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Is a Vote for Romney a Vote for War?

Do you remember that time during the 2000 presidential campaign, when George W. Bush made clear to the American people that if he became the next President of the United States, he would take the country to war with Iraq -- a war that would kill 4,484 Americans, "wound" 22,490, give hundreds of thousands of Americans head injuries and post-traumatic stress, not to mention killing hundreds of thousands of Iraqis?

You don't remember that? Me neither.

Shouldn't the fact that the Iraq war was a consequence of George W. Bush becoming president, although that consequence was not apparent in 2000, inform how we judge the likely consequences of Mitt Romney becoming president?

No one can say that a war with Iran would be a certain consequence of Mitt Romney becoming president. Some of Romney's war-mongering could be campaign bluster. President Bush engaged in a lot of saber-rattling towards Iran, but he never attacked Iran. Maybe a President Romney would be the same.

Who wants to roll the dice?

Here are some things we know about Mitt Romney. He has promised a more confrontational military policy towards Iran. His advisers include people who have been cheerleaders for war with Iran, and were cheerleaders for the Iraq war. He has pledged to increase the military budget. His advisers include people directly affiliated with military contractors who stand to profit if there were a new war and the military budget were increased. Furthermore, he opposes withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan, and he opposes the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq, although the Iraq withdrawal is supported by eight in ten Americans, including the majority of Republicans.

Here's another thing we know about Romney: he is a "chickenhawk", someone who loves war so much that he never served when he had the opportunity to do so, but wants to send other people's children off to die and be maimed.


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No one can say that a war with Iran would be a certain consequence of Mitt Romney becoming president. But, knowing what we know now about the consequences of the 2000 election, about Romney's own statements, and about his advisers, is it not reasonable to infer that if Mitt Romney became the next President of the United States, the probability of war with Iran would significantly increase?

If that is true, would that not be reason enough to take whatever reasonable actions are within our power to stop Mitt Romney from becoming President?

Should there not be a Super Pac explicitly devoted to educating Americans about the danger that Mitt Romney becoming President will lead to more war? Shouldn't such a Super Pac be formed now? Why wait until September to start educating and mobilizing Americans against this? Might that not be too late? Why wait to defend the city until the barbarians are at the city gates? Shouldn't we try to stop the barbarians from reaching the city gates?

Aren't there a lot of Americans who don't want another war? Wouldn't some of them contribute money to such a Super Pac?

Wouldn't such a Super Pac make compelling 30 second TV ads attacking Romney for his war advocacy? Wouldn't those ads get a lot of press coverage?

Wouldn't those ads, and the attendant press coverage, have the additional benefits of educating a lot of Americans about the danger of a new war, and fortifying them against it?

Robert Naiman

Robert Naiman

Robert Naiman is Policy Director at Just Foreign Policy. Naiman has worked as a policy analyst and researcher at the Center for Economic and Policy Research and Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch. He has masters degrees in economics and mathematics from the University of Illinois and has studied and worked in the Middle East. You can contact him here.

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