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What Now ‘Paulbots’?

So, what now?  The “election” is over. Ron Paul will retire.  If President Obama doesn’t declare himself Dictator Obama, we will get another opportunity to “elect” a President in 4 years. FOUR YEARS?!?!  Seems like a lifetime in one sense, and in another, it zips by in a flash.

Ok, where to begin? Well, let’s get the whole “who’s to blame?” thing out of the way. For months now, we have been hearing “You Paulbots are going to be responsible for Obama’s re-election!”  And more recently, “Thanks for re-electing Obama all of you who voted for Johnson!”

Let’s take a look at this. IF the GOP, the RNC,  and the “mainstream” media had not cheated, lied, and stolen through election fraud, and given Ron Paul a FAIR shot at the Republican nomination, Mitt Romney may very well have been President-Elect this morning.

Yep, you read that right. Even if everything during the Primaries up through the Convention, was played fairly, Romney may still have been the nominee. We still might not have had the numbers necessary to secure the nomination. This is purely “Monday morning quarterbacking” on my part. We MIGHT have had the numbers and taken the nomination, but it was always a long shot. At any rate, there are two things I am certain of, if we were given a level playing field.
#1).
IF Ron Paul would have gotten the nomination, he WOULD HAVE beaten President Obama. (A point I will address later)
#2). IF Romney got the nomination (fairly), the Republican Party would have brought many of the Paul supporters into the fold for the sake of unity in defeating President Obama.

Let’s begin with my second point first. The one thing that everyone from the extreme right wing religious Republicans all the way over to the socially liberal Independents, to include the core base of Libertarians agreed on through all of this, was Obama’s policies were wrong and he needed to be defeated. I don’t believe that was ever in dispute. The dispute rested in who to replace Obama with. And up until the Convention, that person SHOULD have been a negotiable point. But it never was. There was no choice. The GOP, RNC, and the media (along with the powers behind the scenes) took all choice away from ALL of us. 

Romney was SELECTED because it provided a win/win situation for Wall Street, the Military Industrial Complex, the Statists, and yes, the proponents of a New World Order. They ALL wanted 4 more years with Obama, who in his second term is likely to be more aggressive in implementing policies that are beneficial to all of them. But in the event Obama lost, who better to replace him with than a man who, based on his record, would continue those same policies? Romney was perfect!

But back to my point. If Romney, and the Republican Party would have played fair, and STILL won the nomination, I have no doubt, although disappointed, many Paul supporters would have supported Romney in the common goal of defeating Obama. I’m confident of this because, IF it were a fairly won nomination, Ron Paul would have, at the very least, had a platform to address the Convention. He would have been encouraged to help shape the Romney campaign and agenda. His advice would have been sought out in shaping policy for the future of Conservatism and the Republican Party. And as we all know, where Dr. Paul goes, so goes his supporters. Now you can claim this is pure speculation and opinion on my part, and it is. I don’t deny that. But it is pretty logical, as far as speculation goes. So, I’m sticking with it…IF this had been played out in a fair and honest manner, and Romney still secured the nomination, he would have garnered upwards of MILLIONS of additional supporters.

Ok, now on to my first point. IF everything had been done fair and square and Ron Paul would have secured the nomination, he would without doubt be taking the Oath of Office in January. How can I say this obvious opinion with such force and conviction?  How can I present my opinion so matter of factly?

Well, for starters, there is an overwhelming majority of Americans, who KNOW that the policies, both domestic AND abroad of the Obama administration are just not cutting it. This President has added TRILLIONS of dollars in debt, to an already out of control debt he claims to have inherited. He has broken nearly every campaign promise he made to get the job the first time. He has not only continued the war effort of the last President, but has expanded it, and will continue to do so. And speaking of the last administration, President Obama has continued to eliminate personal liberties of Americans through the extension of the Patriot Act, and implementing NDAA.  He has increased spending and manpower, and expanded the jurisdiction of the TSA.  He has exhibited a disdain for the process of our system by circumventing Congress through the use of Executive Orders. He has a Justice Department, under the head of Eric Holder, who at the very least is incompetent, but more realistically, criminal. And on and on and on. So, there are even die hard Liberals and Democrats who recognize this Administration’s policies are simply continuations of the Bush Administration’s policies. And they aren’t exactly thrilled about it.

Did any of you watch the “debates” between President Obama and Governor Romney? Yeah, me neither. After the halfway point of the first one, it was apparent, there was no “debate”. With all of their double talk, blame game, fool hearty attempts to prove how different they are, nobody bought it. The only ones who grudgingly, painfully, subjected themselves to the “show” were the pundits, bloggers, and sadists. It is abundantly clear, those “debates” were merely entertainment. Now, a President Obama vs. Congressman Paul series of debates would have been EPIC!

The President might have actually been put in a position to defend his FAILed policies:

Senator Obama campaigning in 2007….Gonna end the wars!
Congressman Paul 2012 debate….WHEN?

Senator Obama campaigning in 2007….Gonna put Americans back to work!
Congressman Paul 2012 debate…
WHEN?

Senator Obama campaigning in 2007….Gonna turn this economy around!
Congressman Paul 2012 debate…WHEN?

And these are just the easy ones. But specifically, imagine President Obama, while feebly attempting to defend his policies, trying to make valid arguments against Dr. Paul’s proposed policies!

For example, these wars. I think it’s safe to say America is “warred out“. How can President Obama defend his policies on war expansion AND argue against Dr. Paul’s policy of “Just march them home!”? Yes, I have simplified that, but how difficult must it be to make it true? Not one of these wars we are involved in does ANYTHING to make America safer. Even if you believe that there are bad guys who want to kill us, there is no valid justification for these UNDECLARED wars, and immoral occupations. These actions create enemies. So yes, “Just march them home!” while simplistic, seems to work just fine in my mind. But of course, President Obama would no doubt have come back with It’s complicated, and your proposal will leave us weak as a nation. Actually, it wouldn’t. Because Congressman Paul’s proposal of “Just march the home” includes DOUBLING the size of the U.S. Navy AND the U.S. Coast Guard.  Hey, aren’t those the guys and gals that protect OUR borders from a DEFENSIVE standpoint? I think I read that somewhere.

Need another example? How about the Patriot Act?, corporate bailouts?, printing/borrowing/spending?, NDAA?, ObamaCare?, No Child Left Behind?, the Dream Act? My intention here is not to rehash each of their positions on every issue, but to demonstrate that they actually DO differ…on just about every issue imaginable. There is a clear and distinct difference in their policy positions. We would have had a choice. We would have witnessed real debates. We would have seen a true fiscal Conservative, not merely saying Obama’s monetary policies are wrong, but explaining why they are wrong, AND presenting a realistic, workable, alternative. Did you hear Governor/Candidate Romney present such a plan? I sure didn’t. I heard an awful lot of You’re wrong, and I have a plan, but I heard nor saw this plan.

Back to the wars. I heard Governor Romney say a lot of the You did it wrong, and I would have done it differently, but it is clear…he had no intention of scaling back when it comes to war. In fact, that is one area he might have escalated faster than President Obama.

How about those bailouts, NDAA, TSA, and other issues that at best were gleaned over during the debates? Again, I heard nothing to suggest a Romney Presidency would have changed any of that. ObamaCare? Please….he created that monstrosity! No matter how many times he said I will repeal ObamaCare, he could never not follow that up with and replace it. Replace it how? I have always maintained he would replace the name of ObamaCare with its ORIGINAL moniker, RomneyCare.

So, IF the circus we witnessed over the last several months would have been conducted fairly, and IF Dr. Paul would have secured the Republican nomination, I am confident he would have been named President-Elect this morning. All, but the far left Liberals, and the die-hard Statists (NWO) are less than satisfied with one or more of President Obama’s policy implementations thus far, and MOST Americans are less than enthusiastic in him performing any better next term. Take the Democrats who are opposed to the wars. Given a choice of sticking with the current President, who is showing no signs of ending the wars, and a candidate who has said “March them home!”, a great number of those people (who voted for Obama last time for that very reason) are going to chance it with the guy who says he will end the wars.

But given the choice we were given, they chose to stick with the devil they know. The same is true for Independents, who are not necessarily Libertarians, who oppose corporate bailouts and Quantitative Easing. Given this choice we were given, they opted for 4 more years of one tax/print/spend guy, rather than risk 8 years of another borrow/print/spend guy. Had they been offered the choice of tax/borrow/print/spend OR cutting ONE TRILLION DOLLARS in the first year, with an actual plan proving it can be done, they would have chosen the latter.

We said the Republicans could not defeat Obama without us, and that has now been proven to be true. So, we have 4 more years of Obama. Well, put the blame where it belongs. It does NOT lie with the Paulbots, or the Johnsonites, or the Steinians, or with ANY other American who stood proud in their convictions by casting their vote. The blame lies entirely with the people who gave you NO CHOICE.

Believe it or not, there is actually an upside to Obama winning. While it is true, there is no appreciable difference between Obama and Romney, had Romney won, he would get the blame for the inevitable financial meltdown we are approaching. But more importantly than him getting the blame, capitalism and free markets would get the blame. No, Romney is not a true free market capitalist, but the media will mislabel his policies as such. 

I could go on showing that if Americans had a real choice, the outcome would have been much different, but I’d like to move on to the original intent of this article. What are we Paulbots (and other 3rd Party Independents) to do now? First and foremost, we continue to spread the message. It has ALWAYS been more than the man (Ron Paul).  It has, and should remain about the message. The message of individual liberty and personal responsibility. The message of free trade with nations while remaining secure in our defense. The message of retaining the fruits of YOUR labor and investing those fruits to suit YOUR needs.

Some of you have chosen Governor Johnson as your new Liberty Leader. Some of you have latched onto Rand Paul. Some have migrated towards other Parties, such as the Green and Constitution Parties. I admit, I was saddened and disappointed that so many of you chose that route BEFORE the Convention. However, at this point in the game, I am elated at the prospect of promoting ALL 3rd Party/Independent platforms. It is long overdue! Even after all I pointed out in this article of how America is disenfranchised,disappointed, and disgusted by the lack of choice this two-Party system gives them, a lot still see no alternatives. We certainly cannot depend on the media to enlighten them. It is up to us. Become the media.

Next, for those of you who have not had State elections for the Senate, House, and Governorships, get cracking! Start looking into the folks running for those seats. Investigate and vet them all out.  Dr. Paul formally endorsed 11 candidates for the House this cycle and yesterday EIGHT of those 11 won! And that, my friends is how we continue the R3VOLUTION! that IS the message! We get people in the House, Senate, and Governors mansions from all over this country who will continue Ron Paul’s legacy.

1). Justin Amash. Michigan 3rd District.
2.)
Thomas Massie. Kentucky 4th District.
3.)
Kerry Bentivolio. Michigan 11th District.
4.) Steve Stockman. Texas 36th District.
5.)
Randy Weber. Texas 14th District. To replace Congressman Paul. He’s got some big shoes to fill!
6.)
Ted Yoho. Florida 3rd District.
7.)
David Schweikert. Arizona 6th District.
8.) Walter Jones. North Carolina 3rd District.

http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/item/13555-the-ron-paul-revolution-moves-to-congress

I personally have high hopes for Justin Amash, Thomas Massie, and Walter Jones. While these wins are indeed impressive, we have a lot more work to do. We need many more Rand Paul’s and Mike Lee’s in the Senate. Early predictions for the 2014 cycle lean toward a possible Republican takeover.
http://www.rollcall.com/issues/57_93/Senate_2014_Field_Looks_to_Favor_GOP-212263-1.html

We need to make sure they are Constitutional Republicans, or Libertarian. We’ve lost the Executive Branch for at least the next 4 years, the Judicial Branch offers little to no hope, so we must retake the Legislative Branch.

When researching these potential candidates, be sure they oppose such atrocities as Patriot Act, NDAA, bailouts, socialized health care, etc. But also be sure they favor things like nullificaction and State’s rights.

Six States were successful yesterday in approving initiatives that nullify unconstitutional federal laws! This is paramount to our success in restoring the Constitutional authority granted to the States through the Constitution.

1).  Montana,Referendum 122
2).  Colorado, Amendment 64
3).  Alabama, Amendment 6
4).  Washington State, Initiative 502
5).  Wyoming, Amendment A
6).  Massachusetts, Question 3

http://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2012/11/07/nullification-victories/

Another thing we should concentrate on, is electing honest local Sheriffs. They are our last best defense against a tyrannical government. Take a good look at how your local police department personnel are dressed, armed. Check out their vehicles. Read the current Police Beat section of your local newspapers. You may be quite surprised at the overkill tactics used by the ones who are hired to Protect and Serve you. While the staff of the Sheriff, including the deputies are hired personnel, they answer solely to the Sheriff who is normally elected by you and I. Look into your local Sheriff’s Department and see how you can get the right people to defend you against the State. I don’t want to come off as an alarmist in this particular post, but be prepared people.

A dichotomy frequently exists today between a sheriff’s jurisdiction and the jurisdiction of a local police department. A metropolitan area may encompass an entire county or more; police departments and sheriffs will often maintain concurrent jurisdiction in the overlapping area. A sheriff may assume that a local police department will do its duty in enforcing the law, but the primary obligation rests with the sheriff and requires him to act when evidence of neglect of that duty exists.

http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Sheriff

Obama Supporters Actually Hate Obama’s Policies

***ATTENTION: This video is NOT in support of Mitt Romney, in any way, nor is this organization.***

Follow Luke @ http://www.twitter.com/lukewearechange

Luke Rudkowski hits the streets of NYC to find out where Obama supporters really stand on his policies. Now he did this in an underhanded way where the policies where presented to be Romney’s, but this was only done to get an honest opinion. The reactions when the truth was uncovered varied but they were very telling to say the least.

Here are some of the sources that were mentioned throughout the interviews

1st question, part 1 – Obama, in Europe, signs Patriot Act extension
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/43180202/ns/us_news-security/t/obama-europe-signs-patriot-act-extension/#.UIkNUcXA_fU

1st question, part 2 – Warrantless Spying Skyrockets Under Obama
http://reason.com/archives/2012/10/03/warrantless-spying-skyrockets-under-obam

2nd question – President Obama Signed the National Defense Authorization Act – Now What?
http://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2012/01/02/president-obama-signed-the-national-defense-authorization-act-now-what/

3rd question – Secret ‘Kill List’ Proves a Test of Obama’s Principles and Will
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/29/world/obamas-leadership-in-war-on-al-qaeda.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

4th question – Drone wars and state secrecy — how Barack Obama became a hardliner
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jun/02/drone-wars-secrecy-barack-obama

Five Specific Questions Journalists Should Ask About the Drone Strike Policy

Before Monday night’s presidential debate, many of us urged Bob Schieffer to ask a question about drone strikes.

And, in fact – credit where credit is due – Bob Schieffer did ask a question about drones.

It can’t be said that we learned a great deal directly from the interaction. For reasons that aren’t really clear, Schieffer asked his question only of Mitt Romney. Here was the exchange:

SCHIEFFER: Let — let me ask you, Governor because we know President Obama’s position on this, what is — what is your position on the use of drones?
ROMNEY: Well I believe we should use any and all means necessary to take out people who pose a threat to us and our friends around the world. And it’s widely reported that drones are being used in drone strikes, and I support that and entirely, and feel the president was right to up the usage of that technology, and believe that we should continue to use it, to continue to go after the people that represent a threat to this nation and to our friends.

Schieffer’s choice to exclude President Obama was odd. About any current Administration policy one could say that we know Obama’s policy; after all, he’s in charge. The point is to give him the opportunity to defend his policy and to say what he intends to do going forward. Arguably we know Obama’s policy on health care reform, because he’s in charge of a policy that is being implemented. Would a debate moderator say: “let me ask you, Governor because we know President Obama’s position on this, what is — what is your position on health care reform?”

And so, using language Malcolm X might have appreciated – “we should use any and all means necessary” – Romney endorsed the President’s policy. [For those scoring at home, it’s a basic principle of the law of armed conflict that combatants do not get to use “any and all means necessary.”] So, at this level of abstraction, the candidates agree.

Nonetheless, the exchange was useful, because it put the issue on the table for discussion. Schieffer didn’t take the ball far, but he got it on the field, and that’s more than anyone else of his stature had previously done. As Mark Weisbrot noted at the Guardian, “It was a victory just to have drones mentioned.”

Others picked up the discussion. On MSNBC, Joe Scarborough said:

What we are doing with drones is remarkable. The fact that … over George W. Bush’s eight years when a lot of people brought up a bunch of legitimate questions about international law–my God, those lines have been completely eradicated in a drone policy that says that, if you’re between 17 and 30, and you’re within a half-mile of a suspect, we can blow you up. And that’s exactly what’s happening.

Joe Klein responded:

But the bottom line in the end is: whose four year-old gets killed? What we’re doing … is limiting the possibility that four year-olds here are going to get killed by indiscriminate acts of terror

Writing in the Guardian, Glenn Greenwald noted that “Klein’s justification – we have to kill their children in order to protect our children – is the exact mentality of every person deemed in US discourse to be a ‘terrorist'” and that “Slaughtering Muslim children does not protect American children from terrorism.”

But it should also be noted that U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan currently are not really about protecting civilians in the United States from terrorist attacks in any event. U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan today are primarily an extension of the war in Afghanistan, targeting suspected militants believed to be planning to attack U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Since the majority of Americans oppose the war the war in Afghanistan and want U.S. troops to be withdrawn from Afghanistan, this is a highly relevant political fact: U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan are being carried out in support of a war in Afghanistan that most Americans oppose. Pretending that U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan are about protecting civilians in the United States when they are primarily about extending the unpopular Afghanistan war across the border with Pakistan is therefore a pretty significant deceit.

The best solution to the problem of people trying to attack our troops in other people’s countries is to get our troops out of other people’s countries where people are likely to attack them.

When U.S. troops are withdrawn from Afghanistan, as most Americans want, then there will be no reason to use drone strikes to target militants in Pakistan who are trying to attack U.S. troops in Afghanistan, because there will be no militants in Pakistan trying to attack U.S. troops in Afghanistan, because there will be no U.S. troops in Afghanistan for them to attack. The situation is analogous to that which we faced in Iraq during the Bush Administration: we were told we had to keep our troops in Iraq to fight the people who were attacking our troops in Iraq, but the people attacking our troops were attacking our troops because they were there. Now that our troops have left Iraq, no-one is attacking our troops in Iraq anymore. The best solution to the problem of people trying to attack our troops in other people’s countries is to get our troops out of other people’s countries where people are likely to attack them.

Moreover, it is crucial to recognize that the mere existence of drone strikes is not the focus of international criticism. It is specific features of the drone strike policy which are overwhelmingly the focus of international criticism. There is relatively little international criticism, for example, about the U.S. use of drone strikes in Afghanistan compared to other use of air power, given that whether one supports or opposes it, the war in Afghanistan is generally considered internationally to be lawful overall [which is different from saying that specific actions within the war are lawful]. But there is a great deal of international criticism about the U.S. use of drone strikes in Pakistan, where considerable international opinion does not accept that the U.S. is conducting a lawful war.

And this is why, although it was a great first step that Bob Schieffer even said the word “drone” and made Mitt Romney say it too, to let politicians merely answer the question at this level of abstraction – “I support drone strikes, too” – is to let them off the hook. It’s crucial to drive down into the details of the policy as it exists today and get politicians on the record saying not just whether they support drone strikes as an abstraction but whether they support the details of the policy as it is being implemented today. And this is even more important now, given recent press reports that the current policy is being made permanent.

And this is why it would be tremendously useful if the high-profile TV talk shows would take this on, and devote enough time to it to drive down into details. CBS‘s Bob Schieffer (Face the Nation), NBC‘s David Gregory and Betsy Fischer (Meet the Press), CNN‘s Christiane Amanpour, and MSNBC‘s Chris Matthews and Rachel Maddow should all be pressed to drive down into the detail of the current drone strike policy. It would be tremendously useful, for example, if these shows would invite the authors of the recent Stanford/NYU report on drone strikes on as guests and invite an Administration surrogate to respond in detail.

Here are five specific questions that it would be really helpful if these shows would explore:

1. The U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan recently acknowledged that 1) the U.S. government has an official count of the number of civilians the U.S. thinks have been killed in Pakistan as a result of U.S. drone strikes since July 2008 and that 2) this number is classified. What is this number, and why is it classified?

2. Journalists and independent researchers have reported that the U.S. has targeted rescuers with “secondary” or “follow-up” drone strikes. International law experts have said that if this is true, this is clearly a war crime under international law. The U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan has denied that the U.S. is targeting rescuers and has denied that the U.S. is conducting secondary strikes. What is the truth here? Is the U.S. targeting rescuers, or not? Is the U.S. conducting “secondary” strikes, or not? If the U.S. is targeting rescuers, is this a war crime?

3. Pakistani officials say they oppose U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan. The Pakistani parliament unanimously demanded that they stop. But U.S. officials claim that the Pakistani military has secretly approved the strikes. What is the truth here? If there is secret approval by the Pakistani military, but not by the democratically elected Pakistani government, should we be satisfied by that? Is such a situation politically sustainable in Pakistan? If there is not secret approval, is the U.S. violating international law with its drone strike policy? If the Pakistani military accepts some U.S. drone strikes but not others, does that count as approval of the drone strikes which the Pakistani military opposes, for the purposes of international law? If not, doesn’t that imply that the U.S. is violating international law, even if the Pakistani military approves some drone strikes?

4. U.S. officials have claimed that U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan are narrowly targeted on top level terrorist suspects. But the U.S. is reported to be conducting “signature strikes” on unknown targets based on signals intelligence indicating “suspicious activity.” How is this consistent with the claim that the strikes are narrowly targeted on top level terrorist suspects?

5. White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan has claimed that civilian deaths in U.S. drone strikes have been “exceedingly rare.” The international humanitarian law principle of proportionality in armed conflict requires that civilian harm not be excessive in relation to anticipated military advantage. It has been reported that a mere 2% of the deaths in U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan since 2004 have been high level targets, while at least 15-30% of the deaths have been civilians. Are these numbers basically correct? If so, is it honest to say that civilian deaths have been “exceedingly rare”? If these numbers are basically correct, is the U.S. violating the international law principle of proportionality?

If you’d like the big TV talk shows to take these questions on, you can tell them so here.

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/10/26-0

‘Romney stressing military solutions to Middle East’

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.(AFP Photo / Jewel Samad)

While Barack Obama and Mitt Romney express agreement on most of issues regarding US foreign policy, the Republican seems far more willing to support Israeli offensive actions if elected president, analyst John Feffer told RT.

­The major difference between Obama and Romney is their “comfort level” with Netanyahu and his warmongering towards Iran, John Feffer of think tank Foreign Policy in Focus said.

And following the foreign policy debate with President Obama, the latest polls show Romney has taken a slight lead in the race for the White House.

RT: So why has Romney managed to edge ahead after the debate?

John Feffer: As we have seen, Mitt Romney demonstrated that he could talk in the debate. That was in the first debate, and he has not made any major gaps, and I stress major. Of course there have been minor gaps but nothing that has eliminated him as a potential candidate. So, I think his performance in the debates has been the major reason why he has closed the gap with the President Obama.

RT: The last debate was on foreign policy. Critics say Obama and Romney show no differences in their stance on Iran. But they both claim they do differ. What do you make of it?

JF: There are, I would say, some significant differences between the two candidates. Mitt Romney, even though he does talk about diplomacy, has put the stress on military solutions, and that there is absolutely no daylight between him and Netanyahu. The president, of course, has put more stress on diplomacy, and I think he means that when he says it – and of course, we have the possibility of bilateral negotiations with Tehran right after the election.

And although the president says there is no daylight – factually speaking – between him and Netanyahu, we know that there is and that the two leaders are uncomfortable with one another. So there, we have a major difference between the president and Mitt Romney: their comfort level with Netanyahu and their comfort level with diplomacy with Tehran.

RT: Will we see a change in policy over Syria after the election?

JF: I do not see that we’ll see a major change. As you have pointed out in earlier reports, the American public is certainly not ready for any major US commitment on the ground, or any other significant way, in Syria. So I do not think that the president or Mitt Romney, if he got elected, would execute major or significant change in American foreign policy toward Syria. Of course, if the situation substantially changes on the ground that might force the hand of anybody in Washington – and that is hard to predict.

RT: Despite the US pushing for democracy, the Arab Spring has seen some unexpected elements come to power, many seen as anti-Western and linked to terrorism. How will Washington determine who to do business with?

JF: I think the Obama administration has made a critical decision, an important decision, to work with what it perceives as the moderate Islamist elements in the region, the Muslim Brotherhood for instance in Egypt. I think this was a wise choice – I think it acknowledges that moderate Islamist positions have a great deal to do with popularity in the region, not just in Egypt but in other parts of the region. And this, I think, kind of represents a significant block in the region that prevents more extremist alternatives of whatever alternative nature.

I think this is the decision that Washington has made. There has been criticism of course from Republicans, from challengers here in the Romney camp, that the president has essentially given in to Islamists in the Middle East. But I think this is an incorrect reading. The situation shows that the Republican Party elements of this don’t understand wellsprings of popular sentiment in the Middle East, both before the Arab Spring, during the Arab Spring, and now after the major events of the Arab Spring.

http://rt.com/usa/news/romney-support-israel-iran-351/

Romney: I will have Israel’s back, including militarily

In final debate, Repubican nominee attacks president for sidelining Israel to curry favor with regional players • Obama vows Iran will not get nuclear bomb on his watch and touts unprecedented U.S. aid, says visit to Yad Vashem and Sderot had great impact on him.

U.S. President Barack Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney squared off on Monday in their final debate, which focused on foreign affairs.|Photo credit: Reuters

U.S. President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Governor Mitt Romney sparred on Monday over who was Israel’s strongest defender but both agreed that a military strike over Iran’s nuclear program must be a “last resort.”

Tehran’s nuclear program, which the West suspects is for developing weapons and that economic sanctions have so far failed to stop, is almost certain to be among the top foreign policy challenges facing the next president.

Yet Romney and Obama, in their foreign policy debate, did not offer sharply contrasting policies to address the challenge. They agreed on the need for tough economic pressure — and for safeguarding Israel. “If Israel is attacked, we have their back, not just diplomatically, not just culturally, but militarily,” Romney said. “I will stand with Israel if they are attacked,” Obama said. Both were responding to a question on whether they would consider an attack on Israel an attack on the United States.

Obama later called Israel “a true friend and our greatest ally in the region,” and said Israel and the U.S. maintain “unprecedented military and intelligence cooperation, including dealing with the Iranian threat.” Obama went on to say that a nuclear Iran would be a national security threat to the United States. He stressed he would not let Iran obtain a nuclear bomb so long as he is president and would not let Iran “perpetually engage in negotiations that lead nowhere.”

Iran’s leaders have from time to time threatened to eradicate Israel, and Israeli leaders see an Iranian nuclear weapon as an existential threat. The question that has risen repeatedly this year is whether Israel would conduct a unilateral strike against Iran’s nuclear sites, which would put the United States in a difficult position of whether to enter another Middle East conflict.

The candidates did not say what they would do if Israel conducted a unilateral strike on Iran. Pressed by the moderator on how he would react if Israel were to launch a unilateral strike against Iran, Romney said, “Our relationship with Israel, my relationship with the prime minister of Israel [Benjamin Netanyahu] is such that we would not get a call saying our bombers are on the way or their fighters are on the way.” Romney and Netanyahu both worked for a Boston-based consulting firm in the 1970s. The two still maintain a close friendship, which was clearly on display during Romney’s visit to Israel over the summer.

Obama accused Romney of rushing to conclude that a military strike was necessary. “The disagreement I have with Governor Romney is that, during the course of this campaign, he’s often talked as if we should take premature military action,” Obama said at Monday’s debate, which was the final such encounter before the Nov. 6 election. “I think that would be a mistake, because when I send young men and women into harm’s way, I always understand that is the last resort, not the first resort,” he said.

“We need to increase pressure, time and time again, on Iran because anything other than … a solution to this … which stops this, this nuclear folly of theirs, is unacceptable to America,” Romney said. “And of course, a military action is the last resort. It is something one would only … consider if all of the other avenues had been … tried to their full extent,” he said.

Romney challenged the effectiveness of Obama’s Iran policy, saying his perceived weakness has strengthened the ayatollahs’ resolve. “They have looked at this administration and felt that the administration was not as strong as it needed to be,” Romney said. “I think they saw weakness where they had expected to find American strength.” “We’re four years closer to a nuclear Iran. We’re four years closer to a nuclear Iran,” Romney continued. “And — and we should not have wasted these four years to the extent they’ve — they continue to be able to spin these centrifuges and get that much closer.”

Obama bluntly said newspaper reports that Iran and the United States had agreed to hold bilateral talks on Tehran’s nuclear program were not true. Iran has also denied that bilateral negotiations on its nuclear program had been scheduled.

Romney went on to attack the president for sidelining the relations with Israel as part of the effort to curry favor with other Middle East players, evident by what the governor called an “apology tour.”

“You went to the Middle East and you flew to Egypt and to Saudi Arabia and to Turkey and Iraq. And by [the] way, you skipped Israel, our closest friend in the region, but you went to the other nations,” Romney said. “And by the way, they noticed that you skipped Israel. And then in those nations and on Arabic TV you said that America had been dismissive and derisive. You said that on occasion America had dictated to other nations. Mr. President, America has not dictated to other nations. We have freed other nations from dictators.”

Romney also attacked Obama for not acting to shore-up relations with Israel even after 38 members of Congress had sent him a letter urging him to do so. “They asked him, please repair the tension — Democrat senators — please repair the damage,” Romney said.

Obama said his administration and he personally consider Israel’s security paramount, in part owing to the impression left by his visit there as a candidate in 2008. “I went down to the border town of Sderot, which had experienced missiles raining down from Hamas. And I saw families there who showed me where missiles had come down near their children’s bedrooms, and I was reminded of what that would mean if those were my kids, which is why, as president, we funded an Iron Dome program to stop those missiles.” Obama also attacked Romney for using his recent trip to Israel to benefit his campaign war chest rather than to study the region. “When I went to Israel as a candidate, I didn’t take donors, I didn’t attend fundraisers, I went to Yad Vashem, the Holocaust museum there, to remind myself [of] the nature of evil and why our bond with Israel will be unbreakable.”

Speaking on Egypt, Obama said he would make sure Egypt’s pro-Islamic regime would uphold the country’s long-standing peace treaty with Israel. “That is a red line for us, because not only is Israel’s security at stake, but our security is at stake if that unravels,” Obama said.

On Syria, Romney tried to put Obama on the defensive by saying the administration has not led in the crisis in which thousands of Syrians have died and President Bashar al-Assad remains in power. “What I’m afraid of is, we’ve watched over the past year or so, first the president saying, well, we’ll let the U.N. deal with it,” Romney said. “We should be playing the leadership role there.”The United States should work with partners to organize the Syrian opposition and “make sure they have the arms necessary to defend themselves,” he said.

“I am confident that Assad’s days are numbered,” Obama said. “But what we can’t do is to simply suggest that, as Governor Romney at times has suggested, that giving heavy weapons, for example, to the Syrian opposition is a simple proposition that would lead us to be safer over the long term.” Obama also used Monday night’s debate to criticize Romney’s support for beginning the war in Iraq, for opposing his plans to withdraw troops from Iraq, for inconsistent stances on Afghanistan and for opposing nuclear treaties with Russia. “Every time you’ve offered an opinion, you’ve been wrong,” Obama said. Romney responded that “attacking me is not an agenda” for dealing with a dangerous world.

If and how the debate would affect the Nov. 6 presidential election was not clear. Foreign policy, the theme of the debate at Lynn University, in Boca Raton, Florida, has not been a major issue in a race centered on the U.S. economy. But both candidates were determined to appear to be strong leaders, rallying their supporters and winning over the remaining undecided voters.

Romney appeared more measured than Obama, agreeing with the president on a number of issues, perhaps seeking to appear more moderate to centrist voters who may determine the election’s outcome. Obama, from the opening moments, wasn’t as subdued. He said Romney would reinstate the unpopular foreign policies of President George W. Bush.

“Governor, when it comes to our foreign policy, you seem to want to import the foreign policies of the 1980s, just like the social policies of the 1950s and the economic policies of the 1920s,” Obama said.

Romney said that despite early hopes, the ouster of despotic regimes in Egypt, Libya and elsewhere over the past year has resulted in a “rising tide of chaos.” He said the president has failed to come up with a coherent policy to grapple with the change sweeping the Middle East.

Foreign policy is generally seen as Obama’s strength and he highlighted two of his campaign’s main points, that he gave the order leading to the killing of terrorist leader Osama bin Laden and fulfilled a promise to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq. Romney, a multimillionaire businessman, has little foreign affairs experience. Romney congratulated Obama “on taking out Osama bin Laden and taking on the leadership of al-Qaida.” But he added, “we can’t kill our way out of this mess. … We must have a comprehensive and robust strategy.”

The election is a state-by-state contest and the outcome in a small number of states that are not predictably Democratic or Republican will determine the winner. With the final debate behind them, both men are embarking on a two-week whirlwind of campaigning. The president is slated to speak in six states during a two-day trip that begins Wednesday. Romney intends to visit two or three states a day. Already four million ballots have been cast in early voting in more than two dozen states. Just hours before the debate CNN published the latest “poll of polls,” showing Romney has been able to maintain his momentum. The poll, which is the average of five polls conducted over the past week, has both Obama and Romney locked in a dead heat — each garnering 47 percent support among likely voters. A Reuters/Ipsos poll from Monday night (before the debate) also had both candidates tied at 46% in a sample that included both registered and likely voters. Gallup’s daily tracking poll has Romney holding on to a 6% advantage among likely voters.

The last debate could turn out to be decisive in such a close race. One Democratic activist told Politico on Monday that the voters who had yet to make up their minds “go back and forth every day”. “One day they are for Romney, and one day they are for the president. Right now they have gone back to Obama. The last thing they hear matters. … It’s extremely fluid outside the base.”

For the first time since May, The Politico/George Washington University Battleground Tracking Poll has Romney ahead in ten competitive swing states, with the former governor commanding a 50% to 48% lead among likely voters. This marks an upset from last week, when the president was at 49% to Romney’s 48%. In all-important Ohio, with its 18 electoral votes, Obama still maintains a 50% to 45% advantage among likely voters according to a Quinnipiac University/CBS poll, although Romney has been able to narrow the gap lately.

Meanwhile, real estate magnate Donald Trump, who is a Romney supporter, announced on Monday that he will release as early as Wednesday a political bombshell the could decide the race. Speaking on Fox News, Trump described it as “something very, very big concerning the president of the United States.” “It’s going to be very big. I know one thing — you will cover it in a very big fashion,” Trump said. Trump has been one of Obama’s most vocal critics and even questioned Obama’s claim that he was born in the United States. The U.S. constitution stipulates that the president must be a “natural-born” U.S. citizen.

http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=6180

Romney Rep. Peter King: Presidential Kill List “Totally Constitutional”

Luke Rudkowski asks NY Congressman and Romney representative, Peter King for his insight on how Mitt Romney should handle the inheritance of Obama’s kill list should he become president. Peter King touts the kill list as “totally right, totally Constitutional” as he quickly becomes angered and derogatory towards Luke.

Mitt Romney Thinks He’s Won The Election, And Last Night He Just Played Not To Lose

The final presidential debate is over, and Mitt Romneyplayed it very safe, passing over opportunities to go on offense and generally avoiding confrontation with President Barack Obama.

The Republican candidate had a largely unremarkable debate, devoid of any major flubs, but also lacking in memorable attack lines or zingers. While the incumbent came out swinging, Romney repeatedly passed up opportunities to go after his opponent, even on key campaign flashpoints like trade with China and the White House’s handling of last month’s attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

Instead, Romney once again tacked far to the center and actually embraced many of Obama’s foreign policies, offering up positions that differed only marginally from those of his Democratic opponent on issues like U.S. troop withdrawals from Afghanistan, foreign aid and intervention in the Middle East, and the use of drones.

In the immediate aftermath of the debate, several conservative pundits bemoaned the Republican nominee’s performance as a missed opportunity.

Here’s a tweet from Glenn Beck:

And here’s conservative commentator Laura Ingraham:

But in the end, most conservative pundits and Republican strategists agreed that the “play it safe” strategy may have been the smartest choice for the Republican nominee, who has so far struggled to effectively attack Obama on foreign policy issues. Moreover, in Monday’s debate, Romney faced the difficult challenge of setting himself apart from his Republican predecessor, former President George W. Bush, whose national security policies remain widely unpopular.

But with his campaign still riding the momentum from his strong performance in the first presidential debate, Romney didn’t need a big win tonight at his third and final match-up with Obama. He just needed to prevent a routing — and avoid stumbles like the botched response on Libya that he gave in last week’s town hall debate.

To that end, Romney accomplished what his campaign had set out to do during the final debate. It remains to be seen, however, whether Romney’s momentum really is strong enough to carry him through a merely passable performance.

Romney, Obama appeal to voters on Israel, talk tough on Iran

At the final presidential debate, both President Barack Obama and Republican rival Mitt Romney appealed to voters in Boca Raton, Florida by talking tough on security for Israel and Iran’s future.

US President Barack Obama shakes hands with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney at the end of the third and final presidential debate October 22, 2012 at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida. (MANDEL NGAN/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama and Republican rival Mitt Romney went head-to-head on foreign policy in the third and final presidential debate at Lynn University appealing to voters in Boca Raton, Florida by talking tough on security for Israel and Iran’s future.

Bob Schieffer, CBS News’ chief Washington correspondent and host of “Face the Nation,” moderated the 90 minute debate.

Both candidates tried to paint themselves as friends of Israel, while attacking their opponents’ record, in an attempt to court Jewish voters.

Romney criticized the president’s Middle East foreign policy, saying he had gone on an “apology tour” of the region but had skipped a visit to Israel in his first term.

“I want to underscore… if I’m President of the United States, when I’m President of the United States, we will stand with Israel,” said Romney. “And if Israel is attacked, we have their back, not just diplomatically, not just culturally, but militarily. That’s number one.”

In fact, post-debate fact checkers at the New York Times noted that both George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan did not visit Israel in their first term.

President Obama had a strong come back, telling Romney on his most recent visit to Israel, he went to the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem.

On the subject of Israel’s enemy Iran, Obama made news, explaining a recent New York Times story about one-on-one talks between the US and Iran are in fact false, explaining “Those are reports in a newspaper. They are not true.”

Both candidates talked tough on Iran and emphasized their commitment to seeing it remain nuclear free.

Romney said the Obama administration has been weak on Iran and that “we are four years closer to a nuclear Iran” reiterating that a “nuclear-capable Iran is unacceptable to America.”

However, despite repeated calls for continuing the US policy of “crippling sanctions” for Iran, Romney did not put forth any new policy ideas on how his administration would contain Tehran’s nuclear threat.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/121022/romney-obama-appeal-voters-israel-talk-tough-ira?

Romney reverses on Afghanistan

Rachel Maddow talks about Mitt Romney’s commitment to the U.S. troops leaving Afghanistan in 2014, which he once opposed. Chris Matthews joins to discuss Romney’s strategy during the debate – to avoid looking like a radical.

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Obama or Romney: War and Economic Collapse Regardless Who Wins the Election

CNN is making a big deal out of Romney’s “right leaning” supporters.

The corporate media branch of the Pentagon’s psyops program thinks there’s a good chance these “severely conservative” voters may push Romney over the top and get him installed in the White House as preeminent teleprompter reader for the global elite.

In August, Peter Schiff, economic adviser to Ron Paul’s 2008 presidential campaign, said he thinks the economic implosion will occur during the next administration.

He has no faith in Obama and little in Romney to turn things around.

Despite the flaccid neo-Tea Party rhetoric of Paul Ryan, prior to the Obama administration Republicans out-spent Democrats threefold. Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Bush I, and Bush II racked up $6.4 trillion dollars in debt and thus put to rest the obscene fantasy of “fiscal conservatism.”

In September, according to official figures, the national debt surpassed $16 trillion. In reality, it is much higher – well over $200 trillion when unfunded liabilities from Medicare and Social Security are thrown into the mix.

“Let’s get real. The U.S. is bankrupt,” writes Boston University economic professor Laurence Kotlikoff.

Due to the astronomical debt and profligate spending by largely unaccountable professional political careerists in Washington, “what we have to look forward to is a very bleak future,” writes Michael Snyder.

“Even if we totally scrapped our current monetary system and repudiated the debt, the transition would be ‘rocky’ at best and we would not enjoy anything close to the standard of living that we are enjoying today.”

As for war, a Romney win in November will ensure the re-installment of the Bush-era neocons and a speedy timeline for war in the Middle East, particularly against Syria and sooner before later Iran.

Because the election is a couple of weeks away, Romney’s saying there’s no need to attack Iran in response to its imaginary nuclear weapons program.

His foreign policy advisers, on the other hand, are neocons who have repeatedly called for taking out Iran.

More frightening, Romney is close friends with Israel’s ardent Likudnik, Benjamin Netanyahu, and Mitt has stated that they “almost speak in shorthand.”

Martin S. Indyk, a United States ambassador to Israel in the Clinton administration, told the New York Times that Romney would “subcontract Middle East policy to Israel,” i.e., the U.S. will attack Israel’s enemies during the reign of Mitt.

In other words, if Romney wins we can expect an attack on Iran that would certainly compound the above mentioned economic problems.

Following Obama’s lackluster performance during the last presidential debate, his administration trotted out what can be described as “Iran Attack Light,” a plan to use “surgical strikes” against the country in lieu of an all-out attack.

Foreign Policy CEO and editor at large David Rothkopf, a former Clintonite, “reported that the White House and Israeli officials ‘assert that the two sides, behind the scenes, have come closer together in their views [regarding Iran] in recent days,’” according to the Jerusalem Post.

Bizarrely, the establishment media continues to pretend there is a widening chasm of difference between Obama and Romney.

In fact, they both present the same economic and foreign policy goals, which are, of course, not their goals but those of the global elite.

The establishment media does its part by playing up minor differences in style between the two and uses a trusty false left-right paradigm to distract weary voters and excite indoctrinated loyalists.

http://theintelhub.com/2012/10/17/obama-or-romney-war-and-economic-collapse-regardless-who-wins-the-election/

Monday’s Debate Puts Focus on Foreign Policy Clashes

When President Obama and Mitt Romney sit down Monday night for the last of their three debates, two things should be immediately evident: there should be no pacing the stage or candidates’ getting into each other’s space, and there should be no veering into arguments over taxes.

This debate is about how America deals with the world — and how it should.

If the moderator, Bob Schieffer of CBS News, has his way, it will be the most substantive of the debates. He has outlined several topics: America’s role in the world, the continuing war in Afghanistan, managing the nuclear crisis with Iran and the resultant tensions with Israel, and how to deal with rise of China.

The most time, Mr. Schieffer has said, will be spent on the Arab uprisings, their aftermath and how the terrorist threat has changed since the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. No doubt the two candidates will spar again, as they did in the second debate, about whether the Obama administration was ready for the attack in Benghazi, Libya, that killed J. Christopher Stevens, the American ambassador, and three other Americans. Mr. Romney was widely judged to not have had his most effective critique ready, and this time, presumably, he will be out to correct that.

The early line is that this is an opportunity for Mr. Obama to shine, and to repair the damage from the first debate. (He was already telling jokes the other night, at a dinner in New York, about his frequent mention of Osama bin Laden’s demise.)

But we can hope that it is a chance for both candidates to describe, at a level of detail they have not yet done, how they perceive the future of American power in the world. They view American power differently, a subject I try to grapple with at length in a piece in this Sunday’s Review, “The Debatable World.”

But for now, here is a field guide to Monday’s debate.

LIBYA AND BENGHAZI Both candidates will come ready for a fight on this topic, but the question is whether it is the right fight. Mr. Obama already admitted mistakes on “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart” and promised to get to the bottom of them, but the White House has been less than transparent about what kind of warnings filtered up from the intelligence agencies before the attack on the consulate, and whether there was a way that American security forces could have arrived sooner, perhaps in time to save some of the American lives. No doubt the argument will focus on a narrower issue: why the administration stuck so long to its story that this was a protest against a film that turned into something worse, rather than a preplanned attack by insurgents. For Mr. Romney, the task is to show that the Benghazi attack was symptomatic of bigger failings in the Middle East, a road he started down in the last debate, but an argument he never completed.

IRAN With the revelation in The New York Times on Sunday reported by Helene Cooper and Mark Landler that the Obama administration has secretly agreed in principle to direct, bilateral talks after the election, the urgent question for the candidates is this: in a negotiation, what would you be willing to let Iran hold onto in return for a deal that gave the United States and Israel confidence that Tehran could not gain a nuclear weapons capability? It’s a hard question for both men.

Mr. Romney has said he would not allow Iran to have any enrichment capability at all — something it is allowed under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty as long as it is abiding by the treaty’s rules — a position that would kill any talks. But Mr. Obama does not want to say the obvious: that he is willing to allow Iran to hold onto some face-saving enrichment capability as long as it does not retain its stockpiles of medium-enriched fuel, which can be converted to bomb-grade. Also, look for answers to the question of whether the United States would back up Israel if it decided to conduct a military strike against Iran. Mr. Romney wants to show that Mr. Obama has created “daylight” between the United States and Israel; Mr. Obama wants to demonstrate that while he has Israel’s back, he is trying to protect the country from taking an action he considers unwise, at least at this stage.

CYBERWAR Mr. Obama cannot talk about “Olympic Games,” the covert program that the United States has conducted against Iran, with Israel’s help, using a cyberweapon against another country for the first time in history. But do Mr. Obama and Mr. Romney consider cyberweapons a legitimate tool in America’s arsenal, or too risky, since the United States is the most vulnerable country in the world? We have never heard either candidate answer the question.

AFGHANISTAN There was a time when Mr. Romney declared that America should not be negotiating with the Taliban, but that it should be killing all the Taliban. He stopped saying that after his aides suggested that it sounded like a prescription for endless war. Now both Mr. Romney and Mr. Obama say they think that America should be out of Afghanistan by 2014, the internationally agreed deadline for the withdrawal of forces, though Mr. Romney has the caveat that he wants to hear from his generals first. (The generals thought that Mr. Obama’s insistence on setting a clear deadline for withdrawal was a bad idea — as did Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and many others.) So what do we want to hear from the candidates?

Lots.

For starters, if it looks as if Kabul could fall back into Taliban hands in a few years, do either of them think the United States should re-intervene? It would be nice to know if Mr. Obama agrees with his vice president, Joseph R. Biden Jr., that all American troops should be out by the end of 2014, since the White House plan calls for an “enduring presence” of 10,000 to 15,000 troops that would back up the weak Afghan security forces and keep an eye on Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal. (The remaining base would also be a place to launch drone strikes into Pakistan and Afghanistan, when necessary.) And for Mr. Romney, if he believes the pullout in Iraq was too hasty, and the pullout in Afghanistan risks making the same mistake, what kind of continuing presence would he have in mind?

THE ARAB UPRISINGS Afghanistan is already in America’s rearview mirror, but the Arab uprisings are not. Mr. Romney says that the rise of Islamic governments is an Obama administration failure. The White House says that if you have free elections in Islamic nations, you cannot be surprised when the Muslim Brotherhood and the harder-line Salafists win control of the government. The question is how to deal with these governments: conditional aid, to ensure American values are respected? Trade restrictions? Gentle persuasion?

This would also be the area to understand when and why each man would advocate future interventions. Mr. Obama joined in the Libya strike, which Mr. Romney thought was a mistake. But Mr. Obama has been hesitant to do much in Syria — a very different kind of conflict — while Mr. Romney says he would arm the rebels with heavy-duty antiaircraft and antitank weapons. Since the light weapons are already going into the wrong hands, how exactly would he find a way to overthrow Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad?

CHINA Perhaps the most important long-term subject of the debate. Mr. Romney promises a hard line, saying he would declare China as a currency manipulator from Day 1 of his presidency. But he has not said much about Day 2, or Year 2. This is the moment for each candidate to describe how he would counter China’s growing claims in the South China Sea and other disputed territories, how he would handle trade tensions, and how he would manage a world in which the United States, for better or worse, is going to be reliant on Chinese investment in American debt for years to come. And it is the moment for each to give his view of the leadership change under way in China, where three-quarters of the top political posts are about to change hands.

http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/21/mondays-debate-puts-focus-on-foreign-policy-clashes/?hp

US and Iran: Could Romney be tougher than Obama? Unlikely

Short of conducting a unilateral military strike or declaring war against the Islamic Republic, a Romney administration would be faced with the same legislative options on Iran as President Obama, who has already administered them.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks at a press conference in Tehran, Iran, Oct. 2. Ahmadinejad blames the steep drop in Iran’s currency to “psychological pressures” linked to Western sanctions over Tehran’s nuclear program.

In the run-up to Monday’s debate between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, the most disputed foreign policy issue hasn’t been Afghanistan, where roughly 68,000 US troops are still based in the fight against Al Qaeda, or the contentious decision by the Obama administration to withdraw US troops from Iraq.

As moderator Martha Raddatz said at the Oct. 11 vice-presidential debate, the biggest national security threat faced by the United States is now considered to be the Islamic Republic of Iran.

“Every American is less secure today because [President Obama] has failed to slow Iran’s nuclear threat,” Mitt Romney said at the Republican National Convention in August. The Republican candidate has since argued that Mr. Obama hasn’t been tough enough on Tehran, and he has vowed to institute a different, harsher sanctions program that will be sure to cripple the Islamic Republic.

But analysts, legal experts, and US-allied diplomats say that when it comes to sanctions on Iran, US legislation isn’t expected to differ much from one administration to another. Short of conducting a unilateral military strike or declaring war against the Islamic Republic, a Romney administration would be faced with the same legislative options on Iran as President Obama, who has already administered them.

Obama vs. Romney 101: 3 ways they differ on Iran

Former President George W. Bush began implementing legislation for harsher financial sanctions against Iran during his last two years in office. After the 2008 presidential election, the Obama administration instituted and expanded those sanctions at a speed that has made current US sanctions policy on Iran the harshest in contemporary history. This leaves a potential new Romney administration with few policy alternatives.

“The only thing Romney can really do to get to the right of Obama on Iran policy is to say he’d bomb Iran if elected president, or would actively promote and pursue a policy of regime change,” says Karim Sajadpour, a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. “Given the misgivings Americans have about the Iraq war, I don’t think those are winning talking points for him.”

Since Obama became president in 2009, his administration has used a carrot-and-stick approach with the Islamic Republic, practicing a policy of limited engagement while boosting the implementation of Bush-era financial sanctions against Tehran and enacting new, tighter financial restrictions.

Iran’s economy began feeling the bite of new US and United Nations sanctions during the last two years of former President Bush’s second term in office. When Obama became president, the US Treasury Department upped the ante on Iran sanctions, accelerating their implementation and obtaining concrete commitments from US allies and private international entities to institute them as well.

Obama’s administration has also been tougher on US allies, particularly in Europe, flanking traditional diplomacy with direct pressure for collaboration on Iran policy, according to interviews with western European diplomats.

“A lot of what has come out on sanctions is a result of what Congress is passing,” says Erich Ferrari, a DC-based lawyer specializing in US Treasury legislation and author of the first comprehensive guide to US transactions regulations on Iran. “What Obama did was continue Bush-era policies and put them on steroids.”

Western European diplomats say Obama has been less willing than the Bush administration to engage in “multilateral conversations” with Europe on sanctions, opting instead to directly pressure some governments and private institutions to agree with and implement Washington’s unilateral sanctions laws.

As a result, US financial sanctions against Iran – now considered the harshest in recent history – have during the last four years been integrated into the global banking system much more quickly and deeply.

The US now sanctions foreign companies that do not significantly cut or completely stop purchases of Iranian oil, and it penalizes banks engaging in financial transactions with the Islamic Republic.

Coupled with a European embargo on Iran’s oil imposed in July, the country’s oil exports have fallen by more than 50 percent since last year, forcing Tehran to continue reducing oil production as a result of declining demand. This summer, Iraq out-produced Iran for the first time in more than twenty years, according to data from the International Energy Agency.

US banking sanctions have also hindered Tehran from accessing its foreign exchange reserves held overseas, constraining the ability of its central bank to defend the value of Iran’s national currency, which has fallen by roughly 80 percent since last year.

The European Union intensified its sanctions against Tehran last week, formally barring all trade and transactions with Iranian banks (except those with specific EU government permission), and tightening restrictions against Iran’s central bank, the National Iranian Oil Company, and the National Iranian Tanker Company.

In addition to sanctions, Iran has dealt with breaches to its security.

Since January 2010, Israel’s spy agency, Mossad, has reportedly conducted covert operations leading to the assassinations of at least four Iranian nuclear scientists, according to intelligence officials cited anonymously in a Time Magazine report. A wave of damaging cyberattacks targeting Iran’s nuclear-fuel centrifuges started in mid-2009.

“After this level of sanctions, the only thing left would be a real blockade of all communications,” says Roberto Toscano, who served as Italy’s Ambassador to Iran for five years until 2008.

Aside from a military strike on Iran by either the US or Israel, which could drag Washington into a regional war, the only policy option left beyond sanctions is diplomacy, Ambassador Toscano says, adding: “If we think sanctions alone will make them cave, this is not going to happen.”

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Foreign-Policy/2012/1021/US-and-Iran-Could-Romney-be-tougher-than-Obama-Unlikely?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+feeds%2Fusa+%28Christian+Science+Monitor+|+USA%29

Romney family buys voting machines through Bain Capital investment

Tagg Romney, the son of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, has purchased electronic voting machines that will be used in the 2012 elections in Ohio, Texas, Oklahoma, Washington and Colorado.

“Late last month, Gerry Bello and Bob Fitrakis at FreePress.org broke the story of the Mitt Romney/Bain Capital investment team involved in H.I.G. Capital which, in July of 2011, completed a “strategic investment” to take over a fair share of the Austin-based e-voting machine company Hart Intercivic,” according to independent journalist Brad Friedman.

But Friedman is not the only one to discover the connection between the Romney family, Bain Capital, and ownership of voting machines.

Truth out reports:

“Through a closely held equity fund called Solamere, Mitt Romney and his wife, son and brother are major investors in an investment firm called H.I.G. Capital. H.I.G. in turn holds a majority share and three out of five board members in Hart Intercivic, a company that owns the notoriously faulty electronic voting machines that will count the ballots in swing state Ohio November 7. Hart machines will also be used elsewhere in the United States.

In other words, a candidate for the presidency of the United States, and his brother, wife and son, have a straight-line financial interest in the voting machines that could decide this fall’s election. These machines cannot be monitored by the public. But they will help decide who “owns” the White House.”

Both The Nation and New York Times confirm the connection between the Romney family, Solamere and the Bain Capital investment in the voting machine company, Hart Intercivic, whose board of directors serve H.I.G. Capital.

“Mitt Romney, his wife Ann Romney, and their son Tagg Romney are also invested in H.I.G. Capital, as is Mitt’s brother G. Scott Romney.

The investment comes in part through the privately held family equity firm called Solamere, which bears the name of the posh Utah ski community where the Romney family retreats to slide down the slopes.” Truth out added.

There are also political connections between Solamere and the Romney’s. “Matt Blunt, the former Missouri governor who backed Mr. Romney in 2008, is a senior adviser to Solamere, as is Mitt Romney’s brother, Scott, a lawyer,” according to the New York Times.

Voter ID and voter fraud have been top issues in the 2012 race, as have claims of Republican voter suppression. Mr. Romney’s campaign has also been the subject of controversy over misleading ads, false claims, sketchy math on his tax plan, and overall vagueness on women’s rights and other hot button issues.

Raising further questions of legitimacy in the Romney campaign is an audio recording recently made public, where Mitt Romney is heard asking independent business owners to apply pressure to their employees to influence their votes. What has also been made public are the emails those employers have sent to their employees with an implied threat that if they don’t vote for Romney they may lose their jobs.

What it all says is that Mitt Romney, with the help of his family and Bain Capital connections, is more than willing to try to take the White House through illegitimate and highly unethical, if not specifically illegal means.

With each passing day, the character and campaign methods of Mitt Romney cast an ever-darker shadow over free and fair American elections.

Yet there is an irony in the Romney campaign that cannot be ignored. For all the noise the right-wing has made in questioning the legitimacy of Obama’s presidency, there have been so many questionable efforts made to help put Romney in the White House, if he wins, there should be great dispute over whether his election could ever be called genuinely illegitimate.

The nagging question is why, if Mr. Romney truly has the qualities that American voters want in their president, does he have to go to such great and questionable lengths to try to win the election.

http://www.allvoices.com/contributed-news/13221476-romney-family-buys-voting-machines-through-bain-capital-investment

FASCISM RISING; America, Mitt Romney’s ‘CREATIVE DESTRUCTION’ Is NeoCon Economic Theory With Roots In FASCISM

Creative destruction is our middle name, both within our own society and abroad.  We tear down the old order every day, from business to science, literature, art, architecture, and cinema to politics and the law.  Our enemies have always hated this whirlwind of energy and creativity, which menaces their traditions (whatever they may be) and shames them for their inability to keep pace.  Seeing America undo traditional societies, they fear us, for they do not wish to be undone.  They cannot feel secure so long as we are there, for our very existence—our existence, not our politics—threatens their legitimacy.  They must attack us in order to survive, just as we must destroy them to advance our historic mission.”

– Michael Ledeen, NeoCon Theoretician, Author Of Book Universal Fascism

The quote above tells the truth… there is a world wide war on “traditional societies”, a culture war to destroy all cultures, home and abroad, to install a single world wide universal culture.  Ledeen mentions tearing down the “old order”, and in the article below he also mentions the “New Order” and the “New World Order”… ancient themes reinvigorated by the fascists of Italy, Nazi Germany, and France… and reinvigorated once again by George Bush Sr. when he said the “New Order is struggling to be born” and spoke of “the dream of a New World Order” on September 11, 1990.

Mitt Romney spouts “CREATIVE DESTRUCTION” NeoCon economic theories while at the same time and surrounding himself with top NeoCons like Bush Sr., Dick Cheney, Eliot Cohen (Romney 2012 Foreign Policy Adviser), and John Bolton (likely choice as Romney’s Secretary Of State), just to name a few… all war mongers, and all Project For The New American Century (PNAC) members*.

*Note: Bush Jr. & Bush Sr. are not officially on the PNAC Members list for political reasons, but they were both integral in the organization.

For more information on “CREATIVE DESTRUCTION” and its roots in FASCISM see the following story…

2003.6.30 Flirting With FASCISM (NeoCon Theorist Michael Ledeen Draws More From Italian FASCISM Than From The American Right) (theamericanconservative.com):

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/flirting-with-fascism/

http://deadlinelive.info/2012/10/18/fascism-rising-america-mitt-romneys-creative-destruction-is-neocon-economic-theory-with-roots-in-fascism/

Does Mitt Romney’s Son Tagg Have An Investment In Some Ohio Voting Machines?

Tagg Romney made headlines yesterday after he said in an interview that he wanted to punch Barack Obama during the presidential debate on Monday night. Mitt Romney’s 42-year-old son, who has already faced criticism for his dealings with Allen Stanford who was convicted of milking investors out of $8 Billion in a Ponzi scheme, may have much bigger questions to answer after shocking allegations brought forth by PolitcolNews.com.

The website claims that Romney owns an interest in Hart Intercivic voting machines which will be used to calculate votes in Hamilton County. If true, this raises serious questions as there were a number of red flags during the 2004 campaign that saw George Bush defeat John Kerry. Some politicos still call into question the 2004 election for strange calculations that Diebold voting machines, who had openly supported Bush, came up with that November.

PoliticolNews.com writes:

As Lee Fang points out in his detailed analysis of the Romney investments

“Many of these private equity–owned companies rely on federal and state contracts, from HIG Capital’s Hart Intercivic, a voting machine company, to EnviroFoam Technologies, a biological and chemical decontamination firm that does business with the US military and is owned by Peterson Partners, a private equity firm listed in the Solamere prospectus.”

Solarmere’s tangled web of investments now includes Hart Intercivic voting machines which will be used in Cincinnati Ohio says Truth Out which could guarantee Mitt Romney the White House.

The State of Ohio is Ground Zero for the White House, in particular Hamilton County a repeat of the George Bush election in 2004

The report was only released hours ago and Obama supporters already seem to be taking the news seriously. Change.org already has an online petition up and running that calls for “Attorney General Eric Holder: Investigate Tagg Romney owning voting machines in OHIO….”.

Looks like things may get very interesting in the Buckeye state in the coming weeks.

http://www.clevelandleader.com/node/19137

How Mitt Romney cheated his way to the GOP nomination

New evidence is coming out about just how tough and dirty the Mitt Romney campaign fought to block the Ron Paul takeover of the Republican Party at the State Conventions last summer.

It may offer a little sneak preview of what a Romney presidency will be like.  And make no mistake, barring war with Syria or some other dramatic October surprise, Romney will now win this election in a landslide.  At least, that is my humble opinion, as one who loves and reads history.  The economy will decide that.

It  turns out that Mitt Romney and other Republican operatives were apparently very much aware of what was going on at the precinct, county, district and state conventions.  This was not greedy state and country chairmen wanting to hang onto power so they could go to the RNC as delegates and get drunk.  The hardball tactics were apparently approved and refined from state to state from Iowa, where the state chairman got money for the GOP and promises and conveniently kept a Santorum popularity vote win and a Ron Paul delegate win, out of the news for months, all the way to Tampa, where pudgy, Romney Brownshirt  goons raced along the streets in golf cart-like vehicles, looking for demonstrators to divert into chain fence cages beyond view of the media.  Welcome to Romney’s America.

Remember Arizona?  Where there were accusations of voter fraud and physical violence against Ron Paul delegates?  Where delegates were sweated out, kept in 100 degree temperatures without air conditioning and without breaks for water or toilet, in hopes of getting them to give up?

Remember Nathan Sproul?

Remember my blog last summer, claiming fraud and miscounts and ballots taken away for the night to be recounted with numbers changed the next day?  Well,  Mr. Sproul called Ron Paul headquarters and threatened a lawsuit so I had to take down one of those blogs.  Now, what I wrote last summer, as a voice in the wilderness , is being published openly by the New York Times.  The mainstream media didn’t mind seeing Ron Paul get mauled but their precious Obama is another matter.  Now there are public reports of voter fraud at the hands of Mr. Sproul and a new revelation that he has recently been on the Republican Party payroll to the tune of millions of dollars and assigned to do his deeds in five states.

There is more.  It turns out that Nathan Sproul is now linked to Karl Rove who may have hired him as well.  Rove has a curiously malevolent streak of his own.   In Tampa, at the Romney coronation, Rove suggested – in jest we all presume – the murder of fellow Republican Senate Candidate Todd Akin, who had won the Missouri primary fair and square but now refused to resign and let Rove’s favorite candidate, who had lost, take his place.

Akin misspoke on abortion.  Rove, who misspoke on murder, is to be excused.

See: Karl Rove tied to shady GOP operative Nathan Sproul

Meanwhile, a major television network is now finally tracking the story of the Louisiana  State GOP.  Remember how Romney-Santorum people hired off duty policemen, telling them to arrest troublemakers when they pointed them out?  And then after they were voted out and new Ron Paul people were voted in to run the convention they had the hired off duty policeman arrest the new duly elected chairmen who was manhandled?  One was knocked to the ground another had his fingers broken while in police custody?  Well, that is going to court.  Yes, the Ron Paul victims will win, but the Romney people could care less, they got what they wanted and no apology has been offered.  Welcome to Romney’s America.

Remember our Ron Paul hero in Missouri, Brent Stafford, who was elected county chairman in St. Charles?  Who was arrested and hauled off to jail by off duty police hired by Romney people?  He was finally acquitted and the Romney person who ordered the arrest actually applauded the court’s decision.  Stafford, may file a lawsuit as well, but the Romney people won’t care.  They got what they wanted.

Perhaps the most damaging news of all for the Romney campaign is the emerging story of Charlie “The Cheater” Nejedly.  Charlie was caught in Maine, wearing a Ron Paul sticker, passing out fake Ron Paul slates at the Maine State Convention which the Romney people had clearly lost.  He was outed on the floor in Maine and soon afterward overheard talking to Romney’s likely nominee for Attorney General, campaign legal counsel, Ben Ginsburg.  According to the source, Ginsburg told Nejedly, “We need to get you to Boston.”

It now appears that Charlie “the Cheater” worked the Massachusetts convention too and that he was a paid staffer on the Romney payroll.  What’s worse, he is a Notre Dame graduate, which leads to all kinds of conflicts for this author.  I grew up in South Bend and I love Notre Dame.  And this week they play Brigham Young University.  And Manti Teo’s parents are in the audience.  Oh my?  What can I do?

I will still root for Notre Dame, of course, but Mitt Romney “the cheater” may have to wait for me to cool down a bit.  What was he thinking?  I know what he was thinking?  He was thinking that we would all come around and vote for him instead of Obama because of the economy.  So he could cheat and fake to his heart’s content.  But the more clearly in focus it becomes the less impressed I am of Romney’s America.  Where are we headed?

http://dougwead.wordpress.com/2012/10/18/how-mitt-romney-cheated-his-way-to-the-gop-nomination/

LA Times: Romney’s a drug-money launderer

Why Has Not Only Corporate Media, but also Obama’s Opposition Research Let Romney Slide on his Criminal Associations?

Mitt Romney made his fortune cleaning druglords’ cash

Back in July, the Los Angeles Times – not VT, Infowars or Truth Jihad Radio – broke the story that Mitt Romney is a drug money launderer. How did we all miss this story? (Until John Hankey and then Gordon Duff picked it up.)

Maybe it’s because the Times story never comes right out and says “drug money laundering.” It doesn’t have to.

What the Times article does say translates directly and unambiguously as DRUG MONEY LAUNDERING, in caps, exclamation point.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Romney’s company, Bain Capital, “paid out a stunning 173% in average annual returns over a decade.” “Stunning” is not the word. “Criminal” is more like it.

Bernie Madoff was arrested and went to jail because he was paying 10% annual returns. That’s how it came to light that he was running a criminal enterprise. You just cannot possibly pay 10% returns consistently, year in and year out, with legitimate investments. Never happened, never will.

Ponzi schemes sometimes pay as high as 20% – and soon collapse, and the perps go to jail. But a 173% annual return is far beyond the range of the craziest, most short-lived ponzi scheme.

Romney wasn’t running a ponzi scheme. He was running a drug money laundry. His clients, the Times explains, were shady characters from Panama. Here’s how it works:

A druglord hands Romney, a.k.a. Bain Capital, ten million dollars in cash. Romney puts it on his books as a one million dollar investment in Bain Capital.

At 173% interest, it only takes Romney a few years (officially) to return ten million laundered dollars to the druglord.

When the druglord is asked where he got his ten million dollars, he explains that he made a lucky investment with Bain Capital. And he has the papers to prove it.

Getting caught paying out an average 173% interest over ten years is like getting caught with a hundred pounds of cocaine. If you’re busted with a hundred pounds of cocaine, the presumption is that you’re dealing. If you’re caught paying 173% interest, the presumption is that you’re laundering drug money.

Romney, you are SO BUSTED.

For more information on Mitt Romney’s criminal history, check out John Hankey’s video Mitt Romney Exposed, and listen to my interview with Hankey on Truth Jihad Radio, to be archived soon here.

http://www.veteranstoday.com/2012/10/17/la-times-romneys-a-drug-money-launderer/

Ron Paul Presidential Debate Analysis: Why the American People Lost This Debate

This may seem like a cop-out, but I have to say tonight’s second presidential debate was a virtual tie.

Barack Obama came out swinging from the start, and he was much more aggressive and assertive than he was the first time around. Almost angry at times. Romney fought back hard and didn’t back down at all.

Obama portrayed Romney as some free-market capitalist deregulator, and Romney ran away from that (false) caricature every chance he could get. Even from someone like me who honestly sees virtually no difference between the two, even their rhetoric was very similar.

Both of them talked about “closing deductions,” cutting taxes for the middle class, attacked outsourcing, went after China, defended protectionism, limits on gun ownership, restrictions on immigration, and “energy independence.”

They really are struggling to keep this interesting. I can see why there are so many “undecided” voters. Predator R or Predator D?

Finally, I have to point the biggest lie that each of them told.

President Obama claimed that he ended the war in Iraq and is “winding down the war” in Afghanistan. Obama repeats this lie a lot, and it’s a shame Romney is such a warmonger himself that he can’t hit him on it. President Bush negotiated a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) with Iraq before he left office, and Obama simply abided by it. In fact, Obama has been slowly sneaking in as many troops as he can into the region, especially in the lower Arabian Peninsula.

As I pointed out in my pre-debate coverage, Obama is not winding down the Afghan war in 2014 like he claims, but rather negotiating to keep U.S. troops there until 2024. Do I even need to mention his wars and drone strikes in Yemen, Pakistan, Somalia, etc?

And as for Mitt Romney, the biggest lie that stood out for me was his claim that “China is manipulating its currency” and his general belligerence and hawkishness toward China. The first thing that comes to mind is: what about the manipulation of our currency by the U.S. government and the Federal Reserve? The Fed has created over $16 trillion in money in the last few years, distributed it discreetly around the globe to foreign banks and foreign governments, and price-fixes interest rates. What about that “currency manipulation,” Mitt?

And finally, as I expected, the Fed, Obama’s wars overseas, the National Defense Authorization Act, the war on drugs, inflation, America’s growing police state, and our vanishing Bill of Rights were not mentioned at all. The ultimate winner is the status quo of the welfare-warfare state and the perpetuation of the One Party System, and the loser was the American people, liberty, peace, and sound economics.

This article was part of my debate liveblog/recap for PolicyMic.

Obamney vs Robama Are Payed To Lie

Welcome to Capital Account. Last night the two main contenders for US President debated issues including tax policy, jobs, energy, and the national debt. During the debate President Barack Obama proposed “the way we’re going to create jobs here is not just to change our tax code but also to double our exports.” But to whom, exactly, can we export? The Eurozone, the US’s largest trading partner, is contracting, and major emerging markets are slowing down. On the other hand, Mitt Romney stated that, “On day one, I will label China a currency manipulator.” China is the largest foreign customer for US debt; do we really want to start a trade war with China? And where was the discussion of lobbying, of special interests and of the favorable treatment for connected, too-big-to-fail firms? What about a serious conversation that delves into how we may finally begin slicing into the sacred cow of military spending and the major firms that benefit from it? Perhaps when it comes to these issues, the candidates are not very different; our guest, Joel Bowman, Managing Editor for The Daily Reckoning, describes the candidates as “Obamney” and “Robama.” We talk to Joel Bowman about why he feels the two candidates are not so different after all.

Plus, we often hear about likely voters, but what about the non-voter class in the US? Non-voters include those who are disillusioned by the lack of choice of candidates. We hear from Joel Bowman of the Daily Reckoning about what non-voters can do and why he thinks more Anarcho-capitalists are coming out of the woodwork. He also takes issue with the popular expression of the anarchist as a “molotov wielding hooligan.”

And the economy ranks as the most important issue among likely US voters, while government ethics and corruption ranks third. Why was there no talk of the Federal Reserve at last night’s debate? After all, the FBI has been busy investigating terror plots against the Fed itself, so one would think that the vitriol alone would warrant a broaching of the subject in the popular press. Also, where was the discussion of the too big to fail banks? What about common sense regulation that isn’t burdensome to business or tailored for oligopolies? Lauren and Demetri examine the major economic issues that have been missing from the debates in today’s “Loose Change.”

http://xrepublic.tv/node/642

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