

Ivy_B
Ivy_B

Sue, I posted this link about Mitt's foreign policy speech in Michael's post about fact checking. If you didn't see it there, you might be interested.

http://www.newsworks.org/index...

Sue_N.
Sue_N.

Thanks, Ivy. I was right – I have heard it all before.

Terry Clifton
Terry Clifton

Well then if you're curious I would suggest that you listen to what he has to say; even though it seems to me that you already have your mind made up.

I will agree we have had enough war for 100 lifetimes.

Yeshuratnam
Yeshuratnam

Liberal media columnists and Team Obama are misleading American people by saying that Romney, like Bush, will drag the country into a war. Democratic presidents were responsible for major wars -- Roosevelt in WW II, Truman in Korean War, Kennedy and Johnson in Vietnam War. Bush was forced to retaliate for the terrorist 9/11 attacks. Romney is not interested in any war. In Syria he does not want America’s direct intervention. His idea is to help Turkey and rebels. His plan to strengthen the military is to have a strong America at a time when Putin, Ahmadenejad, Hu Jintao are upgrading their weapons and equipment. . Putin said, Russia must have a powerful army to counter the foreign powers’ efforts in creating tension near Russian borders.  Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al- Maliki said

that his country would strengthen military and energy ties with Russia.  Putin met the Chinese leaders and said   Russia

will cement its military alliance with China, including an increase in joint

exercises in the Asia-Pacific.  Romney, unlike Obama, has correctly understood the geopolitical situation today and has recommended a strong military as a standby and not for a war.

herrer
herrer

Americans at the time did agree with the war of Afghanastan but did not like the fact that Bush did a second war with Iraq without any credible evidence of WMD.   Not to mention what Reagan got the US involve during the cold war.  You forgot that Bush Senior initiated the gulf war.  I question the whole Syria thing because we don't know the rebels or who is in charge and weapons are being sent supposudely by Saudi Arabia. Reagan sent weapons to Afghanastan to beat the Russians and than that group of rebels turned their guns to America.  There are ways to make a strong military but not by getting involve in every conflict in the middle east.  The middle east is just too complex to deal and quite frankly I am tired of NATO who is basically the US doing all the work while the so call allies hardly lift a finger to help in these conflicts. 

superlogi
superlogi

You forgot Woody Wilson in WWI and Bill Clinton in Desert Fox and the Balkans.

What I'd like to know, Joe, is what Barry's foreign policy claim to fame is before chastising the other guy's questioning it.  After all, it's apparent Barry isn't very proud of it either, or he'd be telling people the truth about it.

Dan5404
Dan5404

Romney is all talk and no substance.  His ignorance on foreign policy is bottomless, so he tries to cover it with bombastic generalizations about military might and "shaping" events in the Middle East.   Sounds more like a new colonialization through wars effort.   A very clever way to convince other countries about the true intentions of the freedom we try to give them from tyranny.  He is ignorantly simplistic, playing to the right-wingers that hijacked the GOP.

bebo
bebo

What are you plans after the election Joe?  Looks like you'll squirm until then.

Terry Clifton
Terry Clifton

Here's the deal, if you call borrowing money from China or whoever to give to The Muslim Brotherhood sound foreign policy, then you should expect to get your just desserts. They are and will forever be a terrorist organization, much like Hama's, even though the liberal media, and European Apologists now consider them a "political party", which is much like calling the Klu Klux Klan a garden club.  The Muslim Brotherhood is already accepting assistance from Iran, and that always comes with a price. I know there are plenty of Anti-Semitic haters on this blog, and I'm sure nothing will please them more than to see the destruction of Israel, which leads me to think they're more in line with the Klan, than anything else. When I hear or read that the Israeli Prime Minister call for the destruction of Iran and other Middle Eastern Countries, then I might look to change my mind, but until then I'm standing firm in my belief's that they are some who root for the terrorist than the Israelis. Also, when we have a president who thinks he can buy loyalty/friendship,  much in the way those before him did, then we are doomed to fail.  We should let Israel do what's it's going to do, as it's a sovereign nation. Why is it that we have a right to defend ourselves against enemies foreign and domestic, but they have to get our permission to fart in the wind? 

We currently have a president who's reckless attitude towards International Law and callous disregard for basic human rights is very troubling to those like me who value liberty, freedom, and being able to live without the fear of a drone strike killing me and my family, just like the scores of innocent men, women, and children have died because we are fighting the same useless war that got us into this mess in the first place. Now, I would never expect Mr. Klein to condemn Mr. Obama's unlawful actions, one must have character and when you're a professional kool-aid server, your credibility is utterly worthless. It takes someone who has no master, and who' not driven by clinical narcissism to speak out against such actions as to stand against the loss of innocent life. There is no justice without it, nor will the bloodletting ever end, and Libya 9/11/2012 is just the sad continuation of  9/11/2001. There's not enough money, food, aid, or propaganda that's going to shift the balance between terrorism and freedom. That's a lesson we should have learned a decade ago.Sadly we haven't yet. I doubt we ever..

Until we take a much closer look at Ron Paul's ideas for a foreign policy, we will be fighting and our sons and daughters will do the dying for a failed ideology that we can make people like us because we promote Democracy, and the dying part will never end.  Romney may be no better than Obama, but what I have read and witnessed, Obama's short on results, and I don't see that changing anytime soon, or at least until the money runs out..

I have 2 amazing sons, they are bright and full of life, but since the day they have been born, we have been at war. My oldest is 22, and he was born during Operation Desert Storm, and my youngest came a couple years later. Think about it, for the last 22 years we have been engaged in war and occupation, and for what? Nation building? Democracy? Do you think the Afghan People deserve freedom, and at what cost? Don't they have a choice? I tell you this, neither Obama, Romney, or anyone else can have the lives of my sons for the freedom of anyone, except their own.

The world views us as occupiers because we are exactly that. Our military is in over 65 countries, propping up their economies, and keeping them safe again, from who again?  If we promoted trade between ourselves and the rest of the world, like we do democracy and occupation, then we could have our streets paved in gold and silver, or at the pot holes would be paved over.

herrer
herrer

Though I disagree with Ron Paul on certain things I do agree with him in terms of  foreign policy which is not to get involve in every conflict.  When GBush got the people of Gaza to have free elections they eneded up voting for an extreme group the same thing can be said about Egypt.  The middle east is just a complex situation that does not seem to end.  The US needs to play more a diplomatic role rather than to deal with all these conlficts through military action.  The once thing that upsets me about Romney is the fact that he wants to spend more on the military rather than to cut the military which is not what I consider a "" fiscal conservative becasue you need to include military spending.  Obama has taken a hard right when it comes to foreign policy and he

also expanded on the military so Romeny's polcies is no different and is going to get us into depper problems. 

shimmanni
shimmanni

Simplicity and style are two good terms that can buttress personal, social, as well as national aspects of activities. The two behavioral elements of essential human attributes should have to be supported by the one and intrinsic factor--power. Simplicity and style without power is a mere slogan, or a hollow attempt, which should incur derision and contemp from without. We the people outside of the U.S. territory hope with unchanging and eternal heart the great country of the United States of America will maintain its power as the guardian of the world peace.

Yeshuratnam
Yeshuratnam

CORRECTION

Clinton interfered in Serbia, not Siberia

Terry Clifton
Terry Clifton

 Actually Clinton dropped bombs on them for 40 straight days. The cleanup of Spent Uranium will take decades, and all for a  oil pipe line.

bobell
bobell

Okay, so you know the difference. Does Romney?

konservative1
konservative1

" what prevents him from arming and

aiding Turkey and the rebels?"

.

.

First of all Turkey has not asked for any aid from us or any other nation. 

.

.

Second, if our President had sent arms to the rebels we would hear screams of protest from you right wingers!   There would be accusations galore about getting us into another war.  You know it's true.

Yeshuratnam
Yeshuratnam

Romney's foreign policy will increase the prestige of America. Obama is a novice in foreign policy. Clinton interfered in Siberia despite

opposition by China and Russia. Cmeron and Sarkozy intervened on time in Libya

and saved thousands of innocent lives. But Obama is benumbed by the opposition

by Moscow and Beijing and has become a mute witness to the bloodbath in Syria.

Who will remain passive when cities are bombed killing hundreds of civilians?

If Obama does not have the guts to intervene, what prevents him from arming and

aiding Turkey and the rebels? Hasty withdrawal from Iraq is another political

blunder of Obama. When the British left India, they divided the country and

created Pakistan for Muslims. Obama did not have the political wisdom to

partition Iraq between Shias and Sunnis. That’s the reason for the daily bomb

blasts and suicide attacks. Iraqi Vice President has been sentenced to death in

absentia and Iraq has become the thoroughfare to transport Iranian arms to

Syria and terrorists in Palestine. Taking advantage of Obama’s impotence

Ahmadinejad has sent Iranian troops into Syria and Putin dispatched Russian

navy into the Gulf. In the Middle East there is total chaos and the murder of

the Ambassador at Benghazi is a national humiliation. Obama is totally

indifferent to these combustible events. But he is very punctual in giving several

billions of dollars  to Jihadist Muslim

Brotherhood regime in Egypt.  Another

term for Obama will be disastrous for America and the world.

Dan5404
Dan5404

Whose budget and whose armies do you plan on using to militarize and conquer the Middle East while you give heavy weapons to Al-Queda elements of the Syrian rebel army?   No thanks to you war mongerers that are willing to send us into a depression, worldwide condemnation and the deaths of thousands while you will sit on the sidelines and watch.  Spare us your senseless right-wing propaganda.

ProfessorPolecat
ProfessorPolecat

We need to stop invading other countries. PERIOD. You jackhole republicans are a bunch of warmongering idiots.

SAJ2995
SAJ2995

Like Libya?  Like Sudan?  Like Pakistan?

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

 Okay I'll bite.. Which of those three countries do we have boots on the ground in? And before you say Pakistan that was a quick raid to get a terrorist that the previous administration and Romney would have let continue coordinating attacks against the US.

greatsouthernland56
greatsouthernland56

It may or may not help you Americans to know that the vast majority of the rest of the western world supports Obama and cannot fathom why anyone in their right mind would vote for Romney. 

It beggars belief that about half of Americans are going to vote for someone who has nothing to offer except inane  'I want to regain the soul of America nonsense'. 

We find it terrifying that you would even give this guy a second thought. The childish nonsense on the economy, foreign affairs, the environment ,business and everything else is just plane mad.USA is in trouble and you need big structural change. The world of the past 20th century is gone and will never return. To think that anyone could fix up this mess in 4 years especially with a Congress doing everything in its power to prevent that happening just shows that many in your Great country just don't realise what the GOP did to you in bringing on the GFC.And on 'Obamacare' we in Australia and just about every other western country have had viable health care systems in place years and laugh at the socialist conspiracy theories you roll out when attacking it. Be thankful you have Obama and please for the sake of all of us, vote to put him back in office.

bebo
bebo

It's better to vote for the socialist who sends congratulations to Hugo Chavez in Venezuela on his election  A president who defends "Sesame Street" after a major debate failure before 16 million people.  Let's all protect and defend Obama.  Nothing is his fault.  

herrer
herrer

While I agree with you on the big bird thing you do know that we get some of our oil from that socialist and for business sake I don't see Romney rejecting to do business with Chavez cause as they say money talks.

ProfessorPolecat
ProfessorPolecat

Aussies understand. Like I've pointed out a dozen times. Obama is popular in the world because he doesn't believe it's America's job to police the world without adequate reason. Bush's wars in contrast show Republican lust for war and making profits for military outfitters like Blackwater (Xii) and Halliburton.

Honest Voter
Honest Voter

It's a serious superiority complex.  The Roman Empire fell for a reason, one of those being serious expansionism and economic collapse.

The fact that upwards of 40% of America is willing to vote for the same policies that we saw ruin us over 8 years with Bush is simply amazing.  Obama didn't create this mess and in fact, he has  been fixing it for four years, which isn't nearly enough time to fix 8 years of crap.  This isn't about partisanship, it's citizenship.  

73yearoldVet
73yearoldVet

Joe,

 

Obama's attempted cover up of the truth in Libya is going to destroy his advantage over Romney on foreign affairs.

 

If you were even a little bit honest you would admit the truth.

formerlyjamesm
formerlyjamesm

There was no cover up.  I agree with Mr. Klein that we don't know what the intelligence is, and neither do you.  I don't need the intelligence to know what sensible foreign policy is and what it is not.  Gov. Romney's is what it is not.

Any other conspiracy theories you wish to share?

73yearoldVet
73yearoldVet

former amp; polecat,

"There was no cover up"

Ha, ha, ha, ha, A sucker is born every day.

No cover up? You are blind and an ideologue.

Polecat. Liberals don't fit well in a democracy. They cannot understand the difference between the right to disagree about policies and hate.

I do not hate Barack Obama but I do hate his policies and what he is doing to our great country. Now go back to your worshipping at the altar of Obama.

ProfessorPolecat
ProfessorPolecat

Truth is his job is to keep his mouth shut on ongoing issues of national security. If you had any clue as to what the commander and chief's job was you would know that. But I don't expect you to admit that. Too busy hating Obama to do that.

ahandout
ahandout

 As you recall, the Obama administration couldn't wait to put out multiple phony stories about the assassination of OBL, then there was the complete lack of security for our ambassador. 

boonteetan
boonteetan

Romney said, “America must once again lead the free world.” Yes, you can do that only if it is done in a peaceful and non-intrusive way. 

Marshall said, “The only way you can win a war is to prevent it.” Please remember.  (mtd1943)

Danyz
Danyz

Bolton, yeah, right on - a dangerous wingnut for sure, but one that our well tailored Mitt had a pleasant chat with recently. If you're wondering why Mitt's foreign policy sounds vague at this point, well just think: would you book a cruise on the USS Smooth Sailin' Economy (Mitt's best smoothie lines here) if you knew it was being outfitted with sea to sea and sea to land cruise missiles? ( A real Bolton innovation!)  

Mike P
Mike P

if the cultist is elected, and he starts a war, hopefully his five boys will join the Marines and fight for the US...but i doubt it. They would probably run off to France like their pathetic,cowardly father did during the Vietnam war

Dan Bruce
Dan Bruce

Vote for another war or two ... Romney 2012! ... and get out of the way as the Romney boys rush to sign up for combat. Personally, I can't wait until they trot Condi Rice out to rattle  few mushroom clouds! Now that's a good show, full of intrigue with just a dash of terror thrown in for flavor!

tdinct
tdinct

Well Joe I feel so much better.  I mean so what if he intends to recreate the Bush foreign policy.  So what if his policy regarding Israel is harmful.  So what if he will likely get us into a major conflict with Iran not too long after taking office.  What matters is that he gave a great performance.  What matters is that he found his voice.  What is sad, indeed pathetic, is that there are voters who will give that greater consideration then what this guy actually said (and didn't say)

Gary Downing
Gary Downing

One thing for sure, we had two wars because of the Republicans and everyone was given facts to scare them into believing it was the right thing to do. What ever..one was for revenge before Bush left office, because Saddam tried to kill Daddy Bush.

If Romney gets into the White House we will be in another war and that one would be because of total STUPIDITY.

ProfessorPolecat
ProfessorPolecat

Republican voters think that invading a new country every few years is what constitutes good foreign policy. LOL!

filmnoia
filmnoia

One caveat, invading a country as long as the people are non white or non Christian.

Geonew
Geonew

War without end.  The ballooning deficit will destroy the Middle Class and swallow up all those pro-Middle Class programs like Medicare and public education.

formerlyjamesm
formerlyjamesm

Nothing like a war to bring us together and boost our spirits.  Not to mention the boardrooms of Haliburton. Bomb Iran into the stone age.  Us as well.  Vote Republican.  

filmnoia
filmnoia

Well, look at it this way, it will give a lot of people a chance to raise their index finder like a college football crowd and say

"we're number 1" followed up by chants of "USA, USA."

Sue_N.
Sue_N.

The sale of foam fingers will skyrocket. Job creation – accomplished!