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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Team Romney still busy losing foreign policy debate the next day

Talking Points Memo:

For a candidate who frequently accuses President Obama of kowtowing to the international community, Mitt Romney’s aides sure have an optimistic view of the global justice system. A top Romney adviser suggested that the World Court could arrest Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, cutting off the regime’s leadership in one fell swoop.

During Monday’s presidential debate in Boca Raton, Fla., Romney brought up the notion of indicting Ahmadinejad for his inflammatory statements against Israel. The Iranian dictator famously was quoted in a speech saying that Israel “must be wiped off the map,” though the translation was later revealed to be somewhat inaccurate.

“I’d make sure that Ahmadinejad is indicted under the Genocide Convention. His words amount to genocide incitation,” Romney said.

According to Romney senior adviser Eric Fehrnstrom, successfully indicting Ahmadinejad would be more than just a symbolic victory.

“I think it would remove probably one of the most anti-Jewish, anti-Israel, pro-genocide members of that regime in Tehran,” he told TPM after the debate. As to whether he would actually be arrested: “I’m hoping that he would be indicted and that action would unfold following that indictment. Absolutely.”

So what, the “World Court” police just pull up to Ahmadinejad’s house and take him away in cuffs? Yeah, it doesn’t work that way. When  Fehrnstrom talks about actions that “would unfold following that indictment,” he’s talking about war. War first, then diplomacy.

Let me explain how war works. First, there’s a period of diplomacy which fails. Then there’s a period of entirely irrational human sacrifice. Then there’s a return to diplomacy and a diplomatic solution. Guess which step in this process serves no actual purpose and would best be avoided?

And even if we could just call the cops on Ahmadinejad, what would removing him accomplish? Nothing. He’s a puppet and a figurehead and he’d be replaced the next day.

Speaking of next days; it’s now day two of Team Romney swinging and missing this particular pitch.

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