In the video, released today by Mother Jones, of Mitt Romney laying out more hawkish Middle East policies to a private audience than he does in public, Mitt Romney suggested that he'd bomb Iran because of the tremendous risk posed by an Iranian "dirty bomb" in Chicago. Here's what he said:
If I were Iran, if I were Iran—a crazed fanatic, I'd say let's get a little fissile material to Hezbollah, have them carry it to Chicago or some other place, and then if anything goes wrong, or America starts acting up, we'll just say, "Guess what? Unless you stand down, why, we're going to let off a dirty bomb." I mean this is where we have—where America could be held up and blackmailed by Iran, by the mullahs, by crazy people. So we really don't have any option but to keep Iran from having a nuclear weapon.
Sigh. Where to start? Well, as Mother Jones's David Corn points out, a "dirty bomb" doesn't require fissile material: "Such a bomb can be produced with, say, radioactive medical waste." Whether or not Romney plans on making war with all the other countries of the world with access to rudimentary explosives and hospital waste remains unclear.
One thing we do know: a man that is running to occupy the most powerful office in the world—responsible for America's security, and so much more—has no idea what a "dirty bomb" is. When discussing attacking another country, he offers a justification that makes no sense, leaving one to wonder if he even understands the dynamics that would make a nuclear armed Iran a threat. One line of attack against Romney's foreign policy is that he would return to the worst excesses George W. Bush-like posture in the world. If his remarks, behind closed doors, to his donors is any indication, it could be so much worse.