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Why Did They Debate?

by NILANTHA ILANGAMUWA

Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Do they really understand the shape of the earth? Do they think the earth has a pyramidal shape where the big man is sitting on the top while all the other countries are lying on the floor to lick the big man’s feet?  After watching the three debates between Governor Romney, the Republican presidential candidate, and President Obama, the Democratic presidential candidate, it is unclear as to what is really going to change.

Last night’s debate, moderated by the experienced and lauded broadcast journalist Bob Scheiffer, confirmed to the world that neither candidate has a clear idea of the grave issues concerning the world; instead, they are only focused on giving half-truthful answers to grab the American vote.  They narrowly escaped having to prove their uniqueness on foreign policy and instead showed greater concern for the domestic consequences. Both candidates lacked any substantive depth. They remained at a superficial level on issues ranging from Israel, Iran, and the United State’s role in the geopolitical arena. When questions were raised on the drone attacks and the crisis in Libya, both of them tried to dodge the questions and ignore the problem.  The same reflections were visible when they were engaged in the crisis in Libya. It’s laughable that they wish to lead the world while at the same time not having any idea about what is happening at the ground level.

The engagement on foreign policy in the third debate was based on two core factors, Islamaphobia and Sino fear. Both candidates took the same tone as former President George W. Bush Jr., the man who evaporated the last remnants of global respect and dignity for the United States. The 9/11 attack was an event that the US political elites took advantage of to advance their own personal agendas. They used 9/11 as a pretext, much like other autocrats have around the world. Resulting from these tragedies is a political nightmare where many countries lose their institutional structures, while at the same time facilitating   authoritarians to cynically manipulate not only the so called electoral system – the posited tablet for democracy — but the basic personal liberties of the people. These tragedies have led to the elimination of the small space reserved for freedom by putting human beings into a cage as nuisances.  It seems that they are still engaged in reprimanding the world for events that happened more than a decade ago, ignoring the real threats that are injuring the earth.

It is very sad that both of them are too arrogant to accept the consequences and apologize to the world for killing unarmed civilians in the name of their fake-democracy. It is known that the US has raised her flag only one time without bloodshed – on the moon.

The present political game is carried out through popular political topics rather than digging deeper to find facts and the root causes of the real crisis. That’s why both Romney and Obama were striking on Iran’s nuclear program but did not mention the nuclear capability of Israel or the concerns of the Palestinian people. In other words, can you blame others as a threat to peace and democracy when your angel is threatening to eliminate the freedom and dignity of mankind? If so, you are trying to hide something that is clearly visible to the rest of the world.

Our real loss over the last three decades is that the political elites have vandalized the structure of the institutions that were the pillars of the state. As a result, the judiciary, the police, and the legislature have become technically paralyzed institutions occupied by political henchmen while ordinary people lose their faith in the morality of the state. The unchanging norm is to take into custody the real issues through party-based politics and corporate companies. What is left is only the superficial and unimportant positions that are fought over like they actually matter.

These questions remain without sufficient answers; what did they debate and why did they debate. Who is going to control whom in this generation?  Will the world duteously listen to the country that has a national debt of over $15.17 trillion?  As far as the politics in US is concerned, people are watching two people who seem to believe the same things. They lie through their teeth to get as many votes as they can. This reminds me of the Jerry Springer Show.

These policies will not lead us to find sustainable solutions to the crisis of the devastation of state institutions; institutions that are controlled around the globe by politically motivated autocrats who have no room to leave for the real issues present in the United State’s foreign policy.

 

 

Nilantha Ilangamuwa is Editor of Torture: Asian and Global Perspectives. He also edits the Sri Lanka Guardian, an online daily newspaper. He is the author of the recently released non-fiction books, “Nagna Balaya” (The Naked Power), published in Sinhalese, and “The Conflation”, published in English. 

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