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Paul Abrams

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Jimmy Carter, Seven Years as Navy Officer; Mitt Romney, 0 Years in Military, 0 Years Foreign Policy Experience

Posted: 05/ 1/2012 9:03 am

Mitt Romney's latest laughable attempt to "prove" he would have ordered the bin Laden raid is now based on comparing himself, supposedly as tougher, to former naval officer and President Jimmy Carter.

President Carter served as a submarine officer in the United States Navy for seven years, eventually serving under Admiral Hyman Rickover who pioneered our nuclear submarine program.

By complete and utter contrast, when duty called Mitt Romney, when his fellow citizens were being drafted and dying in the fields of Southeast Asia, when similarly well-off contemporaries like John Kerry were volunteering, Mitt first did a Mormon mission in France and, when he returned, did not volunteer.

Romney seems to have convinced himself that he has demonstrated that he is tougher or has more capacity to make military judgments than Jimmy Carter.

If it were not dangerously delusional, it would be laughable.

Romney seems to believe that the comparison with President Carter, helps his case that he has the experience and/or independence of thought and/or cajones to make the decision, against most of the advice he would have received, to find, capture and kill Osama bin Laden?

It doesn't. It shows that Romney is even weaker, even more sniveling, even less prepared, even a worse judge of character than he has already displayed.

We know that President Carter's order to proceed with rescuing the hostages was strongly opposed in his own administration because his Secretary of State, Cyrus Vance, resigned because of it. (Yes, America, there was a time when people resigned over matters of principle).

It happened that President Carter's mission failed, and, because of it, many months later, he lost his bid for re-election to Ronald Reagan. President Carter was blamed for the failed mission. That is what happens to leaders when they make difficult decisions.

It would be interesting to learn the factual or psychological basis, from his personal history, that would have made it even remotely probable that Mitt Romney would have decided to proceed against the advice of his generals. Even the "dispel-the-wimp" theory does not work because the risk of failure was more than Mitt could have borne.

Others have looked closely at Romney's conflicting statements about what he thought about finding Osama bin Laden.

The series of articles linked here, instead, explore Romney's background, experience, and life decisions to understand his expertise and psychological capacity to make a huge decision with a high chance of failure against the advice of the generals in an area he knows nothing about.

As President Roosevelt used to say, "the tears, the crocodile tears..."

 

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