It is no surprise that the main issues of this election cycle are chronic high unemployment, massive budget deficits, and rising health care costs. Mired in an economic downturn for close to five years now, many commentators agree that the outcome of the presidential election hinges on who voters believe can best manage the economy. Unfortunately, neither of the major party candidates are capable of managing the economy effectively (by essentially getting the government out of it) as the American electorate once again has a choice between Establishment Front Man #1 and Establishment Front Man #2 for president.
Also unfortunate is that economic issues are overshadowing foreign policy this election cycle. Obama’s record is in this area is horrendous. Unprovoked invasions of sovereign countries, threats and intimidation toward others, illegal detentions, the killing of innocence, and the murder of American citizens without due process of law are hallmarks of the Obama Regime.
But, from the looks of things, a potential Romney Administration would be even worse foreign policy wise. Not only has he surrounded himself with a bunch of warmongering advisors from the Bush years, he has through other appointments and actions indicated that he will be the most pro-Israel American president ever. Why is that bad? Because molding American foreign policy around the needs of Israel is contrary to American interests – more about that in a bit.
Recently Mitt Romney announced he would travel to Israel to meet with government officials there. He will also hold a $60,000 a plate fundraising dinner while in Jerusalem. This all comes on the heels of his super PAC receiving a $10 million contribution from casino magnet Sheldon Adelson. This is the same Sheldon Adelson who is vehemently against a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian mess, who called the Palestinian prime minister a terrorist, and who expressed regrets that his own military service was done in an American uniform and not an Israeli.
Now, on the surface, this all seems so political. After all, there are a lot of Jewish and Evangelical Christian voters in several swing states like Pennsylvania and Florida. Romney’s trip to Israel will be a positive for these groups. But, aren’t there a lot of Italian, Irish, and Polish voters in those states as well. Why not pay a visit to the ancestral homelands of those groups in an effort to endear yourself to them? It is because Mitt Romney knows the political payoff wouldn’t be as great in terms of fundraising and political activism. And because it is so great with the advocates for Israel, they will expect a lot from a Romney Administration.
If Romney’s junket to Jerusalem and his acceptance of Adelson’s largess aren’t bad enough, at an elite gathering of Romney supporters in Utah recently he boasted that he receives briefings from Israeli officials on Middle East developments. And then there is Romney’s extremely pro-Israel national security team. It includes hardliners like Walid Phares and Dov Zakheim. Even as more drone attacks in Pakistan have been launched and been deadlier under Obama than Bush, Zakheim recently penned an article entitled, “Obama’s Drone War has Actually Not Gone Far Enough.” Make no mistake about it, Romney getting briefings from the likes of Zakheim and Israeli officials does not guarantee that he will be getting unbiased, balanced intelligence. How can we expect him to make good decisions? Let’s not forget the last time a president got bad intelligence from biased advisors – we went to war for a decade looking for the allusive weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
So, returning to the question, why is it bad for America if Mitt Romney gets elected president and is the most pro-Israel leader in our history? It is because it makes us less safe as a people. Whether Israel carries out a military mission with our blessing or even worse we carry it out on Israel’s behalf in the Middle East, our public image is damaged and groups like al Qaeda use the event to fanaticize young Muslims to commit Jihad.
Additionally, Israel and the United States have different priorities in the Middle East. Israel thrives on Arab disunity and instability for her own security. If Arabs are quibbling with each other than they are distracted from harming Israel.
On the other hand, the United States is better off with peace and stability in the Middle East due to our continued dependence on the region’s oil supplies.
This is by no means an endorsement of Obama for reelection. He has proven himself incapable of doing the right things with regards to the economy and foreign affairs. Instead it is calling attention to the disastrous foreign policy that Mitt Romney will bring with him to the White House if he is elected president. This all leaves Americans with no real choice when it comes to voting in November. But we should be used to that by now, given that our choices are always Establishment Front Man #1 and Establishment Front Man #2.
Kenn Jacobine teaches internationally and maintains a summer residence in North Carolina