Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


'President' Romney would arm Syria rebels

08 October 2012, 14:37

Washington - Mitt Romney will call for a US change of course in the Middle East on Monday, saying President Barack Obama's muddled strategy has failed to confront the challenges of extremism.

The Republican White House hopeful, offering a foreign policy vision that he and his campaign believe differs sharply from Obama's, said he would keep Iran in check, chase terrorists in Libya, put conditions on US aid to Egypt and help arm Syrian rebels.

His speech at Virginia Military Institute highlights the need to put adversaries on notice that a Romney administration would not tolerate the anti-American unrest that has been allowed to fester under Obama.

"I know the president hopes for a safer, freer and a more prosperous Middle East allied with the United States. I share this hope. But hope is not a strategy," Romney says in excerpts provided by his campaign.

"It is time to change course in the Middle East," according to Romney.

"We cannot support our friends and defeat our enemies in the Middle East when our words are not backed up by deeds... and the perception of our strategy is not one of partnership, but of passivity."

Tough Romney

Romney will use the tragedy in Benghazi, Libya, where the US ambassador and three other Americans were killed in an 11 September attack on the consulate there, as an example of how extremists are exploiting perceived US weakness.

"The attacks on America last month should not be seen as random acts. They are expressions of a larger struggle that is playing out across the broader Middle East," Romney will say, adding that the Benghazi attack "was likely the work of the same forces that attacked our homeland on September 11th, 2001".

"This latest assault cannot be blamed on a reprehensible video insulting Islam, despite the administration's attempts to convince us of that for so long," he will add, highlighting the Obama team's shifting version of events.

Romney would "vigorously pursue the terrorists" who attacked in Benghazi, "recommit America" to the goal of a two-state solution with Israel and the Palestinians, and take a tougher line with Iran.

"For the sake of peace, we must make clear to Iran through actions, not just words, that their nuclear pursuit will not be tolerated."

In Egypt, Romney said, he would use US influence - "including clear conditions on our aid" - to lean on Cairo to embrace democracy and maintain its peace treaty with Israel.

'Peace through strength'

In Syria, Romney would seek to ensure that rebels fighting strongman Bashar Assad's regime "obtain the arms they need to defeat Assad's tanks, helicopters, and fighter jets".

And in Afghanistan, he will express support for a "real and successful transition" to Afghan security forces by the end of 2014, but warned against a "politically timed retreat".

"I will evaluate conditions on the ground and weigh the best advice of our military commanders," he will say.

Romney's backers said Obama has departed from the "peace through strength" posture that has been embraced by nearly every US president since Harry Truman.

"It's a recognition that strength is not provocative; it is weakness that's provocative," Rich Williamson, a former US ambassador to Sudan under president George W Bush, told reporters on Sunday.

With the slowly improving US economy providing less of a clear-cut case for new leadership barely four weeks from the 6 November election, Romney is seeking to muscle in on turf largely seen as the dominant preserve of the president.

'Bring it on'

Obama cites the killing of Osama bin Laden, extraction from Iraq, standing up to China, and the winding down of war in Afghanistan as foreign policy accomplishments, but Romney's campaign insists the president has come up short.

"Benghazi shows that while drone attacks are helpful and the world is certainly better off that Osama Bin Laden is dead, the struggle between radical extremism and those who want moderation isn't over," Williamson said.

Obama's campaign on Sunday had a message for Romney should he wish to have a foreign policy debate: "Bring it on."

"To date, all Mitt Romney has offered is bluster and platitudes," Obama spokesperson Lis Smith said, adding that Romney has "erratically shifted positions on every major foreign policy issue".

Smith said Romney's desire to keep troops in Iraq, backing plans to explode defence spending levels for the Pentagon, and "insulting our allies and partners around the world on the campaign trail" is not mainstream policy.

Romney has ruffled feathers by denouncing countries like Greece and Spain as examples of why America should avoid European economic policies.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...