The debate between President Obama and Romney regarding the killing of Osama bin Laden has framed the foreign policy debate for this presidential election cycle. Obama has attempted to take foreign policy off the table by portraying Romney as a potentially weaker commander in chief. The entire debate is framed within the continually hawkish framework of the Washington establishment. The voice of ending occupation abruptly or avoiding future invasions is silent in the national, mainline debate as broadcast by the establishment corporate media.
The killing of Osama bin Laden is an anomaly in the “war on terror.” It does not really speak to the “policy” aspect of foreign policy. It is a character, horse race driven, election cycle talking point. Both Obama and Romney know that the American people are exhausted when it comes to discussing foreign policy. So Obama does not want to tout his support of NATO funded troops in Libya or the escalation of the Afghanistan war or the escalation of drone attacks in Pakistan and Yemen.
The mode of operation by establishment candidates in presidential elections is to push out withdrawal dates of ongoing wars/occupations beyond the first term and not address specific policy decisions that might arise in the near future. Basically do not allow an open and honest debate about the direction of US foreign policy. Foreign policy is an issue where the voting public and the political and financial establishments are diametrically opposed. So the political establishment turns the issue into “he said, she said” political theater. The result is that the American people are never given the luxury of an open national debate on the use of their own tax dollars by their own military.
The reason that both Romney and Obama may want to focus on the now frivolous bin Laden debate is to avoid the publicly confronting the severity of the country’s economic outlook, which is the real national security issue of the day. Not addressing the $16 trillion debt has started a race to devalue the world’s leading currencies. Case in point, in the last 24 hours the Australian national bank jumped in on the fun and lowered their interest rate by 50 basis points. The Australian dollar and the Japanese Yen are the two most recent so called safe haven currencies to suffer as a result of central bank activity. America’s enemies around the world are now a result of currency devaluation as much as military presence.
As the campaign unfolds we are likely to see meaningless discussion with regard to US foreign policy. Iran will be a topic in the near future and they will simply argue about the timing of backing Israel and striking Iran.
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