The Big Issues in tonight's Foreign Policy Presidential debate -- and issues we won't hear...
I absolutely hope tonight's third & final Presidential debate - focused on foreign policy - hits on the rationale for a U.S. military intervention in Iran, or full U.S. support for Israel in any such endeavor.
Above all, I hope we hear each candidate discuss the probable consequences: Iranian retaliation against U.S. interests around the Gulf and the Middle-East. Bottom line for average Americans: Are we willing to pay perhaps unprecedented prices at the gas pumps? And for ardent supporters of Israel: Could such American "pain" actually test the average American's support for the State of Israel?
Wanna' bet if tonight's debate ever gets to these bottom lines?
Beyond that, I'd love to hear Mitt Romney answer this question: Mr. Romney, successive U.S. Presidential administrations, including that of President George W. Bush, at least gave lip service to advancing democracy in the Middle-East. Would you have been prepared to reverse such policy? Would you have propped up the Egyptian Government of President Hosni Mubarak even if it meant the Egyptian military firing on its own people? And if that be so, morally and ethically, what would be the difference between that and how the Chinese military struck back at China's burgeoning democracy movement at Tiananmen Square, which we condemned?
Mr. Obama: Recent polling suggests average Egyptians favor a closer relationship with Iran, and favor both Iran and Egypt getting nuclear capability. That said, was the so-called Arab Spring, on balance, a great negative for the United States? Should Egypt lose its status as the second greatest recipient of U.S. foreign aid? Is there an inherent disconnect between U.S. support for democratic elections - in the abstract - and situations on the ground in places such as the Middle-East?
I think these are critical questions. I would be astounded if Bob Schieffer asked such "leading" questions. I would be even more surprised if either candidate answered them thoroughly and honestly.
Remember... It's all about winning those remaining undecided voters in about half a dozen states!
It's also a very safe bet we will hear virtually nothing tonight about great swaths of the world: Latin America, except for perhaps references to Cuba and Venezuela, since this debate is being held in Florida, perhaps the ultimate of "swing states". I suspect we'll hear absolutely nothing about Brazil, the rising power in our Western Hemisphere.
We'll hear nothing about sub-Saharan Africa... except for perhaps a sweeping reference to covert actions against al-Qaida in countries such as Mali. We'll hear nothing about Australia and the Pacific. Perhaps not a heck of a lot about Europe either, excluding Russia and the administration's famous attempt to re-set relations.
That is my frustration with such debates.
Something we'll hear even less about. The "brain-drain" of well-educated, talented immigrants to their home countries...
We should definitely have a system set up, as Romney suggested in the last debate, where these foreigners with technical degrees get a green card stapled to their diploma. The problem will then be the uneducated illegals will complain that we're discriminating against them and of course the DEMS see this group as potential DEM voters. That would keep the Romney green-card plan from happening unless the GOP controls Congress when Governor Romney hopefully becomes President Romney.
I think the three main things that need to be discussed tonight are the US getting out of Afghanistan, and how do we keep Iran from getting nukes without having to enter into another war? Third, China/Russia. Both will continue to be challenges: China now has its own aircraft carrier, Russia still has its nukes, and given how unstable Russia's government seems to be, who's minding the nukes, etc.
After that, then those other things you mentioned could be added if there's time.
Mon, Oct 22, 2012 12:32pm
I too hope they hit on foreign policy in all parts of the world...not just Benghazi. I think Russia and China should receive a good portion of the debate.
Another important topic on foreign policy should focus on our many allies (Israel, Great Britain, Canada to name a few) that have been tossed aside for Turkey, Russia, Egypt and France...I would like to hear what R.Money would do to repair the rift between our "old" allies?
Mike from Delaware
Mon, Oct 22, 2012 1:18pm
Dave Ross made an interesting point in his commentary today on WDEL via CBS radio. Starting wars or avoiding wars is one promise the President doesn't need Congress to keep as he does with the economy, etc. As Ross pointed out, the last war declared by Congress was WWII in 1941. So all those other wars were started by the sitting Prez at that time.
I'm assuming WDEL will be again airing the debate tonight. I'll try to do the listen to part of the debate on the radio and other part on TV as you get a different perspective about the candidates with both.
Mon, Oct 22, 2012 1:42pm
"Arab Spring" sounds like a perfume rather than a social movement, much similar to "Student Protestors", the term used to describe the terrorists that held American citizens during the 70's in Iran, and rubbed our faces in the dirt for several years. The change in the Middle-East is but the ousting of repressive governments to be replaced by other repressive governments. None of which will be friendly to the West. We delude ourselves thinking democracy is the answer for all the countries in the world.
Mon, Oct 22, 2012 2:37pm
To Mike from Delaware...
Yes, WDEL will carry coverage - from CBS Radio News - of tonight's third & final Presidential debate.
In fact, I myself may hear the first few minutes of the debate on the radio, as I'll be driving home from a speaking engagement at the Stonegate Retirement Community, 4031 Kennett Pike.
To Mr. Grey... If the United States is sending Israel bunker-busting bombs, is the Obama Administration really tossing the Israelis aside? Other Presidential administrations - certainly Secretaries of State - had their differences with Israel.
Tossing aside the U.K. and Canada, really? If that were so, the general publics in those countries would favor a change in U.S. administrations. They don't. They're overwhelmingly pro-Obama. Now in fairness, they don't know very much about Romney. But, as we've discussed in this blog before, a "conservative" politician in those countries might be considered liberal here.
And Turkey? Let's see... the second largest contributor to NATO forces; has agreed to host missile defense against Russia's wishes... and is now distancing itself from Iran. Yes, an Islamist-leaning government that has distanced itself from Israel, but that was inevitable.
However, I believe it would be fair to say that the governments - and people - in some eastern European countries might fall into the Romney column, beginning with Poland...
Mon, Oct 22, 2012 4:05pm
Mr Loudell, bunker busters are nice but avoiding Netanyahu on his last visit, supporting the return to 1967 borders has resulted in Bibi supprting Mitt over Obama. Chavez, Putin, and Castro have all endorsed Obama.
Maybe the general population in the UK support Obama but he gave away missile info to the Russians...what kind of an ally is that?
I have some friends in England who just can't understand why I'm not a huge Obama fan...of course they also think ObamaCare is great. Actually, my one friend has changed her mind after the less than smooth delivery of her first child under socialized medical care.
Turkey is leaning more and more away from us & towards the Islamists (as you just said)...so supported my claim that we are pushing away long time ally Israel for Islamist leaning "allies".
I threw in Canada because Obama refused safe oil (Keystone Pipeline) from our ally to the North and chose to continue importing from our not-so-friendly Middle East suppliers.
Mon, Oct 22, 2012 8:24pm
Let's also not for get that Castro and Chavez both SUPPORT Obama. That's enough evidence for me.
Mon, Oct 22, 2012 11:19pm
I hope Romney did better than the St. Louis Cardinals!
Tue, Oct 23, 2012 3:08am
Don't think he did. Evidence is that he lost just as lopsidedly....
"They also had fewer horses, and bayonets..." "Today they have these ships, called aircraft carriers, you land planes on them, and these ships, that go under water, they're called nuclear submarines."
"Hello, this is the eighties foreign policy calling..."
"He has the foreign policy from the eighties, the social policy from the fifties, and the economic policies from the twenties."
Yep. I'll be surprised if Romney can ever recover. Go Giants.
Tue, Oct 23, 2012 3:22am
The Republican Party has deeper problems than a poor debate performance. They, in Sussex County, now have their own Jerry Sandusky. We saw what happened to Penn State. How does a party accept and honor people like this? And then, you couple that with Romney's shameless lying last night in the debate, probably a minute-and-a-half apart he said two opposite things on China; and Ryan's lying, who has not told the truth since the convention? What kind of party can be so morally unkempt, and have no shame, and be so corrupt?
My answer: Money. They have no regard for human beings anymore; money is their only concern. I'm amazed, growing up as most of you did, in a very moral environment, that this Republican Party can even exist today. Shameless.
The fact they are here, running for office, is un-American. How do you guys live with this, and call yourselves Republicans? It truly boggles the mind.....
Tue, Oct 23, 2012 9:56pm
Kavips: Your president is just as shameless in the way he prostitutes our nation to the UN and everything else anti-American. At least OUR "Mr. Sandusky" is local and contained. Thankfully, he was caught BEFORE the election.
Hopefully the overwhelming evidence against Mr. Obama will produce a similar result on November 6th.
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