Backchannel the Foreign Policy Debate

Backchannel the Foreign Policy Debate

Jason Russell
on Oct 18, 2012

The third and final debate for the 2012 Presidential Election is Monday, October 22nd with the President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney discussing foreign policy.

Participants (13) See All

What do you think?

Anonymous
on 2014-10-31T07:29:32+00:00
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Recent Activity

Ben Schmitt
on Nov 06, 2012
"This is scary! Department of State spokesman Ron Ruman says the Perry County voter notified..."
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 23, 2012
"Transcript of the final debate with interactive fact checking."
Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 22, 2012
"you're right. no need to imagine it. we saw it. cripes. "
Josh Stacher
on Oct 22, 2012
"No problem. That was fun!"
Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 22, 2012
"Do you think it's also that here domestically we really do have a lot of problems? They are..."
Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 22, 2012
"thanks"
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 22, 2012
"I almost saw Biden this morning...I saw his motorcycle escort & his rooftop guard when he was..."
Miranda M. Hansen
on Oct 22, 2012
"Thank, Dan! I liked your team particpation. :)"
Jason Segedy
on Oct 22, 2012
"You know, we didn't even really hear about EUROPE! Or did I miss it? The Euro? The debt crisis?..."
Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 22, 2012
"Thanks, all, for your participation in this and the last three debate backchannels. This was very..."
Jason Segedy
on Oct 22, 2012
"Great observation. I think they gave the people what they want to hear. As a people, we pay..."
Daryl Rowland
on Oct 22, 2012
"Americans never care about foreign policy except if there's a war or an invasion."
Jason Segedy
on Oct 22, 2012
"I think Obama won, if for no other reason, than the fact that he is simply more knowledgeable..."
Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 22, 2012
"I think I have a binder full of them somewhere around here. "
Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 22, 2012
"Wow yeah, good call"
Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 22, 2012
"I bet it's going to be a lot about China. If the Israel-Palestine problem doesn't shift in any..."
Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 22, 2012
"I will get fired if I get any cheekier so I will say - whatever you think :)"
Jason Segedy
on Oct 22, 2012
"And wouldn't a Canadian Prime Ministerial debate feature one of the candidates mentioning their..."
Josh Stacher
on Oct 22, 2012
"CNN Prediction: Wolf Blitzer will call the debate a tie. That dude's got no opinions. "
Jason Russell
on Oct 22, 2012
"With candidates struggling to stay on the topic of foreign policy, does that say more about the..."
Mark Cassell
on Oct 22, 2012
"Would be interesting to have a discussion about what we think the top foreign policy issue will..."
Daryl Rowland
on Oct 22, 2012
"Fantastic point, Pete. "
Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 22, 2012
"I'm thinking pageant talk re: world peas"
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 22, 2012
"Well - if they are all women, chances that for diplomacy are much better.  Men don't fit in..."
Josh Stacher
on Oct 22, 2012
"No need to work on that policy. It's peachy Dan"
Mark Cassell
on Oct 22, 2012
"No climate change either."
Josh Stacher
on Oct 22, 2012
"Who does romney mean by "teachers"?"
Pete Moore
on Oct 22, 2012
"I think the weakness of debate on foreign policy is partly because the cost of our foreign policy..."
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 22, 2012
"Were we talking about foreign policy?"
Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 22, 2012
"The dials? They were tanking big time at the end"
Ben Schmitt
on Nov 06, 2012 - 3:58 pm

This is scary! Department of State spokesman Ron Ruman says the Perry County voter notified elections officials of the problem after trying to cast his ballot Tuesday. Video of what Ruman called a "momentary glitch" was posted on YouTube. It shows a vote for President Barack Obama switching to Mitt Romney on the machine.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/news/politics-state/election-day-turnout-heavy-in-places-some-problems-as-pennsylvania-votes-660858/#ixzz2BTi6DAsD

 
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 23, 2012 - 3:21 pm

Transcript of the final debate with interactive fact checking.

 
Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 22, 2012 - 10:40 pm

Thanks, all, for your participation in this and the last three debate backchannels. This was very productive and very useful. 

 

Responses(2)

Miranda M. Hansen
on Oct 22, 2012

Thank, Dan! I liked your team particpation. :)

 
Josh Stacher
on Oct 22, 2012

No problem. That was fun!

 
Expand This Thread
Josh Stacher
on Oct 22, 2012 - 10:33 pm

CNN Prediction: Wolf Blitzer will call the debate a tie. That dude's got no opinions. 

 
Jason Russell
on Oct 22, 2012 - 10:33 pm

With candidates struggling to stay on the topic of foreign policy, does that say more about the candidates of the American public? They are just telling us what polls well. Do we as citizens just not care about global affairs anymore?

 

Responses(3)

Daryl Rowland
on Oct 22, 2012

Americans never care about foreign policy except if there's a war or an invasion.

 
Jason Segedy
on Oct 22, 2012

Great observation. I think they gave the people what they want to hear. As a people, we pay minimal attention to the rest of the world.

 
Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 22, 2012

Do you think it's also that here domestically we really do have a lot of problems? They are privileged problems of a wealthy developed country but even so, we have a lot to fix here. Given that, it is even harder to make the case that we should be the rest of the world's keeper or at least in the far reaching way some have envisioned in the past. Foreign policy - it's a moving target, with or without bayonets or horses. :)

 
Expand This Thread
Mark Cassell
on Oct 22, 2012 - 10:32 pm

Would be interesting to have a discussion about what we think the top foreign policy issue will be at the next presidential debate in four years.

 

Responses(1)

Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 22, 2012

I bet it's going to be a lot about China. If the Israel-Palestine problem doesn't shift in any real way, and if we don't wind up in another war, our relationship with China is too important and too deep to not have huge impacts.

 
Expand This Thread
Pete Moore
on Oct 22, 2012 - 10:30 pm

I think the weakness of debate on foreign policy is partly because the cost of our foreign policy mistakes are indirect and not immediate.  

 

Responses(1)

Daryl Rowland
on Oct 22, 2012

Fantastic point, Pete. 

 
Expand This Thread
Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 22, 2012 - 10:29 pm

And the foreign policy debate in FLORIDA ends without the word immigration mentioned once. Sorry, Cuba, Mexico, and, um, etc. 

 

Responses(7)

Mark Cassell
on Oct 22, 2012

No climate change either.

 
Josh Stacher
on Oct 22, 2012

No need to work on that policy. It's peachy Dan

 
Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 22, 2012

Wow yeah, good call

 
Jason Segedy
on Oct 22, 2012

I think Obama won, if for no other reason, than the fact that he is simply more knowledgeable about foreign policy, regardless of the merits of his positions vis-a-vis Romney. I don't think this changes the trajectory of the race at all. There were no major gaffes by either candidate. We will still see a lot of these two in Ohio over the next two weeks.

 
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 22, 2012

I almost saw Biden this morning...I saw his motorcycle escort & his rooftop guard when he was on his way in to the Akron Canton airport.

 
Jason Segedy
on Oct 22, 2012

You know, we didn't even really hear about EUROPE! Or did I miss it? The Euro? The debt crisis? Germany? Our special relationship with the U.K.? Greece? NATO? Can you imagine a foreign policy debate in the past not touching on Europe. Amazing.

 
Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 22, 2012

you're right. no need to imagine it. we saw it. cripes. 

 
Expand This Thread
Mark Cassell
on Oct 22, 2012 - 10:29 pm

I love teachers. Some of my best friend's are teachers.

 

Responses(2)

Josh Stacher
on Oct 22, 2012

Who does romney mean by "teachers"?

 
Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 22, 2012

I think I have a binder full of them somewhere around here. 

 
Expand This Thread
Mark Cassell
on Oct 22, 2012 - 10:28 pm

Romney's sweating. He looks uncomfortable.  Haven't we seen this show?

 

Responses(3)

Josh Stacher
on Oct 22, 2012

Romney is rambling. he about to throw in a big bird reference.

 

 
Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 22, 2012

I'm thinking pageant talk re: world peas

 
Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 22, 2012

The dials? They were tanking big time at the end

 
Expand This Thread
Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 22, 2012 - 10:26 pm

Romney & Obama bu hui shuo Zhong guo hua - that's all 

 
Pete Moore
on Oct 22, 2012 - 10:25 pm

Two cheers for university funding.

 
Mark Cassell
on Oct 22, 2012 - 10:24 pm

I think we're done with foreign policy.

 

Responses(5)

Josh Stacher
on Oct 22, 2012

anyone got a bears-lions score?

 
Jason Segedy
on Oct 22, 2012

Just a city boy, born and raised in South Detroit. . .sorry, couldn't resist.

 
Jason Russell
on Oct 22, 2012

Good night foreign policy. It was good while it lasted.

 
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 22, 2012

Were we talking about foreign policy?

 
Jason Segedy
on Oct 22, 2012

I would like to hear a more nuanced discussion on corporate welfare and bailouts, but that was a topic for the first two debates.

 
Expand This Thread
Jason Russell
on Oct 22, 2012 - 10:19 pm

How is labeling China a currency manipulator and imposing tariffs not protectionalism?

 

Responses(4)

Mark Cassell
on Oct 22, 2012

It shows he's "strong."

 
Mark Cassell
on Oct 22, 2012

Will Romney invade China?

 
Pete Moore
on Oct 22, 2012

I think it is and its a bluff. 

 
Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 22, 2012

He says it would allow him to do something that he can't so without the label. Anybody got an explainer?

 
Expand This Thread
Mark Cassell
on Oct 22, 2012 - 10:18 pm

How many times has Romney said "Strong."

 

Responses(3)

Daryl Rowland
on Oct 22, 2012

But isn't that his strength?

 

 
Josh Stacher
on Oct 22, 2012

I think Bob to ask them "Who is number 2 in Al-Qaida's Chain of Command?" - I bet 10 bucks that they don't know. 

 
Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 22, 2012

that would be awesome.

 
Expand This Thread
Pete Moore
on Oct 22, 2012 - 10:17 pm

Terrorism is the biggest threat.  This is what really bothers me about the two party system, there is no disagreement on this.  The biggest threat we face, compared to what?  Education weakness?  Environment, Labor Skills?

 

Responses(7)

Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 22, 2012

Not to mention that earlier in this debate it was said that our economy was the biggest threat, but then he also said Russia is the biggest threat. You know, when you fearmonger so much, after a while I guess you are left with nothing but your fear.

 
Jason Russell
on Oct 22, 2012

I agree. I think that was a weak answer. Our lagging education system is certainly a threat.

 

 
Josh Stacher
on Oct 22, 2012

I think Lila Abu-Lughod's "Do Muslim Women Need Saving?" should be required reading. 

 
Josh Stacher
on Oct 22, 2012

Mitt does not understand there are only 24 hours in a day. He cannot do all this immediately. 

 
Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 22, 2012

link please...

 
Expand This Thread
Josh Stacher
on Oct 22, 2012 - 10:16 pm

Deaths by "terrorism" - however that is defined - are down worldwide. Not really the greatest threat

 
Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 22, 2012 - 10:14 pm

Ok seriously - let's make a list of all the things they have not discussed: global warming/climate change; energy; poverty; starvation; family planning; ethnic battles in Sudan, drought...

 

Responses(7)

Josh Stacher
on Oct 22, 2012

Please don't have them talk about energy. Neither has an energy policy. they'd rather talk about islamists

 
Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 22, 2012

You are no fun

 
Josh Stacher
on Oct 22, 2012

its how I roll

 
Doug Oplinger
on Oct 22, 2012

Excellent point. With the exception of education at home to make us competitive in the global market place, there has been little discussion of people.

 

 
Jason Segedy
on Oct 22, 2012

And there's got to be SOMETHING going on in the Western hemisphere too, right? I hear there is some drug violence (based on our buying the drugs and our selling the guns) in a place called Mexico. Perhaps something Mercosur related? Chile, Argentina, Brazil - I hear Brazil is a BIG country.

 
Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 22, 2012

Wow yes thank you for other observation - nothing at all about N America, Latin America 

 
Jason Segedy
on Oct 22, 2012

And wouldn't a Canadian Prime Ministerial debate feature one of the candidates mentioning their neighbor to the south? I suppose Canada is used to being the middle child. . .

 
Expand This Thread
Josh Stacher
on Oct 22, 2012 - 10:13 pm

And by taking out people with Drones, both Obama and Romney feel that wedding parties and children are ok as collateral damage. The drone policy is out of control and going to lead to a escalation of drones all over the world that will include groups that are not "friends of America"

 

Responses(6)

Josh Stacher
on Oct 22, 2012

And by that - what I meant - countries/groups that are enemies of the US will get drones like Hizbollah got and flew over Israel last week 

 

Drones will be a national security threat in the future. 

 
Mark Cassell
on Oct 22, 2012

You're right.

 
Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 22, 2012

That genie is not going back in the bottle, but really, given the way tech is developing, our use of them isn't making hizbollah's nascent drone program easier. Real estate agents are using low flying quad-copter drones to photograph properties. anyone can build these things now, and the tech will eventually move to higher and higher flying aircraft. That said, you're right--major national security threat, major ethical hornet's nest--and i'm not even sure either of these guys understand the implications of the poilcy they both back.

 
Daryl Rowland
on Oct 22, 2012

I think you're right. But drones are the direct product of the disconnect between war and public support for such efforts.

 
Jason Segedy
on Oct 22, 2012

My guess, though, is that just as firebombing Dresden failed to faze most Americans then, scattered drone strikes with "collateral damage" will fail to faze most too. Drones are creepier, but this country has never worried too much about civilian casualties - especially when they come in small bursts under opaque circumstances. 

 
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 22, 2012

That is probably my most significant disappointment in President Obama - the continuation of the Bush policies in the Middle East and in addressing threats of violence around the world.

 
Expand This Thread
Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 22, 2012 - 10:12 pm

Wow, Drones are in play. And Romney seems to agree with Obama on their use. 

 

Responses(3)

Mark Cassell
on Oct 22, 2012

Right. But Romney has a bigger flag.

 
Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 22, 2012

alright, absolutely no nuanced discussion on drones. I guess I need a conversation with an ethicist on that. We're back to the Arab Revolutions.

 
Josh Stacher
on Oct 22, 2012

No daylight between the two on Drones. period.

 
Expand This Thread
Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 22, 2012 - 10:11 pm

Ah drones! Drink!

 
Doug Oplinger
on Oct 22, 2012 - 10:11 pm

We're now 70 minutes into a discussion of war and foreign relations, and I don't recall hearing any touching stories about a soldier in a hospital, or homage to a woman at the airport, sending off a guy in khakis for his third deployment.

War is real people. Is the discussion of Afghanistan going to do that?

 

Responses(1)

Nancy Reeves
on Oct 22, 2012

Thank you for that reminder, Doug.

 
Expand This Thread
Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 22, 2012 - 10:10 pm

Setting aside the "Obama Bin Laden" slip, what do we do with Pakistan? can the nation be reformed? Is it our job to be involved in that way?

 

Responses(1)

Jason Segedy
on Oct 22, 2012

What to do with Pakistan is another one of those questions that makes me glad I am not running for President. 

 
Expand This Thread
Mark Cassell
on Oct 22, 2012 - 10:09 pm

Romney doesn't believe in divorce.

 
Josh Stacher
on Oct 22, 2012 - 10:04 pm

Answer: Leave Afghanistan

 

Responses(13)

Josh Stacher
on Oct 22, 2012

Shorter Romney: I am not really sure what's going on in Afghanistan

 

 
Josh Stacher
on Oct 22, 2012

Shorter Romney: Pakistan is close to Afghanistan so it matters but I am not really sure why

 
Josh Stacher
on Oct 22, 2012

romney wants pakistan to do what we want or else we are talking our aid and leaving. 

 
Mark Cassell
on Oct 22, 2012

Hope Schaeffer asks him "Or what?"

 
Pete Moore
on Oct 22, 2012

Pakistan has a 100 nukes so they are important to us, you listening Iran?

 
Jason Segedy
on Oct 22, 2012

Has anyone mentioned the largest nation on earth yet? Has the word "China" been spoken? Per Afghanistan/Pakistan - aren't they in essence both keeping us in Afghanistan for two more years, and despite Romney's tough talk on Pakistan, aren't they both commited to engaging with Pakistan because, well, we have to?

 
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 22, 2012

That may be the final segment, but they are running out of time.

 
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 22, 2012

I should have waited 2 seconds to post...

 
Josh Stacher
on Oct 22, 2012

If you have nukes, we will give you aid. If you try to build nukes, we will bomb you. 

 

Besides Pakistan: The lesson of Saddam Hussein was that if he actually would have had those WMDs he would not have been "changed" - Iran is just watching. 

 
Pete Moore
on Oct 22, 2012

Afghanistan has been so screwed by us and others, this about the high point of their profile in the US, enjoy it.

 

 
Josh Stacher
on Oct 22, 2012

Don't anyone tell Obama that the US is not very good at nation-building. Examples: Philippines, Vietnam, Haiti, Iraq, Afghanistan. 

 

Please don't nation-build in America, Mr. President. 

 
Mark Cassell
on Oct 22, 2012

Yes. Can we get America out of the United States!

 
Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 22, 2012

Did we do OK in Europe? 

 
Expand This Thread
Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 22, 2012 - 10:03 pm

Maybe a bold statement - I don't know - but in some ways, Romney's patriarchical approach to foreign policy perfectly demonstrates the differences between these two candidates in terms of world view and approach.

 

Responses(6)

Jason Segedy
on Oct 22, 2012

Jill, I just heard Afghanistan mentioned. You can't sleep yet, and I suggest a third bottle of wine - then you'll sleep. 

 
Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 22, 2012

I did perk up but as Josh noted below, Romney really just doesn't have the depth of knowledge. This is a bit unfair since Obama didn't have a ton either when he ran but at least he had Biden. Ryan is equally one-dimensional w/foreign policy, IMO

 
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 22, 2012

To that point, I am always glad when our elected officials are humble enough draw on experts with more experience.  The question is whether Romney/Ryan will be willing to do that and can select experts who are willing to relinquish the role of the US as policeman forthe world.

 
Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 22, 2012

Binders, Nancy, they will need binders for that. :)

 
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 22, 2012

Well - if they are all women, chances that for diplomacy are much better.  Men don't fit in binders, do they?

 
Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 22, 2012

I will get fired if I get any cheekier so I will say - whatever you think :)

 
Expand This Thread
Mark Cassell
on Oct 22, 2012 - 10:03 pm

This is Obama's best debate.  Too bad it'll get the lowest audience.  

 

Responses(4)

Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 22, 2012

Women absolutely loved that last stretch with Obama

 
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 22, 2012

Thanks for the report on the instant response meter.

 
Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 22, 2012

They often irritate me but they're interesting this evening

 
Josh Stacher
on Oct 22, 2012

agreed Mark. Obama is sharp tonight. Romney's inexperience in FP is on display

 
Expand This Thread
Mark Cassell
on Oct 22, 2012 - 10:01 pm

i'm a little surprised that Romney has not drawn on his missionary experience in France.

 
Mark Cassell
on Oct 22, 2012 - 10:00 pm

Schaeffer shoudl require Romney to answer his question.  If he doesn't want to answer the question, then Romney shouldn't be able to go on.

 

Responses(3)

Josh Stacher
on Oct 22, 2012

he did not want to answer that question because he was not prepped for it. 

 
Pete Moore
on Oct 22, 2012

The question was easy to avoid.  Maybe define those red lines of "nuclear capability"?

 
Miranda M. Hansen
on Oct 22, 2012

Agreed. Schieffer should put a little more pressure on. But I suppose that might draw more attention to the large holes in Romney's knowledge of foreign policy.

 
Expand This Thread
Pete Moore
on Oct 22, 2012 - 9:56 pm

Is there a good Iranian restaurant in Cle area?

 

Responses(6)

Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 22, 2012

there must be. we should dine there tomorrow.

 
Josh Stacher
on Oct 22, 2012

wait to thursday. I will eat Iranian food with you all 

 
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 22, 2012

Are we all invited???

 
Daryl Rowland
on Oct 22, 2012

Pete, can we please stick with foreign policy -- even if others can't.

 
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 22, 2012

Party pooper.  (Now I post and cross my fingers that the CC net nanny doesn't censor pooper.)

 
Josh Stacher
on Oct 22, 2012

Whatever Romney - people in the region are rising up and want their rights and social justice balanced. Perhaps if western powers had not mucked about in the region for the past 220 years, democratization would not be so messy

 
Expand This Thread
Josh Stacher
on Oct 22, 2012 - 9:55 pm

Romney brings up "The Apology Tour" That is a tired line. Repeat - Romney CANNOT break with the structures of US foreign policy. I'd say its posturing but I do not believe he understands the gravity of the the Middle East

 

Responses(6)

Josh Stacher
on Oct 22, 2012

So good to see that US Foreign Policy is "pivoting" towards Asia. They are only talking about the MENA. 

 
Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 22, 2012

What's MENA?

 
Pete Moore
on Oct 22, 2012

Middle East and North Africa...Josh has been in DC too long.

 
Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 22, 2012

The apology tour line is getting really tired. Obama's response on Israel and what he did when visiting as a candidate is strong. How, though, would Romney be any different in trying to execute on what he laid out before on building friendships in the region?

 
Jason Segedy
on Oct 22, 2012

Yes, and, does anyone seriously believe that Obama is not a supporter of Israel? I think that becomes a less successful charge as each year passes.

 
Expand This Thread
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 22, 2012 - 9:54 pm

Romney on nuclear threats - he seems to be saying the words without a clue what they mean.

 

Responses(1)

Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 22, 2012

Because he does not 

 
Expand This Thread
Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 22, 2012 - 9:54 pm

FACT CHECK needed: 10, 000 centrifuges enriching uranium in Iran?

 

Responses(3)

Nancy Reeves
on Oct 22, 2012

2140 centrifuges, as of 8/30.

 
Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 22, 2012

Thanks, Nancy. The 10,000 figure is quoted in a few places, but this piece from CBS seemed useful. The 10,000 centrifuges are making low grade enriched uranium (i.e., not enriched highly enough for weapons, bt good enough for energy).

 
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 22, 2012

THere was a more detailed piece in the NY times quoting the 2140, but it was behind a pay wall so I don't know if it addresssed the two sets of numbers.  The secondary article I found was much briefer.

 
Expand This Thread
Josh Stacher
on Oct 22, 2012 - 9:52 pm

Interesting enough: Syria was mentioned but a place where the crackdown has been going on for just as long is not mentioned. Why don't we talk about Bahrain? Think because they host the Fifth Fleet?

 

 

Responses(6)

Josh Stacher
on Oct 22, 2012

And the Saudi's tell the US that Bahrain is a Red Line. 

 
Daryl Rowland
on Oct 22, 2012

Josh, is a concern for military positions in the region by definition unreasonable? Should that be a factor at all?

 
Josh Stacher
on Oct 22, 2012

aboslutley not. I think that our military positions is guiding it. But the problem is the US has turned the region into a US military encampment so we can intervene more easily. My position is that we should not be intervening in the sovereign politics of Arab countries. 

 
Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 22, 2012

I wish they would discuss exactly how they make these state-by-state distinctions--engage in Libya but not Bahrain, etc. But most people wouldn't get it.

 
Josh Stacher
on Oct 22, 2012

You are right. that is only interesting to middle east geeks. But the answer is "interest and power politics". 

 
Expand This Thread
Pete Moore
on Oct 22, 2012 - 9:51 pm

the discussion on "red lines" about iran is vague.  it's interesting that aside from the israel cheerleading neither is being specific.

 
Pete Moore
on Oct 22, 2012 - 9:45 pm

uh, oh.  good question.

 

Responses(14)

Josh Stacher
on Oct 22, 2012

Obama on Iran: We are not sure if we will bomb them sooner rather than later. 

 
Pete Moore
on Oct 22, 2012

Genocide incitation?

 
Mark Cassell
on Oct 22, 2012

Josh is right again!  He's a genius

 
Josh Stacher
on Oct 22, 2012

too kind Mark! I learn from all my smart colleagues

 
Jason Segedy
on Oct 22, 2012

I will seriously pray for anyone faced with the scenario of an Iranian attack on Israel. That is a situation with no easy answers, and stakes that are so high I can't even fathom them. I think we should stand by Israel, but a non-nuclear attack would raise questions vis-a-vis our role (or lack thereof) in the Six-Day War or the Yom Kippur war. What is the appropriate role for the U.S. if Israel is attacked, especially if by conventional weapons?

 
Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 22, 2012

Israel does have an outsized importance in US foreign policy. Historically, I understand why that has been the case--we in the West kind of created the problem. But is there a point in the future at which Israel will no longer be so important? What would have to change?

 
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 22, 2012

There needs to be, because uur relationshiop to Israel is a sacred cow that prevents us from helping form creative solutions in that region whenever Israel's desires play a role.

 
Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 22, 2012

I'd argue that Israel is a pawn and a proxy as have other Middle Eastern states been pawns and proxies for other states - so the question as I see it is why do we think we need to have a presence in that location? Lebanaon is another example - how abused is that poor country?

 
Pete Moore
on Oct 22, 2012

I think Israel will always be important.  The question is which Israel, the one that occupies or the one that is more like a southern european country?  

 
Jason Segedy
on Oct 22, 2012

I think Israel stays important until the day (if it ever comes) that the Arab world truly modernizes, democratizes, and ceases its anti-Israel, anti-Semitic rehetoric. This would create parity, and I think would cause Americans to view other countries in the region as meriting a "special" relationship like the one we have with Israel. If that were to happen, Israel moves from very important to just important. I think thousands of years of history and its inextricable link with Western Civilization argue for its always being singular.

 
Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 22, 2012

I do appreciate this thoughtfulness but I also feel strongly that oil is the ingredient and fear for who we can and cannot control is the other. This is why diplomacy matters and not just or even tough talk.

 
Jason Segedy
on Oct 22, 2012

Yes, oil, and who controls it, is a huge factor. I don't think the word "oil" has been spoken yet, has it?

 
Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 22, 2012

Nope - though Romney mentioned blockades re: Iran & oil

 
Josh Stacher
on Oct 22, 2012

Romeny on Iran: it's the same answer that obama gave. No daylight between them

 
Expand This Thread
Pete Moore
on Oct 22, 2012 - 9:44 pm

horses and bayonets!!!

 

Responses(4)

Josh Stacher
on Oct 22, 2012

Obama hearts Israel and will attack anything that threatens them. 

 
Josh Stacher
on Oct 22, 2012

Prediction for Romney answer: he also hearts Israel and will attack anything that threatens it. 

 
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 22, 2012

Darn.  I miss all the good points.  I'll have to google after the debate.

 
Jason Russell
on Oct 22, 2012

horses and bayonets = energy independence

 
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Mark Cassell
on Oct 22, 2012 - 9:44 pm

Fewer horses and bayonets! Bring them back!!!

 
Mark Cassell
on Oct 22, 2012 - 9:43 pm

I'm sick of Romney saying that he balanced the state budget.  He had to balance the Mass. budget.  Every state balances their budget.  It shows nothing.

 

Responses(2)

Nancy Reeves
on Oct 22, 2012

I keep wishing that Obama would point that out, since I suspect it is persuasive to a number of people who are unaware of that requirement.

 
Jason Russell
on Oct 22, 2012

THANK YOU! I been saying that for awhile. The question is, how many people actually know that?

 
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Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 22, 2012 - 9:43 pm

Again on the dials - women totally do not want to hear Mitt on economy - seriously plummeting in level of interest 

 
Pete Moore
on Oct 22, 2012 - 9:41 pm

Wow, Obama actually comparing the US to others in military spending.  how about comparing us in other areas?

 

Responses(6)

Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 22, 2012

What, like education, manufacturing? C'mon, now...

 
Josh Stacher
on Oct 22, 2012

Romney should take his navy and invade things. Because when you are invading the Middle East, you are most likely to be on bodies of water (in the world's largest deserts). Plus, the US since since ww2 has fought how many conventional armies?

 

 
Josh Stacher
on Oct 22, 2012

Obama will win this answer but admittedly Romney gave it away. 

 
Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 22, 2012

Ok, I'm not much for the one-liners, but Obama's line on bayonets and horses was pretty good...

 
Jason Russell
on Oct 22, 2012

I have to agree. Romney really set his on trap and Obama knocked it out of the park.

 
Daryl Rowland
on Oct 22, 2012

Yes, Jason. You're right. That was a t-ball statement from Mitt. We need to build more catapults and cross-bows!

 
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Stephanie Wahome
on Oct 22, 2012 - 9:41 pm

Hmmm...What happened to Foreign Policy?  Who's fault is that? The moderator or the debators?

 
Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 22, 2012 - 9:34 pm

For those not watching on CNN, the dial thingies are showing that no one is moved by Mitt talking economics of US - little interest in hearring the five point plan again. My college son wants to know when he will talk about foreign policy.

 

Responses(15)

Pete Moore
on Oct 22, 2012

Jill, it looks like Fla undecided voters have flat lined...

 
Daryl Rowland
on Oct 22, 2012

They're on their second bottle of wine.

 
Jason Segedy
on Oct 22, 2012

i pre-gamed with some Margaritas.

 
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 22, 2012

Bring some over to my house - no salt, please.

 
Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 22, 2012

I'm pouring now

 
Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 22, 2012

And what a state to do that in! 

 
Josh Stacher
on Oct 22, 2012

Can we talk about Egypt some more?

 
Jason Segedy
on Oct 22, 2012

Maybe if our kids get a good education, they'll question the dogma that we should be the policeman of the world.

 
Daryl Rowland
on Oct 22, 2012

Thank you, Jason. At long last, the missing segue.

 
Jason Segedy
on Oct 22, 2012

Obama is starting to be amused by Romney's domestic wonkery. Oh, no, but now he is taking the bait too. If I hear Simpson-Bowles referenced, I am switching to Borderlands 2 on XBox live.

 
Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 22, 2012

Could not agree more. But it is fascinating how the major events of one's generation shape how we answer that - after the Holocaust, I do think it is understandable that people all around the globe might ask themselves what more could we have done, should we have done.

 
Daryl Rowland
on Oct 22, 2012

Bob just asked the tough question of Mitt that will be called partisan in the morning.

 
Jason Segedy
on Oct 22, 2012

Great point. I would have sent troops to liberate Auschwitz in a heartbeat (I hope that I would have been courageous enough to do it myself), so hindsight and a 1970s birthday do a lot to change one's view of the world. 

 
Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 22, 2012

if we pay our taxes early, can we get them back to foreign policy? I'll even take trade policy at this point. 

 
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Mark Cassell
on Oct 22, 2012 - 9:34 pm

Did we just bash teachers unions in a debate on foreign policy?

 

Responses(4)

Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 22, 2012

yes, I heard that, too. And apparently, the candidates are no longer interested in foreign policy. I wonder if Schieffer is...

 
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 22, 2012

I was too busy biting my tongue.  The pain prevented my fingers from typing.

 
Jason Russell
on Oct 22, 2012

That was very random, I had to look up from my computer screen.

 
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 22, 2012

Now his tune has changed.  Now Romney loves teachers.

 
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Pete Moore
on Oct 22, 2012 - 9:33 pm

Maybe this bipartisan consensus that the US should be number 1 in the world should be questioned.

 

Responses(3)

Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 22, 2012

Seriously. the arrogance is a bit staggering. 

 
Mark Cassell
on Oct 22, 2012

Good luck.

 
Expand This Thread
Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 22, 2012 - 9:33 pm

Let's pull out an interesting turn of phrase: America is the one indispensable nation

How does that line play overseas? 

 

Responses(5)

Pete Moore
on Oct 22, 2012

Laughter I imagine.

 
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 22, 2012

Arrogant, I suspect.

 
Jason Segedy
on Oct 22, 2012

This likely comes as news to many patriotic citizens in foreign lands.

 
Josh Stacher
on Oct 22, 2012

Americans - not foreigners - are the only ones that sees the US as exceptional. But to be fair - most countries view themselves as exceptional and smarter than other countries. 

 
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 22, 2012

Good point.  The belief that we are superior to everyone else (rather than delight and curiousity about all of the wonderful variety around the world)  is a significant factor in all the conflict and wars around the wrold

 
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Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 22, 2012 - 9:31 pm

Hee hee anything Mitt can do to keep the economics rolling in the debate. Wake me when they talk Pakistan, N Korea and India?

 

Responses(4)

Jason Russell
on Oct 22, 2012

I was going to say the same thing. It keeps coming back to the economy. If I hear 12 million jobs again.....

 
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 22, 2012

I think you just did.

 
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 22, 2012

And, again with domestic economy.

 
Mark Cassell
on Oct 22, 2012

I think we're done with foreign policy.

 
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Jason Russell
on Oct 22, 2012 - 9:30 pm

Romney keeps going back to the economy and the military. Can we be a world power in maintaining peace in the world with a weak economy or military?

 

Responses(1)

Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 22, 2012

What I hear in Romney's rhetoric is that he is trying to bring everything back to domestic issues, where he's more comfortable, more competitive and better able to "score points."

 
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Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 22, 2012 - 9:30 pm

Just want to point out that so far, the tone of this debate is remarkably civil and respectful of the moderator.

Moving on to a very general question: what's the role of the US in the world? Is this a useful question? It seems to me that most presidencies create their role in a case by case basis, based on political calculations, not principles or philosophies. Actually, having said that, ideology plays a role, too, but we're not likely to hear that explained here.

 

Responses(2)

Jason Segedy
on Oct 22, 2012

We'll probably never hear it here, as you said. But I fervently hope that whoever is elected has some long and soul searching talks with their foreign policy advisors and comes up with a new U.S. mission in the world - one that is pragmatic, modest, principled, and humble. We need a post-Cold War sea change.

 
Stephanie Wahome
on Oct 22, 2012

I agree...this debate seems a lot more respectful and professional!

 
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Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 22, 2012 - 9:29 pm

Wow - according to CNN timekeeper, Schieffer is really keeping these two even in time!

 
Stephanie Wahome
on Oct 22, 2012 - 9:28 pm

"These countries can't develop without giving women the education THEY NEED" President Obama.

 

Responses(1)

Jason Segedy
on Oct 22, 2012

I think we need to acknowledge that our post WWII superpower role has to change in fundamental ways. We should be very pragmatic and very deliberate in our foreign committments; especially the military ones. I am going to start sounding like Pat Buchanan here soon.

 
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Josh Stacher
on Oct 22, 2012 - 9:25 pm

Shorter Obama on EGYPT:

No, I would not change my policy. I held on to Mubarak as long as I could and when he became untenable, I dumped him. Bob, the US has dropped dictators when they are no longer useful for decades. 

So I was right. 

 

Responses(9)

Josh Stacher
on Oct 22, 2012

So Romney agree with Obama on Egypt

 
Josh Stacher
on Oct 22, 2012

Come on....Forty years of US supporting Egyptian autocracy, torture, and transnational repression. And Mitt would have done it differently. 

 

Read Brownlee's new book "Democracy Prevention: The Politics of the US-Egyptian Alliance". 

 
Daryl Rowland
on Oct 22, 2012

The State Department is like a big ol' ship. It doesn't turn quickly, no matter which man sits in the oval office.

 
Mark Cassell
on Oct 22, 2012

Romney response: We should have been able to predict the future more effectively.

 
Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 22, 2012

I'm digging your synopses, Josh. 

 
Jason Segedy
on Oct 22, 2012

Thank You Bob! What IS our role in the world, fellas?

 
Josh Stacher
on Oct 22, 2012

Obama's FP in the Middle East has been a disaster. He inherited the Bush torture regime and he kept it going in less overt but just as repressive and violent ways. See Middle East Report's current issue (264) and the articles on Obama's Kill over Capture policy as well as Toby Jones' article on US Persian Gulf security. 

 

No way that Romney can handle any of this differently. The structure of US policies is too engrained (and an outdated way of thinking)

 
Daryl Rowland
on Oct 22, 2012

Josh, why do you think the Obama policies have turned out to be so similar to the Bush policies in terms of torture and so forth?

 
Josh Stacher
on Oct 22, 2012

He inherited the torture policy and wanted to pull away from it. He wanted to close Gitmo. But the set up was too resilent so he started to rely on extrajudicial killings and drones to the dirty work. 

 

In terms of Iraq and Afghanistan: He pull the exact some strategy in Afghanistan as Bush pulled in Iraq. 

 

More continuity than change. 

 
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Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 22, 2012 - 9:25 pm

Just a reminder: please refresh the page frequently - thank you!

 

Responses(1)

Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 22, 2012

thanks for mentioning that, Jill! I forgot.

 
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Mark Cassell
on Oct 22, 2012 - 9:24 pm

I'm guessing that at this point a few folks are turning the ballgames.

 

Responses(2)

Nancy Reeves
on Oct 22, 2012

Probably a good guess,

 
Miranda M. Hansen
on Oct 22, 2012

It's tempting. The difference in the energy level between this debate and the last one is quite dramatic. More sensitive issues could be a factor...

 
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Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 22, 2012 - 9:23 pm

It's really hard to imagine Romney being able to get deep into anything related to foreign policy unless the moderator asks about global Econ. (FYI - I have already opened a second bottle of wine - maybe it will all sound better sooner rather than later?)

 

Responses(1)

Daryl Rowland
on Oct 22, 2012

Cheers, Jill.

 

 
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Mark Cassell
on Oct 22, 2012 - 9:22 pm

Does anyone think it's odd that the debate has gone on for nearly 30 minutes and Hillary Clinton hasn't been mentioned once?  She's Secretary of State for crying out loud.

 

Responses(1)

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Jason Russell
on Oct 22, 2012 - 9:22 pm

Obama is taking a very interesting strategy in this debate. He is really highlighting all the things Romney has said he would do that hasn't panned out well.

 

Responses(2)

Nancy Reeves
on Oct 22, 2012

Romney's suggestions haven't panned out well - or Obama's strategy hasn't panned out well?

 
Expand This Thread
Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 22, 2012 - 9:19 pm

Pete - what do you think is a reasonable policy on Syria?

 

Responses(4)

Daryl Rowland
on Oct 22, 2012

We also have to distinguish between what is said during the election cycle and what is serious policy coming from either candidate. There has always been an element of theatre in these things, right?

 
Pete Moore
on Oct 22, 2012

Immediate policies can't overcome long run problems.  But I think the less we do the better.  Its not an easy solution.  But we have been digging this hole for a while.

 
Pete Moore
on Oct 22, 2012

Its false that the US is leading, we are reacting

 
Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 22, 2012

I can understand that. are there any affirmative actions you would recommend, either with Syria or with any other segment, though I guess the baseline question still would be, to what end?

 
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Pete Moore
on Oct 22, 2012 - 9:17 pm

Obama on his interests in the Middle East, terrorism, Israel...

 

Responses(7)

Nancy Reeves
on Oct 22, 2012

Political interests, or policy interests?

 
Pete Moore
on Oct 22, 2012

Some of both.  But the problem is the lack of reassessment of either.

 
Jason Russell
on Oct 22, 2012

Or pandering to donors?

 
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 22, 2012

That's what I was getting at with my quesion.

 
Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 22, 2012

Seriously, Pete, if you and Stacher had the President's ear, what would you be telling him to do?

 
Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 22, 2012

What Romney's saying about the need to build friendships and relationships with Turkey and other nations, makes sense, but I have this feeling he's just kind of making it up, which I guess he is because he doesn't really have experience in the field. 

 

 
Jason Russell
on Oct 22, 2012

Well he seems to want to make friends with some and bully others. That wasn't a good recipe for me on the playground, I don't think it will work in foreign affairs.

 
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Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 22, 2012 - 9:16 pm

Now on to Syria--here's a question for all of you--What should our policy be? 

 

Responses(5)

Jason Russell
on Oct 22, 2012

Should we be working to take down leaders in Syria or any leader of a country? Who do you trust? How can the US continue to dictate foreign affairs in other countries?

 
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 22, 2012

I don't believe we should be taking down leaders, or anyone else, in Syria.

 
Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 22, 2012

So we're using sanctions, humanitarian aid, some indirect military aid. Are these effective enough?

 
Mark Cassell
on Oct 22, 2012

It's funny how they're not saying anything different on this topic. 

 
Jason Segedy
on Oct 22, 2012

Wasn't Iraq supposed to be our "friend" once we liberated them from SH? I'm not at all sanguine about us getting involved in Syria at all - other than the most basic humanitarian aide. I think Obama is being pragmatic that Syria is not Libya.

 
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Mark Cassell
on Oct 22, 2012 - 9:11 pm

Perhaps Romney should run for president in Egypt. He makes it seems so easy?  All we need to do is set up civil society in the middle east.  It's so easy... Not.

 

Responses(6)

Josh Stacher
on Oct 22, 2012

The Syrian crisis is not about Syria. That crisis has been internationalized and a playground for all sorts of country playing their interests - US, Russia, China, Turkey, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi. 

 

See Curt Ryan's article in MERIP's Spring 2012 issue for a brilliant state of play in that crisis. 

 

 

 
Josh Stacher
on Oct 22, 2012

Shorter Romney: "We need to make Syria dependent on US and the other Western countries. So - basically its not about syria. it's about us. 

 
Josh Stacher
on Oct 22, 2012

So no military intervention in Syria but Replace Asad with friendly government. The only way that regimes "fully" change in the middle east is when Western (ie. US) militaries intervene and knock them out. 

 
Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 22, 2012

I agree. That said, what should US policy be?

 
Josh Stacher
on Oct 22, 2012

The US does best in the MENA when it does least. 

 
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 22, 2012

This one?

 
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Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 22, 2012 - 9:10 pm

Interesting tactics being taken - Romney's play to the base re: good v evil, bad guys, and speaking in terms of extremists. He needs to be careful to not deal in only monolithic caricatures of those overseas. While Obama speaking in terms of his accomplishments. 

 

Responses(3)

Pete Moore
on Oct 22, 2012

Obama incumbent has advantage in foreign policy discussions..."I know you have not had the experience..."

 
Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 22, 2012

And yet for those of us who have lived or traveled in even just one place they're talking about let alone the extensive experience you, Josh and so many others have, isn't it kind of crazy that these two people are trying to convince us that they should be able to direct all this policy? Whose idea was this commander in chief thing anyway? 

 
Daryl Rowland
on Oct 22, 2012

True, Pete. But it also ties him to known policies and decisions, so it cuts both ways.

 
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Mark Cassell
on Oct 22, 2012 - 9:09 pm

Arab scholars?  Is Romney talking about Josh Stacher?

 

Responses(2)

Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 22, 2012

hah! I just tweeted him--he said he'd be here...

 
Josh Stacher
on Oct 22, 2012

Oh, romney is referencing the UN's Arab Human Development Report. It's modernization theory redux. See Asef Bayat in Ordinary Life as Politics for a chapter that takes the silly ideas down. 

 

 

 
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Jason Russell
on Oct 22, 2012 - 9:07 pm

It seems like Romney is saying that the U.S. should have a much bigger role in the Mideast with a robust/strategic plan. What is this plan?The plan would attack the extremists in the Middle East. Is the extremism a result of our involvement already? Would increasing involvement only make it worse?

 

Responses(4)

Pete Moore
on Oct 22, 2012

The record is not good in the attack, expect success model.

 
Daryl Rowland
on Oct 22, 2012

Yes, Jason. I think that's likely true. And I think Romney is a smart guy who knows that and is probably justing posing for domestic consumption during the election. But he creates an expection that what he's saying is serious policy and that is dangerous for our national conversation.

 
Jason Segedy
on Oct 22, 2012

I couldn't agree more with Obama that we can't be in the nation building business.

 
Jason Segedy
on Oct 22, 2012

Getting entangled in Syria is not just a serious "step"; it is a serious mistake. Let's get entangled in Youngstown or East Cleveland. . .

 
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Mark Cassell
on Oct 22, 2012 - 9:05 pm

Really Libya?  Why Libya as the first question?

 

Responses(6)

Pete Moore
on Oct 22, 2012

Maybe cause it's easy and there is not much difference between them.

 
Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 22, 2012

That's so sad and cynical, Pete. I guess it's a way to bring the audience in, since the Libya news is so current.

 
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 22, 2012

There actually is not nearly as much difference between them as I would like.  But I suspect it was more to get the inevitable discussion about Chris Stevens out of the way.

 
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 22, 2012

Re:  Obama - bring them to justice - I wish I had hope that meant more than targeted assassinations.

 
Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 22, 2012

you think we'll hear much acknowledgment of targeted assasinations? It would be interesting...

 
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 22, 2012

Nope.  It doesn't play well to Obama's base, and I think the undecided are more interested in economics.

 
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Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 22, 2012 - 9:04 pm

Welcome, everybody! Schieffer's getting started, and we're diving in with Libya. I hope this gets beyond the talking points.  

 

Responses(3)

Jason Segedy
on Oct 22, 2012

I definitely want to hear "Forest" on the Middle East, not "Trees".

 
Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 22, 2012

Romney just put Mohammed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood and the idea that the Arab Uprisings failed into a single line--that leading to a rise in Muslim extremism. I feel like there's a lot more nuance that he's missing.

 
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Pete Moore
on Oct 22, 2012 - 9:02 pm

Would like to see some of these questions, particularly number 2, by Philip Gourevitch

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2012/10/what-to-ask-at-the-foreign-policy-debate.html

 

Responses(1)

Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 22, 2012

That would be a good one (waterboarding), and I'd love to hear a thoughtful conversation about drone usage.

 
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Mark Cassell
on Oct 22, 2012 - 8:58 pm

I hope there's some attention given to our military budget and the failed neocon approach under the GW Bush administration.  If I were Romney, I would acknowledge the GW Bush was wrong and that we need to take a different approach. 

 
Jason Segedy
on Oct 22, 2012 - 8:14 pm

I'd like to hear more about both candidates' views on China. I'd like to see a discussion that is realistic enough to acknowledge that China is a really important country, and that recognizes that, political posturing aside, we are going to be doing a lot of trading with China for the forseeable future, whether we should or not.

I'd also like to hear more about nuclear proliferation vis-a-vis Iran and the very real possibility that Israel may feel compelled to pre-emptively strike Iran (perhaps not long after the election is over).  This one is probably more of an unrealistic desire on my part, because I doubt either candidate will be able to say what they truly think or what they would truly do in any hypothetical (but realistic) scenario.

Finally, I'd like to hear more about the economy in the context of a changing global economic order (not just China as I mentioned above) - but Latin America, Europe, and Japan; as all of those economies have undergone structural changes in ways that are related to, but not exactly the same as, our own.

 

 

 
Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 22, 2012 - 2:01 pm

I would like to hear a discussion regarding policy steps to be taken regarding nuclear non-proliferation and in particular with regard to North Korea, Pakistan & India.

 
Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 22, 2012 - 11:29 am

It's a few hours early, I know, but here are some things I'm thinking about heading into tonight's debate:

  • What role should we have in Syria? and why doesn't our current position seem to align with our actions (or lack of action) on Egypt, Libya, Bahrain and other Arab nations? In other words, why don't we seem to have a consistent stance in this part of the world?
  • Where is the two state solution these days?
  • How do you balance foreign trade with US production?
  • When do we get to stop talking about European-style socialism as if it's a bad thing? 

What's on your mind?

 

 

Responses(3)

Daryl Rowland
on Oct 22, 2012

This is a somewhat opinionated David Sanger piece from the NY Times, that offers a nice roundup of the issues at stake.

 
Jason Segedy
on Oct 22, 2012

Agreed - especially interested in the balancing foreign trade with U.S. production issue. Very important here in Ohio.

 
Jason Segedy
on Oct 22, 2012

Yes, regardless of whether one thinks that the democratic socialism of many European countries would be a good fit for the U.S., refraining from using "Socialist" or even "European" as pejoratives would be a step in the right direction for a productive political discourse. At least we've moved beyond "Freedom Fries".

 
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Jason Russell
on Oct 18, 2012 - 4:45 pm

Join us on Monday for the third and final backchannel conversation for the the presidential debates.

 

 

Responses(2)

Jason Segedy
on Oct 22, 2012

Not sure the case Romney will make of "we need a CEO" will resonate as much on foreign policy. I can buy it (in theory) in a lot of domestic affairs, but not so much on international relations. Even though Obama was viewed as quite green on foreign policy by most in 2008, he's a grizzled veteran now, and I think most Americans like his pragmatic and deliberate tone. Romney as commander in chief may raise the specter of a return to Bush-era policies, especially for independents.

 
Jason Segedy
on Oct 22, 2012

Obama is trying to tie Romney to GWB, and to Gerald Ford (i.e. Russia greatest threat/no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe). Not sure this is all that effective with independents. But why is Romney still talking about Russia as I type this? Maybe it is an effective strategy. . .

 
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