tv [untitled] October 24, 2012 3:30pm-4:00pm EDT
when the two in their approaches to security and foreign affairs many claim obama won this third in last debate however it is not at all clear if romney actually lost is there any public debate left when it comes to american foreign policy. across the uk the us presidential debate i'm joined by my guest in new york why he is a partner at democratic spring strategies micah halpern he is a columnist and a social and political commentator and george samuel he is a journalist foreign policy analyst and a fellow at the global policy institute of london metropolitan university all right gentlemen crosstalk rules in effect that means you can jump in anytime you want mike if i can go to you and in new york all of you are in new york today. who came out with a vision at the last presidential debate which candidate had a vision. but some of the one has to realize that the american political debate is more of a game than it is
a reality and it's important to see that people are not with the focusing on details and specifics them or looking at style and presentation and that way i think it looked to me at least like one candidate was a little bit more aggressive another killer was a little bit more relaxed and so wasn't the all three of us are in new york right now it really is a game playing for the midwest for the people that were a little bit more relaxed as a result of that i thought that the message and the style moved more in the court of romney than the obama ok chant what do you think about the debate because a lot of the world actually watched it because it's important to them what happens in the united states and its foreign policy by just by default so i mean it has to be more than a game report ok go ahead it's is much more than a better game. as my friend alluded to you know it's not a game it's much more than a game or we saw. mitt romney had a very clear foreign policy had just have to be barack obama said last night i was
sitting with a group in harlem and we were watching the debates and you know we would hear the president and then we would hear mitt romney and we would look at each other and it was right. then the president just say that he would be void of any clear direction being totally rudderless after you know running since two thousand and seven not having a clear for an agenda he was pretty much mimicking the president he had a prime prime time a prime opportunity to do fire himself from the guy he's been chastising for the last year and he didn't do it ok george if i can go to you it was an echo chamber but i would say it was the bush foreign policy that one george w. bush won last night. yeah peter i agree with you i think what it that the debate last night demonstrated is the extraordinary continuity of u.s.
foreign policy i think obama largely continued with the bush foreign policy and should there be a romney presidency as a spare romney will pursue the obama bush foreign policy. neither candidate seem to question the right of america to determine you know what kind of governments are going to be ruling anywhere neither candidate seem to have any problems about determining who is going to have what kinds of weapons it was it was very much the continuity of the bush era michael what do you think about that because all right chad jump in that's the whole point of the program go ahead yeah well the bush foreign policy was was aggressive engagement it was in the diplomatic approach of the barack obama administration it clearly is not that barack obama has never talked about you know weapons of mass destruction we bills kind of fall suits barack obama has not ever uttered you know shock and awe you know as as an approach
to. americans dealing with the rest of the world he never did that so to say that barack obama's policy is izmir in george bush's is kind of a stretch and also when we look at mitt romney you look at look at binny occurrence around mitt romney you know you got dan senor you guys. you know you got elliott abrams those kind of people dead were with george w. bush and he's surrounding himself with that there's a there's a big difference well there is a difference here mike i go back to new york now let's say you know he's the president that uses drones almost on a daily basis ok you don't need chalk in our. please i think when the big big critical questions we have to ask is that what really is the purpose of the debate and the debate here and i think the viewers really have to understand this the bay people in general watched the debate and millions upon millions upon millions
watched the debate but it's not to be convinced and this is important to recognize it is a tool there's no question about that as a platform but the essence of the debate and very few people change their minds because of the debate the essence of the debate is not to focus on details and i'm sorry the reality is that americans don't like details they don't like numbers and you can focus on as much as what the more you focus on numbers the less people listen they need to talk about the larger questions and that's why the debate actually was was entertainment and i say entertainment for a reason people don't make the decisions based on the bait they never have the one exception where was the first debate amongst the two of them that was the exception in history and it's important to focus on that's important understand that there's another element which is critical in terms of the larger view of things americans see this as a sport they see the voting process of sport some of them will vote out of it and for most americans right now the question is not. is is how they figure out if they're going to vote at all not for whom they're going to vote and that's
a big issue all right george to me well if it's hard it's hard to get into a lot of detail is hard to get into a lot of detail in a ninety minute format i mean what would you expect it's an overview as far as the policies in the stances. between these two gentlemen and mitt romney had it had a chance to define himself and he blew it he blew it ok george how can it be entertainment when you hear about the punishing thanks and against civilians in iran how can it be intertainment when the president of united states signs an order to drone somebody how can that be entertainment for the rest of the world. i absolutely agree with you peter i don't think it is a tall entertaining when the issue of drones came up. they immediately chimed in a city thoroughly supported the use of drones and that he would in fact continue with them and maybe even extend them the question bob schieffer of course didn't get into the issue of what it is that these drones do which is that they
assassinate people on the orders of the president without any kind of due process any kind of. trials courts of law anything at all it's just a program of assassination romney we're going to or not i'm not going to get all upset about i'm not going to get all upset about drones when the president has scaled down one war in his has pretty much ended another i'm not going to get all that upset about drones that well there's a resonance also launched excuse me the president also launched a war in libya he launched that war about at least thirty thousand people were killed in libya. because not only be able. to resign or that intervention. georgia let's. hear is always i showed up in american hands and that's a war so war when violence is used like that ok let's talk about absolutely what
something as a result or a little bit about what about the violence could not be used against his people for forty years what about that. well what about what about it so what are you now you're not justifying you are now just this i'm only sorry so is that is are you saying that he was justified in intervening in iraq because of the violence that i was saying used no now you know i never said i never said and i said that's a hell of a stretch but we're talking about a president a bad gauge in pulling together a useful coalition did not drop boots or to ground zero as opposed to a president who said everybody ok you said jeremy got a mike a do you want to where i want to go to our other guest here and that was the first time in history i had it was the first time in history actually the libyan issue was a very important the first time in history that a united states united nations member was actually. sanctioned by the security council for not having encroached on another member for an internal kind of thing
where there was an attack with a re brought against a member because of what was going internally and that's really very unique in this and i think element of you my need to start being the straight trying to sort of realize that whether you agree to fly not disturbing you find that disturbing i thought was a mistake which is why let's say for instance that that's why that's a for instance syria the situation in syria is such a problem because they can't follow what they did in libya because russia and china would never allow what happened in libya to happen in syria so the mistake it was really a misstep by the by the obama administration hence we're stuck in syria saying oh we're just going to try the organize them we're going to give them humanitarian aid because so misstepped when he let me so let me go back here george clooney i mean and private was organizing a united nations force ok george i'm a misstep again i mean this is still about american exceptionalism that the u.s. can do whatever it wants in the world that's what we heard at this debate both candidates said exactly the same thing in different ways. absolutely absolutely i
mean it's a misstep a mistake well that's a nice euphemism for about thirty thousand people killed and the chaos goes on every day in libya so how what kind of a misstep is it i mean you know it's the other leaders should make missteps such as that then consider what the situation is in iran both candidates will happily delightedly expressing the effect that sanctions have had on the iranians now the sanctions are hurting ordinary iranians i mean these are people who are suffering as a result of these sanctions and what is the reason for those sanctions the reason is supposedly iran has a nuclear weapons program no evidence whatsoever has ever been presented by iran they buy by bush by obama that iran has a nuclear weapons program but yes we have this continual drumbeat that somehow iran has a nuclear weapons program irani poses some kind of a threat and that the united states has to do something about it and therefore any
kind of suffering that is imposed on the radio people is perfectly justifiable all right gentlemen i'm going to jump in we're going to a short break and we'll talk about what wasn't mentioned when we return after a short break we continue our discussion the u.s. presidential campaign today with thirty. eight. mission free cretaceous and free. for churches free. range month free. three stooges free. comune free broadcast clothing video for your media projects and free media and on
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download the official publication. choose your language stream quality and enjoy your favorite. t.v. is not required to watch on t.v. all you need is your mobile device to watch on t.v. any time. and if you. want to play. welcome back to crossfire i'm about to mind you were talking about the future of american foreign policy. and you can.
see. chad i'd like to go back to you in new york all of my guests are in new york today the way the two gentlemen talked about afghanistan really shocked me because the country is in tatters the war a complete disaster but both of them talked about it is like details i mean it's not even on the campaign agenda it's how do you explain that all the treasury all the blood all the time and it's almost an afterthought. well the president's clear agenda is to get america out by two thousand and fourteen. that's pretty pretty clear and he says restated empathically last night in all mitt romney did last night was just mimic what the president had already said ok george what do you think about that i mean it's not an issue is it in the united states except for the people who are victim of it though or that that's absolutely right well most of
time things aren't really an issue so long as the killing is being done elsewhere and so long as other people are dying so long as other people are dying it really isn't too much of an issue but of course evenly the bland talk of well will be out by two thousand and fourteen is actually not true because of course the united states is at the moment to go sheeting with president karzai of afghanistan to maintain a fairly substantial u.s. military presence in afghanistan so therefore all the talk that somehow will definitely be out by twenty fourteen is simply not true but both the obama and romney went through the charade of reassuring americans are well will be out not not to worry about it and so again it was just that there they did there was there was real dishonesty ok one of the things i thought if i go back to new york basically you had romney saying that you know it's incumbent upon the united states
to teach the arab world the muslim world not to be violent i mean it's kind of ironic isn't it i mean a lot of the violence that comes out of the islamic world right now is a reaction to violence committed against it by the west particularly the united states. this is certain arrogance in u.s. foreign policy and there's no question about that and you can play with it but the reality is that there is not a lot of space between obama's policies and the intentions of romney it wouldn't matter with the president is and i think it's important for your viewers to understand that he was has a particular orientation and you can take exception to a particular deny it it is what it is but it's interesting is that what we saw in the debate is that romney did not care or pander to his right he pandered to the middle because the way is going to get elected if he's going to be elected is he's got to grab the people who last election voted for obama and so he's got to move
closer and closer to the center and we saw the that move yesterday i think it was a hugely important in this last debate think it's a hugely important strategy from his point of view and it might indeed be successful because moving to the center is how you get the swing voters and that is particularly the case it's by the way foreign policy is not primary in people's eyes and minds when you say jordan to them they think a basketball player they're not thinking about a person going it's really it's just a family meal and it's a family couldn't find me on the magazine true ok chad i mean can you tell me ask you this you don't know what it is that bother you that your candidate is so right wing when it comes to foreign policy the man that wanted. to see as the no no i don't rise and i don't see him is right where you i mean this is you guys are on the way and they lead to hard for you to walk down the street and categorize barack obama as right way you certainly wouldn't do a little of the fair and balanced channel you get away with. your arms of foreign
policy and this is what you want i need to make this point i need to make i need to make one point. when we look at mitt romney we may see someone who has suddenly become moderate as far as foreign policy in a debate but you have to look at who's around him you've got advisers right john. dan senior and elliott abrams you argue a lot in the bush aggressive foreign policy you're locked into george clooney is going to go ahead joe which they're all you're all the same to me they're all the same to me go ahead that's that's exactly right that's exactly right i mean it may well be that with these neo conservatives. with romney that they will launch a war against iran but it's just as possible that obama will launch a war against iran i mean obama has said a number of stations that that no other obama said on a number of occasions that he will go to war to prevent iran to have even
a capability a capability to develop nuclear weapons in other words it's pretty much the doctrine of the preemptive war so in other words america is justified in going to war with iran to prevent it even having the capability that was a so decision never having and raising you might make. that for a look you know he never took it that he had you know throughout this whole campaign we had we chosen people were resilient jake gyllenhaal you can't put two and two and call it twenty two he never took it that or he said bad iran will not become either it was certainly or given to you our policy news and what you could you didn't jump in miami now you can go ahead jump in. yes there are certain givens in u.s. foreign policy and i need i need your viewers to understand this there are certain givens in u.s. foreign policy and part of it is an arrogance and part of it's a patronizing and part of the su the united states is and that needs to be
understood it doesn't shift from party the party and from president the president that's the way it will be for the next two or three at least and it has been for the last six months i want that's the reality is you know it's the real world let's talk about what it was about the realities it doesn't necessarily mean it's going to change and it's important to recognize this you know you can't really say israel is mentioned twenty's are you sorry see what is very certainly is that this is. chad just the same doesn't matter it does matter ok if mike if i go back to you israel is mentioned twenty two times the palestinians say it was not the mentions ron is five hours to me and say it was a friendship once. correct. that's yeah so what we have is the relationship between both parties and israel is unbelievably powerful and strong and that's not going to be shaped or changed because of obama gets a second term or if romney comes in the into power or for that matter the next president after them the reality is that this is a tradition within u.s.
foreign policy you can disagree with it but you cannot deny it and that's what i'm trying to suggest and if you would have to understand that because american i believe if you were still understand the united states and you understand that george can i go to back to you i mean there's absolutely all that you know go ahead george jump in yes you're absolutely correct there was striking the bob schieffer who. distinguished media talking head takes it as axiomatic that the only issue on the middle east that is salient is iran and therefore is iran going to have nuclear weapons or what's going on in syria there's absolutely no mention of the largest source of instability in the middle east which is the conflict between the israelis and the palestinians and so therefore schieffer just discussed . the situation in iran no mention of the palestinians
none it's like they don't even exist chad you want to jump in there but there was plenty of discussion about syria and syria and you know you had a not only with me. you know when i can speak you had a ninety minute debate you had a candidate mitt romney keep he kept drifting into his his silly economic policy when he couldn't say anything about foreign policy and ate up a lot of time michael can i go back to you do you find it interesting that you know we there's almost no debate now in american foreign policy ok spending maybe there was a little bit debate there but almost no difference between the two major candidates . really you know i don't find this different moments and different from the other guest for that reason i understand where america is on this point now i would like to push them in various directions because i think the major change has to happen i think the promises of grandiose and naive in many ways you can't change american policy in that quickly firstly because congress ultimately allocates the funds so
it just isn't going to disappear and change and the united states votes congress in the major stable and important significant way so i don't see dramatic shifts from one candidate to the other and i think it's important that's why i'm saying that's why i began by suggesting that their image the way they looked how they presented themselves had much more of an impact on the viewer then did what they said because what they said ultimately was less important the united states was watching it live the tour real event last night and they didn't want to see who won this is certainly by beating someone up but how the engaged because the style was important to them you know george and go back to you i thought it was quite insulting the way both candidates talked about egypt is that egypt is a child to be told what to do ok in the rest of the arab world they must do this this and this it was it was really they talk they were talked down to particular when they talk about democracy of all things. yes larry that's absolutely right
again yeah both both of them accepted the fact that america naturally stands for democracy america naturally is in the business of promoting democracy and that americans were on the side of the people in egypt whereas of course everyone remembers there the obama administration stuck with mubarak right up to the very end and then finally when there was there was absolutely no possibility of either mubarak surviving or instead of security chief taking over from him then america just abandoned him and then declared with all sorts of triumphs and high fives that the americans were on the side of the people well of course it's absolutely ridiculous and. that's why he came to crick came across as both patronize ing and dishonest chad you want to jump in there. well i you know i just still see it that way the situation in egypt maturity as it did and the position of america when it had to change when you would it was compelled to change it did and it did
appropriately so leading from leading from behind yes leading from behind i think leverage good for my seat but lady but meeting and a transition was enabled was it was situated by that posture ok my god i'm going to be you're going to jump on your mike and give you the last word twenty seconds go ahead you know i think the trick here i think the choice actually remembers correctly that this united states was behind mubarak what's interesting though and what is the change the societies one has to ultimately engage in discussion dialogue and education was to educate about the issues and not just to take in that way it takes a long time to transition from one society to a next from an oppressive regime to a democracy you just have to switch a button and say everyone vote both is not the most important element in democracy ok gentlemen we're out of time because this is an issue of democracy in voting it's very interesting many thanks to my guest today in new york and thanks to our viewers for watching us here arche see you next time and remember last time.
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