There were no serious differences in the presidential foreign policy debate last night. Obamney agreed with Rombama that the US must remain the unchallenged biggest gun on the planet, even as military adventurism is bankrupting this country and making us enemies everywhere.
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Let us hope that this is the last presidential debate in American history that will be moderated by “journalists.” What a thoroughly disgraceful job. American foreign policy apparently does not include the Mexican drug war, the European financial crisis, any place in sub-Saharan Africa, India, or — heaven forbid– Latin America.
Instead, the candidates sabre-rattled about US power while carefully avoiding discussion of anything substantive.
They got together to essentially review and discuss, not debate, how Americans would go about ruling the rest of us. The first job when “fact checking” a debate is to establish the fact of whether or not there was a debate. Many in the U.S. media, with their prompt little assessments ready at hand for the first minute after the live telecast concludes, miss this most basic, first step. U.S. foreign policy will not change, regardless of who is elected.
Obama, however, whose behaviour in these debates has swung from total indifference to bullying, did an effective job of manifesting the personal characteristics that make him one of the most sinister and odious U.S. leaders in a very long time. Romney…smiled too much. Had Romney sided with some of his fellow Republicans in Congress, he could have turned Libya into a plastic bag, put it over Obama’s head, and quickly sealed it off with duct tape around Obama’s neck, then sit back and ask us to enjoy the show.
But Romney is so clueless about anything outside the US that he said Syria is Iran’s route to the sea. Someone this willfullly ignorant has no business being in the White House.
Like I said, you the audience might have missed it, but for a Presidential candidate to fumble this ball speaks volumes about their competency. And therein lies the nub of Romney’s failure to look Presidential.
Both candidates assumes US must be imperial and has the god-given right to attack anyone anywhere on the planet.
But “We can’t just kill our way out of this mess” was spoken with regret, rather than as an affirmation of the possibilities of cooperation instead. What a grim and joyless world view. Maybe I had better not step out of this hotel into Africa this morning; those Islamists might get me.
And of course there was no mention of climate change, for the first time in presidential debates since the 80s. Reality was never allowed to intrude on the faux debates even as the Pentagon lists climate change as a threat to national security.