Saturday, March 28, 2015

Cinematic Foreign Policy

Desperate for a puff interview to prove his foreign policy bonafides, Scott Walker appeared on Hugh Hewitt's radio program on Wednesday. and this exchange took place:

SW:.... Think about how screwed up that is. I remember the movie in the 80s, Trading Places…
HH: Right.

SW: …you know, with Dan Akroyd and Eddie Murphy, it’s like Iran and Israel are trading places in the sequel. In the eyes of this president, our ally is supposed to be Israel. Our adversary has been historically Iran. And yet this administration completely does it the other way around. We need to call radical Islamic terrorism for what it is, and a commander-in-chief who’s willing to act.

Joan Walsh comments "No word on which nation is Aykroyd and which is Murphy; hoping other reporters will follow up. (If Walker finds that metaphor doesn’t work, he can play around with 'Freaky Friday.')"  Charles Pierce finds "Personally, I don't think Ayatollah Ali Khamenei reminds me of Denholm Elliott but, then again, I am not the geopolitical whiz kid that the Talleyrand of Wauwatosa is." As he reduces the Middle East to a movie (photo of Akyroyd and Murphy from Trading Places, and of Scott Walker, from AP/Mark Humphrey), Walker's take on the region is ludicrously simplistic and misleading. Speaking to Rachel Maddow on Thursday, NBC's Richard Engel explained

The U.S. in Iraq -- we`ll just take Iraq. The U.S. right now is helping this mission in Tikrit, which is being backed by the militias, and as you said they are potentially going to boycott that operation, but the U.S. is backing the operation led by the militias. That`s in Iraq.

In Syria, the U.S. is fighting against Iran and is an enemy of Iran, which supports Hezbollah and supports the government of Bashar Assad. But in Syria, the U.S. is also fighting with Iran against ISIS.

So, in Iraq, we are against Iran -- sorry -- it`s even confusing for me and I`ve done this for 20 years. In Iraq, we are fighting with Iran. In Syria, we are fighting both with and against Iran. And in Yemen now, we are backing Saudi Arabia and Egypt and this other coalition, which is 
taking a strong stance against Iran.

But we say we`re not going to get deeply involved we are just going to kinds of assist with some intelligence, while at the same time huge negotiations, profoundly important negotiations are underway in Switzerland with Iran.

One only hopes Governor Walker is trying to dumb down foreign policy for primary voters and that he really understands there are more than two nation,s in the world's most turbulent region, which are involved in hostiities.  We can start out asking him about Sunnis and Shiites, Hutsis and Wahabbis. At least it would give him an opportunity once again to tell us how he can beat ISIS because he beat down the unions in Wisconsin.

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