Who Won the Presidential Debate

President Obama has done little to reduce U.S. military intervention in Near East Asia and the Middle East. Romney’s closeness to Tel Aviv is more likely to get him to back military actions against Iran and draw the U.S. into a new war. Who will make more gaffes about the changing Middle East and the new threats of terrorism in the world?

The Middle East has changed substantially in the past year, but U.S. foreign policy remained the same. Drones are killing more people and many Arabs and Muslims hate the guts of the U.S. even more. Will the Palestinian “inferior” culture prevail if Romney gets elected? How much will Jerusalem determine the U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East and Near East Asia in the next four years? Nobody knows where the Syrian civil war is heading with its increasing repercussions on neighboring countries. Al Qaeda doesn’t seem weaker even after the death of Osama bin Laden and his number twos. Hundreds of people still die in the Middle East and terrorism is taking new legal faces especially in the Islamist-led regimes in the post-Arab Spring countries.  

Tomorrow's world is no longer a blur. West vs. East is becoming more of a tie with the ascention of China and the euro zone crisis. Will the U.S. maintain its economic power status in the world or will it be overtaken by socialism and China? Mitt Romney and Barack Obama will debate all this and more tonight starting at 9 pm. 

PolicyMic will be covering the final presidential debate live. For live updates, bookmark and refresh this page.

8:35 pm: Just two hours from the start of the deabte on foreign policy, Obama campaign is leading the attack. Obama For America's Tumblr published a video of Romney's recent statements. "Russia is, without no question, our number one geopolitical foe." Mitt Romney  


Earlier today, Obama's campaign released a new memo to remind voters of the accomplishments of Pres. Obama in the four past years. 

  

1) Yes, the U.S. pulled out of Iraq, but hundreds of people still die in Iraq on a very casual basis, human rights are still not respected and the political situation has been fragile for too long now. 

2) Osama Ben Laden was brought to the depth of the ocean, but Al Qaeda and its fractions is still active in  South East Asia, Middle East and now increasingly North Africa. Mali and Guinea Bissau witnessed coups earlier this year but Islamist rebels and the situation is tense.

3) More U.S. and coalition troops died this year in Afghanistan by fellow Afghani security agents. The situation isn't certainly safer than it was 4 years before.

4) More people, especially in the Middle East, are more public about their opposition to U.S. politics in the region, the same one that used to back their dictatorial regimes in the past 4 years. The recent attacks on U.S. embassies across the Muslim world doesn't reassure that Muslims have forgotten about their tension with the U.S.

5) BB Natanyahu did not make it sound like the world is giving up nuclears and nobody knows what Iran is cooking secretly in its dark caves. The threat of nuclear material has not gone away.

9:04 PM The debate has started. 


The first chapter will be about The New Challenge of The Changing Middle East

9:08 PM: "Iran is 4 years closer to a nuclear weapon." 

It seems again that women and gender equality is the old rethoric to intervene in the Middle East. 10 years ago, Bush administration used the same rethoric to intervene in Afghanistan and have U.S. feminist groups to join and campaign the cause. 

9:12 PM: Obama is on the attack. Russia, number one geopolitical foe and military presence in Iraq. Obama came off strong.

9:16 PM "Part of American leadership is ensuring that we’re doing nation building at home.”

“Syria is Iran’s only friend in the Arab world.”


9:20 PM The Syrian regime must have been using this debate to entice its citizens against the U.S. and its allies in the region Turkey and Israel. Syrians won’t appreciate that the U.S. is willing to arm some fractions against others. Is this about Syria or about U.S.’ interests in the region again?

9:30 PM Obama is speaking about new ways to collaborate with Post Arab Spring. More education opportunities has been offered to Tunisians, Libyans and Egyptians to study in the U.S.

9:32 PM Wait, I thought this debate was about Foreign Policy? “We have to stand for our allies, strong military and a stronger military.” Romney.


9:34 PM Still no foreign policy. We all love green economy and we think it’s very inefficient but it’s never going to mend relations between the U.S. and the Middle East.

9:38 PM: “When u were in MA, small business developments ranked 48 out of 50 states bc your policies don't help small business.” Barack Obama. Almost, 5 minutes since both candidates drifted from the main topic. It’s really becoming a habit.

I guess the best to win the debate about foreign policy is to talk about domestic economies.

9:45 PM: Obama BURN! 


9:55 PM: Israel has already been mentioned more than 10 times, yet there were no direct questions about her. 

10:00 PM: "We're 4 years closer to a nuclear Iran." Again? Funny enough, we've been hearing the same rethoric since 2003 now.

10:03 PM: "I don't see see our influence expanding around the world." Romney. 

Keep that and you'll have less terrorists attacking U.S. missions in the Muslim world and Israel borders.


10:05 PM: Why did it take them one hour to discuss the first chapter of the debate?

10:08 PM Speaking about foreign aid, Pakistan is now the third on the list taking over the position of Egypt since 2008. Here is a foreign aid inforgraphs published earlier by ABC. 


10:12 PM: "I support that (drones) entirely." This is exactly why, killings has increased in Afghanistan and Yemen lately. Leaders of Pakistan and Yemen don't take the responsibility to inform their citizens about their military cooperations with the United States to take down terrorists bases in these two nations. The result is, more angry people who are willing to die and get hurt just so they can get to lower the1 American flag on the embassy and burn it down. 

10:18 PM Moderator Schiffer asks Romney, Obama what greatest future threat to the U.S. is?


10:23 PM Obama second BURN!

"I know you're familiar with shipping jobs overseas because you invested in companies that ships jobs overseas." BO


10:26 PM Government assistance to automobile companies? I thought this was about China? 


10:30 PM Closing statements


Obama's closing statement: "I will always listen to your voices, I will always fight for your families"

"I'll get us on track to a balanced budget." Mitt Romney

10: 37 PM The end of the third presidential debate, the final one. 

One thing that I can tell from this debate is that it's really hard to get these two candidates to talk about foreign policy. Obama won largely the debate against Romney, but this doesn’t mean his speech was more meaningful to people that are concerned by U.S. policies. Still, Obama led well the attack on Romney and did not miss the occasion to stress on his past politics in the Middle East and new ones as well.

Generally speaking, if the U.S. elections were only tied to foreign policy, Obama will undisputedly make a better president than Romney. Romney has a clear stance to support shipping weapons to Syria, support a new devastating attack against Iran. He is an absolute ally to Israel and is likely less supportive of Palestinian self-determination rights. These positions will never drive any support from people in the MENA to U.S. policies and that’s what the U.S. need now instead of rallying dictators. Scaring those people with an increasing military budget won’t mend any relations either. Obama will do a far better job. Many approve of him already and trust his policies of getting out the region.

Romney has to fight its amnesia on this debate for the third time, denying previous statement of his. Generally, he avoided attack throughout the debate but kept drifting the debate to the economy.

Tonight’s debate was not a stellar for both candidates. As someone who might be affected by these same very policies and corporations between U.S. and MENA, I was particularly impressed. It is the same talk that we have heard since years now and both candidates chew on the drones’ question. The drones are one of the main reasons that are creating more tension and conflict in countries like Yemen and Afghanistan where innocent civilians die in double-digit numbers.

Both candidates missed to direct their policies to the people of the Middle East, Pakistan and Afghanistan who directly affected by U.S. foreign policies. Giving in more money from poor Americans to rich elitist rulers in foreign countries won’t help much the situation. Giving however more money from richer Americans to poorer people in the conflict region can help these people build a more solid infrastructure, have an education, better economic lives and reject violence against ally nations.

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Ahmed Medien

I joined Mic in December 2011 as a MENA news focused pundit. Now, I'm a freelance content writer and a recent business school graduate. Follow me at @AhmedMedien

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