As the Obama administration's foreign policy yields the predicted results with jihadist radicals on the ascendancy and American influence waning, we are now admonished by partisans on the left and the professionally timid on the right that it is unseemly in the extreme for the Republican Presidential nominee to openly distinguish his prescriptions from the President's. "We are shocked that, at a time when the United States of America is confronting the tragic death of one of our diplomatic officers in Libya, Gov. Romney would choose to launch a political attack," laments the Obama campaign. Yes, well, we on the right are not shocked, but we are appalled at the wholesale dismantling of American strength and the Presidential appeasement that led inexorably to the attacks that claimed the lives of four dedicated and good men last week. We aren't shocked because we predicted it. We are appalled because it was preventable.
Our critics reprovingly call us back to a time when "politics stopped at the water's edge," when we united behind a common national objective. A time like, say, the Spring of 1980, when Senator Ted Kennedy made overtures toward the KGB. In KGB papers that Soviet defector (now deceased) Vasiliy Mitrokhin, copied, we learn of Kennedy's general approval of Soviet General Secretary Brezhnev, and his opinion that the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan was the result of Jimmy Carter's belligerence. Yes, you read that correctly. According to Kennedy, "The atmosphere of tension and hostility towards the whole Soviet people was being fueled by Carter." Thus did Senator Kennedy not just confine himself to criticizing American foreign policy. He contacted the Soviets in an effort to undercut it.
According to a May 14, 1983 letter from KGB head Yiktor Chebrikov to General Secretary Andropov, Kennedy sought to undercut Ronald Reagan's re-election by helping the Soviets with a PR offensive in which, "representatives of the largest television companies in the US contact Y.V. Andropov for an invitation to Moscow for the interview." In furtherance of world peace and a coca-cola for everyone, Kennedy sought to, "counter the militaristic politics of Reagan and his campaign to psychologically burden the American people." Ah, what heady days of bipartisan cooperation they were.
Or perhaps I'm dwelling on ancient history, no? And besides, Governor Romney is being accused of merely criticizing US foreign policy in real time, as opposed to colluding with the enemy. Herewith, a few items from another golden era, back before Governor Romney's ostensibly partisan outburst:
"Our troops overreacted because of the pressure on them, and they killed innocent civilians in cold blood." Representative John Murtha, 2006
"Tonight we heard President Bush say that the surge in Iraq is working, when we know that's just not true." Senator Barack Obama, 2008
"This whole notion that the surge is working is fantasy." Senator Joe Biden, 2007
"The surge has failed. The surge was designed to give the Iraqi government time to stake steps to ensure a political solution. It has failed." Senator Hillary Clinton,2007
"This war is lost and … the surge is not accomplishing anything." Senator Harry Reid, 2007
"The most important conclusion that you've drawn is that, thus far at least, the surge and purpose of it, which was to provide breathing space for political reconciliation, has failed." Senator John Kerry, 2007
"And there's no reason, Bob, that young American soldiers need to be going into the homes of Iraqis in the dead of the night, terrorizing kids and children, you know, women, breaking sort of the customs of the …of …the historical customs, religious customs." Senator John Kerry, 2005
And now these exact same voices rise in majestic indignation that the Republican nominee dares point to the glaring fact that weakness, vacillation, and spineless apologies are a poor substitute for American strength and resolve, now as in 1979. That they are joined by Democratic stenographers in the media like Joe Scarborough is no surprise. That Republicans themselves should join the chorus is reprehensible.
It is no more inappropriate to illuminate a superior path now than it was for Ronald Reagan to do so when Jimmy Carter's policies of appeasement yielded very similar results in 1979. Lest those on either side of the aisle forget, the whole point of the exercise is to present to the American citizen authentic alternatives to the implosion he sees unfolding. As images of our ambassador's body being carried through the streets seared our screens, with our embassies under siege, there was but one voice of strength and resolve that could give our enemies a reason to hesitate in their war on the west, and it wasn't Barack Obama's. Which ultimately is the reason behind the uproar over Governor Romney's remarks.