Saving the worst for last, where we got the clearest demonstration of his foreign policy style was Mitt Romney’s Israel stop, which was a disaster. Sure he pleased his far right, deep pocket donors but he also managed to set back decades worth of delicate negotiations between Israel and Palestine.
He effectively declared Jerusalem to be the capital of the Jewish state and all but promised to move the U.S. Embassy there. This completely contradicts international consensus, which is to not get directly involved in the fight over the occupation:
Most of the international community, including the United States, does not formally recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital due to the ongoing conflict, insisting the issue can only be resolved through final status negotiations.
Mr. Romney went on to insult the entire Palestianian population with the implication they were culturally inferior because they aren’t as economically successful as Israel. And Mr. Romney couldn’t even get his facts right on that. He vastly misstated the numbers and is apparently unaware that the discrepancy has much to do with the various trade and other restrictions Israel imposes on the Palestianians.
But the worst part was that Mitt practically endorsed an attack on Iran. A point reinforced by his senior aide in disturbing terms:
Senor said that Romney believes in a zero enrichment policy in Iran and that Tehran must believe “the alternative to zero enrichment is severe, and that’s why the threat of military force has to be critical.”
Again this contradicts international consensus and in fact contravenes international law. Under the law, “Iran has an absolute right to peaceful nuclear energy, and that includes enrichment activities consistent with that.”
The predictable effect of Mr. Romney’s overheated rhetoric is Ahmadinejad, who has been nearly silent since the sanctions were strengthened by Obama, is now making speeches calling for “the annihilation of Israel.”
The majority of Mitt Romney’s foreign policy advisers are drawn from the PNAC crowd that took us into two unwinnable wars during the Bush administration. Those guys think the only reason we didn’t “win” in Iraq or Afghanistan is because we didn’t spend enough money on bombs. They’re eager for a third try with Iran, which is a much bigger country. The potential for unintended consequences is all the greater.
I, for one, do not want to go back to those Bush era policies. I see no evidence that Mr. Romney wouldn’t do so should he somehow become president.