Friday May 24, 2013
Romney's Israeli Friends Desert HimDr. James M. Wall Salem-News.com
Israel was “standing down” until after the November 6 election. Romney was left to saber rattle alone.
(CHICAGO) - In a foreign policy speech delivered Monday at Virginia Military Institute (VMI), Governor Mitt Romney sounded, well, to be charitable, like a man in an echo chamber.
Sounds like the Obama plan to me. Romney was not specific about any action plan. Obama has been quite specific about his plan, informing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu repeatedly, that Obama, not Netanyahu, would set the red line that would determine how the U.S. would deal with Iran’s nuclear program.
In an additional blow against Romney’s effort to build his foreign policy credentials, he was apparently unaware that a day after his speech, Ha’aretz, a leading Jerusalem newspaper, would report:
The key phrase in that statement is, “justifies a delay in Israel’s timetable for possible military action”. Were there no staffers on Romney’s team assigned to read IAEA reports? Was there no one in Jerusalem who could have alerted Romney what was about to be announced?
Why wasn’t Romney informed of what Ha’aretz planned for the Tuesday papers? The Romney-Netanyahu friendship began when they were young men working in Boston. It was no surprise that Netanyahu made what was essentially a pro-Romney television ad for the Romney Florida campaign. Florida is a
Romney staffers presumed, wrongly, many analysts felt, that Florida voters would respond positively to an implied Romney endorsement from Israel’s Prime Minister during the final weeks of a U.S. political campaign. Campaign veterans know that outside interference in U.S. politics is frowned on in most political and media circles.
It was also a major Romney stumble not to have known that Ha’aretz had been given information it would use the day after Romney’s VMI speech. A friend should not let another friend drive steeped in ignorance during the final weeks of a campaign, especially when that friend was trying to embellish his limited foreign policy credentials.
This was the information Ha’aretz was holding for its Tuesday paper, as Romney was delivering his speech:
Uranium enriched to 20 percent could help make an atom bomb if it were further enriched to 93 percent. But the moment 20-percent enriched uranium is allocated for scientific purposes, it is difficult to put it back on a bomb-making track.
Senior Israeli defense officials told Haaretz that “Iran has moved the wall back by eight months at least,” and Israel’s latest position is a consequence of this action.
If Romney had possessed this behind-the-scenes data befoe delivering his speech, he might have at least been able to appear like he was in Israel’s loop. If the Mitt-Bibi special bond is a Romney plus, it did not show itself in Romney’s VMI speech.
Israel was “standing down” until after the November 6 election. Romney was left to saber rattle alone. Next time fellows, give a friend an early warning.
To be sure, Obama’s sanctions program against Iran, now that it has continued for so long, is, by any moral standard, both onerous and immoral. The ongoing sanctions against Iran meet the standard of “terrorist” action, as defined, cogently, by Guardian columnis Glen Greenwald:
Yes, to me, the U.S. sanctions policy against Iran’s public, matches Greenwald’s “terrorist” definition. It is, however, a policy that has worked, in own devilish, cruel, and immoral manner. It is a ”successful” policy that should be terminated.
Don’t expect any termination recommendations Thursday night during the Paul Ryan-Joe Biden vice-presidential debate on the campus of Centre College, Kentucky.
The moderator for the only vice-presidential debate of the campaign will be Martha Raddatz, ABC’s chief foreign affairs correspondent. Unlike the first Obama-Romney debate, which was confined to domestic issues, the questions from Raddatz will cover both domestic and foreign policy issues.
Debate preparation has been intense for Paul Ryan and Joe Biden, each of whom has left the campaign to practice for Thursday night. Beginning Wednesday morning, thanks to an unexpected announcement Tuesday night from Jerusalem, both vice-presidential candidates will have a new topic to examine which relates to Iran and Israel-Palestine.
The new topic will involve U.S. domestic and foreign policy. Prime Minister Netanyahu has called for early Israeli national elections early in 2013.
Edmund Sanders, of the Los Angeles Times, has the story:
Sanders also reports that potential opponents who might contest Netanyahu in the election, are already shifting their focus to politics:
Check out the Thursday night debate, which begins at 9 p.m. (EST). And watch Martha Raddatz, fresh from her own campaigns reporting on numerous foreign conflicts, as she demands that Vice President Biden and Congressman Ryan, adhere to the designated time limits and topics of the evening.
As Margo Channing famously said, “Fasten your seatbelt, it’s going to be a bumpy night”.
The picture above is by AFP.
Journalism was Jim Wall’s undergraduate college major at Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia. He has earned two MA degrees, one from Emory, and one from the University of Chicago, both in religion. An ordained United Methodist clergy person; he and his wife, Mary Eleanor, are the parents of three sons, and the grandparents of four grandchildren. They live in Elmhurst, Illinois.
Jim served for two years on active duty in the US Air Force, and three additional years in the USAF (inactive) reserve. While serving with the Alaskan Command, he reached the rank of first lieutenant. He has worked as a sports writer for both the Atlanta Journal and Constitution, was editor of the United Methodist magazine, Christian Advocate for ten years, and editor and publisher of the Christian Century magazine for 27 years, starting in 1972. Time magazine wrote about the new editor, who arrived at the Christian Century determined to turn the magazine into a hard-hitting news publication. The inspiration for Wall Writings comes from that mindset and from many other sources that have influenced Jim’s writings over the years, including politics, cinema, media, American culture, and the political struggles in the Middle East. Jim has made more than 20 trips to that region as a journalist, during which he covered such events as Anwar Sadat’s 1977 trip to Jerusalem, and the 2006 Palestinian legislative election. He has interviewed, and written about, journalists, religious leaders, political leaders and private citizens in the region. You can write to Jim Wall at email@example.com. Visit Jim's Website: Wall Writings
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