Those bold contenders of the US vice-presidency, so keen to prove their mettle when it comes to "defence", hid like rabbits from the epicentre of the Middle East earthquake: the existence of a Palestinian people. Sure, there was talk of a "two-state" solution, but it would have mystified anyone who didn't understand the region.Of course, it's not just the debates -- stories depicting the plight of Palestinians are almost entirely absent from American news networks. Not mentioning Palestinians may conveniently reinforce the notion that Israel confronts the same problem as does the American military in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The debates are part-and-parcel of a public information monopoly enforced by the corporate media and the two US political parties. I know that Ralph Nader has been saying something along these lines for a long time. In the 2008 debates, this observation is difficult to dispute. Obvious errors and questionable policies pertaining to foreign affairs have been uttered by all candidates in these debates. Such remarks -- almost without exception -- have gone unchallenged in the mainstream media. And this problem very much concerns areas where candidates have agreed.
As the US news media will not do its job, surely there could be no better way to improve the debates other than by opening them up to third-party candidates. Whatever your opinion of the third party candidates, I think you will agree that the quality of the debates could only improve.
Photo: This photo I took shows protesters outside the White House who want the debates opened up to third party candidates.