Romney to UN: Indict Iran's Ahmadinejad
Just days after highlighting his own foreign policy inexperience in a boomerang attack on his Democratic opponents, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is at it again. Returning to his favorite bogeyman in Tehran, Romney called on the United Nations to ban Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad from speaking to the world body next week and instead indict him for genocide.
Romney's penchant for grandstanding was on display in his letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. Citing Iran's support of Hezbollah, its nuclear program and General Petraeus' testimony about Tehran's backing of Shiite militia in Iraq, Romney called on the UN "to revoke any invitation to President Ahmadinejad to address the General Assembly."
Not content to rest there, Romney demanded the UN prosecute the Iranian President for his 2006 boast that he would "wipe Israel off the map." Influenced perhaps by hate speech laws or the 2002 Spielberg sci-fi stinker Minority Report, Mitt believes the Tehran tyrant should be arrested for speaking of crimes he has not yet committed:
"If president Ahmadinejad sets foot in the United States, he should be handed an indictment under the Genocide Convention."
Romney then offers his Republicans allies, virtually none of whom supported American action to halt genocide and ethnic cleansing Rwanda, Bosnia, Kosovo or Sudan, a two-fer. If the UN fails to act against Ahmadinejad, Mitt suggests President Romney would retaliate against the hated United Nations itself:
"A failure by the United Nations to take a strong stand against Iran's President Ahmadinejad would be especially disturbing given the United Nations' record of failure to prevent genocide in other circumstances and the failure of the United Nations Human Rights Council to confront the Iranian regime and others among the world's worst human rights abusers. The United States must reconsider its level of support and funding for the United Nations as we look to rebuild and revitalize effective international partnerships to meet 21st century threats."
This is just the latest episode in Mitt Romney's campaign of tough talk towards Iran. But far from displaying Romney as a visionary national security strategist, his Iran demagoguery instead shows him as an opportunist with an extreme case of foot-in-mouth disease.
Consider his much hyped - and short lived - effort in early 2007 calling on state pension funds (in Democratic states!) to divest their holdings in companies doing business with Iran. On February 22, Romney sent letters to Democratic leaders including New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, Senators Chuck Schumer and Hillary Clinton as well as state comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli urging a policy of "strategic disinvestment from companies linked to the Iranian regime." But as the AP quickly detailed, Romney's former employer (Bain & Co.) and the company he founded (Bain Capital) have extensive links to recent Iranian business deals. Apparently missing the irony, Romney responded by saying of his Iran disinvestment PR scheme, "this is something for now-forward."
As I've suggested before, Mitt Romney if nothing else is a perpetual irony producing machine. With new rumors of preparations by the Bush White House for military strikes against Iran, Romney apparently wants some of the limelight.
Even if he looks like a jackass while doing it.
For more on Mitt's cavalcade of foreign policy missteps, misunderstandings and comical gaffes, see:
- "Romney Attacks Dem Foes' Foreign Policy Experience"
- "Romney's Love-Hate Relationship with Hezbollah"
- "Romney, Cheney in Deep with Iran Investments"
UPDATE: Romney is joining Alan Dershowitz and John Bolton in calling for Ahmadinejad's prosecution for "public incitement to commit genocide" under Article 3 of the UN Genocide Convention. To date, no one (as far as I can tell) has been prosecuted by the International Criminal Court for anything other than acts of or conspiracy to commit genocide which actually occurred. Meanwhile, Mitt Romney continues to hold stock in companies doing business in Sudan...