By Dale Bowling
Republicans believe that intimidation is all you need to have a successful foreign policy. They got their foreign policy credentials on the playground in Middle School. You just have to be the biggest and strongest geo-political bully and you'll get your way every time.
How could anyone forget when Team Bush believed that only military power (and the subsequent sacrifice of thousands of American lives and trillions of taxpayer dollars) could fix the problem of WMDs in Iraq?
This Bully Mentality was glaringly apparent in Governor Romney's speech yesterday where he
disparaged Obama's foreign policy as being too passive, naively equating strategy and subtlety with passivity.
In fact, Romney's entire speech showed he had no new ideas at all. He actually seemed to go along with Obama's policy except that he would throw the US's weight around a lot more.
You know, make friends.
Obama has been working to keep Iran from gaining nuclear capability while preventing yet another
Middle Eastern war. Romney says he would also do that - except he would also make a lot of random threats that might start another Middle Eastern War.
Democrats have encouraged the Libyans and the Egyptians to create a stable, representative
government. Republicans say that when they're in charge they will do exactly the same thing. Just that Team Mitt would issue a lot more ultimatums.
Republicans know that foreign leaders, like everybody, really love and respond to ultimatums.
Secretary Clinton and the Obama Administration have worked to build a long term solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Romney camp have already written off the Palestinians as not really wanting peace. So Republicans believe that Israel would have to dictate and implement peace between the Palestinians and Israelis.
Peace dictated by one side? What could go wrong there?
This is not to say that Democrats wouldn't or shouldn't resort to the stick, if necessary. Stronger
sanctions on Iran, limits on foreign aid if countries don't work toward democracy or peace, and even
military intervention represent the last resort in diplomacy.
Negotiation means trying to find a solution that both sides can stick to and not upend at the first
available moment. This is the most successful and cost-effective way for America to achieve its goals
and work as a force for good in the world. That approach involves hard work, give-and-take, and listening on both sides - not unilateral intimidation.
When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Despite having a large tool box at their
disposal, Republicans really only respect the hammer.