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September 12, 2012

In Which I Write Something Nice About Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney's statement today on the attacks in Libya and Egypt was spot on.

After first express grief at the loss of American life, Romney framed the issue exactly right.

Romney's statement in part .

“America will not tolerate attacks against our citizens and against our embassies. We will defend also our constitutional rights of speech and assembly and religion. We have confidence in our cause in America. We respect our Constitution. We stand for the principles our Constitution protects. We encourage other nations to understand and respect the principles of our Constitution because we recognize that these principles are the ultimate source of freedom for individuals around the world.

“I also believe the Administration was wrong to stand by a statement sympathizing with those who had breached our embassy in Egypt instead of condemning their actions. It's never too early for the United States Government to condemn attacks on Americans, and to defend our values. The White House distanced itself last night from the statement, saying it wasn't ‘cleared by Washington.’ That reflects the mixed signals they’re sending to the world.

“The attacks in Libya and Egypt underscore that the world remains a dangerous place and that American leadership is still sorely needed. In the face of this violence, America cannot shrink from the responsibility to lead. American leadership is necessary to ensure that events in the region don’t spin out of control. We cannot hesitate to use our influence in the region to support those who share our values and our interests. Over the last several years, we have stood witness to an Arab Spring that presents an opportunity for a more peaceful and prosperous region, but also poses the potential for peril, if the forces of extremism and violence are allowed to control the course of events.

“We must strive to ensure that the Arab Spring does not become an Arab Winter.”

Go to the PJ Tatter to see the pitiful questions Romney was asked. Almost all of them were attacks on the timing of his statement last night.

Compare that with Obama who said in part...

Appearing with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in the White House Rose Garden, Obama said: “We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others, but there is absolutely no justification to this type of senseless violence. None. The world must stand together to unequivocally reject these brutal attacks.”

The President of the United States of America should not "reject" a citizens right to speak however he or she wants even (or especially) if it offends someone. A President who prioritizes the feelings of foreigners over a strong, unequivocal defense of an American citizen's exercise of our fundamental freedom is unfit for office.

Of course this is unsurprising coming from a President who made this outrageous claim in his much vaunted speech in Cairo.

"That experience guides my conviction that partnership between America and Islam must be based on what Islam is, not what it isn't. And I consider it part of my responsibility as president of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear," Obama said to applause. He said neither Muslims nor Americans, though, can fit the "crude stereotype" they are sometimes assigned.

Speaking of Cairo, I watched Obama live and I didn't hear him mention the embassy attack at all.

Naturally, the maker of the film that is the supposed flash point of this exercise in outrage is in hiding. Obama had no kind words of support for him.

I'm a "clash of civilizations" guy. The military fight against Islam will flare up and cool down as it has for centuries but we must always be fighting for our view of the world and our rights. I don't care how Muslim societies organize themselves but I'll be damned if I'll give them a veto over how we organize ours.

We need a President who gets this and believe it or not, that's Mitt Romney.

Added: Next time John McCain says we need to intervene in Syria remember this day. Nothing good will come of it. Let's arm both sides and keep them fighting and dying as long as possible. US foreign policy has to be about what's in OUR interests, not what's nice for people who don't know how to live in the civilized world.

*I changed the link for the Romney quote for a cleaner transcript.


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posted by DrewM. at 11:28 AM

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