Romney understands what the war is about

Joel Mowbray reports to Power Line on a speech by Mitt Romney while visiting in Israel.

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It’s not just that Romney strongly supports Israel—that would hardly distinguish him in American politics—it’s that his support is rooted, at least in part, in a textured comprehension of Islamic fundamentalism. For proof, read the next few paragraphs of Romney’s remarks:

“No, what we should have realized since 9/11 is that what the world regarded as an Israeli-Arab conflict over borders represented something much larger. It was the oldest, most active front of the radical Islamist jihad against the entire West. It therefore was not really about borders. It was about the refusal of many parts of the Muslim world to accept Israel’s right to exist – within any borders.

“This distinction came into vivid focus this summer. The war in Lebanon had little to do with the Palestinians. And it had nothing to do with a two-state solution. It demonstrated that Israel is now facing a jihadist front that from Tehran through Damascus to Southern Lebanon and Gaza.

“As Tony Blair astutely put it, Hizbullah was not fighting ‘for the coming into being of a Palestinian state…but for the going out of being of an Israeli state.’

“Yet we have still not fully absorbed the magnitude of the change. As far as our enemies are concerned, there is just one conflict. And in this single conflict, the goal of destroying Israel is simply a way station toward the real goal of subjugating the entire West.”

On the topic of the most pernicious present threat, Iran, Romney also offered a coherent strategy for nonviolently combating Ahmadinejad and the mullahs. He laid out a 5-point plan that included economic and diplomatic isolation of the regime, prodding Arab states to lock arms with the West, and working with “progressive” Muslims in Iran and elsewhere to “defeat radical Islam.”

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The link has the complete text of Romney's remarks. I think he is an attractive candidate for the Republican nomination. I do not think that his Mormon religion would be a deal breaker for most Americans who are pretty clueless about that religion anyway. He is probably Massachusetts's best chance of electing a President any time soon. Right now he is demonstrating an ability to campaign for the job that others like Rudy Guiliani need to emulate before they are left behind.

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