Thursday, November 24, 2011

Republican Presidential Candidates and National Security

So I watched the Republican Presidential Debate Saturday November 12. At least the hour that was aired. This debate was advertised as the “Commander-in-Chief” debate and focused on national security and some foreign policy questions sure to come up. If you know anything about what is currently going on in U.S. foreign policy, you were probably screaming at the TV and engaging in numerous /facepalms.

Despite seeing the appalling performances, I decided to subject myself a second time to the Republican attempt to understand, let alone talk about, national security. I’m apparently a sadist because that was painful. At least this time, the two full hours of the debate were aired. But that’s the extent of the good. I spent another two full hours yelling at the TV (and drinking) about how wrong what they were saying was. And the unfortunate thing is that most Americans don’t know how wrong they are, which is why they can get away with saying the things they did. New required high school courses: national security policy and defense statecraft. Seriously (Syriasly), the world would be a better place if Americans and their possible politicians knew what they could actually do.

It’s not like the questions were hard. The debate was hosted by the American Enterprise Institute and the Heritage Foundation, neoconservative bastions where the members want the candidates to look good. But the majority of the people on that stage had no idea how to answer them. At least they’ve stopped harping on leaving Iraq this December. Someone must have explained what the SOFA does and showed the candidates the poll numbers that show solid support for this. Some also took on the budget and debt issues, but they wanted to cut foreign aid which is under a percent of the total budget. That’s going to fix anything.

And can we talk about what wasn’t said. China was barely mentioned and even then only in the last five minutes. India wasn’t spoken of which is odd for how much time was spent on Afghanistan and Pakistan. A question was asked about Somalia and Al-Shabaab, but no one really answered it. There was no mention of the Eurozone crisis. North Korea was mentioned in passing with all of the comments on Iran’s nuclear program.

In closing, I just want to give an awesome shout-out to the EMP comment by Newt Gingrich. Thank you sir for the token crazy comment of the night.

Happy Thanksgiving all.

1 comment:

lesdamnesdelaterre said...

What, specifically, did you find appalling? Who is "they?" The candidates responded to different questions in many different ways, so I think it's a sweeping generalization to say they were all appalling or they all dodged a certain question. You should blame those who asked the questions for not bringing up issues like the Euro debt crisis.

I lean to the left too, but I can still admit that good points were raised during the debate. I think it was a good opportunity to show how the eight candidates differ from each other on some key issues of national security.