You wouldn’t think the Middle East would be such a big deal in a farm state with a Jewish community of maybe 5,000, but there you go.
Here are some mentions from speeches after the caucus night, which ended in a dead heat between Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum:
(Referring to Ron Paul’s isolationism:)
An Iranian nuclear weapon is one of the most frightening things we have to confront.
I have no doubt about the survivial of Israel as a moral cause which we have to recognize as central to our future.
We don’t need NATO or the UN to tell us when to get to go to war.
It’s time to get out of Afghanistan.
(Listing where she opposes President Obama:)
Standing with our ally Israel…
Rick Perry did not mention the Middle East; but his was essentially a concession speech.
Rick Santorum also did not mention the Middle East; instead, Santorum, whose tie with Mitt Romney is the story of the evening, delivered a moving speech about his roots as the grandson of an immigrant Pennsylvania miner.
Mitt Romney leaps right into it, launching his speech with an attack on Obama’s Iran policy:
Iran is about to have nuclear weaponry just down the road
(Obama) said he’d have a policy of engagement, how’s that worked out?
No sanctions of a crippling nature have been put into place.
He hasn’t presented the military options …. to take out Iran.
In fairness, the last two points don’t quite jibe with Obama’s record. The sanctions Obama has introduced and has encouraged other nations to adopt are tougher than any of his predecessors’ and are biting the Iranian economy.
And the Fifth Fleet is flexing its muscle in the Persian Gulf, the United States is about to launch its largest ever joint anti-missile exercise with Israel, Obama sold Israel bunker buster bombs and is selling Israel and Saudi Arabia advanced combat aircraft, and the viruses afflicting Iranian nuclear systems likely have an American involvement.