“Study the past if you would define the future.” ― Confucius
“Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” Sir Winston Churchill
There are a host of reasons to have concerns about a new Republican administration led by Romney and Ryan. It is obvious to many that neither man has any real depth of understanding or solution to anything going on in the US today or even more so, the world beyond our shores. To think that Romney will somehow figure it all out and do things differently tomorrow ignores the longstanding view that the past is the best predictor of the future. In some ways it actually transcends Romney and can be applied to the platform and plans for America set out by the Republican Party. To think that repeating actions and approaches tried in the past will somehow have a different result in the future is again reflective of the degree of ignorance and denial present in much of the public today. I wouldn’t apply that same ignorance and denial to the real leaders and key proponents of returning to the policies of the past since they know better than any it is the best way to not only keep their wealth but to enable it’s growth in the future.
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. – Albert Einstein
Even ignoring Mitt’s faux pas on his recent world tour where he managed to insult multiple countries without really trying. Now, after the most recent statements by Romney this past Tuesday as events unfolded in Libya it is time to get even more concerned as we get more insight into his position on Foreign Policy. First off, I’ll give him credit for recognizing what he doesn’t know and assembling a group of people experienced in foreign policy – He has gathered a group of 24 “advisors (as listed on his website) as well several other individuals whom form an inner circle of advice, a majority serving under previous Republican (Bushx2) adminstrations – the administrations who have taken us to war on several occasions and who have cost our country numerous lives. I am reminded these wars have also helped set the view the rest of the world has of the US. So do we really have to wonder what stance or position foreign policy will take in a Romney presidency? Again, history is the best predictor of the future and this predictor doesn’t take a brain surgeon or rocket scientist to figure out. This is a direction of shoot first and ask questions later (if indeed questions are ever asked as the answers might not support the direction). We saw this again this week as the tragedy in Libya played itself out and the violence escalated across other countries. The decision by Romney to take the opportunity to make it a political attack rather than take the broader and more knowing approach that faster is not always better gives immediate rise to the type of leader Romney will be. This is made even worse by the fact that Romney seems to have few thoughts and ideas himself and instead draws positions an decisions from those around him or where the immediate political reward is the greatest. Not sure we have a chess master at work here…maybe chinese checkers or tiddlywinks.
We can also see how connected Romney is to the world and what forces are at work in his statement several weeks back on the position that Russia is America’s “No. 1 geopolitical foe.” Now while I wouldn’t dismiss Russia as a foe, not sure it has moved back into that cold war status. But worse yet, again indicating that Romney is either too naive or too stupid to realize consequences of an open mouth policy. The statements by Vladimir Putin need little explanation as to the potential longer term effect of speaking without thinking or understanding the broader implications.
From ABC News:
MOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin said today that Mitt Romney’s characterization of Moscow as the United States’ “number one geopolitical foe” has actually helped Russia.
The Russian leader said Romney’s comments strengthened his resolve to oppose NATO’s plan for a missile defense shield in Eastern Europe, a system Russia believes will degrade its nuclear deterrent. The U.S. insists the system is aimed at Iran, not Russia.
“I’m grateful to him (Romney) for formulating his stance so clearly because he has once again proven the correctness of our approach to missile defense problems,” Putin told reporters, according to the Russian news agency RIA Novosti.
“The most important thing for us is that even if he doesn’t win now, he or a person with similar views may come to power in four years. We must take that into consideration while dealing with security issues for a long perspective,” he said, speaking after a meeting with Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic, according to Interfax news agency.
Might only be my read of it but it doesn’t sound like Mitt’s statement provided much help to an already complex and dangerous situation. But then again, one has to wonder if this launch of a foreign policy stance by a Republican isn’t as much an attempt to re-kindle the fire that has kept the military industrial machine well oiled and lined the pockets of such luminaries as Dick Cheney and Halliburton.
So here we have a glimpse into Romney’s experience in the area of foreign policy – his only real experience to date being the outsourcing of US jobs to a foreign country or two. In his message, we also get a glimpse of Mitt’s ignorance (or at least ignoring) of foreign influence. Good to know since to date, most of the focus in the Romney camp has been on the US economy and his sweeping statements (and a dearth of details) of his plans to make things better. I would submit it is a quite different world than Reagan and even the first Bush had to deal with. And we see what happened in the 2nd Bush years when the global community had taken a position of greater influence and control and where complexity grew and global economics and forces clashed with the historical Republican answers to everything.
See definition of Insanity ==> above.