Romney’s Not-So-“Major” Foreign Policy Address Casts Obama as Weak

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JIM WATSON / AFP / Getty Images

Cadets applaud Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney after he delivered a foreign policy speech at the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, V.a, on Oct. 8, 2012.

Mitt Romney delivered a “major” speech on foreign policy on Monday, although that designation of import comes from Romney’s own campaign, and hardly seems warranted. Romney added little to his previous positions–most of them fairly similar to President Obama’s, and spelled out as recently as late July (that one was also a “major” address)–on trouble spots like Afghanistan, Israel, Syria and Iran. What’s new here is the frame. This was Romney’s most explicit effort yet to link the recent anti-American protests in the Arab world–and the murder of the U.S. Ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, in Benghazi–to his thesis that Obama has allowed America to appear dangerously weak to the outside world. Here’s the crux:

The attacks against us in Libya were not an isolated incident. They were accompanied by anti-American riots in nearly two dozen other countries, mostly in the Middle East, but also in Africa and Asia. Our embassies have been attacked. Our flag has been burned. Many of our citizens have been threatened and driven from their overseas homes by vicious mobs shouting “Death to America.” These mobs hoisted the black banner of Islamic extremism over American embassies on the anniversary of 9/11.

As the dust settles, as the murdered are buried, Americans are asking how this happened, how the threats we face have grown worse and what this calls on America to do. These are the right questions, and I’ve come here today to offer a larger perspective on these tragic recent events and to share with you and to share with all Americans my vision for a freer, more prosperous and more peaceful world.

Romney’s chief complaint is that Obama has failed to “lead,” and has provided unreliable support to our “allies,” though by “allies” he really just seems to mean Israel. In tangible terms, Romney’s idea of providing more leadership mainly seems to consists of spending more on defense. “I’ll roll back President Obama’s deep and arbitrary cuts to our national defense that would devastate our military,” Romney said. It’s unclear whether Romney is referring here to the automatic Pentagon spending cuts that are part of last year’s budget sequestration deal between Obama and Congress, which certainly would cut deep if enacted (though they probably won’t be), or the more modest reductions Obama has been implementing over the past few years with the support of, among others, former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, no left-winger he. If it’s the former, blaming Obama alone, without mentioning Congress, is highly unfair. If it’s the latter, calling the cuts “deep and arbitrary” and devastating to the military is a real stretch.

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As for leadership, it’s a complicated question. There’s probably a case to be made that Obama has made errors in his management of the Arab Spring, particularly when it comes to personal diplomacy in the Middle East. But that’s not Romney’s case, which seems based on rhetorical swagger and affirmations of American greatness and determination. His specific prescriptions for dealing with the Arab world seem limited to providing more support (though not actually direct military action) for Syrian rebels “who share our values” and conditioning American aid  to Egypt. But for all his talk of leadership, Romney skips over many of the toughest questions, like dealing with nuclear-armed Pakistan (mentioned once in passing today) and what a post-2014 Afghanistan should look like once U.S.-led combat operations are over.

Ultimately, then, this is a political speech. Just as Romney’s last light-on-specifics national security address came off primarily as an effort to make headlines about national security leaks, this one mostly seems like a renewed effort to hang the recent anti-American unrest and violence in the Arab world around the president’s neck. It may well be an effective political attack, but there’s nothing very “major” about it.

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gid4you
gid4you

America Wake up!As an Asian American, who lived here for 25 years, never saw this much mainstream media deception going on ganged with obama. Worse, most of the Americans were brainwashed and blinded being victims of division and hatred by him and minorities. No matter what are your beliefs ( gay, abortionist, anti-conservative whatever), can't you see who is bad, flaky person or who is respectable person?
Don't you see that a leader of this great nation should have to have some decent quality as a president?
You voted someone who is notoriously dishonest with no experience based on only his sweet talking talent skill as your president. So you have what you deserve: worse economy, loosing more individual freedom, weaker standing internationally than last 4 years ago. This guy's tactics are always avoid straight, honest answers, but speaking flattery confusing word to ears, but if you listen to him carefully, he has no clear points or plans at all .On the top of it, he says I saved you from the worst depression. How? and where is the empirical ( scientific datas, evidence)? Always attack other side calling names and tricks, didn't meet any cabinet members for two and half years of his presidency, but only works with secretly elected, unconstitutional czars? Playing golf more than 100 times for last 4years, spending more than $360,000 per average daily vacation cost? If some car sales person seduced you with sweet talk, will you believe everything he says and buy whatever he asks? or see the reality and logically reason consequences before jump into his proposal? If you still don't see whom you voted effected this country so bad , but only busy fighting for Republican and Democrats, you deserved to suffer another 4years. Because you are "STUPID"
You have to develop your own judgement, not swayed by mainstream media says, or government says. Mainstream media is gone more than 5 years ago, and act like the communist medias: They only report what government order. By the way before you vote for this guy, from now on, check all the magazines, and TV stations, and listen to whenever every media say about something in one voice. then one or two others say something different than the rest, listen both and research and try to figure out what is their hidden intentions and motivation. Weight carefully each other. That's what smart people do. If anyone carefully do that, sooner or later they will start to see who is lying and who is truthful or neutral. As an example, CNN, FOX, MSNBC always watch all three and compare how they report about any same incident. Then you will start to see who are more neutral and who are more indoctrinated.
I was shocked how Americans were turned out to be stupid 4 years ago!.I love this nation and from bottom of my heart I wish the best for next four years. By the way, communist always say they share equally? look at the history carefully. Usually poor, radical people deceive people to turn into communist killing educated, riches _( Soviet killed 80million. Chinese killed 90 million), then only the few party members have wealth and power , The rest have no freedom of speech, wealth,religion, but living in dirt poor, worse than before. They never share equally America!. It's just shift of power form have to have-not, but to the few party members only. America Wake! Learn the history, don't be deceived. Socialist's philosophy are same as communist. Coran teaches" If infidels ( Christians and Jews) refuse to be a islam, kill them and deceive them with lies as tactics. If you don't believe me, read Coran-English. Communist and Islams' common tacts: Lies to the enemy!. America Wake up!by the way do you know we can't post in the internet without revealing who we are? where is the freedom? what happened to the constitutional rights for individual privacy?Several liberal bosses are controlling the whole media opinions, that why every media say the same thing except just few. Do you know mr O systematically hires net bloggers & using Facebook & twitters to control public opinion? Who will open their eyes and wake up before too late? my comments are disappearing from the most web site. How about yours? website dealing "Bengazy: bengjazi, bengazi attack...." all related websites are disappearing from this afternoon.Also mainstream media drops my comments.

retired_sandman
retired_sandman

Obama needs to come clean on the Benghazi cover-up.  That needs to happen before any discussion of "foreign policy".

ProfessorPolecat
ProfessorPolecat

There is no cover up. You watch too much Fox News. Just another conspiracy theorist who is blind with hate for Obama.

lurch3
lurch3

Romney is a clown, a dangerous clown, but still a clown.  He has a short temper, and is used to people following his orders.  He will start World War 3 if he's elected. Won't send his kids to die, but he will send yours. Extremely frighting thinking of Romney being in charge of our nuclear arsenal.

Mike Anderson
Mike Anderson

Obomination is weak...Any islamic country that gets out of li we should promptly BITCH slap like we have done t other countries that get out of line. Muslics will NEVER efriend the US...EVER.Th sooner we give those pedophile, gay killing women beating muslims a free ride to hell, and shove a missle up mohaummeds ASS the quicker they will run for the cave like cockroaches and mind their own business!

73yearoldVet
73yearoldVet

"Romney’s Not-So-”Major” Foreign Policy Address Casts Obama as Weak"

Michael, does the truth hurt? Obama is weak on foriegn policy and domestic policy and on real world experience.

Weakest president of all times. Most inept, incompetent and inexperienced person to ever hold the office of president.

November 6, 2012 Bye, bye Obama.

ProfessorPolecat
ProfessorPolecat

So far he's kept good relations with several countries. He has the highest foreign approval OF ANY SITTING PRESIDENT EVER. (was that loud enough for your hearing aide?) We have not been involved in invading another sovereign nation since he took office. He ended the war in Iraq. He found and authorized the killing of America's greatest enemy.

NOW what were saying about foreign policy?

73yearoldVet
73yearoldVet

Michael, does the truth hurt? Obama is weak on foriegn policy and domestic policy and on real world experience.

Weakest president of all times. Most inept, incompetent and inexperienced person to ever hold the office of president.

November 6, 2012 Bye, bye Obama.

Polecat, You worship at the altar of Obama. You are blind to reality.

ProfessorPolecat
ProfessorPolecat

So far you haven't placed a single fact here that holds true. You just shoot your mouth off about how horrible his foreign policy is without ever giving anyone any reason to actually think so. More blind hate from the old racist people that are now the new minority.

retired_sandman
retired_sandman

The man is a disaster.  I can sort of excuse the american people for putting the man in the oval office once.  It took a little digging to turn up his endorsements  by Hamas and Communist Party USA back in 2008.  It took a bit more to turn up his record in the Illinois and US Senates which ran counter to western civilization when he wasn't just voting "present".  I wouldn't expect the average american to be smart enough or engaged enough to do that.

But putting a man with his record back in for a second run is like the tianic with a hole in its hull amp; taking on water, backing up to hit the iceberg a second time. It just defies belief.

retired_sandman
retired_sandman

Bottom Line:

Media is in a panic because their beloved dear leader is going down.

The so biased by-line as to fail the laugh-test at the top of this article is the proof.

Failed presidency.

That's all.

Alan MacDonald
Alan MacDonald

Both 'auditioners' for office have the same policy: EMPIRE, for both foreign and domestic policy --- more EMPIRE.

Best luck and love to the fast expanding 'Occupy Empire' educational and revolutionary movement against this deceitful, guileful, disguised EMPIRE, which doesn't wear Red Coats, Red Stars, nor funny looking Nazi helmets.

Liberty, democracy, justice, and equality

Over

Violent/Vichy II

Empire,

Alan MacDonald

Sanford, Maine

Valerie Anne Green
Valerie Anne Green

we already suffered thru the neocon swagger and Obama's escapades have been daring and successful.

Romney should just sod off.

retired_sandman
retired_sandman

Daring amp; successful.

Our ambassador to libya tortured to death, sodomized, and his dead body dragged through the streets of Benghazi.

http://www.examiner.com/articl...

http://themuslimissue.wordpres...

http://blog.alexanderhiggins.c...

http://www.westernjournalism.c...

http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad...

Yeah, that's daring amp; successful alright. Sod? That's what they did to our ambassador.

lurch3
lurch3

 Do you not remember Bush???? The beheadings? The dragging bodies in the streets?  There were 15 attacks to Consulate compounds during Bushes regime.

ProfessorPolecat
ProfessorPolecat

More dumb lies. That's all moron republicans know how to do. Look at Romney's debate. 3/4ths lies.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

 Stop with the tortured and sodomized to death lie. It's offensive in the extreme and even Fox News won't give it credence.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

 This is a complete lie. The only thing tortured and sodomized was your mind listening to Rush Limbaugh.

formerlyjamesm
formerlyjamesm

Osama,  have any words about weak?  Being dead, between screwing virgins, you must channel to Republican believers. Please get back to us before November 6. After that, it won't matter. President Obama will be continuing a rational foreign policy, or President Romney will begin to wage war with Russia.

retired_sandman
retired_sandman

Ambassador to libya sodomized amp; tortured to death before his body dragged through the streets.

Egyptian intelligence knew about this attack one week in advance.

Our dear leader in Las Vegas at a fundraiser a day after this happened.

Our ambassador to the UN on public tv 5 days later (multiple shows) with the ridiculous, but politically palatable statement the attack was incited by a youtube video.

One week later, president's spokesman on tv saying it was "obviously" a terrorist attack.

Some foreign policy.

Enuf said.

formerlyjamesm
formerlyjamesm

What are you saying?  That our President and his administration and our government were complicit?

Yes, enuf said.

ProfessorPolecat
ProfessorPolecat

You ignore everything he has done because you hate him. You hated him before he took office and I'm sure you'll hate him long after. You watch too much Fox News.

73yearoldVet
73yearoldVet

Polecat,

Calling people out as haters and racist is the dishonest work of liberals who would support Obama no matter how incomptent he is.

I guess facts and truth are too much for you.

lurch3
lurch3

 Romney is an idiot. He may know how to get rich by loading a company up with debt, pay himself millions off the top, seizing pensions, which taxpayers have to  cover. Gut the company, fire Americans, outsource jobs to China or some third world county. 

But he knows nothing about foreign policies. On his "tour" he took he was headlines in their newspapers, calling him a nitwit Mitt. He doesn't think things though, he flies off the handle to fast.

There is NO way this man is ready or even capable of being in control of the US military and our nuclear arsenal.  We'd be in a constant state of war or near war which would make our current times look like heaven on earth.

retired_sandman
retired_sandman

There is no way Obummer has been in control of anything.

Weakest recovery in US history.  93 cents added to GDP for every buck added to the national debt in his porkulus and he wants more porkulus.

More added to the national debt in 4 years than in 8 under "W".

Our ambassador to Libya tortured amp; sodomized to death before his dead body was dragged through the streets of Benghazi.  Egyptian intelligence knew our consulate was to be hit a week before it happened.

And you want more of that?!

ProfessorPolecat
ProfessorPolecat

Words like "Obummer" and "libitard" show how uneducated and ignorant Republicans are.

chowching
chowching

 

It would be wishful thinking to expect Romney to become the “great

crusader” he lives in comfort and is not concerned with occasional suicide

bombings. The final crusade will be led by a Mongol more ferocious than Genghis

khan. When the smoke clears an Atheist empire will be born.

rokinsteve
rokinsteve

Syrian rebels share our values?  Are there american rebels battling the U.S.

military on city streets?  Romney is smoking crayons again.

rokinsteve
rokinsteve

Gee, Israel is our only ally?  I didn't know that?  And what do they do for us? 

kms123
kms123

Well, Romney did not say what he would different from Obama on foreign policy. Just as he has not given any details of how he would fix anything else. Before Obama, we had 8 years of Bush, a Repbulican. What was his record during that period?

porkbellies37
porkbellies37

From what I understand, if one wanted to blame the Obama Administration for the attack on the Libya embassy, they could do so but it would be an admission that the administration took out Al Qaeda's #2 which this was reportedly a response to.

Regarding "hope is not a strategy", does anyone else find it precious that in the famous "47 percent" video he actually said there was nothing he could do about peace between Israel and the Palestinians and all you could do was "hope" there would be some resolution?

retired_sandman
retired_sandman

You don't understand very much.

Egyptian intelligence knew about the benghazi attack a week before it happened.

And then we have Obama missing national security briefings before the attack. Afterwards... 100% attendance.

Then there's the ambassador to the UN going on national media amp; lying that the genesis of the attack was a response to a youtube video.

You choose to defend "the amateur", you show you know nothing.

ProfessorPolecat
ProfessorPolecat

Republicans are racist dirtbags that deserve to be over populated by latinos and blacks. I enjoy your decent into history. The history books will take note at the teabaggers and republican racists were overrun by the melting pot. You already are a slave. A slave to your ignorant misconceptions about other races and religions. In America the melting pot wins. And jackholes like you lose.

ProfessorPolecat
ProfessorPolecat

Actually it's his job to not go shooting off at the mouth about ongoing issues of national security. Now you go back to watching fox news and pretending that all of America is white and christian.

retired_sandman
retired_sandman

Now THERE'S an intelligent comment.

"Obama screwed up his four years in office and the debate because of George Bush AND you're a racist".

Smart.  Really smart.

porkbellies37
porkbellies37

Why was the embassy attacked?   Did it have nothing to do with our taking out Sheikh Abu Yahya?  And if it did, you have to ask yourself, do we stop going after AQ leadership because they may retaliate?

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/201...

http://articles.cnn.com/2012-0...

There may be an honest debate to be had on what we should do... but first you have to recognize the FACT that the Obama Administration has been aggressively and effectively decimating AQ.  But I guess you're entitled to your fantasy.

ProfessorPolecat
ProfessorPolecat

Don't bother. This guy's head was in the sand long before this.

retired_sandman
retired_sandman

One more time.  Our embassy was attacked because the leader of the free world either didn't know what egyptian intelligence knew or didn't do anything about it.  Then for a week and a half afterwards, said administration kept on repeating an incorrect, but politically expedient narrative the attack was inspired by a youtube video.

You defend "the amateur" you just come off looking like an idiot.

Shawn T. Perry
Shawn T. Perry

Sorry folks, Obama and Romney will not save America. It's not a case of one of the other. It's a case of neither. If you want real change, stop voting for Democrats and Republicans...

retired_sandman
retired_sandman

Media in a panic that dear leader may actually lose.  Hence this piece of garbage being passed off as "news".

FreedomYes
FreedomYes

Nice title, it shows how objective the writer is right out of the gate. I guess it's hard to do hatchet jobs without the hatchet though, the cost of doing business.

What seems to have escaped the guy who wrote this tp alternative is that Obama has in fact failed to lead the nation and simply does not have a plan for dealing with US foreign interests, this is not Romney's opinion it is the truth. It's not that the Obama Administration hasn't written directives, in fact I know that they have because I've read them myself as they apply to my job. There are lengthy, detailed and sound like reasonable ideas. The problem is that the Obama Administration is unable to take ideas and lead his own government to act on his guidance. That is Romney's point, and ignore it if you would like but the truth is that the proof is in pudding and the pudding is on fire and out of control (the Middle East for one).

Take for example the Bush program to give Cuban doctors a fast track to get into the U.S., it's called the Cuban Medical Professional Parole program. Obama hasn't done away with it, but he has done anything with it either. It is an effective tool used by the Cuban government to evangelize Cuba's interests in other countries and most recently and relevantly in Venezuela where one of these doctors who used the program stated that he was told that it was his job to get Chavez re-elected. So Obama is in a position where he can't get rid of the program for fear of looking like a supporter of Castro and Chavez, he won't use it more effectively for reasons only he can answer and the bottom line is that Chavez won a squeaker and the U.S. is nowhere to be found. How is Obama positioning our foreign interests in South America? The programs are there, the agencies already at work but without U.S. leadership forging relationships and leading the only thing happening is that Cuba and Venezuela are more successful in influencing the region than the United States not because we are being outresourced or outspent, because this Administration is not leading.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

 So we should meddle in Latin America now to? Perhaps an invasion of Venezuela like was discussed in Bush's day?

FreedomYes
FreedomYes

I think you meant "now too", but your argument is built upon logical fallacy. Try an honest response that can stand on it's own merit without having to resort to the heavy use use of logical fallacies. When you can come up with one let me know. Cricket time!

retired_sandman
retired_sandman

Obama went off to a Las Vegas campaign fundraiser the day after our ambassador to libya was tortured and sodomized to death, his body dragged through the streets of Benghazi.  Egypt's intelligence knew our consulate in Libya was going to get hit a week before it happened.

Enuf said.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

 Quoting that tired old Fox lie now are we.

retired_sandman
retired_sandman

Fox News is as trusted by most americans as the NY Times.  Both are considered extremely biased.  You want a trusted news source (per most americans) go to the Wall Street Journal.  

retired_sandman
retired_sandman

No lie.  Malfeasance from the top.  If this had happened in the USA it would have been a major scandal, but since it's only libya...

retired_sandman
retired_sandman

The self-appointed "fact-checkers" are not particularly objective.  These so-called "fact-checkers" are main-stream media outlets with decidedly left-wing viewpoints.  Public has lost all faith in the media and in this day amp; age, the wall street journal is trusted more by americans than any other news outlet.  Your beloved "fact-checkers" have no credibility at all.

retired_sandman
retired_sandman

You believe what you want through the prism of your left wing media bias that's extremely well-known.  In fact, trust of the media is lower than it's ever been amp; the Wall Street Journal is more trusted by americans than any other source.  NY Times has fallen amp; is no longer trusted.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

 And I can pull 5 sources from the web that will say that Romney is an alien android out to prepare the US for an invasion from the planet Kolob. Doesn't mean they will have any more validity than your ambassador tortured and sodomized to death story.

retired_sandman
retired_sandman

5 sources from the web.  Fine, mantis.  Stick your head in the sand amp; ignore reality.  That's what liberals live to do.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

 All right wing conspiracy sites. How about something that is actually fact checked for authenticity.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

 Please provide documentation that the ambassador was tortured and sodomized to death. Even Fox News wants extend the lie as far as you have.