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Wed Oct 21, 2015, 07:46 AM

 

The Debate We Had, the Debate We Need

http://progressive.org/news/2015/10/188366/debate-we-had-debate-we-need

As encouraging as these thoughtful challenges were, I was troubled by Clinton's hollow responses and the fact that they went unchallenged by the mainstream media. For example, she dismissed the charge that she had failed to demonstrate good judgment in Iraq, glibly suggesting that when Obama appointed her as Secretary of State, he had, in effect, absolved her of bad judgment. She defended her role in Libya calling it "smart power at its best" and claiming that it resulted in "free elections" in which "moderates" won with the hope of creating a democracy - ignoring the chaos and bloody conflict that soon followed. She also made the evidence-free claim that using military force to create no-fly "safe zones" in Syria would "get the Russians to the table" and would not, as critics charge, simply be pouring more gasoline on the Syrian fire.

The Democratic debate was a good start and I can hope for more, but fear that more may not come for three reasons. It will not come from Republicans, since party has become captive of neo-conservatives and the Evangelical right. These movements have substituted facts with ideology. They see the world through a primitive lens of good and evil and have replaced diplomacy with the simplistic use of force. Added to this, too many Republicans have become xenophobic, demonizing Arabs and Muslims, in addition to Hispanics. Today's GOP is not the party of George HW Bush and James Baker.

But Democrats also have a problem. For too long its political leaders have ignored dealing with the uncomfortable complexities of the Middle East because it simply didn't serve any political advantage to know about Arabs and Muslims. All they had to know was that we had an "unbreakable bond with Israel". Seeing the Arab World through this lens led too many politicians to either remain ignorant of Middle East realities or, if they did know, to shy away from elevating these issues into the national debate. As a result, Democrats can debate the use of military force, but are either uncomfortable with or averse to questioning Israeli policies or the treatment of Palestinians, or discussing the political dynamics that shape Arab political realities, or identifying the root causes of conflict in Syria or Iraq.

Finally there is the role played by the media and their paid commentators who are all too often mere purveyors of conventional wisdom. Because they frequently know less than the candidates they are covering, they are ill equipped to challenge them or to report on their dangerous and/or trite responses to critical foreign policy questions. As a result, while I'm pleased that we are seeing at least Democrats having a substantive discussion on the use of force in Middle East conflicts, itís still not the serious and comprehensive discussion about US policy in the Middle East we so desperately need.

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Reply The Debate We Had, the Debate We Need (Original post)
Scuba Oct 2015 OP
daleanime Oct 2015 #1
antigop Oct 2015 #2
JRLeft Oct 2015 #3

Response to Scuba (Original post)

Wed Oct 21, 2015, 09:51 AM

1. K&R.....

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Wed Oct 21, 2015, 09:55 AM

2. there's a reason HRC's "hollow responses...went unchallenged by the mainstream media"

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Wed Oct 21, 2015, 10:13 AM

3. Agreed neither Bernie or Hillary are honest about the apartheid happening in the Gaza Strip.

 

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