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File:Five Presidents Oval Office.jpg

President George W. Bush meets with former Presidents George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter and President-elect Barack Obama Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2009 in the Oval Office of the White House. (Photo Credit: Wikipedia)

The Final Debate

Mr Romney lost the final debate, held on October 22nd, 2012.


Mr Romney made it perfectly clear that, under his presidency, the United States would stand behind Israel.  One cannot object to his standing behind Israel, but can he play favorites, thereby alienating the Arab world?  If Mr Romney plays favorites or takes sides, the United States will remain an enemy in the eyes of other countries in the Near and Middle East.  As a result, he would not be protecting but endangering Israel.

Moreover, by taking sides, he would endanger the United States.  The events of 9/11 and the disastrous wars fought in the wake of these attacks dictate prudence in the Middle East.  There are countries in the Arab world that harbor considerable ill feelings against the United States.

Mr Romney also stated that “[w]e need to indict Ahmadinejad.”  In what capacity could the President of the United States do this?  Ahmadinejad is not an American citizen and Iran is a sovereign nation.  Indicting Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would have to be done using the proper international channels.  The President of the United States does not rule the world.

China: Mr Romney

Mr Romney’s comments on China were also alarming.

“That’s why on day one, I will label them a currency manipulator, which allows us to apply tariffs where they’re taking jobs. They’re stealing our intellectual property, our patents, our designs, our technology, hacking into our computers, counterfeiting our goods.” (Mitt Romney)

The United States borrowed a great deal of money from China and may need to borrow more.  If Mr Romney and other very wealthy Americans will not pay their fair share of taxes, if they deposit their money in offshore accounts, if they continue to expect tax cuts, if they export too large a number of jobs to China and other countries, thereby taking jobs away from Americans and, by the same token, depriving the US of tax-payers, how will the debt be repaid?  Mr Romney may have to learn Chinese.

In short, Mr Romney is fomenting dissent in the Middle East and inviting retaliatory action from China.  His behaviour suggests that he would be a reckless President and that as President of the United States, he would not give sufficient attention to domestic issues.  He would in fact bully the world: sanctions here, sanctions there.

The Middle East: President Obama  

“[O]ur security is at stake.” (President Obama)

Contrary to Mr Romney, President Obama’s main concern is for the safety of his people.  For instance, he stated that:

  • his administration is “going to continue to keep the pressure on to make sure that they [Iran] do not get a nuclear weapon.  That’s in America’s national interest and that will be the case so long as I’m president.”

President Obama is right.  It is in America’s national interest to make sure than Iran and other countries do not get nuclear weapons.  This matter is, in fact, a global issue and should be addressed as such.

President Obama also stated that “[t]hey [Egypt] 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.”


According to Mr Romney, the US “should be playing the leadership role there[Libya]” not on the ground with military[,]” a statement to which President Obama’s response was that they (the US) “are playing the leadership role.”

America remains the one indispensable nation. And the world needs a strong  America, and it is stronger now than when I came into office.

English: President Obama had called on the two...

English: President Obama had called on the two former Presidents to help. During their public remarks in the Rose Garden, President Clinton had said about President Bush, ‘I’ve already figured out how I can get him to do some things that he didn’t sign on for.’ Later, back in the Oval, President Bush is jokingly asking President Clinton what were those things he had in mind. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yes the United States “remains the one indispensable nation,” but a nation where a social contract, albeit tacit, dictates that its president’s main concern be the “safety” of his nation.  That notion has to inform a president’s actions and any candidate to the presidency of the United States who expresses views that stray from this tenet does not seem a suitable candidate.

So the United States now knows that if it elects Mr Romney, it may well elect a warmonger who is indeed prepared to barge into other countries thoughtlessly and will revive the image of the “ugly American:”  a “pejorative term used to refer to perceptions of loud, arrogant, demeaning, thoughtless and ethnocentric behavior of American citizens mainly abroad, but also at home.  Although the term is usually associated with or applied to travelers and tourists, it also applies to US corporate businesses in the international arena.” (Ugly American, Wikipedia)

After four years of careful negotiations with the Middle East and a rapprochement, America might again be sending soldiers into battle, young Americans who will lose their life or whose life may be ruined.

* * *

What comes to my mind is that picture of President elect Obama entering the White House surrounded by former presidents.  The US suffered under the former president’s administration, but President Bush was President of the United States and he was President on 9/11, a calamity that can lead and led to injudicious decisions.  But President Obama treated President Bush in a kind and courteous manner as he did all former presidents.  The “five presidents” was a moment of mutual respect that brought me hope, and hope is the road that takes us into the future.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/10/22/transcript-presidential-debate-on-foreign-policy-at-lynn-university/#ixzz2A9bUCpPC

© Micheline Walker
October 24th, 2012

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