Jonathan Tobin should be joking when he writes this, but he isn’t:
Mitt Romney was roundly mocked in March by the mainstream media and many so-called foreign policy wise men for saying Russia was America’s top “geopolitical foe.” He was accused of attempting to revive the Cold War and an derided for his lack of understanding of international nuance by those who preferred President Obama’s much cooler approach to the regime of Vladimir Putin which has included a failed “reset” and a hot microphone promise by the president that he would be able to be more “flexible” in his second term in dealing with Russia’s demands. But three months later, with Russia sending missile defense systems to Syria, it would appear that Romney’s evaluation was right on target.
Yes, Romney was mocked for saying something about Russia that even his own Russia adviser doesn’t believe. As Richard Oppel wrote in last month’s NYT article on Romney and Russia:
Mr. Aron declined to comment, but friends say he would never argue, as Mr. Romney has, that Russia is America’s “No. 1 geopolitical foe.”
Indeed, it would take someone remarkably ignorant about contemporary geopolitical realities to make such a statement and then continue defending it for weeks. What’s even more striking is how ready some hawks are to try defending a thoroughly absurd position. Just as Russian arms sales to Syria have nothing to do with the success or failure of the “reset,” which was never going to have any influence on Russian arms sales to anyone, they do not suddenly turn Russia into America’s “number one geopolitical foe.” The fact that the U.S. objects to these sales doesn’t make those sales proof that Russia is our foremost enemy. Romney was embarrassingly wrong about Russia when he described it as “our number one geopolitical foe” three months ago, and nothing has happened since then to change that. Romney’s cheerleaders aren’t doing him any favors by reminding everyone about his egregious Russia blunder.