UPDATE 23-Jul-12: Peter Beinart expands on Mitt’s “Cold War World View.”

Trudy Rubin in this morning’s Philadelphia Inquirer:

Romney’s foreign affairs statements have a Rip Van Winkle quality, as if he had just emerged from a sleep of two decades. His cold war language suits the bipolar world of the 20th century, not the current era.

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Romney’s cold war mind-set prevents him from coming to grips with the major global problems he would have to deal with. In October, in a major foreign policy speech, he insisted: “This century must be an American century. In an American century, America leads the free world, and the free world leads the entire world.”

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Does he really think we still lead something called the “free world” against one nefarious enemy — I guess, in his view, Moscow?

Even worse news, the Etch-a-Sketch Man will also visit the Middle East as well and lord only knows what sort of nonsense he’ll spout while there as he twists himself into pretzels to please anybody and anybody who will acknowledge him and, most especially, the base of the very base base of the GOP back home.

Romney has said, “If I’m president, the Iranians will have no question but that I will be willing to take military action” to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. Eager to portray Obama as weak — despite the president’s success in imposing crippling economic sanctions on Tehran — the Republican candidate is boxing himself in to military action. There are even rumors that Romney might give a high-ranking foreign policy post to the hard-line conservative John Bolton, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, who is leading the charge for a U.S. attack on Iran.

Never mind that the U.S. military brass believes another Mideast war could unleash disaster, exacerbate the global economic crisis — and increase the chances that Iran will produce a nuclear weapon.

Romney’s campaign stop in Israel may win votes from evangelicals, but it won’t answer the key question about his foreign policy bona fides: Does he really believe the world is still frozen in the paradigm of a cold war that ended 20 years ago?

Also, John Bolton. Seriously?