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Do Mitt Romney’s Military Missteps Disqualify Him As Presidential Material?

Mitt Romney gave the speech of his life last night. It was like “Dancing with the Stars” in a field of IEDs, glancing away from substance, lies barely touching the floor, until he had “the moments” with foreign politics and the military.


Here’s why his Dukakis moment leaves him missing a leg to stand on this morning…

This speech will get dissected a million times today, but since the mainstream media is perniciously lazy where it isn’t outright corrupt, this should be clear. Beyond Mitt’s many mendacities in the speech last night came his IED moment on foreign policy.  Perhaps Neocon hawk John Bolton or Iran architect Paul Wolfowitz helped him craft this line.  Misspellings courtesy Fox News (And you wonder why their viewers can’t spell)….

“On another front, every American is less secure today
because he has failed to slow Iran’s nuclear threat.  In his
first TV interview as president, he said we should talk to Iran.
We are still talking, and Iran’s centrifuges are still

If we’re not talking, then logic dictates we’re fighting. Mr. Romney has been saber rattling Iran for some time.  It’s an empty threat, not only because of the complete lack of appetite by the Libertarian faction of the GOP that now controls the party for running up trillions more in debt, but also because, like most of Mr. Romney’s fantasy world, it’s as odds with reality.  In March, Reuters reported:

“The United States, European allies and even Israel generally agree on three things about Iran’s nuclear program: Tehran does not have a bomb, has not decided to build one, and is probably years away from having a deliverable nuclear warhead.”

This would be why Mr. Obama is still “talking.”  We don’t have the resources to take on Iran, and Iran knows it.  That’s why they are in no hurry to build a bomb. Doubling down on the Neocon wet dream, though, Mr. Romney pressed on:

“President Obama has thrown allies like Israel under the bus
even as he has relaxed sanctions on Castor’s Cuba.  He abandoned
our friends in Poland by walking away from missile defense

This is a “Florida” line, where Mr. Romney is looking at numbers with American Jewish voters that aren’t too appealing. CBS News reports:

“A study of American Jewish voters indicates the opposite of initial fears with Obama at least maintaining his 2008 Jewish voter numbers, signaling a similar run at the Jewish electorate that he had in his win against Sen. John McCain. Though recent polling numbers from the Public Religion Research Institute found that Obama was on pace to receive 62 percent of the Jewish vote in November, a considerable drop from the 78 percent he garnered in 2008, Wald told CBSDC that new numbers he analyzed suggest that Obama should expect the votes of almost 75 percent of Jewish voters in the general election.”

Mr. Romney’s stands on the Christian nation ring worse with American Jews, and his support of anti-abortion extremists on things like contraception particularly trouble Jewish women.

The Cuba canard is likewise false. According to the radical newspaper USA Today:

“Obama’s decision to relax the ban on Americans traveling to Cuba is an act of political courage and good sense. Under the new rules, it will be easier for academics, students, religious groups and journalists to travel to Cuba. Also, when this change takes effect in a couple of weeks, Americans can send up to $2,000 a year to someone in Cuba as long as that person is not a senior member of the Cuban government or the Communist Party.

Under the old rules, Cuban Americans had unlimited freedom to travel to Cuba and send money to people there. Other Americans were prohibited from sending money and severely restricted from visiting.”

In other words, Cuban-American Republicans, who had the only viaduct to unlimited funding, ostensibly of agitation, now have to play by the rules, and we have gone back to the more sensible plan to open up the country to dialogue and communication between academics under the Clinton and Reagan administrations that were ratcheted up by George W. Bush as a cynical ploy to make re-election in 2004.

It is the last part of Mr. Romney’s foreign rant, though, that is where the verbal IED blew up. (Again spelling by Fox News):

  “ROMNEY:  But he’s eager to give Russia’s president Putin
the flexibility he desires after the election.
ROMNEY:  Under my presidency our friends will see more
loyalty and Mr. Putin will see a little less flexibility and
more backbone.” [1]

This is a crowd pleaser for both the NeoCon faction of the GOP and the John Bircher Libertarians (Tea Party) alike, as they began their self-centered march to political power as a rabid anti-Communist front. Here’s the problem.

Russia is still a formidable world power. The prior presidential nominee, Senator McCain, leveled the criticism of Mr. Obama that one does not “telegraph their punches” at a debate in October, 2008.

Mr. Romney has become too accustomed to his American television box. In that world, he can lie with abandon, say whatever he wants one year, and completely contradict it the next, and nothing sticks.  The line was a gift to the hawks of his party who are still rabid Russia haters, and haven’t gotten over winning the Cold War.

The problem is that little snippets like that filter out into the real world outside of the American media bubble. Russia may not enjoy the power that it once held, but to count out a country with deep resources in oil and natural gas, major problems with literacy outside of its major cities, which still are centuries behind the urban areas, and their government’s proclivities towards totalitarianism, is stepping on the toe of a very big giant.

Do we really need to give the Russians the impetus to fear us enough to take to their old ways, and revive a Soviet Union?  Over the last few decades the leadership of those countries has become more adept at their new brand of politics.  A future Russia may not be Stalinist, but if those states, feeling pressure from the United States under a hawkish president Romney, decided to federate in even the European Union’s model, it could dramatically change the balance of power in the world, and put an even greater strain on our economy as we have to contend with a nuclear enemy without the trillions that Reagan-Bush-W blew over the last 35+ years.

Reagan ramped up our military to break the Soviet Union because we had the resources, and they didn’t. It put us into the high-debt world that we still live with today.  The Russians did not exploit the resources of their ground as well back in the day. Now they have money and increasing power collected in a few hands.

The shoe is increasingly on the other foot. Mr. Romney seems to want to aim his gun at Uncle Sam’s boot and pull the trigger.

Can we really afford a president so lost in Neocon flag-waving that he would be irresponsible enough to unleash Soviet Union – The Sequel with domestic-intended “say anything” remarks to get himself elected?  Someone who could easily break an America already strained by a Cold War and two multi-trillion dollar Republican-launched misadventures in the Middle East?

Romney gave no thought to our soldiers in the armed forces, many of whom are on their fourth, fifth, or even sixth tour in Afghanistan.  No idea why we should put them in harm’s way.  To protect Israel?  To protect us? He gave no consideration to our generals who are still trying to develop a full exit in Afghanistan. What about the families of our volunteer armed forces? Veterans.  Nothing.

The danger of Mitt’s “say anything” approach are its many unintended consequences that only come to fruition if he can get enough tuned-out people to cheer and rant without thinking about them.

My shiny two.

About Brian Ross

Brian Ross is a writer, screenwriter, political satirist, documentarian and short filmmaker who blogs for Truth2Power, the Huffington Post, and the Daily KOS, among others.

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