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In Big Foreign Policy Speech, Romney Lies to the Entire World

Romney displayed again his proclivity to lie on specifics and distort the broader reality.

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And again, all the blame for the impasse is placed on Obama: “On this vital issue, the President has failed, and what should be a negotiation process has devolved into a series of heated disputes at the United Nations. In this old conflict, as in every challenge we face in the Middle East, only a new President will bring the chance to begin anew.”

And then, there’s the traditional hypocrisy that you get from both parties but most notably from the Republicans, preaching the value of liberty and democracy but advocating ever closer ties with the oppressive monarchies of the Persian Gulf.

Romney declared about Obama’s approach to the Arab Spring that “the greater tragedy of it all is that we are missing an historic opportunity to win new friends who share our values in the Middle East — friends who are fighting for their own futures against the very same violent extremists, and evil tyrants, and angry mobs who seek to harm us.”

However, Romney then added, “I will deepen our critical cooperation with our partners in the Gulf.”

Neocon Revival

Besides the lies and misrepresentations in the speech, there were some genuine policy differences expressed by the Republican presidential nominee. For instance, he vowed to expand the U.S. military and to deploy it more aggressively around the globe.

Romney also repeated his pledge to yoke U.S. foreign policy to Israel’s desires. “The world must never see any daylight between our two nations,” he said.

And Romney renewed his belligerence against Russia, which he had previously deemed “without question, our No. 1 geopolitical foe.” In his speech on Monday, Romney said, “I will implement effective missile defenses to protect against threats. And on this, there will be no flexibility with [Russian President] Vladimir Putin.”

Despite the Depression-level economic crisis gripping Europe, Romney also announced that he “will call on our NATO allies to keep the greatest military alliance in history strong by honoring their commitment to each devote 2 percent of their GDP to security spending. Today, only 3 of the 28 NATO nations meet this benchmark.”

One might regard Romney’s neoconservative revival as delusional in a variety of ways – further driving the United States toward bankruptcy even as U.S. interventionism in the Muslim world would surely make matters worse – but it is Romney’s reliance on systematic lying that perhaps should be more troubling to American voters.

Romney has long been known as a serial flip-flopper who changes positions to fit the political season, but his pervasive mendacity has been a concern since the Republican primaries when his GOP rivals complained about him misrepresenting their positions and reinventing his own. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “ Mitt Romney: Professional Liar.”]

That pattern has continued into the general election campaign, with Romney telling extraordinary whoppers on the campaign trail and even during last Wednesday’s presidential debate, such as when he claimed his health-care plan covered people with pre-existing conditions when it doesn’t. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “ Mitt Romney as Eddie Haskell.”]

Strategic Lying

One reason that I criticized Romney’s debate performance – though many other Americans, including many Democrats, disagreed with my assessment – was that I felt his lying and his squirrely behavior were more important than Obama’s sluggishness. Telling lies while waving your arms shouldn’t trump telling the truth in a moderate tone.

Indeed, as a journalist, I simply cannot abide politicians who lie systematically, who don’t just trim the truth once in a while but make falsehoods a strategic part of their politics and policies.

 
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