Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Third Debate, A Synopsis in Advance

And now, the last debate. Foreign policy, meaning that any interest in this policy is foreign to Mr. Romney. He will be loaded up with facts and figures, talking points and stern statements for this last tete a tete with the President. But his philosophy, short of an attack of Romnesia between now and tomorrow night, can best be simply described as "spend a whole lot and carry a big stick".

In keeping with the rest of his pronouncements, there will be no underpinning to support his monetary stance. Seeking to raise defense spending to 4% of GDP, Romney is following the time tested path of unpaid for defense spending engineered to disastrous consequence in the last decade by President Bush. While Mr. Romney speaks often of how America can no longer ignore the debt that has been created, his budget for defense can mean only one of two things: either the debt will continue to increase or, as President Clinton would say, now listen closely to this, the money to pay for this will have to come from an evisceration of spending on various domestic programs. Because, as we have been advised through the looking glass of Mr. Romney and his fuzzy math, the shortfall won't be made up from tax increases on the rich, or anyone else.

The programs that will line up as victims of reduced funding are those that help the elderly, the sick the poor, the unemployed, the children who have no vote and no voice. These are the 47% who Mr. Romney believes can be discounted and discarded while $2 billion is expended on an extra submarine or troop levels remaining much higher than a war weary country needs, or reality dictates.

We learned today that Iran is making overtures for direct talks with our country on their threat of becoming a nuclear threat. We understand that crippling sanctions have possibly lessened their resolve and may allow a peaceful resolution of this crisis to occur. We know that warnings of war should be deemed a last, not a first resort. And tomorrow, Mr. Romney may indeed make some of those assertions.

But Mr. Romney has consistently shown disdain or anger, not comprehension or compassion in speaking of foreign powers. He would declare China a currency manipulator on his first day in office, consider the Israel- Palestine problem one not capable of answer, deem Russia a dangerous enemy and find negotiation with Iran a useless waste of time. To Mr. Romney, no matter what we hear on that stage tomorrow night, America is in decline and can only reemerge as a power by a demonstration of force in word and deed.  To him, subtlety and nuance, understanding not only of your viewpoint, but that of the other person, has no resonance and no meaning.

But for the desultory performance of the President on the stage in Denver, this last debate would have been of little consequence. Now, an uncertain result awaits. For those still able to be persuaded as to whom they want to lead us in the next four years, I ask that they consider carefully where Mr. Romney intends to take us. To the brink of war, to creation of more enemies throughout the world, to a disintegration of the safety net that protects our most vulnerable, and on a straight line to potential disaster at home and abroad.


Anonymous said...

To believe diplomacy and sanctions will make Iran back down makes the false assumption that Iran's leaders think and behave the same way as western cultures, and share similar goals. That is clearly not the case, and to believe that Iran will back down is naive. What facts, beliefs, thought processes and goals would compel a person to strap on a vest of explosives, walk into a crowded market and kill scores of people including themselves? The answer is when a person or group have a limited, intolerant belief system and rejects facts that do not support that belief system, it is not really strange that a person or group of like-minded persons can adopt a goal of eliminating all who are not of the same belief. We've seen this already in the past. The leaders of iran are perfectly capable of strapping on a nuclear vest to destroy Israel. To forgo that bomb runs contrary to their clearly articulated beliefs and goals.
There is no need for nuance or subtlety here, nor any other nice politically correct jargon. Nor is there any lack of understanding of the other viewpoint. And compassion for barbaric goals is insane. We need to embrace our friends and reject our enemies. China and Russia continue to thwart us in the UN and world stage. Russia and China supplies arms to our enemies in the Middle East. Leadership of the free world derives from STRENGTH, both militarily and economically.

Anonymous said...

Didn't Neville Chamberlain bring "peace for our time" when he singed the Munich Agreement in 1938?

Robert said...

Yours is clearly an articulated point of view that all Iranians are of one mind (just like all Americans I guess). That this is a people who care not for their own welfare, or for that of their children, but whose only concern is for the decimation of Israel. You see their world only in terms of enemies and bombs. For you, these are a people with out the capacity to be persuaded by, or to feel the effects of sanctions on their populace. I find this viewpoint to be erroneous,narrow, highly destructive and entirely unproductive.

Anonymous said...

We are continually reminded that Islam is the religion of peace and that the vast majority of Muslims want to live in peace. Although this unqualified assertion may be true, it is entirely irrelevant. The harsh fact is that the fanatics rule Islam at this moment in history. It is the fanatics who march, who wage any one of 50 shooting wars worldwide, who systematically slaughter Christian or tribal groups throughout Africa, and are gradually dominating the entire continent in an Islamic wave. It is the fanatics who bomb, behead, murder, honor-kill, and shoot innocent 14 year old girls who would like to attend school to become educated. It is the fanatics who zealously spread the stoning and hanging of rape victims and homosexuals. It is the fanatics who teach their young to hate Americans, Christians, Jews, and to kill and become suicide bombers. The sad but real fact is that the peaceful majority, the silent majority, is cowed, lives in fear, is intimidated and extraneous.

Communist Russia was comprised of Russians who just wanted to live in peace while Stalin and his party chiefs were responsible for the murder of over 25 million people. China's huge population was peaceful as well but the Chinese Communists managed to murder over 50 million people. Japanese citizens prior to WW 2 were not warmongering sadists. Yet, Japan murdered and slaughtered its way across South East Asia in an orgy of killing that included the systematic murder of more than 12 million civilians, women and children, most killed by sword, shovel and bayonet. Need I mention the Nazis? Do we see a pattern emerge when the fanatics are in power and control?

Millions upon millions of peace-loving Germans, Japanese, Chinese, Russians, Rwandans, Serbs, Afghans, Iraqis, Palestinians, Iranians, Somalis, Nigerians, Algerians and others have died because the peaceful majority did not speak up until it was too late.

Robert said...

Very interesting treatise but what are the negative ramifications to continued discussion? No one suggests that Iran has reached the capacity to do what you suggest is an inevitability given the opportunity and the resources. And what would be the result of taking an aggressive pre-emptive action against Iran? Middle East tensions would undoubtedly escalate. The projections are also that such a strike would only slow, not eradicate the future possibility of a strike. If you want to crystallize opposition and make possible middle East disaster a more probable reality, then by all means, bombing Iran is the answer.