Jared Diamond hits back: “Did you even read my book, Mitt?”
Mitt Romney has written, re-written and re-re-written the meaning of his comments on the differences between the Israeli and Palestinian economies (still no correction on his mistake in the relative per capita GDP, which he said were around 3 to 1, but are really 10 to 1).
This was just the latest in his series of gaffes while he was overseas since he neglected to mention the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza as a factor for the economic performance (relying instead on differences in ‘culture’, as well as a sprinkling of ‘divine providence’ for Israel). The Palestinian spokesman derided Romney’s comment as ‘racist’, but of course Romney was focused more on the reaction back in the US in his conservative base that he is furiously pandering to.
One of the “inspirations” for his “theories” was Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond, who gives Romney an ‘F’ for his understanding of the book and comes out swinging about Romney’s ability to be president:
Mitt Romney may become our next president. Will he continue to espouse one-factor explanations for multicausal problems, and fail to understand history and the modern world? If so, he will preside over a declining nation squandering its advantages of location and history.
That can be described only as “ouch”!