Third US Presidential Debate: Around the World in 90 minutes

Final US Presidential Debate (Source: CNN)

Earlier this week, we had the honour of watching the last US Presidential debate. It wasn't fiery like the previous one; but it wasn't bad either.

Most analysts agree that Governor Romney revealed lack of familiarity with foreign policy; however, in my opinion, what we saw last Monday was the real Mitt Romney; the moderate Governor Romney, the "biological father" of Obamacare. For the first time, since the presidential campaign started, candidate Romney seemed sincere each time he'd agree with Pres. Obama - his face changed, his body spoke differently, he sweated less yet he perspired honesty.
President Obama was relaxed; he was fluid in expressing his experience in foreign policy. He defended his policies well; he explained well the fruits of those policies and, once again, he showed why he's the President of the United States (the International Community was reminded why it was a good idea to follow his lead).

Gov. Romney didn't seem to know what the Middle East is, for when he spoke of it he mentioned "Syria, Libya, Mali, Egypt" - of this four only Syria is in the ME, all the rest is in Africa. Mitt Romney should've prepared his geography before attending a debate on foreign policy. Furthermore, Bob Schiefer was clear "This one’s on foreign policy" - so when Mitt Romney took every opportunity to divert the debate to domestic policy...he, once again, cast doubt over his abilities to deal with the world.

Mitt Romney's strategy to "help the world reject these terrorists" is very sound; but he revealed some degree of naïveté because how is economic development ever to take place when jihadists hinder such possibility (by subjecting countries to constant conflict and destruction); how is gender equality and better education ever to occur when Islamists impose an education system that focus primarily on religious subjects (the Hadith, Fiqh, Tafsir and the Quran) and teaches children that a woman's position in society is inferior and that her role is to serve her family and raise children; how is the rule of law supposed to be implemented when Islamists consider it an antithesis to their version of Islam? These issues are far more complex than republicans want us to believe and, quite frankly, to hear Mr Romney being so simplistic is worrying.

I agree with Gov. Romney "Syria is Iran’s only ally in the Arab world. (..) It’s the route for them to arm Hezbollah (...) which threatens, of course, our ally Israel" but I also agree with Pres. Obama "And we are making sure that that those we help are those who will be friends of ours in the long term and friends of our allies in the region over the long term." because it makes no sense for the US to rush into Syria to help and invest money in nation-building (before the US rebuilds itself fully) so that, in the end, America and Israel are accused of occupation and imperialism (fuelling, thus, one more cycle of jihad). The West cannot afford to repeat the same mistakes.

Concerning Egypt, Pres. Obama sent a vital message "They have to abide by their treaty with Israel. That is a red line for us, because not only is Israel’s security at stake, but our security is at stake if that unravels. They have to make sure that they’re cooperating with us when it comes to counterterrorism" - the Egyptian government has failed to control the terrorist presence in the Sinai and, thus, the POTUS is warning pres. Mursi that if Al-Qaeda manages to close the circle (it is presently trying to form around Israel) his country will pay the due price, under his command. At the same time, Pres. Obama is telling PM Netanyahu that he should also focus on Egypt instead of focusing primarily on imposing red lines on Iran.

I agree with both gladiators when they say that having a strong economy, and rebuilding America, is a matter of national security (like Pres. Obama said "because we’ve got to make sure that our economy is strong at home so that we can project military power overseas."). Iran is still rejoicing, as we speak, over the fact that the US did exactly what Iranians wanted: it removed Iran's number one foe out of Persia's way and, in the process, it ruined its own economy (thus, weakening the US and Europe in the eyes of the world) - we must admit that it was a brilliant move by the Persians.

Mitt Romney stated "Mr. President, America has not dictated to other nations. We have freed other nations from dictators." now, this is truly a case of Romnesia. Here are three examples of America dictating to other nations: the US involvement in the Iranian coup d'état of 1953; US involvement in the Brazilian coup d'état of 1964 and, the US involvement in the Chilean coup d'état of 1973  - all to depose democratically elected political leaders and, look how well that went. Under Barack Obama's leadership, the US changed that trend.

I appreciated President Obama's words "And when I went to Israel as a candidate, I didn’t take donors, I didn’t attend fundraisers, I went to Yad Vashem, the — the Holocaust museum there, to remind myself the — the nature of evil and why our bond with Israel will be unbreakable." - he could've said "why our bond with Israel is unbreakable" but the fact that he used the future tense says it all about his eternal commitment to the closest US ally, and friend, in the ME.

After a close analysis of this Foreign Policy debate we reached the conclusion that Governor Romney did not pass the commander-in-chief test. The world wouldn't follow his lead.

Final Standings: Romney 1 - 2 Obama 

Comments

  1. You have hit the nail: it is not enough to say we are going to this or that in the Middle East or against the jihadists cause things are not that linear. When dealing with Islam we need to be tactful cause if the moderates have a hard time dealing with Islamists imagine insensitive westerners who do not understand how the Islam works. Romney seems ignorant of how things work and how this Islamists are spread and how they connect. It is a dangerous world out there and we need a true American leadership to deal with it and Romney is not it.

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    1. Hi International Citizen :D!

      Welcome!

      "When dealing with Islam we need to be tactful cause if the moderates have a hard time dealing with Islamists imagine insensitive westerners who do not understand how the Islam works."

      Isn't that a fact? And it should be expected that a presidential candidate would understand this; but unfortunately Gov. Romney doesn't seem comprehend the nuances behind these issues and it is quite worrying.

      "Romney seems ignorant of how things work and how this Islamists are spread and how they connect. It is a dangerous world out there and we need a true American leadership to deal with it and Romney is not it."

      True. I am utterly inclined to agree with you. Now, with all the things going on, it is not the moment to have Mitt Romney as the POTUS.

      International Citizen, thank you ever so much for you input :D.

      Cheers

      Delete
  2. For many the middle east equals Arab nations.

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    1. Hi Anonymous :D!

      "For many the middle east equals Arab nations."

      Isn't that sad?

      Anonymous, thank you so much for your input :D.

      Cheers

      Delete
  3. America has not dictated to other nations? Is the presidential hopeful serious?

    Maxi, I for one would not lose sleep if the Americans focused their attention inwards and let all the rest of the world fend for themselves. But that would not suit the suits would it?

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    1. Hi Rummy :D!

      I hope you had a pleasant break, my friend.

      "America has not dictated to other nations? Is the presidential hopeful serious?"

      Apparently, he is seriously delusional when it comes to this matter *nodding*.

      "Maxi, I for one would not lose sleep if the Americans focused their attention inwards and let all the rest of the world fend for themselves. But that would not suit the suits would it?"

      I understand where you are coming from (and God knows America needs to focus inward; it needs to rebuild themself). No, it wouldn't suit the suits.

      Rummy, thank you ever so much for your input :D.

      Cheers

      Delete
  4. Mitt Romney is so clueless about foreign policy that Colin Powel, from the republican party, endorsed Obama!
    And by the way, Mitt, America did nothing but dictating the world!!!

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    1. Celia, he endorsed Obama because the brothers must stick together

      Delete
    2. Mr Republican: thanks for showing us why Obama must be reelected. You and the likes of you is what is wrong with America today! Ignorant!

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    3. Hi Celia :D!

      "Mitt Romney is so clueless about foreign policy that Colin Powel, from the republican party, endorsed Obama!"

      Indeed, that debate seems to have pushed Colin Powel into the decision of endorsing Pres. Obama. And can you blame him?

      "And by the way, Mitt, America did nothing but dictating the world!!!"

      The examples are infinite, unfortunately.

      Celia, thank you ever so much for your input :D.

      Cheers

      Delete
    4. Hi Republican :D!

      Welcome!

      "Celia, he endorsed Obama because the brothers must stick together"

      Now you sound like Gov. Sununu. I am not going to say that your words are offensive, because they are meaningless; however I will say that Pres. Obama's steady leadership and Romney's confusing foreign policy views were two of the reasons why Colin Powel endorsed the president. Besides, General Powel offered a very rational explanation when he announced his endorsement:

      "When he took over, the country was in very, very difficult straits. We were in one of the worst recessions we had seen in recent times, close to a depression, (...) We were in real trouble."

      "I saw over the next several years stabilization come back in the financial community. Housing is now starting to pick up after four years. It's starting to pick up. Consumer confidence is rising. So I think generally, we've come out of the dive, and we're starting to gain altitude. It doesn't mean we are problem solved. There are lots of problems still out there. The unemployment rate is too high. People are still hurting in housing. But I see that we are starting to rise up."

      But if you prefer to spread your ignorance; please, feel free - fortunately we live in a free society.

      Republican, thank you so much for your input :D. It makes us think.

      Cheers

      Delete
  5. Max, I can remember a few other examples of how America has dictated the world: Angola (America supported that criminal Savimbi); Portugal (because Sá Carneiro was about to expose the US in what was called the Irangate, the US got him killed - although that is not the official version of the facts); let's not talk about Vietnam; Latin American is full of examples etc etc. So yeah, Obama did well to acknowledge in public the shameful American politics of the 20th century.
    About republican Jews: do you think reps are the best thing for Israel? Really? Just remember Ronald Reagan - the idol of the republican party - and how he treated Israel...it threw it under the bus like no man's business just to pander the Arabs for their oil. Romney is no different.

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    1. Hi Ana :D!

      "Max, I can remember a few other examples of how America has dictated the world: Angola (America supported that criminal Savimbi); Portugal (because Sá Carneiro was about to expose the US in what was called the Irangate, the US got him killed - although that is not the official version of the facts); let's not talk about Vietnam; Latin American is full of examples etc etc. So yeah, Obama did well to acknowledge in public the shameful American politics of the 20th century."

      Good examples. Yes, he did well.

      "About republican Jews: do you think reps are the best thing for Israel? Really? Just remember Ronald Reagan - the idol of the republican party - and how he treated Israel...it threw it under the bus like no man's business just to pander the Arabs for their oil. Romney is no different."

      Another good example.

      Ana, your words say it all. Thank you so so much for your input :D.

      Cheers

      Delete
  6. Hi Max! I actually agree with Obama: it is time for the Afghans to take responsibility for their own security; it is time for the middle east nations to take responsibility for their own security ( I do not agree with a western intervention in Syria) and it is time for America to focus on building itself and stop policing the world.
    About China: it has definitely to play by the same rules. If it wants to play with the big boys it has to obey to the same rules, period. We are more than willing to trade with them but they have to play the fair game. So both candidates are right about this issue; but Obama has implemented some of the toughest measures against China and that is a fact.

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    1. Hi Yolanda :D!

      "I actually agree with Obama: it is time for the Afghans to take responsibility for their own security; it is time for the middle east nations to take responsibility for their own security ( I do not agree with a western intervention in Syria) and it is time for America to focus on building itself and stop policing the world."

      Indeed.

      "About China: it has definitely to play by the same rules. If it wants to play with the big boys it has to obey to the same rules, period. We are more than willing to trade with them but they have to play the fair game."

      I agree. If China plays the game by the same rules then we will be more than happy to play with them. They are a huge market and we can profit but not at the expense of our workers.

      "So both candidates are right about this issue; but Obama has implemented some of the toughest measures against China and that is a fact."

      He has.

      Yolanda, thank you so so much for your input :D. You were missed.

      Cheers

      Delete
  7. It is always interesting to see Americans speaks of Muslim nations in a very superficial way. Romney, Mitt doesn't know his foreign affairs strategy may sound good to Americans but t the rest of the world it is a joke because of what is at stake. Does he correlate the events? No. Does he understand the correlation between the events? No. Another thing, Obama and Romney, Mitt are wrong when they says al-qaida is dead - it is not dead, it is changed.

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    1. Hi Pietr :D!

      Welcome!

      "Romney, Mitt doesn't know his foreign affairs strategy may sound good to Americans but t the rest of the world it is a joke because of what is at stake. Does he correlate the events? No. Does he understand the correlation between the events? No."

      You express a very strong opinion, indeed...

      "Another thing, Obama and Romney, Mitt are wrong when they says al-qaida is dead - it is not dead, it is changed."

      Here I must agree with you. Al-Qaeda has morphed into a new AQ: a more hybrid one (with both Sunnis and Shiites) with an imperialistic goal. They also kill Muslims if they see it fit (as we are seeing in Syria) unlike OBL's AQ which was more oriented to kill Westerners only.

      Pietr, thank you ever so much for your input :D. Please know that you are extremely welcome here.

      Cheers

      Delete
  8. Hi Max,
    Mr. Romney on 2nd debate said "Government does not create jobs" ( yes it does, when hiring maintenance works and Civil Servants); on 3rd debate he stated "Well, first of, it's not government that makes business successful. It's not government investment that makes business grow and hire people" ( he is wrong again, for on Research & Development, government can work as private sector counterbalance. Government can make business successful if there is proper infrastructures, rule of law, and security) and on the same debate he reiterated "I know what it takes to create 12 million new jobs and rising take-home pay" (so what is he saying? Does he not want to be president any more; he will stay in private sector to create the 12 million jobs?)
    Like we say around here: if contradiction was a Tax Mr. Romney would be broke...
    cheers

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    1. Hi Lenny :D!

      I agree with you. Mr Romney seems to have contradicted himself by saying that Government doesn't create jobs (which is not true) and later on saying "I know what it takes to create 12 million new jobs and rising take-home pay".
      Gov. Romney is a poor communicator because I believe he wanted to convey that the Government cannot substitute the Private Sector...but alas, this was not what he said.

      "so what is he saying? Does he not want to be president any more; he will stay in private sector to create the 12 million jobs?"

      lol Good question.

      "Like we say around here: if contradiction was a Tax Mr. Romney would be broke..."

      But would he be broke? He hardly pays taxes...

      Lenny, thank you ever so much for your great input :D.

      Cheers

      Delete

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