Republicans often talk very tough when dealing with foreign governments. Sometimes it even gets them points with an electorate that interpret this talk as indicating they will best defend U.S. foreign policy interests.
It should be taught in schools and to everyone who gives credence to such talk that threats against other countries rarely work and the sort of threats the GOP tends to make really have little to do with foreign policy. Instead, tough Republican talk is mostly just fear-mongering that exaggerates threats and demonizes the citizens of countries that we don't like. It's also about portraying oneself as being a strong for advocate.
Such posturing is easy to spot because it characteristically doesn't involve a plan that moves us toward peace. For example, a recent CNN article by Eric Cantor that claims to tell us how to prevent the next clash with Hamas. Eric Cantor recently said in the article
For any enduring cease-fire, the onus must be on Hamas to control its fighters, cease rocket attacks, abandon terrorism and accept Israel's right to existTough talk but in this article, he presents no plan to resolve the issue. Cantor goes on to explain that Hamas is really terrible and Israel is quite reasonable and demands that Hamas do as he pleases without explaining how he intends to enforce his demands. That's how you can easily spot such showmanship. Cantor doesn't devote even a sentence to explaining how he would move the peace process forward. This may play great with his constituency but it also shows that he doesn't have plan.
In contrast, Democrats have always had a plethora of ideas about how to move the peace process along and it's rare than any Republican every endorses a single idea on the list. These ideas often don't sound tough. They're just things that history has proven defuse conflicts and lead to peace.
A recent article gave a list of Democratic solutions as well as an analysis of why threatening or demonizing enemies is rarely a good idea. Rarely do any GOP candidates endorse any of these ideas that may not sound tough but have been proven by history to work.
Conflicts are resolved through apologies, forgiveness, peace-building dialogue and reconciliation, confronting hyprocrisy and dehumanization, ending power domination games and encouraging morality and cross-country and cultural personal relationship. Other strategies involve, finding and directing attention toward common goals, trust building programs such as cultural exchange, joint projects, United Nations Peacekeeping involvement, citizen diplomacy, finding common values, sharing power and encouraging cross-country business relationships. Finally, educating people about the dishonest nature of threats and exposing fear-mongering threats can prevent political rhetoric that maintains hostilities.These sorts of ideas may have been what Ambassador Rice and Secretary of Clinton referred to as the peace process or playing chess. Clearly, Republicans aren't even playing checkers. They are not involved in diplomacy but in simply hoping their noise sounds appealing to low information voters.
The solution to this problem is education about what brings about peace and what doesn't even make sense. One step toward that goal may be for online newspapers to stop publishing thinly disguised political ads that falsely claim they represent foreign policy analysis.