Herman Cain has had a bad week when it comes to foreign policy — or rather, a bad entire campaign. But one of Cain’s most embarrassing foreign policy moments came this week after the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel asked him if he agreed with President Obama on Libya. The former pizza boss meandered through a five minute long answer that didn’t really produce anything resembling coherence. He then told the Sentinel in a separate encounter, “I’m not supposed to know anything about foreign policy.”
Adding a bit of fuel to that statement, Cain said in the same interview that he made the Libya flub that attacking Iran to prevent it from acquiring nuclear weapons wouldn’t be “practical” — but not for the reasons you might think:
JOURNAL SENTINEL: Would you favor a military strike against Iran to stop that country from developing a nuclear capability?
CAIN: That is not a practical, top-tier alternative and here’s why. If you look at the topography of Iran. Where are you going to strike? It’s very mountainous. That’s what makes it very difficult. Secondly, that would be a decision that would need to be coordinated and discussed with our friends in that part of the world like Israel. But for the United States to unilaterally go in and attack Iran to try and stop them, I would want to consult with the intelligence community, the commanders on the ground in that part of the world, which I have stated before. But we should — I don’t have all the information necessary to make that decision.
Watch it starting at 10:00:
This view does differ slightly from what Cain said last July. The Washington Times reported that the former pizza CEO “dismissed the notion that an attack on Iran is unrealistic.”
But yes, Iran does have mountains. However, as Defense Secretary Leon Panetta noted the other day, the principle reason that an attack on Iran would be a bad idea is not because it is mountainous, but because it won’t achieve the objective of preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. In addition to that, a strike would all but end the reform movement in Iran, spark a wider regional war and incentivize the regime to weaponize its nuclear program.
But hey, if we can avoid all that by Cain thinking it’s all about the mountains, we’ll have to take it.