Our Common Good
My god, Romney actually said that America doesn’t install dictators, ignoring the fact that we’ve had these problems with Iran for 60 years precisely because we overthrew an elected president and installed a friendly dictator whose rule was so bloodthirsty that religious fanatics ran him out, imprisoned our embassy officials, and gave Ben Affleck a chance 30 years later to direct a cool movie.
Charles Pierce “Nothing Is Foreign to the Liar Willard Romney Anymore: A Report from the Flippy-Floppy Final Debate of 2012” http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/mitt-romney-foreign-policy-debate-14005209#ixzz2A6MaguJV (via x0)

After the etch-a-sketch success of his first debate, Mitt Romney tried to reinvent his entire foreign policy on Monday night by pretending that he had never spoken a belligerent word about Iran.

“It’s essential for us to understand what our mission is in Iran,” Romney said on stage, citing the need to stop Iran’s nuclear program through “peaceful and diplomatic means”.

“Of course military action is the last resort,” he said. “It’s something one would only consider if all other avenues were tried to the full extent.”

Sadly for the Romney campaign, there is ample evidence of their candidate’s saber-rattling about Iran – and his accompanying critique that the president has been “weak” in his global effort to use sanctions and diplomacy to stop Tehran’s nuclear program.

Until Monday night, Romney’s position on Iran was far more aggressive than either President Obama or President Bush. Both Obama and Bush said they would not tolerate a nuclear-armed Iran.

Romney’s position has, until now, been even less tolerant. He, his advisers and his website, have all declared that they will not allow Iran to develop a nuclear capability. That is a much lower bar for military action than a weapon, even if ‘capability’ remains an ill-defined notion.

On the Romney campaign’s website, the first line of the GOP nominee’s policy says this: “Mitt Romney believes that it is unacceptable for Iran to possess nuclear weapons capability.”

And the first policy approach to dealing with this problem? “A credible military option,” says the Romney website, followed by “increasing sanctions”. Diplomacy is hard to find.

The only problem for Romney’s position is that, despite his attacks on President Obama, his policies are identical to his opponent’s. Romney’s credible military option includes moving a US aircraft carrier group to the eastern Mediterranean and Persian Gulf.

If he is elected president, he wouldn’t have to move anything because those aircraft carrier groups are already there under President Obama’s command.

In other ways, however, Romney is more than ready to turn the military option into reality.

Senator Richard Lugar, the leading Republican foreign-policy expert in Congress, said President Barack Obama is following the right policy in Iran and warned of the dangers of war.

“The idea of moving with our allies, as many as we can find, on effective sanctions on the country has been the right move” on Iran, Lugar said in an interview with Bloomberg Television’s “Political Capital with Al Hunt” airing this weekend.

[…]

“I understand even some wanting to go to war immediately to stop it where it is and so forth,” said Lugar, an Indiana Republican. “But even within Israel, the reports are that the debate with Netanyahu is very intense.”

“We’re really going to have hell to pay. They will come back on us, and the implications for the Israeli people here are very severe.”

[…]

Lugar, whose 36-year Senate career is coming to an end after he lost re-nomination in a May primary, rejected Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s stance that Obama hasn’t been tough enough on Iran and that he hasn’t offered enough support to Israel. Romney has sought to use signs of differences between Obama and Netanyahu over Iran to raise doubts with U.S. Jewish voters about the president’s commitment to Israel and his ability to manage turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa.

Lugar widened his distance from Romney’s foreign-policy platform, saying the nominee’s plan to call China a currency manipulator is a “campaign mode.”

abaldwin360:

Caught on Video: Washington Institute for Near East Policy Deputy Director Of Research Says U.S. Needs A False Flag To Start A War With Iran.

Here’s the transcript of what Patrick Clawson had to say (courtesy of alterpolitics.com)

I frankly find that crisis initiation is really tough. And it’s very hard for me to see how the United States President can get us into war with Iran. Which leads me to conclude that if in fact compromise is not coming that the traditional way that America gets into war is what would be best for U.S. interests.

Some people might think that Mr. Roosevelt wanted to get us into World War II, as David mentioned, you may recall we had to wait for Pearl Harbor. Some people think Mr. Wilson wanted to get us into World War I, you may recall we had to wait for the Lusitania episode. Some people might think that Mr. Johnson wanted to send troops to Vietnam, you may recall we had to wait for the Gulf of Tonkin episode. We didn’t go to war with Spain until the USS Maine exploded. And may I point out that Mr. Lincoln did not feel he could call out the Federal Army until Fort Sumter was attacked which is why he ordered the commander of Fort Sumter to do exactly that thing which the South Carolineans had said would cause an attack.

So if in fact the Iranians aren’t going to compromise, it would be best if somebody else started the war. One can combine other means of pressure with sanctions. I mentioned that explosion on August 17th. We could step up the pressure. 

I mean look people, Iranian submarines periodically go down, some day one of them might not come up, who would know why? We could do a variety of things if we wish to to increase the pressure. I’m not advocating that, but I’m just suggesting that this is not an either or proposition, you know it’s just sanctions have to succeed or it’s other things.

We are in the games of using covert means against the Iranians. We could get nastier.

Read the full article here

According to reports in the print version of Israel’s Yediot Achronot, the Obama Administration has recently warned Israel that an attack against Iran could mean an end to their existing peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan.

The officials warned that a unilateral Israeli attack “is just what the Iranians need,” and that it would cause a huge public backlash against Israel across the Muslim world, forcing the nations scrap their deals to placate protesters.

“What happened with the film against Mohammed is just a preview of what will happen in case of an Israeli strike,” one of the officials said, lamenting “today the Arab leaders do not control their peoples, the streets control the leaders.”

Israeli officials have repeatedly threatened to attack Iran, with some speculation it might happen before the US election in November. It has been suggested by some officials that a US attack might come at some point after the election, which seems to be an option Israel prefers to starting the war themselves.

Romney was indicating he did not believe in the peace process and, as president, would aim to postpone significant action: “[S]o what you do is, you say, you move things along the best way you can. You hope for some degree of stability, but you recognize that this is going to remain an unsolved problem…and we kick the ball down the field and hope that ultimately, somehow, something will happen and resolve it.”

Romney did note there was another perspective on this knotty matter. He informed his donors that a former secretary of state—he would not say who—had told him there was “a prospect for a settlement between the Palestinians and the Israelis.” Romney recalled that he had replied, “Really?” Then he added that he had not asked this ex-secretary of state for further explanation.

[…]

After saying all that, Romney emphasized that he was against applying any pressure on Israel: “The idea of pushing on the Israelis to give something up to get the Palestinians to act is the worst idea in the world.”

On his campaign website, Romney, whose foreign policy advisers include several neocons known for their hawkish support for Israel, does not explicitly endorse the peace process or a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But the Republican Party platform does state unequivocal backing for this outcome: “We envision two democratic states—Israel with Jerusalem as its capital and Palestine—living in peace and security.” The platform adds, “The US seeks a comprehensive and lasting peace in the Middle East, negotiated between the parties themselves with the assistance of the US.”

I don’t think I’ve ever, in the 40 years I’ve been doing this, have heard of another … American ally trying to push us into war as blatantly—and trying to influence an American election as blatantly—as Bibi Netanyahu and the Likud party in Israel is doing right now. I think it’s absolutely outrageous and disgusting. It’s not a way that friends treat each other. And it is cynical and it is brazen. And by the way, a little bit of history here: In December of 2006, George W. Bush went over to the Pentagon, met with the joint chiefs of staff and asked them, “What do you think about military action in Iran?” They were unanimously opposed to it. And as far as I know, the United States military, the leaders of the United States military, are unanimously opposed to it to this day. This is a fool’s errand. It would be a ridiculous war with absolutely no good coming of it.
The most forgotten fact about Sep. 11th’s aftermath

wombatattack:

One week after the attack Iran held a candle-lit vigil in honor of the victims. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that if you peer at the upper left corner of this jpeg you’ll see that it is actually TIME Europe which documented this event.

Much to the delight of Israeli hawks, the Canadian government announced today that it is severing all diplomatic ties with Iran, closing its Tehran embassy and expelling every Iranian diplomat from Canada.

Foreign Minister John Baird, detailing the move, condemned Iran as a “threat to global security” and insisted the move was a response to Iran’s hostility toward Israel. Israel has regularly been threatening to attack Iran, though in recent days it is suggested that they are climbing down off that threat.

The move was loudly praised by Israeli officials as well as the ADL, which urged the world to “follow Canada’s lead” in severing ties in the lead up to a potential war, saying the nation’s civilian nuclear program and “anti-Semitic rhetoric” can no longer be tolerated.

It was immediately questioned by former Canadian diplomat John Mundy, who noted that it was a “grave step and it can’t easily be reversed.” He also lamented the precedent it set, as the first time Canada has proactively taken a step to reduce its ability to facilitate peace negotiations.

timekiller-s:

Romney engaged in what Cesca describes as an “astonishing amoount of war-mongering,” including talk of invading Iran and denigrating Russia and Vladimir Putin.

I can’t help but to think that the rest of the world trembled a little bit by Romney’s bellicosity. Not in fear but in utter disgust.

Romney will get a small bump from this speech mainly from white conservatives who not only want to roll back the clocks to 1955, but who also have a longing for a president who looks like the central casting president they grew up with. The white guy with the dark hair, the blonde wife and the handsome kids — all waving to the camera with balloons all around.

Read more

Iranian state television has raised the toll from Saturday’s twin earthquakes to over 250 dead and at least 2,000 injured.

Over 250 people dead as earthquake hit Iran.

Thoughts and prayers for the victims.

(via mehreenkasana)

romney2012:

Mitt Romney looks to Israel speech to salvage London shambles
Mitt Romney will this weekend threaten war on Iran if he is elected president, as he tries to recover from accusations that he embarrassed America with his calamitous visit to London. 
He describes a nuclear-armed Iran as “the greatest threat to the world” and has struck a more bellicose tone than Barack Obama, telling Tehran: “If you want peace, prepare for war”.

romney2012:

Mitt Romney looks to Israel speech to salvage London shambles

Mitt Romney will this weekend threaten war on Iran if he is elected president, as he tries to recover from accusations that he embarrassed America with his calamitous visit to London. 

He describes a nuclear-armed Iran as “the greatest threat to the world” and has struck a more bellicose tone than Barack Obama, telling Tehran: “If you want peace, prepare for war”.

Senate Republicans blocked legislation for new economic sanctions on Iran’s oil sector on Thursday saying they needed more time to study the bill, a surprise move that drew anger from Democrats who wanted approval ahead of nuclear talks next week.

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iraq’s prime minister is in Tehran for top level talks, underlining the close ties between governments of the two countries.

Nouri al-Maliki is expected to meet Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during his two-day official visit. Al-Maliki’s Shiite-dominated government has received support from Iran, a regional Shiite powerhouse.

Among topics for discussion will be Iran’s nuclear program. Iraq will host the next round of nuclear talks between Iran and the six world powers in Baghdad May 23.

Al-Maliki was given a red carpet welcome by First Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi at Saadabad Palace in north Tehran, state TV reported Sunday.