2008 second presidential debate, in Nashville: on War & Peace


Barack Obama: More aid to Pakistan; but pursue bin Laden over their border

Q: Should the US respect Pakistani sovereignty and not pursue al Qaeda terrorists who maintain bases there?

OBAMA: We have a difficult situation in Pakistan. I believe that part of the reason we have a difficult situation is because we made a bad judgment going into Iraq, when we hadnít finished the job of hunting down bin Laden and crushing al Qaeda.

We have to change our policies with Pakistan. We canít coddle, as we did, a dictator, give him billions of dollars and then heís making peace treaties with the Taliban and militants. Weíre going to encourage democracy in Pakistan, expand our nonmilitary aid to Pakistan so that they have more of a stake in working with us, but insisting that they go after these militants.

And if we have Osama bin Laden in our sights and the Pakistani government is unable or unwilling to take them out, then I think that we have to act & we will take them out. We will kill bin Laden; we will crush Al Qaeda. That has to be our biggest national security priority.

Source: 2008 second presidential debate against John McCain Oct 7, 2008

Barack Obama: Prevent Iran from attacking Israel, but keep military option

Q: If Iran attacks Israel, would you be willing to commit US troops in defense of Israel? Or would you wait on approval from the UN Security Council?

McCAIN: We obviously would not wait for the United Nations Security Council. Both Russia and China would probably pose significant obstacles.

OBAMA: We cannot allow Iran to get a nuclear weapon. It would be a game-changer in the region. Not only would it threaten Israel, our strongest ally in the region and one of our strongest allies in the world, but it would also create a possibility of nuclear weapons falling into the hands of terrorists. And so itís unacceptable. And I will do everything thatís required to prevent it. And we will never take military options off the table. And it is important that we donít provide veto power to the UN or anyone else in acting in our interests. It is important, though, for us to use all the tools at our disposal to prevent the scenario where weíve got to make those kinds of choices.

Source: 2008 second presidential debate against John McCain Oct 7, 2008

Barack Obama: FactCheck: Iraqis have $29B surplus, not $79B

Obama repeated a stale talking point when he said, ďWeíre spending $10 billion a month in Iraq at a time when the Iraqis have a $79 billion surplus, $79 billion.Ē

As weíve pointed out when Obama said it on the campaign trail, when he repeated it at the last debate, and even when Biden mentioned the figure in the vice presidential debate, that number is wrong. The Iraqis actually ďhaveĒ $29.4 billion in the bank. The Government Accountability Office projected in August that Iraqís 2008 budget surplus could range anywhere from $38.2 billion to $50.3 billion, depending on oil revenue, price and volume. Then, in early August, the Iraqi legislature passed a $21 billion supplemental spending bill. The supplemental will be completely funded by this yearís surplus, and that means that the Iraqiís will not have $79 billion in the bank. They could have about $59 billion.

Source: FactCheck.org on 2008 second presidential debate Oct 7, 2008

John McCain: Bring our troops home with victory and with honor

If we had done what Sen. Obama wanted done in Iraq, and that was set a date for withdrawal, then we would have had a wider war, we would have been back, Iranian influence would have increased, al Qaeda would have re- established a base.

There was a lot at stake there, my friends. And I can tell you right now that Sen. Obama would have brought our troops home in defeat. Iíll bring them home with victory and with honor and that is a fundamental difference.

Source: 2008 second presidential debate against Barack Obama Oct 7, 2008

John McCain: Donít wait for UN if Iran attacks Israel

Q: If, despite your best diplomatic efforts, Iran attacks Israel, would you be willing to commit US troops in support and defense of Israel? Or would you wait on approval from the UN Security Council?

McCAIN: We obviously would not wait for the United Nations Security Council. I think the realities are that both Russia and China would probably pose significant obstacles. And our challenge right now is the Iranians continue on the path to acquiring nuclear weapons, and itís a great threat. Itís not just a threat to the state of Israel. Itís a threat to the stability of the entire Middle East. If Iran acquires nuclear weapons, all the other countries will acquire them, too. The tensions will be ratcheted up.

OBAMA: We cannot allow Iran to get a nuclear weapon. And I will do everything thatís required to prevent it. And we will never take military options off the table. And it is important that we donít provide veto power to the UN or anyone else in acting in our interests.

Source: 2008 second presidential debate against Barack Obama Oct 7, 2008

  • The above quotations are from 2008 second presidential debate, Barack Obama vs. John McCain, at Belmont University in Nashville TN.
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Candidates and political leaders on War & Peace:
Incoming Obama Administration:
Pres.:Sen.Barack Obama
V.P.:Sen.Joe Biden
State:Hillary Clinton
Staff:Rahm Emanuel
Treas.:Tim Geithner
DoD:Robert Gates
A.G.:Eric Holder
DHS:Janet Napolitano
DoC:Bill Richardson
Outgoing Bush Administration:
Pres.:George Bush
V.P.:Dick Cheney
A.G.:John Ashcroft(2005)
DEA:Asa Hutchinson(2005)
USDA:Mike Johanns(2007)
EPA:Mike Leavitt
HUD:Mel Martinez(2003)
State:Colin Powell(2005)
State:Condoleezza Rice
HHS:Tommy Thompson(2005)
2008 Presidential contenders:
AIP: Frank McEnulty
Constitution: Chuck Baldwin
GOP: Sen.John McCain
GOP VP: Gov.Sarah Palin
Green: Rep.Cynthia McKinney
Independent: Ralph Nader
Liberation: Gloria La Riva
Libertarian: Rep.Bob Barr
NAIP: Amb.Alan Keyes
Socialist: Brian Moore
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