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I have Questions; The Candidates Don't Have Answers

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by WALTER BRASCH

Most of the questions--and responses--in the three presidential debates had been asked--and answered--several times during the campaign. But there are critical questions that were not asked. Let's begin with Foreign Policy.

The entire foreign policy debate focused upon the Middle East. While that region of the world has importance to the United States, there are other parts of the world that the moderators and candidates overlooked. Here are some of the critical questions.

--- The U.S. is on record as opposing dictatorships, yet supports Saudi Arabia, one of the most restrictive dictatorships in the world. Why?

--- There continues to be murder and rape in the name of "ethnic cleansing" in the Darfur region of Somalia. What have you done about the genocide in that country? What do you plan to do?

--- The U.S. hasn't ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which 193 nations have signed. Opposition has come from the political and religious conservatives. Mr. Romney, if you become president, would you sign it? If not, why not? The U.S. also has not signed the Kyoto Protocol, which 191 countries have signed. Mr. President, you have been outspoken about the need for conservation and environmental protection. Can you please discuss why you have not signed this treaty?

--- Mr. President, you promised to close Guantanamo. And yet you are expanding it. We know the Republicans blocked any attempt to move the inmates into maximum-security American prisons, even those state prisons that said they would accept the prisoners. Is there a reason why the inmates could not be moved into maximum-security federal prisons?

--- China, Russia, and other countries have established an economic presence in sub-Sahara Africa. Corruption and terrorism are up. Yet, the U.S. seems focused on the Middle East and may be accused of neglecting African countries. What do each of you see as some of the critical issues and what do you plan to do about them in the next four years?

--- Somalian pirates continue to raid and kill crews. Mr. President, you signed a treaty with Kenya to allow it to try Somalian pirates. What else have you done and plan to do? Mr. Romney, do you have a plan to deal with Somalia?

--- Hillary Clinton has said that there are three legs of foreign policy-- defense, diplomacy, and development. The State Department is responsible for two of those positions. What has the U.S. done in areas other than the Middle East to advance U.S. interests in the world? And, Mr. Romney, what areas do you see as critical to U.S. interests outside the Middle East?

--- Some of our closest allies are involved in the destruction of whales, sharks, and seals, often using inhumane methods. What are the issues, and what do you plan to do about it?

--- The U.S. currently has enough nuclear weapons and delivery systems to conduct either a pre-emptive or retaliatory strike that would eliminate all human life on earth. Are you doing anything to de-escalate the use of nuclear weapons in the U.S. and other countries? And, if elected, what specific plans do you have for the use of nuclear weapons.

Let's turn to a few domestic issues that were not discussed in the debates--and have been overlooked by the mainstream media covering the campaigns.

--- Continuing along the line of a primary duty of the president is to keep the U.S. safe, let's begin with Mr. Romney. You stated that spending on FEMA is "immoral," that the government should reduce or eliminate its disaster assistance, and that if you were president you'd try to privatize FEMA. Why do you believe that the government should have no role in disaster relief and recovery? And, Mr. President, Hurricane Katrina would not have been as devastating if there was adequate preparation. What, as president, have you done to assure that defense against natural disasters are a priority?

--- A follow-up question to both of you. Several reports have stated there was inadequate communications during both 9/11 and Katrina. What has been done to upgrade communications systems during disasters?

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www.walterbrasch.com

Walter Brasch is an award-winning journalist and professor of journalism emeritus. His current books are Before the First Snow: Stories from the Revolution , America's Unpatriotic Acts: The Federal Government's Violation of Constitutional (more...)
 
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Given the clarity of your questions I seriously do... by Stephen Zimmett on Tuesday, Oct 30, 2012 at 4:28:38 PM
Seeing, watching, and hearing either Obama or Romn... by Steven G. Erickson on Tuesday, Oct 30, 2012 at 4:32:16 PM
I encourage you to put BO and Mitt the sh*t out of... by Daniel Geery on Wednesday, Oct 31, 2012 at 5:52:14 AM
in a previous column, I suggested that Johnson and... by Walter Brasch on Wednesday, Oct 31, 2012 at 7:30:18 AM