A fascinating aspect of the recent GOP convention was the party’s silence on the subject of war. Time on Ryan:
Wednesday night was supposed to be “foreign policy night” at the Republican convention in Tampa … For a country at war, it was surprising to hear the first reference to the nation’s veterans only come in the final moments of the final speech, by Ryan:
The founding generation secured those rights for us, and in every generation since, the best among us have defended our freedoms. They are protecting us right now. We honor them and all our veterans, and we thank them.
Adding up the mentions of assorted nations by Ryan, Senator John McCain, R-Ariz., former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul yields the following tally: Afghanistan: 1 Iraq: 1 Iran: 7 Syria: 3. …
There remain 80,000 U.S. troops fighting, and dying, in Afghanistan, and a couple hundred in Iraq, which just took final delivery of 140 U.S.-built M-1 tanks as part of a $12 billion U.S. arms package. (Paul had the night’s lone provocative line: “Republicans must acknowledge that not every dollar spent on the military is necessary or well-spent.”) …
[I]t is amazing that after more than a decade of war, and 6,593 American dead (2,107 in Afghanistan and Operation Enduring Freedom; 4,487 in Iraq), the political party that spearheaded both wars is so silent on them now.
And here is Bill Kristol on Romney, the next night:
The United States has some 68,000 troops fighting in Afghanistan. Over two thousand Americans have died in the more than ten years of that war, a war Mitt Romney has supported. Yet in his speech accepting his party’s nomination to be commander in chief, Mitt Romney said not a word about the war in Afghanistan. Nor did he utter a word of appreciation to the troops fighting there, or to those who have fought there. Nor for that matter were there thanks for those who fought in Iraq, another conflict that went unmentioned.
Leave aside the question of the political wisdom of Romney’s silence, and the opportunities it opens up for President Obama next week. What about the civic propriety of a presidential nominee failing even to mention, in his acceptance speech, a war we’re fighting and our young men and women who are fighting it? Has it ever happened that we’ve been at war and a presidential nominee has ignored, in this kind of major and formal speech, the war and our warriors?
That’s not leadership.