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Mitt’s Own Advisors: He Has No Clue on Foreign Policy

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Mitt’s Own Advisors: He Has No Clue on Foreign Policy

How did we end up with a situation in which one of our two choices in November is a man who seems to know, or care, so little about the world?
 
 

Originally published at WhoWhatWhy.com.

It must be really frustrating to work for “respectable” news organizations. Sometimes, things must make you want to scream like Howard Beale did in the movieNetwork. Most of the time, you’re stuck pretending that things are only slightly amiss when, in fact, they aretotally wigged out.

Take, for example, a recent New York Times assessment of Mitt Romney’s foreign policy positions. The headline, “Romney Remains Vague on Foreign Policy Details,” was about as restrained as it could be. But read a few excerpts, and you see what is really going on:

…beyond his critique of Mr. Obama as failing to project American strength abroad, Mr. Romney has yet to fill in many of the details of how he would conduct policy toward the rest of the world, or to resolve deep ideological rifts within the Republican Party and his own foreign policy team. It is a disparate and politely fractious team of advisers.

…Each group is vying to shape Mr. Romney’s views, usually through policy papers that many of the advisers wonder if he is reading. Indeed, in a campaign that has been so intensely focused on economic issues, some of these advisers, in interviews over the past two weeks in which most insisted on anonymity, say they have engaged with him so little on issues of national security that they are uncertain what camp he would fall into, and are uncertain themselves about how he would govern..

Two of Mr. Romney’s advisers said he did not seem to have the strong instincts that he has on economic issues; [Emphasis added]

Given the common belief that national security/foreign policy is either one of the two most important areas a president must contend with or the most important one, it is reasonable to ask: What the heck is going on?

How did we end up with a situation in which one of our two choices in November is a man who seems to know, or care, so little about the world? How is it possible that, with just weeks before the election, there is no dominant person or clique in Romney’s camp to articulate a vision of what the United States can and should do in an incredibly complex and explosive world?

To be fair, Barack Obama was very green on foreign policy when he became president, yet he has managed to at least take an interest and, often, to project knowledge and authority. But that’s hardly consolation.

The truth of the matter is that, while the actions of the United States in the world are of utmost importance to all Americans– and especially to the financial sector,oil/mineral and other natural resource extraction industries, importers/exporters and traders, and the humongous armaments industry –we always seem to end up with candidates who are not really knowledgeable or strong enough to chart their own course.

Indeed, when it comes down to specifics, how different are the choices?

…the specific descriptions of what Mr. Romney would do, on issues like drawing red lines for Iran’s nuclear program and threatening to cut off military aid to difficult allies like Pakistan or Egypt if they veer away from American interests, sound at times quite close to Mr. Obama’s approach.

Bewilderingly, the article concludes by implying that what really is needed is a return to power of the same-old-same-old gaggle of seemingly immortal “foreign policy czars”— presumably people like John McCain and William Kristol—big backers of proactive wars and invasions ranging from Vietnam to Iraq to Libya:

Missing from the team are the big names in establishment Republican foreign policy circles. The best known of them, Henry A. Kissinger, has endorsed Mr. Romney, but recently took a shot at his declaration that he would declare China a currency manipulator on the “first day” of a new administration. Last week, Mr. Kissinger described both presidential candidates’ approach to China as “extremely deplorable.”

The unstated point is: American presidential elections are often little more than bad jokes. The two nominees are awfully similar on so many global issues. Worse, there’s a fifty-fifty chance that we will end up with a guy who has no idea what to do with the world—and who is surrounded by competing cabals of self-important people who must know in their own hearts that they have no idea how to proceed judiciously and wisely. Privately, this whole gang must be terrified to be put in charge of an operation promising to outdo a president who has himself routinely embraced force, even outdoing his predecessor  on the particularly cruel and reckless policy of death by drone.

Makes you wonder:

If this is the cast, who’s really running the production? Can governance really be as chaotic and arbitrary as what we are seeing? If so, then what of the United States’ claims to be able to decide things for the rest of the world? And…

Is it OK for the world’s policeman to be Inspector Clouseau

http://www.alternet.org/election-2012/mitts-own-advisors-he-has-no-clue-foreign-policy?paging=off

by on Oct. 10, 2012 at 9:32 PM
Replies (21-30):
imamomzilla
by on Oct. 11, 2012 at 9:08 AM
1 mom liked this

 I don't believe that for a second...but even if it were true...

Mitt has something the Prez is missing- courage and a set of you-know-whats.

;-)

 

143myboys9496
by Gold Member on Oct. 11, 2012 at 9:24 AM
1 mom liked this

 

Quoting Clairwil:

Quoting 143myboys9496:

 10. Apology for Guantanamo in Washington ("A Rallying Cry for Our Enemies")

President Obama, speech at the National Archives, Washington, D.C., May 21, 2009.[10]

There is also no question that Guantanamo set back the moral authority that is America's strongest currency in the world. Instead of building a durable framework for the struggle against al Qaeda that drew upon our deeply held values and traditions, our government was defending positions that undermined the rule of law. In fact, part of the rationale for establishing Guantanamo in the first place was the misplaced notion that a prison there would be beyond the law--a proposition that the Supreme Court soundly rejected. Meanwhile, instead of serving as a tool to counter terrorism, Guantanamo became a symbol that helped al Qaeda recruit terrorists to its cause. Indeed, the existence of Guantanamo likely created more terrorists around the world than it ever detained.

So the record is clear: Rather than keeping us safer, the prison at Guantanamo has weakened American national security. It is a rallying cry for our enemies

Do you disagree with his remarks about Guantanamo?

It isn't like he's saying anything that everyone else in the world doesn't already know - that Guantanamo was a bad idea and a PR disaster.

 I was merely pointing out Obama's apologies. One can say I'm sorry without actually SAYING I'm sorry. How about "I didn't mean it", or "I was mistaken"? I mean really...you want to play semantics?

American soldiers have been tortured by other countries for YEARS. WWI, WWII, Vietnam, Korea..and yes, Iraq and Afghanistan. I'm NOT saying that makes it right for Americans to torture our prisoners. But do you really think that Al Qaeda prisoners will give us information if we give them flowers?

Personally I think torture (of ANY human being) is wrong, what the alternative answer is to gaining the intel needed I have NO idea.

143myboys9496
by Gold Member on Oct. 11, 2012 at 9:27 AM
1 mom liked this

 

Quoting Clairwil:

Quoting 143myboys9496:

And not punishing China for trying to freaking kill us...is a smart thing to do.

  • tainted dog food
  • tainted baby formula
  • lead painted children's toys
  • lead based costume jewerly for children
  • tainted toothpaste
  • And the Asian long-horned beetle

And the Chinese response to all that is "OOPS"...???

c'mon

"  O.M.G.  the Chinese are trying to poison our dogs!   It's a conspiracy!!  Let's bomb them!!!  "

Seriously?

 All you took from that was the tainted dog food? Are you kidding? How about the jewerly and toys with lead and tainted baby formula...FOR OUR CHILDREN...

No offense, but you're delusional if you believe the Chinese stories that they were mistakes. That's a huge load of hog wash. The Chinese know exactly what they're doing. We're borrowing money from them hand over fist, do you know what would happen if the Chinese gov't said "pay up" next week??

We'd all be learning Mandarin.

Clairwil
by Platinum Member on Oct. 11, 2012 at 10:04 AM
Quoting 143myboys9496:
Quoting Clairwil:
Quoting 143myboys9496:

 10. Apology for Guantanamo in Washington ("A Rallying Cry for Our Enemies")

President Obama, speech at the National Archives, Washington, D.C., May 21, 2009.[10]

There is also no question that Guantanamo set back the moral authority that is America's strongest currency in the world. Instead of building a durable framework for the struggle against al Qaeda that drew upon our deeply held values and traditions, our government was defending positions that undermined the rule of law. In fact, part of the rationale for establishing Guantanamo in the first place was the misplaced notion that a prison there would be beyond the law--a proposition that the Supreme Court soundly rejected. Meanwhile, instead of serving as a tool to counter terrorism, Guantanamo became a symbol that helped al Qaeda recruit terrorists to its cause. Indeed, the existence of Guantanamo likely created more terrorists around the world than it ever detained.

So the record is clear: Rather than keeping us safer, the prison at Guantanamo has weakened American national security. It is a rallying cry for our enemies

Do you disagree with his remarks about Guantanamo?

It isn't like he's saying anything that everyone else in the world doesn't already know - that Guantanamo was a bad idea and a PR disaster.

 I was merely pointing out Obama's apologies. One can say I'm sorry without actually SAYING I'm sorry. How about "I didn't mean it", or "I was mistaken"? I mean really...you want to play semantics?

American soldiers have been tortured by other countries for YEARS. WWI, WWII, Vietnam, Korea..and yes, Iraq and Afghanistan. I'm NOT saying that makes it right for Americans to torture our prisoners. But do you really think that Al Qaeda prisoners will give us information if we give them flowers?

Personally I think torture (of ANY human being) is wrong, what the alternative answer is to gaining the intel needed I have NO idea.

So do you think other countries would take it as a sign of strength if America kept trying to deny something everyone knows, and respect them for it?

Carpy
by Platinum Member on Oct. 11, 2012 at 12:49 PM
1 mom liked this
Many of us watched it ourselves and say YES.

Quoting _Kissy_:


Quoting 143myboys9496:

 Right like an apology tour was the smart thing to do.

Fact-checkers say no to Romney ‘apology’ claims

 

And lying about the attack in Lybia was a smart thing to do.
All presidents have from the civil, WW1,WW2, Kuwait, 9/11.et..
If we didnt have embassies propped up all over the world especially when war is
going on in that region, these can be prevented 


And not punishing China for trying to freaking kill us...is a smart thing to do
This has been going on since Christopher Columbus days, imports are not trustworthy, so how do we tell those patriotic loving corporations to make and sell it here.


tainted dog food


tainted baby formula


lead painted children's toys


lead based costume jewerly for children


tainted toothpaste


And the Asian long-horned beetle


And the Chinese response to all that is "OOPS"...???


c'mon

We have a pharmaceutical company right here in the good ol US of A that injected 100+people, 12 of which have DIED. Recalls of lettuce, peanut butter, baby formula, spinach has been recalled many times over the last few years. Cantaloupes that can kill, made here in the US. So I understand I really do, but sheesh if were gonna groan about something might as well look at the whole picture.

We either worry about whats doing on over here, get our military and corporations back home and the world can hate us for free.


Posted on CafeMom Mobile
nanaofsix531
by Platinum Member on Oct. 11, 2012 at 12:51 PM
1 mom liked this


Quoting _Kissy_:


Quoting jcrew6:

Quoting GardenerArtist:

he's also more than vague on his tax plan.... he wants us to vote for him and be surprised if he's elected.  I don't think so. 

He just wants the title of President and will say and do anything to get it.  He's flip-flopped more times than anyone on record.  And then he'll lie about his flip-flopping. He stands by this, then the next day, he doesn't.

He'd be a nightmare on foreign policy. Not one leader would believe what he says, based on this campaign.





Is Obama's providing a more detailed tax plan? not. even. close. We are LIVING Obama's policies. While he touts killing bin laden and weakening Al Qaeda .... Al Qaeda planned and successfully attacked us on 9-11.. Killing Americans.. fail. He is promising under the breath deals with Russia. Is that the transparency YOU believe in? Obama has flip flopped on Guantanamo bay, Terror trials, use of drones, the Patriot Act, and the definition of patriotic. But you are only focusing on Romney as the flip flopper? How idiotic.

Yes I am living Obama's policies and theyre working out just fine. I pay my fair amount of money in taxes and living my American dream. Everyone should be able to do that.


My family too.We are way better off then we were 4 years ago.Even our 401K is looking great.Bush almost killed it.Obama got it back and with a vengeance.

143myboys9496
by Gold Member on Oct. 11, 2012 at 8:47 PM
1 mom liked this

 

Quoting Clairwil:

Quoting 143myboys9496:
Quoting Clairwil:
Quoting 143myboys9496:

 10. Apology for Guantanamo in Washington ("A Rallying Cry for Our Enemies")

President Obama, speech at the National Archives, Washington, D.C., May 21, 2009.[10]

There is also no question that Guantanamo set back the moral authority that is America's strongest currency in the world. Instead of building a durable framework for the struggle against al Qaeda that drew upon our deeply held values and traditions, our government was defending positions that undermined the rule of law. In fact, part of the rationale for establishing Guantanamo in the first place was the misplaced notion that a prison there would be beyond the law--a proposition that the Supreme Court soundly rejected. Meanwhile, instead of serving as a tool to counter terrorism, Guantanamo became a symbol that helped al Qaeda recruit terrorists to its cause. Indeed, the existence of Guantanamo likely created more terrorists around the world than it ever detained.

So the record is clear: Rather than keeping us safer, the prison at Guantanamo has weakened American national security. It is a rallying cry for our enemies

Do you disagree with his remarks about Guantanamo?

It isn't like he's saying anything that everyone else in the world doesn't already know - that Guantanamo was a bad idea and a PR disaster.

 I was merely pointing out Obama's apologies. One can say I'm sorry without actually SAYING I'm sorry. How about "I didn't mean it", or "I was mistaken"? I mean really...you want to play semantics?

American soldiers have been tortured by other countries for YEARS. WWI, WWII, Vietnam, Korea..and yes, Iraq and Afghanistan. I'm NOT saying that makes it right for Americans to torture our prisoners. But do you really think that Al Qaeda prisoners will give us information if we give them flowers?

Personally I think torture (of ANY human being) is wrong, what the alternative answer is to gaining the intel needed I have NO idea.

So do you think other countries would take it as a sign of strength if America kept trying to deny something everyone knows, and respect them for it?

 I'm not saying everything that's been done was right. But there are times when an unpopular stand has to be made, and stood by, even if it's unpopular. I'm not saying in every case or specifically what case..I'm just saying that there may be occasions where standing up for what's right for America isn't the popular thing. If our gov't cow-tows to every country that doesn't agree with every stand we have, we'll become pushovers, and door mats.

Clairwil
by Platinum Member on Oct. 11, 2012 at 11:49 PM
Quoting 143myboys9496:
Quoting Clairwil:

So do you think other countries would take it as a sign of strength if America kept trying to deny something everyone knows, and respect them for it?

 I'm not saying everything that's been done was right. But there are times when an unpopular stand has to be made, and stood by, even if it's unpopular. I'm not saying in every case or specifically what case..I'm just saying that there may be occasions where standing up for what's right for America isn't the popular thing. If our gov't cow-tows to every country that doesn't agree with every stand we have, we'll become pushovers, and door mats.

I think you are being unrealistic about how other countries will interpret the remarks made by President Obama.

Guantanamo is not some 'brave stand' that America should stand by.

143myboys9496
by Gold Member on Oct. 12, 2012 at 1:56 AM
1 mom liked this

 

Quoting Clairwil:

Quoting 143myboys9496:
Quoting Clairwil:

So do you think other countries would take it as a sign of strength if America kept trying to deny something everyone knows, and respect them for it?

 I'm not saying everything that's been done was right. But there are times when an unpopular stand has to be made, and stood by, even if it's unpopular. I'm not saying in every case or specifically what case..I'm just saying that there may be occasions where standing up for what's right for America isn't the popular thing. If our gov't cow-tows to every country that doesn't agree with every stand we have, we'll become pushovers, and door mats.

I think you are being unrealistic about how other countries will interpret the remarks made by President Obama.

Guantanamo is not some 'brave stand' that America should stand by.

 OH good gravy did you READ???? I made it bigger and red so you could see it.

My comment was NOT referring to a specific stance or group of stances, rather the CONCEPT of taking an unpopular stance because it protects self interest and not being bullied to change that stance.

I DID NOT MEAN GUANTANAMO SPECIFICALLY.

SallyMJ
by Ruby Member on Oct. 12, 2012 at 2:25 AM
1 mom liked this

So what are the names of the two advisors? Didn't see that in the article. Really easy to make up something like that when there are no names... That would never pass the journalistic smell test. 

Romney and Obama are worlds apart on foreign policy. There are two completely different views:

One wants to apologize for who America is, wants us to be weak so other countries will like us. News flash: Surveys show the people in Middle Eastern countries like us a lot less now than 4 years ago.  This viewpoint mandated private security instead of Marines for Middle East embassies and consulates, so as to not upset Muslims in those countries. And refused numerous requests by Ambassador Stevens to provide additional security to the Benghazi consulate. And told Stevens and the consulate to stop asking for more security, despite more than ten attacks  this year. And pulled out 34 security staff earlier this year. And didn't provide extra security because of the anniversary of 9/11. Is it any surprise that the attack and tragic assassinations of Stevens and 3 other Americans happened? And that the Middle East was set on fire 2 weeks ago and all our ME embassies have been unsafe.

A different vision is that America will be strong; respected vs. liked, where we treat our allies with respect, rather than taking our enemies' side against our allies. It's possible the attack in Benghazi could have also happened on the watch of Romney/Ryan - but the consulate would at least have had military security all along, and would have gotten additional security as needed, in addition to the plane to leave if needed. There is no way that embassies and consulates in Middle Eastern countries esp. with known Al Qaida cells, would have been mandated to have private security instead of military "so we don't upset the local Muslims". Safety trumps appearances.

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