Mitt Romney's Scary World

He sees us beset by formidable foes whom we can deter only by endlessly flaunting our willingness to go to war.

The United States is the most secure nation in the history of the world. We have a military with no peer, a nuclear arsenal capable of incinerating any enemy, vast oceans that separate us from rivals and many countries that want to be our allies. But some Americans insist on feeling relentless dangers that demand an ever-ready trigger finger.

We once had to fight the Germans and Japanese in a life-and-death struggle between good and evil. We once had to resist Soviet communism in the Cold War. Today we face nothing remotely comparable.

That's a great blessing, but in a few quarters, you can detect nostalgia for those dark days. Back then, we had a grand and noble purpose in the world. When we triumphed, we were left with a void in our national identity that some people yearn to fill.

One of them is Mitt Romney, whose speech the other day to the Veterans of Foreign Wars reads as though it were written in a different century. In his survey of the globe, there is hardly any good news to be found, except the armed might and courage of the United States.

Romney apparently sees himself as the reincarnation of Winston Churchill, who led his nation in a desperate fight against Nazi conquest -- and whose bust he plans to install in the Oval Office. He doesn't seem to notice that our position bears zero resemblance to Britain's in 1940.

"Sadly, this president has diminished American leadership, and we are reaping the consequences," asserted Romney.

"The world is dangerous, destructive, chaotic."

Well, yeah. This unfortunate disorder is the central and imperishable fact of geopolitical reality. When Romney says the world today is dangerous, the question is: Compared to when?

Consider our position. The Russians don't like us, but their armed forces are a shell of what they once were. The Chinese have regional ambitions, but their military is far inferior in every respect to ours, and their neighbors are flocking to us.

North Korea is a minor nuisance. Iran may aspire to produce nuclear weapons, but it is impeded by international economic sanctions. Iraqi tyrant Saddam Hussein is gone. Cuban dictator Fidel Castro has retired.

Who am I forgetting? Oh, yes: Osama bin Laden. Odd that Romney would not mention the person who carried out the 9/11 attacks.

But to acknowledge bin Laden's fate would blur the picture of Barack Obama, cowardly weakling. To note all the al-Qaida leaders killed over the past three and a half years would not fit the appeasement narrative. Also forgotten by Romney: Moammar Gadhafi.

Even as the drones fly, Romney pretends the president is in the grip of a naive pacifism. He denounces Obama's "radical cuts in the military," referring to the possible sequestration of $500 billion over the next decade -- which in truth were part of a budget deal agreed to by congressional Republicans.

Romney says modifying our missile defense plans in Europe was "abandonment of friends in Poland and the Czech Republic." Seriously? We are fully, unequivocally committed to their protection as part of the NATO alliance. Romney published a 44-page white paper on foreign policy. It doesn't mention NATO.

He faults Obama for calling Russian President Vladimir Putin after his dubious election victory. Would any president do less with a leader whose help we need on matters like Iran? Has Romney forgotten George W. Bush's far warmer embrace of Putin?

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  • Pound. Head. On. Desk.||

    The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace in a continual state of alarm (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing them with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary. -- H.L. Mencken

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    The Chinese have regional ambitions, but their military is far inferior in every respect to ours...

    Jeez, why don't you and the US Military get a room already.

    Romney's various campaign trail panderings may have nothing to do with his policies once in office. Like pretty much every presidential candidate, he's a blank slate on foreign policy. And at least he ain't singing "Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran" off key.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    The Chinese have regional ambitions, but their military is far inferior in every respect to ours.

    Except for the fact that the number of soldiers they could potentially call up for service is twice the population of the United States.

    And their uniformed women are much cuter....

    Jus' sayin'

  • WTF||

    Except for the fact that the number of soldiers they could potentially call up for service is twice the population of the United States.

    And in modern technological warfare, that is what the military likes to call a "target-rich environment".

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Bravado aside, it's not like the PLA is armed with just sticks and stones either.

  • WTF||

    You are of course correct on the cute women in uniform.

  • $park¥||

    Sweet. So every person in China gets to drive one of those around?

  • Lord Humungus||

    the gas mileage is terrible, but the luxury appointments make it worthwhile.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Well, you don't get to 1.3 billion people by driving these.

  • $park¥||

    Clearly the problem with the United States is that there is too much inexpensive food available. I suggest we triple the population thus getting us up to par with China and eliminating the obesity problem by making food more scarce.

  • Bill||

    No worries! Congress is working on reducing our food supply as we speak!

    Now, if that was their actual goal, of course, then we'd probably end up with more food or a bubble in appliances or hammers.

  • Bill||

    No worries! Congress is working on reducing our food supply as we speak!

    Now, if that was their actual goal, of course, then we'd probably end up with more food or a bubble in appliances or hammers.

  • Surly Chef||

    Yeah they're armed with ONE awesomely rusty aircraft carrier bought from the Russians and towed from Vladivostok because it couldn't move under it's own power. Which is why they'd need that missile. If necessary US air power can fly sorties farther than that 3000km operational range. Land based bombers have a range exceeding twice that.

    None of that is about actual defense of the physical location of the US, which is the point brought up many many times.

  • Raistlin||

    Exactly. I don't care how big China's Army is. Why? Because it's IN China! Until they can get it out of China, it's pretty much useless. Their Navy consists of boats called "junks" for a reason.

  • Pippers||

    We will never directly fight countries like Russia or China with feet on the ground. It will be done by nukes. We may see puppet states such as Vietnam again, but not much else.

  • Restoras||

    Those cords - if you pull them, will boobies inflate?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

  • Randian||

    Sorry, no. Asian women are not cuter than Western women.

  • wareagle||

    uniformed women. Slight difference between the geisha trio and the 1st All-American Amazon Battalion.

  • Randian||

    You're not into Amazons?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Sorry, no. Asian women are not cuter than Western women.

    Friends don't let friends tulpa.

    What I wrote was..."And their uniformed women are much cuter...."

  • Randian||

    I still counter with the Navy lesbian chicks.

  • Quetzalcoatl||

    Can't a woman be both?

  • Fluffy||

    If your goal is the security of the US as a polity, we exceed the required level of capability by several orders of magnitude.

    If your goal is the ability to dictate terms in international disputes to which the US is not a direct party (i.e. hegemony) we're still scuffling a little.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    I prefer to be vigilant against articles that tack on an entire second page for two tiny paragraphs and a sentence.

    Also you're overlooking a huge historical fact, Chapman:

    No Mormon president has EVER started, waged or otherwise participated in a foreign war.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

  • Whiterun Guard||

    Yeah, I should have said Mormon US president, good catch.

    Although calling the Utah War a "War" is like calling TV Guide literature.

  • Bardas Phocas||

    Note that Buchanan was our first gay president and the first gay president to go to war against Mormons.

    Sadly, the gey just wasn't strong enough.

  • NotSure||

    I can't tell the difference between the two. When he says "and their neighbors are flocking to us" about China, this is because of the paranoid actions of the current regime scaring countries with stories of a imperial China, precisely the same paranoid bullshit that Romney is being accused of here in the article. Unless of course you believe the "pivot to Asia" is not about China, but some mysterious and abstract strategic move done just for the fun of it.

  • The Hammer||

    NotSure is a much more effective troll than Tony. He doesn't even have to stay in the thread to get repeat bites.

  • DJF||

    Just when I get hopeful that Obama will lose, then Romney opens his mouth and I get depressed again.

  • NotSure||

    This will predictably annoy lots here, but even in 1940 there was no "battle between good and evil", neither Germany or Japan had plans or the means to conquer America. Those ideas were simply cheap propaganda to get people into the mood for total war, it clearly was so effective that its become immutable truth.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    neither Germany or Japan had plans...to conquer America.

    Not true.

    As for means, that's a different debate.

  • DJF||

    The Amerika Bomber was not seriously worked on until 1942, after Germany declared war on the USA.

    On the other hand the B-29 which was capable of bombing Germany from the North America was first formally proposed in late 1939 and prototypes ordered in 1940

  • NotSure||

    That is highly speculative stuff and still does not point out any plans to conquer America. Lets assume this all true this would also imply that somehow the Americans secretly knew of all of this and that their propaganda about "we will soon be speaking German" was correct, the fact is that is was pure propangda based on pure bullshit. This professor like so many, assume that Hitler knew what he was talking about, most of times he did not.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    This professor like so many, assume that Hitler knew what he was talking about, most of times he did not.

    No one said it was a good plan, but there were plans. Besides, if Germany won in Europe, do you think they'd leave America alone? Why would they leave Canada as a refuge for the British to regroup? There would have been a Kalter Kreig, at least.

  • InlineSkate||

    The funny bit about his comment is this is the exact same logic that allowed most of Europe to get steamrolled over.

    "Maybe if we leave them alone they'll go away."

  • DJK||

    Not at all the same. Europe was war-weary and still reeling from WWI. Though the US had lost quite a few soldiers in that war, it hadn't had any damage to its civilian population or infrastructure. For obvious reasons, Europe was generally disinclined to fight another brutal many year war with a strong German adversary.

    And the idea that "let's leave them alone" caused "most" of Europe to get steamrolled is patently absurd. Last I checked, the Europeans were willing to negotiate with Germany for control of only two regions (which Germany had at least some claim to). When they invaded Poland, the gloves were off. Two small regions which aren't even politically autonomous hardly seems like "most" of Europe.

  • DJK||

    And if the "steamroll" comment is meant to imply that the Europeans should have been fighting, see the first paragraph about war weariness. If they should have been building up arms, see the first paragraph about the devastation of infrastructure. The European decision to try to placate Germany was very different from the initial US decision not to get involved.

  • Randian||

    Really? So you're saying there weren't decent-ish countries vs. assholish countries in WWII?

    That's some smelly moral relativism right there.

  • John||

    Not really moral relativism, just self hating paleo conservatism. The poor Japanese were goaded into attacking us. And the Germans had no choice but to declare war on us.

    It is the usual nonsense peddling by David Irving and other anti-Semites and moron fellow travelers.

  • Randian||

    I do not have a problem saying that we were flirting with disaster when it came to messing around with Japan in the Pacific. I do have a problem with the suggestion that there is equivalence between a country that admittedly detained a couple hundred thousand and a country that say, sent 12 million people to the ovens.

  • John||

    Or that the world would be a better place if only the United States had done nothing to stop them. And that is what people like Irving and Pat Buchanan believe.

  • Randian||

    I don't have a problem with counterspeculation on that front, either. There really is not much debate that by squeezing Nazi Germany, we let an equally evil dictatorship vacuum up too much of Europe and present a threat to us for 45 years.

  • John||

    And we saved Western Europe. Had we done nothing, all of Western Europe would have fallen to the Nazis. Without US help, England would have eventually gone broke and gone Nazi. Without the second front, Hitler probably conquers Russia and prceeds to exterminate the Poles and slavs to create living space for the German people, builds the bomb and we end up with cold war only this time with no allies in the world and facing an enemy that owns all of Europe. And all the Jews in Europe would be dead and eventually most of the slavs.

    As bad as communism was, that is a lot worse counter factual than 40 years of soviet occupation in eastern Europe. The Soviets may have oppressed and shot people, but they didn't intend to exterminate the local populations, which is what Hitler planned.

  • wareagle||

    I don't know. Seems Stalin did a rather efficient job on population control.

  • Randian||

    It may have fallen temporarily, but the odds of the Third Reich being able to hold significant Western territory for any lengthy period of time were low once Hitler launched Operation Barbarossa. They would have had to pull everyone to go fight on the Eastern front.

    I doubt they would have had the manpower or wherewithal to eliminate all Frenchmen or all Englishmen.

  • John||

    I doubt they would have had the manpower or wherewithal to eliminate all Frenchmen or all Englishmen.

    They didn't need to, the French were on their side. And so were many English. The "French Resistance" is a myth. The French happily surrendered, helped the German war effort and turned over all of their Jews for extermination.

    And the Germans almost won in Russia as it was, even while fighting the British in Africa. Take away all of the logistical support that America gave to Russia and England and no way does Germany not win the war.

    And "holding Europe" was not a problem. Despite losing the war, there was never any danger of popular uprisings in France or anywhere else in occupied Western Europe.

  • JohnD||

    NotSure should be called "Don't know".
    The Japanese not only bombed Pearl Harbor, but actually invaded the Alutian Islands as well as other American territories. The Germnans were developing a bomber that could fly across the Atlantc and bomb America.
    Get your facts straight, idiot.

  • Pippers||

    It's not what a country says, it is what a country does. Hitler didn't "plan" a lot of things, he just put his boot heel down and did it. The Axis talked out of both sides of their mouth.

    It was pretty obvious when we entered the war that the Axis was determined for global domination as the end game.

    Thankfully Hitler and Tojo were complete morons who underestimated instead of overestimated.

  • Nike air max womens||

    But to acknowledge bin Laden's fate would blur the picture of Barack Obama, cowardly weakling. To note all the al-Qaida leaders killed over the past three and a half years would not fit the appeasement narrative. Also forgotten by Romney: Moammar Gadhafi.

  • NotSure||

    Does anyone here know how these spam users work ? Is it some automated software running that scans and takes random sentences in the article and pastes it as a comment, or is there is simply a person doing this copy and paste job ?

  • Anonymoose||

    It looks like they are taking random paragraphs and re-posting them. I'd guess it's automated, not hard to do.

  • Alan Vanneman||

    Right on, Stevo!

  • Mike M.||

    Obama on the other hand is the most peaceful leader of all time; he even has the Nobel Peace Prize to prove. And on those occasions when he has to murder people, well, he only does it because he loves the world so much.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    "He faults Obama for calling Russian President Vladimir Putin after his dubious election victory."

    And how is this a problem for those that encourage liberty?

    "(Reuters) - Three women who protested against Vladimir Putin in a 'punk prayer' on the altar of Russia's main cathedral went on trial on Monday in a case seen as a test of the longtime leader's treatment of dissent during a new presidential term."

    http://www.reuters.com/article.....AZ20120730

  • John||

    It isn't. Your problem is you assume the writer actually encourages liberty.

  • $park¥||

    Screw you and your bullshit spam filter, stupid squirrels.

  • Restoras||

    +1 infinity sign

  • Rich||

    The United States is the most secure nation in the history of the world.

    "secure, adj.: Fixed so as not to give way"

  • CampingInYourPark||

    OT:
    "David Cameron wasted no time in rebuking Romney hours after his remarks were broadcast. On a visit to the Olympic Park, the prime minister said: 'We are holding an Olympic Games in one of the busiest, most active, bustling cities in the world. Of course it's easier if you hold an Olympic Games in the middle of nowhere.'"

    Apparently it's easier to fill the seats in the "middle of nowhere".

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new.....arket.html

    "Row upon row of empty seats... as tickets sent to foreign VIPs go on the black market"

  • Mike M.||

    Shocking that it's kind of hard to give much of a crap about archery and water polo when the world is collapsing.

  • $park¥||

    But, but, the Olympics bring the world together... Like one big happy sports community.

  • Restoras||

    Ever since 1976 I've always looked forward to the Olympic Games. This is the first time I've had barely an interest. Last night I found the Yankees/Red Sox game far more interesting.

  • wareagle||

    it's a loss less interesting to watch when you can go online and find out results beforehand. It's as though NBC fails to understand that it can show events live AND re-broadcast certain things or highlights of them later. Kinda tough to manufacture drama for an event whose outcome is already known.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    If I've learned anything from Rome and Gladiator it's that they're just using the wrong kinds of targets.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    "Row upon row of empty seats... as tickets sent to foreign VIPs go on the black market"

    It's almost like no one gives a shit about non spectator sports and have to assign soldiers the duty of filling seats to avoid the regime's embarrassment.

  • John||

    In his survey of the globe, writes Steve Chapman, there is hardly any good news to be found, except the armed might and courage of the United States.

    That has been the case since about 1920.

  • Mo||

    The peace and prosperity of the late 90s sure sucked.

  • John||

    And the US wasn't the policeman of the world in the 1990s?

  • Mo||

    There was plenty of good news to be found that wasn't related to our armed might. The great thing about the 90s is that we didn't need it.

  • Mo||

    There was plenty of good news to be found that wasn't related to our armed might. The great thing about the 90s is that we didn't need it.

  • Lord Humungus||

    Morning Links? Or am I just being paranoid?

  • Longtorso||

    I gotta get to work and they're 20 min late. It's like the same time every morning snuck up on them.

  • Rich||

    am I just being paranoid?

    Why do you ask? ;-)

  • ||

    Reason's latest links kiddy is being slack, you're being paranoid, and I'm being gorgeous. Thus the universe balances itself

  • Mike M.||

    It's such a scary world that the morning links are afraid to come out.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    "According to a new book, President Obama canceled operation to kill Osama bin Laden on three separate occasions, due to instructions of aide"

    http://www.israelnationalnews......BaJVGH8t8E

  • Rich||

    Valerie Jarrett ... reportedly persuaded Obama to hold off each time

    As Gomer Pyle might say: "Surprise, surprise, surprise!"

  • Mike M.||

    So Valerie Jarrett is actually running the country. How comforting.

  • wareagle||

    I look forward to the liberal spin, like Obama was being thoughtful or wanted to be triple sure there would be no collateral casualties, or or or. Every time some liberal friend trots out the "he killed Bin Laden" talking point, I ask who put the mechanism in place to lead to that moment.

  • Quetzalcoatl||

    McCain's hypocracy

    From a piece about his spat with Cheney, McCain responds:

    “Look, I respect the vice president. He and I had strong disagreements on whether we should torture people or not. I didn’t think we should have. But the fact is that I’m proud of Sarah Palin, I’m proud of the job she did, I’m proud of the job she continues to do.


    Can't he see the contradiction between those two statements!?

  • wareagle||

    maybe McCain thought Cheney was equating Palin with torture just be her existence. Regardless, what the VP should have been questioning was his party's decision to put McCain forth as the nominee.

  • Agile Cyborg||

    Proof that outright fools can become wealthy power brokers in a nation that respects hierarchy and authority first.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Of course, there is the problem that a rational foreign policy - one based on the adage that "Nations do not have morals, they have interests" - would cause the voting public to stampede in the other direction. So with both candidates one has to try to separate stated foreign policy from actual foreign policy.

  • PatMcGee||

    "We once had to fight the Germans and Japanese in a life-and-death struggle between good and evil. We once had to resist Soviet communism in the Cold War. Today we face nothing remotely comparable."

    - 1) you can't simplify WW2 to the point that it's purely a battle between good and evil. It's never that simple.

    - 2) suggesting that the cold war was entirely necessary is dubious at best, and let's not forget McCarthyism and the Red Scare - mass paranoia, the execution of the Rosenburgs - the kind of fear that brought us pretty close to the paranoid police state that we claimed to be battling.

    "That's a great blessing, but in a few quarters, you can detect nostalgia for those dark days. Back then, we had a grand and noble purpose in the world. When we triumphed, we were left with a void in our national identity that some people yearn to fill."

    1) This whole paragraph is delusional. Triumphed? The Cold War was a bunch of flexing and espionage, we avoided mutual annihilation in Cuba, Vietnam ended in disaster, and when Korea was over, nothing had changed.

  • Hyperion||

    This only proves that the neocons are still firmly in control of the GOP. Romney is just spewing the neocon talking points.

    So we have 2 choices, Romney and another foreign war, or Obama and war against the private sector of the economy, what's left of it.

    Either way you get further erosion of liberty.

    I'm voting for GJ, so it's not my fault that we are going to get 4 more years of sliding down into the abyss of tyranny.

  • Agile Cyborg||

    Christ, we have two charlatan nitwits to choose from and a nation of dedicated simpletons clamoring for either! Fuck it, my ship will crash and burn either way so Gary Johnson is my man.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    I'd give a slight edge to Romney in the "America might survive marginally longer than under a second Obama term" argument, but only by a tiny fraction of time.

    That said, I'm continuing to abstain from voting Shit Sandwich/Giant Douche, so Johnson it is for me as well.

  • Agile Cyborg||

    Well said, my friend.

  • Major Johnson||

    Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum

  • BenDFW||

    Obama will go down as the president who single handedly saved America from its own spending problems and debt by making it so obvious that spending cuts need to be done and that government has grown too much. He has made it obvious and the voting public has been energized. He is this generation's James Buchanan

  • Agile Cyborg||

    Politik has been reduced to chanan's. Christ, how depressing.

  • Pericles||

    The politicians on the national stage find themselves in a rather unique position. For the first election cycle in quite some time their is no major military threat.
    The primary threat is from within and it is primarily from their reluctance to actually accomplish the duties of their respective jobs. They can't admit that either to their constituencies or themselves because that would mean they would have to accept responsibility for their incompetency. They are for the most part narcissistic megalomaniacs and the realization that they have lost control would be a devastating admission; so the American electorate can expect more of the same for the foreseeable future.

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