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"On my part, I remain committed to the process of dialogue. It is my firm belief that dialogue and a willingness to look with honesty and clarity at the reality of Tibet can lead us to a viable solution."

Romney to Obama: You're timid, dude

April 22, 2009

Katie Connolly, Newsweek

Erstwhile Presidential aspirant Mitt Romney writes a scathing editorial
in the National Review Online today (read it here) in which calls
President Obama "a timid advocate of freedom at best." He blasts the
President for sitting through Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega's
blistering 50 minute attack on the United States at the Summit of the
Americas and offering only what Romney sees as a mild rebuke in return.
He admonishes the President for not responding to the North Korean
missile launch with financial punishments or sanctions, and for offering
"no hint of military options" toward Iran for violating the nuclear
non-proliferation treaty. "Ahmadinejad can act with confidence that the
forceful options once on our proverbial table have been shelved," Romney
writes. He fails to note, predictably, that the enhanced capabilities in
North Korea and Iran in question were largely developed under President
Bush's watch. And although he criticizes Obama for failing to deter
nuclear brinkmanship, he doesn't mention the President's proposal for a
new arms control regime or his anti-nukes speech in Prague. Still, it is
a forceful, uncompromising critique that is bound to get conservative
hearts racing.

Romney has been a fairly regular face on cable TV over the past few
months, and up until now has offered measured criticism of the
administration. That he would choose foreign policy as the subject for
his most vigorous attack, when his notable strong suit is economics and
finance, is a likely window to his barely sublimated Presidential
ambitions. And that he chose conservative magazine the National Review
to publish this attack, rather than the Wall Street Journal or the
Boston Globe where he has published before, gives us a clue as to just
who he is burnishing his foreign policy credentials for: GOP party faithful.

Here's a taste of his oped (after the jump):

At last week's Summit of the Americas, President Obama acquiesced to a
50-minute attack on America as terroristic, expansionist, and
interventionist from Nicaraguan president Daniel Ortega. His response to
Ortega's denunciation of our effort to free Cuba from Castro's
dictatorship was that he shouldn't be blamed "for things that happened
when I was three months old." Blamed? Hundreds of men, including
Americans, bravely fought and died for Cuba's freedom, heeding the call
from newly elected president John F. Kennedy. But last week, even as
American soldiers sacrificed blood in Afghanistan and Iraq to defend
liberty, President Obama shrank from defending liberty here in the Americas.

In his first press interview as president, he confessed to Arabic
television that America had "dictated" to other nations. No, Mr.
President, America has fought to free other nations from dictators. And
in Strasbourg, the president further claimed that America has "showed
arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive." London's Daily Telegraph
observed that President Obama "went further than any United States
president in history in criticizing his own country's action while
standing on foreign soil." Of course, it was not just the Daily
Telegraph that was listening: People around the world who yearn for
freedom, who count on America's resolve and support, heard him as well.
He was heard in China, in Tibet, in Sudan, in Burma, and, yes, in Cuba.
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