I just finished watching the last part of the GOP debate that occurred in Mesa, AZ tonight. I saw the foreign policy discussion. Americans are notoriously bad about understanding other countries and the role we play in the world. So, I think it’s important that we pay attention to the foreign policy aspect of the GOP candidates.
Romney, Santorum and Gingrich all were talking very tough about Iran to the point of advocating for pre-emptive strikes. Their reasoning is that “we can’t allow Iran to have nuclear weapons”. Well no one disagrees with that….even Pres. Obama doesn’t want them to have nuclear weapons. The difference between the President and the GOP candidates is that he doesn’t do sabre rattling. And sabre rattling is a key component when playing on the “politics of fear”.
The key here is that most of the Republican candidates believe that Iran has nuclear weapons already or has the capability to make them already. Ron Paul, in Congress for 22 years and in a better position to know, said [paraphrasing here] that there was no intelligence to say they have nuclear weapons capability. Ultimately Paul is the only one who advocated talking to Iran and he makes a good point. If we talked to Russia who had 30,000 nuclear missiles, why can’t we talk to Iran that might only be developing one of them? It’s a valid question.
Unfortunately, all four of them said that the sanctions being imposed were not working when they are not only working, they are exactly what Israel wanted. Actions such as European boycotts and China cutting it’s oil imports from Iran by 10 to 20% have caused the Iranian currency to devalue by half in the last 6 weeks. That means everything Iran buys has doubled in cost and that’s fantastic! There is no better means of stopping any progress toward weaponizing nuclear material than cutting off their ability to purchase what they need.
But it’s a fine balance. While we want to punish the Iranian government we don’t want to punish it’s people who are victims of their own dictatorial radical Islamic government. In the end there is no way we can spare the Iranian people entirely. However, if we bomb the crap out of them as 3 out of the 4 GOP candidates want to do many innocents will surely suffer. War should never be the first choice in foreign diplomacy. It should be the last choice when all other efforts have failed.
Afterward, Gov. Jan Brewer spoke to CNN and said all the candidates did wonderful. So wonderful, in fact, that she is more confused than before and doesn’t yet know who she will endorse. Don’t kid yourself…Gov. Brewer will bide her time and see who is going to come out on top and that is who she will endorse. On a very unimportant note…her hair looks much better but I swear her skin gets more and more leathery every time I see her. I think all that sun has also affected her brain but that’s another post for another night.
Buenas noches, mis amigos!