The third and final presidential debate will take place tonight at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, and the excitement and speculation around the last debate is already thick enough to cut with a knife.
Tonight's debate, which focuses on foreign policy, is widely viewed as the "tiebreaker" debate, following media consensus that the first debate was won by Mitt Romney — and, significantly, lost by Barack Obama's timidity — and the second by a more-aggressive President Obama. Both candidates will likely give an energetic performance this evening in order to tip the scales in their favor.
Yes, odds are we'll see energetic denunciations of perfidious enemy-designates Iran and China, perhaps a little about Syria too. No doubt there will be energetic competition to see who can praise Israel more. Maybe the president will bring up an anecdote about a tough decision he had to make regarding the liquidation of a suspected "militant" to play up his commander-in-chief cred, and maybe Romney will put forward his campaign's line that Obama's foreign policy is confused and without direction.
The chances that either will talk about the illegality of drone warfare, the crimes comitted during the most recent "humanitarian" wars, the support for dictatorial governments in the Middle East and Latin America, or anything that would contravene established dogma on America's role in the world, are so slim as to be nonexistent.
In tonight's debate, as in most politics in the Western world, the biggest lies will not be lies of commission, but of omission. Tonight this blog will hopefully be able to point out a few of those omissions.
PolicyMic will be covering the presidential debate live. For live updates, bookmark and refresh this page.
6:08 - First mention of Libya, Obama claiming it as a foreign policy victory. Reminder that the attack on Libya was predicated on lies and resulted in the destruction of the most developed country in Africa. http://ceinquiry.us/2011-07-27-collective-punishment-libya
6:19 - Syria on the agenda. Perhaps relevant here that the FSA has quite a few Al-Qaeda types within it.
6:21 - Mention of massacres in Libya, but somehow I feel like Obama isn't talking about the massacres comitted by NATO allies against Gaddafi loyalists and Black Libyans. http://humanrightsinvestigations.org/2011/07/07/libya-ethnic-cleansing/
6:24 -You can't talk about women's rights in the Mideast without noting the role the US has played in supporting conservative and reactionary Islamic groups to oppose nationalist and leftist governments - wow, just like they've done in Libya and Syria. The more things change...
6:31 - Obama talking about education, manufacturing, energy... I thought this was a foreign policy debate?
6:33 - OMG Mitt's weird chortle/cackle when Bob Scheiffer asked him about "wrong and reckless"
6:36 - Finally Scheiffer stepping up to direct this back to foreign policy
6:37 - Talking over each other about Mitt's record re: Education in Massachussettes
6:39 - Cheap shot, but when Romney says he's going to repeal Obamacare, do you think he'll push Romneycare instead? You know, given that they're so similar... Romneycare covers abortions though, unlike Obamacare
6:42 - Romney: "our navy is smaller than at any time since 1917" Mitt pledges not one step back against Kaiser Wilhelm
6:44 - Okay, I do not like Obama at all but this is hilarious - "we also have fewer horses and bayonets" than 1917 too. Aircraft carriers, how do they work???
6:45 - Let the record show that the expected Israel-praising has started
6:46 - The sanctions are crippling Iran's economy. Oh, also they're causing massive suffering for regular Iranians. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/oct/07/iran-santions-suffering
6:47 - Reminder that "crippling sanctions" against Iraq in the 90s killed 500,000 children
6:50 - As far as Ahmadinejad "inciting genocide" as Romney mentions, if that's a reference to his supposedly saying "Israel must be wiped off the map", reminder that that was a mistranslation and he actually said "Israel will fade from the page of time" like the USSR or apartheid South Africa
6:50 - Iran re-entering community of nations, wow, perhaps you should let the 2/3 of the nations in the UN who attended the NAM conference in Iran recently know about how they're not part of the community of nations.
6:51 - Obama actually makes good point re: Romney doing exactly the same thing he did but saying them louder, wow.
6:55 - Obama vehemently defending his record of continuing American arrogance re: Romney's accusations of an apology tour
6:58 - Sderot reference, Obama mentioning how people in Sderot had missles "raining down near their children's bedrooms". Reminder that 1,477 Palestinian children have been killed since 2000, vs 129 Israeli children. Hm.
7:06 - Re: Romney's Pakistan comments: the only thing that would make Pakistan fall apart would be more American military incursions over its border.
7:11 - FYI for Romney, most people in Pakistan really do not like any policy proposed by you or your opponent
7:12 - Hey big surprise, both candidates support drone strikes! Have fun voting if you don't though.
7:13 - Any analysis that focuses on "extremism" rather than how many people get murdered by flying robots is probably totally bankrupt.
7:16 - Quandary: how can the candidates be against Chinese imports overwhelming American products, and manufacturing jobs going to China, and still for "free markets" at the same time? I mean it just seems like China is more "competitive", right?
7:19 - More Yellow Peril 'malarkey' from Romney, computer hacking, currency manipulating, etc etc
7:25 - Romney claims that allowing the free market to let American car companies dissolve is the "height of silliness", subsequently announces membership in Communist Party, USA
7:30 - One last "wrong and reckless" reference from Obama
7:31 - And, to go along with it, one last bit of faux-populism from Obama about "the rich paying their fair share"
7:33 - Surprised there weren't more references to Fidel since this debate was hosted in Florida
7:36 - And we're done. Obama makes important contacts with a young Romney child.
8:10 - Post-debate commentary from Peta Lindsay and Yari Osorio: "We need a foreign policy based on mutual respect, equality and self determination" http://www.pslweb.org/votepsl/2012/statements/lindsay-third-debate-response.html