Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Here We Go, Again

(Editorial cartoon by Kevin Siers / The Charlotte Observer (July 31, 2012) and featured at McClatchy DC. Click on image to enlarge and then come on back.)

I'll be the first to admit that I took some perverse joy in the coverage of Mitt Romney's Grand Tour, taken to establish his foreign policy credibility. He has gone from gaffe to gaffe, and the MSM has been quite happy to document each mis-step, from the condescending comments on the English readiness for the Olympics, to the snubbing (and cursing) of the US press corps traveling with him, to the insulting of the Palestinian culture. It has been like watching a real "not-ready-for-prime-time" troupe.

My good cheer, however, vanished when I read some serious coverage of what he has been saying during the Grand Tour. All sorts of alarms sounded when I read Maeve Weston's article on his Jerusalem speech.

On a day that mixed religious symbolism, courtship of financial donors and tough rhetoric, Mitt Romney on Sunday declared in his most aggressive tones to date that the U.S. should stand firmly behind Israel if it chooses military action to thwart Iran's progression toward a nuclear weapon.

Flanked by several dozen Israeli and American flags, with the last glimmers of sunlight illuminating the walls of Jerusalem's Old City behind him, Romney argued in a speech that Tehran's ayatollahs "are testing our moral defenses" and monitoring "who will object" and "who will look the other way."

Accusing Iran of having a "bloody and brutal record," the unofficial Republican presidential nominee said, "We have a solemn duty and a moral imperative to deny Iran's leaders the means to follow through on their malevolent intentions."

The conduct of Iran's leaders "gives us no reason to trust them with nuclear material," he said. As they edge toward developing nuclear weapons capability, "preventing that outcome must be our highest national security priority."

It was only with super-human restraint that I didn't embolden that whole quote.

First of all, what the hell does "the ayatollahs are testing our moral defenses" mean? I recognize the words and the syntax as English, but I just don't get it. It's not as if the Obama White House is shining Iran on; in fact, right now the White House and Congress are busy ratcheting up the pressure via sanctions in Iran. And it's not as if the rest of the world is ignoring the fact that the crazies in Iran have the know-how, and possibly the capacity already to develop and deliver a nuclear weapon. What the adults in the world are trying to do is make it clear to Iran that it just isn't worth it.

So, amidst all of this diplomacy Mitt decides to pander to the crazies in Israel (who are currently in power) that want the US to either nuke Iran or allow them to do so. Why? There's a big Jewish vote out there.

Kevin Siers' cartoons reminds us of the last Republican who was itching for a war. A decade and a trillion dollars later, and we're about to go that route again.

Kyrie Eleison

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