An American foreign policy requires American liberty

posted at 8:01 pm on October 12, 2012 by J.E. Dyer

Mitt Romney delivered his long-awaited foreign policy speech at Virginia Military Institute on Monday, and the response has been underwhelming.  There’s not much vocal criticism, which from a campaign standpoint is probably fine.  But there’s not much interest in the speech either way.  Among my circle of e-quaintance, the most common reactions have been that Romney’s formulations were outdated and Cold War-ish, and that there’s a real question whether the United States, with $16+ trillion in federal debt, can afford to execute his policies.

These are valid criticisms.  I believe, however, that a President Romney will learn quickly in the Oval Office, unlike the ideologue who currently occupies it.  If anything, Obama’s foreign policy formulations are even more outdated.  Romney’s would have had some validity as touchstones through the mid-2000s; Obama’s hard-left, 1960s-radical ideas have been superannuated for decades.  The world has borne but little resemblance to the fantasy-narrative of the anti-colonialist, “multi-kulti” left since at least the 1970s, and none at all since the late 1980s.  Even with a viewpoint that still posits a Pax Americana – a condition now defunct – Romney starts out ahead.

I agree with much of what Romney laid out, in terms of desirable policy.  America does need to rebuild the military; emphasize missile defense; support our allies more usefully and obviously; prevent Iran from getting the bomb; encourage liberalization in the Arab Spring nations; finish the job effectively in Afghanistan, rather than merely scheduling a departure; deal more firmly (if not confrontationally) with Russia and China; defeat radical Islamist terrorism; negotiate freer trade where we can; and lead the world in encouraging liberalization and consensual government (“democracy”) abroad.  These are good focus areas for US foreign policy.

But people aren’t wrong to sense that we aren’t necessarily up to this level of energy – and expenditure – at the moment.  America herself is in crisis.  We’re trying to figure out what we’re going to be: a nation that still believes in liberty, rights before God, personal responsibility, and limited government; or one that commits itself to class-envy policies, overweening government, enforced dependency, and a web of ever-triangulating untruths about the human condition as our “national idea.”

Nearly four years of the latter, in a full-to-overflowing dose, have turned the current American sensibility wary, splintered, and tired.  The people have been digging into our reserves – financial, mental, familial, communal – for half a decade now, and the reserves are dwindling.  Many people are waking up to the fact that the ideological-regulatory-welfare state doesn’t work, but they don’t all understand yet that that’s what they are waking up to.

America has a lot of work to do.  America herself has always been the best advertisement for liberty.  And the reasons America is declining in that regard all map back to the conscious forfeiture of liberty over time (almost all in the last 100 years).  This is the crux of America’s standing before the world: either we are free, prosperous, and enviable – something unique to be emulated – or we are just another nation, preachier and better armed than most.

I found two important things missing from Romney’s foreign policy speech, and one was an affirmation of liberty – qua liberty – as the fundamental American idea.  If we are going to export ideas, we should start with liberty, and all it meant to our Founders about man’s standing before God and the limitations it implies on the state.  “Democracy” is not an American idea, nor was it an American ideal prior to its gradual insertion in school curricula from the early to mid-20th century.  (The Founders despised democracy, associating it with mob rule and state decline.)

As a practical matter in foreign policy, we should, as the opportunity arises, encourage the development of consensual governments where they don’t exist today.  The standard forms for this are adult suffrage and multi-party systems.  But instituting these procedural arrangements is neither a panacea nor the quintessential evidence of American influence on the world.  European colonial powers fostered elections too, as they negotiated their way out of their former colonies, and there was no resulting eruption of liberty and prosperity.  Cold War Communists held plenty of elections.  To get the benefits of liberty, you have to emphasize and embrace liberty.

There is a limit to what we can do abroad in this regard.  We can advocate, but not dictate.  The most powerful thing America does, however, is model the benefits of liberty.  And this is the hinge point of American influence and capability abroad.  To justify the global leadership of a free people, we must practice liberty at home.  To pay for the global leadership of a free people, we must practice liberty at home.

If we want to negotiate sound free trade agreements, for example, our only option is letting Americans prosper.  Otherwise, Americans themselves will only see the downside of free trade.  Prosperity is increased by free trade, but doesn’t start with it; prosperity starts with liberty at home, individual initiative, and reliable conditions in which to exercise it.  Deregulating our economy is the most important thing a US president could possibly do to foster the conditions for free trade.  Even our tax code is not as important as our current regulatory environment, which has become the nation’s number one job-killer because it is aggressively expansive, eccentric, arbitrary, virtually unsupervised by Congress, and personally punitive on the part of government regulators.

If we want to encourage liberalization abroad – or if we want to make moral points about repression by the Iranian mullocracy, or what kind of government Afghanistan has, and how Afghans treat their women – we have to not only let Americans be free, but endorse, celebrate, and have a common definition for liberty of conscience and the classical-liberal idea. 

This is where I saw the second thing missing from Romney’s speech.  With the political triumphs of Mohammed Morsi in Egypt and Rachid Ghannouchi in Tunisia (also a member of the Muslim Brotherhood – and a leading Sunni philosopher of sharia and the modern state), it’s “on” with state-Islamism in the Sunni Muslim world.  Westerners have been able to frame Shia Iran as an isolated, wildly extreme Islamist regime, and have largely declined to interest themselves in the political Islamization of NATO ally Turkey under Recep Tayyip Erdogan.  But Egypt and Tunisia are long-time, moderate Arab partners of the United States, and Egypt in particular has the potential to assume a leadership role in the Arab world.  State-Islamism as a nascent political force is no longer isolated or theoretical.  As of 2012, it is real and present.

Meanwhile, Americans are justly concerned about our religious and intellectual liberties, for multiple reasons.  The contraception mandate under ObamaCare has galvanized the voters as few things have in the last 50 years; even many Congressional Democrats have been busy distancing themselves from it in the wake of the 2010 election.  Forcing people to buy a product (insurance coverage, in this case) to which they have religious objections certainly appears to violate the First Amendment principle that Congress will not prohibit the free exercise of religion.

Yet the brouhaha over the mandate raises the more fundamental question why anyone, whether armed with religious objections or not, should have to purchase a service he doesn’t want to.  Why shouldn’t companies be able to decline, on whatever principle they choose, to purchase contraception coverage for their employees?  Why shouldn’t individuals be free to decline to buy health insurance at all?

Americans who can’t readily answer those questions are ill-equipped to deal with questions like why President Obama got it 100% wrong on the matter of the Innocence of Muslims video.  There are good reasons why the principle of liberty should override what other people are offended by, but do Americans know anymore what they are?  Are we ready to enforce the principle of liberty – on our own soil, at least – regardless of who takes offense at it?

I trust a President Romney not to abjectly apologize for the Innocence of Muslims video (and certainly trust him not to make up stories about the role of that deeply silly video in attacks on US embassies).  In terms of practical response, he won’t make these mistakes – and that is a big net positive.

But his foreign policy speech elided or glossed over two of the most important features of the current foreign policy environment: the confusion over and decline of American liberty – which makes every aspect of a US foreign policy either possible, or not – and the interlinked issue of state-Islamism, which whether we like it or not is dedicated to building an alternative vision for human life and the future.  State-Islamism clashes directly with the American principle of liberty, and clashes with it where it matters: in the daily lives of the people.  It must not be part of our foreign policy to curtail American liberty as a talisman against offending others – but more than that, it must be a part of our foreign policy to affirm the right to liberty, starting with the citizens of the United States.

I imagine Romney did not want to make his speech overly controversial by introducing a newly framed idea of potential menace from state-Islamism, and for that I don’t necessarily blame him.  The speech seems less in tune with reality because of it, but there’s a case to be made that continuing to frame policy within the old constructs leaves the door open – and properly so – to engagement with the Islamizing nations.  Perhaps there is still room to influence Morsi’s behavior in a positive direction.  If so, Romney shouldn’t burn bridges before January.

But we have reached the point at which he could not give a speech that was realistic and up to date, and still hold open doors that were built to swing on cues from the past. He could do one or the other; not both.

America isn’t in shape to be the jumping-off point for Romney’s foreign policy – at least not for all of it.  We need a reaffirmation of liberty and an opportunity to rebuild.  We aren’t the America Reagan was elected to lead in 1980.

Nor is the world outside that of the Cold War or the post-Cold War Pax Americana.  Too much has changed.  There is a movement abroad that opposes itself to the very essence of what America was meant to be.  It is not a movement of “all Muslims”; all Muslims is a very broad, diverse category, and most Muslims, like most people of any faith or background, are relatively apolitical, and get their political ideas largely from the society around them.  The great majority of American Muslims live in peace and harmony in our liberal society.

It is rather a radical intellectual movement, in some ways similar to international Marxism, and it has the power to polarize and repel populations.  As we speak, it is shifting its strategic focus from terrorism to the control of armed nation-states.  It has already had a run-in with American liberty, courtesy of the foreign policy instincts of President Obama.  It is real, and it’s not going away.  And yet the most effective way to oppose it is to affirm liberty at home, in exactly the circumstances under which Obama has recently apologized for it.

Without American liberty, there is no American foreign policy; there are only the cynical calculations of Anystate.

J.E. Dyer’s articles have appeared at The Green Room, Commentary’s “contentions,Patheos, The Weekly Standard online, and her own blog, The Optimistic Conservative.

This post was promoted from GreenRoom to HotAir.com.
To see the comments on the original post, look here.


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hawkdriver!

massrighty on October 12, 2012 at 8:04 PM

But there’s not much interest in the speech either way.

Big Bird got in the way.

JPeterman on October 12, 2012 at 8:06 PM

We’re trying to figure out what we’re going to be: a nation that still believes in liberty, rights before God, personal responsibility, and limited government; or one that commits itself to class-envy policies, overweening government, enforced dependency, and a web of ever-triangulating untruths about the human condition as our “national idea.”

I disagree, J.E.

We are these things now:

a nation that still believes in liberty, rights before God, personal responsibility, and limited government;

We have only to proclaim them loudly, boldly, and as a people, with one voice, and we will make them as true as they have always been.

massrighty on October 12, 2012 at 8:09 PM

Liberty is an outdated concept. 47% of the country just wants free stuff.

Cicero43 on October 12, 2012 at 8:09 PM

“Don’t Tread on Me!” It works universally, foreign and domestic.

Liberty, hell yea!

Who is John Galt on October 12, 2012 at 8:10 PM

It is rather a radical intellectual movement, in some ways similar to international Marxism, and it has the power to polarize and repel populations.

It’s radical only in the contrast to the previous semi-secular governments that are now vanishing in the Arab Spring. It is not radical as far as Islam is concerned. Those types of movements are very much a part of the history of the region, and part of Islam as practiced from its origin.

sharrukin on October 12, 2012 at 8:11 PM

…anybody know what JugEar’s foreign policy is?

KOOLAID2 on October 12, 2012 at 8:12 PM

…anybody know what JugEar’s foreign policy is?

KOOLAID2 on October 12, 2012 at 8:12 PM

concession, apology, and bowing.

massrighty on October 12, 2012 at 8:14 PM

…anybody know what JugEar’s foreign policy is?

KOOLAID2 on October 12, 2012 at 8:12 PM

Anti-Americanism when he can get away with it.

sharrukin on October 12, 2012 at 8:15 PM

But there’s not much interest in the speech either way.

Yes there is. This is why the polls are shifting so sharply.

I hope Team Mitt is reading Hot Air. He needs to know that he will be held accountable. Unlike his opponent.

Key West Reader on October 12, 2012 at 8:16 PM

Liberty is an outdated concept. 47% of the country just wants free stuff.

Cicero43 on October 12, 2012 at 8:09 PM

Actually, 47% of Americans have been put into a position where they have to rely on free stuff. They don’t like it; it is being forced upon them by and through Obama’s policies.

Most Americans are thinking, “OMG, I actually voted for this”?

Key West Reader on October 12, 2012 at 8:20 PM

Drill for your own oil. Get out of anywhere it costs us money to be. And glass everyone who has a problem with either.

Archivarix on October 12, 2012 at 8:27 PM

Hail Obama

Heh.

Key West Reader on October 12, 2012 at 8:28 PM

…anybody know what JugEar’s foreign policy is?

KOOLAID2 on October 12, 2012 at 8:12 PM

Ask Hillary…

She is under a bus right now though..

Electrongod on October 12, 2012 at 8:28 PM

America isn’t in shape to be the jumping-off point for Romney’s foreign policy – at least not for all of it. We need a reaffirmation of liberty and an opportunity to rebuild. We aren’t the America Reagan was elected to lead in 1980.

Nor is the world outside that of the Cold War or the post-Cold War Pax Americana. Too much has changed.

America is not the America of 1980… The World is not The World of 1980… there are too many in the people pulling the levers of power on the right who still think it is.

The problem with the GOP being the Patriotic War Party is that at some point(s) America that exists will not be worth fighting for… or in fact it may be worth going to war against. If you can’t contemplate this then you are not a True Conservative.

ninjapirate on October 12, 2012 at 8:28 PM

We are so fortunate to have Mitt Romney stand up for us, what a class guy.

This is all in.

MrMoe on October 12, 2012 at 8:31 PM

Its been a long time since I posted here. But I am curious as to why Drudge (and Real Clear Politics) just declared the election over, and in Obama’s favor?

Is this electoral map true?

The Obama camp does not seem to be behaving in a manner that leads one to think this is true. If anything they are in full on panic…

Sharr on October 12, 2012 at 8:31 PM

Archivarix 2012

tommy-t on October 12, 2012 at 8:31 PM

Its been a long time since I posted here. But I am curious as to why Drudge (and Real Clear Politics) just declared the election over, and in Obama’s favor?

Uh, huh???

msupertas on October 12, 2012 at 8:33 PM

If it does require American Liberty then we will never see it in our life times.

We are no longer living under American Liberty and have not been for many decades now.

States are no longer independent, but dependents on federally taxed dollars.

Individuals are no longer independent, but dependent on federally taxed dollars.

Every child today starts life with a slave debt owed to elders along with a national debt their elders built to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars.

There is very little we are at liberty to do. We are not at liberty to travel by air. We are not likely at liberty to travel state to state by car or train without risk of federal agents going through our private things.

Liberty? BS we are far from an America that provides liberty for her citizens.

astonerii on October 12, 2012 at 8:39 PM

Full transcript of Mitt Romney’s foreign policy speech – @nytimes

6 mins ago from http://www.nytimes.com by editor

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/09/us/politics/mitt-romney-remarks-at-virginia-military-institute.html?_r=1

canopfor on October 8, 2012 at 1:26 PM

canopfor on October 12, 2012 at 8:40 PM

Its been a long time since I posted here. But I am curious as to why Drudge (and Real Clear Politics) just declared the election over, and in Obama’s favor?

Neh, not yet. We have to see obama ‘destroy’ Mitt Romney on Tuesday. That should be a knee slappin’ good time for O and his knaves formerly known as journalists. But, alas. The journalists have abandoned their integrity, credibility, believability. For O.

/Hope it was good for you, Katie.

Key West Reader on October 12, 2012 at 8:41 PM

Liberty precludes siding with Islamic Nation Building.

VorDaj on October 12, 2012 at 8:41 PM

Okay,Finally C-Span has it up!!
***********************************

Mitt Romney Delivers Major Foreign Policy Speech

Lexington, Virginia
Monday, October 8, 2012
=========================

Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney visited the Virginia Military Institute on Monday to lay out his foreign policy vision, and contrast it with that of President Obama.

Coming off a widely reported success in last week’s domestic policy-focused Presidential debate, Mitt Romney and his running mate Paul Ryan held rallies in Virginia on Thursday and Friday. The Presidential candidates have a week off before the next debate, which is a town hall format. The final debate, which focuses on foreign policy, will take place October 22.

Romney has previously struggled in the foreign policy arena, with an overseas trip this summer for which he received mixed reviews, and a hasty statement about the recent uprisings in the Middle East, which came shortly before the U.S. Ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, and three other Americans were killed in an attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi.
=========================================

VIDEO:(36:15)

http://www.c-span.org/Campaign2012/Events/Mitt-Romney-Delivers-Major-Foreign-Policy-Speech/10737434742/

canopfor on October 8, 2012 at 1:50 PM

canopfor on October 12, 2012 at 8:41 PM

encourage liberalization in the Arab Spring nations

This is delusional.

finish the job effectively in Afghanistan

This is insanity. No more American troops used as human sacrifices for muslims!!!

VorDaj on October 12, 2012 at 8:43 PM

And now,a word from HilRod on Foreign Policy !!!!!!!!

Secretary Clinton Comments on Benghazi
Published on Oct 12, 2012 by statevideo
****************************************

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton comments on Benghazi during her remarks on Democratic Transitions in the Maghreb at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, D.C., October 12, 2012.
=============================================

[Go to http://video.state.gov for more video and text transcript.]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0TX9a7zmlg&feature=youtu.be

canopfor on October 12, 2012 at 8:44 PM

I am a big believer in peace through strength. It’s almost funny how we are talking of trimming a few billion $ from the military budget to cut our capabilities to the bone, while if there was just one conflict with a rogue natian, and just a single rogue nuke flew our way, we are talking about trillions of damage, and of cours… the dead. And don’t be complacent and think that it won’t happen. It can, and it probably will someday.
I believe in peace through strength, but a part of me sees the point that Ron Paul makes. So,the question is, where is the junction or point of truth between the old view and Paul’s view?
One thing I’m sure we can agree. Our policy should no longer be to “promote democracy.” Democracy is no cure-all, and in fact sometimes it leads to horrible outcomes with the radical or unenlightened or plain dumb state of many populations. And it’s not our lot to save or improve the lives of civilians in other countries. Only intervene when our interests are clearly at stake. And neoconism is bad. We need something else now.
That’s the problem with the proposed interventions in Syria. It seems to be a product of that unwanted neoconism. Keep our commitments and involvements to the minimum needed… no more, but no less. No more Libyas! That’s what it seems Syria is, another Libya, but potentially even worse.

anotherJoe on October 12, 2012 at 8:45 PM

channelling some borderline EEYORE there Dyer? Have a beer dude, relax. It’s gonna be ok. We got this. Landslide coming, just get out of the way.

maineconservative on October 12, 2012 at 8:45 PM

And now,another Missing Persons Plea:
(Sarc).

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WANTED !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

CONTACT THE STATE DEPARTMENT if you have seen POTUSA!

MIA….COMMANDER IN CHIEF

MIA…LEADER OF THE FREE WORLD

DERILICTION OF DUTY

TREASON

IF you know the where abouts,please….contact
FBI,CIA,ICE,or your State Local Authorities!!!
(snark).

canopfor on September 23, 2010 at 8:59 AM

canopfor on October 12, 2012 at 8:47 PM

finish the job effectively in Afghanistan

Finish what job in Afcrapistan? The job of finishing The Trillion Dollar Bridge To Nowhere, paved with the Lives and Limbs of American Troops? Anyone who after now more than 11 years thinks “we” should stay in Afcrapistan is completely insane.

VorDaj on October 12, 2012 at 8:48 PM

Without American liberty, there is no American foreign policy; there are only the cynical calculations of Anystate.
================================================

WithOut Liberty,

Or,

American Foreign Policy,

as a Canadian,that translates,

*********To PURE HELL ON EARTH************************************!

(As the GOONS will have Free Rein and Will)!

canopfor on October 12, 2012 at 8:51 PM

Additional details about the CIA base in Benghazi that was destroyed on 9/11. Doherty and Woods died there. 37 others fled. Maybe their stories are coming to light. Bob Dornan said something about this a few weeks ago.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/12/us-usa-libya-intelligence-idUSBRE89B1EU20121012?feedType=RSS&feedName=worldNews&rpc=22

Philly on October 12, 2012 at 8:51 PM

J.E. Deyer isn’t one of HotAir’s better bloggers. Dyer uses too much lofty-sounding, hackneyed blather and presents strawmen and unfounded notions to respond to without providing any evidence for his/her assertions. One gets the sense that Dyer reads little but the work of like-minded writers. HotAir can do better than this kind of material from Dyer, which seems better suited to a college or high school paper.

bluegill on October 12, 2012 at 8:51 PM

Liberty? BS we are far from an America that provides liberty for her citizens.

astonerii on October 12, 2012 at 8:39 PM

.
This guy might agree with that statement.

News2Use on October 12, 2012 at 8:52 PM

I think the intelligence community is most unhappy with Dear Leader and he’s about to find out how much.

Philly on October 12, 2012 at 8:53 PM

Finish what job in Afcrapistan? The job of finishing The Trillion Dollar Bridge To Nowhere, paved with the Lives and Limbs of American Troops? Anyone who after now more than 11 years thinks “we” should stay in Afcrapistan is completely insane.

VorDaj on October 12, 2012 at 8:48 PM

VorDaj:UGH,you had to mention the BRIDGE!!!
===========================================

“Obama Voted Against Money for Katrina”
****************************************

http://mliberalguy.blogspot.ca/2012/10/obama-voted-against-money-for-katrina.html

canopfor on October 12, 2012 at 8:56 PM

J.E. Deyer isn’t one of HotAir’s better bloggers. Dyer uses too much lofty-sounding, hackneyed blather and presents strawmen and unfounded notions to respond to without providing any evidence for his/her assertions.

None of the bloggers provide footnotes with dissertations supporting their claims and J.E. Dyer doesn’t either. It’s a meaningless demand. She is actually one of the better bloggers, particularly on world affairs and foreign policy.

One gets the sense that Dyer reads little but the work of like-minded writers. HotAir can do better than this kind of material from Dyer, which seems better suited to a college or high school paper.

bluegill on October 12, 2012 at 8:51 PM

No, one gets the sense that she is well read and has a very good grasp of world affairs, even if one disagrees with her conclusions.

sharrukin on October 12, 2012 at 9:00 PM

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.
- Ronald Reagan

None of the above points are now being met by our being in Afcrapistan. Points 1 and 3 were reasonably valid at the start but not for the last 10 years.

If Ronald Reagan could come back from the grave, he would take all those who want to stay in Afcrapistan and kick them right in the ass.

VorDaj on October 12, 2012 at 9:03 PM

Nor is the world outside that of the Cold War or the post-Cold War Pax Americana.

Actually, there are similarities, but you have to go back to the very beginning of the Cold War, in 1946-49, to find them.

About eight years ago (2004), I observed that in the war against Islamic extremism we were about where we’d been in the war against Fascism in early 1943. We’d done the equivalent of taking Guadalcanal and North Africa, and were about to go to work on Rabaul and Sicily.

The difference is, this time around, we stopped. We spent eight years debating whether we needed to go into Sicily, and didn’t consider Rabaul period.

What we got for our trouble was a long occupation in two fundamentally hostile countries. That works if those countries are the pivots of the enemy’s axis, as with Germany and Japan. It doesn’t work so well if you’re occupying Guadalcanal and Tunisia and leaving Tokyo and Berlin alone to create more trouble.

Where the paradigm meshes with the Cold War is that while we’ve been endlessly debating whether or not we’ve done the right thing, or are even capable of ever doing the right thing, the Axis has metastasized into a nearly worldwide alliance. It’s as if Nazi Germany had morphed into the Soviet Union while retaining all the nasty attributes that made it Nazi. Like antisemitism, to cite only one.

As to why this is equivalent to 1946-49, 1949 was when the Soviet Union detonated its first atomic bomb.

Yes, Pakistan has nuclear weapons already. But the full-on Cold War with Islamism will begin when the Iranian mullahs set off their first one.

That is, assuming that they are survival-conscious enough not to give in to their eschatological delusions and start setting off nukes in Western cities in the hope of cajoling the Twelfth Imam out of his well to lead them to Armageddon and final victory. Which could have happened in the “other” Cold War, as well, if, for instance, Leon Trotsky had been in charge in Moscow instead of Stalin. Stalin was ruthless and borderline psychotic, but he was not suicidal. Trotsky didn’t care either way; he just wanted to see his opponents’ blood on the ground and know that he was the last one standing before he snuffed it.

How much this new situation resembles the Cold War literally depends on just how removed from reality the leaders of the Islamists are. Notably those in Teheran and Qom.

Otherwise, it could end up looking more like the the wars between the Persian Empire and the Greeks in the Fifth Century BC. The difference being that missiles reach out farther, and hit harder, than biremes.

clear ether

eon

eon on October 12, 2012 at 9:05 PM

J.E. Deyer isn’t one of HotAir’s better bloggers. Dyer uses too much …

bluegill on October 12, 2012 at 8:51 PM

Translation: Hisssss… snarl…. hissssss… scratch… hissss… meow…

Bad catty petty kitty. Bad.

farsighted on October 12, 2012 at 9:11 PM

About eight years ago (2004), I observed that in the war against Islamic extremism we were about where we’d been in the war against Fascism in early 1943. We’d done the equivalent of taking Guadalcanal and North Africa, and were about to go to work on Rabaul and Sicily.

The difference is, this time around, we stopped. We spent eight years debating whether we needed to go into Sicily, and didn’t consider Rabaul period.

eon on October 12, 2012 at 9:05 PM

Only if you add in the fact that we invaded to save the poor fascists from themselves, and then incorporated fascism into the constitution of both Guadalcanal and North Africa, while also criticizing and silencing Americans who make fun of fascism. Throw in the fact that its official government policy that fascism is a peaceful ideology that is welcome in America and has been hijacked by those who want to twist fascism into something evil.

Then you’ve got some similarities.

sharrukin on October 12, 2012 at 9:13 PM

One gets the sense that Dyer reads little but the work of like-minded writers. HotAir can do better than this kind of material from Dyer, which seems better suited to a college or high school paper.

bluegill on October 12, 2012 at 8:51 PM

bluegill:HUH!!

canopfor on October 12, 2012 at 9:15 PM

None of the bloggers provide footnotes with dissertations supporting their claims and J.E. Dyer doesn’t either. It’s a meaningless demand. She is actually one of the better bloggers, particularly on world affairs and foreign policy.

Sorry, but Allahpundit and Ed use evidence to back up their assertions, and they don’t go off on overly long, twenty-paragraph rants based on little more than their own feelings when responding to hastily thrown up, misleading straw men. Dyer is nowhere near the caliber of these two.

No, we get the sense that Dyer tries hard to sound well-read and intellectual when in reality many of his/her posts come off like baloney pulled out of you-know-where, metaphorically speaking. It’s almost like Dyer is so in love with her own words and feelings that he/she feels no need to provide any actual evidence for his/her many claims. It’s like a lesser Peggy Noonan wannabe, but without any supporting evidence in the posts.

bluegill on October 12, 2012 at 9:24 PM

Sorry, but Allahpundit and Ed use evidence to back up their assertions…

bluegill on October 12, 2012 at 9:24 PM

Sorry, but no they don’t. They provide links to interesting articles, not supporting evidence as you contend.

J.E. Dyer’s articles have appeared at The Green Room, Commentary’s “contentions,” Patheos, The Weekly Standard online, and her own blog, The Optimistic Conservative.

Other’s obviously disagree with your silly claims and I think farsighted nailed it better than I did.

Translation: Hisssss… snarl…. hissssss… scratch… hissss… meow…

sharrukin on October 12, 2012 at 9:31 PM

About eight years ago (2004), I observed that in the war against Islamic extremism we were about where we’d been in the war against Fascism in early 1943. We’d done the equivalent of taking Guadalcanal and North Africa, and were about to go to work on Rabaul and Sicily.

The problem with any war waged by western powers is that it’s not a slam dunk that the west after 100 years of liberalism/socialism/leftism/relativism(2045 or so) wouldn’t have just been better off under fascists.

The problem with the war on fascism is that the war on fascism didn’t end in 1945 with the death of fascists… leftist reactionaries used fascism to uproot and destroy the west.

Hitler was evil… but so are the people who imported Turks into Germany… and so are the people who created Londonistan… so are the people who demand Western nations import fake refuges.

ninjapirate on October 12, 2012 at 9:33 PM

If we provide security for other countries, such as Japan etc., why aren’t they paying us for that service? It seems to me that South Korea, Japan, and others owe us a lot and they should be happy to pay for it!
We need money too!

Bambi on October 12, 2012 at 9:38 PM

When America is free and prosperous the world is by and large free and prosperous, when America is ruled by tyranny and in decline the world is ruled by despots and starving.

The former holds promise the latter is as most the world is now.

Speakup on October 12, 2012 at 9:57 PM

This man, Mitt Romney, just keeps getting better!
Better than I ever hoped.

Yes, as someone else said, I believe a divine intervention is taking place. I’m beginning to believe.

Typicalwhitewoman on October 12, 2012 at 9:59 PM

Wall of text crits you for 4,373. You die.

A shame because I think there was a really good two paragraph post in all this struggling to get out.

AngusMc on October 12, 2012 at 10:03 PM

Its been a long time since I posted here. But I am curious as to why Drudge (and Real Clear Politics) just declared the election over, and in Obama’s favor?

Is this electoral map true?

The Obama camp does not seem to be behaving in a manner that leads one to think this is true. If anything they are in full on panic…

Sharr on October 12, 2012 at 8:31 PM

Are you serious??? What are you even talking about??? Do you even know how to read an electoral map? Romney gained about 26 electoral votes in the polls since the debate according to that map, he was at 166 electoral votes or something before the debate. and is leading in a lot of the swing states. The ‘campaign panic’ that Drudge refers to is Obama’s campaign, he was expected to have locked a lot more stares than 10 at this time in the election cycle, and now 156 votes are up dor grab (toss-up) with Romey leading in a lot of the swing states and within margin of error behind in otjers. jeez I wonder if all readers interpret what Drudge put out there like you do. This is too funny…

jimver on October 12, 2012 at 10:17 PM

‘States’ that is…

jimver on October 12, 2012 at 10:20 PM

I agree with much of what Romney laid out

I’m quite sure the relief is palpable at Romney headquarters.

Knott Buyinit on October 12, 2012 at 10:37 PM

Bravo, J.E. My fav part: “I found two important things missing from Romney’s foreign policy speech, and one was an affirmation of liberty – qua liberty – as the fundamental American idea.”

Liberty. This election is about liberty.

petefrt on October 12, 2012 at 10:46 PM

“American liberty” is the last thing desired by our Islamic enemies:
they are calling for international censorship of any criticism of their phoney-boloney prophet and his supremacist war-loving “religion”.

“In a submission to forthcoming international talks on internet governance, the Gulf state said “there is a crying need for international collaboration to address ‘freedom of expression’ which clearly disregards public order”.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/google/9602263/Anti-Islam-film-prompts-Saudi-call-for-net-censorship-body.html

Chessplayer on October 12, 2012 at 11:26 PM

The great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign nations, is in extending our commercial relations to have with them as little political connection as possible. So far as we have already formed engagements, let them be fulfilled with perfect good faith. Here let us stop.

Europe has a set of primary interests which to us have none, or a very remote relation. Hence she must be engaged in frequent controversies, the causes of which are essentially foreign to our concerns. Hence, therefore, it must be unwise in us to implicate ourselves, by artificial ties, in the ordinary vicissitudes of her politics, or the ordinary combinations and collisions of her friendships or enmities.

Our detached and distant situation invites and enables us to pursue a different course. If we remain one people, under an efficient government, the period is not far off when we may defy material injury from external annoyance; when we may take such an attitude as will cause the neutrality we may at any time resolve upon to be scrupulously respected; when belligerent nations, under the impossibility of making acquisitions upon us, will not lightly hazard the giving us provocation; when we may choose peace or war, as our interest guided by our justice shall counsel.

Why forego the advantages of so peculiar a situation? Why quit our own to stand upon foreign ground? Why, by interweaving our destiny with that of any part of Europe, entangle our peace and prosperity in the toils of European ambition, rivalship, interest, humor, or caprice?

It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world. So far, I mean, as we are now at liberty to do it, for let me not be understood as capable of patronizing infidelity to existing engagements (I hold the maxim no less applicable to public than to private affairs that honesty is always the best policy). I repeat it, therefore: let those engagements be observed in their genuine sense. But, in my opinion, it is unnecessary and would be unwise to extend them.

Taking care always to keep ourselves, by suitable establishments, on a respectably defensive posture, we may safely trust to temporary alliances for extraordinary emergencies.

Harmony, liberal intercourse with all nations are recommended by policy, humanity, and interest. But even our commercial policy should hold an equal and impartial hand, neither seeking nor granting exclusive favors or preferences; consulting the natural course of things; diffusing and diversifying by gentle means the streams of commerce but forcing nothing; establishing with powers so disposed, in order to give trade a stable course, to define the rights of our merchants, and to enable the government to support them, conventional rules of intercourse, the best that present circumstances and mutual opinion will permit, but temporary and liable to be from time to time abandoned or varied, as experience and circumstances shall dictate; constantly keeping in view that it is folly in one nation to look for disinterested favors from another; that it must pay with a portion of its independence for whatever it may accept under that character; that, by such acceptance, it may place itself in the condition of having given equivalents for nominal favors and yet of being reproached with ingratitude for not giving more. There can be no greater error than to expect, or calculate, upon real favors from nation to nation. It is an illusion which experience must cure, which a just pride ought to discard.

– George Washington, Farewell Address

Dante on October 13, 2012 at 12:25 AM

And here we are ~80 years later, making the world safe for democracy. How many will need to die this time?

growl on October 13, 2012 at 12:27 AM

You act as if Romney has never discussed Liberty before. He has, and more often than most recent Republican presidents. The speech WAS well received too, the media just failed to cover it which is going to be the case sadly. Steve Hayes thought it was brilliant, and he is a colleague of yours at the Weekly Standard.

You are implying Americans aren’t up for a military buildup. Ryan and Romney are not advocating a return to the Cold War, they are against the CUTS that Democrats want to make. Reagan built our defenses AND got the economy going again. The world remains a dangerous place, going cheap on defense is not going to save us money in the long run. That is not to say we should be invading more countries, and Romney is not saying we should either.

If you are trying to sound smarter than Romney consider your effort here a failure.

echosyst on October 13, 2012 at 1:44 AM

Freedom, liberty, life itself has been discarded along with the God who alone has gifted them to us.

The GOP believes obsessively in the super-marketplace as the state, the only source of freedom, while the left believes in the super-state itself, and cannot tolerate either; a competetive God a fre3e marketplace, or a free people.

Neither is what we need or what our forefathers handed us to preserve–freedom, giving to us by a loving God, nature’s God, who alone gives us all of our rights.
We no longer, as a nation believe in that model, and few hardly understand why it is so perfect, believing and behaving as if we’re just animals and not creatures with special dignity and responsibilities due to the reality that He made us in His image.

We’ve traded that model in our quest for the secular economic gods as we battle the superstate “control of the masses” gods.

We’ve lost our way, and confused, we battling without the very compass our forefathers left us, and we foolishly think a leader on a blue or red horse can save us from ourselves.

Don L on October 13, 2012 at 4:44 AM

Also requires an American in the WH.

Yephora on October 13, 2012 at 4:49 AM

There is a need for an interim period of stability, and a period of establishing more strongly our point of view in relation to movements like the United Nations, and other one world political thinking. We have not been leading, we have been going along, worse than ever with the sentiments of corrupt dictators and those who don’t believe in freedom and liberty and won’t trust those ideals in their society.

I am tired of hearing that corruption is normal and that “they all do it” when we reach out and try to help the poor in other nations. Prove to us that you are not corrupt first, prove to us that our aid reaches people the way that the religious charities do, when they send their own volunteers into harms way.

The corrupt need exposure and the condemnation of the world, not empowerment; A louder voice from America, a debate and an argument.

Fleuries on October 13, 2012 at 8:33 AM

J.E. Deyer isn’t one of HotAir’s better bloggers. Dyer uses too much lofty-sounding, hackneyed blather and presents strawmen and unfounded notions to respond to without providing any evidence for his/her assertions. One gets the sense that Dyer reads little but the work of like-minded writers. HotAir can do better than this kind of material from Dyer, which seems better suited to a college or high school paper.

bluegill on October 12, 2012 at 8:51 PM

THIS!

So shorter Dyer: Let’s ignore foreign policy? That’s what we want from a GOP nominee, somebody who pretends that the U.S. is in COMPLETE CONTROL of whether or not we have to deal with an enemy militarily? And, therefore, we can wait till the time is right to get involved in the wider world? Frankly, that IS the kind of NONSENSE I expect from the Left. That’s typical of THEIR naivete.

cicerone on October 13, 2012 at 8:45 AM

I’ve been commenting about this for some time. Just a week or so ago. Everything starts with liberty. If you have a free nation you will have jobs. If you have a free nation you will have with a strong economy and if you have a strong economy you have the money for a strong military!

This campaign, as I have commented on often recently, is much more than just about jobs. Every prison in American has a jobs program for the inmates. The old Soviet Union guaranteed jobs for it’s citizens. You can have a job in any police state that denies it’s people freedom. The foundation of it all is liberty. A free people free to worship, free to pursue their own dreams and ambitions protected by the rule of law not the whims of a man.

JellyToast on October 13, 2012 at 8:47 AM

Liberty is clearly a paramount concern of Romney’s so I’m a bit puzzled by this criticism. From the f.p. speech:

This is the struggle that is now shaking the entire Middle East to its foundation. It is the struggle of millions and millions of people — men and women, young and old, Muslims, Christians and non-believers — all of whom have had enough of the darkness. It is a struggle for the dignity that comes with freedom, and opportunity, and the right to live under laws of our own making. It is a struggle that has unfolded under green banners in the streets of Iran, in the public squares of Tunisia and Egypt and Yemen, and in the fights for liberty in Iraq, and Afghanistan, and Libya, and now Syria. In short, it is a struggle between liberty and tyranny, justice and oppression, hope and despair.

We have seen this struggle before. It would be familiar to George Marshall. In his time, in the ashes of world war, another critical part of the world was torn between democracy and despotism. Fortunately, we had leaders of courage and vision, both Republicans and Democrats, who knew that America had to support friends who shared our values, and prevent today’s crises from becoming tomorrow’s conflicts.

Statesmen like Marshall rallied our nation to rise to its responsibilities as the leader of the free world. We helped our friends to build and sustain free societies and free markets. We defended our friends, and ourselves, from our common enemies. We led. And though the path was long and uncertain, the thought of war in Europe is as inconceivable today as it seemed inevitable in the last century.

It’s also evident liberty if foremost on his mind in this excellent, nimble response to a question from Lehrer at Romney/Obama debate:

LEHRER: Two minutes, Governor, on the role of government. Your view?

ROMNEY: ….The role of government: Look behind us. The Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. The role of government is to promote and protect the principles of those documents.

ROMNEY: First, life and liberty. We have a responsibility to protect the lives and liberties of our people, and that means a military second to none. I do not believe in cutting our military. I believe in maintaining the strength of America’s military.

Second, in that line that says we are endowed by our creator with our rights, I believe we must maintain our commitment to religious tolerance and freedom in this country. That statement also says that we are endowed by our creator with the right to pursue happiness as we choose. I interpret that as, one, making sure that those people who are less fortunate and can’t care for themselves are cared by — by one another.

We’re a nation that believes that we’re all children of the same god and we care for those that have difficulties, those that are elderly and have problems and challenges, those that are disabled. We care for them. And we — we look for discovery and innovation, all these things desired out of the American heart to provide the pursuit of happiness for our citizens.

But we also believe in maintaining for individuals the right to pursue their dreams and not to have the government substitute itself for the rights of free individuals. And what we’re seeing right now is, in my view, a — a trickle-down government approach, which has government thinking it can do a better job than free people pursuing their dreams. And it’s not working.

And the proof of that is 23 million people out of work. The proof of that is 1 out of 6 people in poverty. The proof of that is we’ve gone from 32 million on food stamps to 47 million on food stamps. The proof of that is that 50 percent of college graduates this year can’t find work.

LEHRER: All right.

ROMNEY: We know that the path we’re taking is not working. It’s time for a new path.

Buy Danish on October 13, 2012 at 8:58 AM

Most people do not have the stomach for what it will take to return the nation to being based on rule of law, not rule of man.
So we will keep shuffling on down the path the UK and Rome blazed for us.

Nathan_OH on October 13, 2012 at 12:48 PM

Most people do not have the stomach for what it will take to return the nation to being based on rule of law, not rule of man.
So we will keep shuffling on down the path the UK and Rome blazed for us.

Nathan_OH on October 13, 2012 at 12:48 PM

yes, doubling down on the same policies that brought the EU on the brim of disaster, that they might never recover from (well, the European countries in general, they would have gotten there as individual nation-states too, since all of them had big welfare states way before they joined the EU, the EU as a political and economic entity only helped accentuate their weaknesses and accelerate their free fall). To me this is the definition of insanity, the policies that this administration proposes and which have been proven catastrophic everywhere they were tried. which is why they have to go.

jimver on October 13, 2012 at 2:32 PM

Mittens foreign policy speech simply told the world that he would continue Bush’s foreign policy. Bush’s policies didn’t work because they were not realistic.

Wilsonism is the heart of the Neoconservative worldview. Wilson was simply an academic well in over his head. The world does not share our view of freedom (something that is not even shared in the old countries we sprang from in Europe), and you can not build a nation-state when a nation does not exist. That is at heart of the problem in the Islamic world, along with a 7th century worldview that was not realistic even when that evil sprang from the diseased mind of Mohammed.

Even if Mittens is elected (and I have serious doubts about that, although I really, really hope I’m wrong), Bush’s foreign policy will soon become impossible because the US economy is in such deep trouble from the problems that have been ignored since 2008, that we will not have the ability to prosecute a proactive foreign policy. Even defending our interests is going to soon become an impossibility. We’re already past the tipping point and the forces have been set loose that will destroy what we have. The legacy of FDR and LBJ is about to blow up in our faces.

Quartermaster on October 13, 2012 at 8:18 PM