The explicit duty of a president as fully defined in the US Constitution is Commander-in-Chief of the civilian controlled military. His most important duty, of course, is to keep the country safe – free from enemy attack. Because the president has at his disposal the ability to use a military which is the strongest and most technologically sophisticated in the world, he understands, after having occupied the oval office for four years, how to command it while using the expertise of dozens of military advisers to assist him in the process . Since 9/11 the Department of Defense, the Pentagon, the CIA and other arsenals of foreign policy have had to morph and grow into something it never was in history – a gargantuan technological vessel of computer programmed precision able to talk with each other at a moment’s notice. The process and the procedure are as complex as they ever have been and the president is familiar with it but Romney did and does not have a clue. He looked nervous and sweated profusely because he knew he understood little about foreign affairs as witnessed by his disastrous tour abroad to our strongest allies, England, Israel and Poland where he managed to insult someone in every state. One wonders what he would do when confronting an adversary. Perish the thought.
In the third debate the president brought with him the crucial determinate -- EXPERIENCE -- four years of it. He brought with him foreign policy successes many times over including the head of the slain dragon, Osama bin Laden, which the president said was worth “moving heaven and earth” to obtain. I concur. In one word his opponent Willard Mitt Romney was, shall we say, LOST and, using his word, SEVERELY so. Romney in his usual fashion was all over the foreign policy Etch-A-Sketch map changing positions he once held but, at least for this debate, seems not to any more. What positions does this chameleon really hold? Who knows? Like every other issue whether foreign or domestic he changes more than a hotel employee changes the sheets.
If I were a right winger (perish the thought) I would be scratching my head wondering who the hell this guy is. What he is perhaps, is the WORST Republican candidate ever. Why? Because he stands for everything and, therefore, he stands for nothing except that which his handlers tell him to stand and when he should stand for them. Last night one would have thought Romney agreed with every foreign policy act that the president has put forth. Barack Obama has not governed in foreign policy domain from the left. He has governed centrist no matter what his often racist haters incorrectly aver.
I do not know what the polls will be saying in the next few days but the instant flash polls of various media had the president winning and often by significant margins. One would have to have been asleep to say otherwise.
The third debate was the most important of all because it was about whether we live or whether the nation dies. Prescient and wise policy in the ever-so complex Middle East is crucial. Shooting from the hip in Bushian style is folly. Clearly, last evening was a disappointment to the Neocons who make up more than half of Romney's foreign policy advisory staff emanating from the failed team Bush. They were disappointed because the American people, even on the extreme right, have little stomach for endless war and THAT is all the Neocons want. Most of them INCLUDING Romney have never fought in war; Romney evading the Vietnam draft by peddling Mormon magic underwear to the French during that time. Neither he nor his five ever-so-healthy sons has ever served. What does he know about the intricacies of war? Answer: NOTHING and it showed.
One most entertaining take down of the night occurred when Romney said he would increase Navy ships because they were at a numerical low of 1916 levels and the Air Force at a numerical low since 1947. The president profoundly said referring to 1916 "we also have fewer horses and bayonets too." Clearly a high school senior could understand the difference between World War I or II and the modern era with the incomparable technologically sophisticated hardware that exists today. Moreover, George Bush began two wars with the amount of military equipment low by comparison to other 20th century wars.
In last evening’s third debate there was no comparison between the depth of knowledge of a commander-in-chief who inherited two wars with the task of ending them and a one- term governor who never served in a war when he had the chance. Romney is significantly UNFIT and WOEFULLY UNQUALIFIED to perform the most important duty a president faces and that is protecting the lives of the people and the country from attack.
By this yardstick not only did the president crush his opponent in the debate he should without hesitation win re-election to the presidency. Let's hope the majority of the electorate sees this the same way because no less than the life of the republic is at stake!