Fred Kaplan has a devastating article about Romney’s foreign policy speech today, Mitt Romney’s Most Dishonest Speech. You can get some idea of where he’s coming from in the subtitle, “When it comes to lies and half-truths, Romney saves his best stuff for foreign policy.”
Kaplan goes point by point in the speech and demolishes it. He admits that in a couple of cases—especially Syria—Obama’s performance could have been better. But as usual, Romney does not say what he would do better. It is the same old same old from Romney: “Trust me!”
Earlier today, I wrote about my frustration at having to defend Obama when I disagree with his policies. Kaplan discusses this in his article as well. You can’t not. No president is perfect; he will always do things that one disagrees with. But it seems particularly wrong that a liberal like me should have to defend Obama policies that Romney (if he weren’t running against Obama) would love.
Here is one example from Kaplan:
Then came a gratuitously outrageous statement. “America,” Romney said, “can take pride in the blows that our military and intelligence professionals
have inflicted on al-Qaida in Pakistan and Afghanistan, including the killing of Osama bin Laden.” (Italics added.) Really? President Obama deserves no
credit for dealing these blows? Obama has personally ordered many of these blows (as some in his own party have complained
), and, as is well known, he ordered the raid on bin Laden’s compound against the advice
of Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, who thought it was too risky.
Of course, all of this is standard Republican macho foreign policy bullshit. But according to Romney, Obama should get no credit for it. No credit? Giving him credit for the drone strikes is key to my biggest disappointments about him.
The article next goes on to a very frustrating attack that Romney does all the time and almost never gets called on:
Romney followed this with the most stupefying attack in the entire speech, worth quoting at some length:
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 tighten the sanctions we currently have. I will restore the permanent presence of aircraft carrier task forces in both the Eastern Mediterranean and the Gulf region—and work with Israel to increase our military assistance and coordination. For the sake of peace, we must make clear to Iran through actions, not just words, that their nuclear pursuit will not be tolerated.
Obama has long been doing all of these things. He has ratcheted up sanctions and persuaded others (including Russia) to go along, to the point where Iran’s currency has plummeted by 40 percent, prompting the merchant class to protest in the streets. Two aircraft carriers have been on constant patrol within range of Iran since the summer. And U.S. security assistance to Israel, as its own defense minister said, is at near-peak levels.
This is not likely to catch the eye of PolitiFact. You see, Romney is telling the truth: he will do these things. This is the same as his claim to cover pre-existing condition without explaining that his plan is to have things exactly the same as they’ve been for years.
The rest of the article chronicles all of the now well known ways that Romney deceives—this time on foreign policy. Will it matter? Probably not. After all, he was “aggressive” at the debate! If we end up with this fucktard as President, it will be thanks to the fact that we don’t have more journalists like Fred Kaplan who are willing to dig into what the candidates actually say and not focus on how they say it.