Santorum: Eye of Mordor Protecting Us From Terrorists

Rick Santorum told a suburban Philadelphia newspaper that the Lord of the Rings provides valuable insights for the Iraq War.

In an interview with the editorial board of the Bucks County Courier Times, embattled Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum has equated the war in Iraq with J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings.” According to the paper, Santorum said that the United States has avoided terrorist attacks at home over the past five years because the “Eye of Mordor” has been focused on Iraq instead.

“As the hobbits are going up Mount Doom, the Eye of Mordor is being drawn somewhere else,” Santorum said. “It’s being drawn to Iraq and it’s not being drawn to the U.S. You know what? I want to keep it on Iraq. I don’t want the Eye to come back here to the United States.”

I’ve got to admit, I’d never thought of it that way before. . . .

There’s more.

A spokesman for Democratic opponent Bob Casey Jr. questioned the appropriateness of the analogy. “You have to really question the judgment of a U.S. senator who compares the war in Iraq to a fantasy book,” said Casey spokesman Larry Smar. “This is just like when he said Kim Jong II isn’t a threat because he just wants to “watch NBA basketball.’ ” According to a Harrisburg Patriot-News editorial, Santorum said the North Korea dictator “doesn’t want to die; he wants to watch NBA basketball” as a reason why Iran is the bigger nuclear threat.

Faced with a no-fantasy re-election battle against Democratic challenger and state Treasurer Bob Casey Jr., Santorum has positioned himself as strong on national security. To counter Casey’s claims that Santorum voted with President George Bush “98 percent of the time.” Santorum pointedly mentioned their areas of difference, specifically on Iran and its nuclear weapons program. He called the Bush Administration’s policy to negotiate with Iran “at worst appeasement and at best constructive engagement, either of which are wrong.” “They believe you can negotiate with [Iran President] Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the mullahs on the issue of nuclear weapons and you cannot,” Santorum said. “You cannot negotiate something away from someone who has a messianic vision to a religious conviction that they need this weapon.”

It increasingly appears that Santorum’s Yoda-like wisdom will have to come from the sidelines, as he’s trailing Casey by 13 points in the latest Rasmussen survey.

UPDATE: Legion suggests this might make an excellent topic for a PhotoShop contest. By all means, send in your entries and I’ll post the best ones.

UPDATE: Stephen Colbert weighs in, explaining this using action figures (video):

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2006, Iraq War, , , , , , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Michael says:

    Santorum said. “You cannot negotiate something away from someone who has a messianic vision to a religious conviction that they need…

    Insert any Bush foreign policy agenda here. It’s like madlibs, except that people die.

  2. The analogy doesn’t even make sense. For one thing Sauron was an all-powerful foe with one weakness and only by distracting him could that weakness be capitalized upon. I don’t see al Qaeda as playing the role of Sauron.

    I can’t see casting the US in the role of Frodo and Sam, for that matter.

  3. legion says:

    Seriously. Cheney looks much more like a ringwraith, anyway…

  4. anjin-san says:

    So his argument is that’s its ok to turn Iraq into a killing field if it somehow makes us safer?

    And the innocents that die in Iraq as a result of this? What of their right to life and the pursuit of happiness. Or is the senator’s position that the life on someone in Iraq is of lower value then that of an American?

    Is this the GOP moral compass at work?

  5. Billy says:

    Is Rick Santorum comparing Washington to Mordor?

    Why does he hate America?!?

  6. David Harris says:

    Condoleeza Rice is no Galadriel…

    But boy, this is a fun and nerdy way to look at foreign policy!!

  7. legion says:

    Hey James, is there any way OTB can host a Photoshop contest? 🙂

  8. Bandit says:

    Is this the GOP moral compass at work?

    Here’s the Dem one – please kill more Americans – it’s all our fault and we won’t try to stop you.

  9. anjin-san says:

    Bandit,

    Have you always been an idiot or is it something new for you? If you check the service records for member of congress, you will see a lot of Democrats who have served, fought and shed blood for America. Can you say the same of GW and his minions? Or yourself, for that matter?

  10. floyd says:

    “You have to really question the judgment of a U.S. senator who compares the war in Iraq to a fantasy book,” said Casey spokesman Larry Smar….. and then floyd said ” you really have to question the judgment of a U.S. senator who has no imagination or hasn’t read Tolkein”

  11. floyd says:

    billy; you missed the point

  12. Mike says:

    Oh, Rick.