Romney/Ryan Foreign Policy Preview: The Big Brass Balls Approach

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President Bill Clinton, speaking at this year’s Democratic Convention, voiced many sentiments about the Republican Presidential Campaign that Democrats were all longing to hear.  Among them was this hands-down winner:

When Congressman Ryan looked into that TV camera and attacked President Obama’s Medicare savings as “the biggest, coldest power play,” I did not know whether to laugh or cry. Key cuts that $716 billion is exactly to the dollar the same amount of medicare savings that he had in his own budget. It takes some brass to attack a guy for doing what you did.

Undeterred, Romney’s running mate, Paul Ryan gave a speech in Colorado yesterday that is no less “brassy.”  Ryan’s job, yesterday, was to talk up Romney/Ryan foreign policy expertise (Oxymoron Alert) and bromance the military at the Air Force Academy and Fort Carson.  Here’s what Paul’s been keeping under his “foreign policy hat” . . .

Ryan cited the protests in the Middle East as evidence that Obama’s foreign policy has failed there, saying it “looks like Tehran in 1979, but in about a dozen capitals throughout the world.” (Can’t get away from that Jimmy Carter meme).

You can turn on the TV and look and see how the Obama foreign policy is blowing up in our faces.

In Colorado Springs, home of the Air Force Academy and Fort Carson, Ryan promised:

We’re going to rebuild this military and stop apologizing for the greatness of this country.

Now I wonder why the Greatest Show Military on Earth would need rebuilding . . . ?  Could it be that some Republican Commander-in-Chief and his merry men embroiled the military in not one but TWO neocon wetdreams that wound out for a decade? squandering blood and treasure and global credibility?  Chickenhawk Ryan has big brass ones and a very short memory.

I’m no policy wonk but it’s pretty obvious to me that some of these “costs of war” resulting from our neocon escapades in Iraq and Afghanistan might, possibly, have contributed to anything that’s “blowing up in our faces” today . . .

Here are just some of the “costs of war” tabulated by costsofwar.org, as of January, 2012:

• Putting together the conservative numbers of war dead, in uniform and out, brings the total to 286,006.  A more realistic minimal estimate is 298,000.

• Indirect deaths from the wars, including those related to malnutrition, damaged health infrastructure, and environmental degradation, may far outnumber deaths from combat. While these deaths are difficult to count due to factors such as lack of comparable baseline mortality figures, a 2008 survey by The Geneva Declaration Secretariat estimates that assuming a ratio of four indirect deaths to one direct death in contemporary conflicts would not be unreasonable.  This would put the death toll at five times 181,000, or 905,000.

• Millions of people have been displaced indefinitely and are living in grossly inadequate conditions.  As of March 2012, the number of war refugees and displaced persons—7,424,780—is equivalent to all of the people of Connecticut and Oregon fleeing their homes.

• The wars have been accompanied by erosions in civil liberties at home and human rights violations abroad.

• The human and economic costs of these wars will continue for decades, some costs not peaking until mid-century. Many of the wars’ costs are invisible to Americans, buried in a variety of budgets, and so have not been counted or assessed.  For example, while most people think the Pentagon war appropriations are equivalent to the wars’ budgetary costs, the true numbers are twice that, and the full economic cost of the wars much larger yet. Conservatively estimated, the war bills already paid and obligated to be paid as of June 2011 are $3.2 trillion in constant dollars. A more reasonable estimate puts the number at nearly $4 trillion.

• As with former US wars, the costs of paying for veterans’ care into the future will be a sizable portion of the full costs of the war.

• While we know how many US soldiers have died in the wars (over 6,500), what is startling is what we don’t know about the levels of injury and illness in those who have returned from the wars.  New disability claims continue to pour into the VA, with over 675,000 disability claims registered with the VA as of September, 2011. [2]  Many deaths and injuries among US contractors have not been identified.

• The ripple effects on the US economy have also been significant, including job loss and interest rate increases, and those effects have been underappreciated.

• While it was promised that the US invasions would bring democracy to Afghanistan and Iraq, both continue to rank low in global rankings of political freedom, with warlords continuing to hold power in Afghanistan with US support, and Iraqi communities more segregated today than before by gender and ethnicity as a result of the war.

Now.  Tell me again whose fault this is? and how you and Stench plan to make it better?  Through strength?  How manly . . .

Americans, if you have a heart or a mind or a soul or a conscience or anything left in your bank account, make sure, on Election Day, that the only way these clueless amateurs ever see the inside of the Oval Office is with a Visitor’s Pass.  PLEASE!

*****UPDATE*****

Just in from Bloomberg:

Americans have more confidence in President Barack Obama to deal with a crisis in the Middle East than they do Republican Mitt Romney, though they are losing faith in the president’s handling of terrorism.

By a margin of 49 percent to 38 percent, respondents to a Bloomberg National Poll say Obama would be better suited to cope with unforeseen events in the volatile region.

The poll, coming two weeks after Romney assailed Obama’s response to protests in Libya and Egypt, offers little evidence the Republican’s foreign policy critique is boosting his candidacy.

Romney is seeking to capitalize on turmoil in the Middle East, ranging from strains in the U.S.-Israel alliance over a showdown with Iran to violent protests in the once-authoritarian countries that embraced democracy in the “Arab spring.”

Posted by Bette Noir on 09/27/12 at 06:24 AM • Permalink

Categories: PoliticsBedwettersElection '12MittensPaul RyanWar In Error

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We libs have a deep-seated moral outrage about the fact that our fellow Americans don’t have a deep-seated moral outrage about the Bush clusterfucks called the Iran and Afghanistan wars; hey, I admit it.  It should be winning the election for our side, dammit! 

The thing that I think will win the election for Obama, and FSM willing, downticket Dems at every level, is that ZEGS’ Medicare “reform” plan is finally becoming well enough known to scare the crap out of anyone age 45 and older.  As a 54 year old, I will take a victory on this any way I can get it, including just renewing our AARP memberships for 5 years (so they get all the bucks now, rather than one year at a time - now get out there and lobby for me AARP!).

Protests in the Middle East are evidence of the failure of Obama’s foreign policy? What the…???

Doesn’t anyone remember all those smug Republicans waving their purple fingers in the air? Don Rumsfeld proclaiming that “freedom is messy”? The neocon promise that taking down Saddam would launch a wave of revolt across the entire region?

Now they want to prop up our old autocratic cronies again?

Good god! These people really stand for nothing at all, do they?

Bette:
Small nitpick. You mean Ft. Carson, not Ft. Collins. Fort Collins is a city north of Denver, home of CSU :)

@ kcindenver OOPS!  Good catch, thanks.

Of course there is a covy of Birfers that live around Fort Collins.  IRR cashiered former Army Officer and now convicted criminal Lakin was from around there.

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