If Teddy Roosevelt were alive today he'd be drummed out of the Republican Party – and not just because his views on protecting the environment, busting trusts, increasing government regulation of businesses, regulating meat inspection and food and drug safety are totally out of step with today's GOP.
The man whose motto was "Speak softly and carry a big stick" would be outraged by the jingoism of his party in the 21st Century. The first American Nobel Peace Prize winner was recognized for negotiating an end to the Russo-Japanese war. His would-be White House successors sound like they want to start at least one and possibly two more wars.
Three leading candidates for the Republican nomination – Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum — are beating the Iran war drums louder than each other while the party's 2008 nominee, Sen. John McCain, a former fighter-bomber pilot, has called for the United States to begin bombing Syria. Read more in my Jerusalem Post column.
When Barack Obama said there's "too much loose talk of war" and quoted Teddy Roosevelt's famous line, Republicans turned all their verbal artillery on him, warning that the Iranians might mistake such a statement for weakness.
Obama said he and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed they "prefer to resolve (the Iranian nuclear issue) diplomatically" when they met at the White House, but Netanyahu didn't leave that impression in his AIPAC speech the next evening.
And no sooner did Netanyahu return home than he began preparing Israeli public opinion for war.
This week he "ratcheted up his rhetoric regarding a possible military strike on Iran, broadly hinting that Israel might act even without American approval," Haaretz reported.