In The Last Debate Before The Election...

President Obama and Mitt Romney tackled foreign policy issues down in Florida. Turns out, there’s little difference between the two men when it comes to what we should be doing in the Middle East. Romney’s strategy heading into the debate was to put all of those war mongering foreign policy advisors, who used to work for George W. Bush and now work on his campaign, in a lockbox – silenced, then embrace each and every one of President Obama’s policies in the Middle East and North Africa.

Most of Romney’s attacks against the President were rhetorical, but when it comes to what the President has actually done in winding down the war in Iraq, intervening in Libya, placing sanctions on Iran, and setting a timetable for withdrawal in Afghanistan, Romney agreed, agreed, agreed, and agreed. The only difference is – Romney clearly didn’t have the depth of knowledge on the issues that the Commander-in-Chief had – and to make up for it, Romney lied or told half-truth 24 different times last night. But that didn’t help him - as most post-debate polls gave President Obama a clear victory Monday night.

Still, those who are shocked by drone warfare and military interventionism in the Middle East walked away from Monday night’s debate outraged that neither party is willing to speak out against these horrors. The truth is, rarely are wars in American history partisan – as the vast majority of military engagements have been supported by both parties.

This isn’t a new phenomenon – it’s a symptom of the rise of the military industrial complex that Eisenhower warned us about. And today – this war machine has captured both parties.


mathboy's picture
mathboy 11 years 34 weeks ago

I can't believe Romney said (again!) that Syria is Iran's route to the sea. Both countries have coasts, and they don't even share a border.

Kend's picture
Kend 11 years 34 weeks ago

Wasn't it Obama that sent the troops to Afghanistan? About 30,000 I beleive. Was Obama using Bush's advisors to.

akunard's picture
akunard 11 years 34 weeks ago

What was the Obama lie/half truth count?

rbbrfish's picture
rbbrfish 11 years 34 weeks ago

I'm disappointed that there wasn't a more made of our presence in the Middle East having less to do with Isreal and terrorist threats and more about protecting access to oil.

leighmf's picture
leighmf 11 years 34 weeks ago

The military industrial complex was shown by Luciferans that weapons manufacturers have more power than the king, the queen, other monarch, dictator, or any government in the world. Our Congress wants to be in on the action too- why shouldn't they get a bloody buck or two for following false intelligence?

From Robert Fleming's jute sandbags which were a staple of The Civil War, to the complex theory of death and destruction upheld by same basic group of investors six generations later, the lust to burden us with expensive products to be purchased by the people to kill the people is proven an insatiable corroder of hearts within both Republican and Democratic parties.

Bob Brereton's picture
Bob Brereton 11 years 34 weeks ago

It's a shame that President Obama does not have any military experience in his past. That would give him cachet to go after another draft dodging, neo-con, Republican, Chicken Hawk. The biggest threat Romney faced on his five draft deferments to do missionry work in France was drinking Beaujolais Nouveau before it had fully matured. He joins a long line of distiguished Chicken Hawks from the previous administration. It seems he is getting a lot of his talking points from them. I'm a very slow typist so I won't start listing them all.

As I've queried in the past:

Q: "What's the major difference between both John Kerry along with Al Gore and the entire Bush administration?"

A: "After 5 minutes in Viet Nam each had more foreign military experience than all the Bush Administration combined."

Apropos Romney and many like minded Republicans clamoring for big government to get out of the way and let the "free market" take care of the economy, why does Romney want big government to step into the China "fair trade" argument? Either you are for free markets or you're not. I think big government has a valuable role to play in our increasingly complicated lives.

akunard's picture
akunard 11 years 34 weeks ago

Googlr Kerry Purple Heart!

js121's picture
js121 11 years 34 weeks ago

Obama inherited 2 wars-Iraq/Afghanistan. He got us out of Iraq and working on Afghanistan. I do not see him as a war monger; but, a peace keeper, a negotiator, a co-ordinator. Not mentioned in most news is the fact that Bush also paid insurgents to overthrow Chevez and he succeeded -for 2 yrs, anyways. The people brought him back because he is a socialist and helps the people. If you caught what Romney was saying about getting into S.A. and his rather harsh mentioning of Chevez, I think that we could very well see big problems in Venezula. Chevez HATED Bush and can't say I blame him; but, has respect and open communications with Obama. Corporations are just waiting to get their hands on all that Venezulan Oil!! and Chevez knows it. Romney is out for himself and will provide the 10-digits the "New Right" needs to sign their bills; but, other than that, he's a manipulator, a draft dodger, a prolific liar, a vulture capitalist, and will do & say anything to get his "crown". I, for one, do NOT want to live in a Theocratic/Oligarchial country. I'll keep our Democracy, thank you.

HalFonts's picture
HalFonts 11 years 34 weeks ago

"Turns out, there’s little difference between the two men when it comes to what we should be doing in the Middle East." -- -- HUH???

Just because Etch-A-Sketch-Romney mimicked the President to squeek-through this last farsical excuse for a "debate" with minimal errors; does NOT mean there is LITTLE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO. There could hardly be more difference -- even with The President's having to deal with the daily realities of the real-world, often with his hands tied.

I'find these made for entertainment-Teevey pseudo-"debates" to be almost as simplistic and inane as the rest of the TV entertainment fare. No issues of substance were discussed, the candidates simply repeated their 12th-grade talking-points over and over, saying little to nothing. The allotted time was hardly enough for one topic in a real in-depth "Debate."

I'm only responsible for one vote; however I've never been more concerned for the future of my country, my Earth -- and the way "we're" going; the sooner "we" in the US collapse, the less damage we (or our forces) can do.

It's all very depressing, right now.

ottmar123's picture
ottmar123 11 years 34 weeks ago

Watching the "debate" last night made me cringe in its infantile quality. As a bemused observer from Canada I'm helping a long time friend and American citizen move to Canada no matter who wins the upcoming "rigged" election.

Your ship is sinking faster than you realize. That Romney's even made it THAT close to the oval office, with his track record of complete dishonesty is simply amazing.

Good luck America, you are a fine and generous people unfortunately saddled by a corrupt government and an even more rapicious military. I'll take our form of "socialized capitalism" any time.

leighmf's picture
leighmf 11 years 34 weeks ago

Isn't war glorious!

A Purple Heart isn't Just Something to Die For! It can be either a consolation prize for death or injury, a wife or mother's keepsake, or a valuable token manipulated for political aggrandizement.

It was especially important for us to go to Viet Nam to defend the threat to our borders and freedom. Even more important was to have first shot the Native Americans out of their borders so that First Americans would have their own borders to defend against all who threaten. How smoothly each generation was convinced with advertising and pageantry to pitch right in and defend foreign borders containing resources of value essential to our mighty corporations. These wondrous patriotic institutions for which so many have died have fortified and built us into a thriving economic state, after first scaring the pants off the world with the big A-Bomb. Oh excuse me, there was A- Bomb 1 and then A- Bomb 2, arbitrarily dropped following an unauthorized general's whim.

If only there were something that would make more money and opportunities than war-

leighmf's picture
leighmf 11 years 34 weeks ago

Well you may be amused, but we don't think it's funny. It's equally as pathetic as The House of Windsor.

ottmar123's picture
ottmar123 11 years 34 weeks ago

In fact, it was originally the House of Hanover, but sounded too German. House of Windsor has a regal British air to it. They're still closet krauts!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

leighmf's picture
leighmf 11 years 34 weeks ago

Precisely what I meant, old chap.

SHFabian's picture
SHFabian 11 years 34 weeks ago

I would ask this generation to seriously think about this: We engage in serial wars, send huge amounts of aid to foreign countries, have redistributed several trillion dollars (since Reagan) to the richest few, and ended the entitlement to sub-poverty level aid for America's poorest. While going to war to "bring freedom" to foreign lands, we round up and jail the poor for the crime of poverty. While in the process of ending the citizens' entitlement to poverty relief, government was in the process of redistributing trillions of dollars upward, so Americans expressed their contempt for the poor. Infant mortality rates among our poor now rival those of Third World nations and the life expectancy of our poor has actually fallen below that of some Third World nations, and our entire government is sharply focused on easing the suffering of the middle class (?). During similar eras in the past, when the richest few gained a dangerous degree of power over govt., the poor and middle classes united to successfully push back, to the benefit of both. Not this time.

js121's picture
js121 11 years 34 weeks ago

Yes, I agree that Canada has a somewhat better social safety net. Over the last 40 yrs.; however, I have found that net shrank considerably. The same influences are felt in Canada these days. Corporate-made laws and politicians that pass those laws have created just as many problems, too. The Austerity Agenda has not escaped Canadians and they are starting to really feel it. There will little difference when I, too, return to Canada. It will be the same battles to fight. I do find; however, that Americans seem to "engage" themselves on a grander scale than Canadians. That is a problem. Complacency will not move us forward. Good Luck to your friend. As much as we like to think that we are so similar, we are different and it takes time to adjust to that. We do have a Canadian Identity!!

psa9009's picture
psa9009 11 years 34 weeks ago

I could not believe my ears that Mrs Mitt Rommney has 5 sons and none of them have served in any wars or the Army ,instead they went preaching for the Mormon Church and to her it is serving their country ,what kind of demogogury is this and the Nation listens without jamming the streets of Washington DC. This is dodging the nation and saying ,millionaires can , as a matter of fact , get away with murder. Military draft is one way to put a brake on unnecessary wars.

Fighting on the Front is for people who have no choice. Bush, Cheney, Rush Limbaugh, other Talk Show hosts and a bunch of other influential people get away from serving, yet these Neo Cons who are suporting them have the audacity to start a fight on every Continent ,the blood of the poor and middle class is so cheap,they have NO regrets at all . They cannot wait to satrt another war . What about the mothers, fathers, daughter and brothers who have to live with for the rest of their lives when they are told that this war was NOT to defend our Homeland, like Viet Nam , Iraq war , Afghanistan war etc etc . Gen Eisenhower warned the nation about the Military Industrial Complex desire to proliferate arms build up . They started a war in Iraq that lasted 10 years on wrong , falsified and manipulated information (WMD) and then Rush Limbaugh has the audacity to justify it. Killing over 4000 of our own young poor people, 100,000 plus Iraqis dead, millions in property damage, and they dont have any shame that Mitt Romney has to criticize President Obama for being weak and apologetic. For them it war is cheap, just turn the page and move on.

No Fraud's picture
No Fraud 11 years 34 weeks ago

Funny that saying NEVER ends with peace...Just more war.

Call me a Hopless Peace Seeker but I am voteing for Jill Stein or Rocky Anderson Their agenda - when it comes to Foregin Policy - is in the direction of collapsing the War Machine...Which doesn't mean abolishing our military; more so it means cutting back on over deffense spending, but even more important it means not engaging in unecessary and illegal wars or engaging in illegal occupation of another sovereigning nation; which cost more than just dollars...And for me that's the "Change" we and the world need. Sorry stupid war profiteers!!!

Ralf Hertwig's picture
Ralf Hertwig 11 years 34 weeks ago

All this bitching about the US and its foreign policy (whatever it is and will lead to) is just fooling ourselves. All this debating is really worthless because both, Obama and Romney agree basically on everything. The difference in there agreements is only in rhetorical style not in substance. We all should be voting for Jill Stein, who appears to have the soundest platform of any of the candidates we are asked to enlist in our cause for freedom, peace, and democracy, and a hands off foreign policy agenda in which meaningful disputes should be handled lawfully not with beligerency and war mongering.

The real issues nobody seems to wish to confront is the undemocratic government constituted by Congress in the 1911 Congressional apportionment Law. 435 House seat established by the law out of a population of more than 320 million is clearly insufficient for the exercise of the people's democratic rights, that is, true democracy. We need to declare the current Apportionment Law unconstitutional, increase the House seats to more than 435 (perhaps even the 2 seats in the Senate), allow third parties to grow and prosper by introducing proportional representation. All this needs to be done properly, that is through a Constitutional Amendment, not with passing a new law. Those who still believe in our Constitution should never allow Congress to decide how many of them and under what condition they may represent us. The current law is unconstitutional and if further proof is needed let me know and I'll send my essay explaining why it is. Let's vote for Jill Stein, the truly sound other alternative.

Elioflight's picture
Elioflight 11 years 34 weeks ago

Does anyone else see a repeating pattern? 1) A terrorist attack on an US target overseas during the Clinton admin (the Cole) and the diplomats during the Obama admin; 2) neo-cons and rethuglican presidential candiate banging the drums of war against a country that has not attacked us, but which has a lot of oil; 3) reports in a whimpy media (I guess held hostage by the corporations) that we may be cyber attacked on the homeland (WMDs and mushroom clouds).

megalomaniac's picture
megalomaniac 11 years 34 weeks ago

No it was not a debate. Again, this present day Journalistic culture brought America to where we are today. In our twenty four hour day by day news cycle horse race, with highlighted topics that will be described after commercial messages, is actually the basic physiological derivative cultured into our present social structure.

Educated and persuaded, convinced, by free speech, lies, deception, and most of all breach of basic Constitutional rights. All done with Commercial time too. Today’s new powerful weapon for the future plutocracy.

Stay with us and we will go over this important topic, the usual saying before the commercial starts. As an example, about a news anchor, will highlight and talk about Universal Health care after these messages. Then get a bombarded by an AARP insurance ad, if you haven’t guessed it by now, the advertisement letting you know Congress forgot to include some twenty percent of what you really need in benefits.

Heck, Social Security should twice today of what it really is paying out. Enough of the bull crap of today’s capitalism; all mergers in corporations for the bigger the better must include education and pensions for employees rather than the customary layoff routine now in business practice. Then and only then can huge salaries and bonus plans be given to the CEO responsible for such good success. This would eliminate unemployment plus promote a living waged society. Dividends and stock bonus stuff included in a new plan for capitalism.

That small deletion by Congress giving limits in AARP created a whole insurance industry out there. Sheesh. Of course those old folks in Florida are stupid enough buy this crap, and not think twice about how in world the whole thing came about.

Or the Government insurance corporation that does not have anything to do with the government is selling insurance by an erectus primate, the lizard, the crawling creature in evolution now walking around displaying natural tendencies, even now wearing a hat on bill boards selling insurance convincing your mind will be changed in fifteen minutes.

Ladies and Gentlemen of America this really begs the question are they really selling insurance between all these political commercials or are they really conditioning the minds of America’s who can be persuaded with what I call an electromagnetic time derivative of Journalistic psychology in persuasion. Then get another few minutes of a political commercials likely lies hacked and convoluted, vote for me.

Yes they can, and they, the one percenters are doing it right now all across the electromagnetic specturm.

Gregory Wonderwheel's picture
Gregory Wonderwheel 11 years 34 weeks ago

Actually that was not the last debate before the election. Thom was at the last debate before the election and it was held in Chicago by the Free and Equal Foundation with the four other national presidential candidates. Thom was on the pre-debate show and asked good questions, putting Libertarian Gary Johnson on the spot about the "commons" and Johnson did not know what the commons meant. The debate without the pre-debate show can be seen at CSPAN

David Abbot's picture
David Abbot 11 years 33 weeks ago

It's true: both of the two political parties that the corporations allow us to have, have always supported war as a matter of principle. Basically any war. Against any country, as long as it can't really defend itself. (For instance, I don't seem to see us invading Russia or China, which are two of the worst offenders against human rights.) And our stated reasons for invading other countries can be anything from A to Z, as long as that country has something we want to steal, such as oil (Iraq), and opium and minerals (Afghanistan). We only invade countries that have something we want to steal.

Political candidates who are truly against war are marginalized and not allowed to be serious contenders.

Washington (the state, not DC) senator Patty Murray sent me a mass email informing me that essentially everyone in America fully supports America's "war on terror."

I responded, indicating that LIKE MOST OF HER CONSTITUENTS, I am horrified that our country is engaging in a permanent, illegal series of wars against muslim countries- wars that are bankrupting our country and making millions of enemies out of people who could otherwise have been our friends.

Murray responded, "I am sorry that we do not agree on this issue."

I sent her an email saying, "I don't give a crap whether you are sorry that we don't agree. I care that you- a supposed liberal democrat, are supporting that war."

One of her staffers called me and said, "Sure you're against the war, most of us are. But you support our troops, though, right?"

I said, "No, I do NOT support our troops. They are war criminals. The fact that our government is ordering them to commit war crimes does not excuse them. Nor does the fact that most of them are ignorant of the fact that they are war criminals. I mean, if someone ordered those soldiers to kill your family, would you say, 'Oh, they were just obeying orders, it's ok. And besides, they're heroes for risking their lives to kill my family.' And if it would not be a heroic act for our soldiers to kill your family, why are they heroes for killing other peoples' families?"

The fat rich old white men- and their propagandists such as Karl Rove- who have caused almost almost every war our country has been in, figured out that one of the factors that forced them to end the Vietnam war was that Americans began hating our military, and under that popular pressure, soldiers became less and less willing to fight. And so the propagandists- who are willing to say or do anything to get what they want, said, "Next war we start, let's make a very clear distinction between the war- which will be unpopular, and our troops, whom we will present to America as heros, as warriors, as the ones whose service to America is so valuable. We will start a custom of everyone saying to soldiers, 'Thank you for your service, thank you for protecting us.' Then we can continue our wars forever with very little public resistance."

And I even hear progressive talk show hosts telling soldiers, "Thank you for your service."

Service? WHAT service? They are not performing any service for America. They are damaging America, making us more enemies, making us more vulnerable. I am not grateful to them, because there is nothing to be grateful for.

Yes, I am sorry that they are being tricked and manipulated into going to war against innocent people. Yes, I am sorrty when they get hurt or killed- it's a criminal waste of human potential and it harms America's soul and humanity's soul, and the people who sent them to war should be prosecuted as war criminals. But let's be real straight about something: even when our soldiers get hurt or killed, they GOT hurt or killed while committing war crimes. It's not like they were defending America. And so, by definition, they are not heroes. And without the lower-level criminals who do the actual pulling of the triggers and sending of the bombs and drones, the upper-level criminals like Karl Rove, would have to get their own fat butts over to those foreign countries and fight their own evil wars. And let me tell you something: while I am completely against what our troops are doing, at least they have the courage to go over there and risk they lives to do it; if Karl Rove went over there to fight, the first time he stubbed his little toe or got bit by a sand flea, he would be on the first lear jet back to America. No, his type likes to wage war the old fashioned way: by getting other people to do it for him.

When our soldiers harm and kill people in Muslim countries, it harms America's soul. And it harms the souls of the American soldiers who harm and kill those people. Which is part of the reason why so many American soldiers kill themselves. If I had harmed or killed people who never harmed me and never harmed Ameria, I would feel awful about it, too.

Support our troops? Yeah, I support our troops, that's why I want them all to come home. Now.

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