Saturday, September 8, 2012

(Opinion) US Election 2012: Why Obama Is The Best Pick For The World

There are many reasons to elect both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney for the highest office in the land, but one firm reason to elect Obama for four more years as commander in chief is that as far as foreign policy is concerned, he has been close to flawless. While we haven’t seen much of mitt Romney abroad, however, the little cameo of his foreign policy tour gave pause for thought as he insulted allies by breaking “the golden rule of state visits and general etiquette when in home of others: do not, at all costs, insult the host” [1].

This is not to say that Mitt Romney is fit for office due to a couple of blunders in the press as many politicians have made the same mistakes, but in the international context defined by its quick pace and a perpetual state of flux, Mistakes like this among less friendly company can lead to international disputes.

Romney got a little taste of this when he  foolishly compared Israel’s economic development with Palestine’s and concluded that Israel economic dominance was down to ‘cultural’ superiority (completely overlooking decades of conflict) while controversially calling Jerusalem “the capital of Israel”, a major stick in the crawl of past negotiations  between Israel and Palestine leaders[2]. Palestinians response to Romney’s comments were scathing to say the least with a senior Palestinian official describing Romney’s comments as “a racist statement” and openly questioned Romney’s ‘knowledge’ of the “region and its people”[3].

While Romney was talking at a fundraising event, it reveals certain ignorance from Romney for not expecting the eventuality of his comments to reach the wider public as when a potential president speaks; the world pays attention due the United States having it fingers in so many pies. Mitt Romney doesn’t help own case as his views on  Russia threaten to set US-Russia relations back four years by recognising Russia as a major “geopolitical foe”[4].

The Obama administration have done some great work in thawing relations between the US and  Russia with regards to nuclear counter-proliferation  which, with a Romney presidency, would become frosty with some haste due to republicans favouring a missile defence shield in Europe, a policy  strongly opposed by former and current  Russian  president Vladimir Putin[5].

In sum, while Mitt Romney mistakes abroad are not going to harm him considering the bigger picture, it does reveals a truth that every country but the US is prepared to admit, a U.S. president amenable to negotiation is much better than a U.S president who isn’t.

[1] The carnage report, 2012, Mitt Romney negative favourable: no surprise,
[2] Quoted by H. Sherwood, 2012, Mitt Romney ‘providence’ comment in Israel outrage Palestinians,
[3] Ibid
[4] R. T. Buchanan, 2012, Mitt Romney issues ‘inadmissable’ threat to Russia,
[5] J. Marson and L. I. Alpert, 2012, Putting on U.S. vote: Obama ‘Genuine’, Romney ‘Mistaken’,

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