Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Romney says Iran has no Sea Access? Gerald Ford Moment

Global American Series

Iran is probably the most critical issue we have regarding global security – yet Gov. Romney did something very much like Gerald Ford when he said in a debate with Jimmy Carter in 1976 that “East Europe was NOT dominated by Russia.”  But it was – big time. That misstatement cost Ford his office.

In the third and final Presidential debate, Governor Romney was making his case about Iran which showed he doesn’t even know the geography of the region. Romney stated that "Syria is Iran's only ally in the Arab world. It's their route to the sea…”  OOPS.  Look at a map Governor Romney (and fellow American voters).  

IRAN IS ON THE SEA! It has port cities -- I was once asked to work for a Fortune 500 company in Iran on a naval base at Chabahar on the Persian Gulf – just before the Mullah revolution in 1979.

Romney obviously hasn’t even looked at a map of Iran – or he would have known Iran lies on the Persian Gulf – THE major oil seaway that our ships patrol. It’s been in the news for decades, including when I was traveling in the area even back in the 70’s and 80’s! It hasn’t moved since then.

This is a bad sign of the worst kind for a potential commander in chief – just as serious as Ford’s blunder about Russia not dominating Eastern Europe.  Romney wants to be our President yet has so little knowledge of Iran that he doesn’t even have a grasp of its location?  This is gross negligence to be a President so ignorant of an area so important to American security that he doesn’t even know it is two countries removed from Syria?  This is the same Romney that has advocated on numerous occasions the U.S. attack Iran before it acquires a nuclear weapon.

We just wrapped up a war in Iraq where lack of knowledge of the President led to a hunt for non-existent weapons of mass destruction at a cost over $1 trillion dollars and thousands of lives of our soldiers. The lack of knowledge about differences between Sunni and Shia made it worse. Do we need to repeat that Bush mistake with Gov. Romney? That sounds like a suicide mission if voters take us back on that dark path. One U.S. war game on Iran cost us 16 ships and an aircraft carrier before it was suspended.

I was a TV Terrorism Advisor on 9/11 in Houston.  I have done international child kidnapping negotiations in Syria (I wrote about all of this and more in “Better Times Ahead: April Fool?”  I have taught economic geography.  How can someone be qualified to be President if he hasn’t examined a map and is clueless that Iran is a seaport and doesn’t need Syria –two countries away—for sea access?   Here is the link to info on that port:

The Persian Gulf is where our Navy ships patrol. President Obama knows this.  Gov. Romney’s Gerald Ford moment should be a warning to voters.  Obama knows the Middle East and its geography. Romney does not.  Obama took out OSAMA BIN LADEN. Romney said he opposed taking out bin Laden without Pakistan’s consent.  That never would have happened and shows how naïve and uninformed Romney is about complex international issues facing the President every day.

Romney’s positions on issues have been a series of flips and flops to the point he appears to be a “shape shifter” with no inner core values other than saying whatever he thinks is necessary at the time to get elected  --he’s been a liberal, a moderate and “severely conservative” all in the same year.  He has provided no tax information or details on his economic “plan.”

With Obama, we know where he stands on a consistent basis. He inherited the worst economy in 70 years and has turned it around from losing 800,000 jobs a month to gaining over 5 million jobs – with millions more on the way in new industries. Obama’s plans are clear; Romney’s are hidden and what we know of them will increase the debt by trillions and will favor the rich over the Middle Class.

Therefore, based on my global experiences and as an entrepreneur of a small business, I endorse President Obama as the only candidate with the skills and knowledge of the Middle East to safely guide us through its troubled waters the next four years.

Michael Fjetland
Global American Series
Map photos at Global American blog:

You may not agree, but my “Agenda for American Greatness” lays out the FACTS how we got into this mess – and HOW we get out – and which President candidate is the best in 2012 for our future – and why it’s Obama.  It is based on my perceptions as an American involved in helping American companies in nearly 50 countries the past 30 plus years.

“Agenda for American Greatness” lays out the FACTS. Link:


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. When Romney said that Syria was Iran's "route to the sea" - he was absolutely correct!

    Romney's comment is not about geography - it's about sanction-driven trade route realities. He's not commenting on how people in Iran wake up on a hot day and walk to the beach, he's commenting on how Iran is conducting trade currently, based on the fact that its own seaports get blocked as a result of the sanctions.

    This is no gaffe. This is not a case of Romney being ignorant of geography, it's a case of the so-called "fact checkers" ignoring the context of his comments, and being ignorant of the trade routes now being used as by Iran as a result of sanctions.

    Romney was speaking in the context of the debate topic on foreign policy and the sanctions restricting the finances and trade of Iran. Although Iran is indeed located on the seacoast of the Indian Ocean and the Persian Gulf, the international trade sanctions have restricted and impeded its ability to transport armaments and other goods through its own seaports. To defeat these trade sanctions, Iran has resorted to using its air transportation to transport goods through an air corridor in Iraqi airspace into Syria and its seaports, such as Latakia.

    Romney has made his "route to the sea" comment before, gotten "fact checked" on it, and went on to use it several more times before this debate - so you'd think this might give folks cause to re-think their geographically-hyper-focused critique of this comment. Wrong and or incomplete analysis by fact checkers on minor inconsequential issues like this is why they are losing credibility with the public, and why the Romney camp generally ignores them.

    I will say that there are many valid reasons to find fault with both candidates - this just doesn't happen to be one of them.


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