I’m sorry but I have to say it. Romney advisers are either democrats posing as republicans trying to derail him or a bunch of illiterate morons that have been hiding in a cave somewhere in Afghanistan for the last decade or two. The speech is full of revisionist history, plain ignorance of history and current events. Here are the main points that illustrate the level of ignorance and just plain stupid ideas proposed by Romney and his team:
“But it is our responsibility and the responsibility of the President to use America’s great power to shape history, not to lead from behind, leaving our destiny at the mercy of events.”
Use America’s great power what is that power. I sounds like he wants to use our military might again. Haven’t we learned our lesson in Iraq and Afghanistan. Projecting our military power is not the only solution. We have been dragged in 2 wars that have lasted 10 years with not much to show for it. Soft power and the innovative leading from behind conceived for the Libyan intervention is the right way forward. Romney thinks leading from behind is bad but in the case of Libya and if you actually look at the real meaning of the strategy it worked very well. Leading from behind actually came from the White House and the strategy was to get our NATO allies of not just being in front but also to take the bulk of the risks and costs. The US negotiated and persuaded the Europeans, the Arab league to contribute money, equipment and resources for the fight while we gave them logistical support. It was successful because it had international support, had a real UN resolution backing it and even included Arab support and their military’s involvement. This kind of coalition has not been seen since the first gulf war under Bush senior. If I was the President I would showcase it on how the US was leading the intervention but without putting up the costs or the risk to our men and women. We got our NATO allies for the first time to commit their armed forces and cash instead of letting us take all the burden. Compare that to Iraq and we have real statement ship.
“The relationship between the president of the United States and the prime minister of Israel, for example, our closest ally in the region, has suffered great strains. The president explicitly stated that his goal was to put daylight between the United States and Israel, and he’s succeeded. This is a dangerous situation that has set back the hope of peace in the Middle East and emboldened our mutual adversaries, especially Iran.”
The offices of the Prime Minister of Israel, of the President of Israel and the IDF has said that cooperation between Israel and the US has never been better. We have accepted every official request for military aid and cooperation that the Israelis have asked. We have vetoed every resolution that made Israel look bad in the UN. We have financed and help built their iron dome missile defense system. We have put in place the harshest sanctions ever imposed on Iran. These sanctions are working just look at the riots in Tehran due to the devaluation of their currency. The poor and even the lower middle class Iranians can’t afford poultry anymore. What else do you want? Go to war with Iran? In less than a year Iran will elect a new president. Who do you think they will vote for? Their is a very good chance that they will want someone that will look at finding a solution with the West and fixing their economy.
“Across the greater Middle East, as the joy born from the downfall of dictators has given way to the painstaking work of building capable security forces and growing economies and developing effective democratic institutions, the president has failed to offer the tangible support that our partners want and need.”
As a remembered most republicans pundits were against the President and advocated supporting the likes of Mubarak and Ben Ali. Heck he even refused to call Mubarak a dictator which he was:
“In Iraq the costly gains made by our troops are being eroded by rising violence, a resurgent al-Qaida, the weakening of democracy in Baghdad and the rising influence of Iran. And yet America’s ability to influence events for the better in Iraq has been undermined by the abrupt withdrawal of our entire troop presence.”
Ok so lets force down their throat a military presence and give the Iraqis the excuse to unit against us and go back to the violence of 2006-2007 when we were losing 2-3 soldiers a day and spending $2-$3 billion a week. The Iraqis wanted us out and that’s why they refused to extend our forces status agreement. We cannot unilaterally force a country to have our forces, that’s occupation and would have made the Sunnis, al-Qaida and the shiites unite against us.
“I will put the leaders of Iran on notice that the United States and our friends and allies will prevent them from acquiring nuclear weapons capability. I will not hesitate to impose new sanctions on Iran and will — and will tighten the sanctions we currently have.”
Wow that’s exactly what the President said at the United Nations. The President even said that the US will not accept a nuclear armed Iran under any condition. The President said:
“That’s why a coalition of countries is holding the Iranian government accountable. And that’s why the United States will do what we must to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.”
The President has over and over made clear that a nuclear armed Iran is not acceptable, all options are on the table and the US cannot and will not allow a nuclear armed Iran. Sanctions have been put in place, covert operations targeting nuclear researchers and sabotaging equipment are on going and assets in the region have been put in place. What more do you want? Give the sanctions some time and even CIA reports said that the Iranians have no military nuclear program. Let the sanctions work and let’s see what happens with the next president of Iran. Their is already an internal fight going on in Iran and actually a moderate is very likely be elected in order to appease their population.
“The size of our Navy is at levels not seen since 1916. I’ll restore our Navy to the size needed to fulfill our missions by building 15 ships per year, including three submarines. I’ll implement effective missile defenses to protect against threats. And on this, there will be no flexibility with Vladimir Putin. And I will call on our NATO allies to keep the greatest military alliance in history strong by honoring their commitment to each devote 2 percent of their GDP to security spending. Today only three of the 28 NATO nations meet this benchmark.”
Ok so we will bring our Navy back to Cold War levels even if that level is not needed or requested by our Navy. Make President Putin our enemy number 1. Note to Romney the Cold War was won. No need to bring it back. The best idea he has is he will unilaterally force NATO partners to bring their military spending up to 2% of GDP which has not happened since the Cold War and even barely then and not likely to happen since most NATO members are facing budget issues and double dip recessions. Again trying to shove down the throat of our allies things that they don’t want.
“The president has not signed one new free trade agreement in the past four years. I’ll reverse that failure. I’ll work with nations around the world that are committed to the principles of free enterprise, expanding existing relationships and establishing new ones.”
Wrong on that one. The President secured congressional approval of free-trade deals with Colombia, Panama and South Korea, and signed them in October 2011. He has also continued the Bush administration’s efforts to form a trans-Pacific free-trade zone, which would include up to 11 countries across the Asia-Pacific region.
“In Egypt I’ll use our influence, including clear conditions on our aid, to urge the new government to represent all Egyptians, to build democratic institutions and to maintain its peace treaty with Israel. And we must persuade our friends and allies to place similar stipulations on their aid.”
If you look at what happened in Egypt you would see that the newly elected Islamist President has condemned the violence and protest at the US Embassy, sent troops to fight Sinai tribesmen that smuggle arms to Hamas. Cutting the military funding for Egypt would only weaken the Egyptian military in the fight against extremist in the Sinai, smugglers and weaken the balance of power in Egypt. The only group we can count on to check the Muslim Brotherhood is the Army. An institution that is still widely respected and liked in Egypt. Way to go Romney now you want to help Islamist.
“The president has also failed to lead in Syria, where more than — more than 30,000 men, women, and children have been massacred by the Assad regime over the past 20 months. Violent extremists are flowing into the fight. Our ally Turkey has been attacked. And the conflict threatens stability in the region.”
later on he says:
“In Syria I’ll work with our partners to identify and organize those members of the opposition who share our values and then ensure they obtain the arms they need to defeat Assad’s tanks helicopters and fighter jets.”
Ok so he says violent extremists are flowing into the fight and then he says we should arm members of the oppositions that share our values. In the fog of war there is no way to really make sure that those members of the opposition will not share the weapons that we give them to the violent extremists. We can’t even vent Afghan soldiers that we train ourselves. Can you really expect the opposition went in the middle of a fight not aiding extremist elements covering their flank with badly needed weapons and ammunition. Will they say “oh well our flank was overrun and we are about to be surrounded and decimated but at least we listened to Romney and didn’t give the extremists weapons”. They are allies and face the same foe. They will share surface to air missiles, explosives and other deadly weapons with them, and if history repeats itself will eventually be turned around against us. Let’s be cautious and that caution is the right path the President is following. Sooner or later all or part of the Syrian Army will collapse or switch sides. Time is on the side of the opposition.
“In Afghanistan I’ll pursue a real and successful transition to Afghan security forces by the end of 2014. President Obama would have you believe that anyone who disagrees with his decisions in Afghanistan is arguing for endless war. But the route to war and to potential attacks here at home is a politically timed retreat that abandons the Afghan people to the same extremists who ravaged their country and used it to launch the attacks of 9/11. I’ll evaluate conditions on the ground and weigh the best advice of our military commanders. And I will affirm that my duty is not to protect my political prospects but to protect the security of the nation.”
Wow not even an original plan. Same time table as the President and the same opinion will be given by the commanders on the ground.
“Finally, I’ll recommit America to the goal of a democratic, prosperous Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security with the Jewish state of Israel. On this vital issue, the president has failed, and what should be a negotiation process has devolved into a series of heated disputes at the United Nations. In this old conflict, as in every challenge we face in the Middle East, only a new president will bring the chance to begin anew.”
Hold on, now Romney wants to negotiate a peace treaty between the Israelis and the Palestinians? That’s not what he said in the 47% video about the Palestinians:
“And so what you do is you say, “You move things along the best way you can.” You hope for some degree of stability, but you recognize that this is going to remain an unsolved problem. We live with that in China and Taiwan. All right, we have a potentially volatile situation but we sort of live with it, and we kick the ball down the field and hope that ultimately, somehow, something will happen and resolve it.”
So which one is it? Kick the can down the road or actually push both side back to the negotiation table?
His entire speech is full of contradictions. From potentially arming extremists in Syria, to building a Cold War Navy, to making Russia our enemy, to cutting off aid to the Egyptian military, to negotiating peace in the Middle East, to staying in Iraq, to unilaterally imposing spending levels on other countries. What amazes me is the level of incompetence of his advisers and even more from the press and the White House on not calling him out on it.