Third Presidential Debate 2012: Foreign Policy

What a crazy day. First day back from vacation and staring at me was the inbox from the seventh level of hell. Then, I attended a wake for my partner’s relative. While drinking a Blue Moon Wheat Ale and eating pepperoni pizza, I watched the debate. I swear to God. I don’t think it was the beer, but Romney changed his positions again. I swear that guy must be 3/4 chameleon. Anyway, for those who did other more productive and/or fun things than watch the debate, I offer you the summary.

The first question, and it concerns Libya. The controversy over what happened there continues. Four Americans are dead, including an American ambassador. Questions remain. What happened? What caused it? Was it spontaneous? Was it an intelligence failure? Was it a policy failure? Was there an attempt to mislead people about what really happened?Governor Romney, you said this was an example of an American policy in the Middle East that is unraveling before our very eyes. I’d like to hear each of you give your thoughts on that. Governor Romney, you won the toss. You go first.

Romney:
Arab Spring. More like Arab Winter…of our discontent. We championed for their democracy and as a thank you, Egypt elects the Muslim Brotherhood. What do you mean a democracy is being able to vote for whoever you want?

Obama:
Bin Laden is dead. The war in Iraq is over, and we’re transitioning out of Afghanistan. Thanks for the kudos on Bin Laden, Mittens, but “your strategy previously has been one that has been all over the map.”

Romney:
My strategy is to go after the bad guys. How can we reject these terrorists?

  • More economic development. Foreign aid should be coordinated in such a way that “we push back and give them more economic development.” I know that doesn’t make sense, but I have throw in the economy somehow.
  • Better education. For them. Not us.
  • Gender equality. For there. Not here.
  • The rule of law. We have to help sovereign nations create “civil societies,” even though they didn’t ask.

Obama
It’s cool that you finally see Al Qaeda as the threat. A few months ago, you said Russia was our biggest threat. “They’re now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because, you know, the Cold War’s been over for 20 years.” You say we should not have another Iraq, but just three weeks ago you said we should have more troops there. You said there shouldn’t be a timeline in Afghanistan. Now you’re saying we should. Dude, who are you? Or more importantly, who am I talking to right now?

Romney
That’s for me to know and you to figure out as we go along. I’m not going to look at Russia with rose colored glasses. And Iraq? We agreed on a status of forces agreement. No I didn’t want more troops. I know that is directly opposite of what I just said two seconds ago.

Obama
As commander in chief, I learned that you have to be clear about where you are and what you mean. You can’t change your position like you change the setting on your spray tan gun.

Let me interject the second topic question in this segment about the Middle East and so on, and that is, you both mentioned — alluded to this, and that is Syria.The war in Syria has now spilled over into Lebanon. We have, what, more than 100 people that were killed there in a bomb. There were demonstrations there, eight people dead. Mr. President, it’s been more than a year since you saw — you told Assad he had to go. Since then, 30,000 Syrians have died. We’ve had 300,000 refugees. The war goes on. He’s still there. Should we reassess our policy and see if we can find a better way to influence events there? Or is that even possible?

Obama
Here’s the deal. We said Assad has to go, imposed sanctions, and provided humanitarian aid. We have to be super careful that we know exactly who we’re helping, opposition wise. They could turn on us.

Romney
We can’t just let the “UN deal with it.” We should take a leadership role. We can’t be involved on the ground militarily, but we can arm the opposition.

Obama
Um, taking the leadership role is exactly what we’re doing. We have to be careful and thoughtful when we act like in Libya. That’s why the Libyans are with us.

Governor, can I just ask you, would you go beyond what the administration would do, like for example, would you put in no-fly zones over Syria?

Romney
We should take a leading role, not militarily, but organizationally.

Obama
Do you know why Romney doesn’t have any different ideas? Because he knows what we’re doing right now is the right thing to promote a moderate Syria.

May I ask you, you know, during the Egyptian turmoil, there came a point when you said it was time for President Mubarak to go. Some in your administration thought perhaps we should have waited a while on that. Do you have any regrets about that?

Obama
Nope. We weren’t about to let Tahrir Square turn into Tiannamen Square.

Governor Romney, I want to hear your response to that, but I would just ask you, would you have stuck with Mubarak?

Romney
Nope. “I supported his action there.” Take a deep breath, Conservatives. The deal was I could say anything to get elected.

What do each of you see as our role in the world, and I believe, Governor Romney, it’s your chance to go first.

Romney
We have a responsibility to defend freedom and the principles that make the world more peaceful like “human rights, human dignity, free enterprise, freedom of expression, elections.” To do that, America has to be strong. Not sucking like it does now with so many people out of work thanks to this guy.

Obama
“America remains the one indispensable nation.” We are stronger now than when I first got into office. We’re rebuilding. Romney proposed “wrong and reckless policies,” and he’ll take us right back to what got us in this mess in the first place.

Romney
I will create 12 million new jobs based on my 5 point plan. I’m just going to go over it again for the 3 people who haven’t heard it yet.

Obama
To be competitive in the 21st century, we need a strong education policy. Romney told teachers that reduced class sizes don’t matter and wants to slash education.

Romney
Republicans and Democrats came together and worked on getting the best teachers in the classrooms.

Obama
Ten years before you became governor

Romney
And my state was #1 in education.

Obama
Then you slashed education spending.

Governor, you say you want a bigger military. You want a bigger Navy. You don’t want to cut defense spending. What I want to ask you — we were talking about financial problems in this country. Where are you going to get the money?

Romney
Come check out our website, where we show that the money is available. Unlike in the real world. But I will let you in on our secret weapon in getting the money. Repealing Obamacare.

Obama
Any fourth grader in MA can show you the math doesn’t work. Our plan does. And we don’t have mysterious closed loopholes and deductions upon which this budget depends.

Romney
Budgets? I can balance them. I did it in business, in MA, and I will definitely be president so I can balance this nation’s budget. You couldn’t balance a budget if your life depended on it. On military spending, I’m not going to cut the budget by a trillion dollars like you will. Our Navy is smaller than it was in 1916, and we need more ships.

Obama
We have fewer ships than in 1916, and we have fewer horses and bayonets. “We have these things called aircraft carriers, where planes land on them. We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines.” Oh and we’ve been to your website. The math doesn’t work there either.

Would either of you — and you’ll have two minutes — and, President Obama, you have the first go at this one — would either of you be willing to declare that an attack on Israel is an attack on the United States, which, of course, is the same promise that we give to our close allies like Japan. And if you made such a declaration, would not that deter Iran? It’s certainly deterred the Soviet Union for a long, long time when we made that — we made — we made that promise to our allies.

Obama
“I will stand with Israel if they are attacked.” The sanctions against Iran are working. Trigger happy over here doesn’t realize that sending our troops in harm’s way is “the last resort, not the first resort.”

Romney
I’ll tighten those sanctions and nail Ahmadinejad’s ass to the wall under the Genocide Convention

Let me ask both of you, there — as you know, there are reports that Iran and the United States a part of an international group, have agreed in principle to talks about Iran’s nuclear program. What is the deal, if there are such talks? What is the deal that you would accept, Mr. President?

Obama
All this talk about a “deal” is not true. The only deal is for Iran to abide by the rules established and convince the world that they’re not pursuing a nuclear program. And the clock is ticking.

Romney
Iran sees us as weak because Obama goes on this apology tour through the Middle East at the beginning of his presidency.

Obama
Back up with that “apology tour” thing. Wasn’t true then or now. Iran is at its weakest point now.

Romney
We’re 4 years closer to a nuclear Iran. And it was an apology tour because you said that America had been “dismissive and derisive,” and we had “dictated” to other nations. Oh and on that tour you forgot to drop in and say HI to Israel.

Obama
When I went to Israel as a candidate, I didn’t bring donors. And who has credibility in the region? It certainly isn’t you.

What if — what if the prime minister of Israel called you on the phone and said, “Our bombers are on the way. We’re going to bomb Iran.” What do you —

Romney
Ain’t gonna happen. So I’m going to tell you how Obama sucks when it comes to foreign policy.

Obama
“Governor, the problem is, is that on a whole range of issues, whether it’s the Middle East, whether it’s Afghanistan, whether it’s Iraq, whether it’s now Iran, you’ve been all over the map.” You said that we should’ve asked Pakistan’s permission to get Bin Laden. We wouldn’t have gotten him if we did that. I make the decisions needed to keep America safe. And everyone knows it.

The United States is scheduled to turn over responsibility for security in Afghanistan to the Afghan government in 2014. At that point, we will withdraw our combat troops, leave a smaller force of Americans, if I understand our policy, in Afghanistan for training purposes. It seems to me the key question here is: What do you do if the deadline arrives and it is obvious the Afghans are unable to handle their security? Do we still leave? And I believe, Governor Romney, you go first?

Romney
“When” I’m president, I’ll make sure the troops will be out at the end of 2014. I hope you don’t remember that I said the exact opposite before. And with Pakistan, we only give them money if they do stuff for us in a tangible way.

Obama
We’ll be done with Afghanistan in 2014…as I’ve said all along. Time to build up our nation.

General Allen, our commander in Afghanistan, says that Americans continue to die at the hands of groups who are supported by Pakistan. We know that Pakistan has arrested the doctor who helped us catch Obama (sic) bin Laden. It still provides safe haven for terrorists, yet we continue to give Pakistan billions of dollars. Is it time for us to divorce Pakistan?

Romney
Divorce? It’s cheaper to keep her. We’re not talking about Ann? Oh Pakistan, yeah. No we can’t divorce them because they have nuclear weapons, house the Taliban, and are sort of our allies.

Let — let me ask you, Governor because we know President Obama’s position on this, what is — what is your position on the use of drones?

Romney
Drones are the best. Good job Mr. President. On that. On other things like Israel-Palestine and al-Qaeda? You still suck.

Obama
Attitudes about America are changing for the better. We have to remain vigilant on terrorist activities, though. And al Qaeda is weaker than when I first came into office.

Let’s — let’s go to the next segment, because it’s a very important one. It is the rise of China and future challenges for America. I want to just begin this by asking both of you, and Mr. President, you — you go first this time. What do you believe is the greatest future threat to the national security of this country?

Obama
Terrorism. But with China – they’re an adversary but if they play by the rules, they can be a partner. We’ve gone after them for violating trade rules. And won.

Romney
They’re currency manipulators. They steal our intellectual property.They hack into our computers. They counterfeit our goods. Basically, they suck.

Well, Governor, let me just ask you. If you declare them a currency manipulator on day one, some people are — say you’re just going to start a trade war with China on day one. Is that — isn’t there a risk that that could happen?

Romney
Considering all of their dollar store crap we buy, the last thing they want is a trade war. They can be our partner, but they can’t steal our jobs unfairly.

Obama
You know all about “jobs being shipped overseas because you invested in companies that were shipping jobs overseas.” I bet on us. You would’ve let the auto industry go to hell.

Romney
I was born in Detroit. My father was the head of a car company. I love American cars. and the little people who make them for me. I wouldn’t have “liquidated the industry.”

Obama
That’s exactly what you would have done. Let them go bankrupt with no plan to help them rebuild. In order to be competitive, we have to make smart choices. Cutting education and investments in research and technology? Not smart. We can’t go back to the policies that got us into the mess we’ve dealt with. We have to move forward and not go back.

Romney
We can’t go back to the policies of the past four years. Your policies suck and here are all the statistics that say why. You should be able to recite them by now because I’ve all but tattooed them on to your brains.

Gentlemen, thank you so much for a very vigorous debate. We have come to the end. It is time for closing statements

Obama
You’ve heard seen 3 debates, too many political commercials (my apologies to Ohio, especially). Now it’s time to choose. Keep making the strides with me or go back to the policies that brought us to the brink with him. I will fight for you and your families. We always bounce back because of our character.

Romney
With me, you get real leadership. With him, we’ll turn into Greece. Vote for me, and it’s baseball and apple pie forever. Vote for him, and it’s that girly ass soccer and baklava. No one wants that. With your help, I’ll keep America American.


12 responses to “Third Presidential Debate 2012: Foreign Policy

  • Ric

    Jeez, Spinny, that’s very disturbing, you know, the fact that you could actually eat pizza while watching Romney. But on the bright side that’s probably a tribute to your good health. Me, I get nauseous and I’m reasonably healthy.

    But in any event thanks for once again bearing the burden of watching and reporting for those of us with weaker stomachs. 🙂

  • Raunak

    It was the first debate I managed to watch live…somehow I was awake at 5:30 am. but I couldn’t bear to watch beyond the first 10 minutes…It was a complete waste of time. The one thing I did not like was Obama’s posture…it reflected a snobbish air…but then if you are the President, you are entitled to that privilege 🙂

  • aFrankAngle

    Hey … I had a perfect record and didn’t watch any of the debates … and I’m one who has a history of watching them! …. Nonetheless, you have captured what I need to know.

  • Sedate Me

    After watching the debate, a few things became obvious.

    1) Romney was intent on “me too-ing” Obama too death and that pissed him off. After all the posturing over the last 2 years, when it actually comes down to it, he admits he would do very little differently. That’s probably true. Romney is now famous for boldly saying exactly what his audience wants to hear. So (outside of Obama overruling his advisers on killing Osama) Romney would have followed the same advice given to Obama.

    2) Aside from getting into (or out of) specific wars, most Presidents wind up having almost exactly the same foreign policies in the end, irregardless of what they say before getting elected. American foreign policy has very little to do with what Americans think.

    3) Anyone hoping to get elected must stuff as much Israeli cock in their mouth as they can. For some reason, the fate of this small pile of useless rocks is far more important than any country other than America itself.

    4) Europe? Wat Dat? Afroqua? Africk-a…South Amerdakota? Japan? What huh?

    5) Mexico? Canada? Nope. Those are covered under “domestic policy”.

    And above all…

    6) There’s really not much point in having a Foreign Policy debate. Damn near every President has damn near the exact same foreign policy. Besides, (without looking it up on the Inter-tubes) the average American probably couldn’t name more than 7 countries anyway, never mind find them on a map. Nor could they give less of a flying fuck about any of them, unless they have oil, or Jesus was born there.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: