By Matthew Rothschild on October 08, 2012

He denounced “the abrupt withdrawal of our entire troop presence” from Iraq, though he didn’t say how long he would have kept our troops there.

And he hinted broadly that he’d keep U.S. troops in Afghanistan beyond 2014. “I will evaluate conditions on the ground and weigh the best advice of our military commanders,” he said. “And I will affirm that my duty is not to my political prospects, but to the security of the nation.”

On Iran, he also threatened war, aligning himself squarely with Benjamin Netanyahu. “I will put the leaders of Iran on notice that the United States and our friends and allies will prevent them from acquiring nuclear weapons capability,” he said. The policy of the Obama Administration has been to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, not the capability to build them. But like Obama at the U.N. in September, Romney threatened war against Iran “for the sake of peace.” George Orwell alert!

As for Israel, Romney said: “The world must never see any daylight between our two nations.” That’s a green light for more Israeli intransigence with the Palestinians.

On China, Romney said its “recent assertiveness is sending chills through the region.” He vowed to “restore our Navy to the size needed to fulfill our missions”—and he said he’d build “15 ships per year, including three submarines.” That would put China on high alert.

And Romney seems eager to relaunch the Cold War. (Romney in April seemed to think the Soviet Union still existed, as he blamed Obama for entering “into an agreement with the Soviets, excuse me, with Russia” on nuclear weapons reductions.) “I will implement effective missile defenses to protect against threats,” he said at the VMI. “And on this there will be no flexibility with Vladimir Putin.” Similar hardline language from Romney earlier in the year only made Putin more stubbornly opposed to missile defenses—and more ready to respond with moves of his own.

See this article: www.csmonitor.com.

Romney’s approach would be sure to kick off a new arms race with Moscow.

A Romney presidency would be a boon for military contractors but no one else.

If you liked this story by Matthew Rothschild, the editor of The Progressive magazine, check out his story “Obama’s Disastrous Debate."

Follow Matthew Rothschild @mattrothschild on Twitter

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By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.


Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).


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