On foreign policy, the right wing is clueless

Shorter Question Everything

With Mitt, the story is ever-changing and ever-alarming, regarding foreign policy. Compare that with Obama, where foreign policy is handled delicately, carefully, and with a great deal of thought and a much lower volume.

That the right wing’s Libyan story is falling apart should make Monday’s foreign policy debate interesting, but can you imagine if every single instance became so blown out of proportion, with the weight of the American military and intelligence put behind it?

It’s people’s lives we’re talking about here and right wing shouting and bluster could get a lot of people killed.

• Mitt Romney’s Easy Five-Step Approach to Foreign Policy

• Remember when Dick Cheney and Scooter Libby burned a high-value CIA agent, Valerie Plame, in revenge for her husband Joe Wilson’s proclaiming that a key Bush-Cheney pretext for the invasion of Iraq — the alleged Niger yellowcake shipments — was bogus? Now we find that, just so he could score some political points, Darrell Issa, former car thief and now a guy who at $500 million in wealth is the richest member of Congress, just outed a number of currently working CIA operatives, many of whom are in-country Libyans and who were doing some important projects in addition to their CIA work. Again, does this remind you of how Cheney and Scooter Libby outed Valerie Plame — and her entire in-country network of Iraqi contacts — just to get back at her hubby Joe Wilson for saying that he didn’t find any WMDs or WMD precursors in Niger? The main difference here, besides the fact that this information, though sensitive and tightly held, was not classified, is this: Darrell Issa doesn’t even have the excuse of wanting revenge. He did it for cheap political posturing — and because he could do it, and could get away with it.

No evidence found of Al Qaeda role in Libya attack. U.S. intelligence agencies and witnesses paint a picture of an assault carried out with little planning at the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi. The assault on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi last month appears to have been an opportunistic attack rather than a long-planned operation, and intelligence agencies have found no evidence that it was ordered by Al Qaeda, according to U.S. officials and witnesses interviewed in Libya.

How Mitt Romney’s Latest Attack On Libya Is Falling Apart. A new report this morning from the LA Times casts serious doubt on Romney’s claims

• The right-wing is beginning to reverse itself on insisting that a anti-Muslim YouTube video had nothing to do with the attack on a U.S. diplomatic mission in Libya. Republicans and Fox News have scorned the Obama administration for weeks for initial statements that the assault in Benghazi, that took the life of Ambassador Chris Stevens, was an outgrowth of a protest sparked by this video. Fox’s Geraldo Rivera went against that narrative on Friday. After Fox and Friends host Steve Doocy once again mocked the notion that the video was an impetus for the attack, Rivera instead presented the idea that it was in fact both a reaction to the video and a terrorist attack. The hosts quickly attempted to pull Rivera back on-message after he completed explaining his theory, but couldn’t persuade him to drop it completely.

U.S.-Iran Nuclear Talks: White House Denies Report Of 1-On-1 Meetings:

The White House has denied a report of the U.S. and Iran agreeing to one-on-one nuclear talks.

On Saturday evening, the New York Times released a piece claiming that the two nations had agreed to take this step for the first time. The paper cited “intense, secret exchanges” between officials from both countries that had been developing since President Barack Obama took office — culminating less than 48 hours before 2012′s presidential debate on foreign policy.

Shortly after the Times’ report went live, the White House released a statement from National Security Council Spokesperson Tommy Vietor, calling the report “not true.”

It’s not true that the United States and Iran have agreed to one-on-one talks or any meeting after the American elections. We continue to work with the P5+1* on a diplomatic solution and have said from the outset that we would be prepared to meet bilaterally. The President has made clear that he will prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, and we will do what we must to achieve that. It has always been our goal for sanctions to pressure Iran to come in line with its obligations. The onus is on the Iranians to do so, otherwise they will continue to face crippling sanctions and increased pressure.

[huffingtonpost.com]

• Iran’s foreign ministry on Saturday rejected a guilty plea by an Iranian-American man that he conspired with Iranian officials to kill the Saudi ambassador in Washington. Manssor Arbabsiar pleaded guilty on Wednesday at the New York federal court to attempting to hire a Mexican drug gang for $1.5 million to blow up the Saudi envoy in a restaurant he frequented in Washington. But Iran’s foreign ministry questioned the plea and rejected the notion that “any Iranian organisation” had any role in the plot. “Pleading guilty after initial denial and a year (in custody) is a sign of psychological pressure and the abnormal situation of US jails and solitary confinement there,” its spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said in a statement reported by the state broadcaster’s website. “This ridiculous scenario was designed by American officials a year ago while the man arrested denied all charges. Some (non-American) officials and political pundits have said it is unreal and likened it to a Hollywood scenario,” he said.

• Israeli troops commandeered a Gaza-bound ship [the Estelle] on Saturday as the vessel tried to break through Israel’s blockade of the seaside strip ruled by the Islamic militant Hamas group. European lawmakers and other pro-Palestinian activists aboard — including 79-year-old former NDP MP Jim Manly — did not resist, and the Finnish-flagged vessel was perted to an Israeli port.

Salt Spring Island man leaves money in will for Omar Khadr. Jack Hallam of Salt Spring Island said 26-year-old Khadr could put the money towards his education now that he’s been repatriated to Canada after spending a decade at a U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay. Hallam said he has set aside $700 for Khadr because he thinks the Toronto-born man has been treated badly by both the American and Canadian governments. “I think the young man has been treated abominably,” Hallam told The Canadian Press on Saturday. “His story just moved me. He was tortured, he was kept in solitary confinement, he had light deprivation.”

• Earlier this week, the Romney campaign sent out the fire-breathing sister of serial bigot Pat Buchanan to signal that Mitt Romney no longer supported a federal constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage, and likely take a slew of civil rights away from gays and lesbians, including private sector protections and benefits, such as health insurance for partners, which might no longer be enforceable in court if the amendment were to pass. The amendment might also make domestic abuse laws unconstitutional as they pertain to unmarried straight couples. This was a flip-flop from Romney’s previous position in favor of said amendment. Then, like clockwork, just a few days later, someone yells at Romney privately and – voila! – he’s anti-gay again, and now re-supports enshrining anti-gay prejudice in the US Constitution, the same way racism and sexism was enshrined there so many years ago.

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