Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The GOP's dangerous ignorance of foreign policy

It is amazing how Republicans typically get a free pass when it comes to needing to understand the nuances of foreign policy. Certainly it is a difficult and complex area, but all they need do is mouth a few platitudes about Obama apologizing for America and they are off to the races. GOP foreign policy seems to boil down to "Republicans strong, Obama weak" (insert caveman grunt here).

A few days ago a New York Times editorial expressed concern that candidates for the Republican presidential nomination were not saying much about national security and foreign affairs. But, as the editorial continued, now that a few are starting, we might have been better off had they not bothered:

Certainly, the Republican hopefuls have put to rest any lingering notion that their party is the one to trust on national security. The United States is involved in two wars with more than 100,000 troops overseas. China is rising, relations with Pakistan are plummeting, Iran and Korea are advancing their nuclear programs. The Middle East is in turmoil. Yet the candidates offer largely bad analysis and worse solutions, nothing that suggests real understanding and new ideas.

Have a look at the article for a better sense of the foolishness that these pretenders are peddling. But the one that really bothered me is Herman Cain's statement that "a leader" does not need to know the names of people who run places like "Ubeki-beki-beki-beki-stan-stan."

Was that supposed to be funny, Mr. Cain? I'll bet that would slay them in someone's sixth grade class. Great material for the playground.

As the Times notes, the president of Uzbekistan is Islam Karminov, an autocrat with an appalling human rights record, and Uzbekistan is an important supply route for American forces in Afghanistan. Okay, most Americans wouldn't know that, but most Americans aren't running to be president of the United States and commander-in-chief.

Just keep 'em laughin', Herm.

What an embarrassment -- the whole lot of them.

(Cross-posted at Lippmann's Ghost.)

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