Romney demonstrates (again) his cluelessness on international issues
Trying to repair racist comment with stupidly incorrect metaphors:
During my recent trip to Israel, I had suggested that the choices a society makes about its culture play a role in creating prosperity, and that the significant disparity between Israeli and Palestinian living standards was powerfully influenced by it. In some quarters, that comment became the subject of controversy.
We're going to set aside the racist aspects of trying to inject culture into this debate, so we can focus on (what should be) the really troubling aspect of Romney's article: His inability to recognize the difference between freedom and not freedom:
But one feature of our culture that propels the American economy stands out above all others: freedom. The American economy is fueled by freedom. Free people and their free enterprises are what drive our economic vitality.
The Founding Fathers wrote that we are endowed by our Creator with the freedom to pursue happiness. In the America they designed, we would have economic freedom, just as we would have political and religious freedom. Here, we would not be limited by the circumstance of birth nor directed by the supposedly informed hand of government. We would be free to pursue happiness as we wish. Economic freedom is the only force that has consistently succeeded in lifting people out of poverty. It is the only principle that has ever created sustained prosperity. It is why our economy rose to rival those of the world’s leading powers — and has long since surpassed them all.
The linkage between freedom and economic development has a universal applicability. One only has to look at the contrast between East and West Germany, and between North and South Korea for the starkest demonstrations of the meaning of freedom and the absence of freedom.
Okay, what part of "Occupied Territories" do you not understand? The Palestinian people are not free, they are (using the kindest terminology) sequestered.
Not only is their travel strictly controlled by Israel, their commerce is as well. Israel holds the bulk of what wealth the Palestinians have generated, and only occasionally and grudgingly releases parcels of said wealth when a 3rd party business interest or NGO pushes the issue.
In the West Bank, the Partition has effectively re-introduced the archaic practice of hydraulic despotism, by restricting access to fresh water for drinking and farming. Additionally, the wall has made attending school for many Palestinian children a near-daily challenge, ensuring that future generations will not have the intellectual capacity to manage their own affairs properly.
In Gaza, imports and exports are delayed, sometimes for weeks, if they're allowed to cross the border at all, and the Israeli-controlled power system is shut down for days at a time, making commerce (much less e-commerce) virtually impossible.
I could explore these issues all day, but the crux of the matter is: How can conservatives contemplate electing a man who doesn't even know what the word freedom means?