The neocons’ war against Obama

By Jacob Heilbrunn
October 19, 2012

The neoconservatives who rebuffed the Republican establishment’s warnings about the perils of war in Iraq have now opened another front —against President Barack Obama.

The neocons, unlike the muscular Democrats who led the U.S. into the Vietnam War—including Defense Secretary Robert McNamara and Secretary of State Dean Rusk— are not reflecting about what went wrong in Iraq. Nor are they dodging the public spotlight.

They have instead signed on as foreign policy advisers for Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.  He is now strongly denouncing Obama as an abject failure, intent on appeasing the world’s dictators. Romney, who has scant foreign policy experience, is now championing a new “American Century,” featuring a pre-emptive foreign policy agenda, a $2-trillion increase in the Defense budget and, most likely, hostilities with Iran — not to mention skirmishes with China and Russia.

Ever since these once hawkish centrist Democrats denounced President Jimmy Carter and signed on with Ronald Reagan in 1980, they have sought a president who would carry out their grandiose dreams: giving Israel carte blanche and exporting democracy, by force if necessary, around the globe. In George W. Bush they found him—a credulous president who denounced an axis of evil.

But with the Iraq war, their doctrines became discredited until the very word “neocon” morphed into a term of abuse. Now, however, these unrepentant ideologues are seeking another chance to promote their militant doctrines – and have discovered a fresh champion in Romney.

Romney recently praised former Vice President Dick Cheney as a “person of wisdom and judgment.” For his advisers are a phalanx of neoconservatives who actively worked with Cheney in the George W. Bush administration.

Yet, for all Romney’s skill at turning around faltering businesses, this neo-con attack on the Obama foreign policy looks like one enterprise that is bound to fail. Instead of reviving his campaign, Romney’s embrace of the neocons is sabotaging it. Romney may be good for the neocons — but they are not good for him.

Neocons who have clambered on board the Romney campaign include Bush administration officials Dan Senor, who served as spokesman for the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq; John Bolton, a former ambassador to the United Nations, and Elliott Abrams, a former deputy national security adviser for global democracy.

The neocons in the Romney camp appear to be focused on blanket support for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and confrontation with Russia, China and, above all, Iran.

Abrams, writing in the Weekly Standard, for example, declared that Congress should pass a resolution authorizing the use of military force against Iran. Senor said on CBS’ “This Morning” last month that America “looks impotent” because Obama has failed to topple Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Both Abrams and Senor are also giving Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan, who recently decried Obama’s absence of “moral clarity” in foreign affairs, a neocon buffing.

Yet Romney’s adoption of the neocons could be boomeranging. During the former Massachusetts governor’s maladroit trip abroad this summer, Senor declared in Israel, “If Israel has to take action on its own, in order to stop Iran from developing that capability, the governor would respect that decision.”

The Romney camp ultimately had to walk back this provocative statement. But Romney, who declared in his infamous behind-closed-doors video that the Palestinians have “no interest” in peace, presumably believes in it.

Romney, in his second presidential debate with Obama, flirted with disaster when he pointed to the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi to press the tired, and bogus, neocon line that Obama is a wuss when it comes to confronting terrorism.

Instead of engaging in a semantic debate about whether Obama described the attack as an “act of terror,” Romney would have been wiser to attack Obama on the more substantive grounds of competence.

Overall, Romney would be better-served if he listened to the few establishment advisers in his camp, including Robert Zoellick, former deputy secretary of state and World Bank head, who, not surprisingly, is loathed by the neocons for his reasoned approach to foreign policy. Zoellick is also castigated as a protégé of former Secretary of State James Baker, the neocon bogeyman because of his criticism of Israel’s West Bank settlements.

There are no signs, however, that Romney is seriously deviating from neocon orthodoxy.

So when Romney debates Obama on foreign policy on Monday night, he will likely be walking straight into a trap of his own making. Romney wants to portray Obama—who approved the daring raid in Pakistan that killed Osama bin Laden—as a warmed-over Carter.

But in caricaturing Obama, who has pursued a prudent and cautious course in foreign policy, Romney is providing further evidence that he is living in the past by endorsing the failed policies of the Bush administration.

In the final debate Monday, Obama will surely pound home the theme that Romney would likely mire the U.S. in new and unpopular wars in both the Middle East and Asia.

Whether Romney as president would actually pursue the neo-con piffle he’s been touting is an open question. But given that 17 of 24 of his top foreign policy advisers served in the Bush administration, as Foreign Policy noted, it would be a big gamble to bet against it.

Romney as president, for example could face an uproar in his own ranks if he tried to restrain Israel from attacking Tehran. He may discover that the only thing the neocons are essentially loyal is their malarkey about reinventing the Middle East overnight.

So, if Obama defeats Romney would the neocons finally disappear? Not a chance.

Their policies may have led to catastrophe in the Middle East, but they have become a permanent part of the Washington establishment. They now have sturdy perches at the American Enterprise Institute, Fox News and the Weekly Standard, among others.

Instead of folding their collective foreign policy tents, the neocons will likely latch onto a fresh candidate, like Paul Ryan or Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) to espouse their credo in 2016.

It’s not as if the neocons are actually making a comeback. They never really left.

 

PHOTO: Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and John Bolton, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, share a laugh. Jason Reed / Reuters

 

24 comments

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I am worried sick that there aren’t enough Americans paying close enough attention to what’s going on and could end up putting Romney in the White House. How can a politician who has lied and flip-flopped on all issues be seriously considered as our President?

What really worries me is how few Americans (and this isn’t true outside our borders) realize just how bad Bush’s 8 years were for this country, both domestically and internationally. If more than half of the US thinks Bush was a tolerable President, what hope is there for the future? Bush was probably our worst President.

6 months into the Iraq War I saw a poll that said 70% of Americans believed that Saddam Hussein was behind the 9/11 attacks. As my cousin said to me at the time (he was about 45 then), “Everyone knows Saddam Hussein was behind the 9/11 attacks.” In other words, the United States of America went to war and the majority of its people didn’t even correctly know why. What’s even worse, people today don’t realize just how bad of a thing that is. We’re just blundering on like the Iraq War was a reasonable war to fight, and that going from surpluses to record deficits to the worst economic crash since the Great Depression was just something to shrug your shoulders about, while scratching your head wondering why Obama hasn’t made everything groovy again. It’s the same attitude toward global warming. What global warming?

We’ve become a nation of Alfred E. Newmans: “What, me worry?” This is the only reason someone with the questionable character and failed proposals like Romney can have a serious shot at becoming our President. I’m afraid that even if Obama wins it’s only going to slow down our race toward the rightwing cliff. What’s going to happen to stop the propaganda and the brain-rot that has infected this country?

Posted by flashrooster | Report as abusive

Utterly shameless. They should have slunk off into the sunset, their tails between their legs; instead they double down on the wrong way.

Posted by borisjimbo | Report as abusive

I’ve been saying it for a long time now… of course the extra $2 trillion the GOP wants is for another war in the middle east. These are the same imperialistic sidewinders who got us into 2 wars in the middle east already. They have guns, they wanna use em and make some more. It only took bold faced lies, widespread cronyism, countless American lives, a glaring national deficit and the unique opportunity to get intermingled in a 2000+ year old religious war all the while lining the pockets of corporations who have bought the GOP to do so the first time.

Ryan also obviously said we aren’t finished in the middle east quite yet during the VP debate which was a sharp contrast to Biden’s response insisting that we are done in the middle east in 2014. So let’s add it up… need $2 trillion more… aren’t done yet… well I’d be damned but I think I hear some GOP boots marching…

And I tell you… there will be no balanced budget with another war to pay for (add in a dash of cronyism and a pinch of tax cuts, the customary GOP trifecta)… hello deficit… and be ready to send your children off to fight another war for the GOP in the middle east. But hey… your gas prices might be a bit better… phew! Just wait for the lies, the rhetoric, the deficit and the back-tracking on many many a promise from Mr. Romney and his camp. His budget plan is already mathematically impossible without adding to the debt or increasing tax revenue, I cringe at what another war will do to it. Enjoy that tax break if you actually do get one (I know it’s one of the 55 things Mitt wants to do “on day one”) while the deficit pushes through the roof and we’re fighting another war. Oh and given the nature of an escalating middle east, it happens that there is a good chance it will actually become WWIII or a nuclear war… or both.

Last point, I can’t believe it isn’t talked about more that Mr. Romney has been claiming that he will create millions of jobs for the poor, struggling (47% he hates behind closed doors) American peons if elected as the leader of our government. Oh really?!… Yeayyy!! But wait, during the debate he very clearly stated, twice in a row, that “the government doesn’t create jobs”(!). Well which is it Mr. Romney, does the government and the President create jobs or not?? Make up your mind already on this and everything that you got nominated for supporting but no longer do. And just how did they get rid of your strings on TV?… that’s amazing!

Please vote smart, don’t vote in the puppet and the poindexter and another war, restrictions on freedoms, less help for hard working people and a bleak future that resembles our past.

The Presidency and cabinet is not a soup kitchen you can just barge your way into and take over for your own gain no matter how destructive your actions. Our dishes are already clean! Stay out! And no, the windows do not roll down on Air Force One Mr. Romney… do we really need to go over this again?…

Posted by truepatamerica | Report as abusive

Mitt Mitt Mitt…..hanging with criminals and chickens. How fitting.

Posted by krimsonpage | Report as abusive

Republican Approach: Let Them Eat Cake

“Borrow from your parents,” Mitt Romney enlightened American students (and their parents) some time ago.
Since I am one such enlightened parent from the so-called American Middle Class, (and very possibly – one from the “binders full of women” since I live in Quincy, MA) it sounded to me like: “Let them eat cake!”(as another great Romney’s comment probably sounded to the whole country: “47 percent of Americans ‘believe they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name it’ and that ‘my job is not to worry about’ people who won’t ‘take personal responsibility and care for their lives’”.
He was as eccentric and out of touch as one eccentric French Queen, when she allegedly said, “If they don’t have bread – let them eat cake!”
…As he was eccentric when he joked about President Obama’s attempt to slow global warming when addressing the crowd at the Republican National Convention: “President Obama promised to slow the rise of the oceans and to heal the planet.” (…Suggesting later in the game the cheapest energy plan for the time being and ignoring that it will not necessary be neither the best nor the cheapest in the long run…)
John Mcquaid/Forbes.com writes: Romney “didn’t simply dismiss global warming, or reject policies intended to address or mitigate against sea level rise, which is closely tied to global warming. Politicians do those things all the time. It’s ill-informed and irresponsible. But Romney took this a step further: he used the very idea of controlling sea level rise as a mere rhetorical device, a laugh line to mock Barack Obama‘s grandiosity.” His “remark is, needless to say, unhelpful. Sea level rise is a genuine problem. The oceans are actually rising as the planet warms up, in part because the volume of water is expanding due to the extra heat, and in part due to the ongoing melting of polar ice.” Nevertheless, Romney milked his ‘rising-oceans-joke’ for a few long seconds as the crowd at the Republican National Convention laughed.
You don’t easily forget those remarks, since they show one clear thing: not caring much about the people he is eager to represent…
Lately we all are hyped about the Presidential debates: Romney won the first, Obama won the second, what about the third one?! Even if Romney wins the third one – does this change his approach – from ‘not caring about the people’ to ‘caring about the people’? Make a wild guess…
Some time ago I read the slogan on a European label of clothes made from natural products. (I had asked my husband to bring them from Europe because I do not like clothes made in China in American stores for various reasons. Mainly, because the Chinese drive American companies out of business and American workers out of work, use child labor, are still building communism (now, with American money), etc. The label startled me with its simplicity, stating that the company is using natural products “…Because we care about the environment, our children, and our future…”
The phrase stuck deep in me and made me think.
Do we all care about the environment, our children, and our future? Really?
I have been following political ups-and-downs of the presidential race lately, and have been struck by some strange ideas. I am a woman and a Democrat. With the family in the 28% tax bracket, which sends their daughter to Canada, McGill University, since US university price tags are impossible to pay…for the rest of your life… I have my angle. But still…
If you look at Republican policies and their presidential race promises, and compare those promises with how these promise-givers behave in real life, you get the impression that the Republicans don’t care (if paraphrase Romney – don’t worry) about anything in America, except their money – safe in the Cayman Islands or elsewhere (but not the US). Never mind “the environment, our children, and our future…”
Our country is hugely in debt – but they still pump the money out of it, whenever they get a chance, by not paying their fair share of taxes. (The very wealthiest American households are paying at nearly the lowest tax rate in 50 years. Some pay at just half the federal income tax rate that top income earners paid in 1960.) They take their business to some magical places with no taxes – such as the Cayman Islands – and, incidentally, export American jobs to support China’s Communism. Warren Buffett is one of very few billionaires who think it is important to pay their fair share of taxes to America. Or at least he believes that it is not just for him to pay at a lower rate than his secretary pays – something that does not seem to bother other billionaires in the least. I love Warren Buffett and his Buffett Rule, which simply states: “No household making more than $1 million each year should pay a smaller share of their income in taxes than a middle class family pays. This is the Buffett Rule — a simple principle of tax fairness that asks everyone to pay their fair share.”
Tax breaks for millionaires were created during the George W. Bush era for a specific purpose: to create jobs in America. Did they? Bush tax breaks for the rich were in place for 9 years. Did they do any good for America? Since Romney still blames Obama for not having created jobs in America, it would appear that these tax breaks did not do the magic! Mitt Romney (who is a millionaire) has a nice “millionairesque” (like grotesque) approach to the situation: get millions in tax breaks in order to create jobs in America, take the money, do not create these jobs, and pin the blame on President Obama, who has been doing everything in his power to create jobs in America. Even if the Republican-controlled Congress bites him in the pants legs as he goes. Dogs bark, but the caravan passes. (Mr. Romney started “shoot earlier and aim later” even before the Libya attack).
On NPR’s September 15th Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me I heard an interesting thought: President Obama was a little ahead of Mitt Romney based on how people answered the question: With whom they would rather be on a boat in a perfect storm? People gave more scores for Obama, since the possible answers were that in this situation Obama would start to negotiate with the ocean, and Mitt Romney would step out onto another boat….”
…I have an idea. Let the millionaires continue to have these tax breaks, but only if they actually create jobs in America! Create 500 new jobs in America, get your tax break back! No new jobs (in America!) – no tax breaks! Let’s not be naïve here. Nobody is going to bring jobs back to America out of the goodness of their heart. There should be a tax incentive to do so, and a tax burden for taking jobs out of America and bleeding them to China. No “another boat”!
One of the most often repeated phrases at the Republican convention (repeated about 10 plus times) was: “But they don’t get it…” (Implied in this is, of course, that “We, Republicans, do get it, but they, the Democrats, DON’T GET IT!”
I think I get it. And I like it… I can use it myself… as a boomerang…
If Bain Capital (or other “Bainish capitals”) continue to outsource American jobs to China and American dollars to the Cayman Islands, the American people will not get these jobs! But they (the Republicans)don’t get it!
By outsourcing jobs to China we weaken America and strengthen Chinese Socialism or Communism (whatever they call it there). But they don’t get it!
About 44 million people in our country have no health insurance, and another 38 million have inadequate health insurance. This means that nearly one-fourth of Americans cannot get adequate medical care. Some of them will die. (Let them eat cake?). But they don’t get it!
That our so called “best medical care in the world” leaves about one fifth Americans without any medical care is a disgrace. But they don’t get it!
The elderly have already paid for their Medicare while they were working. With a voucher system, they will not be able to pay for their health care in the near future. But they don’t get it!
If American businesses are outsourced to the Cayman Islands, American taxes will not make it to America because of clever tax loopholes. This will make the already huge American debt even larger. But they don’t get it!
The middle class should not have to pay taxes on behalf of millionaires. But they don’t get it!
Millionaires should not get tax breaks in order to create jobs in America, if they do not create those jobs IN AMERICA. But they don’t get it!
When Americans do not have jobs, they do not buy American goods, (because guess what? They do not have the money!), and that weakens our economy. But they don’t get it!
I think Republicans (and Romney) do get it.
The problem is: they do not care….
They do not care about our environment, our children, and our future… If they cared, they would not act the way they do, since it is also their environment, their children, and their future. Or maybe not? Because if it becomes really bad here – they can escape to Cayman Islands, or to Singapore, or to China… – why would they care?
I feel like Republican (and Romney) policies are like Darwinism applied to 21st century Americans: only the strongest (or the richest) survive. As for the rest (the 99%) of us? “Let them eat cake…” Republican policies might lead us into the sort of situation depicted in Steven Spielberg’s movie Ants. We will dig ourselves into a disaster – without even realizing it. Just as those ants were digging under the lake to flood millions of ants in order that only the strongest and the best (i.e., richest) survive… so we will be digging our own hole. We need a little ‘Z’ – as in the movie – one little ant, with a big mouth, to tell us this, and to push us all towards our salvation.
I thought the ‘Occupy’ movement was cool, until I realized that they did not have any clear idea of what they were demanding. (As Gary Trudeau poked fun in a Doonesbury comic strip, “What do you want?” “Nothing!” “When do you want it?” “Now!”)
President Obama, on the other hand, understood what the Occupy Movement, and most of Americans, want, and converted these wants into goals. I think the Occupy movement could help him to achieve these goals against the Republican House.
I watched the Conventions – it was much more interesting than the everyday TV programs. In the Republican convention, according to ABC News, Romney officials met with top donors aboard a 150-foot (45-meter) yacht that was flying the flag of the Cayman Islands – the offshore tax haven that has served as a home for some of Romney’s $200 million-plus fortune. Here you go –another boat….
“Star quality and sometimes star behavior” former Democrat president Bill Clinton endorsed Barack Obama at the Democratic Convention, and George W. Bush was nowhere to be seen at his party convention. “After the White House,” said Franklin Pierce, the 14th president, “what is there to do but drink?” (www.washingtonpost.com)
…Some time ago Boston Globe wrote that Bush farted in front of his staff – to see how the new analysts would react… It looks like we still can smell it in the whole country – four years later…
Mother Jones wrote that Mitt Romney’s campaign got into a dustup with the Washington Post after the newspaper reported that Bain Capital, the private equity firm the GOP presidential candidate founded, invested in several US companies that outsourced jobs to China and India. The campaign indignantly demanded a retraction, claiming that these businesses did not send jobs overseas while Romney was running Bain, and the Post stood by its investigation.
Yet there is another aspect to the Romney-as-outsourcer controversy. According to government documents reviewed by Mother Jones, Romney, when he was in charge of Bain, invested heavily in a Chinese manufacturing company that depended on US outsourcing for its profits—and that explicitly stated that such outsourcing was crucial to its success. This previously unreported deal runs counter to Romney’s tough talk on the campaign trail regarding China. “We will not let China continue to steal jobs from the United States of America,” Romney declared in February. But with this investment, Romney sought to make money off a foreign company that banked on American firms outsourcing manufacturing overseas.
On April 17, 1998, Brookside Capital Partners Fund, a Bain Capital affiliate, filed a report with the Securities and Exchange Commission noting that it had acquired 6.13 percent of Hong Kong-based Global-Tech Appliances, which manufactured household appliances in a production facility in the industrial city of Dongguan, China. That August, according to another SEC filing, Brookside upped its interest in Global-Tech to 10.3 percent. Both SEC filings identified Romney as the person in control of this investment: “Mr. W. Mitt Romney is the sole shareholder, sole director, President and Chief Executive Officer of Brookside Inc. and thus is the controlling person of Brookside Inc.” Each of these documents was signed by Domenic Ferrante, a managing director of Brookside and Bain.” (Mother Jones).
Romney is a trickster. If he keeps outsourcing American jobs oversees (and blaming Obama for it) – Americans will not have them – but they (Republicans) don’t get it… or they don’t care…
Is Romney going to continue it when he is American President? Being on two boats?
I am from Massachusetts. We all know here that Romney used MA as a “stepping stone” for his campaigns. He did not work much as a governor – because he was traveling with the president-to-be campaigns. (He was not nominated then – people were cleverer in the old days…) The only good thing he did in MA was a Healthcare reform. But he does not admit it – because that would show that President’s Obama healthcare reform is good, since its equivalent exists, works, and it even saves money in Massachusetts. So it can do the same in the whole America.
That keeping everybody healthy when everybody is paying for healthcare is better and cheaper for the whole country – But they don’t get it!
Let’s simplify Bain capital/Romney approach on job outsourcing : If some company has difficult times (as most USA companies have had since the times Clinton left the oval office) – let them go bankrupt, lay off workers, buy up the company assets, sell the buildings, get the money and invest it in Cayman Islands – e. g. – get on the other boat…
“If you believe in America – you invest in America…” says Obama. You level the playing field for all. You give healthcare to all. You help to get higher education for all. You don’t say to all the people, “let them eat cake” — if you care about the environment, our children, and our future; If you love America, not just your money and your ambitions – which can even turn against you if America becomes really poor…or defaults on its debts. That possibility scares even the whole world: that the Tea Party Republicans want America to default on its debts in order to collect political scores (WBUR Sept 21 Morning Edition).
Do they really want to help America to prosper? Even if Republicans and Romney do – they do not act accordingly. And since they do not act accordingly – they might accidentally destroy American Middle Class which was created to make America the greatest country in the world… And it did…
Not like the tax cuts for the richest – that were supposed to create jobs in America…
…Don’t get me wrong, Romney is a good man – for his family, his friends, and the 1% of the population on the very top – the ones who have another boat… As he said himself – his “job is not to worry” about the other “47 percent of Americans” …
Even if I am somewhere in that about 50 percent that is left – I feel like he does not worry about us (who are in that percent) either. That means that the rest of us are in the same boat… In that case I would rather let Obama “negotiate with the ocean in the perfect storm” – our turbulent times – since, unlike Romney, he is a good man for 99% of America, not just for the top 1%.
As “Star quality and sometimes star behavior” former Democrat president Bill Clinton said in the Democratic Convention while endorsed Barack Obama – “let him finish what he started, since no president – not even me – can fix things in just 4 years. The choice in November would be between whether voters wanted to be part of a ‘we’re all in this together society’ or a ‘winner take all, you’re on your own society’”.
Considering this tough choice, I would rather be in “we’re all in this together society”. Together with we can” slow the rise of the oceans and to heal the planet”… if we really care about the environment, our children, and our future…
By: Rima Girnius
References
http://www.motherjones.com/
http://videocafe.crooksandliars.com/heat her/mitt-romney-tells-ohio-students-borr ow-mon
http://www.whitehouse.gov/economy/buffet t-rule
http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/e ssay-bill-clinton-a-living-political-leg end-with-all-the-attendant-excess-baggag e/2012/09/05/f6fd2cf8-f738-11e1-a93b-718 5e3f88849_story.html
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012  /07/bain-capital-mitt-romney-outsourcin g-china-global-tech
http://www.businessweek.com/articles/201 2-09-20/what-mitt-romney-got-wrong-about -the-47-percent
http://www.wbur.org/
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/sep  /06/bill-clinton-endorsement-barack-oba ma
http://www.forbes.com/sites/johnmcquaid/ 2012/08/31/romneys-rising-oceans-joke

Posted by rimagirnius | Report as abusive

It’s hard to be enthusiastic about Obama.

But Mittens promises to be, like W, another unmitigated disaster. I don’t wish him on even the gifted stupid American electorate.

Not that it wouldn’t be fun to see them get another full dose of their own bastardly idiocy.

Posted by jrpardinas | Report as abusive

It is interesting that the writer already thinks he knows how Romney will handle the debate concerning foreign policy. By sprinkling “neocon” throughout the article he attempts to belittle all those outside of his lefty bubble as though any reader will assume that settles it.
As a “neodove” do you really think the world cares or respects that you want to be liked first? Projecting weakness only obtains more distain and more violence. I thought the impulse to withdraw from active participation had been permanently cured given our experiences with WWI & WWII. I was wrong.
Romney is more sophisticated than the writer gives him credit. He charges that Romney has no “foreign policy” experience. How much “foreign policy” experience did Obama have when elected – for that matter how much experience in managing anything did he have? We all know — none.
The difference between Romney & Obama for me has to do with their world views and real experience – Obama’s view that the US has been a negative influence in the world and must reduce its profile. As he has “lead from behind” again we can all see the damage he has caused. He had no credible role to play in the Arab spring other than to let the likes of the Muslim Brotherhood know that we would be on the sidelines.
Romney, judging from his past performance, will involve skilled foreign policy with similar views and try to get ahead of the curve so results we are looking for become more likely.

Posted by 4ever49 | Report as abusive

The writer doesn’t have to guess Romney’s intentions; these are some of the only areas where he has actually spelled out intentions. He hired a bunch of Bush people and is spelling out a foreign policy that sounds almost like a carbon copy of Bush; that is probably not a coincidence. Unless Romney is lying to try and sound tough (which I guess is very plausible) he is planning on escalating conflicts all across the middle east and generally giving the finger to everyone else in the process (ie Dubya redux).

Posted by spall78 | Report as abusive

Not really sure what to think of this article. The author seems to have a bias against neoconservatives and points the ideology in bad light. It seems to curve alongside the public perception of its core principles, rather than analyzing its real-world effectiveness (if any) and theory.
You can claim the Bush doctrine was in effect a construction of neoconservative principles, but in reality it bared the elements of realism. To claim the U.S. went to war in Iraq, in due part to promote its value of democracy, is simply foolish. By promoting democracy in Iraq, the U.S. built an ally, a reliable military and guaranteed points of access for military strike zones. It’s the effort to promote strategic interests by securing a buffering zone around Iran, pressuring it externally.

Posted by bates148 | Report as abusive

“…the very word ‘neocon’ morphed into a term of abuse.” Now that truly is news for those of us who get our info from sources other than Reuters and the other MSM’s. I guess the Obama folks have put out the word that you guys need to pull out the stops if you want your favorite fascist to win another term. But don’t you understand that promoting false propaganda won’t bring you more readers and advertisers? And here you have Newsweek’s sorry situation right in front of you, but still you persist? Must be a death wish.

Posted by nikacat | Report as abusive

“Romney’s skills at turning around businesses…” My goodness, there is no such thing. Romney was involved in private equity which is about taking companies, stripping them down and selling them on (most fail soon after being sold on). It only makes money for Romney, it’s not good for society or employees etc. Many employees are laid off, jobs are outsourced (primarily to China). Also, don’t forget ROmney banks most of his money abroad, so his skills are about enriching himself at the cost of all else. Please don’t fall for that line about Romney turning around businesses, there aren’t any examples of businesses he’s “turned around”

Posted by Caspary | Report as abusive

Some are saying Mitt fits all the criteria of the Anti Christ ( of course I don’t believe in this ) he’s not a christian, has all the war warmonger NEO Cons as advisers and shows he is looking to start a war with Iran ( who Russia and China support ). Could Mitt start world war III?

Posted by HereItComes | Report as abusive

@flashrooter– I think the surging of support for Romney basically based on the popular American’s negative sentiment against China and the fear that trade with China may be unwisely managed to allow China surpassing USA economically and militarily. Obama’s cool-headed foreign policy can easily be misinterpreted and mistaken as weakness as Republican has portraited him in the last few weeks.

Obama has done an excellent job in foreign policy and promoting democracy where we see opportunity, but he has not been effective in explaining it at strategic level to American people. The coming debate is his opportunity to do so.

We have gotten half of middle east leaning toward democracy since he is our president and killed OBL, all without losing a single soldier and trillions of dollars. If I were a soldier, I would like to serve a commander-in-chief who value his soldier’s life as Obama did. Not the one who tries to be a macho man by going around and making threat to others to get their way; and certainly not the one who wastes tax payer money to pursue a non-sense arm race and needless wars.

Posted by Freedom4A | Report as abusive

I wondered whatever happened to the old John Birch Society. We all remember: a communist plot behind every door and a fellow traveller under every bed. They must have changed hats and gone left: the Koch brothers in every closet and a neocon at every window. Whenever I hear the reference I tend to distance myself for its propaganda I will be reading as opposed to objective analysis. This author simply regurgitates stock and trade progressive left talking points accompanied by the usual obfuscation of the facts.

What is actually shaping up is a foreign policy clash that we have not seen since the election of 1980 and the- to be expected- leftwing stoking of fear of consequence for projecting strength. The last time around we found ourselves regaled with tales of our imminent thermonuclear incineration. The left- in this case the author- is merely echoing the same fears with nary an examination of a foreign policy self destructing in front of our very eyes. We were, according to the infallible one, supposed to be loved and respected only to find ourselves hated more and disrespected more than at anytime since that aforementioned election. I wonder why.

Posted by Rico54 | Report as abusive

One would think, given the recent events in Libya, that neosocialists would take a moment to reflect on what went wrong with this Administrations policies. The inescapable facts are that four Americans were killed, including a U.S. ambassador and we continue to be fed fiction. The fault, according to this President, is an obscure American made file on the Internet and not a resurgent AQ. Clearly this Administration is doing more Intelligence inside the United States on its own citizens than in foreign countries.

The fact this is the case is made clear by the fact this Administration had no clue AQ was set to attack the consolate in Benghazi. And, if the latest Intel this Administration is spoonfeeding out has any truth to it, AQ just happened to be in the neighborhood and decided to take it out. If that is really the case, then AQ is not just resurgent but is alive and well and living in relative luxury.

It should be clear, even to the neosocialists, that AQ is resurgent and that the “surge” in Afghanistan has been a huge waste of treasure and lives. Afghanistan is not Iraq – you can be sure I knew I’d be replaying this theme over and over again when Obama attempted to imitate Bush’s success in Iraq by an imitation in Afghanistan. And, as intimated, this Administration has been attempting to conjure up a “deal” with “Iran” before the election. For Obama, everything is politics and since everything is politics for Obama, anything anyone does is politics.

Posted by ttaerum | Report as abusive

Both candidates are accountable for what they intend to do in the fight against corruption in the international financial system. The US credit rating is facing a further downgrade because the Federal Reserve is refusing to end a cover-up of corruption at the World Bank. The UK’s Financial Reporting Council is investigating KPMG’s improper audit.

Mitt Romney appointed Robert Zoellick as his national security transition planning chief. Mr. Zoellick stonewalled a GAO investigation http://citizenoversight.com/pdf/blwb.pdf   into corruption at the World Bank requested by Senators Lugar, Leahy and Bayh. Paul Volcker’s investigation into this corruption was discredited http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/201 0/04/06-3

Congress is refusing to disburse the World Bank capital increase until there is substantial progress in eliminating the effects of retaliation against whistleblowers who disclosed illegality and corruption.
http://www.change.org/petitions/tell-tre asury-protect-whistleblowers-at-u-s-taxp ayer-funded-international-banks
I testified about this corruption to the UK and EU Parliaments:
http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa  /cm201213/cmselect/cmintdev/writev/402/ contents.htm
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/document/a ctivities/cont/201105/20110518ATT19540/2 0110518ATT19540EN.pdf

Forbes published my comment (hit expand all comments twice): http://www.forbes.com/sites/richardbehar  /2012/06/27/world-bank-spins-out-of-con trol-corruption-dysfunction-await-new-pr esident/

See http://www.kahudes.net

Posted by KarenHudes | Report as abusive

The neocon’s “fears of appearing to be impotent” says it all.
If Romney is elected, either the US or Israel will bomb Iran’s nuclear sites within weeks or months. If anyone thinks that will be the end of Iran’s nuclear program, they’re dreaming. The neocons are still trying to live in a world that has moved on; the world where the US was so wealthy and dominant that it could afford to impose its will around the world. Thanks to their efforts with W, the wealth and dominance was squandered in Iraq and Afghanistan, not to mention the lives lost. One thing you can bet money on, is that not one of the neocon’s sons and daughters will be fighting in these new wars. They’ll be safe at home, counting their riches.

Posted by thinkb4 | Report as abusive

The U.S. is heading for the cliff and the fiscal component is the one that worries me the least.Public discourse has been so poisoned by the neo’s and their backers that it has become meaningless.The strategy, however, continues to work for them, just as it did for the Nazis in the 1920′s and 1930′s.

Posted by Biscayne | Report as abusive

I am commenting after the debate, so it is clear this article was prophetic in the sense that Romney got devoured.It takes courage to face oneself, which these lack tremendously.

Posted by OfCoUrSe10 | Report as abusive

If somebody like romney became President, instead of OBAMA, we BETTER have a bigger Military, because romney would get us into a war with Russia, China and Iran.

Posted by PhD-ForRelats | Report as abusive

I see the lunatic fringe has come out, hand-wringing about the mythical “neocons” when not one of them knows what that means. After 4 years of an unmitigated disaster masquerading as a President, it’s good to see the U.S. finally waking up. On November 6, this failed social experiment will have come to a merciful and long overdue end. Romney punked Barry in the first debate, with the next two clearly a draw. This leftist and his utopian never-never land is history.

Posted by Energyguy | Report as abusive

Robert Zoellick is not an “establishment advisor.” He is loathed by Romney supporters because Mr. Zoellick is an albatross. In the final debate for the US presidency, Bob Schieffer did not ask Mitt Romney or Barack Obama what they intend to do to fight international corruption. http://www.politico.com/blogs/media/2012  /10/schieffer-this-is-their-campaign-13 9308.html
The Federal Reserve Board’s cover-up of this corruption caused a lowering of the US credit rating. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/Kar en_Hudes/the-dramatic-arc-of-the-2_b_199 2626_198432919.html The credit rating agencies will lower the US credit rating further if the press does not inform voters before November 6th. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/Kar en_Hudes/blaming-federal-reserve_n_19749 80_199122728.html

Mitt Romney appointed Mr. Zoellick as his national security transition planning chief. Mr. Zoellick stonewalled a GAO investigation http://citizenoversight.com/pdf/blwb.pdf into corruption at the World Bank requested by Senators Lugar, Leahy and Bayh. Paul Volcker’s investigation into this corruption was discredited http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/201 0/04/06-3 With corruption at the World Bank, the United States lost the 66 year old Gentlemen’s Agreement for the US to appoint the president of the World Bank. Washington embassies wonder why the press does not inform US voters of this corruption.
http://www.imf.org/external/np/cm/2010/0 42510.htm

The World Bank’s Audit Committee appointed KPMG to audit the World Bank’s internal control over financial reporting. When KPMG did not follow Generally Accepted Audit Principles and Standards, the UK’s Serious Fraud Office called the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Congress is requiring the World Bank to make significant progress in protecting its whistleblowers before funds for the World Bank’s capital increase are disbursed under Section 7082 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2012, signed into law on December 23, 2011. The National Taxpayer’s Union has a petition about this corruption: http://www.change.org/petitions/tell-tre asury-protect-whistleblowers-at-u-s-taxp ayer-funded-international-banks

The European Parliament disclosed this corruption on May 25, 2011: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/document/a ctivities/cont/201105/20110518ATT19540/2 0110518ATT19540EN.pdf
The UK Parliament disclosed this corruption on July 9, 2012: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa  /cm201213/cmselect/cmintdev/writev/402/ contents.htm
The UK’s Financial Reporting Council is investigating KPMG’s failure to follow auditing standards. The UK replaced Andrew Mitchell as Secretary of International Development on September 4, 2012.

See my comment in Forbes (hit expand all comments twice): http://www.forbes.com/sites/richardbehar  /2012/06/27/world-bank-spins-out-of-con trol-corruption-dysfunction-await-new-pr esident/

http://www.kahudes.net

Posted by KarenHudes | Report as abusive

This author clearly has an anti-Rimney bias and has no objectivity. He presents his diatribe as a liberal-elitist replete with falsehoods, conjecture and merely anecdotal comments. None of his assertions are accurate, particularly those of Romney’s connection to hard-right, ultra-conservative policies or any intentions of military action with Iran or anyone else.

Proof of his lacking objectivity, Sen. Obama ran for the his current golf game by first serving two years in the US Senate and no more than six in the Illinois State Senate without prior business or governance experience to cite. During his four years on the learning curve, President Obama has tampered with or destroyed everything from the Federal Deficit & National Debt, from Domestic Homeland Security to National Defense. The only thing done correct, the eradication of Bin Laden, has been tainted by the numerous occurrences of ‘spiking the ball’ which may have led to the events of Benghazi, Cairo, Demascus, etc.

Conversely, Romney had both successful international business experiences with nearly ALL nations as Chairman & Executive Director of the Salt Lake Olympic Games. He also has successful term as Chief Executive of Massachusetts where successes came across an aisle in a primarily Democratic state legislature. As for domestic matters, Romney’s understanding of economics, accounting, finance, manufacturing & international trade dwarf Obama’s four years of learning. Regarding government finances, Romney is the only candidate who has ever balanced a budget, reduced overhead & bureaucracy and reduced medical costs without impeding or decreasing access to services. Last, Romney has never spent a single day inside Washington;s cauldron, unlike Obama’s major experience that comes from networking or direct employment inside the Capitol.

Posted by WMEdelmann | Report as abusive

At some point in my lifetime I believe we must have a serious discussion about the wisdom of ideologues generally. Where did Usama come from? Gadaffi? Saddam? Mubarak? The list can go on and on. They were propped up by these same esteemed foreign policy gurus advising Romney now. Their school of thought has an atrocious record of picking winners. They are about as successful as the self proclaimed defenders of the poor at actually assisting poor people towards living better lives.

Posted by bdog | Report as abusive