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> What's Romney's foreign policy , And why won't he give interviews?
Dingo
post Nov 3 2012, 02:06 PM
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I haven't been able to discern Romney's foreign policy or that he is even interested in the subject. However this interview suggests something that might be called a foreign policy which seems to mainly focus around Israel, who he often references in sycophantic terms. Apparently foreign policy at some point is going to be turned over to Jesus as he comes down in Israel and Missouri and then reigns for a 1000 years. This 2008 video interview is fascinating on a lot of levels, among other things the intense paranoia the guy exhibits. It helps explain why he has ceased giving interviews, not even to Fox. Additionally he seems to have some attachment to conspiracy theorist Cleon Skousen, Glen Beck's guru.

http://www.alternet.org/belief/watch-mitt-...s-jerusalem-and

Questions for discussion.

Please lay out your view of what Romney's foreign policy is if any.

What kind of background does he have that would prepare him as a foreign policy president?

What impact do you think his Mormon training would have on his approach to the world?

Why do you think he won't give interviews?

Edit. Oops, I didn't complete the title. The last word should of course be "interviews." I'd appreciate a correction.

This post has been edited by Dingo: Nov 3 2012, 02:15 PM
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akaCG
post Nov 3 2012, 03:28 PM
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QUOTE(Dingo @ Nov 3 2012, 10:06 AM) *
I haven't been able to discern Romney's foreign policy or that he is even interested in the subject. ...
...

All it would have taken for you to inform yourself on the subject is:

1. Genuine interest.

2. An hour or so of your time.

3. Rudimentary web search skills.

I can't help you with the first two, but I'm happy to assist you with the third. Here you go:

National Defense: http://www.mittromney.com/issues/national-defense

Veterans: http://www.mittromney.com/issues/keeping-f...ericas-veterans

Israel: http://www.mittromney.com/issues/israel

Middle East: http://www.mittromney.com/issues/middle-east

Afghanistan & Pakistan: http://www.mittromney.com/issues/afghanistan-pakistan

Iran: http://www.mittromney.com/issues/iran

Russia: http://www.mittromney.com/issues/russia

China & East Asia: http://www.mittromney.com/issues/china-east-asia

Africa: http://www.mittromney.com/issues/africa

Latin America: http://www.mittromney.com/issues/latin-america

Foreign Policy Address To The Virginia Military Institute, 8 October, 2012: http://www.mittromney.com/blog/foreign-pol...itary-institute

Why do you think he won't give interviews?

In the past month and a half or so, Romney has given interviews to George Stephanopoulos (ABC), Sean Hannity (FOX), David Gregory (NBC), Wolf Blitzer (CNN) and Dianne Sawyer (ABC). The last one was just yesterday, and focuses on a topic that seems to hold a special fascination for you, AlterNet et al.: Romney's Mormon faith. Enjoy: http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/video/portrait-c...erview-17630512

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Paladin Elspeth
post Nov 3 2012, 03:56 PM
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QUOTE(akaCG @ Nov 3 2012, 11:28 AM) *
QUOTE(Dingo @ Nov 3 2012, 10:06 AM) *
I haven't been able to discern Romney's foreign policy or that he is even interested in the subject. ...
...

All it would have taken for you to inform yourself on the subject is:

1. Genuine interest.

2. An hour or so of your time.

3. Rudimentary web search skills.

I can't help you with the first two, but I'm happy to assist you with the third. Here you go:

National Defense: http://www.mittromney.com/issues/national-defense

Veterans: http://www.mittromney.com/issues/keeping-f...ericas-veterans

Israel: http://www.mittromney.com/issues/israel

Middle East: http://www.mittromney.com/issues/middle-east

Afghanistan & Pakistan: http://www.mittromney.com/issues/afghanistan-pakistan

Iran: http://www.mittromney.com/issues/iran

Russia: http://www.mittromney.com/issues/russia

China & East Asia: http://www.mittromney.com/issues/china-east-asia

Africa: http://www.mittromney.com/issues/africa

Latin America: http://www.mittromney.com/issues/latin-america

Foreign Policy Address To The Virginia Military Institute, 8 October, 2012: http://www.mittromney.com/blog/foreign-pol...itary-institute

Why do you think he won't give interviews?

In the past month and a half or so, Romney has given interviews to George Stephanopoulos (ABC), Sean Hannity (FOX), David Gregory (NBC), Wolf Blitzer (CNN) and Dianne Sawyer (ABC). The last one was just yesterday, and focuses on a topic that seems to hold a special fascination for you, AlterNet et al.: Romney's Mormon faith. Enjoy: http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/video/portrait-c...erview-17630512

Wow, a lecture and a list of links. How impressive. Who could possibly want for more as an answer to his topic questions than a list of copy and paste?

Please lay out your view of what Romney's foreign policy is if any.

What I have gleaned from Romney's speeches is that he is heavily into sabre-rattling. The non-veteran likes to boast of America's strength, wants to subsidize the military/industrial complex even more heavily than it is, and he wants everyone to know that our country will stop at nothing, including The Bomb, to protect our interests (as defined by Romney), which are superior and worthier than anyone else's. Romney embraces ethnocentrism with a capital "E".

He can say he is into trade protectionism, but his Bain Capital experience belies that notion as far as outsourcing American jobs goes. Certainly it isn't the only contradiction in his public stances. I have not heard him say that he would revoke the U.S.'s participation in NAFTA. He does get pretty steamed about the Chinese committing copyright violations and flooding American markets with knock-offs (I privately grin at the matter--I figure it serves the corporations right for sending our industries overseas for the CHEAPEST labor they can find--karma, if you will, because karma happens to people, and "Corporations are people, my friend").

Romney doesn't believe in acute global warming as do leaders of many of our ally nations, so that will be one more thing he will not hold in common with said leaders. It might mean that he will drag his feet when appealed to by other nations to help fight the human-caused problems of global warming or perhaps participate in taking preventive measures to avoid catastrophes.

What kind of background does he have that would prepare him as a foreign policy president?

During the Vietnam War, young Romney spent time in France as a Mormon missionary, trying to talk the French into believing in Joseph Smith as a prophet and dissuade them from drinking wine (and espresso?). And last summer he visited several European countries as the Republican nominee where one country, Poland, seemed to like him.

What impact do you think his Mormon training would have on his approach to the world?

Lots of talk about pulling themselves up by their own bootstraps.

Why do you think he won't give interviews?

Either he or his handlers figure that he needs to absolutely control the message that goes out over the airwaves at this point, and reporters/journalists are variables that cannot be counted on (even at FOX News!) to keep his message just the way the campaign wants it.

This post has been edited by Paladin Elspeth: Nov 3 2012, 05:22 PM
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Curmudgeon
post Nov 3 2012, 05:33 PM
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QUOTE(akaCG @ Nov 3 2012, 11:28 AM) *
QUOTE(Dingo @ Nov 3 2012, 10:06 AM) *
I haven't been able to discern Romney's foreign policy or that he is even interested in the subject. ...
...

All it would have taken for you to inform yourself on the subject is:

1. Genuine interest.

2. An hour or so of your time.

3. Rudimentary web search skills.

Rudimentary web search skills would seemingly include learning to read the Rules which includes a link to the Survival Guide which in turn has a link to Conversational Terrorism... I don't believe that section was meant to be used as a "how to manual."

Questions for discussion.

Please lay out your view of what Romney's foreign policy is if any.

My view: What I have been hearing from the "Right Side" of the aisle is a great deal of sabre rattling, and my view is that they have managed to incur the wrath of the residents of The Middle East. We have built an economy that was based on the availability of cheap crude oil, and then angered the residents of The Middle East by threatening them based on, among other things, their religious beliefs. I believe that the "Right" needs to learn to deal with other humans without putting them into boxes and assigning bar codes to label them for shipping and sale. I do not believe that Mitt Romney knows how to deal with anyone who he does not consider a peer. I believe that Mitt Romney has been trying to echo the Tea Party sentiment that the current Republican Party has gone too far to the left.

What kind of background does he have that would prepare him as a foreign policy president?

It would appear that he may have been assigned to read The Ugly American while in High School, and viewed it as a "how to manual." (They were quite popular before the Internet.)

He appears to be very proud of the time that he spent in France as a Mormon missionary. I have never heard him speak however of the number of people that he converted to his religion. He may believe however, that it will help to deal with the terrorism threat from Al Qaeda to sit down with their leaders in the Middle East, and in fluent French, speak to them of his religous beliefs and demonstrate what they have done for him...

What impact do you think his Mormon training would have on his approach to the world?

I spent a few hours listening to a pair of Mormon door to door salesmen in 1967. He would have to be far more persuasive than they were. They caused me to question the religion I had been raised in and become a Unitarian-Universalist.

The Muslims that have tried to convert me to Islam all began with, "First, it is necessary to teach you to read Arabic so that you can read the Sacred Scripts..." Sooner or later, Romney might counter by offering to teach them about his "true religion."

According to Wikipedia, Western armies abandoned the Sabre as a weapon during the Civil War era. I have heard however, that in the Middle East, it is the weapon of choice for beheading those who will not accept the Sacred Words of the Koran...

Why do you think he won't give interviews?

I think his ventriloquist tried to negotiate a wage and benefit package based on industry standards, and he is holding out for someone who is willing to work for (or below) Chinese wages; because he believes that ventriloquism is a form of menial labor which is beneath him.

(Aside to akaCG) The little green icon to the right of the emoticons link, above the editing box allows one to encrypt links. I know that I learned that from other posters on this site or from perusing some basic directions for beginners on this site. I have since learned that Ctrl-K performs the same function in e-mails, and MS Office documents. Copy and Paste from an external document also carries the embedded link, so there are several simple ways to use the function.

Some of the rudimentary computer skills which I learned on the job included an introduction to Microsoft Windows before it was introduced to the world. I have forgotten a lot of what I learned decades ago, but I try to keep myself informed by hitting F1, asking friendly posters for advice, and not being afraid to ask questions when I am talking to someone who appears to have some knowledge...

This post has been edited by Curmudgeon: Nov 3 2012, 05:36 PM
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Dontreadonme
post Nov 3 2012, 07:51 PM
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Please lay out your view of what Romney's foreign policy is if any.

Nearly indiscernible from Obama's.....who's foreign policy is nearly indiscernible from GW Bush's. Romney commits slightly less pandering to the Armed Forces than one might expect from a GOP candidate. I'm not saying that this is a net negative, but the absence of the typical rhetoric is noteworthy to me. Foreign policy to me is the primary reason he fared so badly during the final debate. His key function toward success would have been to distinguish himself in that policy area. He resolutely failed to do so.

What kind of background does he have that would prepare him as a foreign policy president?

Nothing more than the last two POTUSs had.

What impact do you think his Mormon training would have on his approach to the world?

Nothing different of note from any other religion. I'm always a bit leery of someone campaigning to be the leader of the free world, who devoutly believes that not only will the world likely end within our lifetime, but looks at that as a good thing.

Why do you think he won't give interviews?

I haven't really kept track of his interview schedule, so I cannot comment directly to the question. But a decent stab at it would be because he's a politician who wants to control the narrative of his campaign, instead of answering questions the electorate may be truly interested in.
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Dingo
post Nov 3 2012, 08:37 PM
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QUOTE(akaCG @ Nov 3 2012, 08:28 AM) *
In the past month and a half or so, Romney has given interviews to George Stephanopoulos (ABC), Sean Hannity (FOX), David Gregory (NBC), Wolf Blitzer (CNN) and Dianne Sawyer (ABC). The last one was just yesterday, and focuses on a topic that seems to hold a special fascination for you, AlterNet et al.: Romney's Mormon faith. Enjoy: http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/video/portrait-c...erview-17630512


You'll have to date and link these interviews supposedly going back a month and a half and let's have a look at them. My focus was more on recent weeks where he seemed to pretty much restrict himself to campaigning using stalk criticisms, commonly lies. As for the Diane Sawyer retrospective-interview I should have qualified, I meant interviews of substance on contemporary issues, not his dieting practices and his feelings about his mom and dad. Even O'Reilly was shaking his head wondering why Romney was running away from having a sympathetic interview. Who among the world leaders is going to be more sympathetic than O'Reilly in discussions? His running away from answering serious questions like his feelings about FEMA have been noted regularly on the news. Perhaps you hadn't noticed.

Every candidate has an assembly of written down policy positions that nobody reads. No doubt his former Bush advisors provided their "expertise". It happens that during the campaign Romney didn't much share or seem much interested in anything more developed than a few foreign policy directed sound bites - get tougher on Iran, blah, blah, blah. The foreign policy debate with Obama was mainly "me to." My impression is for Romney foreign policy is mainly a side show except for some tough posing and a particular obsession with Israel which judging from the video interview I presented seems likely to be religiously based. I thought his approving reference to Glen Beck's favorite conspiracy guru was a nice touch and would give any thinking person some second thoughts.
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akaCG
post Nov 3 2012, 11:30 PM
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QUOTE(Dingo @ Nov 3 2012, 04:37 PM) *
QUOTE(akaCG @ Nov 3 2012, 08:28 AM) *
In the past month and a half or so, Romney has given interviews to George Stephanopoulos (ABC), Sean Hannity (FOX), David Gregory (NBC), Wolf Blitzer (CNN) and Dianne Sawyer (ABC). The last one was just yesterday, and focuses on a topic that seems to hold a special fascination for you, AlterNet et al.: Romney's Mormon faith. Enjoy: http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/video/portrait-c...erview-17630512

You'll have to date and link these interviews supposedly going back a month and a half and let's have a look at them. ...
...

No problem. Always willin' to help contribute to the goal of adding to (as opposed to subtracting from) the sum of human knowledge. Here you go (in reverse chronological order):

CNN's Wolf Blitzer, Oct 9: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XzCQzwrhzw0

FOX's Sean Hannity, Oct 4: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4aq84XBhRZ8

ABC's George Stephanopoulos, Sep 14: http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/...nd-mitt-romney/

NBC's David Gregory, Sep 9: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aw39MTZcz7M

QUOTE(Dingo @ Nov 3 2012, 04:37 PM) *
...
Every candidate has an assembly of written down policy positions that nobody reads. ...
...

Very true. Lots of people don't go to the ever-so-taxing trouble of spending an hour or so reading candidates' "assembly" of foreign policy positions. Yet, that doesn't seem to stop a woefully great proportion of the same people from "lamenting" that they are unable to discern said candidates' foreign policy positions and/or "wondering" whether said candidates are even interested in the subject and stuff.

ps:
Here's a challenge (should you choose to accept it, that is; please don't do it on my account), for comparison purposes:

How many TV interviews did Presidential candidate Obama give in October '08 (to make use of your newly introduced "recent weeks" benchmark, which seems to be shorter, by a yet to be specified/clarified by you amount of time, than my "month and a half or so")?

So far, I've only found:

Jon Stewart: http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-octo...08/barack-obama

Rachel Maddow: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27464980/ns/ms...n/#.UJWZOIaihv4



This post has been edited by akaCG: Nov 3 2012, 11:32 PM
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Dingo
post Nov 3 2012, 11:55 PM
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I can see why Romney stopped interviews on Oct. 9. First he fluffed through the foreign policy questions drawing no clear distinctions with Obama and then he avoided answering the how are you going to pay for your tax cut questions. I didn't need to hear anymore. Did he take any questions from anyone after that - reporters, public? If he didn't I can see why.

Thanks for digging up the interviews. flowers.gif
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Mrs. Pigpen
post Nov 4 2012, 01:53 PM
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Please lay out your view of what Romney's foreign policy is if any.

Well, in the first link to the most recent interview with Wolf Blitzer offered by akaCG (the only link I watched) I've learned that Romney thinks we should support the rebels in Syria with weapons, ect ("working with our allies like Saudi and Turkey" and Qatar I assume, that's what's happening now...no radicals anywhere there unsure.gif). But don't worry, we'll have "intel on the ground" to field for those "moderate voices" and only give weapons to them. We haven't seen this before, whatever could go wrong? Ironically, Iran is probably right about this one (along with India), but throwing out the Iran boogeyman in the interview draws interest....who wants to side with Iran? Case closed! To continue: I've also learned that if he is elected "we have Israel's back militarily". I've never heard such a statement made by any president or candidate before, with good reason. Those were the only two issues regarding foreign policy in that interview and both brought a chill to my spine. My only comfort is in knowing that if he is elected he'll probably receive a very quick and impressive reality clue bat smack-down. This happened with Obama and Clinton (unfortunately Bush junior not so much, to our detriment) who both adjusted accordingly to some degree...though not quite enough.

What kind of background does he have that would prepare him as a foreign policy president?

None whatsoever. Not unlike every president since Bush senior who was a foreign policy master (but heh, "It's the economy, stupid"...far more important to know the price of everything but the value of nothing).

I watched the interview with the general impression (on the foreign policy bit) that Romney knows next to nothing but must be prepared to answer about anything....so he sticks to generalities. That's pretty standard for almost every candidate, in my experience. Not unlike a beauty pageant, but about 20 IQ points smarter and 100 times more expensive.

This post has been edited by Mrs. Pigpen: Nov 4 2012, 02:13 PM
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Hobbes
post Nov 4 2012, 09:06 PM
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Please lay out your view of what Romney's foreign policy is if any.

Romney's foreign policy would be very pragmatic, I think (which is how foreign policy should be conducted, IMHO). I think he would be harsher on Russia, better relations with Israel, and demand a little more accountability from others. He would differ from how Bush's term worked out in being very unlikely, I think, to involve us in foreign affairs militarily (which was Bush's stance, too, prior to 9-11).

What kind of background does he have that would prepare him as a foreign policy president?

Smart, analytical, pragmatic, and pragmatic. He has experience living abroad (France) and dealing with a great many foreign interests and dignitaries (Olympics). That would put him on a par, or ahead, of where Obama was four years ago.

What impact do you think his Mormon training would have on his approach to the world?

Little to none.

Why do you think he won't give interviews?

Nothing to gain, and much to lose.
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Mrs. Pigpen
post Nov 4 2012, 09:53 PM
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QUOTE(Hobbes @ Nov 4 2012, 04:06 PM) *
Please lay out your view of what Romney's foreign policy is if any.

Romney's foreign policy would be very pragmatic, I think (which is how foreign policy should be conducted, IMHO).


He says that he will indict Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for inciting genocide if elected. Do you believe this to be a pragmatic approach?

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BoF
post Nov 4 2012, 10:28 PM
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QUOTE(Hobbes @ Nov 4 2012, 03:06 PM) *
Smart, analytical, pragmatic, and pragmatic. He has experience living abroad (France) and dealing with a great many foreign interests and dignitaries (Olympics). That would put him on a par, or ahead, of where Obama was four years ago.

That's fine, but Romney is running against a man who has been commander-in-chief for four years, not the candidate from four years ago.




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Dingo
post Nov 4 2012, 11:12 PM
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QUOTE(BoF @ Nov 4 2012, 03:28 PM) *
QUOTE(Hobbes @ Nov 4 2012, 03:06 PM) *
Smart, analytical, pragmatic, and pragmatic. He has experience living abroad (France) and dealing with a great many foreign interests and dignitaries (Olympics). That would put him on a par, or ahead, of where Obama was four years ago.

That's fine, but Romney is running against a man who has been commander-in-chief for four years, not the candidate from four years ago.

I wouldn't buy he was even up to Obama 4 years ago. Obama was in the Senate and dealt with overseas matters particularly in the area of nuclear proliferation, not to mention studied and voted on many issues of international concern. In addition his life gave him far more experience in the outside world, particularly in Indonesia and Africa and through his mother's work and his overseas family. Running around trying to convert people in France for 2 years really doesn't match up. Romney began blowing it the minute he went overseas to start building up his political cred. His bald stupid pandering to the Israelis was even embarrassing to them. This guy is a foreign policy zilch.

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post Nov 5 2012, 01:59 PM
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Please lay out your view of what Romney's foreign policy is if any.

More of the same, with some subtle changes of emphasis, really.

Islam is still "a problem" which is completely unrelated to US support for the theocratic and enormously wealthy Saudi regime that does more to bankroll fundamentalist Islam and Muslim terrorism than Saddam's Iraq, Gaddafi's Libya and Ahmedinajad's Iran ever have, put together, based on the simple and obvious expedient that the Saudi regime controls a huge chunk of the world's oil.

Europe is still a relatively minor trading partner whose economic woes are a potential problem, but not one worth changing the global system of banking, tax avoidance and speculative investment products over. Though Romney does seem to place a little less faith in the EU than Obama does, and sets a little more store in the traditional American idea that the UK ("England") is the most sensible bridgehead for American interests in Europe that Obama has downplayed somewhat.

What kind of background does he have that would prepare him as a foreign policy president?

QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Nov 4 2012, 01:53 PM) *
What kind of background does he have that would prepare him as a foreign policy president?

None whatsoever. Not unlike every president since Bush senior who was a foreign policy master (but heh, "It's the economy, stupid"...far more important to know the price of everything but the value of nothing).

I watched the interview with the general impression (on the foreign policy bit) that Romney knows next to nothing but must be prepared to answer about anything....so he sticks to generalities. That's pretty standard for almost every candidate, in my experience. Not unlike a beauty pageant, but about 20 IQ points smarter and 100 times more expensive.


My answer almost completely, with the note that Bill Clinton was a bit more worldly-wise in as much as he had been a Rhodes scholar in Britain so had at least lived and studied overseas and therefore integrated himself into the host culture (or a small elite subset of it) a bit more than someone working as a Mormon missionary in a foreign language can.

What impact do you think his Mormon training would have on his approach to the world?

I don't know the first thing about Mormonism, so I can't say.

Why do you think he won't give interviews?

More than any other reason, because American voters are mostly turned off by foreign policy at the best of times, let alone at a time of historically high unemployment and a sluggish economy when surrounded by recession elsewhere in the developed world. America doesn't yet define itself by its place in the world, though the time is coming when it may need to start doing that.

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post Nov 5 2012, 05:27 PM
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QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Nov 4 2012, 04:53 PM) *
QUOTE(Hobbes @ Nov 4 2012, 04:06 PM) *
Please lay out your view of what Romney's foreign policy is if any.

Romney's foreign policy would be very pragmatic, I think (which is how foreign policy should be conducted, IMHO).


He says that he will indict Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for inciting genocide if elected. Do you believe this to be a pragmatic approach?


Unless someone presents a case that this would inflame things and make matters worse...yes, I do. The U.N. shouldn't be a podium for rhetoric like that, and should take an active role in stamping it out. We have tried other approaches, and had no effect whatsoever. If there is a better alternative out there, I'm open to it. I do think we should work on improving relations with Iran, but allowing them to spew forth the kind of bile he preaches isn't the way to go about it. So, I don't think we should hammer them on it, but neither do I think we should passively allow it.

QUOTE(BoF)
That's fine, but Romney is running against a man who has been commander-in-chief for four years, not the candidate from four years ago


That is a fair point, but mine still stands. If Obama's foreign experience was sufficient four years ago, then Romney's should be now. There have been lots of candidates with limited foreign policy experience--Obama is a prime example. I personally think he would be fine, learning on the job--but I also understand the concerns people have. I think it comes down more to philosophy---whose foreign policy philosophy does one believe to be more likely to be successful? I believe Romney's...but I also think that our foreign policy doesn't change that much regardless of who is President. Notice that Obama didn't change our stance or direction much at all in Iraq and Afghanistan, but rather mostly followed existing plans. Politics tends to play a much bigger role domestically than it does in foreign policy. I think the ideal policy is moderate and pragmatic--probably somewhere in between the liberal and conservative views, as each has certain points that I think are valid. So, neither candidate would be my ideal on that issue, but then neither would be that far from it, either.

QUOTE(Dingo)
In addition his life gave him far more experience in the outside world, particularly in Indonesia and Africa and through his mother's work and his overseas family.


While it is good to have lived abroad and broadened one's perspective, I think it is somewhat of a negative in Obama's case. In his experience I think he has come to understand that the people around the world all strive for the same things (which is good), but this causes him to not fully understand that this doesn't mean that their leaders aren't a threat to us, or others.

Is Romney running around France converting people better in this regard? No. Which is why again I think it comes down to philosophy. Romney's experience doesn't seem to have impacted his philosophical views that much, whereas Obama's has.

This post has been edited by Hobbes: Nov 5 2012, 05:32 PM
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Mrs. Pigpen
post Nov 5 2012, 05:52 PM
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QUOTE(Hobbes @ Nov 5 2012, 12:27 PM) *
QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Nov 4 2012, 04:53 PM) *
QUOTE(Hobbes @ Nov 4 2012, 04:06 PM) *
Please lay out your view of what Romney's foreign policy is if any.

Romney's foreign policy would be very pragmatic, I think (which is how foreign policy should be conducted, IMHO).


He says that he will indict Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for inciting genocide if elected. Do you believe this to be a pragmatic approach?


Unless someone presents a case that this would inflame things and make matters worse...yes, I do. The U.N. shouldn't be a podium for rhetoric like that, and should take an active role in stamping it out. We have tried other approaches, and had no effect whatsoever. If there is a better alternative out there, I'm open to it. I do think we should work on improving relations with Iran, but allowing them to spew forth the kind of bile he preaches isn't the way to go about it. So, I don't think we should hammer them on it, but neither do I think we should passively allow it.


Well, for starters...it's a little difficult to form a solid case against someone for incitation of a crime that hasn't occurred. I'd classify that more as hate speech. And hate speech is a rather odd thing for any potential leader in the free world to hang his hat on and take to the ICC, particularly in a country that has never ratified the Rome Statute (for sound, very pragmatic reasons, IMO).

Is ratifying the Rome Statute a good idea? It would certainly be odd to bring a case to them without having done so. I've never seen Romney endorse the ICC, it seems rather anti-conservative of him. Consider the politically motivated prosecutions that could open us up to.

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Hobbes
post Nov 5 2012, 06:41 PM
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QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Nov 5 2012, 12:52 PM) *
Well, for starters...it's a little difficult to form a solid case against someone for incitation of a crime that hasn't occurred.


Is it? I don't think so. Failure of others to follow doesn't mean one wasn't inciting, nor is it required to make the case. Is plotting to murder someone not still a crime, even before actually doing so? And Iran is doing more than plotting--they are building the weapon, which is one of the prime reasons to speak out against the speech. Are you really saying we should wait until after they use it to speak out against such talk?

QUOTE
I'd classify that more as hate speech.


The two are very different. One advocates mass extermination, the other does not. Consider the difference between saying you don't like your neighbor, and stating that you are going to kill him and his entire family. For that matter, the U.N. shouldn't condone hate speech, either. The U.N. serves no purpose if it cannot say 'You are an idiot...shut up' when such is clearly the case. Failure to do so is one of the great flaws of the U.N., IMHO. You can be tolerant of others views without having to accept such talk. For Ahmadinead to speak about what he feels are the transgressions of Israel is one thing. For him to advocate exterminating them is another. If the U.N. cannot find that line, and speak out when it is crossed, it needs to dissolve itself.

Put it this way: Why on earth would the U.N. NOT call out those calling for the mass extermination of others? Not speaking out against it is the same as condoning it--the U.N. has no purpose if it cannot act against such speech, and might as well dissolve itself. You speak of the irony on us....what about the irony of the U.N. condoning such speech? How can the U.N. claim to be for peace and yet do nothing about those who so actively speak about such things? It can't.

As for the Rome Statute, as you said, we generally have sound, pragmatic reasons for not ratifying such things. There are a plethora of such statutes that sound good in principle, but have great flaws in practice, and hence we don't ratify them---nor should we. That doesn't make us hypocritical--it makes us practical. I'll take that. I'd rather not ratify such statutes and live with the consequences, than ratify them and live with those consequences. And I don't see us EVER actively speaking about the extermination of any race, so this is hardly a situation we'd ever find ourselves in. If we did---we should be sanctioned as well.

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Mrs. Pigpen
post Nov 5 2012, 07:18 PM
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QUOTE(Hobbes @ Nov 5 2012, 01:41 PM) *
QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Nov 5 2012, 12:52 PM) *
Well, for starters...it's a little difficult to form a solid case against someone for incitation of a crime that hasn't occurred.


Is it? I don't think so. Failure of others to follow doesn't mean one wasn't inciting, nor is it required to make the case. Is plotting to murder someone not still a crime, even before actually doing so? And Iran is doing more than plotting--they are building the weapon, which is one of the prime reasons to speak out against the speech. Are you really saying we should wait until after they use it to speak out against such talk?


Have I indicated we shouldn't "speak out against such talk"? I indicated we shouldn't formally charge him with a crime in an international court of law under a jurisdiction which we ourselves have failed to ratify. Speak away, villify away. I have no fond feelings for the president of Iran.

QUOTE
QUOTE
I'd classify that more as hate speech.


The two are very different. One advocates mass extermination, the other does not.


Really? So if I say 'kill him because he is a homosexual' that is different from saying 'kill all homosexuals'. Though very inflammatory, short of action, I'm not sure how either would apply as incitation to a crime. Simply stating "I hate homosexuals" isn't classified as hate speech. Hate speech is: speech, gesture or conduct, writing, or display that may incite violence or prejudicial action against a group. And we don't have hate speech laws in the US.

QUOTE
Consider the difference between saying you don't like your neighbor, and stating that you are going to kill him and his entire family.

The first isn't hate speech and the latter is a direct threat. We can accuse the Iranian president of threatening his neighbors but in the international setting that's a pretty loose accusation (Khrushchev's "We will bury you!" comes to mind).

QUOTE
Put it this way: Why on earth would the U.N. NOT call out those calling for the mass extermination of others? Not speaking out against it is the same as condoning it--the U.N. has no purpose if it cannot act against such speech, and might as well dissolve itself. You speak of the irony on us....what about the irony of the U.N. condoning such speech? How can the U.N. claim to be for peace and yet do nothing about those who so actively speak about such things? It can't.


See my first response.

QUOTE
As for the Rome Statute, as you said, we generally have sound, pragmatic reasons for not ratifying such things. There are a plethora of such statutes that sound good in principle, but have great flaws in practice, and hence we don't ratify them---nor should we. That doesn't make us hypocritical--it makes us practical. I'll take that. I'd rather not ratify such statutes and live with the consequences, than ratify them and live with those consequences. And I don't see us EVER actively speaking about the extermination of any race, so this is hardly a situation we'd ever find ourselves in. If we did---we should be sanctioned as well.


Now we're on from failure to speak out against hate speech to sanctions. I haven't mentioned sanctions either. I've been quite specific. If you don't advocate formally joining the ICC and ratifying the Rome Statute how do you propose we "pragmatically" indict the Iranian president?

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Hobbes
post Nov 5 2012, 08:32 PM
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QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Nov 5 2012, 02:18 PM) *
Have I indicated we shouldn't "speak out against such talk"? I indicated we shouldn't formally charge him with a crime in an international court of law under a jurisdiction which we ourselves have failed to ratify. Speak away, villify away. I have no fond feelings for the president of Iran.


Does this fall under the ICC? It applies to genocide, but does incitement to genocide fall under the same jurisdiction? (not sure)



QUOTE
Really? So if I say 'kill him because he is a homosexual' that is different from saying 'kill all homosexuals'.


No, those are both examples of the latter. Hate speech would be "I hate all homosexuals.", with maybe "and I wish they would die" added on. Advocating that everyone should then kill homosexuals is where the line is crossed.

QUOTE
Though very inflammatory, short of action, I'm not sure how either would apply as incitation to a crime.


Both would. Keep in mind that Iran has done much more than talk about this---they have actively supported it at every opportunity.

QUOTE
The first isn't hate speech and the latter is a direct threat.


Isn't what Ahmedinejad been saying a direct threat? Israel certainly feels it is. Are they not building a weapon that could carry it out? yes, they are.

QUOTE
We can accuse the Iranian president of threatening his neighbors but in the international setting that's a pretty loose accusation (Khrushchev's "We will bury you!" comes to mind).


What Ahmedinejad is preaching goes way beyond what other leaders say...and when they too cross that line, we should act similarly against them.

QUOTE
See my first response.


And what actions has the U.N. taken against him? None. Again, this is the same as condoning it.


QUOTE
Now we're on from failure to speak out against hate speech to sanctions. I haven't mentioned sanctions either. I've been quite specific. If you don't advocate formally joining the ICC and ratifying the Rome Statute how do you propose we "pragmatically" indict the Iranian president?


Simple...by doing it. The two needn't have anything to do with each other---for very pragmatic reasons. We generally don't ratify such things because they would be used by the 'little guys' as tools against us. How is that in our interest? On the other hand, taking active steps against Ahmedinejad is likely in our interest. You can very pragmatically do the latter without doing the former. Might some call us hypocritical? Sure. We shoudl diplomatically tell them 'bite me'...and note their actions when they later come seeking something from us. Assuming they are equated is ideological, not pragmatic

FWIW...I don't expect any action would ever come from it. The U.N. is too messed up to ever doing anything right, anyway. But taking the steps to force others to also take a stand is worthwhile in itself. Make China or Russia take a formal stand that such speech is acceptable. Note that in our ledger. Foreign policy is all about such ledgers. You help me now, I'll help you later. You don't help me now, and I'll note that for later when you want help, and remind you about it when the time comes. Then you take steps to make that relevant--try to put them in a position where they need your help, and wish they had helped you earlier. Then, next time it comes up, they will side with you. Every chance you have to do this should be taken, and used to our advantage. That's how the foreign policy game is played. Is it to our advantage to bring this up, or not to? If the former, you do it. If the latter, you don't. Pragmatic.

This post has been edited by Hobbes: Nov 5 2012, 08:41 PM
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Mrs. Pigpen
post Nov 5 2012, 08:45 PM
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QUOTE(Hobbes @ Nov 5 2012, 03:32 PM) *
QUOTE
Now we're on from failure to speak out against hate speech to sanctions. I haven't mentioned sanctions either. I've been quite specific. If you don't advocate formally joining the ICC and ratifying the Rome Statute how do you propose we "pragmatically" indict the Iranian president?


Simple...by doing it. The two needn't have anything to do with each other---for very pragmatic reasons.


We would have to be a party to the Rome statute to initiate a case in the International Criminal Court.

Or we could hold an 'ad hoc tribunal' similar to what was done for Rwanda and the Balkans cases. But both had actual victims, numbering in the tens of thousands (even hundreds of thousands, and as many or more displaced). And even genocide proper is extremely difficult to prove let alone "incitation to genocide" with no tangible victims of genocide.




This post has been edited by Mrs. Pigpen: Nov 5 2012, 09:05 PM
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