This week, Vice President Joe Biden and Republican Vice President Nominee Paul Ryan went head-to-head in the only (uneventful) vice presidential debate of the campaign season. As the vice president annoyed much of the viewing public with his constant smiling and laughing and Ryan just sitting there taking the abuse, the two men talked a lot about foreign policy, particularly Afghanistan and Iran.
What did the American people learn about their respective foreign policies and their different ideas? Nothing. Do you know why? The President Barack Obama administration and the potential Mitt Romney administration don’t have any real differentiation in foreign policy and Thursday night’s debate proved exactly that.
Not only is there no difference between the two parties in foreign policy, but also the United States taxpayers cannot afford either administration’s foreign policy of interventionism, war and the elaborate missions of seeking dragons to slay. Why? Too expensive (forget the moral reasoning for a moment).
Despite the vice president’s attempts to make the president seem peaceful and diplomatic, anyone who has followed the White House closely over the past four years knows one thing: President Obama is President George W. Bush the sequel and the numbers confirm it.
Since entering the Oval Office, the Democratic Commander in Chief has tried to extend the war in Iraq, has enhanced the war in Afghanistan, launched a pre-emptive strike against Libya and has killed more than 2,500 of suspected terrorists and innocent civilians in Afghanistan, East Africa, Libya, Iraq, Pakistan and Yemen. It is unsure how much in total these endeavors have cost the American people, but there are rough estimates of the price tags:
– Libya: $1 billion-plus
– Drones: $4.5 million per spy plane
– War in Afghanistan (since 2009): $276.43 billion and counting
When it comes to civil liberties, you’re better off not asking because if you understood what the incumbent president has done he’d make his predecessor look like a member of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
At the end of the debate, it seemed like the U.S. wanted to spend money in Syria by arming rebels, moderates and opposition groups and maintain a presence in Afghanistan. With a $16 trillion national debt, a trillion-dollar-plus budget deficit and tens of trillions of dollars in unfunded liabilities and expenditures, how could any government leader even consider keeping the status quo foreign policy?
During the 2008 and 2012 presidential primaries, retiring Texas Republican Congressman Ron Paul cited many studies that concluded the U.S. has spent $1 trillion over a period of time on its foreign policy. Considering all of the foreign ventures the government instigates, whether it’s the U.S. embassy in Iraq, which is the size of the Vatican, the latest missions in Uganda or the large number of troops in Germany and South Korea, it’s a reasonable number.
Even if the Democrats want to consider their party’s platform as amity – and the Republicans consider the Democrats a faction of weakness – voters have to realize that the Democrats were the ardent supporters of war throughout the 20th century and this belief persists throughout the 21st century.
One of the attacks against Ryan that was quite surprising was the vice president’s criticism of his opponent’s record on Iraq. According to Biden, Ryan voted “to put two wars on a credit card…I was there. I voted against him.” If one checks out the vice president’s senate voting history, he supported both the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In fact, Biden even thought at the time it would be a mistake to withdraw or establish a timetable to draw down forces. “We can call it quits and withdraw from Iraq. I think that would be a gigantic mistake. Or we can set a deadline for pulling out, which I fear will only encourage our enemies to wait us out – equally a mistake.”
Can the U.S. afford an Obama administration or a Romney administration when it comes to the economy? The better question is: can anyone afford either administration’s foreign policy of intrusion into the internal affairs of other countries?