Santorum’s presidential campaign may be nearing its end, but we will always have his unique analysis of the international scene:

We’re facing a global alliance that includes Russia, North Korea, China, Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Ecuador and of course Cuba. They are outspoken in their desire to weaken us and drive us out of their regions. Some of them–Iran, and the radical Islamists whose rise to power has been facilitated by this president–speak eagerly of destroying us, and our allies, especially Israel.

We have no strategy to deal with this gathering storm. Indeed, our leaders act as if things are getting better every day.

I think Santorum forgot to include Zimbabwe and Burma as members of this Evil League of Evil. Essentially, Santorum has surveyed the globe, found a number of governments he finds offensive in one way or another, and then declared them to be in league against us. This has been his routine for at least the last six years. It is true that these states all tend to take a dim view of U.S. involvement in their parts of the world, and they have relatively better relations with one another than the U.S. has with many of them, but it’s meaningless to refer to all of them as allies. An alliance requires shared goals, legal obligations to the other parties, and formal cooperation to achieve the alliance’s goals. Russia has an interest in retaining access to a naval base in Syria and would like to keep Assad as their client, China has a difficult patron-client relationship with North Korea, the various left-populist governments of Latin America are all quite weak, and Iran’s role in Latin America is not very significant. Many of the leaders in these states like to bluster and indulge in anti-American rhetoric, but the loudest in their verbal attacks on the U.S. also tend to be the weakest. This isn’t a “gathering storm” so much as it is a lot of gusting wind.

Santorum’s plan for toppling the Iranian government is about as well-designed as the planning for post-invasion Iraq:

Some say that this means we have to launch a military attack against Iran. I don’t believe that. I think most Iranian people want to be free of their evil regime, and millions of them have taken to the streets, in the face of security forces all too happy to kill them, to show their contempt for their leaders. It’s a revolutionary force, and we should support it.

We defeated the Soviet Union without using military means. We supported the Soviet dissidents and refuseniks, and the Soviet regime collapsed. I believe we can do the same thing in Iran.

Does it ever bother Santorum that there is no evidence that most Iranians want to overthrow their government? Isn’t it a problem for his plan that the “revolutionary force” he wants to support isn’t actually revolutionary in its goals? Isn’t it a significant obstacle that most Iranians wouldn’t want to be doing America’s bidding by toppling their government at our urging? Does he understand that limited American support for Soviet dissidents and refuseniks wasn’t what caused the dissolution of the USSR?