Posted: 10/12/12 19:17, Edited: 10/12/12 19:21
by Dave Mindeman
Romney has been looking for openings on foreign policy for months and whenever he has even a glimpse of opportunity, he has pounced -- sometimes before thinking.
The tragic incident in Libya that cost the life of a very capable and popular ambassador, Chris Stevens, is now a political football.
And although the Obama administration made some errors in release of information, there is little evidence that there was any semblance of incompetence here.
Romney, himself, in his never ending search for campaign attacks, moved to make a statement on a situation that was still very fluid and for which he had little information and for which he did not even understand that the ambassador had been killed. If he had actually been the President and was the ultimate responsible party, we would have to hope that he would not resort to such a foolish public statement.
Testimony by state department officials state that they had requested more military protection. VP Biden stated last night that such a request had not reached the President's desk. But even if it had gotten to the desk and not acted upon (as Romney is trying to promote but which is a highly dubious assertion), there is no indication that granting that request would have prevented the situation. Remember, Tripoli is where our official embassy is located. Ben Ghazi was a consulate. While it is true that Ambassador Stevens made frequent visits to BenGhazi of his own volition, we do not know if additional personell would have been used during these Ben Ghazi trips. Ambassador Stevens was a very hands on ambassador and treated the Libyans as friends, not as people to be feared.
Romney and Ryan do not have a lot of foreign policy expertise and their ideas on the world have shown more cold war mentality than 21st century thinking.
Using these tragic incidents, that can happen at any time all around the world, as campaign fodder is an unseemly way to score political points.
If Romney/Ryan wants to challenge Obama's foreign policy strategy....go ahead. Make your arguments about what you would do and please be specific. But do not just throw darts at the news of the day and hope it sticks. The world is watching.