by Playthell Benjamin
It has become conventional wisdom among forward looking people guided by humane objectives, that Mitt Romney would not only be bad news on domestic policy should he become president, but his foreign policy would also be disastrous. Listening to his ignorant and bellicose statements on international relations, I find myself quoting the old Yankee catcher Yogi Berra: “It’s de ja vu all over again!” Not only does Mitt talk like he wants to bomb Iran, but start economic and shooting wars with Russia and China too.
Now Romney is wading into the extremely complex problems of the volatile Middle East. After the tragic murder of the American ambassador and three of his Embassy staff in Libya, Mitt gave us a glimpse of how he would handle a serious foreign crisis.
Mitt making Mischief in Poland. On the Road to Disaster
Consider his reaction to a perfectly reasonable conciliatory statement from the American Embassy in Cairo condemning the religious bigotry expressed in a US produced film that insulted the Prophet Muhammad, the founder of Islam, and sparked the uprising. “…the administration was wrong to stand by a statement sympathizing with those who had breached our embassy in Egypt,” says Mitt, “instead of condemning their actions. It’s never too early for the United States government to condemn attacks on Americans and to defend our values.”
First of all the US embassy had not yet been attacked when the statement was made; the ambassador was trying stave off an assault by an enraged mob and save American lives. Romney called the President’s response “disgraceful’ and an “apology for American values” before Barack had uttered a word. This statement not only demonstrates that Romney is a reckless amateur in the art of diplomacy, but that he is also a dangerous lying opportunist without a moral core.
Romney is clearly willing to imperil the lives of American diplomats and put American interests in danger throughout the volatile Middle-East, where a furor towards America is building on the Arab street to gain political advantage. Hence Congressman Rangel’s statement today was on the money; he said the Romney/Ryan team would be a risk to our national security.
Rangel, my long time Congressman from Harlem – described Romney as the equivalent an empty headed automaton from central casting who is given a script by right-wing neo-cons and he recites it as if he knows what he is talking about.
The truth is that what Romney understands about the world is how to make money from globalization, by shipping American jobs overseas where they can maximize profits by exploiting cheap labor. He clearly knows nothing about I relations between nation states. He is another, dumber version of George bush on this subject. And this is really frightening because Romney is surrounding himself with foreign policy advisers from the Project For a New American Century.
These are the same people who were the architects of George Bush’s Iraq policy; which means that they are writing the scripts Mitt is reciting. That’s why Mitt’s rhetoric about the danger Iran poses to the US and Israel sounds like a replay of Bush’s hysterical language about Iraq. And we have every reason to believe that if Mitt is elected we will be at war with Iran as fast as they can get the Jets off the Ground.
It is also clear that he will allow his old business associate Bibi Netanyahu, the hawkish Israeli Prime Minister, to call the shots as to when and where to start wars in the region – a question I will have more to say about in another essay. This is why Mitt Romney cannot be trusted with conducting American foreign policy; he would quickly put this nation firmly on the road to disaster!
Benjamin is a veteran political journalist out of Harlem NY. His essays can be read on his blog site Commentaries on the Times.