The Threat of ‘Anti-Access’ and Public Delusions About Security
Those with a hand in crafting US foreign policy are always more explicit about their strategies than those in the servile political and pundit classes who have a bullhorn to the ear of the American public. The result of this is that the public are under grand delusions about what motivates US foreign policy. It’s far easier to listen to a speech from your district’s representative or to what Bill O’Reilly screams about than to actually attempt to understand policy from those who implement it.
US warships in the Persian Gulf
Take, for example, a piece in the most recent issue of Foreign Affairs, the main establishment journal, by Andrew Krepinevich, a West Point graduate with a PhD. from Harvard who has served on the personal staff of three Defense Secretaries and now heads the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments think-tank. Here is a key sentence:
The challenges that China and Iran pose for U.S. security lie not in the threat of traditional cross-border invasions but in efforts to establish spheres of influence in, and ultimately to control access to, critically important regions.
Now, if that is how most Americans understand the supposed top two greatest threats the country faces, I’ll eat my foot. What the public sees constantly streaming on television, across headlines, and rushing out of politicians mouths is that Iran and China are outlaw states that are threats to the security of Americans. And that’s why polling generally shows Americans are troubled by these two threats.
Krepinevich’s piece is subtitled “Why the Pentagon Should Focus on Assuring Access.” The last word there is important. US foreign policy centers around “access.” The threat to the US emanating from China and Iran is not that they will attack us – that is a virtual impossibility. Rather, it is that those states will “establish spheres of influence” and therefore deny US military “access.”
These are referred to in Pentagon parlance as “anti-access” or “area-denial” scenarios. A Department of Defense paper that was released last January focused on the potential increase of these scenarios going forward. It said, “the United States must maintain the credible capability to project military force into any region of the world in support of [its] interests.” Notice the technocratic description of empire. The notion that any state or non-state actor would dare deny America military access to their territory is patently unacceptable.
This is the mindset that informed the Carter Doctrine – literally the cornerstone of US foreign policy in the Middle East, which colored every policy and perspective on the region since its induction in Carter’s State of the Union address in January 1980. “An attempt by any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region,” Carter declared, “will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States of America, and such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary, including military force.”
US Navy fleet in Asia-Pacific
Suddenly America began to consider the Middle East part of its own territory. Any move by any state to gain influence in that region will be regarded as an “assault” on the United States worthy of military action in – they regard it – self-defense.
And thus the threat from Iran is not the status of their nuclear program per se, but rather its rising influence and how it might impact US control of Persian Gulf oil. A secret memo written in 1982 to the National Security Council regarding the threat from Iran put it succinctly, arguing that “whoever is in control of the Gulf’s” oil, “is in a position to have a very large political as well as economic influence in the world.”
You can see this strategy now playing out in the Asia-Pacific region as well, due to China’s rising influence. Not long before Obama announced his “Asia Pivot” strategy of surging US military presence throughout the region in order to contain China, then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates spoke at an International Institute for Strategic Studies meeting in Singapore and argued for “sustaining a robust [US] military presence in Asia.” He spoke of overcoming “anti-access and area denial scenarios” that the US military faces in Asia, which threatens America’s access to strategic markets and resources.
China represents a threat to the professional statists in Washington who benefit from having dominion over the world. Unless the Pentagon can span the entire globe at will with little or no resistance, it is a loss for them.
But Americans don’t understand it this way. They see Iran and China as a threat to their personal security. If only they could get beyond political soapboxes and Bill O’Reilly.
“If the US government doesn’t spend trillions of dollars each year dropping bombs, torturing and spying on the world, the foreigners will come here and kill us all!”
I do believe in educating the public. I try my best in illustrating, perhaps with my comments, caricaturing it. Public cares not.
Major policy wonks take care of molding public opinion with their high flying, scholarly (sic) arguments. They are experts, I have no doubt about it. However, public has no access to their research methods or well stocked libraries with books, scholarly papers.
Public libraries do not keep anything more than few books. Mostly from authors without pedigree.
Discussions become complicated because of emotional outbursts from parties having opinions that border on insane justifications for or against US policy.
I want all to understand the gravity. Not the propaganda and publicity.
…and I am Sid Harth@elcidharth.com
Copyright © Antiwar.com 2012
Just in: 10 killed in spa_
You are here: Home»Articles & Letters»Articles»Iran, Syria, China: Obama faces foreign policy challenges
Iran, Syria, China: Obama faces foreign policy challengesNovember 14, 2012
US President Barack Obama has barely won re-election and is already making waves with his first trip abroad after the crucial vote, as he spends four days in South-East Asia from Saturday through November 20. The itinerary explains more about the new foreign policy focus than a think-tank full of establishment experts ever could: Europe is no longer Washington’s top priority.
The United States sees itself increasingly as a Pacific power. The United States’ most pressing foreign policy challenges are Iran, Israel and Syria, and their challenges to peace. Obama is travelling to three relatively small countries – Myanmar, Cambodia and Thailand – which are in the orbit of China, whose military policies have long been giving Washington headaches.
The visit to the small tigers is a political gesture in Beijing’s direction to show that the US has a presence. China’s claim to the natural resources in the South China Sea has caused Washington even more concern. “The risk of a conflict in the South China Sea is considerable,” says political scientist Bonnie Glaser.
The expert on Asia notes that Beijing’s military policy could even put US forces at risk in the event of a conflict in the region. For now, however, Obama’s most urgent foreign policy problem is Iran. Fears are growing that Israel may take military action against Iran’s nuclear programme, perhaps as soon as early 2013. Obama is trying to deter Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from ordering a use of force, but relations appear icy between the two men.
US media reports suggest the Pentagon is already planning for scenarios that might see the United States dragged into the conflict. Only the US has weapons that could break through Iran’s hardened nuclear sites. “I suspect we’ll see a new push for some sort of diplomatic deal with Iran,” says political scientist Stephen Walt of the Council on Foreign Relations, a Washington-based think-tank.
He suggests that the US will “gradually adjust itself to a nuclear-capable Iran” that does not actually have nuclear arms. The United States would have to put up with Tehran holding large quantities of enriched uranium, while the regime refrains from assembling nuclear bombs or missiles to carry them to Israel.
So far, the official line in Washington has been to force Iran to give up its nuclear programme through increasingly tough sanctions. However, a Western diplomat in Washington recently said that “a satisfactory deal could not rely on Iran unilaterally backing off.” Direct talks between the United States and Iran are regarded as likely in the near future, according to The New York Times.
The second smouldering problem for Obama is Syria. So far, no military role has even been considered by the White House. It is far too dangerous, and intervention in Syria would be far more complicated than the US-led no-fly zone that helped bring down the Libyan dictatorship in 2011, the US military says. Obama ended the war in Iraq and he wants to pull out of Afghanistan: a new military quagmire would be a nightmare. But pressure may mount for the US to do something as the death toll continues to rise into the scores of thousands.
E-mail (required, but will not display)
Website1000 symbols left
Notify me of follow-up comments
Copyright Business Recorder. All rights reserved.
It’s Not About Religion
Publisher: Perceval Press
Quantity Available: 17
Literary Nonfiction. Middle Eastern Studies. When the Middle East is covered on the news or depicted in film, what is shown is a region defined almost exclusively by violence, chaos, and extremism, and a common question often arises in response: Does religion have anything to do with it?
In this concise book, Gregory Harms examines a range of topics in an effort to answer the question. As the book’s title indicates, the region’s woes and instability are in fact not caused by biblical or Islamic factors. Harms reveals a list of entirely secular factors and realities as he examines how and why Americans view the Arab Middle East the way they do; the history of European and U.S. involvement in the region; the emergence of Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism; and how academics and the mass media tend to discuss the region and its inhabitants.
In roughly one hundred pages, the reader is shown a constellation of history and culture that will hopefully help move the conversation of the Middle East and U.S. foreign policy in a more grounded and precise direction.
“For anyone wishing to understand the disconnect between the protests of the ‘Arab Spring’ that have so inspired us all and the Western image of the Middle East as an eternally fundamentalist, freedom-hating backwater, this book is for you. An informative, lively, and humane look at the real sources of conflict and struggle in the region.”—Naomi Klein
“Gregory Harms’s IT’S NOT ABOUT RELIGION is a welcome breath of reason in the midst of our continued and willful ignorance about all things Islamic, Middle Eastern, and especially, Muslim. Important and timely.”—Nick Flynn
Author City: CHICAGO, IL USA
Gregory Harms is an independent scholar specializing in American foreign policy and the Middle East. He lectures, keeps a blog on Facebook, and has published articles on CounterPunch, Truthout, and Mondoweiss. Harms has traveled throughout Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza, and has been interviewed on BBC Radio. He is the author of Straight Power Concepts in the Middle East: US Foreign Policy, Israel and World History (Pluto Press, 2009) and, with Todd M. Ferry, The Palestine-Israel Conflict: A Basic Introduction, first published by Pluto Press in 2005, now (2012) in its third edition.
Bio|Books|Events|News|Letters|Links|ArchiveWelcome to GregoryHarms.com, which contains information about Gregory and his work. The site also furnishes supplementary news and research resources outside the frame of mainstream news outlets, as a diversity of information is of principal importance to comprehension. The two logos to the right—for Facebook and Blogger—will lead you to his blog, located on both sites.
Nov. 02, 2012 Harms: Society of Midland Authors interview
Oct. 28, 2012 Harms: KPFK Radio, Middle East in Focus (35:30)
Oct. 09, 2012 Harms: Truthout interview, with David Masciotra
Sep. 09, 2012 Harms: WGN Radio, Sunday Papers with Rick Kogan
Aug. 15, 2012 Harms: WBEZ, Worldview with Jerome McDonnell
Sep. 20, 2012 Harms: The Earthly Interests of Power: A Response …
Aug. 12, 2012 Harms: Oak Creek and us
Jun. 21, 2012 Harms: Mitt Romney (the Candidate) on the Middle East
May 18, 2012 Harms: Huntley fails to work within history
Apr. 25, 2012 Harms: Fareed Zakaria: At War with History
Apr. 03, 2012 Harms: Palestine-Israel: Peace Process Fulfilled
Mar. 23, 2012 Harms: Afghanistan: The Devastation of a Virtual Country
Jan. 13, 2012 Harms: The Liberal Media and Foreign Policy
NEW BOOK, NOW AVAILABLE
July 24, 2012: Harms’s third book, It’s Not about Religion, is now available to order, through Amazon or directly from Perceval Press. See Books section on this site for details.
June 25, 2012: The updated third edition of The Palestine-Israel Conflict: A Basic Introduction is now shipping and is also available for the Kindle on Amazon US. See Books section on this site for details. External news sites:
(launches player in new window)
BBC World Service
(launches player in new window)
© MMXII Gregory HarmsJune 21, 2012Does Anyone Know Where He Really Stands?
Romney and the Middle Eastby GREGORY HARMS
Campaign rhetoric generally strains credulity, and no less so during the recent Republican mobilization to unseat Barack Obama. From the GOP primaries to the present, the candidates – and now Mitt Romney in particular – have intensified the atmosphere where a candidate cannot possibly pledge with enough ardor – or redundancy – devotion to family, the Constitution, the free market, and Israel.
The first three talking points in the above list are generally meaningless, merely functioning as easy bona fides: Being pro-family is like being anti-genocide. The Constitution is merely a metonym for “America,” as is the phrase “free market,” despite its basic nonexistence. The subject of Israel naturally serves the same purpose, but is connected to the very real world of foreign policy.
On June 16, Romney addressed the Faith and Freedom Coalition in Washington, DC, via video link, and during the Q&A session commented on the subject of Israel and Obama. His remarks invite comment, for what it’s worth given the context: Republicans seek much-needed votes among conservative Christian organizations on account of the GOP’s unrepresentative policy agenda; that is, tending to the needs of people like citizen Romney against the needs of the middle class people who, incidentally, make up the bulk of Christian evangelicals. As a result, the rhetoric is dialed up even more than usual and, as mentioned, this reality should be taken into consideration.
Generally speaking, caution is advised against immersion into the clamor of party politics. Voters do have serious, vested interests and therefore must negotiate the political order as it exists and try to determine where candidates stand. That being said, the blizzard of statistics, debates, soundbites, points, counterpoints, “gaffes,” and controversies offers little more than bewilderment; the media coverage alone is a national disgrace. A particular peril of this blizzard is that one can forget one is even in it. As a result, the population begins to adopt the language and vocabulary provided by the parties. And when the voting public’s words are supplanted, so to is its thinking. One then forgets (or suppresses) the original policy concerns he or she originally went in with. Roughly 70 percent of Americans want some kind of national, single-payer healthcare plan; but because this thinking is off the partisan spectrum, it’s off the agenda. Out of sight, out of mind – hence the value in taking heed.
Nevertheless, Romney’s message on Israel suggests an ultra-hawkish position on the Middle East and is worth a thought.
In his answer to a question about how, as president, Romney would strengthen ties with Israel, he replied that “by and large you could just look at the things the president has done and do the opposite.” I do not disagree with the former governor’s words here. A good way to improve on President Obama’s overall Middle East policy – not just Israel – would be to, in many instances, do the opposite:
- * Cease the drone-attack policy
- * Close Guantanamo Bay
- * Withdraw from and internationalize a development effort in Afghanistan; pay reparations
- * Place real pressure on Israel regarding settlements and diplomacy in accordance with international law, resulting in a Palestinian state
- * Help foster real international diplomacy concerning de-escalation in Syria
- * Rely on diplomatic strategies for dissuading Iran from ever moving toward uranium enrichment over 20 percent; normalize relations
When candidate Romney said “opposite” with regard to Obama’s handling of Israel, he of course didn’t mean opposite.
Romney then went on to raise a number of points including:
(1) criticizing Obama for “castigat[ing] Israel for building settlements”;
(2) alleging that the president seems “more frightened that Israel might take military action than he’s concerned that Iran might become nuclear”;
(3) lamenting Obama’s “insistence that Israel return to the ’67 borders, [which are] indefensible borders”;
(4) condemning Obama for being “disrespectful of Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu”; and
(5) urging the further arming of the Syrian opposition.
The governor is off the mark on all five points.
First, the Obama administration has indeed been critical of Israel’s settlement program, which is standard White House policy and has been for decades. But being critical minus actual pressure equals consent. It should be pointed out that Israel’s building of settlements in the occupied Palestinian West Bank is in contravention of international law. What is more, Obama has done nothing to stop Israel’s settlement activity.
Second, Israel attacking Iran is precisely a frightening proposition. A number of US and Israeli security and defense elites have said as much. Therefore, fright is the appropriate response. Whether this is what Obama is experiencing is another matter. The president’s handling of Iran thus far has been irresponsible, illegal, and has likely inspired Tehran to at least further weigh the benefits of joining the nuclear club. Into the bargain, Israel has been allowed a great deal of latitude on the issue and has been afforded ample room in the American press to set the tone for discussion (see New York Times Magazine, Jan. 25, 2012). And it bears repeating that there is no evidence that Iran is heading toward a weapons program.
Third, the June 1967 borders – also called the Green Line – are the internationally recognized borders between Israel and the occupied territories of the West Bank and Gaza, and have been the diplomatic point of departure for 45 years. Obama’s position is not new, and again, the White House has done absolutely nothing on this point.
Fourth, Romney’s stated concern for how the president of the United States has treated Israel’s prime minister is more strange than anything else. Israel is a US client and is actually expected to be recalcitrant to a degree. When Israel goes too far, its leash gets jerked. Tel Aviv’s diplomatic embarrassment of Vice President Joe Biden in spring 2010 with an announcement of major settlement expansion was just such a case, for which Netanyahu was roundly reprimanded. There have been many other instances. Former prime minister Yitzhak Shamir was brought to heel by George H. W. Bush in 1992, when documents thoroughly embarrassing to Israel started to get “leaked” after the prime minister crossed the line concerning, again, settlements. It is doubtful Romney knows this history. It is doubtful he even cares how one leader treats another. It is also doubtful his national allegiance is split (it being uncertain he has any to begin with), but one could possibly be within bounds to question him on this point.
Finally, the fact that segments of the opposition in Syria armed themselves in the first place explains much of the destruction and bloodshed. This in no way excuses Syrian president Bashar al-Assad’s brutality. But further arming the Free Syrian Army and others – which the Obama administration is indirectly involved in vis-a-vis Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar (Independent, June 13) – can only inflame matters. Former UN secretary general Kofi Annan’s peace initiative is a sensible path. Romney’s is not.
Watching Mitt Romney over the last year, it is difficult if not impossible to determine where he stands. Therefore, one can only take him at his word and evaluate what he happens to be saying at that particular moment. On the topic of Israel and Middle Eastern policy, he has made similar remarks in the past. Whether he believes them, or stands behind them, or is simply playing to the room is anyone’s guess. Beyond the inaccuracies and inconsistencies, where might a President Romney fall in on the subject of the Middle East? Though an equally speculative issue, a plausible, sober answer appeared in the May issue of Foreign Policy in an article entitled “Barack O’Romney.”
The piece was authored by Aaron David Miller, a former State Department envoy and longtime adviser on Middle East diplomacy, and his conclusion is quite simple: “there’s just not that much difference between the two.” In other words, when it comes to foreign-policy formulation, Obama and Romney are cut from the same bolt of fabric. Miller, a stalwart insider and meticulous custodian of American power in the Middle East – and protector of Israel’s diplomatic preferences – can spot his own kind with equanimity.
Irrespective of who wins this November, continuity will likely, and sadly, be the victor. If there is, however, any sincerity in Romney’s campaign pronouncements and he wins, the outcome could be much worse.
GREGORY HARMS is the author of The Palestine-Israel Conflict: A Basic Introduction (2nd ed., Pluto Press, 2008), and Straight Power Concepts in the Middle East: US Foreign Policy, Israel, and World History (Pluto Press, 2010) and the 2012 forthcoming It’s Not about Religion (Perceval Press).Friday, 06 April 2012 10:29
Palestine Has Always Been Off the Agenda
Written by Gregory Harms
Counterpunch – It was recently noted, correctly, by Al Jazeera and the New York Times that the Palestinians and their situation have been “sidelined” and moved off the “world agenda.” On account of factors including US-Israeli tensions with Iran, unfolding Arab Spring developments, and the US election year, things have indeed been quiet, but more by a matter of degree. At the moment, the Palestinian national movement is simply further off the agenda, with the status quo firmly intact.
Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem continues uninterruptedly. For the last number of years, Gaza has been at the receiving end of ongoing and brutal military punishment. Most recently, the Israeli Defense Forces assassinated Zuhair al-Qaissi, a leader of the Popular Resistance Committees, thus provoking reprisal rocket fire from Gazan militants. Over the course of the violence, 25 Palestinians were killed, five of whom were civilians, including a school boy and a father and daughter; approximately 80 were wounded, mostly civilians.
The violence was initiated by Israel disturbing a period of calm between Israel and Hamas – a behavior not without precedent. The response in the US media was predictably cautious in how it portrayed Israel’s conduct. New York Times journalist Isabel Kershner, in a video segment on the Times‘ website, made sure to keep the event in perspective: “Although of course Israel did set off this latest round, Israel’s action has been very pinpointed, a lot more restrained than it might have been.” In the paper that day (March 13), Kershner quoted but failed to question Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s warning after a truce was established: “Our message is clear: quiet will lead to quiet.” Things, Kershner might have noted, were quiet.
In addition to military assault, Gaza’s forced economic isolation remains crippling; despite withdrawal from the territory in 2005, Israel maintains its occupation externally. Human rights groups have carefully documented the territory’s hardship, creating an immense and unequivocal documentary record. According to the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, “The Gaza blockade [imposed since 2007] … is a denial of basic human rights in contravention of international law and amounts to collective punishment.” The news headlines alone are revealing. The title of a Haaretz piece in February read “Gaza’s only power plant stops due to smuggled fuel shortage.” Taking into consideration everything contained in those words, an accompanying article is close to unnecessary.
As Dov Weisglass, an adviser to former prime minister Ariel Sharon, stated prior to Israel evacuating Gaza: “The disengagement is actually formaldehyde. It supplies the amount of formaldehyde that’s necessary so that there will not be a political process with the Palestinians.” The subsequent years up to and including the present have done nothing but give credence to Weisglass’s admission. With Gaza basically removed from the picture, Israel has concentrated on the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
While the development of settlements in the West Bank continues – and did so even during the 10-month “moratorium” on their expansion during 2010 – Palestinians continue to experience worsening restrictions of movement. As reported in the Guardian, “91 permits were issued for Palestinian construction in Area C [the majority of West Bank] between 2001 and 2007. In the same period, more than 10,000 Israeli settlement units were built and 1,663 Palestinian structures demolished.” Area C was to be negotiated after the Oslo Accords, and ever since has been the focus of Israel’s land expropriation, and preemption of a viable Palestinian state.
The period commonly referred to as the “peace process” spanned from 1991 to 2000. It started with the George H. W. Bush administration convening a conference in Madrid, Spain, and ended with Bill Clinton conducting negotiations at Camp David and then issuing the Clinton Plan at the very end of his second term. While these years helped foster periods of calm, what is starkly visible is Israel’s ceaseless consolidation and refinement of its occupation.
Though Clinton’s last-minute parameters represented the high-water mark of US-Israeli-Palestinian diplomacy for that decade, they also drew that diplomacy to a close. Independent initiatives were produced over the following years, in particular, the Saudi proposal in 2002 (reissued in 2007), and two “track-II” proposals: the People’s Voice principles and the Geneva Accord, both issued in 2003. The Clinton Plan and these three later proposals bear much in common with one another, and contain reasonable, workable paths to a two-state resolution of the conflict.
Regardless of this fact, since Camp David II, the situation in the Palestinian territories has basically remained in a post-peace-process limbo. Which is not to suggest that the peace process was a strenuous and genuine effort to end the Palestine-Israel conflict. A simple survey of the diplomatic history all the way from 1967 to the present makes it clear that the United States has opted for suspension and delay.
For Washington, the Palestinians have no strategic value, only intermittent tactical value. Palestine mainly functions as a diplomatic lever when the White House needs to manage regional tensions. The executive branch also uses the Palestinians as an example of how difficult gaining independence can be, falling into the category of democracy prevention – a highly visible pattern in US foreign relations. And postponing Palestinian statehood – and thus sustaining Israel’s occupation – helps keep Israel in the mode of militancy, its primary function in the US-Israeli “special relationship.” Apart from utility, the Palestinians are considered a trifling entity by American policymakers.
Western Europe makes the occasional compelling pronouncement, but falls in line with US policy. Middle Eastern leaders have generally been disinterested throughout the conflict’s history, with thought usually only given to the Palestinians’ plight unsettling their own domestic populations, and therefore the stability of their regimes. This, of course, is now in flux.
So while the Palestine question is presently being eclipsed by other affairs in the international arena, it bears consideration that the Palestinians have always been off the agenda. The occupation has become procedural, and the Bush II-Obama paradigm could conceivably go on for years to come. While not peaceful by any rational standard, things are stable enough for Washington and Tel Aviv’s liking. Placing the matter front and center, and in the context of practical solutions already in reserve, will likely only be achieved by way of popular pressure.
GREGORY HARMS is an independent scholar focusing on American foreign relations and the Middle East. He is the author of The Palestine-Israel Conflict: A Basic Introduction (2nd ed., Pluto Press, 2008), and Straight Power Concepts in the Middle East: US Foreign Policy, Israel, and World History (Pluto Press, 2010) and the 2012 forthcoming It’s Not about Religion (Perceval Press).More in this category: « Why is Palestine solidarity being criminalized on California campuses? Rick Steves: Reflections on Israel and Palestine — I’ve Been Duped »
More Opinion & Analysis
- Syria: Rebellion, Jihad, or Civil War?
- In Obama’s Second Term, Kill Lists Will Continue
- Palestinians show lukewarm reaction to Obama’s re-election
Written by CNI
- Palestine’s date farmers suffer double burden of occupation and indifference
Written by Phoebe Greenwood
- A Victory of Sorts
- Boycott campaign is essential for effective pressure on Israel
Written by Abir Kopty
- U.S. elections: Palestine can’t wait
Written by Saeb Erekat
- It’s time for sanctions on Israel
Written by Jamal Zahalka
U.S. keeps Israel in mode of militancy, author says
President Barack Obama has adhered to policy orthodoxy in the Middle East, “keeping Israel in the mode of militancy,” author Gregory Harms says.
Harms, an independent scholar specializing in American foreign policy and the Middle East, is the author of three books, including most recently It’s Not About Religion (Perceval Press, July, 2012).
“If you think like Dick Cheney, if you think like Henry Kissinger, then the [U.S.] policies make perfect sense,” he told a meeting of the Society of Midland Authors Tuesday evening at the Cliff Dwellers club in Chicago.
But that “subsurface continuity,” those policies that have been little changed at root since the Truman administration, don’t make sense to most Americans, he said.
“Americans want Washington to conduct less interference in the Middle East,” he said. “They want more UN involvement. They want a more democratized system. … You need to look at what the population wants, not what a handful of planners want.”
Washington’s concern is resources – that as markets expand in India and China, as oil prices go up – it is critical from the “rational” perspective that the United States has authority in that region, he said.
For business, “the Middle East is the jewel,” he said.
As for average citizens, “If you spend time in the region there is a far greater openness to discussing politics,” he said. ” … In the United States because we are all a little confused, our political discussions turn immediately into arguments. You get two people who are yelling at each other who aren’t fully informed.”
Follow BackTalk on Twitter@stbacktalk
- November 2012 (8)
- October 2012 (16)
- September 2012 (10)
- August 2012 (10)
- July 2012 (12)
- June 2012 (11)
- May 2012 (8)
- April 2012 (19)
- March 2012 (10)
- February 2012 (3)
- January 2012 (3)
- December 2011 (2)
- November 2011 (2)
- October 2011 (3)
- September 2011 (9)
- August 2011 (3)
- July 2011 (6)
- June 2011 (4)
- May 2011 (2)
- February 2011 (1)
- January 2011 (8)
- December 2010 (3)
- November 2010 (3)
- October 2010 (5)
- September 2010 (5)
- August 2010 (4)
- July 2010 (12)
- June 2010 (6)
- May 2010 (14)
- April 2010 (10)
- March 2010 (16)
- February 2010 (11)
About this Entry
This page contains a single entry by Thomas Frisbie published on November 13, 2012 7:04 PM.
July 31, 2012During his trip to Israel, GOP candidate Mitt Romney compared (albeit inaccurately) Israel’s and Palestine’s respective economies, and then proceeded to make remarks that aroused understandable condemnation and accusations of racism.
“[I]f you could learn anything from the economic history of the world it’s this: culture makes all the difference.” In other words, the economic distress in the Palestinian territories is testament to their inferiority. (That Romney can lament the “horrors of history” and then employ this kind of reasoning is an irony surely lost on the governor.)
On his recent trip to Jerusalem, Romney was simply seeking cash infusions for his campaign. He is beholden to patrons such as American billionaire Sheldon Adelson, a staunch supporter of Israel’s right wing who is also attempting to boost Romney’s Jewish approval ratings. According to Gallup on Friday (July 27) “Obama’s standing stood at 68 percent among Jews, while 25 percent favored Romney.”
Despite the diplomatic, moral, and factual shortcomings of what he routinely says on the subject of Israel and the Middle East – for which he should certainly be held accountable – Romney’s utterances are in general difficult to take seriously. (See my June 21 article, “Mitt Romney (the Candidate) on the Middle East” for a more developed discussion of this issue.)
He is simply following orders from his financial masters and saying what Israel’s leaders like to hear. And because the Romney campaign needs to create the image of distinction between itself and Obama, the rhetoric is off the wall. This reality was on display throughout the Republican primaries; the political differences between the GOP and the Democrats are relatively minor, and because both parties have moved to the right, the Republicans choose to move rightward further still so as to differentiate themselves. We are now hearing this in Romney’s alternately inaccurate, bizarre, and/or contradictory statements on the campaign trail, especially concerning foreign policy.
Even establishment intellectuals like Fareed Zakaria think Romney is off the mark on foreign policy:
Romney’s pledges of devotion to the Jewish state are in themselves difficult to take seriously. It is not entirely clear how devoted he is even to the United States, much alone one of Washington’s clients. One doesn’t detect from the governor any deeper feelings about this country beyond it serving as a playground on which to generate and accrue vast wealth. His record at Bain Capital, tax havens, and undisclosed personal finances are cause enough for suspicion; that his plan for improving the economy involves tax cuts for the rich (and seemingly little else) is not only breathtaking but strongly indicative of his true priorities.
What he said in Jerusalem is, again, diplomatically, morally, and factually unsound. Nevertheless, his comments were part of a performance delivered for payment. Maybe he believes what he said, maybe he doesn’t; there is little point in speculating. But if he doesn’t believe it and this kind of rhetoric is his chosen device for getting votes and financial contributions, it doesn’t say much for the candidate or the person.
July 30, 2012Insightful meditation on the everyday, bureaucratic necessities that centers of power rely upon (link below). One of the best and worst examples is the Nazi Holocaust, which required enormous clerical and administrative effort and consistency: clerks, accountants, lawyers, and secretaries were the engine of the Third Reich’s Final Solution. This point was made repeatedly by the late historian Raul Hilberg, one of the world’s leading Holocaust scholars. He actually helped establish the field in the first place, well before the subject became intellectually fashionable in the 1980s. His short 1996 autobiography, The Politics of Memory, is a read I recommend.(Hedges mentions the classic Holocaust documentary Shoah (1985), in which Hilberg appears repeatedly, but Hedges curiously doesn’t mention Hilberg in the article, though must have helped inspire Hedges’s thinking on this subject.)In any case, Hedges underlines a crucial reality that merits revisitation and repetition. Not just applicable to extreme historical experiences like the systematic destruction implemented by the Nazis, power always and everywhere relies on the middle and upper-middle class to carry out its agenda. What Hedges reminds us is that our democratic energies are siphoned by the prevailing systemic structures, the dominant among these being the supra-national corporation. These organizations are not just non-democratic, but anti-democratic, and for reasons that make perfect sense to the top echelons of these firms.This also applies to colleges and universities, which continue to adopt the corporate model at the expense of students across the country. Serious damage has been done to this system, and has been carried out by administrators who will simply not stop unless they are broadly pressured by students (faculties might possibly join in if a trail is blazed for them, doubtful otherwise). Bureaucracies – corporate or collegiate – do not like light and fear the outside world, namely, the people subject to their policies.Chris Hedges does good work. For some reason my only other blog post linking to one of his articles was on January 25, 2010. As I said then, Hedges “has a gravitas and a directness that some might find alarmist. However, his observations and analyses merit serious consideration, in my view.”My thoughts here haven’t changed. He has a flair for the dramatic, but his writings serve as a stern warning we would do well to actively consider.
July 28, 2012Good examination of the Arab Spring in the context of US interests in “stability” as opposed to democracy (“instability”). Joseph Massad is among the better informed and more honest observers.
July 24, 2012The new book, It’s Not about Religion, is now available for order ($11) through Amazon or Perceval Press’ website.The book turned out beautifully and we hope readers enjoy it and find its 106 pages clear and informative.
July 12, 2012Upcoming documentary – The Law in These Parts- exploring the legal framework undergirding Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories.For 45 years, Israel has adjudicated its own conduct, regardless of the realties of international law, which are quite clear.For an illustration of related behavior, I’ve included a link below from Tuesday’s New York Times. Here’s the article’s first paragraph:
Flouting international opinion, an Israeli government-appointed commission of jurists said Monday that Israel’s presence in the West Bank was not occupation and recommended that the state grant approval for scores of unauthorized Jewish settlement outposts there.
July 9, 2012Looking past the juridical considerations in this article, the court’s decision centers on an incident that has long been foregrounded and reiterated to the point of creating a lie.The event did take place. In October 1983, the Marine barracks at the Beirut International Airport were destroyed in a truck-bomb attack killing 241 US troops, mostly Marines. What is routinely omitted in this story is the context.In short, the United States provided authorization and support for Israel’s invasion and devastation of Lebanon. The principal goal was to destroy the PLO, which was based there in exile. The thinking went (absurdly) that if the PLO was defeated, so too would Palestinian nationalism.At the end of Israel’s “Peace for Galilee” experience, some 20,000 people were dead, the vast majority being civilians; for sake of comparison, the 1999 conflict in Kosovo claimed 10,000 lives. A brief blog post, or mere words for that matter, cannot sufficiently convey the nightmare Lebanon was reduced to in the early 1980s, all with White House consent.American Marines were eventually sent (also absurdly) as part of a peacekeeping contingent. However, the US presence shifted to one of belligerence at the behest of President Reagan’s advisers. It is critical to note that the Marine commander stationed in Lebanon strongly objected to this change in role for fear of it endangering his soldiers, and was overruled.The US naval bombardments – on top of the murderous havoc already wreaked by Israel – inspired a group of militant locals to respond. Hence the barrack bombing.The attack was a senseless loss of life. The Marines did not belong in Lebanon, and were put at risk the minute the White House ordered the naval assault. As for those responsible for the barrack bombing, a conversation is worth having whether it was terrorism or the act of militants attacking foreign troops – foreign troops of the country sponsoring the destruction of theirs.Much of the practical and moral culpability – for Lebanon’s losses, Palestinian losses, as well as the death of the American personnel that day – falls squarely on the mandarins of the Reagan administration. Despite Israel’s involvement and those who architected the truck-bombing (and their alleged Syrian and/or Iranian backers), the following questions are raised: Who approved Israel’s invasion in the first place? Who could have stopped it? Who sent in US troops? And who, after being warned of the dangers to those soldiers, called for the military to become directly involved?More meaningful adjudication would have been bringing the president and his advisers before a war crimes tribunal, for which they were eligible, and not just for Lebanon.
July 6, 2012In connection with yesterday’s posting, a very informative BBC article on a recent report by Oxfam (second link below) analyzing the West Bank’s economic strangulation.Also in connection with yesterday’s post: while the article is indeed informative, one need only look at the map (included in the piece) to see what’s going on.Israel’s response to Oxfam’s report was predictably ironic, maintaining it “puts a clearly political agenda above any humanitarian concern.” The map disgraces this claim and exposes it for what it is.
July 5, 2012Interesting series of graphical representations of the Palestinian experience. This one of the occupied West Bank makes quite clear Israel’s agenda since 1967.Books on the subject of Palestine-Israel are required to create, correct, clarify, distill, and present the historical record. They serve an important function. But graphics like these and film documentaries present the realities of the occupation so much better. They also show beyond doubt that the conflict is not complicated and not a symmetrical “two sided” issue where the truth is located in the middle. There’s a reason the word apartheid is increasingly drawn upon.
July 2, 2012Decent article on the longstanding concept of “American exceptionalism,” the doctrine that the United States is chosen, peerless, and transcendent. Correctly, the piece mentions, quoting an historian: “the sanction of God is always the ultimate justification.” This sense of superiority and moral righteousness (inherited from Europe) has both inspired as well as provided an explanation for the general drift of US foreign relations. In a sense it has bookended the various decisions down through the generations: pre-event motivation and post-event rationale.This thinking applied to the barbarous policies carried out during the continental expansion of the nineteenth century and its guiding ideology of Manifest Destiny, just as it did to more modern US projections of global power such as Vietnam. And no matter how dreadful the outcome and consequences of a given policy decision, the Executive Branch has always been able to claim magnanimity and virtuous objectives.What the article leaves out is the effect American exceptionalism has had on the domestic realm. Its role within the nation’s borders is far less dramatic. With this exceptionalism running deep and existing primordially in the culture, a kind of hyper-patriotism is created. As a result, the population becomes protective in the extreme of the country’s good name, and naturally so: when the entities of the country (i.e., the people) and the government become conflated, a strong and inappropriate connection develops between the self and the state machinery. Therefore, in this misconception, to criticize the state is to criticize one’s self, or one’s family, or one’s friends and neighbors. And because of this national experience of “referred pain,” the populace tends to be protective of the state via the self.
There is also an ancillary effect, which produces the same behavior, namely, not wanting to appear ungrateful. If America is truly chosen, peerless, and transcendent – or at least broadly and strongly considered as such by the culture – one is instinctively discouraged from voicing criticism. This experience is revealed in the tragic and sad exhortation to “love it or leave it.”
The United States is indeed unique in its freedoms of speech and access to information. It is also unique in the degree to which the government belongs to the population. Shielding the state from substantive criticism only helps sustain the status quo; being critical, vigilant, and dictating our terms, on the other hand, places the state’s distinctive attributes in our service.Posted by G. HARMS at 10:29 AM
Blog ArchiveSimple template. Powered by Blogger.cross-referenced news and research resources about
US President George W. Bush’s foreign policy
Wed. November 14, 2012
November 13, 2012Beijing (CNN) — China‘s change of leadership that began last week comes as domestic pressure mounts for the world’s second largest economy to toughen its foreign policy to match its economic might. Yet Beijing is keen to prevent the world from …MassLive.com
November 13, 201211 assault on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya, where Ambassador Chris Stevens and others embassy staff were killed, Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012, on Capitol Hill in … Political observers describe both jobs as a natural fit for Kerry, a decorated …Commentary Magazine
November 13, 2012James Monroe had the Monroe Doctrine; Harry Truman had the Truman Doctrine; George W. Bush had the Bush Doctrine; and now, the L.A.The New American
November 13, 2012Susan Rice, who worked in the Clinton administration as a National Security Council director, joined Obama’s presidential campaign in 2007, helping Obama craft his foreign policy platform. Business Week reported that Rice advocated for U.S. aid to …U.S. News & World Report
November 13, 2012Robert Nolan is an editor at the Foreign Policy Association and producer of the Great Decisions in Foreign Policy television series on PBS.JURIST
November 13, 20123:11 PM ET. JURIST Guest Columnist Samar Warsi, a Senior Volunteer Attorney for the Muslim civil liberties Union, argues that drone attacks are counterproductive and hurt American attempts at foreign policy improvement. … Before 9/11, the US …Business Recorder (blog)
November 13, 2012the United States‘ most pressing foreign policy challenges are Iran, Israel and Syria, and their challenges to peace.Chicago Sun-Times (blog)
November 13, 2012Harms, an independent scholar specializing in American foreign policy and the Middle East, is the author of three books, including most recently It’s Not About religion (Perceval Press, July, 2012).Huffington Post
November 13, 2012His official foreign policy positions showed that his campaign and his party had no clear, post-Bush vision for America’s role in an increasingly post-American world. Romney’s proposed solution to seemingly every geopolitical challenge was simply more …Newsday
November 13, 2012Six current or former White House officials, who all spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations, said Rice remains close to President Barack Obama and shares many of his views on foreign policy. They emphasized that the president …Foreign Policy (blog)
November 13, 2012Foreign policy was not the fulcrum of this election, but it did matter, and in ways that helped President Obama. Governor Romney is a pragmatic, problem-solving politician who failed to believe … Maybe if we sounded less strident about going to war …Alaska Dispatch
November 13, 2012“Obama’s re-election ensures that fighting terrorism will remain the top priority of American foreign policy,” Riedel writes for India Today.Foreign Policy (blog)
November 13, 2012To repeat a theme, the American people by and large don’t care much about foreign policy and national security. But, based on my deep immersion into supermarket checkout Literature, they do appear to be very interested in tawdry sex scandals and …Politico
November 13, 2012… by his party | AP Photo. Close. By MANU RAJU | 11/13/12 4:23 AM EST. He’ll push to loosen marijuana penalties, legalize undocumented immigrants and pursue a less aggressive American foreign policy. Call it the rand Paul evolution. Continue Reading …Daily Beast
November 13, 2012The 2012 election in many ways reaffirmed the existing political divide over domestic policy and the role of government, but it also produced a surprising consensus on foreign policy. Campaign differences were more about style than substance. What the …U.S. News & World Report (blog)
November 13, 2012James S. Robbins is senior fellow in national security affairs at the American Foreign Policy Council in Washington, D.C.. Foreign policy seemed to go on hiatus during the U.S. presidential election. Economic issues dominated the race, and Americans …Los Angeles Times
November 13, 2012WASHINGTON – The Obama administration has begun to reassess its foreign policy on a range of challenges, including Iran, Syria, Afghanistan and missile defense, that were viewed as too politically sensitive for any substantial shifts during the …Global Economic Intersection
November 13, 2012From 2003 onward, when the United States destroyed the balance of power between Iraq and Iran, Iran has been an ascendant power.Wilkes Barre Times-Leader
November 12, 2012U.S. officials are uneasy about what they see as a more assertive foreign policy by Vladimir Putin, who returned to the Russian presidency in May.New York Times
November 12, 2012For all the political static around Ms. Rice, however, she shares many of Mr. Obama’s instincts on foreign policy. She was among those who lobbied successfully for the United States to intervene during the civil war in Libya. Her ties to Mr. Obama …Huffington Post (blog)
November 12, 2012Foreign policy played a minor role in a presidential election that focused on jobs, jobs, jobs. But like it or not, the United States is part of a global community in turmoil, and U.S. policies often help fuel that turmoil. The peace movement …Black Star News
November 12, 2012There are also a few countries that serve U.S. foreign policy interests and are therefore exempted from condemnation and sanctions for gross human rights abuses, political repression, and even involvement in war crimes by their armies.The News Journal
November 12, 2012Barack Obama spent his first term undoing what he saw as the excesses of U.S. post-Cold War foreign policy, from land wars in the Middle East to insufficient attention to Asia.Huffington Post (blog)
November 12, 2012Most of all, his zeal for promoting human rights would reassure Americans and America’s international partners that House Republicans can tolerate a broader perspective on foreign affairs than that of simply imposing American military and economic …Foreign Policy (blog)
November 12, 2012Itamar Rabinovich, a former Israeli ambassador to the United States, served as his country’s chief negotiator with the Syrian regime in the mid-1990s — during the more optimistic days of the Oslo peace process, when it seemed possible to hash out a …AllAfrica.com
November 12, 2012Sudan Makes Fresh Push to Normalize Ties With U.S.. 11 November 2012. Khartoum – The Sudanese foreign minister Ali Karti told lawmakers today that the government continues to work on normalizing relations with the United States. Karti who appeared …Herald Scotland
November 12, 2012Americans foreign policy leaders are waking up to prospect of the break-up of the UK, their oldest and, arguably, closest security partner.Panorama.am
November 12, 2012The U.S. foreign policy in the region will undergo changes, Ruben Safrastyan, Director of the Oriental Studies Institute of the Armenian National Academy of Sciences, told reporters in Yerevan while commenting on the results of the U.S. presidential …Wisconsin State Journal
November 12, 2012U.S. officials are uneasy about what they see as a more assertive foreign policy by Vladimir Putin, who returned to the Russian presidency in May.Ghana News Agency
November 12, 201211, GNA – Prof John Nay, a political science Lecturer at the University of Illinois, Chicago in the United States, has said the country would continue to implement its existing foreign policy. He said there would not be any real change in foreign …New York Times
November 12, 2012This myth has had a hold on American politics for decades, and it’s taken a serious toll on American foreign policy in the Middle East. In particular, fear of political consequences has led U.S. politicians and policy makers to back away from asserting …Middle East Online
November 12, 2012Freed from pressures of reelection, President Obama has the opportunity to chart a more daring foreign policy in his second term, taking chances for peace.Christian Science Monitor
November 12, 201224 analysis of the projected foreign policies of then-candidates Barack Obama and Mitt Romney (“A need for the big view on US foreign policy”) lacks sufficient detail. Withdrawal from Afghanistan is likely to be the most challenging foreign-policy …New York Times
November 12, 2012National security didn’t play heavily in the presidential election. But President Obama‘s legacy, and the country’s future, will be shaped as much by the foreign policy and defense decisions he makes over the next four years as by those on the domestic …Zee News
November 11, 2012Beijing: As China‘s ruling Communist Party undertakes its once-in-a-decade leadership transition, former US national security adviser Henry Kissinger hopes that under the new leadership the Asian giant will be “more transparent” and its opaque legal …Sudan Tribune
November 11, 2012November 11, 2012 (Khartoum) – The Sudanese foreign minister Ali Karti told lawmakers today that the government continues to work on normalizing relations with the United States. JPEG – 31.7 kb: FILE – Sudanese Foreign Minister Ali Ahmed Karti (L) …Political Affairs Magazine
November 11, 2012The Romney-Ryan forces are politically very close to groups within the United States such as the neocons
November 11, 2012Middle East has remained at the core of American foreign policy. Its interest in the region are multifaceted and are linked to the protection of global oil supplies, preventing terrorist from creating havoc and Islamists to unite or threaten Israel …Washington Post
November 11, 2012Barack Obama spent his first term undoing what he saw as the excesses of U.S. post-Cold War foreign policy, from land wars in the Middle East to insufficient attention to Asia.Independent Voter Network
November 11, 2012The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) was enacted in 1978 under President Carter with the purpose of prescribing electronic surveillance rights and procedures within the United States to collect foreign intelligence information …Houston Chronicle (blog)
November 11, 2012Bush held suspected terrorists indefinitely without any hope of a trial, spied on American citizens, violated our rights under the Patriot Act, used torture liberally, and ran a secretive government.Telegraph.co.uk
November 11, 2012President Obama‘s foreign policy team will nevertheless return to their offices this week feeling reinforced in whatever beliefs they have held up until now, and reassured about the general direction of their activities: that’s the inevitable result of …Boston Globe
November 11, 2012During the presidential campaign, two issues often seemed like the only foreign policy topics in the entire world: the Middle East and China.Jamaica Observer
November 11, 2012Almost two decades later, with a significant breakthrough between the Israelis and Palestinians still log-jammed, other areas of the world are just as important to any Obama foreign policy legacy. In particular, following withdrawal of US troops from …ReporterNews.com
November 11, 2012Obama’s re-election averts the immediate prospect of the United States designating China a currency manipulator, which Romney had promised to do on his first day in office.OregonLive.com
November 11, 2012WASHINGTON — On foreign policy, President Obama effectively posted a sign on the White House lawn last summer that said: Come back after election Day.Fars News Agency
November 10, 2012But closer to home, others wondered whether the potential political implications of plucking a leading Democratic lawmaker might prevent Kerry, the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, from achieving what many close to him say is his dream job …Arab American News
November 10, 2012If Romney had won we would have a president who would outsource a major chunk of U.S. foreign policy to Benjamin Netanyahu, has already written off giving any attention to the defining conflict in the Middle East, and in hoping for re-election would …Deutsche Welle
November 10, 2012DW: President Obama‘s new administration will continue its rebalancing of American foreign and security policy away from Europe and toward Asia and the Middle East.Salon
November 10, 2012Though exit polls seem to indicate that foreign affairs played only a minor role in the decisions of most voters, the president has a remarkable opportunity to reassert American leadership in his second term by outlining and executing an ambitious …
How to Help Schema-Root.org:
Link to Your Favorite Schema-Root.org pages on Your Blog or Website
Post Schema-Root.org Links to Forums
Send Schema-Root.org Links in Emailssupport Schema-Root.org$2/Month Helps a Lot
Axis of Logic
Black Star News
Committee to Protect Journalists
Project on Government Oversight
UN News Center
World Press Review
World Press Review/Americas
© 2012 The Newsweek/Daily Beast Company LLCSid Harth – 58 seconds ago – Limited –
US Foreign Policy, Oops, Fallacy and I Of Plans, Policy, Public Perceptions and I
Sep 16, 2012 – Cairo-protesters-US-foreign-policy-result … It is the fallacy that democracy can save the Islamic World from its tyrants and deprivations and …… I come to your country, I bribe oops I mean support your dicator oops again I mean …
Oct 10, 2012 – Middle East, Oops, Muddle in a Political Puddle and I …. Mitt Romney: U.S. Foreign Policy Should Be More Assertive … …… The fallacy of your arguments is that you believe that arab countries will have democracy if the proper …
2 days ago – परोपदेशे पांडित्यं FP Libyan Fallacy and I | वसुधैव … … US Foreign Policy: 1001 Arabian Nightmares? | वसुधैव कुटुंबकम … वसुधैव कुटुंबकम – Foreign Policy Rumble, Oops, Stumble and I …
Nov 5, 2012 – Barack Obama is furthering Bill Clinton’s policies. … Only US foreign policy is important to us — and Obama is no dove and Romney no hawk.
2 days ago – परोपदेशे पांडित्यं FP Libyan Fallacy and I | वसुधैव … … US Foreign Policy: 1001 Arabian Nightmares? | वसुधैव कुटुंबकम … वसुधैव कुटुंबकम – Foreign Policy Rumble, Oops, Stumble and I …
Are Scientists Too Cautious to Help Us Stop Climate Change? …… like science, I guess I would still hold to my point about the fallacy of the ‘verification principle.
Sep 7, 2012 – Today Americans have no interest in foreign policy. …. for Israel is the most important plank of US foreign policy because it indicates the nature of that foreign policy as a whole. …. Factcheck: Women’s pay-oops Dems what did you do? …… The Peace Process: View from the West Bank · PE: The Fallacy of …
Oct 27, 2012 – If the economy was in great shape,we had a coherent foreign policy … Uh, how about you show us your work since you are making such an …