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Mitt Romney, Commander of the Fake Internationalists

January 10, 2019 in Economics

By Doug Bandow

Doug Bandow

No surprise: Senator Mitt Romney does not like President Donald
Trump, as he recently explained in The Washington
Post
. But what, one wonders, was the former GOP presidential
candidate thinking two years ago when he supped with the man he now
claims to deplore while seeking an appointment as secretary of
state?

Much of Romney’s complaint is over manners. Yes, the
president is a boor. Most people, including many of Trump’s
supporters, recognize that. Trump won not because of his etiquette
but because of what he stood for—and against.

Romney also defended The Blob, Washington’s bipartisan
foreign policy establishment. In his article attacking the
president, he offered the usual vacuous bromides that characterize
the interventionist consensus, which poses as internationalism but
with plenty of bombing raids, illegal occupations, and
nation-building. Most importantly, this perspective presumes
permanent American domination, irrespective of cost.

The newly-inaugurated
Senator has been promoted to standard-bearer for the bipartisan War
Party, filling in for John McCain.

Romney wrote: “America has long been looked to for
leadership. Our economic and military strength was part of that, of
course, but our enduring commitment to principled conduct in
foreign relations, and to the rights of all people to freedom and
equal justice, was even more esteemed.” Indeed, “The
world needs American leadership, and it is in America’s
interest to provide it. A world led by authoritarian regimes is a
world—and an America—with less prosperity, less
freedom, less peace.”

In fact, Romney appears more committed to dependence on allies
than American leadership. For him, these are two sides of the same
coin. The only alternative he sees to Washington in control is the
bad guys leading.

Related is Romney’s apparent belief that foreign policy is
fixed, irrespective of circumstance: the very same U.S.-dominated
alliances created in 1950 are needed today. Although
America’s friends have raced ahead economically, politically,
even militarily, Washington must forever treat them as helpless
derelicts. For instance, Russia, a weakened declining power, faces
the U.S. and Europe—which together have more than 20 times
its GDP. Yet Romney sees Moscow as the greatest threat facing
America. It is 1945 all over again.

Romney’s most important omission is Iraq. After the war
there turned bad, he remained silent about his support for it. The
Iraq disaster is an important reason why Trump won and other
Republicans, including Romney, lost. In 2008, Americans rejected
John McCain, the very symbol of promiscuous war-making. Four years
later, Romney criticized President Barack Obama for leaving Iraq
too soon, by which the Republican nominee probably meant leaving at
any time. In saying he would keep more troops in Iraq, he ignored
the fact that the Iraqis had refused to negotiate …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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