Romney retreats from the Romney doctrine; now recapitulates the Bush doctrine

“[Romney] said he hopes Iran can be persuaded to give up its nuclear ambitions. However, Romney said, if a nuclear weapon from Iran ever found its way “into the hands of terrorists and it’s used, we will not just respond to the terrorist, we will respond to the nation who gave the material to the terrorists,” reports the estimable Amy Lorentzen of the Associated Press in a story titled—without any hint of irony—Romney says Bin Laden is Deluded.

“Regardless of how [a nuclear weapon] might be used in the world, we will act,” he said, adding that military action is not just “on the table, it’s in our hand” more

This is an unreconstructed restatement of the so-called Bush doctrine, articulated shortly after 9.11. By Bush doctrine we do not mean the doctrine of pre-emptive self-defense, but rather the less controversial doctrine of reserving the right to respond to, or to retaliate against, the states that sponsor or host terrorists. The theory is simply that non-state or civil society actors must still exist and operate within and through states, even fragile or broken states—etc., etc.

This is a full on retreat from the far more radical Romney Doctrine, summed up in the line: “But there’s no question that people understand that the reason that we have the thousands upon thousands of nuclear warheads we have is that we intend to protect ourselves.” On analysis, this line—and Romney’s reasoning—dangerously conflate the notions of deterrence and revenge. Please see:

Romney dangerously confused on issues of deterrence and defense

An enterprising Romney handler must have discovered the hapless candidate’s error and corrected him. Either that or someone in the Romney campaign reads this humble, anonymous, vanity web log, because as far as we know, we are—sadly and surprisingly—the only published source to raise the alarm about Romney’s misguided intentions with respect to our massive, and planet-killing nuclear arsenal. How sadly perverse that the only published source that takes Willard Milton Romney at his word, that actually listens to him, that actually studies and tries to understand what the candidate is saying, is, well, us—and, well, to be honest, we really don’t like the guy. How odd that we seem to be his only serious audience.

We predict that as it becomes clearer that the GOP is too sick, divided, and distracted to fend off the Romneys, this will change—the media will become all too interested in what Willard Milton Romney has to say.

yours &c.
dr. g.d.


  1. 1 debate performance: Romney flip-flops on Iran—again! « who is willard milton romney?

    […] Second, Romney experiences a rare moment of lucidity, retreats from the Romney Doctrine, and issues a redaction of the Bush doctrine. See: Romney retreats from the Romney doctrine; now recapitulates the Bush doctrine […]

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