The View from Abroad

Hard hitting commentary from an American living overseas

Kenn Jacobine

Kenn Jacobine
June 03
Kenn Jacobine is an international educator currently teaching History and Economics for the American School of Doha, Qatar. He has also taught at international schools in Ecuador, Mali, and Zambia. His political transformation took place over the course of many years. Starting out naively as a big state liberal, he became a Reagan Republican in 1982. Disillusionment set in with the realization that small government rhetoric rarely translated into limited government actions. On Christmas day 1992, he became a libertarian. In 1994, Kenn ran for the State Senate in Pennsylvania on the Libertarian Party ticket garnering 5 percent of the vote. He has been active in freedom causes ever since.

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Editor’s Pick
NOVEMBER 2, 2011 11:14AM

Romney’s Foreign Policy would be Disastrous for America

Rate: 6 Flag

Even though he continues to dwell in the “top-tier” of Republican candidates for president, former Massachusetts’s Governor Mitt Romney continues to draw the distrust of many Republicans primary voters.  Questions continue to surround his positions on the high priority conservative issues of abortion, gun control, taxes, federal spending, and socialized medicine.  Many conservatives are just not sure they can trust Romney given his previous actions and statements on these issues.

But as governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney has a relatively blank slate of positions when it comes to foreign policy.  However, his foreign policy appointments to his presidential campaign and recent statements he has made are more than enough to please conservative voters in the Republican Party.  As a matter of fact, they make it hard to determine if Romney is running for President of the United States or prime minister of Israel.

Take Romney’s appointment of
Walid Phares to chair the Middle East and North Africa working group of his Foreign Policy and National Security Advisory Team.  Mr. Phares currently serves on the board of ACT! For America, a lobbying group that Politico described as being part of an "effort to transform anti-Islam crusading into a mainstream lobbying effort".  He has stated that global jihad is already in progress and within a short period of time jihadists will have ten million suicide bombers ready to wreak devastation on the West.  To beat jihadists he is a strong proponent of preemptive strikes and “putting our allies’ forces on existing and new battlefields.” 

The problem with Walid Phares is that he sees the world in black and white.  You are either for us or against us.  This of course has been proclaimed before and the consequences of this mentality have been disastrous for America – trillions spent on the War on Terror, two almost decade long wars, and erosion of our civil liberties.  Phares’ anti-Islam/pro-Israel positions will certainly help Romney with neoconservatives.  But, an advisor with such extreme views on Romney’s staff should raise red flags for the rest of us.  Phares’s positions would be great if he was advising a candidate for Israeli prime minister, but he is not.  He is advising Mitt Romney.

Now, if Romney’s appointment of Walid Phares isn’t bad enough, the web site
Think Progress Security reports that Romney has admitted that if he becomes president he will leave his foreign policy decisions as they relate to Israel to Israel.  Specifically, when questioned by an Israeli reporter if he would consider moving the American embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem Romney responded, The actions that I will take will be actions recommended and supported by Israeli leaders. I don’t seek to take actions independent of what our allies think is best, and if Israel’s leaders thought that a move of that nature would be helpful to their efforts, then that’s something I’ll be inclined to do. But again, that’s a decision which I would look to the Israeli leadership to help guide.”

Two points need to be made.  First, Jerusalem is an incredibly sensitive issue.  Every American leader has understood that moving our embassy there was out of the question because it would lend legitimacy to Israel’s claim over that city and immediately squash any hope for a peace settlement between Jews and Arabs.

Secondly, what leader of a country would give up his authority over policy to leaders of another country?  That is called a dereliction of duty and certainly violates the confidence of American voters that their president will advocate for their interests 100 percent of the time.  Romney is running to be our president, not the de facto prime minister of Israel. 

At the end of the day, Romney’s appointment of Walid Phares to his campaign staff and his comments on his policy towards Israel are indications of what we could expect from the foreign policy of a Romney Administration.  At the very least, it would be a continuation of Bush/Obama foreign policies. At the worst, it would be an escalation of those policies.  American can ill afford either. 

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israel, romney

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Well written article! One of the few good things I'll say about our current "compromiser & chief" is that he has been really good at foreign policy. (some would argue this is because in foreign policy, Obama doesn't have to deal with the republicans)

Romney will probably do whatever is most beneficial for the corporations, I'd expect this to be reflected in his foreign policy as well. From what I gather, the Israel thing is primarily to sway jewish voters who normally vote democrat, to his side of the fence.

Rated for being put together so well.
Romney has to appeal to the right-wing evangelicals who support they will convert or die come Armageddon...but still, it's political support. If he hits it hard enough, a few may forget he's a Mormon.
So, mostly to influence the evangelical right than American Jews, but still a Republican right-wing de rigueur two-fer.

Kenn scores an EP. Congrats.
It is amazing how most Republicans fall over each other out Israeling each other. This is the reason our foreign policy is so messed up - Jewish folks organize, donate, and vote very well.
First, congrats on the EP. . . . . although. . . this violates one of my pet theories regarding what makes it to the cover, 'nuff said.

Second, rated

Third, correct on all points, except, perhaps, one. You understand better than most Americans what our blind support of Israel costs us. You also understand better than most Americans to whom American national candidates must kowtow to have a chance at winning.

However, Obama stood before the national policy conference of AIPAC during his presidential campaign and said, "Jerusalem must be the undivided capital of Israel!" Then, he was elected. Then, he went to Cairo and gave a courageous speech up to which he has yet to live.

Nevertheless, imho, one never can tell. While you are correct on all other points, you may see the facade and lies of candidacy as more substantive than the subsequent actions of the winner.

This may not be the case. One never can tell.
I take it back.

Your EP violates TWO of my pet theories of what makes it to the cover. Emily is probably being punished right now. . . .
Well argued point Kenn. Just imagine the yelps on the right if Obama delegated a big part of foreign policy to another country.
First, Romney is who the media wants. He will not get the ticket so forget about that.

Next it was said here that the move will hurt the peace process. There will never be peace as the leader of the people of
Palestine has stated several times that they will never accept an Israel state.

If that is your policy how are you going to have an agreement?
Classic Jew-hater pretending to be reasonable. Go stand with the anti-Jewish protesters in the Occupy movement. You can all break shop windows together.
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