In order to become president, Mitt Romney saddled up a snake and began campaigning against Barack Obama on the low road, mostly by insinuating that Mr. Obama wasn’t quite American enough for the American people.
In one of the most cynical moves possible, and from a man who wants to be the leader of the most powerful country in the world, Mitt Romney released a statement to the press last night at about ten o’clock, a statement that was, according to Politico, “initially embargoed until the 9/11 anniversary was officially over” at midnight.
That statement, released before all the facts were known about what happened in Libya and Egypt—we now know our U.S. ambassador to Libya and three staffers were killed—read:
I’m outraged by the attacks on American diplomatic missions in Libya and Egypt and by the death of an American consulate worker in Benghazi. It’s disgraceful that the Obama administration’s first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks.
Ah. That disgusting and irresponsible and unpatriotic and purely political statement follows precisely the narrative that the right-wing has been telling about Mr. Obama, ever since Sarah Palin accused him of “paling around with terrorists.” Mr. Obama, you see, not only pals around with domestic terrorists, he has sympathy for terrorists in faraway lands. He goes about the world “apologizing” for America. Why? Because he’s not one of us.
What triggered Romney’s amateurish response was a statement released by the U.S. embassy in Cairo, a statement condemning a “film” that is not only amateurish on a Romney-like scale, but according to The Wall Street Journal,
was directed and produced by an Israeli-American real-estate developer who characterized it as a political effort to call attention to the hypocrisies of Islam. It has been promoted by Terry Jones, the Florida pastor whose burning of Qurans previously sparked deadly riots around the world.
The movie’s trailer was uploaded to YouTube and, according to “Pastor” Jones, “further reveals in a satirical fashion the life of Muhammad.” In other words, it pokes fun at the Muslim prophet, which by design is meant to inflame passions in the Middle East and make Jones, and his Israel-before-America friends, heroes to a weird cult of Christians who hate all forms of Islam.
Some radicals in the region, taking the bait from America’s haters, morphed the homemade film into a Hollywood blockbuster that was purposely released on 9/11 in order to insult Islam. So, we can conclude that there are idiots everywhere, some even willing to kill in the name of their religion.
The embassy statement, the one Romney said showed sympathy to those who attacked our “diplomatic missions,” was actually released before—repeat, before—those deadly attacks occurred. Romney jumped the gun, just to reinforce the narrative about the president, and made himself look the fool.
For the record, here is the entire statement:
The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims – as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions. Today, the 11th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, Americans are honoring our patriots and those who serve our nation as the fitting response to the enemies of democracy. Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy. We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others
The Obama administration made it clear this statement, released “shortly after noon” on Tuesday, according to The New York Times, was not authorized by the White House. And the Times also made the point that Romney was “apparently unaware of the timing of the first embassy statement.” Unaware? Yes, that pretty much describes Romney’s foreign policy consciousness.
As I said, the politics played by Romney on Tuesday night is disgusting enough, but what is serious about all this is what is happening in Israel, particularly how it appears that Benjamin Netanyahu is conspiring with his long-time friend Mitt Romney to push Barack Obama out of the White’s House and push the United States into a war with Iran.
Netanyahu, pissed off that President Obama and Hillary Clinton are trying to keep us out of a shooting war with Iran, launched what even Fox “News,” citing an Israeli newspaper, called,
an unprecedented critique of the U.S. government and others over their stance on the Iranian nuclear program…
Unprecedented, indeed. Netanyahu said:
The world tells Israel ‘wait, there’s still time.’ And I say, ‘Wait for what? Wait until when?’ Those in the international community who refuse to put red lines before Iran don’t have a moral right to place a red light before Israel.
Wait? Patience? Who needs patience when we are talking about getting America into yet another war in the Middle East? Huh?
If one were to survey right-wing media in this country, one would think that the Israelis were all of one mind on the subject of what to do about Iran. But that is far from true. Opinion is divided in that country about how to proceed. But Netanyahu, an American right-winger’s dream of an Israeli prime minister, is doing his best to slyly disrespect President Obama and force the United States to either act on its own to attack Iran or act in concert with Israel to try to destroy its nuclear facilities.
What is scary about Romney and the conservative intelligentsia here in the United States, is that these people are willing to outsource our foreign policy to Netanyahu and the Israelis. Apparently we don’t have interests in the region such that we can act—or not act for God’s sake—on our own without the permission of the Israelis. That is not only scary, it is, uh, un-American.
Romney’s foreign policy advisor, Robert O’Brien, said this on Tuesday, in response to the Obama campaign’s willingness to push Mr. Obama’s many foreign policy successes:
It doesn’t surprise me that they’re raising foreign policy because it’s another distraction from the Administration’s terrible economic record. They’re going from one shiny object to the next.
Yes, to Romney and his campaign, foreign policy is a distraction, a shiny object, a toy to be played with one minute and then discarded the next. And given what Romney did on Tuesday night, the American people should treat Mr. Romney like the naive foreign policy child he is and send him to his room on November 6.
This stuff is too serious to leave to the kids.