There are no rays of light for Mitt Romney in the secret video. Everything said at the private Florida toff's club is a liability. On security, Romney also had much to say. Most notably, the following on alleged weakness in the US military:
[And] about twice as much as China, not 10 times as much like it's reported. And we have responsibility for the whole world. They're only focused on one little area of the world, the South China Sea, the East China Sea, that's it. And they're building a military at a rapid rate. So this idea that somehow we've already spent so much money in the military--it's like, guys, don't overthink how strong we are. We--you probably know it, this was a couple of years ago, but we had one of our aircraft carriers sailing by Japan, and the Chinese pulled up behind it in a diesel sub, in a super-quiet diesel sub, pulled up behind it. It could have been torpedoed. And, I mean, we're in that kind of--our Navy's smaller in number of ships than anytime since 1917, and this president wants to shrink it. The list goes on. Our Air Force is older and smaller than anytime since '47 when the Air Force was formed, and he wants to shrink it. If we go the way of Europe, which is spending 1 to 2 percent of their economy on the military, we will not be able to have freedom in the world.
A 1917 battleship, the Delaware, scrapped in 1924.
The only thing standing between the world and a new Dark Age is the US military.
More simpleton is the argument that the total number of ships in the USN today is below that of the World War I navy, and that this has some dire meaning.
Lets have a look at the US Navy (based on old battleships and their precursors) in World War I, from an historical site:
The US Navy inflicted few losses on the German Navy - one definite U-boat plus others possibly mined in the huge North Sea barrage laid in part by the US Navy between Scotland and Norway. Also few major ships were lost to enemy action - one armoured cruiser and two destroyers. However the large and still expanding US Navy came to play an important role in the Atlantic and Western European waters, as well as the Mediterranean after the declaration of war in April 1917.
Most of the battlefleet stayed in American waters because of the shortage of fuel oil in Britain, but five coal-burning dreadnoughts served with the British Grand Fleet as the 6th Battle Squadron (US Battleship Division 9) tipping the balance of power against the German High Seas Fleet even further in favour of the Allies.
In WWI, the Royal Navy was the most powerful projector of national power in the world, followed by the German High Seas Fleet. The 1917 USN -- eh.
From another historical site:
In 1914 the Royal Navy was by far the most powerful navy in the world ... By early 1914 the Royal Navy had 18 modern dreadnoughts (6 more under construction), 10 battlecruisers ...
The Royal Navy fought the biggest heavy ship fleet action in history -- the battle of Jutland in 1916, against the High Seas Fleet -- and won.
By World War II, the "modern dreadnoughts" of the Royal Navy and USN (what were left of them) were obsolete. Practically speaking, only the British capital ships of the 5th Battle Squadron -- composed of the Queen Elizabeth class -- fought successful actions in both world wars. Warspite, one of these ships, is usually regarded as the best fighting battleship in naval history.
In 1917, there were obviously no nuclear-powered carrier strike groups, no nuclear attack or ballistic missile submarines, no cruise missiles, no nothing associated with the modern US Navy. (Number of capital units in the modern USN: 11 supercarriers, 18 ballistic missile subs, nuclear attack submatines -- lots, etc. Number of "capital," ahem, ships in 1917 USN: 16 battleships and another 23 pre-bb antiques.)
Part of the Mitt Romney comparison battleship navy of 1917, the Kansas, sent to scrap in the early 1920s.
To go further into destroying Mitt Romney's weird comparison would be the same as wasting one's time chatting with a cinder block. It's as dumbfounding as everything else in the secret video. And while Romney's vignette may have been effective with hedge fund wealth at the secret dinner, it leaves one wondering just how he came up with it.
Old Bush security advisors, one presumes. His campaign lists his national security staff here.
It is replete with old Bush men. One very familiar name jumps out -- Jim
Talent -- one of the famous quack lobbyists for bioterror defense during the height of the war on terror.
Recently, Paul Krugman characterized Romney's national security team in this manner:
And in general Romney has gathered around him the very same crew that botched Iraq.
Bear in mind that this is really a choice on Romney's part; he's under a lot of pressure from the Tea Party to show himself properly right-wing on domestic issues, but I don't think there's an important part of the GOP base that cares much either way whether he's listening to Dick Cheney's foreign policy team.
I understand, in a way, why these people are still at it; research shows that the truly incompetent often have high self-confidence, because they're too incompetent to realize that they're incompetent ...
Also from the secret videotape, Mitt Romney on Iran:
You are right, which is a nuclear Iran is an unthinkable outcome, not just for our friends in Israel and our friends in Europe, but also for us. Because Iran is the state sponsor of terror in the world, has Hezbollah now throughout Latin America, Hezbollah with fissile material. If I were Iran, and a crazed fanatic, I'd say let's get a little fissile material to Hezbollah, have them carry it to Chicago or some other place, and then if anything goes wrong or if America starts acting up, we'll just say, "Guess what, unless you stand down, why we're gonna let off a dirty bomb." This is where we head, where American can be held up and blackmailed by Iran, by the mullahs, by crazy people. So we really don't have any option but to keep Iran from having a nuclear weapon.
I'll give the specifics about Iran, and then maybe talk more broadly about foreign policy. The specific on Iran is that we should have put in place crippling sanctions at the beginning of the president's term. We did not. He will say, "Yes, but Russian wouldn't go along with us." Well, he gave Russia their No. 1 foreign objective: For a decade, all they've cared about is getting the missile defense sites out of Poland, and he gave them that and got nothing in return. He could have--I presume--gotten them to agree to crippling sanctions on Iran. He did not, which is in my opinion, one of the greatest foreign policy errors of the modern time. And by the way, if he could not have gotten that from Russia, he should have kept the missile defense sites in Poland, just to keep a bargaining chip on table. I mean, put nothing in if he wants--I would have kept them, I wouldn't have traded them away, but that's where he was.
No. 2, we should have been aggressively supporting the voices of dissent in Iran, and when there was an effort towards revolution there we should been aggressively supporting. And finally we should have made it clear, at least by now, that we have military plans to potentially remove their nuclear capabilities ...
Presently, it appears that the Obama administration is waging a sometimes very hot, secret war against Iran.
More recently, the New York Times showed the massive sales of US arms to nations on the southern side of the Persian Gulf.
And then there have been the continuing attempts to attack the infrastructures of Iran and other Middle Eastern nations with computer viruses.
Today's video music entertainment: The Rich Man's Burden.