LOOK FOR ROMNEY TO SUPPORT A STRIKE ON IRAN AND INCREASING SUPPORT FOR MORE WARRING EFFORTS ON OUR PART IN AN ALL TOO LIKELY REGIONAL WAR.
(Everything is in place for a strike on Iran; the political dynamic, the public softened up and the weaponry to do the job…and Mitt “The Twit” Romney will make it easier for Israel and Obama; The man is truly stupid!)
JERUSALEM—Mitt Romney Arrived In Israel Saturday Looking To Reset An Overseas Trip That Was Aimed At Proving Him To Be A Capable Leader On The World Stage.
But his overseas debut was undermined almost from the very moment he arrived in London, the first stop of his seven-day tour, when he admitted he found the city's Olympic preparations "disconcerting."
While Romney later dialed back the assessment, his comments set off a firestorm within the British media--which labeled him "Mitt the Twit"--and prompted rebukes from key officials, including Prime Minister David Cameron and London Mayor Boris Johnson.
But Romney's rough few days in London could be nothing compared to the task ahead in Israel. While the presumptive Republican nominee will be on somewhat friendlier territory—he and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have been friends since they worked together at the Boston Consulting Group in 1976—Romney will be navigating far trickier diplomatic territory in what is considered one of the most sensitive foreign-policy regions in the world.
His every word and action will face even greater scrutiny than in Great Britain, as Romney faces intense pressure to explain how he would handle the Middle East differently than Obama.
Back home, Romney has repeatedly cast himself as someone who would be a far friendlier ally to Israel. The GOP candidate has repeatedly said he would "do the opposite" of President Barack Obama when it comes to the Middle East—though he hasn't specified exactly what that means in terms of policy.
Speaking before the Veterans of Foreign Wars convention in Reno, Nev., last Tuesday, Romney issued a blistering critique of Obama's handling of Israel, trashing him for his "shabby treatment" of leaders in the region. In one of his harshest slaps to Obama's foreign-policy agenda yet, Romney trashed the president for "lecturing Israel's leaders." Israel, Romney said, deserves "better than what they have received from the leader of the free world."
It was a red-meat speech to Republicans and supporters of Israel—and no doubt was timed to stir up support for Romney ahead of his visit here. But Romney won't be able to repeat that rhetoric during his two-day visit here. He faces pressure to explain his Middle East policy while at the same time abiding by his rule of not criticizing the president while overseas—a dilemma that could be tricky for the GOP candidate as he seeks to distinguish himself against Obama here.
But Dan Senor, a top foreign-policy adviser to Romney, insisted the GOP candidate is coming to Israel to "learn" rather than "contrast" his policies with Obama's. He cited the Romney campaign's cooperation with Daniel Shapiro, the U.S. ambassador to Israel who was appointed by Obama, as a sign that the former Massachusetts governor wasn't seeking to undermine the president while abroad.
"Our approach is no surprises on either side," Senor said, adding that Romney wasn't unveiling new policy in the region because it could be interpreted as "inherent critique" of the current administration.
"We are working very hard to make sure we don't do that," Senor insisted. "We don't want to criticize the president on foreign soil."
[Get more updates from Romney's overseas trip by following @hollybdc on Twitter]
On Sunday, Romney has a full slate of meetings with top officials in the region, including Netanyahu, Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad. He will also meet with key members of Israel's security cabinet, including Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.
Romney wraps up the day with what aides have described as a major speech against the backdrop of Old Jerusalem. Senor told reporters Romney would show his support for Israel "in a very public way" by focusing on the "common" values and "shared" agenda between the two nations—especially on security issues.
"The challenges and the threats to Israel are the challenges and threats to America, and the opportunities awaiting Israel are the opportunities awaiting America," Senor said.
But Romney's trip is not just aimed at casting him as a statesman in a troubled region. His journey is also aimed at making inroads with Jewish voters who have been unhappy with Obama's handling of the Middle East. He's also looking to boost his campaign's bank account.
On Monday morning, Romney is set to headline a major fundraiser at King David Hotel in Jerusalem, where the price of admission is upward of $50,000 per person. (The campaign is raising cash from American citizens only, since contributions from foreign donors is against campaign finance law.) The proceeds go to the Romney Victory Fund—a joint fundraising committee set up between the Romney campaign, the Republican National Committee, and several state Republican parties.
Many of Romney's prominent Jewish supporters have been invited to fly in from the U.S. for the event, and the guest list includes Sheldon Adelson, the Las Vegas casino magnet who has contributed more than $20 million so far in this election cycle to Republican candidates and conservative groups.
Under long-standing rules between the campaign and its traveling press corps, Romney's comments at the Monday fundraiser would normally be open to a small pool of reporters. But on Saturday, as Romney flew from London to Tel Aviv, a campaign spokesman abruptly announced the fundraiser would be closed to the press.
Asked why the fundraiser was now closed to the media,Romney's traveling press secretary Rick Gorka replied, "No comment."
JERUSALEM (AP) — Mitt Romney Would Back An Israeli Military Strike Against Iran Aimed At Preventing Tehran From Obtaining Nuclear Capability, A Top Foreign Policy Adviser Said Sunday, Outlining The Aggressive Posture The Republican Presidential Candidate Will Take Toward Iran In A Speech In Israel Later In The Day.
Romney has said he has a "zero tolerance" policy toward Iran obtaining the capability to build a nuclear weapon.
"If Israel has to take action on its own, in order to stop Iran from developing the capability, the governor would respect that decision," foreign policy adviser Dan Senor told reporters ahead of the speech, planned for late Sunday near Jerusalem's Old City.
Romney believes the option of a U.S. attack should also be "on the table." He has said he will do "the opposite" of what U.S. President Barack Obama would do in his approach to Israel.
The Obama administration hasn't ruled out the military option, but Obama has so far been relying on sanctions and diplomatic negotiations to discourage Iran from building a nuclear bomb.
For its part, Iran says it is not interested in nuclear weapons and its nuclear program is for peaceful, civilian purposes.
The Israelis are considering a strike because they fear Iran could be moving its nuclear enrichment sites further underground, out of reach of the weapons Israel has available.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday welcomed Romney as "a representative of the United States" and told the Republican presidential candidate he agrees with his approach to the threat of a nuclear Iran.
Netanyahu said he listened to Romney's speech in Reno, Nev., where the likely GOP nominee said that Iran possessing nuclear capability is the greatest danger facing the world.
"Mitt, I couldn't agree with you more," Netanyahu told Romney.
"We have to be honest and say that all the sanctions and diplomacy so far have not set back the Iranian program by one iota. And that's why I believe that we need a strong and credible military threat coupled with the sanctions to have a chance to change that situation," Netanyahu said.
An Israeli newspaper reported Sunday that the Obama administration's top security official briefed Netanyahu earlier this month on U.S. plans for a possible attack on Iran.
According to the Haaretz daily, National Security Adviser Tom Donilon sought to reassure Israel that Washington is prepared to act militarily should diplomacy and sanctions fail to pressure Iran to abandon its nuclear enrichment program.
A senior Israeli government official, however, denied the report, saying "Nothing in the article is correct."
Iran's nuclear program has become the most pressing problem for the U.S. and Israel and Republicans have consistently criticized Obama for putting too much pressure on Israel in the peace process and being too weak on Iran.
Obama rejects the criticism, and his aides point to what they call unprecedented U.S.-Israeli security cooperation.
Senor was previewing the speech Romney plans in Jerusalem after he spends the day meeting with Israeli officials.
"Make no mistake: the ayatollahs in Tehran are testing our moral defenses. They want to know who will object, and who will look the other way." Romney says in an excerpt of his speech provided to reporters. "My message to the people of Israel and the leaders of Iran is one and the same: I will not look away; and neither will my country."
Over the course of the day, Romney will confront some of the world's most difficult peace and security challenges as he looks to demonstrate to Jewish and evangelical voters back home that he's a better friend to Israel than Obama.
Romney faces high stakes as he begins his talks with top Israeli officials and meets with the Palestinian prime minister. Mindful of polls back home that show a tight presidential contest, the former one-term Massachusetts governor is looking to burnish his foreign policy credentials and prove his mettle as a possible commander in chief.
The trip is a chance for Romney to draw implicit contrasts with Obama and demonstrate how he would lead America on the world stage.
But Romney arrived in Jerusalem Saturday night after a difficult few days in Britain, where he made the mistake of criticizing the country's Olympic Games and raised the hackles of his hosts. The gaffe undermined the stated goal of his weeklong journey through Britain, Israel and Poland: emphasizing America's ties with longstanding allies.
"In a time of turmoil and peril in Israel's neighborhood, it is important that the security of America's commitments to Israel will be as clear as humanly possible. When Israel feels less secure in the neighborhood, it should feel more secure of the commitment of the United States to its defense," Romney said in a Friday interview with the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.
Romney has pledged not to criticize Obama while on foreign soil, honoring longstanding American tradition of leaving politics at the water's edge. But his aide's announcement of Romney's willingness to express support for an Israeli strike while in Jerusalem represents an effort to contrast the two presidential opponents.
In addition to Netanyahu, Romney met with other Israeli officials and will also sit down with Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.
Romney planned to spend the evening dining at Netanyahu's home — the Israeli leader invited Romney and his wife to break the fast for the Jewish holiday Tisha B'Av. The holy day, celebrated Sunday, commemorates the destruction of two temples in Jerusalem.
Romney and Netanyahu have known each other since both were young businessmen at Boston Consulting Group in the 1970s.
On Monday, Romney plans a fundraiser with top American supporters in Israel, some guests have flown in from the U.S. specifically for the event. His campaign has barred reporters from covering his comments to the 50 or so wealthy backers who will gather at the luxurious King David Hotel — all of whom will have donated $50,000 or raised at least $100,000.
Keeping the remarks private is a change from how Romney handles fundraisers in the United States, where a group of reporters are allowed into events held in public spaces like hotels.
While Romney is left to implicit contrasts with his Democratic opponent, Obama has been focusing on Israel, signing legislation on Friday increasing military and civilian ties between the U.S. and Israel. And he authorized the release of an additional $70 million in military aid for Israel, a previously announced move that appeared timed to Romney's trip.
The Biggest Conventional Bomb Ever Developed Is Ready To Wreak Destruction Upon The Enemies Of The US. Air Force Secretary Michael Donley Said Its Record-Breaking Bunker-Buster Has Become Operational After Years Of Testing.
“If it needed to go today, we would be ready to do that,” said Donley. “We continue to do testing on the bomb to refine its capabilities, and that is ongoing. We also have the capability to go with existing configuration today.”
The Pentagon has spent $330 million to develop and deliver more than 20 of the precision-guided Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) bunker-busters, which are designed to blast through up to 200 feet of concrete.
Although there has previously been a bigger nuclear device, the new conventional rocket is six times the weight of the previous bunker-buster used by the US Air Force, and carries an explosive payload of 5,300 pounds.
US military chiefs openly admitted the weapon was built to attack the fortified nuclear facilities of “rogue states” such as Iran and North Korea. Although the Pentagon insists that it is not aimed at a specific threat, unnamed officials within the ministry have repeatedly claimed the bomb is being tailor-made to disable Iranian nuclear facilities at Fordo, or at least to intimidate Tehran.
Iran is working at breakneck speed to expand its Fordo uranium enrichment facility, which is built inside a mountain in the heart of the country, and has previously been declared “impregnable” by senior officials in Tehran. Iran has often paraded its fast-advancing nuclear program, while denying that it intends to build a nuclear bomb.
Earlier this year, the Pentagon rapidly diverted $120 million in two separate tranches from other weapons programs to MOPs. The money was transferred to significantly redesign and upgrade the precision-guided missile to provide “an enhanced threat response” against the “deepest bunkers.”
Donley’s claim can be read as a reassertion of US determination to thwart Iran’s atomic ambitions.
Whether the MOP would be able to actually destroy Fordo is open to debate and may not be known by either of the sides.
The effectiveness of bunker-busters depends on the strength of the soil into which it plunges, how well it makes contact, and the internal structure of the facilities. In the case of Fordo, the US may only have a sketchy idea of its layout.
At best, the US believes a successful strike could set the Iranian program back several years, and, at worst, to at least collapse the passageways to the facility and force substantial rebuilding work.
Two bombs can be mounted simultaneously on a modified B-52 bomber, and a US official previously claimed the effectiveness of any operation would depend on how many “tries at the apple” the US bombers get.
Nonetheless, even if the MOP can be of limited effectiveness against Iran, the United States has precious little alternative. The only other weapon capable of destroying such a facility from the air would be a tactical nuclear missile.
JERUSALEM — Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, who touched down here Saturday night for a day of meetings with top Israeli and Palestinian leaders, plans to wrap up his visit to Israel by collecting money from some of his biggest benefactors behind closed doors.
Some of Romney’s Jewish donors are flying here from the United States to attend the Jerusalem fundraiser on Monday morning, including Las Vegas casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, who has pledged to personally give tens of millions of dollars to a pro-Romney super PAC.
But Romney’s campaign announced Saturday that it would block the news media from covering the event, which will be held at the King David Hotel. The campaign’s decision to close the fundraiser to the press violates the ground rules it negotiated with news organizations in April, when Romney wrapped up the Republican nomination and began opening some of his finance events to the news media.
Under the agreement, a pool of wire, print and television reporters can cover every Romney fundraiser held in public venues, including hotels and country clubs. The campaign does not allow media coverage of fundraisers held in private residences.
Campaign spokesman Rick Gorka declined to explain the campaign’s decision to violate protocol with the Jerusalem event. Pressed repeatedly by reporters to offer an explanation, Gorka said only that the fundraiser was “closed press.”
“That’s all I’ve got for you — it’s closed press,” Gorka said.
Romney has a history of delivering different messages to his donors when reporters are not present to hear them.
At a closed-press fundraiser in Florida this spring, reporters from NBC News and the Wall Street Journal, without Romney’s knowledge, overheard the candidate outline new tax policy proposals and suggest that he might dramatically downsize the Department of Education and eliminate the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
US/NATO/Israel attack on Iran would be a catastrophe for everyone - Bill Ayers
US wars of “invasion, aggression and occupation” are no longer sustainable economically and socially, veteran war critic and US scholar Professor Bill Ayers told RT. He adds that if NATO, the US or Israel attack Iran, it would lead to a catastrophe.
The activist says America has an old colonial mentality and grotesque double standards. Washington is frantic about the possibility that Iran might have a nuclear warhead someday – but not frantic about the fact that Israel, as Ayers says, is the third-largest nuclear power in the world. And it is not part of nuclear non-proliferation treaty, or even admits to having the weapons.
Ayers is part of the Occupy Wall Street movement, which he says has a growing “anti-war energy.”
RT: Let’s get started with protests in the United States. We’ve seen the Arab Spring, we’ve seen the uprisings in Europe, we’ve seen Occupy Wall Street in the United States. Who do you think is really the face of the modern protester in the US today?
Bill Ayers: Well, I think Occupy is an unpredictable but wonderful development and it comes directly out of the Arab Spring. The idea that people can actually make a difference is infectious. And so Occupy came out of Madison and Madison came out of Tahrir Square and Tahrir Square came out of Bradley Manning and WikiLeaks. So we kind of can see a real development where people are saying that the world as it is, is not the world as it must be, it could be otherwise and when people feel that way they get into motion, they get into action. Very exciting, very hopeful.
RT: We obviously have critics of Occupy Wall Street who say that the main flaw of the movement is a lack of a tangible unified message. Do you think this kind of message exists apart from the obvious Occupy Wall Street, what is it really about?
BA: Well, I think people are mistaken with that kind of criticism. Occupy is not a point of arrival, it is not a manifesto, it is not a demand. Occupy is an invitation and it is an opening of a public space. That means that every grievance, every complaint, as well as, every aspiration and dream can find a place in a new, open public square. I think Occupy already has accomplished something amazing, which has shifted the frame on how we discuss wealth, how we discuss war, how we discuss austerity.
The metaphor the 1 per cent, 99 per cent is a marvelous metaphor. But as usual power responds to these kids of upheavals in a pattern that is predictable. They ignored Occupy for a while, then they ridiculed it, then they tried to co-opt it with language like “what is your demand” and then they beat it up and then they repeat it. That is very typical of how these things happen, but Occupy is not going away: it’s morphed, it’s transformed. So Occupy is a marvelous thing and is still evolving and we shall see.
RT: Occupy also seems to have brought police violence and arrests that we have not seen in a while in the United States. And every time there are clashes, like we saw here in Chicago, it seems to be the protesters are saying the police are violent, the police are saying the protesters are violent. Who is right?
BA: What we see in our whole society is militarization of our society. So when NATO comes together for example for a summit, this is an organization all wearing suits and ties, all speaking very quietly, but they represent three-quarters of the military budget in the world, three-quarters are represented by the NATO-G8 world. And that is violence that is institutional violence.
So in Chicago, when there were clashes between NATO demonstrators and police we have to also note that the city was incredibly militarized. That is there were tens of thousands of police in the streets, gear that nobody had ever seen before, troop carriers, buses transformed into military vehicles. We take for granted in this country that the military must be under civilian control. If it’s not under civilian control it is a dictatorship. Well what is NATO under, how is NATO governed? Who takes care of making sure that it is not a military dictatorship and the problem is in many ways it is.
RT: Obviously people are quite annoyed to see millions spent on a summit, billions spent on wars abroad, whereas, obviously a lot of people are still not in the best economic situation. What is this all about? Is there a huge disconnect between those in power and the people or is this something that is purposefully being done?
BA: Well I think both are true. Is there a huge disconnect? Absolutely. What is NATO, if it is not kind of a fig leaf for the United States? NATO in Europe for example has 260 tactical nuclear weapons. Those are not allowed under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, but they are allowed because NATO is not a signatory. It is a way around the law, it is a way around common sense. But speaking of a disconnect, yes there is a disconnect: [only] 27 per cent of Americans support the war in Afghanistan and we can’t end it. This has been true for seven years. No one wants it.
Eleven years ago when the war started, we could have said “this is a police action, to get the people who did 9/11.” But no, it was an invasion and a war. We overthrew the government.
Where are we 11 years later? They are now talking about negotiating with the Taliban and moving out of Afghanistan, but leaving $4 billion a year in American aid. That is an outrage and it should be an outrage. That is why only 27 per cent still support that war, but we cannot end it. That is a disconnect between power and the people.
RT: The first time we interviewed you, four years ago, you said you wanted to create the biggest anti-war movement in the US. Are you closer to that? Is Occupy Wall Street part of that?
BA: The energy of Occupy is in part an anti-war energy. It is an energy that says our priorities are all messed up, our society is off the tracks spending trillions on war every couple of years while we ignore basic human needs, privatizing the public space, destroying the electoral process under the term “reform”, reforming everything from public school to elections to pensions.
And what reform is, is a kind of cover for destruction. I think that the anti-war movement is represented in the Occupy moment. My hope is that we continue to evolve and grow.
RT: Do you think with the wars the US is fighting it is living beyond its means? Can it really sustain those wars?
BA: Absolutely not. And one of the things that happened to the old Soviet Union was that it spent itself into destruction. I mean, you cannot arm at this level and create the conditions for an arms war with China, with India, with Russia, with all the countries of South Asia. It is an outrage that we are now entering into a new arms race, which is going to spend us into catastrophe. It is anti-democratic, it is not what people want, it is not how we want to see ourselves and it is something that has to end.
RT: What do you think about US and NATO missile defense plans? Is that necessary?
BA: Absolutely unnecessary. If you think of all the toys and gimmicks and war materials that are being developed, what are they for? Why 150 American military bases abroad? What are they doing? Who are they encircling? So now it gives itself permission for preemptive war, for war against non-state actors, which can take the form of any country it wants to invade, so NATO in Afghanistan, NATO in Iraq, NATO in Libya – these are illegal, immoral, and unnecessary moves.
RT: We are hearing war drums beating over Iran a lot lately. Do you think we will see the US embark on a new military escapade?
BA: It would be a catastrophe for everyone if the United Sates or NATO, which is just the United States’ fig leaf, or Israel, went into Iran and attacked Iran. We can live in this world as a nation among nations, as long as we insist on the old colonial mentality that we can dominate other peoples, we can tell them how to be and have a double standard that is so grotesque. So we are frantic about the possibility that Iran might have a nuclear warhead someday. Meanwhile, we have 2,000 nuclear warheads and that doesn’t make us frantic.
Israel is the third largest nuclear power in the world, not part of nuclear proliferation and not part of even admitting that they have them. This is the world that is dangerous, that is unstable, but it is not unstable because of Iran. There is so many better ways to be a citizen of the world than to shake your sword every time you feel like it.
RT: The US has the biggest military budget in the world.
BA: A trillion dollars a year.
RT: What is really the necessity? We understand that if somebody attacks you, you have to be ready to defend yourself. But considering many people and critics of US war mongering say the US actually starts these wars, by itself builds this long list of enemies.
BA: Well that is my view. My view is that if you look at my whole lifetime, 67 years, the US has been engaged in a war virtually every year. And the wars are primarily wars of invasion and aggression, and occupation. Vietnam we can now look back and say well that was illegal, immoral, a tragedy, 3 million people were killed, 6,000 a week were killed in that unnecessary war – mostly civilians – and the US did it, it made it happen, under a lot of guises of bringing democracy and so on.
There was a wonderful sign in the demonstrations recently that said “If you want to build democracy someplace, build it here.” And I think that is true. Peace is the answer and it begins here. We have to cut back our military budget, we have to close off our foreign military bases, we have to become a nation among nations, not the uber-nation exporting our will everywhere.
RT: We have the US elections fast approaching. Four years ago, a lot of people in the US were really hopeful that Barack Obama will become sort of a real face of change. A lot of Americans now say that it has not happened, democrats and republicans seem to be the same side of one coin. What should we expect? Is it naïve at this point to expect some real true change to come from elections, regardless of who wins those elections?
BA: I think we have to build a movement for change, I think that is what brings change. If you look back even in our fairly recent history, it wasn’t Lyndon Johnson, although Lyndon Johnson passed the most far-reaching civil rights legislation in history, he wasn’t part of the black freedom movement. He was responding.
Franklin Roosevelt wasn’t part of the labor movement, yet he accomplished all that labor legislation and social legislation. And Abraham Lincoln didn’t belong to an Abolitionist Party. Each of them was responding to movements on the ground. What we need if we want peace is to build a movement on the ground that could bring about real change from the bottom, and that is what I think we should be concerned about.
RT: During the last presidential elections obviously your name was talked about a lot by the mainstream media. What do you think is going to be the main controversy this time around?
BA: The one thing we know for sure is that money is always corrupting in politics. Not just here, but in Russia, in Europe, everywhere.
Money corrupts politics. This election season in the US is going to see an absolute tidal wave of cash come in to this election.
So last time out the Obama campaign spent half a billion dollars.
This time each campaign will spend over a billion. It is hard to believe that anyone can look at that and say that this is what democracy looks like.
I think that is what plutocracy looks like – rich people throwing cash around, buying votes, buying legislators. And that is unseeingly and certainly undemocratic sight.
I have no idea what the controversy will be, but you can be sure it will be dirty and it will be expensive.
Day Two Has Passed For Mitt Romney’s Trip To London, And The Media Is Having A Field Day. They Have Even Come To The Conclusion That Mitt Romney Is Worse Than Sarah Palin. Ouch!!! That Has To Hurt!
And for the cover of The Sun to headline “Mitt the Twit”…. oh, boy oh boy.
It’s just best for Romney to leave the country with his tail tucked between his legs and return home to his two daddies – the Koch Brothers.
I have been laughing so hard at Mitt’s gaffes, but in all seriousness, this is horribly embarrassing – even for Obama supporters, like myself, who revels when Romney puts his foot in his mouth. Why should we be so embarrassed?
Because we are showing the world the type of fool who is running for President of the United States. This was the best of the Republican Party??? Completely and totally humiliating.
Today, Mitt did a major faux pas – he mentioned a meeting with the MI6 – Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service – which is a heavily guarded secretive organization among the Brits. As The Guardian pointed out, MI6 was not officially acknowledged until 1994. “For our American readership, this isn’t like bragging you just met David Petraeus [current director of the CIA]. The British take on the national secret intelligence service comes with an extra-heavy dollop of the whole secret thing,” the Guardian’s Tom McCarthy wrote.
In my opinion, the only reason Mitt mentioned this was an attempt to brag about who he met with in order to impress American voters that he discussed Syria and other international affairs with one of the most secretive agencies in the UK.
MI6: What Romney said, and MI6′s reaction
According to the Wall Street Journal Blog:
LONDON–Mitt Romney met privately with the head of Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service — also known as the MI6 — Thursday to discuss the civil unrest in Syria.
“I appreciated the insights and perspectives of the leaders of the government here and opposition here as well as the head of MI6,” Mr. Romney told reporters Thursday. “We discussed Syria and the hope for a more peaceful future for that country.”
But MI6 chief Sir John Sawers’s meetings are often conducted quietly, and afterwards, neither MI6 or the Romney campaign would confirm or deny the meeting.
“Sir John Sawers meets with lots of people,” said an aide in Britain’s foreign press office, “but we don’t give a running commentary of any of these meetings.”
The meeting with the MI6 chief wasn’t disclosed in the list of scheduled visits released to the press and only came to light after the Republican presidential hopeful mentioned it in a brief press conference outside of 10 Downing Street.
After Mr. Romney mentioned the meeting, his campaign declined to discuss it further. “The governor expressed who he met with today,” said a senior adviser who is traveling with Mr. Romney.
Sara Murray covers the 2012 presidential campaign. Follow her on Twitter @SaraMurray.
A London Blogger
I found a blogger out of London who wrote:
It has been widely reported already in the US that Mitt Romney’s first foreign trip as a US Presidential candidate… did not go well.
But my suspicion is that a lot of my friends in America who are accustomed to “he said, she said” news coverage might suspect that this disaster is being blown out of proportion by the schadenfreude of delighted Obama supporters.
As your woman on the ground here in the UK, I want to assure you: IT REALLY IS THAT BAD. Here below are the Romney headlines in every British Newspaper this morning.
So here are several images of the Romney headlines…. Plus a few other photos with captions….