A drone is a mechanical or virtual intelligent agent without a human pilot on board. Its flight is either controlled autonomously by computers in the vehicle, or under or with guidance, typically by remote control. Drones can be dangerous weapons. Because their pilots are remote they cannot always identify and recognize their intended targets. Also, the collateral damage from a drone attack can be extensive. Drone attacks can result in the death of many innocent victims.
Mitt Romney’s European tour was intended to bolster his political bona fides but his gaffs are proving him to be a dangerous political drone. Romney’s first target was London. During his attempt to demonstrate his ability to represent the United States on the world stage he insulted the British by questioning whether they were prepared to host the Olympics. In an interview with NBC Romney said, “disconcerting” events surrounding Britain’s preparations makes it, “hard to know just how well it (the Olympics) will turn out.” It is one thing for Romney to make these statements as the former head of the 2002 Winter Games in Utah but another to make them as the presumptive Republican presidential nominee. London Mayor Boris Johnson derided Romney by saying to a crowd, “There’s a guy called Mitt Romney who wants to know whether we’re ready. Are we ready…? Others have compared him to Sarah Palin. Hey Mitt, here’s a newsflash, that’s no compliment.
Romney continued to politically misfire while in London. He held a London fundraiser that included employees of Barclay’s Bank, the first bank to admit that its employees were involved in the LIBOR rate setting scandal. According to MSNBC Romney also managed to insult American reporters traveling with him in London by taking questions from British reporters and ignoring the American press corps; proving that he does not understand protocol.
After insulting the people of London Romney flew to Israel. During a fund rising breakfast in Jerusalem Romney opined about the “the dramatic, stark difference in economic vitality” between the Palestinian and Israeli economies. Romney’s research and discussions with his chief donor (or pilot), Sheldon Adelson, have proven to him that Israeli accomplishments were down to “at least culture and a few other things” – oh, and also, “the hand of providence”. Rachel Shabi of The GuardianUKhas labeled this trip as “Romney’s insult-the-world tour.” Shabi also reported that some Israeli’s were insulted by Romney’s remarks. “You can understand this remark in several ways,” political scientist Abraham Diskin told the Associated Press. “You can say it’s anti-Semitic. ‘Jews and money.'”
Apparently the years of occupation, stealing prime real-estate to build settlements, ignoring numerous UN resolutions,unprovoked attacks on Palestinian farmers, and limiting exports of Palestinian produce have had no impact on Palestinian economic development. One can only wonder what Romney’s research has taught him about the impact that the vestiges of slavery and Jim Crow have had on African American progress. It must be “culture” and “the hand of providence.” Romneyobviously subscribes to 19th Century columnist John O. Sullivan’s idea that America’s (Anglo-Saxon) success through expansion and exploitation is a result manifest destiny. He must also subscribe to terms like “American exceptionalism” andformer President George W. Bush’s term, “American internationalism”.
The collateral damage from Romney’s attacks could be devastating and long-lasting. While in Israel, through his spokesman, Romney also gave tacit encouragement for an Israeli strike on Iran. His foreign policy advisor, Dan Senor said that Romney would back unilateral Israeli action to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons. “If Israel has to take action on its own, in order to stop Iran from developing that capability the governor would respect that decision,” Senor told reporters.
Romney also mistakenly recognized Jerusalem as the country’s capital, “It is a deeply moving experience to be in Jerusalem, the capital of Israel,” he said, while opening a speech in the Holy City. The reality is that this is in direct conflict with the fact that Muslim’s, Christians, and Jews all have ties to the Holy City, the international community does not recognize Jerusalem as such, and this conflicts with a careful US policy of maintaining its major presence in Tel Aviv. Once again, the political drone struck the wrong target.
When drones fall into the wrong hands they can be very dangerous weapons. On the domestic front, Governor Mitt Romney was “pro-choice” and led the way at the state level to reform healthcare in Massachusetts. Presidential candidate Romney is now controlled by the Christian Right and has flown off course and become “Pro-Life” and has vowed to do away with Planned Parenthood. Now, ultra-conservative ideological pilots have changed Romney’s course and today he is targeting “Obama-Care”.
As outlined above, Romney’s initial foray into international politics has proven to be his “insult the world tour.” In order to curry favor with the political extreme elements of his party Romney has become misguided, flown way off course, and is striking the wrong targets. Someone needs to tell Mitt Romney that the President is the Commander-in-Chief not the Panderer-in Chief.
He’s become a political drone and drones are dangerous. America does not need them hovering over its skies and doesnot need them hovering over its political landscape.
Dr. Wilmer Leon III is a political scientist at Howard University and host of the nationally broadcast call in talk radio program “Inside the Issues with Wilmer Leon” on Sirius/XM channel 128. Go to www.wilmerleon.com or Dr. Leon’s Prescription @ Facebook.com or www.twitter.com/drwleon