‘October Surprise’ In September? Romney Attacks Obama On Foreign Policy
The Romney Campaign is trying to capitalize on Mideast events and Israeli-U.S. tensions over Iran nuclear program to gain election advantage.
In the aftermath of the mob attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi in Eastern Libya, and the tragic killing of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other U.S. diplomatic officials late Tuesday evening; the Romney Campaign issued an ill-conceived attack on President Obama before all the facts had been sorted out, inflaming an already tense diplomatic situation.
While details of the mob attack on the U.S. Consulate were still murky and, indeed, even before confirmation of the deaths and identification of those killed, the Romney Campaign released a statement condemning Obama. Claiming “outrage” that the Obama Administration first response to attacks in Benghazi, Libya and Cairo, Egypt was to “sympathize” with the mob, adding, “It’s disgraceful that the Obama Administration’s first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks.”
Never to miss an opportunity to attack the president, even half-term Alaska Governor and defeated 2008 vice presidential candidate, Sarah Palin issued a criticism on her Facebook Page, stating; “Apparently President Obama can’t see Egypt and Libya from his house.” The Obama Campaign was quick to respond through spokesman Ben LaBolt, who said of Romney, “We are shocked that, at a time when the United States of America is confronting the tragic death of one of our diplomatic officers in Libya, Governor Romney would choose to launch a political attack.”
In fact, the attacks on the two American diplomatic missions, which had been sparked by an amateur You Tube Video maligning the Prophet Mohamed, prompted a statement by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, “We are heartbroken by this terrible loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and those who have suffered in this attack,” she said of the dead officer. Clinton went on to deplore the violence, “Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior as a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet,” she said. “The United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. Our commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation. But let me be clear: There is never any justification for violent acts of this kind.”
The attack by Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney is yet another example of tasteless opportunism in the face of an inflammatory international situation and an attempt to capitalize politically on the tragic deaths of Americans serving their country. Smarting from low poll numbers relative to his lack of foreign policy experience, Romney has been making clumsy efforts to improve his credentials in this area. This is especially true after public criticism over his failure to even mention support for America’s military or the Afghanistan War, the longest in U.S. history, in his RNC acceptance speech .
While it is still only mid-September, the events of Tuesday could signal an “October Surprise” in the area of American foreign policy. Such presidential campaign tactics have historically had an impact on elections during the last few weeks leading up to the November voting. While world events have always been volatile on their own merit there has been rampant speculation, and more than a little ‘smoking gun’ evidence, to suggest that American politicians have frequently used the machinations of foreign events and personalities to boost their sagging campaigns and poll numbers.
The most notable example of this was during the lead-up to the 1980 Presidential Election, when American Embassy hostages were being held in Tehran, Iran after the Islamic Revolution of 1979 and were ‘miraculously released’ after 444-days of captivity; only after Ronald Reagan was sworn in on January 20, 1981. There is a wide body of evidence to more than suggest that the Reagan Campaign team made unspecified promises or assurances through intermediaries such as PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat, for the Iranians to hold the hostages until Reagan’s election and Inauguration in order to doom Jimmy Carter’s reelection. A lengthy, detailed article by Robert Parry, published August 18th on consortiumnews.com, chronicles those events and raises the spectre of an Obama “October Surprise” relative to the Iranian nuclear program and recent increased tensions between Israel and the U.S. over a military course of action.
I highly recommend you read the entire article to compare and decided for yourself the similarities between 1980 and 2012, amazingly with many of the same player states…the U.S., Israel and Iran among them. I cite the first two paragraphs of this insightful article as instructive in that regard:
There is doubt in some quarters that Israel’s Likud government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would time an attack on Iran in the weeks before a U.S. election with the goal of dooming the incumbent Democratic president, Barack Obama, or forcing his hand to commit American military might in support of Israel.
But there was a precedent 32 years ago when another Likud government had grown alienated from the Democratic president and found itself in a position where it could help drive him from office by covertly assisting his Republican rivals in another crisis involving Iran.
Some telling indicators in the possible scenario of Romney Campaign ‘machinations’ in American foreign policy debate and decisions, can be traced back as far as his long friendship with Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu, the ultra-conservative Israeli Prime Minister, going back to their work as investment brokers in Boston in the 1970’s. Romney’s recent trip to Israel arranged by top foreign policy advisor and prominent Iraq War Neocon, Dan Senor and accompanied by mega-wealthy Romney Campaign donor Sheldon Adelson, may have set events in motion toward war between Israel and Iran before the 2012 Presidential Election, rather than allowing sanctions and diplomacy by the Obama Administration to effect a possible solution short of war.