Thursday, October 1, 2015

The New York Times vs. Mitt Romney

Prescience, thy name is not the New York Times editorial board.

One is reminded of an editorial the Times wrote in March of2012, wherein it excoriated the na├»ve Mitt Romney for declaring that Russia was America’s greatest geopolitical threat.

Romney was reacting to the fact that President Obama—fearless warrior that he is—had asked then Soviet president Dmitri Medvedev to tell Vladimir Putin that after the American election he would have more flexibility in dealing with Russia.

As the old saying goes, no truer words have ever been spoken. You did not have to be very astute to figure out that, when Obama spoke of “flexibility” he was talking about his own weakness, his ability to bend over backwards… or is it forwards… to accommodate. Surely, Putin understood the message correctly.

Whatever Obama meant, it is impossible not to see that he has been more than accommodating to Russia and, by the way, to America’s other great enemy, Iran.

As for the Times editorial board, it had this to say:

Two decades after the end of the cold war, Mitt Romney still considers Russia to be America’s “No. 1 geopolitical foe.” His comments display either a shocking lack of knowledge about international affairs or just craven politics. Either way, they are reckless and unworthy of a major presidential contender.

Mr. Romney couldn’t wait to pounce when President Obama told President Dmitri Medvedev of Russia — in a conversation at a nuclear arms summit meeting picked up by a microphone — that he would have more flexibility on missile defense and other arms issues after the election.

Speaking of reckless and unworthy, does anyone imagine that Obama’s foreign policy has been characterized by the astute use of power and diplomacy?

The Times was especially agitated over the fact that Romney suggested that Obama was weak and would cave on a host of issues:

Mr. Romney accused Mr. Obama of signaling that, postelection, he would “cave” on missile defense. In Foreign Policy Magazine on Tuesday, Mr. Romney accused him of bowing to Russia on nuclear arms cuts and Iran. That is not true.

Clearly, the Times could not accept that Romney was calling out Obama for a will to surrender to our enemies. It could not accept him being characterized as cowardly. 

And yet, in the recent Iran nuclear deal the Obama administration caved on everything it could cave on. Even the strict inspections it promised are being conducted on material provided by Iran itself.

Romney was more right than even he imagined.

As for America’s prior commitment to grant Eastern European countries missile defense capability, the Times was happy to see Obama cave in to Russian pressure:

Two years ago, he[Obama] made a sound strategic decision, scrapping former President George W. Bush’s dubious plan to build a long-range missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic. The Pentagon is deploying a less-ambitious — but-more-feasible — system of interceptors and sensors, first on ships and later on land. Russia objects to a system in Europe, saying it will put their long-range missiles at risk. That is not America’s intent — the real target is Iran — and Mr. Obama is right to work to find a compromise.

As for Putin, the Times had this to say:

His support for President Bashar al-Assad of Syria is unconscionable.

How has the Obama administration managed the relationship between Putin and Assad? We do not even need to ask.

As for the relationship with Russia, the Times declared that Obama should support democracy in Russia. Yes, indeed, that was certainly the way to go:

But Russia can’t be wished away or denounced away. It has to be challenged and the relationship managed with vigilance and skepticism. The administration was right to express concerns about the stolen parliamentary election — drawing verbal attacks on Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton — and to try to publicly shame the Kremlin on Syria. Mr. Obama also needs to more firmly support democracy in Russia and remind Mr. Putin that many obstacles to cooperation are of his own making.

Today, the Daily Beast repeated a point made here and in many other places. The Obama administration has completely abrogated its leadership responsibilities in the Middle East, handing the baton to Vladimir Putin:

There’s a new decision-maker in the U.S. war against ISIS. But he’s not a general in the Pentagon or a minister in Damascus or Baghdad.

His office is the Kremlin and his name is Vladimir Putin.

When it comes to a “shocking lack of knowledge about foreign affairs,” the Times editorial board has cornered the market. When it comes to “craven,” the other word the Times used to characterize Romney, on that score Obama has proven to be a world beater.


Sam L. said...

NYT, wrong for a long time, and going long for longer.

ZZMike said...

Our brilliant statesmen still think that global warming is the biggest threat to the country.

Some say that Obama leads from behind. I'd say he pulls back from behind. The current situation seems to be the ex-KGB chess-player vs. the Chicago organizer.

One of the few real men in the civilized world spoke at the UN - quite forcefully - and Obama pulled Kerry and Power out of there for a "video conference". One of the hallmarks of a confirmed leftist is that he refuses to hear what the other side has to say - as Condoleezza Rice found out at Rutgers, and George Will, at MSU.

I think one could call that Cognitive Dissonance Avoidance Behavior. It may even gt in future DSM (if it hasn't already).

Anonymous said...

George Will at MSU? Explain. -$$$

priss rules said...

Russia is trying to save Christians in Syria by supporting the secular modernist Assad who's promoted religious tolerance.

US has been secretly allowing arms to pass to terrorist groups.

US policy has been to make Assad and rebel groups all fight one another and turn Syria into a bigger version of Lebanon.

US succeed on that account.

Putin is the responsible figure here. Romney is an idiot.
Romney have supported Putin and Russia, the only friend of Christian Arabs.
Instead, Romney attacked Russia and pandered to the American Military Industrial Complex that wants another bogus 'cold war'.

Russia is not the enemy of most Americans. It now stands for nationalism and traditionalism. It bans homosexual marches and promotes moral values.

yes, Russia is very corrupt and much needs to be reformed. But the cultural themes of new Russia should appeal to American conservatives.

But Americans have been telling the world that Russia is evil cuz it clamps down on pussy riot and 'gay' pride parades. Obama and 80% of American millennials think nothing is holier than 'gay marriage'.

After what US made of Libya, it shouldn't be lecturing to anybody about foreign policy.