The Mouse that Roared--Update
Margaret O'Brien Steinfels October 8, 2012 - 5:37pm
Mitt Romney gave a foreign policy speech Monday at the Virginia Military Institute. Sounded grand and grandiose, but careful reading shows a hodge-podge of nit-picking criticisms--a squeak rather than the roar that must have been intended.Candidate Romney opens with and returns several times to the Libya attack that killed Ambassador Stevens and three others. He lays this tragedy at the feet of the Administration for initially attributing the attack to an anti-Muslim video rather than the militia-terrorists that are now said to be responsible. Security negligence? A PR mistake? Uncertainty in midst of attack? Romney will have none of that.By Romney's lights, Obama has failed in too many ways to count: Fails to support our ally Turkey, to rescue the Syrian people, to have a trade policy for the Middle East, etc. Oh yes, we need a larger Navy and should have left troops in Iraq. Then there's Russia and China, etc. All failing policies that Romney attributes to Obama as if George W. Bush never existed. In a Romney Administration there will be no space between the U.S. and Israel (not of the kind Obama has created by not going to war against Iran). And oh yes, Romney will work to bring about the two-state solution and peace for Israelis and Palestinians (that's a pretty big space when it comes to the Netanyahu government).Does Romney know what he's talking about? Or was this simply a cut and paste operation. Speech here.VMI, The Virginia Military Institute, is probably terra incognita to must of us, but Pat Lang is a graduate. There is an interesting discussion on his blog about the setting, the cadets, their dress, etc., i.e., the atmospheric of Romney's speech. Many of those commenting are not Obama fans, apparently they are not Romney fans either. Here.UPDATE:Here is David Ignatius on the Romney speech; judicious but critical.
About the Author
Margaret O'Brien Steinfels, a former editor of Commonweal, writes frequently in these pages and blogs at dotCommonweal.