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Syria’s Evolving Uprising

The evolving uprising in Syria.  Who’s fighting?  For what?  Who’s sending in arms?  Who’s dying?  We focus on Syria.

Free Syrian Army fighters are seen in a storage room in the Karmal Jabl district of Aleppo Syria, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2012. (AP)

Free Syrian Army fighters are seen in a storage room in the Karmal Jabl district of Aleppo Syria, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2012. (AP)

The uprising, the civil war, in Syria is hard to watch. Maybe 30,000-plus dead. Hundreds of thousands of refugees. A brutal, frightened regime cracking down with heavy weapons and air power on rifle-armed rebels and civilians in the streets. But watch is what the world has mainly done.

The U.S., afraid of another war in the Mideast. But nothing has gone away or gotten simpler. Turkey now on edge. Anti-Assad fighters feeling angry and abandoned. Arms going to jihadis. Syria, a flash point in the presidential race.

This hour, On Point: the fight in Syria, and where it’s going.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Amr Al Azmprofessor of history at Shawnee State University, member of the Syrian opposition, executive committee member of the United States Institute of Peace’s Day After Project.

Ghaith Abdul-Ahad, correspondent for the Guardian covering the fighting in Syria. You can catch his recent report for Frontline here.

Andrew Tabler, senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

From Tom’s Reading List

CNN “Syria denied Monday a report that its forces have been using cluster bombs in its civil war. ‘The General Command of the Army and the Armed Forces stressed on Monday that the misleading media outlets have recently published untrue news claiming the Syrian Arab Army has been using cluster bombs against terrorists,’ the government’s term for rebels, the state-run Syrian Arab News Agency reported.”

The Hill “As Lamees’s father explained to us, Syrian children are experiencing real psychological trauma, and will need extensive help. Psychosocial services for Syrian refugees – meaning not just therapy, but also safe spaces to play and activities to take their minds off the war – are relatively scarce right now. Large numbers of Syrian children are not in school in their host countries, nor are they receiving mental health services in the key early stages of trauma.”

Reuters “International peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi appealed to Iran to help arrange a ceasefire in Syria during the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha as rebels and government forces fought street by street and village by village on Monday.”

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  • NewtonWhale

    If Candy Crowley is intent on going rogue she should ask the zombie eyed granny starver’s running mate how many American lives he is willing to spend so he can sound tough on Assad.

    During the Vietnam War he actually protested in favor of the draft while he enjoyed a deferment so he could do his “missionary work” in Paris. 

    He was perfectly willing to spend 58,000 American lives then.
    So long as one of them wasn’t his.

    Because his kind of people are above fighting in the wars they support:

    “My sons are all adults and they’ve made decisions about their careers and they’ve chosen not to serve in the military and active duty and I respect their decision in that regard. One of the ways my sons are showing support for our nation is helping me get elected because they think I’d be a great president.”

    http://crooksandliars.com/jon-perr/romney-fails-commander-in-chief-test-again

    • Wm_James_from_Missouri

      Rich and / or powerful men often have to send someone else’s son off to war, so that they may appear to be tough and manly. They think it makes them appear more statesmen like, when they get to dress up for the burials after these “kids” come home in body bags. They get to read all of those speeches written by staffers, too ! Truth is, most of these guys have never even been in a bar room brawl ! Now Genghis Khan and Alexander the Great, — they knew how to “ get it on “ ! Maybe we should require all candidates to step into a blood sport ring to face off with real warriors, so that they could get a taste of the warrior way !

      • Yar

        I see a cruel sexual component of war, every since David raped Bathsheba, old men have sent young men off to die. It increases mating opportunities back home. “Get it on” is the real reason for war.  Jane Goodall wanted to study primates because she thought they were not cruel like humans, she was disappointed to find they are just as bad as us.
        Dr. Goodall discovered that chimpanzees do fight. Chimpanzees even engage in a primitive form of brutal “warfare”. In early 1974, a four-year war began at Gombe, the first record of long-term warfare in nonhuman primates.
        http://www.janegoodall.ca/about-faqs-chimps.php

      • margbi

        If the draft were operative today the streets would be flooded with protests. Maybe that’s why the draft (while still a law) is not in effect? 

        • Yar

          Why is it we require young men to sign up for selective service and not young women?  I am for 2 years of public service by all citizens. Not military service, but I do advocate for weapons training during that service.

        • PI Resident

           Agree. 
          The “powers that be” could not stand up to the protests that would ensue if a cross-section of America were sending people off to war. 
          (In the meantime look at what the powers that be, including the Democrat Mayors have done to the “occupy” movement. . . .)

    • Prairie_W

      The point is that some of us are made for finer things than just serving our country. 

      Like being president.

      Oh.  Wait a minute.. 

      • Ray in VT

        Reminds one a bit of the song Fortunate Son, does it not?  I don’t think that military service is a necessary qualification for the higher offices, but I do think that it is helpful to have some of those voices within the highest echelons.

        • Prairie_W

          I think we have a great deal of evidence that our military, at least at its higher and highest levels, has lost its honor during a long period (see Ike’s famous speech) in which our military interests became the interests (often transnational)of our defense industry and the elected officials depend on it for campaign support. 

          The kinds of voices I’d want in those higher echelons — Cabinet level, Senate — would be those who represent actual defense of the US as distinct from aggressive and greed-driven military operations overseas that largely benefit political and for-profit  interests and only erode our standing overseas.

          I’d just like to add that there are likely more than one military representative of the likes of Andrew Bacevich, whose perspective has been so helpful. More voices of his kind; few militarist drones, please!

          • Ray in VT

            You definitely have a point there.  War is good for business (Rule of Acquisition #34).

            I have tended to think that people who actually served, like Colin Powell for instance, are likely to be more cautious.  I know that that is not always, or even often, the case, but it does strike me as odd that many of those who will most loudly advocate for the flexing of our military muscle did not wear the uniform themselves, and my thinking is that it has made some of them more likely to risk the lives of others (Chickenhawks as they are sometimes called).

          • Prairie_W

             Agree, Ray. 

            (Disqus misplaced this response, so it will appear twice, probably!)

  • Shag_Wevera

    1.  Why are we stunned that the Syrian military is using cluster bombs to put down an uprising?  What did General Sherman do to Georgia during our civil war?  What would OUR government do to militants within our borders trying to overthrow the government?  Let’s not be naive or coy.

    2.  Children suffering?  Uh, yeah.  That’s what happens in armed conflicts.

    I want to know the REAL reason I am supposed to care about this more in Syria than I am in the many other nations in which this type of thing happens.  Is it just because of our irrational Iran phobia? 

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joris-Diepstraten/100002068361891 Joris Diepstraten

      now youre putting Iran inside Syria
      where Iran has annexed Syria and is using its own pretorian guard to defend its puppet assad.

      we should care more than other because the trauma of PTSD in their early stages.

      children hasve resiliant minds and they have to  be guided towards coping with their experiences
      the sooner we act the better the outcome

      school and counselling, playgrounds and toys
      cooking youre own food
      brings back self-respect to the children and their parents

      so that they themselves feel valuable in the world instead of outcasts

      motivation and a prospect for the future goes a long way in any conflict on any side including neutrality.

      really hope its over soon
      we cannot treat them the same as the palestinian refugees
      they are still not recognised nor enjoying civil rights.
      its lasting generations now, and the more you keep them in the dark the more frustration sets in because of the bleak future outcome

      Help them, help yourself!

    • Don_B1

      People need to ask where the members of Hamas come from, where the suicide bombers come from, what twists the minds of people who have deep grievances, real or imagined against other groups.

      The most interesting thing, at least intellectually, is that most of the suicide bombers come from “middle-class” families. Are they directly connected to PTSD in themselves or family members?

      • Steve__T

        NO we need to ask why are we going to jump in the middle of some other country’s conflict to waist more American blood? Is it so some oil company doesn’t loose profits? We can’t bring democracy to anyone with weapons, we need democracy here at home our focus should be here.
        You can’t take the splinter from some ones eye when you have a log in yours.

        • Don_B1

          What I was trying to ask, is what do we owe the Arabs of the Middle East for our PAST interference in their governance, where we supported, in the name of stability, severely repressive regimes.

          Currently the citizens of the Middle East have mixed views of the U.S. On one hand, they appear to fairly widely view our country as a good place to live, but on the other, they resent our past policies.

          The LAST thing they want is for us to sent troops to put down Assad. And as Iraq has shown, for a change in government to be legitimate in their eyes, THEY must be the ones that choose and make that change.

          That is where “shaping” comes in, where that must be done in a non-dominant way, one where we respond to THEIR needs not ours, and perhaps help them see how different approaches might work for them.

          In this last vein, note how Romney got demanding and obtrusive (obnoxious?) when he wasn’t getting his way in last night’s debate. This will not be an approach that works in the Middle East.

          Bullying rarely works with people that have their own strong views for which they are willing to risk their lives.

  • Ray in VT

    I wonder about the possible ramifications of the conflict if it continues to spill over and create violence between Syria and Turkey, especially given that Turkey is a NATO country.  Under what circumstances could that fact draw other participants in?

  • paolocaru

    Americans have such short attention spans.  Y’all haven’t forgotten about the NEOCONS ??  They’re still in business.  But the Mass Media is certainly not going to remind you about their creepy cousins causing all this mess in Syria.   

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    Thank God we have Mitt. He’ll take us into World War III in a flash and then we won’t have to worry for a second about sequestration, national debt or personal freedoms.

    Here’s a guy who dodged the Vietnam, just like W, but he’s calling for boots on the ground!?!

    He can’t go overseas without alienating everyone, and with his double, triple and quadruple-speak, no one can tell where he stands on anything; and, when it comes to international politics, that is an extreme liability.

    He wrote the memo on uncertainty and ‘job creators’ but did he not get the memo on uncertainty and international politics, or the one citing that we can’t afford a unilateral war let alone a coalition war. Well a coalition war’s off the table because he won’t let anyone else be in the driver’s seat. Didn’t he say that? Yeah, that was last Tuesday’s Mitt, but I don’t know about today’s Mitt.

    So which Romney are you going to vote for, the one who wants to go to war with Syria, the one who wants to go to war with Iran, or the one who wants to go to war with Russia?

  • NewtonWhale

    But what does that say about their father, who has always been happy to send other sons to die in their place?

    • paolocaru

      Sonny said it best to his brother Michael in the Godfather…”don’t be a chump”.

  • PI Resident

    If the tactics (car bomb for instance) used by the Syrian “rebels” were used in another country, say the US or Israel, they would be called terrorists by the US Gov, the media et al.   
    Guess it goes to show that rebels we support are “rebels” while others are terrorists . . .

    • Ray in VT

      Well, sometimes they’re “freedom fighters”, but your point is well taken.  What one or another is often depends upon what you are.  Ben Franklin once said that “we must all hang together or assuredly we shall all hang separately”.  He meant that quite literally.  They were committing treason against the Crown, and they knew the price for their actions if they lost.  It is interesting to read some of the pieces written by American Loyalists if one wants to see our heroes in a very different light by some of their contemporaries.

      • PI Resident

         Thanks, Ray. 
        I like your reference to “freedom fighters” and your reprise of Ben Franklin. 
        I happen to work within a block of Franklin’s birthplace.  Your remark will remind me of another reason to give as mental “thumbs-up” and thanks as I walk by.

        • Ray in VT

          That’s pretty cool.  I remember reading one of Franklin’s pamphlets in grad school.  It was called In Defense of Printers (or something to that effect), and it was his defense of printing up some posters for a captain who wanted passengers for a Caribbean trip, just so long as they weren’t priests or women.  He got some flak for it, and he remarked something to the effect that he didn’t agree with the content of the poster, but that if he only printed that with which he agreed he would shortly go out of business.

          He was truly a great man of his age, but I think that he too often gets overshadowed in our time be some of the other greats with which he shared the early American stage.

  • Gregg Smith

    We can pretend it’s none of our business and bury our heads in the sand but it affects us. We need to be an influence to shape events. Lord knows forces of evil are working overtime.

    • Prairie_W

      I think we’ve seen too much evidence of the shape we leave things in– abroad and at home — to jump into another Middle East country. There are plenty of forces of evil at home we need to overcome.  Among them are the very forces that exacerbate tensions in other countries.

      • Gregg Smith

        You seem to be under the impression I am advocating war. I’m not.

    • J__o__h__n

      Will we be greeted as liberators again?

      • Gregg Smith

        We sure were in Iraq.

        • Don_B1

          To the tune of nearly 4,000 dead soldiers and maybe over 10,000 wounded, many severely, with a healthcare (physical and mental) of $trillions.

          That doesn’t count the dead and injured contractors (uncounted) whose care costs are being dumped on the taxpayer.

          Some greeting.

    • Yar

      The Lord knows, but we don’t. Often our own actions which we think good are also evil. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Our strategic interests are often in discord to the citizens who live in the region.  The CIA has historically done more damage than good in developing democracy.

    • jimino

      Which side in Syria is the force of evil?  Is it the one that  has ruled for decades and used annihilation of its own citizens to retain control?  Or is it the other, which uses terrorist tactics and has publicly professed its intent to implement Sharia law once it takes control?

      What if both sides are a force of evil?  Then shouldn’t we encourage both of them to kill as many of the other as possible and keep ourselves safe from harm?

    • Steve__T

       How does it affect us? I don’t live in the middle east. We have very limited trade with them. Its not pretend Its none of out business. Hasn’t our influence cause enough death. Evil is sticking your nose where it doesn’t belong trying to manipulate and influence your way if thinking.

  • IsaacWalton

    I’m no FP expert, and neither is RYAN. He knows nothing but what someone prepared him to say. Obama and Biden probably aren’t experts either but they have at least 4 more years experience than Romney Ryan. The war mongering of the Republican Party is only going to get more American’s killed and us in more debt. The US really needs to stop babysitting the world. Other nations will not resolve their own issues unless we let them. 

    • NewtonWhale

      MUCH more than 4 years.
      Biden was Chairman or ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee from 1997-2009.Obama spent 4 years on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and chaired the Subcommittee on European Affairs.Did I mention that they got Osama bin Laden?

  • MarkVII88

    Do you think the average American cares about Syria one bit?  I understand that there is a lot potentially at stake in that region, which is always a bit tense.  But please convince me and every other American as to why we should spend our money or even consider our military options in Syria.

  • BHA_in_Vermont

    Just WHO do people think the US should have been in contact with in Syria? Which of the many disconnected militia groups? 

  • Thinkin5

    U.S. intervention is a double edged sword, some welcome it and most hate it. It always cost us dearly in loves and treasure and in the end all are not grateful. Then some here try to say that they attack us because they “envy our freedom”. Islam isn’t fighting for freedom. They are fighting for theocracy. Ironically, kind of like the extreme right is here!

  • Thinkin5

    The Republicans never met a war or conflict they didn’t like or think that the U.S. would be able to control the outcome. They live in the the WWII mentality. They don’t understand the Middle East at all. 

    • William

      Obama went to war against Libya and is deeply involved in the civil war in Yemen.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    If it wasn’t for the recent incident in Libya, the overthrow there would only be a distant memory despite how recently it happened and how much things are still in flux there. And once the media moves on Syria will be, too.

  • Thinkin5

    That speaker is dreaming! Why should anyone in those rebel factions take direction from the U.S.?! Why don’t the Saudis jump in and help the rebels? As soon as the U.S. declares that we are on the rebels’ side and we arm them, we are at war with Syria. How many places can we be at war? Pakistan could blow up at any time. THEY have a nuclear weapon that could fall into Taliban hands!

  • BHA_in_Vermont

    Romney wants us to throw weapons to whoever is fighting against the Assad regime. Perhaps he would like to go spend some time in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Hang with the Taliban, the group that grew out of the Mujahideen fighting against the Soviets in Afghanistan.

    Current caller Kevin is saying the same thing.

    Our ever failing foreign policy: “The enemy of my enemy is my friend”.
    Saddam Hussein was our friend too, when he attacked Iran.

    The opposition in both Egypt and Libya were organized before we started helping them.

  • Human898

    How is it no one is speaking to the question of whether our involvement in the internal affairs of other nations in the middle east?   Some say if we are NOT there some will ask where were you, yet when we DO take sides, it only serves to present resentment for our trying to influence the destiny of other people and the very influences we would NOT like to see are given examples to influence followers against us. The dilemma appears to be that some groups recruit based on using a premise that the outside world wants to assert it’s own ways and does so in an imperialist way. We only add to such fodder when we don’t prove them wrong. Yes, people are being killed and it tears at the heart, but how many MORE lives tend to be lost when more people get involved in the mix and side up? Look what has happened in Afghanistan. We went in took sides, then left after the conflict was over. Are we supposed become eternal guardians in ever country we intervene? Whatever happened to people choosing their own destiny??

  • Thinkin5

    Maybe we should take in all the refugees from Syria and show them support that way. If they have no people to rule over they will have no country!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=507593666 Josh DeYoung

    About the Civil war comment by the guest:

    This uprising is much more similar to the American Revolution than the American Civil war. And in the Revolution we did receive intervention from the French that proved critical to our success.

    Our Civil war was at its heart a split of economic regions not an uprising against a dictator!

    • Ray in VT

      The American Revolution analogy may make a bit more sense than a Civil War analogy, although I don’t think that the British would like to be compared to Assad.  As for your second comment, some think that it was.  I mean, they’re wrong, but there are some that think it.  Take this guy for instance:

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/08/loy-mauch-arkansas-slavery_n_1948717.html

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=507593666 Josh DeYoung

       however, I believe that the US should not get that involved and handle this situation at a distance.

  • PI Resident

    Moral High Ground?
    I liked the comment that brought us back to the US Civil War.  If there had been foreign intervention then . . .

    Is it the business of the US to support all civil wars?  What is the Palestinians in the occupied territory (West Bank) rose up?  We we support them?  Or would they be branded as terrorists.
     

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    Sadly so much suffering is just political fodder in this country – when it was Libya, the administration moved forward so the Republicans moved against that. Now that it’s Syria and the administration has hung back, the Republicans are slamming them for not moving forward.

    • Steve__T

      It seems no longer this just in.

      The New York Times is reporting the Pentagon and State Department are speeding up efforts to help the Libyan government create an elite commando force to help counter the country’s fractious militias. Under the plan, U.S. Special Operations Forces would train about 500 Libyan troops. According to a Pentagon document, the Libyan commando force will be designed to counter and defeat terrorist and violent extremist organizations.” On Monday, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton assumed responsibility for last month’s deadly attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya

  • Michael Bristol

    To manufacture consent hirelings like Amr Al Azm are paraded and trotted about. Easy to do, cause they’re a dime a dozen.

    • Amr_Al_Azm

       It is clear that you know very little about me or my experiences. It would have been better that you bothered to find out more before making your ill informed flippant remark.

  • Steve__T

    Why hasn’t anyone mentioned The UN? Don’t they have a peace keeping force? Why is it always left up to us to police the world? This is a problem that the world should have a say in not just us. I don’t see China or Russia or Great Briton trying to jump in to lose their people, on this confrontation. Why should we haven’t we done enough.

  • Prairie_W

    Agree.

    (In reply to Ray Vt, re military representation.)

  • frank driscoll

    Steve_T is correct. Not just Syria but the entire middle-east near conflagration requires unified international resources and commitment. We the U.S. cannot afford to, nor should we, take on the burden of throwing cash and precious lives into this cauldron of a fractured political and religious civil war.  By the way,if there exists a moral basis for intervention of any kind, why is not the continent of Africa first in line?

    Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney will enthusiastically send our troops, the cream of American youth, into combat while conspicuously avoiding same for themselves and their children.

  • Human898

    WWII offered an exception to the following speech by John Quincy Adams, but has also offered things to learn from.  Unfortunately, dilemmas and conundrums present no good answers and a damned if you do, damned if you don’t result.   I do think with analysis of the past and less myopic egocentric thought we may be able to reduce the level of damnation for whatever decisions we make.  Instead of building on a “strong arm”, we know best position, we engage all positions and get all to agree to a common goal, then proceed from there all sides recognizing the importance of respecting one another’s positions and why as a means of having their own positions respected and realize no one in the end will get all of what they want, but all will get what is their top priority, which in most cases where conflict arises, is to avoid death an destruction and end it where it has begun rather than enlarge and expand it.

    http://www.fff.org/freedom/1001e.asp

    “She well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself beyond the power of extrication, in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy, and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standard of freedom.”
     
    “The fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from liberty to force…. ”

    “She might become the dictatress of the
    world. She would be no longer the ruler of her own spirit….”

    “[America’s] glory is not dominion, but liberty. Her march is the march of the mind. She has a spear and a shield: but the motto upon her shield is, Freedom, Independence, Peace. This has been her Declaration: this has been, as far as her necessary intercourse with the rest of mankind would permit, her practice.”

    -John Qunicy Adams – July 4th 1821

  • jimino

    Before we listen to the former Bush administration neocons who now make up the Romney foreign policy team, we should demand they spend some time in the general population of their other “victory”, Iraq.  This would both allow them to take actual responsibility for what they have done (which so-called conservatives are so fond af demanding of everyone else), and also likely eliminate them from the national scene as advisors to anyone, which would be a good lesson for anyone foolosh enough to rely on their advice.

  • Dee

    Tom, I am so ashamed of your war talk with the hawks in 
    Zionist organization –The Centre for Near East Policy and   
    other right wing enablers exploiting the Syrian peoples’ peaceful and non-violent call for government reforms and turned this into a war on the Syria people and the Syrian leadership. See the URLs below and read the columns. 

    People like myself on the left are so upset about this 
    escalation and the false flag it represents. And you 
    shouldn’t be so easy fooled with their Humanitarian 
    concern and pretext for this escalation of the unrest. 

    It is like what the GOP are doing to Obama’s agenda 
    under the leadership of Mitch Mc Connell in Senate 
    and John Boehner in the House- they have been ob-
    structing obama’s ob Plan and later blaming him for 
    poor growth…. 
     
    Paul Krugman wrote about this recently in his column
    Obstruct and Exploit….I think the whole thing is down 
    right criminal in both cases and those involved should 
    be reined in and charged accordingly….Dee

  • Dee

    Syrian, The Next Humanitarian War , Global Research 
    http://www.globalresearch.ca/syria-nato-s-next-humanitarian-war/29234The War on the Syrian People http://www.wsws.org/articles/2012/may2012/pers-m31.shtml

  • Dee
  • hennorama

    Sorry that this is off topic:

    Pres. Obama’s remarks on Sept. 12, 2012, in part:

    “Of course, yesterday was already a painful day for our nation as we marked the solemn memory of the 9/11 attacks. We mourn with the families who were lost on that day. I visited the graves of troops who made the ultimate sacrifice in Iraq and Afghanistan at the hallowed grounds of Arlington Cemetery, and had the opportunity to say thank you and visit some of our wounded warriors at Walter Reed. And then last night we learned the news of this attack in Benghazi.

    As Americans let us never, ever forget that our freedom is only sustained because there are people who are willing to fight for it, to stand up for it, and in some cases lay down their lives for it. Our country is only as strong as the character of our people and the service of those, both civilian and military, who represent us around the globe.

    No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for.”

    see: http://foxnewsinsider.com/2012/09/12/transcript-read-president-obamas-remarks-on-american-deaths-in-libya-attack/

    Vous avez été touché, Mr. Romney.

    Don’t worry, Mr. R will understand.

  • Gregg Smith

    I’m a partisan SOB and I’ll admit Obama at least showed up but Romney cleaned his clock… again.

  • hennorama

    Fox News’ talking heads are already complaining about time and the moderator and interruptions.
     
    Winners seldom complain about the refs, the timekeeper, or conflict.
     
     

    • Gregg Smith

      I missed that, did Obama get more time … again… like Biden did? I don’t know why anyone would complain, it’s just that way it is. Add it all up and it’s maybe 5-6 minutes (so far) more for the Dems. So what? I say, deal with it, can’t change it. It’ll be the same thing the next one.

      • hennorama

        Yes, I think Pres. Obama spoke for 2 to 3 minutes more, compared to Mr. Romney.

        At least they both mostly answered the questions tonight. High-quality wide-ranging questions, too, which was a welcome change.

        CNN ran the questions under the video, along with their usual meters tracking the undecided focus group’s reactions. CNN also ran a clock showing cumulative time each man spoke.

        CNN scientific insta-polls of debate watchers(MOE 4.5%):

        Who won? – Obama 46% Romney 39%
        Did Obama do better than expected? 73% yes
        Did Romney do better than expected? 39% (to the best of my recollection) yes

        CNN has a transcript up already: http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2012/10/16/transcript-second-presidential-debate/?hpt=hp_t1

  • Steve__T

    The whole debate was a farce, the Green Party nominee was arrested and detained for trying to enter. Not one drop of substance was given by either, more of a circus than a debate.

    I want my country back.

    • Gregg Smith

      I thought of you and NJ when I read about the arrest. You have a beef but it makes no difference.

      • Steve__T

         Not to someone like you, you give two sh!ts about true democracy or fairness or truth as long as your side wins.
        Pathetic.  You think this is some kind of game.
        Mark my words who ever wins this we’ll all loose.
        I have never cared for rigged anything. And from your statement…..”it makes no difference”  you care not. Any true American with values would.

        • Gregg Smith

          First of all “True Democracy” is mob rule. We are a Republic. I would let it slide in general terms but you qualified with the word “true”. That makes me suspect that you want to fundamentally transform America. Either Romney or Obama WILL be our next President. Stein will not. I’m sorry that hard cold truth bothers you.

          There is a world of difference between Obama and Romney and one vision will prevail.

          • Steve__T

             de·moc·ra·cy   [dih-mok-ruh-see] 
            noun, plural de·moc·ra·cies. 1. government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system. 2. a state having such a form of government: The United States and Canada are democracies. 3. a state of society characterized by formal equality of rights and privileges. 4. political or social equality; democratic  spirit. 5. the common people of a community as distinguished from any privileged class; the common people with respect to their political power.

  • Outside_of_the_Box

    The US has clearly shown that they prefer relative stability, which is better for serving their special interests, even if it comes with a ruthless dictator. The only reason they got involved in Libya, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, etc was either due to the Arab Spring, or where they had alterior motives. The narrative of world police, spreading democracy, helping the people, nation building, is the smokescreen for carrying out whatever agenda they might have at any given time, for any given area of the world. It is never about serving the interests of the American people. And if it happens to on rare occassions, it is simply a bonus for them, good PR if you will. But rest unassured, they serve the special interests, not the people. Once they decide on a course of action, the details can be made to fall into line on the fly (or later) Syrian rebels are Al Qaeda, Jihadists, opportunists, Islamists from neighbouring countries? No problem. As long as when the dust settles, the new regime is US Elite-friendly (US Elite-serving), then it’s fine. Wake up. It’s pure hypocrisy.

  • http://www.aussie-storage.co.uk/ Cheap storage London

    I am not sure what is happening in these country .To get relative stability one should not involve the internal issues of the other country or Its much better if the nearby country use the positive path to get the stability.

  • http://twitter.com/seylulleyl Ahmad Alhassan

    Syria is burning because someone does not abide the land for peace formula and the two state solution.  If Egypt cannot help in Syria, it should at least help Gaza residents:
    ENGLISH
    http://theoriginalamed.blogspot.com/2012/10/sinai-gaza.html

    ARABIC
    http://mudawwanatarabiyyah.blogspot.com/2012/10/blog-post_26.html

ONPOINT
TODAY
Jul 29, 2014
The U.S. Senate is seen on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, July 16, 2014. (AP)

The “Do-Nothing” Congress just days before August recess. We’ll look at the causes and costs to the country of D.C. paralysis.

Jul 29, 2014
This April 28, 2010 file photo, shows the Colstrip Steam Electric Station, a coal-fired power plant in Colstrip, Mont. Colstrip figures to be a target in recently released draft rules from the Environmental Protection Agency that call for reducing Montana emissions 21 percent from recent levels by 2030. (AP)

A new sci-fi history looks back on climate change from the year 2393.

RECENT
SHOWS
Jul 28, 2014
U.S. Secretary of War Newton D. Baker watches as wounded American soldiers arrive at an American hospital near the front during World War I. (AP Photo)

Marking the one hundredth anniversary of the start of World War One. We’ll look at lessons learned and our uneasy peace right now.

 
Jul 28, 2014
This June 4, 2014 photo shows a Walgreens retail store in Boston. Walgreen Co. _ which bills itself as “America’s premier pharmacy” _ is among many companies considering combining operations with foreign businesses to trim their tax bills. (AP)

American companies bailing out on America. They call it inversion. Is it desertion?

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
This 15-Year-Old Caller Is Really Disappointed With Congress
Tuesday, Jul 29, 2014

In which a 15-year-old caller from Nashville expertly and elegantly analyzes our bickering, mostly ineffective 113th Congress.

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Our Week In The Web: July 25, 2014
Friday, Jul 25, 2014

Why the key to web victory is often taking a break and looking around, and more pie for your viewing (not eating) pleasure.

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The Art Of The American Pie: Recipes
Friday, Jul 25, 2014

In the odd chance that our pie hour this week made you hungry — how could it not, right? — we asked our piemaking guests for some of their favorite pie recipes. Enjoy!

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