Mitt Romney in WSJ – Big Stick time in the Middle East

Mitt Romney has an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal that I am going to quote in full (in case the WSJ firewall cuts us off).
Bolding is mine:

Mitt Romney: A New Course for the Middle East
Restore the three sinews of American influence: our economic strength, our military strength and the strength of our values.

Disturbing developments are sweeping across the greater Middle East. In Syria, tens of thousands of innocent people have been slaughtered. In Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood has come to power, and the country’s peace treaty with Israel hangs in the balance. In Libya, our ambassador was murdered in a terrorist attack. U.S. embassies throughout the region have been stormed in violent protests. And in Iran, the ayatollahs continue to move full tilt toward nuclear-weapons capability, all the while promising to annihilate Israel.

These developments are not, as President Obama says, mere “bumps in the road.” They are major issues that put our security at risk.

Yet amid this upheaval, our country seems to be at the mercy of events rather than shaping them. We’re not moving them in a direction that protects our people or our allies.

And that’s dangerous. If the Middle East descends into chaos, if Iran moves toward nuclear breakout, or if Israel’s security is compromised, America could be pulled into the maelstrom.

We still have time to address these threats, but it will require a new strategy toward the Middle East.

The first step is to understand how we got here. Since World War II, America has been the leader of the Free World. We’re unique in having earned that role not through conquest but through promoting human rights, free markets and the rule of law. We ally ourselves with like-minded countries, expand prosperity through trade and keep the peace by maintaining a military second to none.

But in recent years, President Obama has allowed our leadership to atrophy. Our economy is stuck in a “recovery” that barely deserves the name. Our national debt has risen to record levels. Our military, tested by a decade of war, is facing devastating cuts thanks to the budgetary games played by the White House. Finally, our values have been misapplied—and misunderstood—by a president who thinks that weakness will win favor with our adversaries.

By failing to maintain the elements of our influence and by stepping away from our allies, President Obama has heightened the prospect of conflict and instability. He does not understand that an American policy that lacks resolve can provoke aggression and encourage disorder.

The Middle East is a case in point. The Arab Spring presented an opportunity to help move millions of people from oppression to freedom. But it also presented grave risks. We needed a strategy for success, but the president offered none. And now he seeks to downplay the significance of the calamities of the past few weeks.

The same incomprehension afflicts the president’s policy toward Israel. The president began his term with the explicit policy of creating “daylight” between our two countries. He recently downgraded Israel from being our “closest ally” in the Middle East to being only “one of our closest allies.” It’s a diplomatic message that will be received clearly by Israel and its adversaries alike. He dismissed Israel’s concerns about Iran as mere “noise” that he prefers to “block out.” And at a time when Israel needs America to stand with it, he declined to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

In this period of uncertainty, we need to apply a coherent strategy of supporting our partners in the Middle East—that is, both governments and individuals who share our values.

This means restoring our credibility with Iran. When we say an Iranian nuclear-weapons capability—and the regional instability that comes with it—is unacceptable, the ayatollahs must be made to believe us.

It means placing no daylight between the United States and Israel. And it means using the full spectrum of our soft power to encourage liberty and opportunity for those who have for too long known only corruption and oppression. The dignity of work and the ability to steer the course of their lives are the best alternatives to extremism.

But this Middle East policy will be undermined unless we restore the three sinews of our influence: our economic strength, our military strength and the strength of our values. That will require a very different set of policies from those President Obama is pursuing.

The 20th century became an American Century because we were steadfast in defense of freedom. We made the painful sacrifices necessary to defeat totalitarianism in all of its guises. To defend ourselves and our allies, we paid the price in treasure and in soldiers who never came home.

Our challenges are different now, but if the 21st century is to be another American Century, we need leaders who understand that keeping the peace requires American strength in all of its dimensions.

I absolutely agree with the need to re-establish American credibility. Right now our allies don’t trust us and our enemies don’t fear us.

Open thread.

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90 Responses to Mitt Romney in WSJ – Big Stick time in the Middle East

  1. lyn5 says:

    The GOP takes on President Eye Candy. Great ad.

  2. votermom says:

    Via my twitter stream

    • DeniseVB says:

      There’s a video being passed around when Sen. Obama demanded Alberto Gonzalez’s resignation 😀 I don’t believe anyone died under Gonzalez?

  3. votermom says:

  4. yttik says:

    Obama’s negligence, inexperience, and idealism, is going to lead us right into WW3.

    It’s the Law of Unintended Consequences (or intended if you’re a conspiritress.) The War on Poverty has given us more poverty, the War on Drugs has given us more drug problems, and the War on War always delivers us more war. Always.

    It’s simple, if you hate war, than support those who have peace in their phraseology. “Peace through strength” always causes a lot less casualties than anti war drone attacks and the chaos of wisdom free idealism.

  5. myiq2xu says:

  6. Black&Right says:

    I’m with Mitt on the column but I wonder, what will Ron Paul’s base think of his comments on Israel?

    The president was very arrogant in his belief that he could bring about Middle East peace with only his presence and apologies on behalf of America. I’m in my early thirties and the phrase “peace in the Middle East” is one I heard all my life.

  7. HELENK says:

    look at the AMAZING drop in requests for military ballots.

    something flaky going on here

  8. angienc says:

    Meanwhile, all the news today & yesterday is about re-writing the White House’s reaction to the events of 9/11/12 — Axelrod & Plouffe both said on the Sunday shows that Obama always called it “terrorism.”

    That’s in addition to their 180 on Obama being the best speaker EVAH!!! Now, he’s just an “OK” debater, while that gaffe-machine Romney is now Cicero.

    For the love of fuck — they are using Orwell’s 1984 as a manual & people are stupid enough to fall for it.

    • cj says:

      That’s EXACTLY what it is & that’s what kills me about someone like Marc Rubin using quibbles about the Tea Party as an excuse to vote for Obama.

      Nothing, not the TP, not social conservatives, not a single policy position put out by Romney or Ryan is as dangerous to this country as the creeping abridgement of free speech & free thought by the Obama WH. And the fact that their Orwellian propaganda is willingly pushed by the media makes it 10 times as bad.

      At the very least, a Romney WH will be forced to be more transparent because the press will never, ever give another POTUS the kind pass it’s given this one.

    • wmcb says:

      Okay, am on the porch of the beachouse w family. My sister was taking video of a school of dolphins going by, and everyone was oohing and ah-ing. I was sitting with my ipad, checking in, and read this comment about “Obama always called it terrorism.”

      I burst out with, “Oh, they are SO fucking full of SHIT!!!!”

      My sisters and husband are all cracking up now, and middle sis is deadpanning, “Well, guess I won’t be posting THAT video on facebook.” They all agree with me, once I told them what I’d exploded over.

      The video is hilarious, though. It sounds as if I’m having a violent reaction to dolphins.

    • Erica says:

      I just finished reading 1984. I re-read it because of the uncanny feeling I had that they were using as their playbook. And they are. They will rewrite everything if we let them.

  9. HELENK says:

    check out where backtrack is practicing for the debate

  10. yttik says:

    “The Arab Spring presented an opportunity to help move millions of people from oppression to freedom.”-MR

    Obama’s attitude seems to be that people in the ME are all unstable hotheads easily provoked into violence. If enough people in leadership subscribe to Obama’s view, there can never be peace in the ME.

    We need leadership that puts faith in the fact that most of humanity are really freedom loving people deserving our support. We must invest in those wanting freedom, rather then in the alleged hurt feelings of a small handful of terrorists.

    • votermom says:

      He’s been making that point a lot. At the Clinton Global Initiative, in his speech, Romney said

      … the shape that role should take was brought into focus by the life and death of Muhammed Bouazizi of Tunisia, the street vendor whose self-immolation sparked the Arab Spring.
      He was just 26-years-old. He had provided for his family since he was a young boy. He worked a small fruit stand, selling to passers-by. The regular harassment by corrupt bureaucrats was elevated one day when they took crates of his fruit and his weighing scales away from him.
      On the day of his protest, witnesses say that an officer slapped Bouazizi and he cried out, “Why are you doing this to me? I’m a simple person, and I just want to work.”
      I just want to work.
      Work. That must be at the heart of our effort to help people build economies that can create jobs for people, young and old alike. Work builds self-esteem. It transforms minds from fantasy and fanaticism to reality and grounding. Work will not long tolerate corruption nor quietly endure the brazen theft by government of the product of hard-working men and women.

  11. Pingback: No Apology & The Mind of Mitt « peacocks and lilies

  12. Excellent, VM. Thank you for dragging it out from behind the firewall. I shared this on RD and it’s being shared all over the place from there.

    I’ve got a follow-up cross-post scheduled for a couple of hours from now.

  13. fif says:

    Mitt is really starting to sound like a leader–that’s a strong, non-equivocating piece.

    • votermom says:

      Jayzuz! What an a-hole!

    • angienc says:

      Yeah — who needs facts, accomplishments & goals! Better for Obama to leave all that stuff out so he can appeal to us rubes (not ’cause the facts are against him, he has no accomplishments, and his only goal is to just get re-elected).

    • Remember back in college when you listened to a professor sounding “too professional (sic)” vs. the one who communicated the tough meaty parts via laymen’s terms? Which one sounded smart to you?

      • HELENK says:

        last year i was called for jury duty. I had to listen to a judge for 2 days go on and on about judge the case on the evidence.
        thank God I did not get picked for the case. By then I was so fed up, I am not sure i could have given the guy a fair verdict.
        backtrack reminds me of that judge

    • cj says:

      She then lamented that Obama “has a tendency to give longer, substantive answers.”

      Liar. Obama’s honed the art ot giving long, rambling answers to dodge, deflect and deceive. The whole point is to obfuscate and make him difficult to understand; if people actually understood where Barry was coming from, Mitt would win this thing in a landslide.

      • Lulu says:

        And he is a blow hard that likes the sound of his own voice. He spews word garbage and most of it doesn’t make any sense. He is the bore that drones on and on and everyone tunes out. The uber smart professor intellectual schtick is a cover for his blathering nonsense. They used this in 2008 and they are dragging it out again for this election. He is a big mouthed, long winded boob.

        • angienc says:

          Even fellow nonsensical windbags like Pelosi put him on “mute.” 🙂

        • cj says:

          He is a big mouthed, long winded boob.

          lol ! Who whistles his S’s which gives the orator all the appeal of listening to nails scraping on a chalkboard.

    • mcnorman says:

      I don’t know, I think he’s a pretty darned professional asshole already.

  14. HELENK says:

    iowa hawk

    David Burge ‏@iowahawkblog

    Looking forward to 90 minutes of questions about birth control Wednesday night.

    • yttik says:

      Speaking of polls, four polls just showed a tie in Presidential approval rates. That’s a decline from last week, by the way.

      But you have to go look at the numbers to get the real story. 41% Strongly Disapprove of the president, versus only 28% who Strongly Approve. A full 60% believe the country is on the Wrong Track, versus 38% that believe we’re on the right track.

  15. votermom says:


    • votermom says:

      Obama sees it as his job to add every day to the Rube Goldberg device that Washington has grown into, while simultaneously throwing sand into its gears.

  16. DM says:

    I think I figured it out. By not meeting with any world leader during the U.N. General Assembly last week, Obama dissed everyone just to diss Netanyahu. If he had met with anyone and excluded Netanyahu, Obama would have suffered more condemnation than by not meeting with anyone.

  17. votermom says:

    This made me LOL

  18. votermom says:

    A woman defending Islam is like a cow defending McDonald’s.

  19. DeniseVB says:

    Probably the most pathetic newspaper endorsement I’ve ever read :

    Thank goodness for the almost 800 commenters who called it a piece of crap too 😀

  20. angienc says:

    Ruh roh! RNC released a 27 page booklet “Promises Made, Promises Broken” the topic of which is all of the promises Obama made in the 2008 debates:

  21. tommy says:

    O/T, but shes back. Monica Lewinsky, a former White House intern, will finally be revealing all about her torrid relationship with then U.S President Bill Clinton in a book deal that will earn her 8 million Pounds, it has been revealed. The 39 year old will be revealing intimate details of her affair with Clinton. In the book, she will also be revealing how her infamous blue dress became stained during one of her steamy sessions with Clinton in the Oval Office, how he wrote her ‘sentimental’ love letters during their affair, how they indulged in ‘three-way sex’ with another of the President’s mistresses. Lewinsky has prepared a synopsis of her story that has sparked a bidding war among some of the world’s leading publishing houses.

  22. michelina51 says:

    to monica: WHO GIVES A FAT ROYAL FUCK !!!!!!

    OLD NEWS LADY———pardon me,,, YOU ARE NO LADY !!

  23. tommy says:

    An update to the religion of Peace shtick…..Hundreds of Muslims in Bangladesh burned atleast 4 Buddhist temples and 15 homes of Buddhists on Sunday after complaining that a Buddhist man had insulted Islam, police and residents said. Members of the Buddhist minority in the Cox’s Bazar area in the southeast of the country said unidentified people were bent on upsetting relations between Muslims and Buddhists. Muslims took to the streets in the area late on Saturday to protest against what they said was a photograph posted on Facebook that insulted Islam. Protesters said the picture had been posted by a Buddhist, and they marched to Buddist villages and set fire to temples and houses.

  24. HELENK says:

    I forgot to say thank you for this article

  25. nomobama says:

    If it looks and smells like shit, then it certainly ain’t candy.

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