Romney has said he wants somehow to give Syrians “who share our values” — Syria’s Jeffersonian caucus? — heavy weapons “to defeat Assad’s tanks, helicopters and fighter jets.” In the debate he spoke of organizing “responsible parties within Syria” but without America being “drawn into a military conflict,” and without enforcing a no-fly zone.

Deploring the “rising tide of chaos” in the Middle East, Romney vows to “move the world away from” Islamic extremism. Such promises have a distinguished pedigree. Woodrow Wilson said: “I am going to teach the South American republics to elect good men!”

Russia is a third-world country with an extraction economy — it extracts oil, gas and minerals from the ground and caviar from sturgeon — but Romney says it is our “number one geopolitical foe,” although he says the biggest threat to America is a nuclear Iran. Both candidates agree that preventing a nuclear Iran is worth a fourth (counting Libya) U.S. war in that region. Romney thinks America should have “a military second to none,” which it will have until the next dozen or so largest militaries merge.