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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Is Israel better off with Romney in the White House?

On Sunday, I blogged a CNN interview with Michael Hayden, a former CIA director in the Bush administration and a key adviser to Mitt Romeny. In the interview, surprisingly (and in a minute I'll explain why it's surprising), Hayden defended President Obama's feckless Iran policy and the discredited 2007 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran, which claimed that Iran had given up developing a nuclear weapon in 2003.

Caroline Glick weighs in on the Hayden interview and asks some questions I've been wondering about myself, particularly regarding Jennifer Rubin's cheerleading for Romney (for an example of her pounding on Rick Santorum, go here).
The fact that this is the view of Romney's adviser has to make you wonder why all the pro-Israel American Jewish policy wonks have been going after every Republican candidate other than Romney with such intensity. It's fine to support Romney or any other Republican over Obama. Certainly, Romney would be better for the US and the US economy than Obama.

But the fact is that while Romney is more pro-American than Obama is and would be friendlier to Israel and the US's other allies than Obama has been, he isn't that great on the issues that these Jewish pundits care about. He certainly isn't as strong as the other candidates including Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich and before them Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry. He's okay. He's better than Obama. But he isn't the best the Republican field has offered. Certainly it makes sense to support him. But it makes no sense to go to to the mattresses for him against every other Republican contender.

But whether the Jennifer Rubins of the American Jewish punditocracy take note of the problem or not is secondary to whether Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu notices it.

The message that Hayden just transmitted to Netanyahu is very clear and it is crucial that Netanyahu hears it.

Hayden's oped is as clear a warning to Israel as Obama's statement to Medvedev about being more anti-American after he gets reelected. What Hayden just told us is that as far as Iran's nuclear weapons program is concerned, it doesn't matter who is in the White House in January 2013.
Caroline has got it right, and yet that this is Hayden's view is also surprising.
On CNN on Sunday, former CIA director Michael Hayden sounded an awful lot like he was advocating the exercise of a military option against Iran's nuclear program.
My personal view is that Iran left to its own devices will get itself to that step right below a nuclear weapon," said Hayden, "and frankly that will be as destabilizing as their actually having a weapon.”

The former CIA director stated that an attack on Iran had not originally been a serious option, but in light of Iran's intensified pursuit of nuclear materials, the military option "may not be the worst of all possible outcomes.”
Has Hayden changed his mind? Is there a fix in? Why are Santorum and Gingrich getting such short shrift from many - if not most - Republican supporters of Israel? And why is Gingrich staying in the race if all he can hope to accomplish is to prevent Santorum from slugging it out with Romney?

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At 10:51 PM, Blogger Max Coutinho said...


Loved this article.
Well, none of Republican presidential candidates are suitable for the White House - I often ask myself if they were the best Republicans could come up with (answer: no, it wasn't).

Mitt Romney is not better than President Obama. Pres. Obama thinks, Mitt Romney reacts...this is never good. Mitt Romney pretends to be pro-Israel: when his mouth says it his eyes say otherwise; again, not good.
Either way, Romney, Santorum, Paul and Gincrich represent old American, an America the world does not like nor wants to deal with.

You ask important questions in the end and all I can say is that the Republican primaries are like Pres. Obama's conversation with Medvedev: it is not what it seems.



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