Vlad Putin has expressed his gratitude for Mitt Romney's candor. It has, Putin says, justified his wariness of dealing with America's leadership over missile defence systems deployed in Europe.
Moscow and Beijing know that Romney has fallen under the guidance of warmongers like John Bolton who recently wrote this delightful piece in National Review Online.
First and foremost, we should cut Syria off from its major
supporters. The television images from Syria will not change permanently
until the underlying strategic terrain changes permanently. Russia
should be told in no uncertain terms that it can forget about sustained
good relations with the United States as long as it continues to back
Assad. We should resume full-scale, indeed accelerated, efforts to
construct the limited missile-defense system designed by George W. Bush
to protect American territory not against Russia but against rogue
states such as Iran and North Korea. But we should immediately make it
clear to Moscow that we will begin to consider broadening our
missile-defense program to deal with Russian and Chinese
ballistic-missile capabilities. We should also announce our withdrawal
from the New START arms-control treaty, and our utter disinterest in
negotiations to prevent an “arms race” in space. Let Moscow and Beijing
think about all that for a while.
The magnitude of such a shift as a response to the conflict in Syria
may seem startling, but each of these proposals is meritorious on its
own terms. Wrapping several major policy redirections around the Syria
problem thus advances multiple objectives simultaneously. Both Russia
and China think Obama is weak, that America is declining, and that they
can ignore our views on Syria and many other issues with complete
impunity. It is time for a wake-up call to the Kremlin and Zhongnanhai.
Next, we should tell Iran that our patience with their decade-long
ploy of using diplomacy to gain time to advance their nuclear-weapons
program has ended. Tehran should face a stark choice, and we can leave
to their imagination what will happen if they fail immediately to
dismantle all aspects of their existing nuclear effort. We should also
reverse the fantasy still trumpeted by Obama that, despite its repeated
violations of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty over 20 years, Iran is
somehow entitled to a “peaceful” nuclear program. Until there is a new,
trustworthy regime in Tehran, there can be no claim to benefits or
“rights” under a treaty Iran has grossly abused. We should introduce
this new reality to our European friends as well, perhaps by simply
being unambiguous with them.
Finally, in Syria itself, we should do now what we could have begun
to do ten years ago (and what the Obama White House at least says it is
doing now): find Syrian rebel leaders who are truly secular and who
oppose radical Islam; who will disavow al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, and other
terrorist groups; and who will reject Russian and Iranian hegemony over
their country. We will need some reason to believe that this opposition
can prevail against not only the Assad regime but also the terrorists
and fanatics who also oppose Assad. This must be not a faith-based
judgment but a clear-eyed assessment of reality. Such is the kind of
opposition that, assuming it exists, we should support, aiming for
regime change in Damascus when — and only when — it becomes feasible on
our terms. On this matter, too, we should tell our European allies that
we want their support for something other than semiotic diplomacy.
Classic, rabid John Bolton. It has never crossed his tortured mind that America's unrivalled military superiority has utterly failed to deliver success ever since the neo-cons succeeded in foreign policy "bait and switch" substituting the threat and use of military force as a substitute for diplomacy. That Bolton now has Mitt Romney's ear is genuinely sad.