During Monday night's debate, he seemed confident he could end Islamic militancy. It sounds so easy.
Why hadn't anyone thought of that before? I'll tell you why -- because it's hopelessly naive, like so many of Romney's foreign-affairs positions.
No problem, Romney said. Once again, he argued, the U.S. is simply "going to have to remain helpful in encouraging
Why didn't we think of that before? The truth is, since 2001 the U.S. has given
But Romney offered a thought about that, too. "We should key our foreign aid" to "make sure we push back" and condition aid on results. Want to make that part of the world hate and resent us even more? That's the formula -- constantly sticking our noses into their business and threatening to cut off aid if the countries don't behave as we demand.
He was equally optimistic about
The rebellion is a melange of Syrian army defectors, angry Syrian citizens and foreign terrorists. It's almost impossible for anyone donating weapons to know who is actually taking them. If a dozen foreign intelligence services have been unable to make this distinction over the last year, why does Romney think suddenly he could do better? That's hopelessly naive once again.
Truth be told, President Obama's strategy toward
But in fact, because of that the conflict is locked in stalemate. That's why it's now reaching toward its 20th month. That's why close to 3,000 Syrians are dead. And another result of American policy is that, while the stalemate drags on, more and more Islamic jihadists are flooding into the country.
A few months ago, Romney charged Obama with a "policy of paralysis" in
But of course that's hardly the first time Romney has changed his position. Monday night he chastised the president, demanding to know: "Are Israel and the Palestinians closer to reaching a peace agreement" since Obama took office. He seems to have forgotten what he told those wealthy donors on this issue earlier this year: "You recognize that this is going to remain an unsolved problem" so "we sort of live with it, and we kick the ball down the field and hope that ultimately, somehow, something will happen."
His debate homily about the American auto industry, while not a direct foreign-affairs issue, is all too typical.
"I'm a son of
Well, then how does he explain this statement from a 2008
Romney tried to explain it away a few months ago.
"I pushed the idea of a managed bankruptcy," he said. "So I'll take a lot of credit for the fact that this industry has come back."
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