Mitt Romney, the probably GOP presidential nominee, unveiled his national security team in a speech this week at The Citadel. Mitt’s partying like it’s 1999; this team looks set to bring about the third Bush administration. My colleague Daniel Larison gave the Romney speech the evisceration it deserves here. Here’s a link to the full text of Romney’s foreign policy speech. Excerpt:
But I am here today to tell you that I am guided by one overwhelming conviction and passion: This century must be an American Century. In an American Century, America has the strongest economy and the strongest military in the world. In an American Century, America leads the free world and the free world leads the entire world.
God did not create this country to be a nation of followers. America is not destined to be one of several equally balanced global powers. America must lead the world, or someone else will. Without American leadership, without clarity of American purpose and resolve, the world becomes a far more dangerous place, and liberty and prosperity would surely be among the first casualties.
Let me make this very clear. As President of the United States, I will devote myself to an American Century. And I will never, ever apologize for America.
Some may ask, “Why America? Why should America be any different than scores of other countries around the globe?”
I believe we are an exceptional country with a unique destiny and role in the world. Not exceptional, as the President has derisively said, in the way that the British think Great Britain is exceptional or the Greeks think Greece is exceptional. In Barack Obama’s profoundly mistaken view, there is nothing unique about the United States.
But we are exceptional because we are a nation founded on a precious idea that was birthed in the American Revolution, and propounded by our greatest statesmen, in our fundamental documents. We are a people who threw off the yoke of tyranny and established a government, in Abraham Lincoln’s words, “of the people, by the people, and for the people.”
We are a people who, in the language of our Declaration of Independence, hold certain truths to be self-evident: namely, that all men are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights. It is our belief in the universality of these unalienable rights that leads us to our exceptional role on the world stage, that of a great champion of human dignity and human freedom. … [W]e always reserve the right to act alone to protect our vital national interests.
Shorter Mitt: “USA is No. 1! God commands us to be, for we are a chosen people, and if the rest of the world doesn’t like it, tough, we’ll do what we want to do to advance our mission of spreading our values universally.
So it goes with Mitt Romney’s project for a new American century. It’s as if the Iraq War never happened, that there were no lessons to be learned from it. It’s as if Romney hadn’t noticed the dire fiscal straits our nation is in. Nothing here but stale old thinking (tip-off: using Cold War phrasing with “the free world”), rhetorical bombast, and implacable faith in the imperial project.
None of this is surprising. It is all depressing.