In Monday night's debate, this exchange immediately followed the audience booing Ron Paul for invoking the Golden Rule as part of foreign policy.
I wonder if Mitt Romney really understands the Taliban. I wonder if he understands that there are different factions of the Taliban in Pakistan, Afghanistan and elsewhere. But mostly, I wonder if he understands that no matter how hard he might try, he cannot truly challenge the current Administration's successful foreign policy, even when that foreign policy includes negotiations with the Taliban.
Romney practically oozes testosterone as he swears that negotiation with the Taliban is absolutely off-limits to a President Romney. He reiterates the neocon line that Iraq was necessary and the only way to avoid such "necessary conflicts" would be to build the "strongest military in the world." Because of course, spending all that money on weapons of world destruction surely endears us to the rest of the world.
This is the official Republican party line. It wouldn't matter if it was Romney or Santorum. These men are one hundred percent committed to Empire writ large all over the world. They have no compunction about our young people being sent off to die for no apparent reason beyond revenge in foreign lands, nor would they lose even a little bit of sleep at night.
Also? I'd like to correct one thing Mr. Romney said. No Iraqi killed Americans. No Iraqi declared war on us. No Iraqi did harm to us. But we invaded and occupied their country anyway, based on a lie. I also appreciate his endorsement of our current President's foreign policy.
Transcript below the fold.
BAIER: Governor Romney, should the United States negotiate with the Taliban to end the fighting in Afghanistan?
ROMNEY: Of course not. And Speaker Gingrich is right. Of course you take out our enemies, wherever they are. These people declared war on us. They’ve killed Americans. We go anywhere they are, and we kill them. And the — the right thing for…
The right thing for Osama bin Laden was the bullet in the — in the head that he received. That’s the right thing for people who kill American citizens.
Now, the Taliban is killing Americans. This president has done an extraordinary thing. He announced the date of our withdrawal. He announced the date of the withdrawal of our surge forces based upon a political calendar, not the calendar that the commanders on the ground said it was based for our mission. That was wrong.
And then he announced the day that we’re going to pull out of the country all together. And now he wants to negotiate from a position of extraordinary weakness? You don’t negotiate from — with your enemy from a position of weakness as this president has done.
The right course for America is to recognize we’re under attack. We’re under attack by people, whether they’re Al Qaida or other radical violent jihadists around the world, and we’re going to have to take action around the world to protect ourselves.
And hopefully we can do it as we did with Osama bin Laden, as opposed to going to war as we had to do in — in the case of — of Iraq. The right way, Congressman Paul, in my view, is — to keep us from having to go to those wars is to have a military so strong that no one would ever think of testing it. That’s the kind of military we have to have, and we have to pursue our interests around the world.
BAIER: Governor Romney, Mitchell Rice (ph) — Mitchell Rice (ph), who I believe is one of your top foreign policy advisers, said that the Taliban may well be, quote, “our enemy and our negotiating partner.” He said this means that some type of negotiated solution is the best near-term bet to halt the fighting. Is he wrong?
ROMNEY: Yes. The — the right course for America is not to negotiate with the Taliban while the Taliban are killing our soldiers. The right course is to recognize they’re the enemy of the United States. It’s the vice president who said they’re not the enemy of the United States. The vice president’s wrong. They are the enemy. They’re killing American soldiers.
We don’t negotiate from a position of weakness as we’re pulling our troops out. The right course for us is to strengthen the Afghan military force so they can reject the Taliban.
Think what it says to the people in Afghanistan and the military in Afghanistan, when we’re asking them to stand up and fight to protect the sovereignty of their people, if they see us, their ally, turning and negotiating with the very people they’re going to have to protect their nation from. It’s the wrong course. The vice president’s wrong. We should not negotiate with the Taliban. We should defeat the Taliban.
I think, Governor Romney, that you have this wrong, and that you'd do well to study Afghanistan, the Afghan Taliban, and the tribal governing structure in Afghanistan before making pronouncements like that.