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Romney Conflates All Muslims in New Ad

October 12, 2007

Just days after his comical "sit down with your attorneys" gaffe over military action against Iran, Mitt Romney has unveiled a new tough-on-terrorism ad. But taking a tough line against Iran's development of nuclear technology, Romney once again returned to his tried and untrue formula of conflating all Muslims into a single unified threat to the United States.
The new "Jihad" spot depict a determined Romney outside his tony Belmont, Massachusetts home. Calling for a 100,000 more troops for the U.S. military abroad and expanded domestic surveillance at home, Romney delivers the money line on Iran and the global jihadist threat:

"We can and will stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons...It's this century's nightmare, jihadism - violent, radical Islamic fundamentalism. Their goal is to unite the world under a single jihadist caliphate."

And by "they", Mitt Romney in essence means all Muslims, everywhere and at all times. Back in May, Romney anointed himself as the leading proponent of "conflation" in the war against Al Qaeda. Alarmingly and erroneously equating Sunni and Shiite, the guilty and the innocent, Romney claimed he has more than Osama Bin Laden in his crosshairs:

"But I don't want to buy into the Democratic pitch, that this is all about one person, Osama bin Laden. Because after we get him, there's going to be another and another. This is about Shia and Sunni. This is about Hezbollah and Hamas and al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood. This is the worldwide jihadist effort to try and cause the collapse of all moderate Islamic governments and replace them with a caliphate."

Despite his potentially cataclysmic misunderstanding of the potential threats faced by the United States, it was neophyte Romney who had the chutzpah to attack the foreign policy experience of his main Democratic rivals.
This latest blunder by a Romney campaign desperate to counter Rudy Giuliani's attacks this week once again highlights Mitt's combustible combination of inexperience, arrogance and ignorance. Back in February, Romney briefly led a high-profile campaign to pressure state pension funds to divest their holdings in firms doing business with Iran. That lasted about one day, just as long as it took the media to report on the ongoing Iranian business ties of Romney's former employers, Bain & Company and Bain Capital. (Ironically, neocon hardliner Frank Gaffney was on the Colbert Report pitching the Iran divestment gambit last night.) Undeterred by his continuing embarrassment over Iran, Romney in September called on the UN to indict President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on genocide charges during his visit to the world body.
In his efforts to out-tough Rudy Giuliani to date, Mitt Romney has only managed to show Americans he failed Islam 101. Perhaps he'll do better when he it comes to his promised speech on Mormonism to the American people.

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Jon Perr
Jon Perr is a technology marketing consultant and product strategist who writes about American politics and public policy.

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