Maybe Mitt Romney’s confused about what “foreign” means.
The Romney campaign hyped what it called a “foreign policy speech” in Virginia yesterday. He focused on the Middle East so he missed several other big foreign policy issues. Actually, he missed a couple of Middle East issues, too.
Let’s start with Yemen, where al-Qaeda is hunkered down. Militants have mounted a number of kidnappings and are said to be interrogating an American who might be linked to terrorists. But Romney only mentioned Yemen two times during his “foreign policy” speech. Both in the vaguest of terms:
“It is a struggle that has unfolded under green banners in the streets of Iran, in the public squares of Tunisia and Egypt and Yemen, and in the fights for liberty in Iraq, and Afghanistan, and Libya, and now Syria. In short, it is a struggle between liberty and tyranny, justice and oppression, hope and despair.”
“But al-Qaeda remains a strong force in Yemen and Somalia, in Libya and other parts of North Africa, in Iraq, and now in Syria.”
Romney doesn’t outline any specifics for dealing with the mounting threat in Yemen.
Here are the foreign policy issues Romney completely left out. Not a single mention:
Sudan: Insurgents are shelling a key oil-producing city. At least 5 people were killed there today. Sudan and South Sudan split last year under a peace accord that was supposed to end decades of civil war. But the renewed violence has forced hundreds of thousands of people to leave their homes.
Mexico: The former President of Mexico says the war on drugs is a total failure and he wants to legalize drugs. Vicente Fox spoke at the World Affairs Council of Western Michigan in Grand Rapids today. He’s calling for an amended drug policy. Apparently, Romney didn’t think the drug-fueled violence was worth mentioning. By the way, current President Felipe Calderon says the drug cartels have cost the lives of 47,000 people as of August.
Europe: While Romney’s focused on the Middle East, the European financial crisis isn’t going away. Europe’s stock markets dropped today. Investors are reportedly worried about the World Bank’s forecasts for Asia’s economic growth (oh yeah, that OTHER continent).
Thousands of people protested budget cuts in 56 cities in Spain. They’re facing a second recession in three years and unprecedented unemployment.
Romney keeps proving he’s not quite ready to cover ALL the issues he’d need to tackle as president.