Risky Business (Part One)


President Obama accused Mitt Romney of “being all over the map.”  While that is metaphorically true, underscoring as it does Romney’s attempts to impose his notions of American exceptionalism on the rest of the world, it also has a literal component— geography.

“Syria is Iran’s only ally in the Arab world. It’s their route to the sea.”

Er, Willard, any 7th grade geography student knows better than that.  Ever heard of The Persian Gulf? The 97,000 sq miles of ocean that is the most strategically important waterway in the world?

At some 650 miles in length, Iran’s coastal exposure is about half as large as the entire West Coast of the United States (1293 miles).  Additionally— we hate to break it to you— but Syria and Iran don’t currently share a border.  There’s a little country called Iraq separating the two.

Maybe it’s the word “Persian” that’s throwing you.  Long before Iran was known as Iran it was called— wait for it— Persia.  As in The Persian Empire, which was one of the world’s largest empires, thanks in large part to— wait for it— its navy

Xerxes, Immortals, and Persian Naval Forces at Salamis observing the Naval Battle.

Maybe you were thinking about what the map of the Middle East looked like 2500 years ago, when the Persian Empire extended to the Eastern Mediterranean and included modern day Syria.  You really should trade in your old Risk game board for an updated map of the world.  If you do find yourself in a position to bomb Iran, you might want to locate it on modern map first.  Just sayin’.

On a related note, you decry the number of US naval vessels as being less than what we had during World War I, using that little factoid to criticize Obama as somehow being weak on defense.  As President Obama was quick to point out, you seem to be unfamiliar with the concept of capability, quipping that we have less “horses and bayonets” in our arsenal as well.  Would you really trade one modern warship for two or three WWI vessels?

A poster of numerous U.S. Navy vessels sailing in New York Harbor during World War I entitled
“Uncle Sam’s Big Fighting Ships.”


I’d be willing to bet that a single modern day missile cruiser, armed with over the horizon radar and enough Harpoon missiles, could destroy the entire fleet pictured above in less time than it would take your car elevator to fill up your garage.

The last thing we need is a geographically challenged, militarily ignorant Commander in Chief who thinks that Russia is “our number one geopolitical foe.”  (I hear that Sarah Palin‘s contract with Fox News is up at the end of the year. Maybe you can hire her to keep an eye on the Ruskies for us.)

You know, Mitt, if for some ineffable reason, the real Powers-That-Be determine we haven’t suffered enough on this Veil of Tears, and you end up being installed as the leader of the free world, I fear that you won’t be able to distinguish the game of Risk from the real thing.


To be continued. Part II will spotlight Romney’s bogus tough talk on China, featuring his personal investment in a Chinese sweat shop.

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