Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Someone Who Knows

Like all the other lies Rs like to tell about President Obama, the one about his ignoring of Israel is simply and fully contradicted by facts. Mitt Romney, in pan-pander mode, likes to suggest that he's the real and only friend of Israel currently running for president. In that light, here's a very interesting and wide-ranging interview with the former head of Mossad (Israel's CIA equivalent.) Among the highlights:
[Politicians often prefer to have] a clear sound bite rather than a policy. "Axis of evil." Three words. Solved the problem. It would be fine if we could go in and overturn the [government, but we can’t]. The US is trapped by the way it treated Iran in the past and it is limiting its options. 
Obama has placed emphasis on negotiations. In this current election for the US presidency, his hands are tied. He cannot proceed, because he cannot appear soft on Israel’s security. Negotiating with Iran is perceived as a sign of beginning to forsake Israel. That is where I think the basic difference is between Romney and Obama. What Romney is doing is mortally destroying any chance of a resolution without war. Therefore when [he recently] said, he doesn’t think there should be a war with Iran, this does not ring true. It is not consistent with other things he has said. Obama does think there is still room for negotiations. It’s a very courageous thing to say in this atmosphere. 
In the end, this is what I think: Making foreign policy on Iran a serious issue in the US elections — what Romney has done, in itself — is a heavy blow to the ultimate interests of the United States and Israel. [...] It is not a question of opposing a strike on Iran. I don’t oppose a strike. I said, a strike should be the last resort, and we should mean it. We have not reached a point where there is no other way to resolve this. We have not behaved, or gone through the other steps. 
The Iranians, in their heart of hearts, would like to get out of their conundrum. The sanctions have been very effective. They are beginning to really hurt.
Romney has been very costly on Russia. If you want to create a situation, where the only way to go about things is to go back to the Cold War, that is what is being done here. It’s very dangerous.
I don’t think the US public wants to go to another world war over values in this way. If it persists, it will be a slide down a very slippery slope.
It’s a question of concept. Where are we going in the 21st century? Are we going to try to propagate policies on the battlefields?
Romney has said, Anybody could have decided to finish bin Laden. Even [Jimmy] Carter. This again was a mistaken concept. President Obama didn’t just decide [one day to kill bin Laden]. The operation to end the life of bin Laden necessitated multiple points of decision by him. I know from operations I have been involved with on a smaller scale.They are very intricate. You don’t just give the order and wait in your office for commanders to come three months later and say it’s done. No. This kind of operation, which is accident prone, hands on operation, one has to make one decision after the other. […] It took courage and cool headedness and leadership. Anyone who says it was an easy thing to decide, doesn’t understand what he’s talking about. [Such comments] show a total lack of understanding of what this kind of operation means.
Just one guy's opinion, I suppose; but not exactly a naif. Mitt Romney has loaded his foreign policy team with Bush-era neocons. As with economic policy, he seems poised to make the same mistakes as before in foreign policy. But Americans like easy answers. Tax cuts at home and war abroad. Support our troops. These colors don't run. When the going gets hard, right-wingers get hard-ons. Look around for someone to invade, and go for it: as long as it's someone else's kid doing the invading, and no one has to pay for it.

If Mitt Romney wins and we repeat, as he wants to do, the mistakes made only a decade ago and already forgotten, I don't think there's enough margin of error, enough vitality left in the economy to make up for it yet again. It won't be the falsely implanted RWS™ fears of Obama that get us; it'll be the real plans of Mitt Romney and the people telling what to think, paying for him to say what they think.

[Image source]

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