Tag Archives: Barack Obama

Let’s Disagree to Agree? Romney, Obama, and the Foreign Policy Debate

Some reflections on the final presidential debate of 2012 for Aslan.

During the final presidential debate of the 2012 campaign season, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and Democratic president-and-candidate Barack Obama frequently found themselves in agreement on major foreign policy issues. Although the agreements were more apparent than in the past, thanks to the recent emergence of “Mitt the Moderate,” they could have been anticipated. When Michael Hudson and I wrote about the candidates’ stances on issues related to the Middle East, we found Mitt Romney’s stances to be vague, critical and bellicose, but largely indistinct in specifics. His philosophy may well be “speak ambiguously and carry a big stick.” Read the rest here!

How Far Apart? Divisions in American Politics (Part I)

Please check out my latest article up at Aslan about divisions in American political culture. It is the first in a two part series.

Watching the first presidential debate last week, Americans may be forgiven for losing sight of the differences between the candidates in the details. Republican candidate Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama managed to agree both on broad themes and policy specifics. When asked about their understanding of the role of government, both heralded foremost our military and our education system. The military is usually the darling of the Republicans, education the sweetheart of the Democrats. But here they were, Romney declaring, “I love great schools!” (see this graphic for all of Romney’s loves), Obama touting his role as Commander-in-Chief, and both nodding in approval of the other across the split screen. Moreover, thanks to some significant backtracking on Romney’s part, they were also in agreement not just about funding for schools, but also about taxing the rich, the importance of regulations, and even healthcare mandates. Read the rest here!

Why One Man’s Views on Israel Matter More Than the Rest of Us

My latest piece is now available for reading here. It is part of my just-launched column at Aslan Media!

As is often the case, Israel is dominating the discourse on US foreign policy. In the last week or so, there has been renewed debate about the viability of the “two-state solution” with the Palestinian Authority once again on the verge of financial collapse, the posting of bigoted ads in New York City subway stations equating Israel with civilized man and its resistors with savages, the almost monotonous warmongering over Iran, and the release of a surreptitiously taped video of Mitt Romney dismissing not only 47 percent of Americans but also the Palestinians, their leadership, and the peace process to boot. The annual meeting of the United Nations General Assembly offered another chance for world leaders and their eager followers in the media to debate/discuss/dissect Israel in US foreign policy. I am personally staggered when an American president, with our men and money operating at war in another country, mentions Israel five times more than Afghanistan in his speech to the UN. Read the rest here!

Campaign 2012: Domestic Issues Trump Foreign Policy Concerns

In my latest article for Aslan Media, I’ve written about the brief shift of focus towards foreign policy and the subsequent return to domestic issues in the presidential campaigns. As I hope to show, the domestic focus is an ever-increasing trend among the American public.

When Michael C. Hudson and I began penning an article on the foreign policy implications for the Middle East under the next presidential administration, we wanted to underscore an issue neglected in a campaign season defined by the economy. Soon enough, our issue and region of choice were brought to the forefront by the shocking deaths of American diplomats in Libya and the rapid spread of small-scale but dramatic demonstrations outside US embassies throughout the Muslim world. It is an unfortunately sensational storyline. Featured are an anti-Semitic/Islamic fraudulent expat, a soft-core porn director, and a preacher of vitriol on the one hand, and opportunistic politicians maximizing the anti-Western sentiment of their (in some cases overly-militarized-thanks-to-the-West) followers. Add to that an exploitative Republican presidential candidate, significant Islamophobia, and a deleterious 24-hour news cycle, and we have a production nearly as distasteful as the film that started it all. Read the rest here!