Mitt Romney reminds us that there are no substantive differencs between administration policy on Iran and his own:
And if I am president, I will begin by imposing a new round of far tougher economic sanctions on Iran. I will do this together with the world if we can, unilaterally if we must. I will speak out forcefully on behalf of Iranian dissidents. I will back up American diplomacy with a very real and very credible military option. I will restore the regular presence of aircraft carrier groups in the Mediterranean and the Persian Gulf region simultaneously. I will increase military assistance to Israel and coordination with all of our allies in the region.
If you run through this list of proposals, there is nothing that the administration has not already done or proposed doing, except perhaps for the all-important difference of “speaking out forcefully.” Increased military assistance to Israel and Arab allies has been forthcoming. Unfortunately, there is an only too-credible military option behind current Iran policy, as we have all been discussing for the last week. The administation has hardly shied away from imposing unilateral sanctions on Iran.
Three-quarters of Romney’s op-ed is made up of recycled complaints that he and other hawks have been making for the last two and a half years, and the amazing thing is that all of these complaints are extremely weak and have been answered already. I won’t rehearse why scrapping the pointless missile defense plan for Poland and the Czech Republic didn’t matter, and the advantages to the U.S. of keeping track of the Russian nuclear arsenal with inspections are obvious. There is no point in going over yet again that the Green movement didn’t want foreign help. There was nothing practical that the U.S. could have done that it didn’t do to help them, but such is Romney’s famous “pragmatism” that he doesn’t care.