Romney: Assad must go

posted at 8:13 pm on July 23, 2012 by Allahpundit

He’s hinting, without explicitly saying, that the U.S. should be a prime mover in making this happen, which would raise many questions if we take this response as being on the level. Is it? Or is it just something he’s obliged to say because of the dynamics of the campaign? He needs to criticize O’s foreign policy somehow and the natural place to do it if you’re a Republican of the non-Ron-Paul variety, as Romney is, is from the right. Obviously he’s not imagining boots on the ground here; he’s floating a gassy statement of hawkishness suggesting that The One’s not doing enough to solve an increasingly atrocious problem. It’s the safe, moral answer, even in a war-weary America, so long as he’s not forced to give specifics. Yet.

KUDLOW: And last one, Governor, appreciate your time very much. You’re going to Europe and you’re going to Israel. Let me ask you your view of President Obama. Has he been tough enough in ousting Assad? After all, that would be a signal to Iran and to Hezbollah. Prime Minister Netanyahu talked about that yesterday. Is the United States being tough enough on Assad?

Gov. ROMNEY: Well, I think from the very beginning we misread the setting in Syria. The secretary of state said that Assad was a reformer. That’s a phrase which will obviously go down in history as being poorly timed and entirely inaccurate. This is a person who is killing his own people and was at the time. America should’ve come out very aggressively from the very beginning and said Assad must go. At this stage, America is taking action, covert and overt, to try and encourage a change of leadership there. But the Middle East itself, with all of the violence which has occurred and which is occurring now in Syria, is a place of tumult and disarray and the world looks for American leadership and American strength. And it is time for us to have confidence that our cause is just, to have the kind of clarity of vision in our purpose and to have the kind of resolve behind our application of soft and hard power. And if those things are put in place, I think the world is a safer place and our freedom will be more secure.

KUDLOW: But is there any doubt in your mind that Assad has to go?

Gov. ROMNEY: Oh, there’s no question but that Assad has to go. I think even the Russians from news reports I’m reading have recognized that he must go. We don’t want to see a continuation of the same kind of brutality, which has characterized the last several months. But what follows Assad, we just don’t know. But a person of this nature that’s overseen the killing of his own people is obviously someone who’s unfit to lead.

Two things. One: Obama’s been saying that Assad must go for nearly a year now. He didn’t say it “from the very beginning” of the Syrian uprising, granted, but what would he have gained by doing that if he wasn’t prepared to act relatively quickly to make it happen if Assad resisted? He might have thought early on that the rebellion would peter out quickly or that Assad would crush it efficiently, and then he’d be stuck looking like a chump and with all hopes of eventual rapprochement with the regime down the toilet. In fact, one of the knocks on Obama during the early stages of the Libyan uprising was that he kept saying that Qaddafi must go without demonstrating any real desire to help make it happen. If the president of the United States is going to call for some foreign leader to be deposed, I’d prefer that it not be an idle threat.

Two: How would it show “clarity of vision in our purpose” to help topple Assad when “we just don’t know” what would follow him? Mitt’s thinking here, I take it, is that anything that deprives Iran of a key client is all to the good. Is that true, though? Trading an Alawite regime for one dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood doesn’t guarantee that Iran will be evicted from Syria. They get along fine with the fundie Sunnis in Hamas in the interest of harassing Israel, after all. Beyond that, how sure are we that helping the Brotherhood expand its dominion to another strategically crucial Sunni country won’t more than offset the security gains that flow from weakening Iran by toppling their pal Assad? Iran’s a more immediate threat, but I tend to lapse into indifference when it comes to hard choices between Sunni fanatics and Shiite fanatics. Also, what if we help topple Assad and he’s replaced by … nothing? Imagine the entire country as no man’s land, split at the seams among different tribes. Would that situation be good for America’s or Israel’s security, given what we know about, say, Afghanistan circa 1998? Do you think Al Qaeda would be happy about it?

As I say, Mitt’s statement here is really a moral one, not a policy one. Assad’s a monstrous degenerate; no mainstream U.S. pol will shrug and say we have no business trying to stop the killing given the gruesome reports that voters see every night. He said what he had to say. I just wonder if he’s prepared to elaborate when asked to do so, especially since it sounds like O’s already gearing up to aid the Syrian rebels more aggressively. Speaking of which, here he is at the VFW today. Skip ahead to 12:10 to hear him warn Assad about not making the “tragic mistake” of using chemical weapons — which the regime is now openly threatening to do if any outside powers interfere.


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None of that makes it our business.

Dante on July 23, 2012 at 9:54 PM

What would?

Bmore on July 23, 2012 at 10:01 PM

WANT TO PLAY A GAME?

English Springer on July 23, 2012 at 10:04 PM

None of that makes it our business.

Dante on July 23, 2012 at 9:54 PM

What would?

Bmore on July 23, 2012 at 10:01 PM

Hot single babes?

Axe on July 23, 2012 at 10:08 PM

But the main players, and those on the sidelines waiting to exploit a situation, won’t be leaving us and the rest of the world alone.

Liam on July 23, 2012 at 9:58 PM

The people waiting to exploit the situation are the people that idiots like Romney want to help.

FloatingRock on July 23, 2012 at 10:10 PM

Hot single babes?

Axe on July 23, 2012 at 10:08 PM

In Islam you can have up to four of them. But you have to marry them first (cash paid to their daddies is considered marriage over there, BTW–kinda like getting a hooker for life or something).

Liam on July 23, 2012 at 10:12 PM

If they left us and the rest of the world alone, you’d be right.

But the main players, and those on the sidelines waiting to exploit a situation, won’t be leaving us and the rest of the world alone.

Liam on July 23, 2012 at 9:58 PM

The rest of the world is not our problem, and what, exactly, are they doing to us?

Nothing.

Nice to see that you are still stupider than a bucket of warm spit.

SWalker on July 23, 2012 at 9:56 PM

That’s about the intelligence level I expect from you. You really have a grasp on the issue, which is clearly demonstrated with your personal attacks.

Dante on July 23, 2012 at 10:19 PM

I would much rather see Obama go than see Assad go. Of course, the Muslim Brotherhood and AlQ would disagree.

VorDaj on July 23, 2012 at 10:20 PM

What would?

Bmore on July 23, 2012 at 10:01 PM

Either a direct attack on the United States or credible information of an imminent attack on the United States.

Dante on July 23, 2012 at 10:21 PM

Hot single babes?

Axe on July 23, 2012 at 10:08 PM

Works for me. Take note Dante won’t answer.

Bmore on July 23, 2012 at 10:21 PM

The people waiting to exploit the situation are the people that idiots like Romney want to help.

FloatingRock on July 23, 2012 at 10:10 PM

You mean like Obama telling the Russians that when he get re-elected he’ll have more room?

Or the Russians themselves?

I once saw a copy of a cartoon from the now-defunct Brit magazine Punch from 1898. It depicted a huge fat bear lying over a map of Russia with its paws extended in a wide range, down into what is now Arabia.

Or how about China?

Do you REALLY think Romney wants to suck up to them?

Here’s a flip for you to consider at your leisure: Wars aren’t started by political differences between countries. They are started by avarice and covetousness even more than of race or religion.

Liam on July 23, 2012 at 10:21 PM

Works for me. Take note Dante won’t answer.

Bmore on July 23, 2012 at 10:21 PM

Well Dante, I stand corrected, you have finally answered a question I have put to you. Why the sudden change?

Bmore on July 23, 2012 at 10:22 PM

Our experience in Lebanon led to the adoption by the administration of a set of principles to guide America in the application of military force abroad, and I would recommend it to future Presidents. The policy we adopted included these principles:
1. The United States should not commit its forces to military action overseas unless the cause is vital to our national interest.
2. If the decision is made to commit our forces to combat abroad, it must be done with the clear intent and support needed to win. It should not be a halfway or tentative commitment, and there must be clearly defined and realistic objectives.
3. Before we commit our troops to combat, there must be reasonable assurance that the cause we are fighting for and the actions we take will have the support of the American people and Congress.
4. Even after all these other tests are met, our troops should be committed to combat abroad only as a last resort, when no other choice is available.”

Clearly Ronald Reagan would stay out of it.

VorDaj on July 23, 2012 at 10:23 PM

Either a direct attack on the United States or credible information of an imminent attack on the United States.

Dante on July 23, 2012 at 10:21 PM

Who decides if it is credible?

Bmore on July 23, 2012 at 10:24 PM

Liam on July 23, 2012 at 10:21 PM

If we start new proxy wars in Syria and Iran it is not because of the national interests of America but because of the interests of our ruling class to distract Americans from the corruption of our own government. Syria and Iran is not a threat to our freedom and liberty, Obama and Romney are.

FloatingRock on July 23, 2012 at 10:25 PM

Who decides if it is credible?

Bmore on July 23, 2012 at 10:24 PM

The polls. If Obama is behind, then it’s credible. If Obama is way behind, it’s very credible.

VorDaj on July 23, 2012 at 10:26 PM

Who decides if it is credible?

Bmore on July 23, 2012 at 10:24 PM

ABC
:P

burrata on July 23, 2012 at 10:27 PM

Yeah……..yeah I’m pretty sure it was Sun Tzu that said ” place yourselves between your enemies when they are fighting each other lest they weaken each other and lose their focus on you”.

I’m pretty sure it was Sun Tzu but maybe it was his bastard son, Boinamed Tzu. Now there was a weak sister if there ever was one. I’m thinking Sun Tzu would say “rerax, enjoy some prop corn and watch sho “.

I suppose Romney and his posse have no idea what makes a Muslim tick do they? Why should they, it isn’t fashionable and it will soon be officially racist to discus Islam in an audible fashion. There must be a deeper reason that not one lesson has been learned in over 10 years.

BL@KBIRD on July 23, 2012 at 10:28 PM

The rest of the world is not our problem, and what, exactly, are they doing to us?

Nothing.

Dante on July 23, 2012 at 10:19 PM

The rest of the world IS our problem, because we made it so and because the rest of the world also thinks so. Our politicians react accordingly. Not so much because of the world at large, but because of liberals in our own society who keep pushing in that direction.

In that vein, Dante, the rest of the world is always demanding more from America, to take from us as if we owe them. American liberals are always pushing a guilt trip, that we should give more because they, too, believe we somehow ‘owe’. And then more. And more still–ad infinitum.

Does the concept of rape ring a bell here?

If you say the rest of the world isn’t our problem, some liberal will come along and call you ‘hateful’, ‘mean-spirited’, and everything else.

I would never say that, but there are people who truly believe you are.

Reality–quite the pain, isn’t it?

Liam on July 23, 2012 at 10:30 PM

Sometimes Romney just stuns me with his stupidity. Is it his neocon advisors feeding him terrible foreign policy advice or what?

AngusMc on July 23, 2012 at 8:19 PM

I think this is one indication of what kind of president he’s going to be. He’s going to be a flop on domestic policy – he will, in all likelihood, implement, not eliminate Obamacare, and his tact will be to continue meddling in the Middle East in order to maintain popular support. It might have worked for Bush. It won’t work for Romney. Foreign policy is no longer of utmost concern to people in this country.

rickv404 on July 23, 2012 at 10:30 PM

If we start new proxy wars in Syria and Iran it is not because of the national interests of America but because of the interests of our ruling class to distract Americans from the corruption of our own government. Syria and Iran is not a threat to our freedom and liberty, Obama and Romney are.

FloatingRock on July 23, 2012 at 10:25 PM

You won’t get a debate from me on any of your points there.

I, for one, am tired of politicians. I want, and I believe America needs again at long last, American statesmen.

Liam on July 23, 2012 at 10:34 PM

Either a direct attack on the United States or credible information of an imminent attack on the United States.

Dante on July 23, 2012 at 10:21 PM

+100

bw222 on July 23, 2012 at 10:40 PM

Hot single babes?

Axe on July 23, 2012 at 10:08 PM

Keep in mind that we are talking about Arab women.

bw222 on July 23, 2012 at 10:42 PM

It might have worked for Bush. It won’t work for Romney. Foreign policy is no longer of utmost concern to people in this country.

rickv404 on July 23, 2012 at 10:30 PM

It was a disaster for Bush he is the most unpopular President ever.

You can not make Democracy work in an Islamic Country. If you attempt it you just prove you are a Moron with pitiful intelligence.

Islam demands Sharia Law. Communist Dictatorship in more easily understandable words. Though with an Islamic Dictator. The people have no say under Sharia. Hold an election and that is the end of it. They vote in a Dictatorship.

Thus there was no possible way Bush could have won. His end game Democracy was destined to fail. He had no idea about what Islam was. Islam is not peaceful and it abhors democracy. Islam is radical period. When it appears not radical that is only because they are waiting for the time to be right to become radical. When Islamist say they want to get along there is an expiration date they will not even admit exist. After that date they will destroy us. All Islamist.

Steveangell on July 23, 2012 at 10:52 PM

Who decides if it is credible?

Bmore on July 23, 2012 at 10:24 PM

Congress

Dante on July 23, 2012 at 10:58 PM

The rest of the world IS our problem, because we made it so and because the rest of the world also thinks so. Our politicians react accordingly. Not so much because of the world at large, but because of liberals in our own society who keep pushing in that direction.

In that vein, Dante, the rest of the world is always demanding more from America, to take from us as if we owe them. American liberals are always pushing a guilt trip, that we should give more because they, too, believe we somehow ‘owe’. And then more. And more still–ad infinitum.

Does the concept of rape ring a bell here?

If you say the rest of the world isn’t our problem, some liberal will come along and call you ‘hateful’, ‘mean-spirited’, and everything else.

I would never say that, but there are people who truly believe you are.

Reality–quite the pain, isn’t it?

Liam on July 23, 2012 at 10:30 PM

The rest of the world is not our problem, and who cares if the rest of the world thinks it is? That we may have made it so through bad policy and unconstitutional actions is not justification to continue bad policy and unconstitutional actions.

Your answer is nonsensical.

Dante on July 23, 2012 at 11:00 PM

Who decides if it is credible?

Bmore on July 23, 2012 at 10:24 PM

Although the president has this Constitutional power as well. Depends on the timeframe, if imminent is hours, days, or weeks.

Dante on July 23, 2012 at 11:02 PM

I already don’t like WILLARD, and I couldn’t give a flying frig what he thinks about Asshat and Syria. The Constitution that he claims to love so much doesn’t give the US any authority over there, and Asshat is a little too busy to pose an active or passive national security threat to the US, so WILLARD needs to stick to other things, like the economy. Quite frankly, if President Asshat wants to use every weapon at his disposal, including the RCBN he got from (Saddam, not Obama) Hussein, in conjunction to Soviets bombarding the cities to rubble, he’s welcome to do so. Syria is no friend to the United States, and no friend to Israel. If somebody like al-Qaeda tries moving in and claiming the ashes, send in the Special Forces. Otherwise, watch from afar, and keep quiet.

Virus-X on July 23, 2012 at 11:06 PM

Ohhhhhhhhh…my stomach hurts. For the love of god Romney…stay away from Syria!!!!!

We have no strategic interest in Syria. There is no oil or other natural resources in Syria. The people trying to depose Assad are probably worse than Assad. I don’t understand the obsession by some conservatives to find ways to entangle ourselves in the Middle East, with the idiotic goal of empowering Muslims! It never works out well for us.

Here is an idea, develop our own natural resources (which we have plenty), secure our own hemisphere, and prepare for the possible rise of a militarily aggressive China. Here is a clue…WE DON’T NEED THE MIDDLE EAST, THEIR STUPID RELIGION, OR THEIR OIL ANYMORE. Understand???

William Eaton on July 23, 2012 at 11:47 PM

Ah yes more neocon wars. Let’s get rid of Assad and leave Syria’s ancient christian community to massacre by Islamists. Awesome logic. Neocons forevahhhh

flawedskull on July 23, 2012 at 11:51 PM

Good grief. I’m too war weary to even entertain any intervention into Syria. Why can’t we just let these middle east counries just have at it??? The busier they are with each other the less time they’ll be nursing their grievances with the west. Lord knows we could use the break.

KickandSwimMom on July 24, 2012 at 12:06 AM

Your answer is nonsensical.

Dante on July 23, 2012 at 11:00 PM

Only because you see the world though a filter of your own making, with your own built-in blinders.

The reality is what it is.

In the end, results will be the final arbiter. Unlike liberals are so wont, I have nothing to prove.

Liam on July 24, 2012 at 12:30 AM

Although the president has this Constitutional power as well. Depends on the timeframe, if imminent is hours, days, or weeks.

Dante on July 23, 2012 at 11:02 PM

Nice to see you appended the initial reply. Cause if we were to rely on Congress we could all end up dead.

Bmore on July 24, 2012 at 1:19 AM

Love that pic of Romney posted on the main blog page for this article!

bluegill on July 24, 2012 at 4:21 AM

Let the “Muslim World” take care of this one themselves, next one as well.

elfman on July 24, 2012 at 5:28 AM

Do you want Hamas or Hezbollah to get their hands on the stockpiles of Syria’s WMD? Do you think they will use it on themselves? Do you think it will stay just in the Middle East?

Voter from WA State on July 24, 2012 at 1:28 AM

I think that Israel is prepared for that, but Iran is not prepared for Israel’s response (despite what they boast). And if Iran has a similar counter, we should quadruple it back.

A related thought: IWe could pull ourselves out of recession by EMP shielding our utilities and electronic systems.

elfman on July 24, 2012 at 5:37 AM

I think this is one indication of what kind of president he’s going to be. He’s going to be a flop on domestic policy – he will, in all likelihood, implement, not eliminate Obamacare, and his tact will be to continue meddling in the Middle East in order to maintain popular support. It might have worked for Bush. It won’t work for Romney. Foreign policy is no longer of utmost concern to people in this country.

rickv404 on July 23, 2012 at 10:30 PM

Agreed

elfman on July 24, 2012 at 5:41 AM

Nice to see you appended the initial reply. Cause if we were to rely on Congress we could all end up dead.

Bmore on July 24, 2012 at 1:19 AM

Like I said, it depends on how imminent, but Congress is the decision maker in regards to foreign policy, not the president.

War Powers

Link 2

Dante on July 24, 2012 at 7:45 AM

Only because you see the world though a filter of your own making, with your own built-in blinders.

The reality is what it is.

In the end, results will be the final arbiter. Unlike liberals are so wont, I have nothing to prove.

Liam on July 24, 2012 at 12:30 AM

No, it’s because your answer was nonsensical.

Dante on July 24, 2012 at 7:47 AM

Just what the US needs – ANOTHER UNDECLARED AND ENDLESS WAR.

The federal government is borrowing 42% of every dollar it spends. We can’t afford to get tangled up in another war.

If you vote for Romney or Obama then you will get what you deserve – MORE DEBT.

popularpeoplesfront on July 24, 2012 at 1:53 PM

Do you want Hamas or Hezbollah to get their hands on the stockpiles of Syria’s WMD? Do you think they will use it on themselves? Do you think it will stay just in the Middle East?

Voter from WA State on July 24, 2012 at 1:28 AM

Hamas and Hezbollah are not going to win Syria, no one is, unless Turkey decides to just take place. It is going to be fought over by our enemies for the next decade or so. If you invade it is doubtful you will be able to find the chemical weapons, or enough of them to stop them from ending up in the hands of people even worse. Remember Iraq…not so easy is it…it is a big desert.

Here is how you solve the chemical weapons problem, you call up Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Lebanon, you get in touch with Hamas and Hezbollah, or any other Jihadi group etc. and you explain to them that if chemical weapons are ever used on America (by their group and by anyone who is funding their group…i.e. Pakistan or Saudi Arabia or Iran) they will personally witness the first use of atomic weapons since 1945.

Problem solved…

William Eaton on July 24, 2012 at 3:36 PM

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