The redemption of Rick Santorum as Serious Foreign Policy Thinker(tm) comes courtesy of Michael Ledeen in the WSJ.
After leaving the Senate in 2007, Mr. Santorum wrote about foreign policy frequently for the Ethics and Public Policy Center, where he was a fellow until June of 2011. In essays written for the center, he acknowledges that terrorists are indeed inspired by radical Islam—but he wants to work with Muslims who do not wage jihad, subjugate women or oppress minorities. He’s specific about the radicals: They are evil men who have perverted the meaning of “martyrdom,” changing it from the act of dying for one’s faith to killing others to advance the dominion of one’s faith.
His opposition to tyranny abroad has been a constant in his political career. Even in the final days of his losing 2006 re-election campaign, Mr. Santorum never stopped calling for action against Iran and Syria. Apparently, Pennsylvanians weren’t impressed by his Iran Freedom and Support Act, enacted in 2006, which imposed sanctions on the regime and authorized $100 million annually for the democratic opposition, or his 2003 Syria Accountability Act.
But today he looks prescient and gutsy. Back then, the Bush administration was trying to run away from such ideas. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice at one point turned to a Democrat, then-Sen. Joe Biden, to block Mr. Santorum’s Iran bill, before it finally passed. But Mr. Santorum’s basic vision has prevailed.
And so it goes. Clearly the Murdoch machine is hedging their bets when it comes to the very real possibility that the man who will carry the GOP’s standard into battle against President Obama is going to be a know-nothing fundamentalist dipstick. So like Bush 43 before him, the same “scholars” who told us that it didn’t really matter that the Republican candidate is a moron because he would be surrounded by a brain trust of great minds led by the necessary vision and will to “win” are hard at work constructing the exact same fantasy with Iran as their target.
Ledeen and his crew of bloodthirsty ghouls have been after “regime change” in Iran now for over a decade. To see him latch his lamprey maw onto Santorum’s back to try to ride him into a war with Tehran should be setting off alarm bells in the head of every American old enough to vote. They want war, and Rick Santorum is the best way to get it. Ledeen allowed out of his crypt to try to sell Santorum as Commander-in-Chief means that not only is the GOP establishment making plans for Santorum vs Obama in the fall, but that when it comes to all the truly important boxes to be checked, that Ricky will do for them just fine.
The GOP establishment will prevent Santorum from winning over Romney? Really? At best they are hedging pretty damn hard, and at worst they are sabotaging the increasingly failtastic Mittens to get the man they wanted all along. If “probability of deciding to go to war with Iran” is your top criteria for picking a GOP nominee, then Santorum’s the clear choice. If Murdoch and the neo-cons are backing him, the notion that Santorum will crash and burn long before Tampa is no longer so assured, is it?