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Romney's Neocon Foreign Policy: Written by Those Who Ignored al Qaeda Threat

The emerging history of 9/11 reveals that George W. Bush’s failure to protect the nation resulted from neocon insistence that Iraq was the real threat, not al Qaeda. Today is those neocons seek to regain power under a Romney presidency.

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“With regard to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Romney’s policy will differ sharply from President Obama’s. …  President Obama for too long has been in the grip of several illusions. One is that the Israeli-Palestinian dispute is the central problem in the region [which has] led the administration to believe that distancing the United States from Israel was a smart move that would earn us credits in the Arab world and somehow bring peace closer.

“The record proves otherwise. The key to negotiating a lasting peace is an Israel that knows it will be secure. … The United States needs a president who will not be a fair-weather friend of Israel. The United States must work as a country to resist the worldwide campaign to delegitimize Israel. We must fight against that campaign in every forum and label it the anti-Semitic poison that it is. Israel’s existence as a Jewish state is not up for debate.”

Romney also suggested an expansion of legal authority for U.S. officials conducting the “war on terror.” His white paper said: “As president, Mitt Romney will empower all relevant military, intelligence, and homeland security agencies with the appropriate legal authority and policy guidance to dismantle terrorist groups and prevent terrorist attacks on our homeland and on targets abroad.”

Those broader legal authorities would take aim at what Romney calls “an emerging threat to the homeland [from] the radicalization of U.S. citizens and residents leading to ‘homegrown’ Islamist terrorism. … Mitt Romney will make countering this mounting danger a top priority. …

“Our counterterrorism professionals will need to continue to develop ‘fusion centers’ and other innovative systems to collect and systematically analyze information about domestic activities. They will need the capacity, consistent with U.S. law, to collect and unflinchingly analyze communications between terrorist networks abroad and people within our borders.”

It’s always hard to know what neocons mean when they say “consistent with U.S. law,” since they devised the Bush administration’s doctrine of unlimited presidential powers, but the word “unflinchingly” suggests they envision a robust domestic spying program.

With most political observers predicting a close election in November, the neocons hope that they can ride back into power in Washington behind a President Romney and then resume their role as his foreign policy foremen, advising the inexperienced Romney much as they did the novice Bush.

In making a choice for President, therefore, the American voters must realize that they are electing not just the people on the ballot but a cast of advisers who come along with the winners. Mitt Romney has made clear that he will staff much of his foreign policy team with neocon retreads from the Bush-43 administration.

Though these neocons always talk tough, the overwhelming evidence now indicates that when the United States was actually under the imminent threat of a domestic attack, the arrogant neocons blocked a meaningful response. Then, after the devastation, they compounded the mistake by diverting the U.S. military into a war on Iraq, which had nothing to do with 9/11.

One of the questions that American voters might want to consider before Nov. 6 is whether a Romney presidency, staffed with belligerent neocons, would make the United States safer or put its citizens more at risk.

 

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his new book, "America’s Stolen Narrative," either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com). For a limited time, you also can order Robert Parry’s trilogy on the Bush Family and its connections to various right-wing operatives for only $34. The trilogy includes "America’s Stolen Narrative." For details on this offer, click here.

 
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