WBEZ | Foreign Policy http://www.wbez.org/tags/foreign-policy Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Syria is at the Center of a Booming Trade of a Little Pill That's Cheap, Easy to Produce, and Completely Illegal http://www.wbez.org/programs/world/2015-11-27/syria-center-booming-trade-little-pill-thats-cheap-easy-produce-and <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/drugs_feature.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><img alt="" src="http://cdn1.pri.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_main/public/story/images/drugs_feature.jpg?itok=Bo96LgFH" style="border: 0px; vertical-align: bottom; max-width: 100%; height: 349px; color: rgb(51, 51, 60); font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, 'Nimbus Sans L', sans-serif; font-size: 18px; line-height: 27px; width: 620px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);" title="Captagon pills are displayed along with a cup of cocaine at an office of the Lebanese Internal Security Forces (ISF), Anti-Narcotics Division in Beirut on June 11, 2010.( Joseph Eid/AFP/Getty Images) " typeof="foaf:Image" /></p><p>This isn&#39;t a movie plot; this is&nbsp;a real story about a drug that&#39;s little known in the West, but is running wild&nbsp;in the Middle East: captagon.&nbsp;</p><p>Chavela Madlena produced a<a href="http://www.journeyman.tv/69063/short-films/captagon-the-syrian-revolutions-drug-epidemic.html" target="_blank">&nbsp;documentary about captagon</a>&nbsp;that&nbsp;aired on&nbsp;<a href="http://www.bbc.com/arabic" target="_blank">BBC Arabic</a>. She&nbsp;wrote about it for&nbsp;<a href="http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/11/19/syria-isis-captagon-lebanon-assad/" target="_blank">ForeignPolicy.com</a>:</p><blockquote><p><em>&quot;Captagon is an illegal version of a drug invented by the German pharmaceutical giant&nbsp;AG Degussa in the 1960s.&nbsp;It was originally supposed to treat everything from attention deficit disorder to being a popular dieting aid.&quot; But all that changed in the mid-1980s. &quot;That&#39;s&nbsp;when the World Health Organization and the FDA concluded it was more addictive and harmful than good. It was just eventually one of those amphetamines that kind of just fell away.&quot;</em></p></blockquote><p>Now an illegal version of it is in high demand across Syria, fueled by the country&#39;s civil war.&nbsp;Madlena and her documentary team visited an illegal pill factory in Beirut.&nbsp;The people running the Beirut drug factory would only let their cameraman in.</p><p>&quot;What he described was one of those kind of garage/storage units.&quot; The workers were all men, under 30, with tattoos.&nbsp;There were boxes of precursor chemicals, like quinine, caffeine and liquid&nbsp;and powder forms of different chemicals.&nbsp;&quot;They call it captagon, but it&#39;s not actually the old form of captagon that was made by pharmacuetical companies.&nbsp;It&#39;s a combination of&nbsp;things,&quot; she says. &quot;The workers said everybody has their own special recipe, their own special flavors they put in. Just like sheesha or water pipes.&quot;</p><p>The effect of captagon is like taking speed.&nbsp;&quot;I&#39;ve seen everything from it being reported as keeping people calm to making them crazed. It&#39;s an amphetamine,&quot; says Madlena. &quot;It keeps you awake and then when you stay awake for a long period of time, you are massively susceptible to sleep deprivation psychosis and all the concommitant medical issues that come along with not sleeping and being on a powerful stimulant and psychotropic drug.&quot;</p><p>Before the Syrian war, the demand for captagon was mostly in Saudi Arabia. An&nbsp;addiction counselor in Kuwait told her why:&nbsp;Because alcohol is such a taboo and heroin is such a taboo &mdash; and they&#39;re both not really condusive to being functional.</p><p>Amphetamines are much cheaper and easier to integrate into your daily life. And there&#39;s less stigma around something that was once a prescription pill.&nbsp;Saudi housewives use it to lose weight. Saudi students use it to study.&nbsp;Truck drivers use it to stay awake. A huge market is people in the military.&nbsp;Madlena&nbsp;interviewed a former addict in Kuwait who had been a soldier.</p><p>&quot;He took captagon, which ended up for him being a gateway drug into other things. He said it was rife in his community, which is a lower&nbsp;socio-economic [class], less educated.&nbsp;Lots of guys working in the army or in law enforcement.&quot;&nbsp;</p><p>Since 2011, demand for captagon has grown in Syria and there&#39;s evidence that the Paris attackers were high on captagon. If it&#39;s proved to be true, it won&#39;t&nbsp;surprise Madlena. &quot;From speaking with former Syrian fighters, this pill is rife on the battlefield there. It&#39;s also in areas where we know that former criminal syndicates had factories and supply lines, smuggling pills out before the war and and now those areas are controlled by ISIS.&nbsp;It&#39;s cheap and readily available. It doesn&#39;t surprise me.&quot;</p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://www.pri.org/stories/2015-11-26/syria-center-booming-trade-little-pill-thats-cheap-easy-produce-and-completely" target="_blank"><em>PRI&#39;s The World</em></a></p></p> Fri, 27 Nov 2015 15:02:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/world/2015-11-27/syria-center-booming-trade-little-pill-thats-cheap-easy-produce-and Worldview: How does the U.S. deal with ISIS and the Ukraine? http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-02-24/worldview-how-does-us-deal-isis-and-ukraine-111612 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP32863912677_1.jpg" style="height: 442px; width: 620px;" title="In this Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014 photo released by the U.S. Air Force, a formation of U.S. Navy F-18E Super Hornets leaves after receiving fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker over northern Iraq, as part of U.S. led coalition airstrikes on the Islamic State group and other targets in Syria. (AP Photo/U.S. Air Force, Staff Sgt. Shawn Nickel)" /></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/192840240&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_artwork=false&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%"></iframe><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 23.9999980926514px; line-height: 22px;">&quot;Between a rock and a hard place:&quot; U.S. foreign policy with ISIS and Ukraine</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-85a0631f-bd68-cacf-90f6-b9c104becf0f">Security in the Middle East is in turmoil because of ISIS. While the recent beheading of 21 Coptic Christians is generating focused media attention, political leaders are at odds over what, if anything, can be done about ISIS. And in other news, pressure is intensifying on the Obama administration to consider arming Ukraine against Russia-backed rebels. We&rsquo;ll talk with the University of Chicago&rsquo;s John Mearsheimer about what he thinks can, and can&rsquo;t be done, about ISIS and the situation in Ukraine.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-85a0631f-bd69-40d3-ca0d-4da6c1f8eaa4"><strong>Guest:&nbsp;</strong><em>John Mearsheimer is a&nbsp;</em></span><em>professor of political science at the <a href="https://twitter.com/UChicago">University of Chicago</a>, author of the books</em> The Tragedy of Great Power Politics <em>and </em>Why Leaders Lie: The Truth about Lying in International Politics.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/192840583&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%"></iframe><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 23.9999980926514px; line-height: 22px;">What happened to Crimea?</span></p><p><span id="docs-internal-guid-de1b3d44-bd6a-9cda-61b1-42ab06825ab2">It&rsquo;s been nearly a year since Russia annexed Crimea. In March, 2014 &nbsp;Crimeans voted in a referendum where 97.6 percent were said to have voted to join Russia. &nbsp;Many countries have never recognized that vote. President Obama called the Russian annexation &quot;</span>illegitimate.&quot;&nbsp;Journalist Dimiter Kenarov went to Crimea to find out how annexation is working out and wrote about it in Foreign Policy. In his piece &nbsp;<em>Putin&rsquo;s Peninsula Is a Lonely Island </em>&nbsp;he writes, &ldquo;The place feels sad and forlorn-like an abandoned amusement park.&quot;</p><p><strong>Guest:&nbsp;</strong><em><span style="font-size: 16px; white-space: pre-wrap;"><a href="https://twitter.com/dkenarov">Dimiter Kenarov</a> is a journalist for <a href="https://twitter.com/ForeignPolicy">Foreign Policy</a> stationed in Crimea.</span></em></p></p> Tue, 24 Feb 2015 15:02:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-02-24/worldview-how-does-us-deal-isis-and-ukraine-111612 State of the Union: Obama's foreign policy http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-01-21/state-union-obamas-foreign-policy-111429 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/obama speech.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>In his State of the Union speech President Obama called on Congress to end the embargo on Cuba. He also said he&#39;d veto any new sanctions on Iran. We&#39;ll take a look at the future of U.S. foreign policy with the Atlantic&#39;s Steve Clemons.&nbsp;</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-state-of-the-union-obama-s-foreign-polic/embed?header=none&amp;border=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-state-of-the-union-obama-s-foreign-polic.js?header=none&border=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-state-of-the-union-obama-s-foreign-polic" target="_blank">View the story "Worldview: State of the Union, Obama's foreign policy" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Wed, 21 Jan 2015 10:23:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-01-21/state-union-obamas-foreign-policy-111429 Election results and U.S. foreign policy http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2014-11-05/election-results-and-us-foreign-policy-111067 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/AP889567958529.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>In last night&#39;s midterm elections the Republicans won a majority in the Senate. We&#39;ll find out how that could affect U.S. foreign policy from James Lindsay, director of studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-election-results-and-foreign-policy/embed?header=false&amp;border=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-election-results-and-foreign-policy.js?header=false&border=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-election-results-and-foreign-policy" target="_blank">View the story "Worldview: Election results and U.S. foreign policy" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Wed, 05 Nov 2014 11:14:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2014-11-05/election-results-and-us-foreign-policy-111067 A new potential path forward in Syria, women's issues in India and Chicago youth clean up city http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2013-09-10/new-potential-path-forward-syria-womens-issues-india-and-chicago-youth <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/AP41580686969.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>George Lopez joins us to talk about a potential diplomatic path forward with Syria. We talk about women&#39;s issues in India. Plus, we get to know Nicole Brandon, founder and president of Project Y.E.S. (Youth Earth Savers).</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F109750361&amp;color=ff6600&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-analyzing-a-potential-path-forward-in-sy/embed?header=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-analyzing-a-potential-path-forward-in-sy.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-analyzing-a-potential-path-forward-in-sy" target="_blank">View the story "Worldview: A new potential path forward in Syria, women's issues in India and Bangladesh and Chicago youth clean up city" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Tue, 10 Sep 2013 10:54:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2013-09-10/new-potential-path-forward-syria-womens-issues-india-and-chicago-youth Views from Arab states on Syrian intervention, Germany’s “brown babies” and the music of Il Volo http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2013-09-04/views-arab-states-syrian-intervention-germany%E2%80%99s-%E2%80%9Cbrown-babies%E2%80%9D-and <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/AP314893345887.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Joseph Kéchichian joins us from Lebanon to talk about how various Arab states feel about potential military intervention in Syria. We explore how mixed-race children born during American occupation in Germany impacted racial discourse in both countries. We meet the Italian pop sensation, Il Volo.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F108835430&amp;color=ff6600&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-views-from-arab-states-on-syrian-interve/embed?header=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-views-from-arab-states-on-syrian-interve.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-views-from-arab-states-on-syrian-interve" target="_blank">View the story "Worldview: Views from Arab states on Syrian intervention, Germany’s “brown babies” and the music of Il Volo" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Wed, 04 Sep 2013 11:43:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2013-09-04/views-arab-states-syrian-intervention-germany%E2%80%99s-%E2%80%9Cbrown-babies%E2%80%9D-and Worldview: Conflict in Syria, Colombia http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2012-12-04/worldview-conflict-syria-columbia-104181 <p><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-12-04-12.js"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-12-04-12" target="_blank">View the story "Worldview 12.04.12" on Storify</a>]</noscript></p> Tue, 04 Dec 2012 12:01:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2012-12-04/worldview-conflict-syria-columbia-104181 Presidential debate #3 live chat: Foreign policy http://www.wbez.org/news/presidential-debate-3-live-chat-foreign-policy-103304 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/RomneyObamaDebates3.jpg" style="height: 299px; width: 620px;" title="" /></div><p>We&#39;re following the debates live, and featuring commentary from Chicago media&#39;s best and brightest, like <em>TimeOut</em>&#39;s Frank Sennett,&nbsp;WBEZ blogger Achy Obejas, PR strategist&nbsp;Veronica Vera, social media guru Scott Smith and DNAinfo&#39;s&nbsp;Jen Sabella. Monday&#39;s&nbsp;debate is the final presidential debate, and the first in the Town Hall format. It will be moderated by&nbsp;Chief Washington Correspondent for CBS News&nbsp;Bob Schieffer&nbsp;at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><a class="twitter-timeline" data-widget-id="253146859072266240" href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23BEZDebates">Tweets about &quot;#BEZDebates&quot;</a> <script>!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");</script></p></p> Mon, 22 Oct 2012 12:26:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/presidential-debate-3-live-chat-foreign-policy-103304 Five countries that will be mentioned during tonight’s debate http://www.wbez.org/blogs/achy-obejas/2012-10/five-countries-will-be-mentioned-during-tonight%E2%80%99s-debate-103298 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/RS6564_AP164381960866-scr.jpg" style="height: 362px; width: 300px; float: left; " title="President Barack Obama stretches to shakes hands with supporters after speaking about the choice facing women in the upcoming election. (AP/Carolyn Kaster)" /></div><p><strong>1. Libya</strong><br /><br />Duh. Mitt Romney&rsquo;s had two chances to go at President Barack Obama on this issue, where there&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/22/us/politics/explanation-for-benghazi-attack-under-scrutiny.html?hp">enough haze for him to make some hay</a>, but has blown both. Which means that <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/achy-obejas/2012-10/five-obama-vulnerabilities-debate-102828">if there&rsquo;s one issue</a>, one question, that the Romney debate prep team has been hammering, it&rsquo;s this one. I know everybody was blown away by Obama&rsquo;s answer last time, but he missed an opportunity to poke back at Republicans, and particularly at Romney&rsquo;s VP choice Paul Ryan, all of whom <a href="http://www.drudge.com/news/161889/gop-cut-embassy-security-funding">voted against more funding for embassy security</a>, not just in Libya, but all over the world. C&rsquo;mon.<br /><br /><strong>2. Iran</strong><br /><br />Iran suddenly says it&rsquo;s <a href="http://swampland.time.com/2012/10/22/the-real-foreign-policy-issue-war-with-iran/">willing to talk</a>, but is just waiting for the elections to know who the chat will be with. Obama says nothing&rsquo;s new on our end and, of course, we talk. Romney says Obama&rsquo;s weak, weak, weak, but can&rsquo;t seem to say what he&rsquo;d do different. If Obama doesn&rsquo;t turn this around and make it seem like Romney wants to bomb Tehran tomorrow, it&rsquo;ll be another missed opportunity -- especially to bring back <a href="http://original.antiwar.com/buchanan/2012/10/18/will-obama-paint-mitt-as-warmonger/">women voters, who are particularly anti-war</a>.<br /><br /><strong>3. Israel</strong><br /><br />The men don&rsquo;t differ much on actual Israel policy, except for the fact that Romney has pretty much said<a href="http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/world/2012/1022/1224325542216.html"> he&rsquo;ll back Israel on a unilateral strike against Iran</a> if Israel feels threatened. This one isn&rsquo;t actually a Middle East concern -- this is all about Florida, where Romney looks poised to win, <a href="http://www.politico.com/p/2012-election/polls/president">leading in most polls</a>. He&rsquo;s hoping seniors in Florida forget his Medicare policies and vote ethno-religiously.<br /><br /><strong>4. Cuba</strong><br /><br />The biggest strawman in American politics, Cuba was mentioned a handful of times at the GOP convention and will come back for two reasons: one, rumors were hot all last week that Fidel Castro was on ice and, two, <a href="http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1012/82695.html">Florida</a>. Never mind that the pendulum is swinging away from hard right politics in the Cuban-American community as those who were born and/or raised in the U.S. come of age. And never mind that the Latino group that has the power to swing the state is now the Puerto Ricans in Orange and Osceola counties. Never mind, too, that most Puerto Ricans don&rsquo;t give a twit about a Cuba and that the only real question is whether they&rsquo;re going to show up at the polls -- in Florida, Puerto Ricans have numbers, even on registration, but blow it on attendance -- but nobody can keep themselves, it seems, from playing the useless Cuba card.<br /><br /><strong>5. China</strong><br /><br />Romney will continue to <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2012/10/22/world/asia/grant-china-us-election-scapegoat/index.html">accuse the Chinese</a> of being currency manipulators (they are) but offer no plan. And Obama, with an opportunity here to make Romney squirm about the Chinese factory with virtual <a href="http://www.nationaljournal.com/2012-presidential-campaign/leaked-video-shows-romney-recalling-china-trip-20120916">slave women workers</a>&nbsp;that Bain may or may not have bought while Romney was at the helm, will probably not mention it. But he should.</p></p> Mon, 22 Oct 2012 10:43:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/achy-obejas/2012-10/five-countries-will-be-mentioned-during-tonight%E2%80%99s-debate-103298 Romney's recklessness http://www.wbez.org/blogs/achy-obejas/2012-09/romneys-recklessness-102407 <p><p><a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/achy-obejas/2012-07/romneys-comments-britains-mi6-iran-what-was-he-thinking-101319">Echoing concerns</a>&nbsp;I wrote about just two months ago,&nbsp;<a href="http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2012/09/12/are-romneys-comments-on-libya-a-2012-game-changer/">Mitt Romney made comments</a> this week about the tragedy at U.S. embassies in Libya and Egypt that were downright dangerous.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Romney%20Libya%20AP.jpg" style="float: right; height: 193px; width: 300px; " title="Mitt Romney addresses the press. (AP)" />Romney was reckless, enough to try and undermine the president and put American lives at risk all over the Middle East for a pure political play.&nbsp;Tuesday night &mdash; the evening of September 11&nbsp;&mdash;&nbsp;both campaigns had <em>pledged to lay off politics</em>&nbsp;in observance of the lives lost 11 years ago. Instead Romney took the opportunity to swagger and rattle sabers, <a href="http://www.theatlanticwire.com/politics/2012/09/mitt-romneys-libya-comments-backfire-badly/56784/">jumping the gun</a> with his slashing critique of the Obama administration.&nbsp;</p><p>Romney designed his remarks to build foreign policy cred &mdash; and to leap off <a href="http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0912/81150.html?hp=t1">comments made by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu</a>&nbsp;the day before the embassy assaults<em>.&nbsp;</em>Netanyahu has been <a href="http://www.foxnews.com/world/2012/09/11/romney-win-could-spur-longtime-pal-netanyahu-to-face-iran-threat/">pressuring Obama</a> to take a hard line on Iran&rsquo;s nuclear program and Israel&rsquo;s right to attack its long-time nemesis.&nbsp;</p><p>Bibi hopes conservative Jewish voters in Florida can swing the election for Romney, who is already <a href="http://www.foxnews.com/world/2012/09/11/romney-win-could-spur-longtime-pal-netanyahu-to-face-iran-threat/">on board with a tougher stand on Iran</a>.&nbsp;But Romney&#39;s words proved two things: first, as I&#39;ve argued before, Romney is totally unprepared be commander-in-chief of U.S. forces; second, he is desperate to&nbsp;<a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/romney-economic-plan-policy-taxes-economy-obama-2012-9">change the trajectory</a>&nbsp;of the race, in which President Obama currently has a small lead.</p><p>The statement released by the Cairo embassy &mdash; the one Romney called an &ldquo;apology&rdquo; to Muslims &mdash; was done without a White House sign-off many hours before the embassy was actually besieged. Many if not <a href="http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0912/81103_Page2.html">most of the GOP&rsquo;s big names </a>have&nbsp;refused to join Romney&rsquo;s political attack and have released very different kinds of statements about the incidents. <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/romney-economic-plan-policy-taxes-economy-obama-2012-9">Even his VP choice</a>, Rep. Paul Ryan, stayed away from politicizing these events.<br /><br />Romney doubled down after he was criticized for his remarks, and his inability to mediate his original stance in light of new information is astonishing. Even more astonishing, though, was this: An American ambassador was killed and Romney failed to give condolences to the families who&rsquo;d just suffered these terrible losses &mdash; deaths that occurred <em>in the line of duty</em>.</p><p>Almost as bad, he failed to understand the very nature of foreign service.&nbsp;&quot;The president takes responsibility not just for the words that come from his mouth but also for the words that come from his ambassadors from his administration, from his embassies, from the State Department,&quot; <a href="http://2012.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/09/romney-libya-attack-benghazi.php">Romney said</a>.</p><p>Yes, the president must take responsibility for any and all diplomatic acts. But, no, the ambassadors are not the president&rsquo;s, especially during an election campaign. Most ambassadors are <a href="http://H.W. Bush http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2012/09/12/chris_stevens_bio_ambassador_to_libya_was_career_diplomat_former_peace_corps_volunteer.html">career foreign service,</a> sworn to represent the U.S. under any and all presidents. This was the case with Stevens, who entered service under President George H.W. Bush and <a href="/the_slatest/2012/09/12/chris_stevens_bio_ambassador_to_libya_was_career_diplomat_former_peace_corps_volunteer.html">served every president </a>after him.<br /><br />U.S. ambassadors are not the president&#39;s, but America&#39;s.<br /><br />Yet again, Romney doesn&#39;t get it.</p></p> Thu, 13 Sep 2012 10:53:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/achy-obejas/2012-09/romneys-recklessness-102407