Foreign Sinister

By Bill Maher

Despite all the hype, we're not a socialist country yet, and the President can't directly control the economy.  Also, there's this occasional annoyance known as Congress, which still exercises its constitutional right to fuck up the economy.  But the President can and does directly control much of our foreign policy.  The big-ticket decisions that Bush made, like going into Iraq and Afghanistan, were squarely his choices. Obama can take credit for ending Iraq, getting bin Laden and making us significantly less hated around the world.  And for slowly figuring out that Afghanistan is a tremendous, intractable clusterfuck.

In an interview last month, Mitt Romney gave President Obama an "F" grade on foreign policy. "No question about that -- across the board." And then he ran through standard far-right patter about Obama failing to keep our forces in Iraq and how "the Arab Spring has become the Arab Winter." Mitt's own ideas are about not apologizing and spending more money on the military and increasing our troop levels by about 100,000.  There's no reason to think he won't follow through on that stuff, and it should scare the shit out of us.

Mitt's not as dumb as George Bush, but he's got the same political DNA -- a business-oriented former governor who wants to focus on the economy, and when it comes to the rest of the world, he'll rely on the advice of the talented Team he assembles to help him. The problem is that the team will be full of the same neoconservative fuckwits that contaminated the last Republican White House. According to an analysis in The Nation, Romney's team of 40 foreign policy advisers is packed to the rafters with hawkish neocons, and more than 70% of them worked for Bush.

Colin Powell confirmed this a couple of weeks ago on Morning Joe: "I don't know who all of his advisers are, but I've seen some of the names and some of them are quite far to the right. And sometimes they might be in a position to make judgments or recommendations to the candidate that should get a second thought."  Which means Romney will have a big, bad military and a never-ending supply of generals and neocons whispering in his ear that he’d ought to use it.  With no apologies.