GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

October 30, 2012

Letter: Romney's many misfires on foreign policy


Gloucester Daily Times

---- — To the editor:

America is looked to as an “honest broker” in the Middle East.

But Gov. Romney went to Israel and spoke at a fund-raiser attended by 40 or so wealthy donors, and proceeded to denigrate Palestinian culture in relation to Israel’s. The basis for his unfavorable comparison was the fact that Israelis have a far higher average income than Palestinians; he made no mention of the fact that Israel controls and restricts Palestinian imports, exports, and travel, thereby putting the Palestinian economy in a straightjacket.

This claim of Israeli cultural superiority has completely disqualified a future President Romney from being the honest broker in the Middle East. I guess by his standards — income — Switzerland is our cultural superior. Perhaps that’s why he prefers to hide his money there. Thankfully, polls show that American Jewish voters see through Romney’s pandering and favor Obama by more than 2-to-1.

Romney named Russia as our biggest geopolitical enemy. Russian president Putin promptly thanked him for justifying Russia’s opposition to NATO missiles in Poland.

The powder wasn’t dry in Benghazi when Romney errantly started criticizing Obama’ response. It may not have occurred to him that the administration was trying to defuse the situation in order to protect American personnel across the Middle East. Instead, he unjustly accused the President of siding with the attackers. He made no mention of the fact that tens of thousands of Libyans marched to protest the attack.

Romney blamed Obama for “tumult” arising from the Arab Spring movement. Would he have blamed George Washington for tumult in the colonies? Perhaps tumult isn’t always a bad thing.

Seventeen of Romney’s 24 special foreign policy advisors are neocon holdovers from the Bush-Cheney administration. These are the people that helped whip America into a collective tantrum that resulted in the Iraq war and its attendant loss of hundreds of thousands of lives and $3 trillion plus in wasted funds that went right to our deficit. John Tierney was one of the few in Congress with the guts to stand against “King George’s War,” even though thousands of his constituents work for defense contractors that benefited.

Romney plans to increase our armed forces by 100,000 and add $1-2 trillion to defense spending over the next decade. We already account for almost half of the world’s defense spending and are far and away the world’s largest arms merchant.

When we get to the voting booth, I hope that we keep in mind the danger of a Romney presidency and a Republican congress.

The neocons had their day; let’s relegate them and their disastrous policies to the dust bin of history.

PETER WILLWERTH

Manchester