"Despite the campaign positioning, on the most fundamental international issues, the president and his challenger generally share the same goals, even if they would get there in different ways."
- IRAN: "Richard S. Williamson, a former Bush special envoy, said Mr. Romney would be tougher in stopping Iran's nuclear program, but outlined the same tools used by Mr. Obama: sanctions to force negotiations, with the option of military action on the table."
- CHINA: "One area where the president and his rival clash is China. Mr. Romney has vowed to crack down on unfair trade and intellectual property matters, imposing targeted tariffs or sanctions, designating China a currency manipulator and halting government purchases of Chinese goods until Beijing signs a procurement agreement. Mr. Obama's aides say he has acted against unfair practices but he has not been as confrontational. Still, China is the most frequent example where candidates have tough words on the campaign trail only to temper them once in office. Mr. Bush was elected expecting confrontation with China but ultimately made Beijing a critical partner in pushing North Korea to give up nuclear arms."
- RUSSIA: "Mr. Romney has called Russia "our No. 1 geopolitical foe" and declared Mr. Obama's effort to improve relations a failure. Mr. Romney promises to challenge Mr. Putin's authoritarianism. But he has not suggested cutting off cooperation between the countries’ space programs or counterterrorism agencies, nor shutting down the Afghanistan supply route through Russia negotiated by Mr. Obama. He supports Mr. Obama's drive to normalize trade relations, though with a human rights amendment the president initially resisted."
- POLAND: "Mr. Romney's visit to Poland is intended to highlight what he called Mr. Obama's “sudden abandonment of friends in Poland” under Russian pressure by canceling Mr. Bush's missile defense program partly based there. But Mr. Obama did not abandon missile defense altogether; he substituted a reconfigured system devised by Mr. Bush's last defense secretary."
- AFGHANISTAN: "On Afghanistan, Mr. Romney has criticized Mr. Obama for pulling additional troops out too soon and for setting a deadline of withdrawing other combat forces by 2014. Mr. Obama's allies accuse Mr. Romney of wanting endless war. But Mr. Romney also wants to withdraw forces by 2014, even if he does not call it a deadline."
- IRAN: Romney surrogate says one thing, yet Romney's Iran policy will use same tools as the Obama Administration.
- CHINA: In the Chinese example, Baker points out that the Obama campaign's tough stance towards China was relaxed - just as President Bush's had - after entering the White House. I believe this example is invalidly applied to Baker's premise.
- RUSSIA: Big talk from Governor Romney, yet he says he intends to follow same path as the Obama Administration.
- POLAND: Romney says president "abandoned" missile program, yet facts prove otherwise.
- AFGHANISTAN: Romney criticizes president's planned 2014 departure, yet he too intends to withdraw in 2014.
- Why all the distortions from the Romney Campaign?
- And how could the New York Times - considering its own history with the Iraq War - be missing a big chunk of the story?
"Marvin Kalb, the journalist and scholar who moderated last week's Brookings debate [between campaign surrogates], said the differences he detected were more about words than substance. 'Though his rhetoric was sharper, certainly more political,' Mr. Kalb wrote of the Romney surrogate, 'his basic policy prescriptions were cut essentially from the same cloth.'"
"But broadly, their differences are less radical than the campaign trail dialogue makes them sound and do not compare to the seismic debates over the Iraq war that consumed Washington in the middle of the last decade."
"Iraq has taken off the table the most profound foreign policy differences," said P. J. Crowley, who worked on Bill Clinton’s National Security Council and in Mr. Obama’s State Department. 'There’s more continuity in foreign policy than people realize.'"
"Mr. Obama's allies accuse Mr. Romney of wanting endless war."
UPDATE: Read this article - also in the New York Times - instead: "Retiring Envoy to Afghanistan Exhorts U.S. to Heed Its Past." In the article, Mr. Ryan Crocker urges us not to forget the lessons of the past when addressing today's foreign policy challenges:
- Remember the law of unintended consequences.
- Recognize the limits of the United States' actual capabilities.
- Understand that getting out of a conflict once you are in can often be dangerous and as destructive for the country as the original conflict.
"Vice President Dick Cheney says Sarah Palin pick was 'a mistake'"
"'You don't interpret a penalty to be a pig,' Scalia said. 'It can't be a pig. And what my dissent said in the Affordable Care Act was simply there is no way to regard this penalty as a tax. It simply does not bear that meaning.'"
"Our results show that the average temperature of the earth's land has risen by two and a half degrees Fahrenheit over the past 250 years, including an increase of one and a half degrees over the most recent 50 years. Moreover, it appears likely that essentially all of this increase results from the human emission of greenhouse gases."
Self-awareness is half the battle, GOP. Baby steps. (wink)
"This is a pretty bold attempt to rewrite history and reassign responsibility. [The George W. Bush Administration] cannot be allowed to escape responsibility for the real mistake here. They might hope we'll all forget, but the American People remember."
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D-NY), a pitch perfect response to Governor Jeb Bush's (R-FL) recent delusions about Iraq. Good God, Jeb. Self awareness is only the *first* step. Time's a tickin'.