State of Minnesota secondary Archives: on War & Peace


Heather Johnson: No intervention in Iran; we harmed them too much already

Q: Do you support or oppose the statement, "Stay out of Iran"?

A: We libertarians do not support intervention in Iran. We already cost the Iranian people a freer society when the American government supported the Iranian revolution.

Source: E-mail interview on 2014 MN Senate race with OnTheIssues.org Aug 18, 2014

Kurt Bills: No point to staying longer in Afghanistan

Q: What about Afghanistan?

BILLS: There's leeriness, there's a wariness of being there. What's the goal, what's the plan? We got Osama Bin Laden. At this point I would question the value of staying there without an end in sight. Many nations have tried that--from Alexander the Great to the Russians to the British. That's an area of the world that's very difficult. Again, how can we promote trade with them? How can we lift their country up?

Source: MinnPost.com Q-and-A on 2012 MN Senate debate Jun 29, 2012

Al Franken: Astounded anyone would still believe Iraq war is good idea

On the war, Franken said he was “astounded” that Coleman “still believes [going to war in Iraq] was a good idea.”

Coleman responded: “I will not tell the parents of any kid who has died in Iraq that their son died because of a mistake. I simply will not do that.” He said the surge in Iraq succeeded in allowing “the forces of moderation to triumph over extremism,” and that “failure isn’t an option” in the continued battle against terrorism.

Source: 2008 MN Senate Debate reported in Star Tribune Oct 17, 2008

Al Franken: Build schools in Afghanistan to keep them from Al-Qaida

The candidates agreed that the United States must continue to fight the conditions in Afghanistan and elsewhere that breed terrorism. “You want to get it to the point where it’s tamped down, where it’s not always harming us,” Franken said. Barkley called for fighting it more by “building schools, not bombs,” to keep the country from turning toward Al-Qaida.
Source: 2008 MN Senate Debate reported in Star Tribune Oct 17, 2008

Dean Barkley: Fight conditions in Afghanistan that breed terrorism

The candidates agreed that the United States must continue to fight the conditions in Afghanistan and elsewhere that breed terrorism. “You want to get it to the point where it’s tamped down, where it’s not always harming us,” Franken said. Barkley called for fighting it more by “building schools, not bombs,” to keep the country from turning toward Al-Qaida.
Source: 2008 MN Senate Debate reported in Star Tribune Oct 17, 2008

Norm Coleman: The surge in Iraq succeeded; failure isn’t an option

On the war, Franken said he was “astounded” that Coleman “still believes [going to war in Iraq] was a good idea.”

Coleman responded: “I will not tell the parents of any kid who has died in Iraq that their son died because of a mistake. I simply will not do that.” He said the surge in Iraq succeeded in allowing “the forces of moderation to triumph over extremism,” and that “failure isn’t an option” in the continued battle against terrorism.

Source: 2008 MN Senate Debate reported in Star Tribune Oct 17, 2008

Amy Klobuchar: Solution in Iraq is diplomatic, not just military

You cannot solve a problem that you don’t admit exists. This war has basically devolved into a civil war. We have to realize that this solution isn’t going to be more boots on the ground, it’s going to be a diplomatic and political solution. This war, as of Thanksgiving, will have lasted longer than World War II. So I believe that we need to bring people together and help this country to come up with a diplomatic and political solution in addition to giving them the tools that they need.
Source: 2006 MN Senate debate, on Meet the Press Oct 15, 2006

Amy Klobuchar: Transition to Iraqi governance; no permanent military bases

KENNEDY: Ms. Klobuchar says Iraq is a distraction. She has set out a specific timetable for bringing our troops home that would tell the terrorists when they can take over an oil-rich country as a sanctuary for terrorists.

KLOBUCHAR: I have never been one to say “Bring them all home tomorrow.” Despite my opposition to the war from the beginning, we have to be responsible about how we bring our troops home.

KENNEDY: She’s also come out against a bill funding body armor for our troops that a majority of Democrats join me in supporting.

KLOBUCHAR: Of course I support body armor for our troops, I support winning this war on terror by being smart. We need to transition to Iraqi governance, we need to send the clear message that they have to take control of their own government, and that means no permanent military bases. The congressman & I differ on this. This means not saying 2010 we’re going to have the same number of troops. We need to be more accountable for the help that we’re giving Iraq.

Source: 2006 MN Senate debate, on Meet the Press Oct 15, 2006

Amy Klobuchar: Bring the troops home in a responsible manner

Q: You said, “2006 should be a year of transition in which we bring a significant number of our troops home.” This is October 2006. Is that still your position?

KLOBUCHAR: The best way that we can protect our troops is to get this policy right, and I believe that that means changing course in Iraq. Clearly, at this late date in mid-October, we can’t bring a significant number home. We have to be reasonable. I have never been one to say “Bring them all home tomorrow.” I have never subscribed to one of those mandatory dates, because I understand that, despite my opposition to the war from the beginning, that we have to be responsible about how we bring our troops home.

Q: So you’re saying now that’s probably not doable. What about a “vast majority in 2007,” which is what you said also?

KLOBUCHAR: These predictions were built on the promises and the predictions of progress from this administration, and we simply haven’t seen that. So you have to be reasonable in what you’re going to do here.

Source: 2006 MN Senate debate, on Meet the Press Oct 15, 2006

Amy Klobuchar: Iraq war has cost $300B and fomented more terrorism

KLOBUCHAR: How come you won’t even admit that you were wrong about voting for this war when we are in the situation we’re in, when we’ve spent over $300 billion, when many members of your own party have admitted that this war was not the right direction, that in fact it has fomented terrorism? We now have 16 agencies of President Bush’s administration saying that this has added more terrorism in this world?

KENNEDY: Let’s talk about what the 16 agencies said. They said that we are clearly activating terrorists in Iraq, having taken the challenge to them. But they also said we have to prevail. If we don’t prevail, it will greatly mushroom this threat, let it grow in size, and come to face our future generations. They said that if we, if we lose, that’s what will happen; if we win, we will greatly degrade what’s happening on the other side.

Source: 2006 MN Senate debate, on Meet the Press Oct 15, 2006

Mark Kennedy: Wrong on prediction of significant troops home in 2006

Q: You predicted in February 2006, “I fully expect that over the next year there will be a significant number of troops who will be returning home because of success in Iraq.” Flat wrong.

KENNEDY: I said in February that we expected troops [to return home]. We have less troops, not as much [less] as I would like; we’ve run into tougher patches.

Q: Why can’t you say you were wrong?

KENNEDY: I was wrong in the significant number, I was right in terms of the fact that there are less troops

Source: 2006 MN Senate debate, on Meet the Press Oct 15, 2006

Mark Kennedy: We were over-optimistic, but making progress in Iraq

Q: You said after your first trip to Iraq in 2003:
“On the whole, the trend [in Iraq] is very positive. Our troops face a collection of terrorists and thugs, of whom there are fewer each day.”
That’s just dead wrong.

KENNEDY: Were we potentially a bit optimistic? Possibly. And we’ve seen more challenges than we expected, no question. But if you look at what’s happened, we have trained 300,000 Iraqi troops. We have a unity government.

Q: 10 months ago you said “Progress was clear, we’re making great strides.“ Why shouldn’t voters in Minnesota say, ”Kennedy is wearing rose-colored glasses and saying, ‘Everything’s fine. We’re making progress.’“

KENNEDY: I never said everything’s fine, but we are making progress.

Q: You said, ”It’s very positive“?

KENNEDY: Each year I go back to Iraq, I see a government that is further down the path of addressing serious issues. Their military is more fully developed and taking over more and more of the responsibilities for us.

Source: 2006 MN Senate debate, on Meet the Press Oct 15, 2006

Mark Kennedy: Stands by his vote for war in Iraq; no rewinding history

Q: Knowing what you know today, if the CIA came to you and said, “Saddam Hussein does not have weapons of mass destruction,” would you still vote to go into Iraq?

KENNEDY: We acted on the information that we knew at the time.

Q: But knowing what you know today, would you still vote?

KENNEDY: You can’t really play TiVo and rewind in the real world, but let me just say this: First of all, I stand by my vote. And second of all, we just got done talking about Korea. We just got done talking about consequences for actions. Seventeen UN resolutions. If we had let one of the top sponsors of terrorists, that was paying thousands of dollars to those families that had suicide bombers, if we had let 17 UN resolutions go by, what chance would we have of North Korea or China paying any attention to the resolution just passed yesterday?

Q: So you’d still go into Iraq?

KENNEDY: I stand by my vote. We can’t rewind. We acted on the information we knew at the time and acted correctly.

Source: 2006 MN Senate debate, on Meet the Press Oct 15, 2006

Mark Kennedy: Iraq is a central front in the war on terror

KENNEDY: Ms. Klobuchar says Iraq is a distraction. I think that it is one of the central fronts in the war on terror. She has set out a specific timetable for bringing our troops home that would tell the terrorists when they can take over an oil-rich country as a sanctuary for terrorists. And I believe we ought to be bringing our troops home as soon as we can after we’re sure the terrorists can’t win.

KLOBUCHAR: I have never been one to say “Bring them all home tomorrow.” We have to be responsible about how we bring our troops home.

KENNEDY: She’s also come out against a bill funding body armor for our troops that a majority of Democrats join me in supporting. We have no higher priority than to support our troops in time of war, and we have to win this war on terror.

KLOBUCHAR: Of course I support body armor for our troops, I support winning this war on terror by being smart. We need to transition to Iraqi governance.

Source: 2006 MN Senate debate, on Meet the Press Oct 15, 2006

Mark Kennedy: No specific timetable for withdrawal from Iraq

Q: What about a timetable for withdrawal?

KENNEDY: I reject a specific timetable. At every stage along the way, we ought to say, “Is there adjustments we need to be making?’ We have been making adjustments. Ms. Klobuchar says the solution is diplomatic and political; but you can’t negotiate with people that are ruthless and glory in killing innocent women and children. We need to make sure that terrorists can’t win so that we can bring our troops home as quickly as possible.

Q: No matter how long it takes?

KENNEDY: We need to make sure that the terrorists can’t win. We cannot let Iraq became a sanctuary for terrorists.

Q: And you believe this war can be won militarily?

KENNEDY: There’s no question that we need to also prod the political forces within Iraq, as we have been. But, these are steps that need to be pushed politically, but they can’t be done if we’re saying, “We’re going to pull our troops away.”

KLOBUCHAR: This is just more of the same. We need to change course.

Source: 2006 MN Senate debate, on Meet the Press Oct 15, 2006

Mark Kennedy: We must win or terrorism will mushroom

KLOBUCHAR: How come you won’t even admit that you were wrong about voting for this war when we are in the situation we’re in, when we’ve spent over $300 billion, when many members of your own party have admitted that this war was not the right direction, that in fact it has fomented terrorism? We now have 16 agencies of President Bush’s administration saying that this has added more terrorism in this world?

KENNEDY: Let’s talk about what the 16 agencies said. They said that we are clearly activating terrorists in Iraq, having taken the challenge to them. But they also said we have to prevail. If we don’t prevail, it will greatly mushroom this threat, let it grow in size, and come to face our future generations. They said that if we, if we lose, that’s what will happen; if we win, we will greatly degrade what’s happening on the other side.

Source: 2006 MN Senate debate, on Meet the Press Oct 15, 2006

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