Skip to comments.Romney Channels George W. Bush’s Middle East Policy
Posted on 10/08/2012 9:17:45 PM PDT by rmlew
Mitt Romney gave a generally fine speech today on the Middle East. Sensibly, he criticized the Obama administration for its Benghazi shenanigans, for the “daylight” with Israel, fecklessness vis-à-vis Tehran, and the cuts in military spending. Very justifiably, he called it “time to change course in the Middle East.”
But I worry about three specifics.
First, Romney’s policy ideas echo the rosy-tinted themes of George W. Bush’s failed policies in the region. Flush with optimism for Afghanistan, Iraq, and “Palestine,” Bush spoke a language that now seems from another world. For example, almost exactly nine years ago he predicted “a free Iraq [that] will be an example of freedom’s power throughout the Middle East.” I espy shades of this otherworldliness in Romney’s pronouncement that the Middle East hosts “a struggle between liberty and tyranny, justice and oppression, hope and despair,” his goal to build democratic institutions in Egypt, and his dream of “a democratic, prosperous Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security” with Israel. These are slogans, not serious policy.
Second, except in reference to the attack in Benghazi, Romney pointedly avoids mention of Islam, Islamism, or jihad. Rather, he refers to “terrorists who use violence to impose their dark ideology,” avoiding the real issue and portending problems ahead.
Third, his readiness to jump into the Syrian morass worries me. While one can hardly disagree with Romney’s call to “identify and organize those members of the opposition who share our values and ensure they obtain the arms they need,” those friendly members of the opposition are, in fact, a bedraggled few. Operationally, Romney is prepared to arm the Turkish-allied Islamists, a long-term prospect even more frightening than the Iranian-allied Assad regime now in power.
In office, I hope that Romney will shake the GWB-era illusions, not repeat them.
There is no definite roadmap in foreign policy esp in the Middle East.
Romney is right we need to influence Syria to get rid of an Iranian client state, and avoid another muslim brotherhood country.
Bush was and remains an idiot, and his pathetic, naive attitudes towards Islam and Muslim “democracy” should be rejected totally. Moreover it makes me sick then he calls we who want a border fence and deportations of illegals as “xenophobes”.
I agree wholeheartedly. As terrible as the images coming out of Syria are, we don’t have a horse in this race, and in terms of our interests, Syria remaining in chaos is a good scenario. While Romney means well, I think he’ll find very quickly when he gets into office that we cannot supply anybody because we have no idea who are radicals and who aren’t. If Assad wants to anthrax his own people, go ahead. A nation with a population of six loses all geopolitical significance anyway.
Israel should also begin killing islamists wherever they infest, and get ahead of that particular vermin.
And the best option is the current one, where the vermin kill each other.
Totally agree. Bush was and is, like his father before him and his brother now, a total idiot especially in foreign policy.
Romney should STAY OUT OF THE BUSHES.
The Middle East will NEVER be democratic. The BEST we can hope for is a pro-western government, whoever and whatever that is, As long as those vermin are Muslims, democracy is impossible there.
The OTHER thing we MUST do in the west is concentrate and then expel every damn Muslim here, burn down their mosques and madrases and never let them back in until they can demonstrate they are civilized people.
I agree. Islam is a square peg. Democracy is a round hole.
Islam by it’s very definition requires a king or dictator.
But it’s too late now. The genie is out.
I agree all around—especially with your further take on Syria.
Conservatives’ backing of anything that vaguely sounds like Reagan’s strong-military policy for the Middle East has got us far afield and has done more than anything to discredit conservatism in the US.
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Did you actually listen to the speech or just listen to what NRO had to say about it?
Good heavens -- I hope not.
The last thing this country needs is another @sshole in the White House who is willing to p!ss away thousands of lives and hundreds of billions of dollars establishing and propping up Islamic governments all over the Middle East.
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