Jesus was fond of calling the Pharisees hypocrites. He called them "whitened sepulchers", bright on the outside but dead on the inside. He would get so agitated because they would claim to be holy and righteous, but were really venal and bereft of any real substance. They were always more concerned with appearance than they were with reality.
An American ambassador is killed in Libya, along with three staffers, and our embassy in Egypt is invaded. All of this caused by an insulting video about Islam posted on YouTube. The embassy in Egypt initially issued a respond criticizing those who would post such a thing knowing how it would be received. It was the wrong initial response and the White House corrected the mistake quickly.
Enter Romney the Pharisee. Seeking an opening to criticize Obama's foreign policy, Romney jumps all over the initial response and accuses Obama of apologizing to the invaders. When informed of the White House clarification, Romney then accuses Obama of sending "mixed messages" and attacks the President for a non-focused foreign policy and further criticizes him of fumbling the crisis in Syria, Egypt, Iran, and for not having a single American make it to the finals of the U.S. Open this year. (ok, the last one was mine)
None of this is new. For months Romney has accused the President of going abroad and "apologizing" for America's shortcomings. Despite a steady drumbeat of pushback from the media, and despite news organization's analysis showing Obama has never apologized to anyone, Romney continues to foist this canard on the American electorate hoping for traction. It hasn't happened so Romney tried it again by stepping on the dead bodies of innocent Americans to try to score some political points.
In a hastily called news conference, Romney defended his foreign policy chops and said his policy as President would be based on three legs. His priorities would be clear and transparent. He would make sure American take a lead role in preventing an Arab Spring from morphing into and Arab Winter, and when necessary he would use overwhelming military force...with a clear mission...a clear exit strategy...a clear rationale for the American people. This was Romney the Pharisee at his best.
Romney was an ardent and vocal supporter of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Both wars violated the "Romney" doctrine. There was no exit strategy in either and Romney has even criticized Obama for getting out of Iraq and announcing he would withdraw American forces from Afghanistan in 2014. When asked how he would handle Afghanistan and Iraq and whether he would continue an American presence, Romney the Pharisee refuses to answer. Overwhelming military force was not used in either war, and both required "surges" to try and achieve some form of victory. Neither war ever had a definition of victory which had any relation to the situation on the ground. Romney the Pharisee never objected.
Romney is most vocal in his criticism of Obama's handling of Iran. He made a trip to Israel and essentially turned over the keys to the White House, and American foreign policy, to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Romney the Pharisee says he will take America to war with Iran if Israel is threatened. Why would he go to war? What would a war accomplish? How long would the war last? How many American troops would be needed and how many would die? What would be the definition of victory? When asked any of these questions, questions taken directly from his foreign policy three-legged stool, Romney the Pharisee refuses to answer simply saying wait until after he is elected for answers.
Romney wants to get militarily involved in Syria. Why? What would be the mission? How long would it last? What would be the size of the "overwhelming" force? How would you get out? Who do you aid? Who do you arm? How do you avoid arming Al Qaida? Romney the Pharisee offers no answers.
A Romney budget would increase military spending by a couple of trillion dollars, but Romney the Pharisee refuses to say how he would pay for these increases. Romney say our biggest enemy is Russia, yet offers no reasons for this conclusion or any light on how he would deal with such an enemy in a manner different than President Obama. Perhaps what is most troubling, and proof of the Pharisaical nature of the man, Romney employs as his foreign policy advisors, the same architects of the disasters which were Iraq and Afghanistan. The same neo-cons who sold the lies to the American people and were responsible for the deaths and injury of millions, are now whispering in Romney's ear.
There may be one way to deal with Romney the Pharisee. The American people should insist they will back a President Romney and his military adventurism...they will get behind the toady for Israel...they will rally to the sides of the Napoleon of the Great Salt Lake if, and only if, the first one into combat...the first one to fly a mission...the first one to fight in the straights of Hormuz, is one of his five sons. (a doff of the hat to Peter B. Collins for the idea)
It should offend your sensibilities to watch Romney nit-pick about a statement out of the American embassy in Egypt at a time when Americans are dying and offer nothing of substance in response. Romney's approach to foreign policy is the same as his approach on the economy. Jesus would have understood him perfectly.