State of South Carolina secondary Archives: on War & Peace


Hillary Clinton: Continue anti-ISIS actions in Libya, with Europe & Arabs

Q: Is Libya an example for people to say, "See what happens when we take somebody out?" You don't know what's going to replace it; maybe we shouldn't have done it that way?

CLINTON: [After the Arab Spring revolution in 2011], we formed the first coalition between NATO and Arab nations. Arab nations actually ran a lot of the air campaign and other support systems. It made sense for us to bring our special assets to the table to help the people of Libya. [Now in 2016] they're working to try to unify the different factions inside Libya so that they can take united action against the terrorists and try to get the east and the west of the country working together. I know the United States has taken some actions against terrorists inside Libya, particularly ISIS training camps, and I support that, because I want to give the people of Libya a chance to actually form a government and realize the promise of getting rid of Gadhafi, who had so oppressed the country for more than 40 years.

Source: 2016 CNN Town Hall on eve of South Carolina primary Feb 23, 2016

Ben Carson: Replacing Mideast dictators leads to chaos, like in Iraq

Sen. Marco RUBIO: No matter what you want to say about weapons of mass destruction, Saddam Hussein was in violation of U.N. resolutions, in open violation, and the world wouldn't do anything about it, and George W. Bush enforced what the international community refused to do.

Gov. John KASICH: I don't believe the United States should involve itself in civil wars. Civil wars are not in our direct are interest. The fact is, is that we should go to war when it is our direct interest. We should not be policemen of the world, but when we go, we mean business.

CARSON: I was not particularly in favor of us going to war in Iraq, primarily because I have studied the Middle East, recognizing that those are nations that are ruled by dictators and have been for thousands of years. When you remove one of those dictators, unless you have an appropriate plan for replacing them, you're going to have chaos.

Source: 2016 CBS Republican primary debate in South Carolina Feb 13, 2016

Ben Carson: Bomb oil tankers even if it hurts the environment

Q: You have called for loosening the rules of engagement for the military, which could lead to more civilian casualties.

CARSON: In terms of the rules of engagement, I was talking about, Obama has said,we shouldn't bomb tankers coming out of refineries because there may be people in there or because the environment may be hurt. That's just asinine. You're not going to accomplish your goals without some collateral damage. You have to be able to assess what is acceptable and what is not.

Source: 2016 CBS Republican primary debate in South Carolina Feb 13, 2016

Donald Trump: We've spent $5T in the Mideast and gotten nothing

Gov. Jeb BUSH: Donald Trump wants to accommodate Russia. Russia is not taking out ISIS. They're attacking our team, the team that we've been training and the team that we've been supporting. It is absolutely ludicrous to suggest that Russia could be a positive partner in this. I would restore the military; the sequester needs to be reversed.

Q [to Trump]: You said that you could get along very well with Vladimir Putin. You did say let Russia take care of ISIS.

TRUMP: Jeb is so wrong. You fight ISIS first. You have to knock 'em out. You decide what to do after, you can't fight two wars at one time. If you listen to him, that's why we've been in the Middle East for 15 years, and we haven't won anything. We've spent $5 trillion dollars in the Middle East with thinking like that. We've spent $5 trillion dollars; we have to rebuild our country. We have to rebuild our infrastructure. you listen to that you're going to be there for another 15 years. You'll end up with world war three.

Source: 2016 CBS Republican primary debate in South Carolina Feb 13, 2016

Jeb Bush: Policy of containment against ISIS just doesn't work

TRUMP: We're supporting troops [in Syria against ISIS] that we don't even know who they are.

BUSH: The lack of leadership in this country by Barack Obama, John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, thinking that the policy of containment with ISIS works. It's a complete disaster. They're not attempting to take out ISIS. They're attacking the troops that we're supporting. We need to create a Sunni-led coalition on the ground with our special operators to destroy ISIS. You can't do that with Assad in power.

Source: 2016 CBS Republican primary debate in South Carolina Feb 13, 2016

John Kasich: How to deal with Russia on Ukraine: Punch 'em in the nose

Q: Russia is being credited with bombing U.S.-backed rebels on behalf of Assad in Syria. They've moved into eastern Ukraine. You've said you want to punch them in the nose. What are you going to do?

KASICH: First of all -- yes. We have to make it clear to Russia what we expect. We don't have to declare an enemy or threaten, but we need to make clear what we expect. Number one is we will arm the folks in Ukraine who are fighting for their freedom. Secondly, an attack on NATO is an attack on us.

TRUMP: We're going to have to learn who our allies are [against ISIS]. We have allies, we have no idea who they are in Syria. Do we want to stay that route, or do we want to go and make something with Russia?

BUSH: The very basic fact is that Vladimir Putin is not going to be an ally of the United States. The whole world knows this. It's a simple basic fact.

Source: 2016 CBS Republican primary debate in South Carolina Feb 13, 2016

John Kasich: If there weren't WMDs in Iraq, we shouldn't have gone

RUBIO: I thank God it was George W. Bush in the White House on 9/11 and not Al Gore. I think you can look back in hindsight and say a couple of things, but he kept us safe. Not only did he keep us safe, but no matter what you want to say about weapons of mass destruction, Saddam Hussein was in violation of U.N. resolutions, in open violation, and the world wouldn't do anything about it, and George W. Bush enforced what the international community refused to do.

KASICH: We thought there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Colin Powell, who is one of the most distinguished generals in modern times said there were weapons there. The fact is we got ourselves in the middle of a civil war. The borders of that country were drawn after World War I by Westerners that didn't understand what was happening there. The tragedy of it is that we're still embroiled. If there weren't weapons of mass destruction we should never have gone.

Source: 2016 CBS Republican primary debate in South Carolina Feb 13, 2016

Ted Cruz: Overwhelming air power against ISIS, & arm the Kurds

CRUZ: When it comes to ISIS, we've got to have a focused objective. We need overwhelming air power, we need to arm the Kurds. We have Kurds in Iraq and Syria. They are fighting ISIS right now. They are winning victories right now. The Obama administration refuses to arm the Kurds. We ought to be arming them and letting them fight.
Source: 2016 CBS Republican primary debate in South Carolina Feb 13, 2016

Lindsey Graham: More intervention in Iraq avoids an American city in flames

Graham said this week that if America didn't step up its military intervention in Iraq--a nation that U.S. troops occupied for eight years beginning in 2003--he envisioned "an American city in flames." This isn't the first time Graham has made such statements. Last year, he demanded an invasion of Syria--claiming that Iran would nuke the Port of Charleston if American troops didn't intervene.

[His opponent Thomas] Ravenel says, "Stop fearmongering using other people's sound bites--and other people's blood and treasure--and give us some hard numbers," Ravenel said. "Tell us exactly how much is it going to cost to mold Iraq into the country you want it to be? Trillions of dollars and thousands of lives have already been lost there in the name of 'nation-building'--yet the situation is worse than it's ever been."

President Barack Obama launched so-called "humanitarian" airstrikes in northern Iraq last week.

Source: FITS News on 2014 South Carolina Senate race Aug 11, 2014

Thomas Ravenel: Intervention in Iraq based on same nonsense as in past

Ravenel blasted Lindsey Graham for "warmongering and fearmongering" in regard to the ongoing US military intervention in Iraq. "John McCain spouted the same nonsense in 2008," Ravenel said. "Nobody bought it then, and nobody's buying it now."

Graham said this week that if America didn't step up its military intervention in Iraq, he envisioned "an American city in flames."

Ravenel invoked Syria in pointing out the hypocrisy of Graham's calls for additional military strikes against ISIS. "I'm confused by Senator Graham's statements," Ravenel said. "Didn't his buddy John McCain recently pose with ISIS fighters that our government supported in Syria? How exactly does he square that? Why would we support ISIS in one country yet bomb it in another?"

Ravenel has challenged McCain to debate him on foreign policy since Graham is "too afraid" to appear in a series of 11 televised town hall debates proposed by Ravenel. McCain, like Graham, has not responded to the challenge.

Source: FITS News on 2014 South Carolina Senate race Aug 11, 2014

Thomas Ravenel: U.S. military is over-involved overseas

Ravenel cautioned the U.S. military is over-involved overseas and called for changes to foreign policy that put the military's focus on national defense, not intervention in other countries' conflicts or humanitarian missions, he said. He did not explain how that kind of policy would affect local installations. "One of the goals of terrorists is to induce the victim state to overreact," Ravenel said. "Al-Qaida basically induced two conventional wars that cost $4 trillion to $6 trillion."
Source: The Island Packet on 2014 South Carolina Senate race Jul 21, 2014

Thomas Ravenel: Republicans are pro-invading this or that country

With nothing left to lose and no one else to fear offending, Ravenel is ready to unload on the Republican Party, incumbent politicians, the ballooning federal debt, and what he sees as a dangerous and unprecedented expansion of the federal government into the lives of Americans.

"As a Republican, if you're not anti-gay, anti-immigrant, pro-war and pro-invading this or that country, you get the cold shoulder," he said from his Mt. Pleasant, S.C. real estate office. "At some point you rationalize certain viewpoints, cognitive dissonance notwithstanding, and you adopt that platform. And the Democrats do the same thing on their side."

He also speaks of the overarching need for Americans to reevaluate their relationship with their government, "We need to ask not what your government can do for you, but what you can do for yourself and where necessary, what you can do for others."

Source: TheDailyBeast blog on 2014 South Carolina Senate race Jul 4, 2014

Lindsey Graham: Obama "screams loudly & carries no stick," in Russia & Syria

Graham and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) co-authored an op-ed on CNN saying Obama's "scream loudly and carry no stick" foreign policy had failed to deter Russia: "It's no wonder Putin has concluded that he's unlikely to face serious consequences for his imperial adventure. The U.S. did nothing when he invaded Georgia in 2008. More recently, we did nothing after the Syrian regime violated the 'red line' Obama had established regarding the use of chemical weapons there," they wrote.

Graham also released a new ad earlier this week touting his opposition to Obama on foreign policy: "He stands up for America and our troops, challenging the president, asking the tough questions on Iran, Benghazi and radical Islam," the ad's narrator says. "In a dangerous world where the only guarantee of peace is strength, Lindsey Graham stands strong."

Source: The Hill AdWatch on 2014 South Carolina Senate race Mar 23, 2014

Newt Gingrich: Obama "screams loudly & carries no stick," in Russia & Syria

Sen Graham (R-SC) and Newt Gingrich co-authored an op-ed on CNN saying Obama's "scream loudly and carry no stick" foreign policy had failed to deter Russia: "It's no wonder Putin has concluded that he's unlikely to face serious consequences for his imperial adventure. The U.S. did nothing when he invaded Georgia in 2008. More recently, we did nothing after the Syrian regime violated the 'red line' Obama had established regarding the use of chemical weapons there," they wrote.

Source: The Hill blog on 2014 South Carolina Senate race Mar 23, 2014

Jay Stamper: Don't go on "war footing" against Russia over Ukraine

[In response to Russian actions in Ukraine], Sen. Lindsey Graham said the US should help Poland and the Czech Republic, and support Georgia's bid to become a member of NATO. I would like to create a democratic noose around Putin's Russia," said Graham.

Obama warned of "costs" if Russia moved into Ukraine, and was on the phone Saturday with Putin, telling him to pull out. Obama called Putin's actions a "clear violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity," according to a White House statement. It was the first conversation between Obama and Putin since the crisis escalated, and the exchange was a testy one, White House officials said.

Source: Greenville News on 2014 South Carolina Senate race Mar 3, 2014

Lindsey Graham: Support the Syrian rebels against Assad & Iran

Senator Graham is a vocal advocate for the rebels in Syria and wants the US to support the rebel forces to remove Syrian dictator Assad from power. "We need to be backing that Syrian that could replace Assad and live at peace with us." Graham insists. The Senator believes the US has little choice but to take action against Assad following the President's "red line" remark. Failing to do so will inevitably "diminish us."

When asked about the al Qaeda operatives disguised within the opposition, Graham stated, "The Syrian people started this revolution through peaceful demonstrations. These radical Islamists are hijacking this revolution." Senator Graham recognizes the danger posed by the extremists. In fact, this acknowledgment drives his contention that the US must involve itself in the Syrian civil war. "The Iranians are backing Assad for a reason." He says, "We need to be backing people who would replace Assad who are not radical Islamists and that's most Syrians"

Source: Edgefield Advertiser on 2014 South Carolina Senate race Oct 22, 2013

Lee Bright: Intervention in Syria would help the Muslim Brotherhood

Nancy Mace has said intervention in Syria would just bolster the opposition that's dominated by al-Qaida. "I will stand with the people of South Carolina against Obama's failed leadership and against military action in Syria," she said.

State Sen. Lee Bright, known for his inflammatory claims and bombastic bravado, went even further. "John McCain and Lindsey Graham seem willing to go to the ends of the earth to help the Muslim Brotherhood," he zapped.

Graham never engaged his foes directly, but his comments encapsulated the arduous sell to the public. "I don't want another Iraq or Afghanistan war because that's just not what we need to do," he said, before outlining his support for a contained military strike designed to degrade Syria's ability to deliver chemical weapons in the future and assist those who want to overthrow President Bashar Assad.

Source: US News & World Report on 2014 South Carolina Senate race Sep 5, 2013

Lindsey Graham: Intervention in Syria to degrade Assad's chemical weapons

[In response to Graham's support of intervention in Syria, his opponent] Nancy Mace has said intervention in Syria would just bolster the opposition that's dominated by al-Qaida. State Sen. Lee Bright said, "Lindsey Graham seem willing to go to the ends of the earth to help the Muslim Brotherhood."

Graham never engaged his foes directly, but his comments encapsulated the arduous sell to the public. "I don't want another Iraq or Afghanistan war because that's just not what we need to do," he said, before outlining his support for a contained military strike designed to degrade Syria's ability to deliver chemical weapons in the future and assist those who want to overthrow President Bashar Assad.

Facing that strain of skepticism, Graham wound up his case on Syria intervention by raising the stakes considerably. He painted a frightening picture of cascading world events that would reverberate far beyond the borders of a civil war in one Middle Eastern country.

Source: US News & World Report on 2014 South Carolina Senate race Sep 5, 2013

Lindsey Graham: Getting Syria wrong leads to Iranian nukes & war with Israel

Graham wound up his case on Syria intervention by raising the stakes considerably. He painted a frightening picture of cascading world events that would reverberate far beyond the borders of a civil war in one Middle Eastern country. If the US doesn't deal with Syria, Graham promised Iran would acquire a nuclear weapon by 2014, the King of Jordan would be deposed and Israel would start preparing to protect itself. "I believe that if we get Syria wrong, within six months--and you can quote me on this," Graham said, pausing for dramatic effect. "There will be a war between Iran and Israel over their nuclear program." But it wouldn't even end there, Graham surmised. Undoubtedly, he said ominously, the Iranians would share its nuclear technology with US enemies. "My fear is that it won't come to America on top of a missile, it'll come in the belly of a ship in the Charleston or New York harbor," he said.
Source: US News & World Report on 2014 South Carolina Senate race Sep 5, 2013

Nancy Mace: Intervention in Syria would bolster al-Qaida

Nancy Mace has said intervention in Syria would just bolster the opposition that's dominated by al-Qaida. "I will stand with the people of South Carolina against Obama's failed leadership and against military action in Syria," she said.

State Sen. Lee Bright, known for his inflammatory claims and bombastic bravado, went even further. "John McCain and Lindsey Graham seem willing to go to the ends of the earth to help the Muslim Brotherhood," he zapped.

Graham never engaged his foes directly, but his comments encapsulated the arduous sell to the public. "I don't want another Iraq or Afghanistan war because that's just not what we need to do," he said, before outlining his support for a contained military strike designed to degrade Syria's ability to deliver chemical weapons in the future and assist those who want to overthrow President Bashar Assad.

Source: US News & World Report on 2014 South Carolina Senate race Sep 5, 2013

Lindsey Graham: Syria: Assad must go, and small arms won't do it

Q: What is the goal in Syria?

GRAHAM: I really don't know [Obama's goal]. But the goal should be to basically make sure Assad leaves. Last year, Assad was isolated; he was hanging by a thread. This year, he's entrenched with Hezbollah, Iran, and Russia. I think our goal should be in the short term is to balance the military power and providing small arms won't do it. So we need to create a no-fly zone to neutralize the Assad's air power.

Q: So you're saying [about Obama's plan] this is too late, this is too little?

GRAHAM: Right. What does it mean if they lose? Syria becomes a powder keg for the region. There's 60,000 Syrian children in Jordan. The kingdom is under siege in terms of refugees. Hezbollah is all over Syria, so Lebanon's even more unstable. Our policies are not working. And AK-47s will not neutralize the advantage that Assad has over the rebels. We need to do more.

Q: So only by taking out Assad can we have peace in this civil war?

GRAHAM: Assad must go.

Source: Meet the Press 2013 on 2014 South Carolina Senate race Jun 16, 2013

Lindsey Graham: Get involved in Syria to protect against al Qaeda and Iran

Q: Are you satisfied with the approach the administration is taking about chemical weapons in Syria?

GRAHAM: No, I haven't been satisfied for a long time. Four things are going to happen if we don't change course in Syria

  1. It's going to become a failed state by the end of the year. It's going to be an al Qaeda safe haven.
  2. The chemical weapons are going to be compromised and fall into the wrong hands.
  3. I worry about the king of Jordan. He's had 500,000 refugees flood his country from Syria. His kingdom could fall.
  4. If we keep this hands-off approach to Syria, we're going to have a war with Iran because Iran's going to take our inaction in Syria as meaning we're not serious about their nuclear weapons program. We need to get involved.
Q: A no-fly zone could be pretty dangerous for the US....

GRAHAM: There's nothing you can do in Syria without risk, but the greatest risk is a failed state with chemical weapons falling in the hands of radical Islamists.

Source: CBS Face the Nation 2013 on 2014 South Carolina Senate race Apr 28, 2013

Lindsey Graham: Slow Afghan withdrawal, with 15,000 US troops left behind

Q: The latest assessment is that only one of 23 Afghan brigades in the army can actually operate without US support.

GRAHAM: Right.

Q: What speed should the US withdraw the 66,000 remaining troops in Afghanistan?

GRAHAM: I think it should be done based on the best military advice our commanders can give.

Q: Apparently Gen. Allen wants them to stay until the end of next year.

GRAHAM: I think that's a good decision. I want to withdraw our forces in a reasoned way. I would love to be able to support Obama's winding down Afghanistan. I would love to be able to say you've done a good job here. Don't withdraw too quick. Leave them through next fall and withdraw in an organized manner, but announce soon, Mr. President, that we're not leaving Afghanistan. we're going to have a robust military force left behind, as an insurance policy against the Taliban and al Qaeda.

Q: Give me a number.

GRAHAM: I think somewhere in the 15,000 to 20,000 range, depending on what the military commanders say

Source: CNN SOTU 2013 interview on 2014 South Carolina Senate race Jan 6, 2013

Herman Cain: Economic sanctions on Iran, but no military

Q: What would you do to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon?

Cain: The first thing that I would do is to assist the opposition movement in Iran, that's trying to overthrow the regime. Our enemies are not the people of Iran, it's the regime. And a regime change is what they are trying to achieve. Secondly, we need to put economic pressure on Iran, and work to increase sanctions on Iran. The only we can stop them is through economic means.

Q: In assisting the opposition, would you entertain military assistance?

Cain: I would not entertain military opposition. I'm talking about to help the opposition movement within the country. And then there's one other thing that we could do. We could deploy our ballistic missile defense, & capable war ships strategically in that part of the world. We have the biggest fleet of those warships in the world. And we could use them strategically in the event that they were able to fire a ballistic missile.

Source: 2011 debate in South Carolina on Foreign Policy Nov 12, 2011

Mitt Romney: If we reelect Barack Obama, Iran will have a nuclear weapon

Q: Would it be worth going to war to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon?

Romney: This is Pres. Obama's greatest failing, from a foreign policy standpoint, which is he recognized the gravest threat that America faced was a nuclear Iran and he did not do what was necessary to get Iran to be dissuaded from their nuclear folly. What he should have done is speak out when dissidents took the streets and say, "America is with you." And work on a covert basis to encourage the dissidents. #2, he should have put in place crippling sanctions against Iran. Finally, the president should have built credible threat of military action, and made it very clear that the US is willing, in the final analysis, if necessary, to take military action to keep Iran from having a nuclear weapon. Look, one thing you can know: if we reelect Barack Obama, Iran will have a nuclear weapon. And if we elect Mitt Romney, if you'd like me as the next president, they will not have a nuclear weapon.

Source: 2011 debate in South Carolina on Foreign Policy Nov 12, 2011

Mitt Romney: Crippling sanctions against Iran, & military, to stop nukes

Q: How do you prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon? Is it worth going to war to prevent that?

Romney: Well, it's worth putting in place crippling sanctions. It's worth working with the insurgents in the company to encourage regime change in the country. And if all else fails, if after all of the work we've done, there's nothing else we can do beside take military action, then of course you take military action. It is unacceptable for Iran to have a nuclear weapon. We will not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon. This term "unacceptable" has been applied by several presidents over history, and our current president has made it very clear that he's not willing to do those things necessary to dissuade Iran from their nuclear folly. I will take a different course. I will make sure that the sanctions, diplomatic pressure, economic pressure, and support of insurgents within the country help them become dissuaded to get away from their nuclear ambition. And finally, have a military presence there.

Source: 2011 debate in South Carolina on Foreign Policy Nov 12, 2011

Newt Gingrich: Covert operations & military, if needed, to stop Iran nukes

Q: How do you prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon?

Gingrich: There are a number of ways to be smart about Iran and relatively few ways to be dumb. And the Obama administration skipped all the ways to be smart.

Q: Could you tell us the smart ways?

Gingrich: Sure. First of all, as maximum covert operations, to block and disrupt the Iranian program, including taking out their scientists, including breaking up their systems. All of it covertly, all of it deniable. Second, maximum coordination with the Israelis, in a way which allows them to maximize their impact in Iran. Third, absolute strategic program comparable to what President Reagan, Pope John Paul II, and Margaret Thatcher did in the Soviet Union, of every possible aspect short of war of breaking the regime and bringing it down. And if in the end, despite all of those things, the dictatorship persists, you have to take whatever steps are necessary to break its capacity to have a nuclear weapon.

Source: 2011 debate in South Carolina on Foreign Policy Nov 12, 2011

Rick Perry: Shut down the Iranian Central Bank to stop nukes

Q: [to Romney]: Would it be worth going to war to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon?

Romney: The president should have built credible threat of military action, and made it very clear that the US is willing, in the final analysis, if necessary, to take military action to keep Iran from having a nuclear weapon.

Paul: No, it isn't worthwhile. I'm afraid what's going on right now is similar to the war propaganda that went on against Iraq.

Perry: The issue that has not been raised is that this country can sanction the Iranian Central Bank right now and shut down that country's economy. And that's what this president needs to do and the American people need to stand up and force him to make that stand today.

Source: 2011 debate in South Carolina on Foreign Policy Nov 12, 2011

Rick Perry: Complete the mission in Afghanistan, with no timetable

Q: What's your appraisal of the combat situation in Afghanistan today?

Perry: The mission must be completed there. The idea that we will have wasted our treasure and the lives of young Americans to not secure Afghanistan is not appropriate. But the idea that we would give a timetable to our enemy is irresponsible from a military standpoint, it's irresponsible from the lives of our young men and women. And it is irresponsible leadership of this president to give a timetable to pull out of any country that we're in conflict with.

Q: What's your appraisal of the combat situation?

Perry: I think we're making progress there. The issue is training up the Afghan security forces so that we're comfortable that they can protect that citizenry and continue to take the war to the terrorists that are using Afghanistan--and Pakistan, I might add. Our military is doing the best job that they can, considering this administration is telegraphing to the enemy when we're going to pull out.

Source: 2011 debate in South Carolina on Foreign Policy Nov 12, 2011

Rick Santorum: Afghanistan victory means Taliban is neutered, not wiped out

Q: Would you define victory in Afghanistan?

Santorum: Victory against the Taliban in Afghanistan is that the Taliban is a neutered force. They are no longer a security threat to the Afghan people or to our country. That would be victory. It doesn't mean wipe them out, we can't wipe them out, but they're no longer a security threat.

Source: 2011 debate in South Carolina on Foreign Policy Nov 12, 2011

Rick Santorum: Work with Israel to take out Iranian nukes by force

Gingrich [to Santorum]: [To avoid Iran gaining a nuclear weapon, we need] first, maximum covert operations, to block and disrupt the Iranian program, including taking out their scientists, including breaking up their systems. Second, maximum coordination with the Israelis, in a way which allows them to maximize their impact in Iran. And if in the end, despite all of those things, the dictatorship persists, you have to take whatever steps are necessary to break its capacity to have a nuclear weapon.

Santorum: I disagree with Newt: more sanctions and providing more support for the pro-democracy movement isn't going to be enough. We should be working with Israel right now to do what they did in Syria, what they did in Iraq, which is take out that nuclear capability before the next explosion we hear in Iran is a nuclear one and then the world changes.

Source: 2011 debate in South Carolina on Foreign Policy Nov 12, 2011

Ron Paul: No war propaganda against Iran; learn from Iraq

Q: How do you prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon? Is it worth going to war to prevent that?

Romney: If there's nothing else we can do beside take military action, then of course you take military action.

Paul: No, it isn't worthwhile. The only way you would do that is, you would have to go through Congress. We as commander in chief aren't making the decision to go to war. You know, the old-fashioned way, the Constitution, you go to the Congress and find out if our national security is threatened. And I'm afraid what's going on right now is similar to the war propaganda that went on against Iraq. They didn't have weapons of mass destruction. And it was orchestrated and it was, to me, a tragedy of what's happened these last ten years, the death and destruction, $4 trillion in debt. So no, it's not worthwhile going to war. If you do, you get a declaration of war and you fight it and you win it and get it over with.

Source: 2011 debate in South Carolina on Foreign Policy Nov 12, 2011

Gary Johnson: I opposed the Iraq War from the beginning

I was opposed to us going into Iraq from the beginning, I really thought that there was no threat to our national security, I really thought that if we went into Iraq we would find ourselves in a civil war to which there would be no end and I thought we had the military surveillance capability to see Iraq rollout any weapons of mass destruction and if they would have done that, we could have gone in and dealt with that. Afghanistan originally, I was completely supportive of that.
Source: 2011 GOP primary debate in South Carolina May 5, 2011

Gary Johnson: No Afghan timetable; start tomorrow & finish in a few months

Q: You have said you are an advocate of getting out of Afghanistan tomorrow. You've also said that you'd support a democratic plan to establish a timetable with an end date for withdrawal of US troops in Afghanistan. Are you worried at all about providing a specific end date and that possibly would enable the Taliban to move in the day after the US troops left?

JOHNSON: Well, first of all, I'm not in favor of a timetable. I believe that that timetable should be tomorrow and I realize that tomorrow may involve several months. I was opposed to us going into Iraq from the beginning. Afghanistan originally, I was completely supportive of that, we were attacked, we attacked back, that's what our military is for and after six months, I think we pretty effectively taken care of Al Qaeda.

But that was 10 years ago, we're building roads, schools, bridges and highways in Iraq and Afghanistan and we're borrowing 43 cents out of every dollar to do that. In my opinion, this is crazy.

Source: 2011 GOP primary debate in South Carolina May 5, 2011

Herman Cain: No clear strategy in either Libya or Syria

Q: Pres. Obama justified his intervention in Libya saying he "refused to wait for the images of slaughter and mass graves before taking action." Yet in Syria, the President has not acted despite reports of hundreds of protestors killed. Which action was right?

A: Neither, for the following reason. We should start with: What's the objective? Second: How does it relate to the interests of the USA? Third: is there a plan for victory, and how do we you define that? In both of those instances, those things are not clear. We need a real, clear national security strategy with every nation, friend or foe. We obviously didn't have that because you can see in those two examples, inconsistencies in the President's decisions and in his actions. Even in Libya, whe the civil strife first started, he was supporting the [rebel] leader. Then he changed; so that meant that we didn't have a clear strategy or a very clear definition what we were going to do if the situation escalated, which is exactly what it has done.

Source: 2011 GOP primary debate in South Carolina May 5, 2011

Duncan Hunter: Iraqi forces have stopped running and started fighting

Q: You talk about standing up the Iraqi military and that at some point soon they may be able to replace some American troops. The Bush administration has been saying the same thing for four years. Why should we believe that this replacement is going to start happening any time soon?

A: Because the Iraqi forces that were running a couple of years ago are standing and fighting. We’ve got to get all 129 Iraqi battalions into military operations--most of them have been in there by now.

Source: 2007 Republican Debate in South Carolina May 15, 2007

Jim Gilmore: Mandatory sanctions against nuclear Iran & possible strike

Q: Will you launch a pre-emptive strike against Iran if they were close to achieving a nuclear weapon?

A: I think Iran is one of the real emerging problems. And you have to look at this Middle East issue beyond just the Iraq issue. You have to look at all the complexities of Israel & Palestine & Iran & Iraq and the entire issue of the Middle East. With respect to Iran, I think that there is no choice at this point other than to join up with people across the world in order to put on serious mandatory sanctions against Iran and to do everything that is going to be necessary to try to bring them to the notion that it is better for them to give up this sort of plan rather than to proceed the way we are. We have to ask ourselves: Are we prepared to have Iran have a nuclear weapon? [What about implications for] Saudi Arabia & Egypt? The American people have to at some point come to a real serious conclusion about the tough decision that has to be made when we may have to in fact strike.

Source: 2007 Republican Debate in South Carolina May 15, 2007

John McCain: Willing to be last man standing for US involvement in Iraq

Q: You say that you are willing to be the last man standing for US involvement in Iraq. But the Iraqi government has failed to meet one political benchmark after another. Why should Americans continue to fight and die?

A: We have to continue because it’s not just the Iraqi vital national security interests that are at stake here, it’s America’s vital national security interests. If we fail in Iraq, we will see Iraq become a center for al Qaeda, chaos, genocide in the region, & they’ll follow us home

Source: 2007 Republican Debate in South Carolina May 15, 2007

Mitt Romney: Iraq part of global jihadist effort to bring down the West

Q: Can you foresee any circumstances under which you would pull out of Iraq without leaving behind a stable political and security situation?

A: Well, I’m certainly not going to project failure, and those kind of circumstances that you would suggest would be projecting failure.

It is critical for us to remember that Iraq has to be considered in the context of what’s happening in the Middle East and throughout the world. There is a global jihadist effort. Violent, radical jihadists want to replace all the governments of the moderate Islamic states, replace them with a caliphate. And to do that, they also want to bring down the West, in particular us.

They’ve come together as Shi’a & Sunni & Hezbollah & Hamas & the Muslim Brotherhood & al Qaeda with that intent. We have to recognize that what we’re doing in Iraq has enormous impact on what’s going to happen in this global struggle. And so it’s critical for us to provide the stability to allow a central government to survive and thrive.

Source: 2007 Republican Debate in South Carolina May 15, 2007

Ron Paul: Intervention abroad incites hatred & attacks like 9/11

Q [to Paul]: Should the 9/11 attacks have changed our non-interventionist policies?

PAUL: No. [Abandoning our tradition of] non-intervention was a major contributing factor. Have you ever read the reasons they attacked us? They attack us because we’ve been over there; we’ve been bombing Iraq for 10 years.

Q: Are you suggesting we invited the 9/11 attack?

PAUL: I’m suggesting that we listen to the people who attacked us and the reason they did it.

GIULIANI: That’s an extraordinary statement, that we invited the attack because we were attacking Iraq. I don’t think I’ve heard that before, and I’ve heard some pretty absurd explanations for September 11th. And I would ask the congressman to withdraw that comment and tell us that he didn’t really mean that.

PAUL: If we think that we can do what we want around the world and not incite hatred, then we have a problem. They don’t come here to attack us because we’re rich and we’re free. They come and they attack us because we’re over there.

Source: [X-ref Giuliani] 2007 Republican Debate in South Carolina May 15, 2007

Ron Paul: We should have declared war in Iraq, or not gone in at all

Q: You’re one of 6 House Republicans in 2002 who voted against authorizing Pres. Bush to use force in Iraq.

A: Right.

Q: Now you say we should pull our troops out?

A: In 2002, I offered an amendment to declare war, up or down. Nobody voted for the war. And my argument there was, if we want to go to war, the Congress should declare it. We don’t go to war like we did in Vietnam and Korea, because the wars never end. And I argued the case and made the point that it would be a quagmire if we go in.

Source: 2007 Republican Debate in South Carolina May 15, 2007

Ron Paul: Ronald Reagan had the courage to turn tail & run in Lebanon

Ronald Reagan in 1983 sent Marines into Lebanon, and he said he would never turn tail and run. A few months later, the Marines were killed, 241 were killed, and the Marines were taken out. And Reagan addressed this subject in his memoirs. And he says, “I said I would never turn tail and run.” He says, “But I never realized the irrationality of Middle Eastern politics,” and he changed his policy there. We need the courage of a Ronald Reagan.
Source: 2007 Republican Debate in South Carolina May 15, 2007

Ron Paul: When we go to war carelessly, the wars don’t end

Q [to Paul]: You are the only man on the stage who opposes the war in Iraq. Are you out of step with your party? Or is your party out of step with the rest of the world?

PAUL: I think the party has lost its way, because the conservative wing of the Republican Party always advocated a noninterventionist foreign policy. There’s a strong tradition of being anti-war in the Republican party. It is the constitutional position. It is the advice of the Founders to follow a non-interventionist foreign policy, and stay out of entangling alliances, be friends with countries, negotiate and talk with them and trade with them. Just think of the tremendous improvement in relationships with Vietnam. We lost 60,000 men [during the Vietnam war]. We came home in defeat. Now we go over there and invest in Vietnam. So there’s a lot of merit to the advice of the Founders and following the Constitution. And my argument is that we shouldn’t go to war so carelessly. When we do, the wars don’t end.

Source: 2007 Republican Debate in South Carolina May 15, 2007

Rudy Giuliani: Democrat timetable for retreat “fundamentally irresponsible”

Q: You said that congressional Republicans who say they must see progress by September are “fundamentally irresponsible,” and they are giving a timetable for retreat to our enemies.

GIULIANI: I was talking about the timetable for retreat that the Democrats passed, in which they did something I’ve never heard of in the history of war, which is to give your enemy a schedule of how a retreating army is going to retreat. That was highly irresponsible. What the Republicans suggested isn’t the right approach either.

Q: Rep. Tancredo, you are one of those congressional Republicans who talks about disengaging from Iraq. You have talked about November as a timeframe for beginning to pull some of our troops back from the frontlines.

TANCREDO: We are going to have troops in Iraq or in the region for a long time. The question is, will the troops be a constabulary force, which I do not believe they should be? Will they be a supporting force for the Iraqi government, which I believe they should be?

Source: 2007 Republican Debate in South Carolina May 15, 2007

Rudy Giuliani: We did not invite the 9/11 attack by attacking Iraq

Q [to Paul]: Should the 9/11 attacks have changed our non-interventionist policies?

PAUL: No. [Abandoning our tradition of] non-intervention was a major contributing factor. Have you ever read the reasons they attacked us? They attack us because we’ve been over there; we’ve been bombing Iraq for 10 years.

Q: Are you suggesting we invited the 9/11 attack?

PAUL: I’m suggesting that we listen to the people who attacked us and the reason they did it.

GIULIANI: That’s an extraordinary statement, that we invited the attack because we were attacking Iraq. I don’t think I’ve heard that before, and I’ve heard some pretty absurd explanations for September 11th. And I would ask the congressman to withdraw that comment and tell us that he didn’t really mean that.

PAUL: If we think that we can do what we want around the world and not incite hatred, then we have a problem. They don’t come here to attack us because we’re rich and we’re free. They come and they attack us because we’re over there.

Source: 2007 Republican Debate in South Carolina May 15, 2007

Rudy Giuliani: FactCheck: Did say GOP is fundamentally irresponsible on war

Giuliani claimed questioner Chris Wallace had misquoted him as saying some moderate Republicans were being “fundamentally irresponsible” for demanding progress in Iraq by September. But what Giuliani actually said, in his May 13 interview on “Fox News Sunday,” was this:
Wallace (May 13): Now you hear some Republicans saying September. We’ve got to know by then. So, what would you say to those people?

Giuliani: Anybody proposing giving the enemy a timetable of our retreat is proposing something that is fundamentally irresponsible.

The record is clear: Giuliani’s use of the phrase “fundamentally irresponsible” was in response to a question about Republicans, not Democrats. He also criticized Democrats for proposing a ‘timetable for retreat“ in other portions of the May 13 interview, but not here.
Source: FactCheck on 2007 Republican Debate in South Carolina May 15, 2007

Sam Brownback: We have not lost war; we can win by pulling together

Q: You opposed the troop surge, saying you favored the Iraq Study Group, which has a goal of getting all US combat forces out by March 2008. You said that you wanted to find a way for Republicans and Democrats to work together. Is that any way to fight and win a war, to look for a consensus among the politicians in Washington?

A: We’ve got to pull together here to win over there, and I think it is a way for us to pull forward. We’ve got far too many divisions in this government here. We will win if we can pull together, and we can win the war. It’s difficult for us to win with one party for the war and one party against the war.

I condemn the statements of Harry Reid, the majority leader of the Senate, saying we’ve already lost. We haven’t lost. That’s his declaration, but we’ve got to pull people together here. And when we can do that, and when we do that, we will win.

Source: 2007 Republican Debate in South Carolina May 15, 2007

Tom Tancredo: Convert from constabulary force to supporting force

Q: You said that congressional Republicans who say they must see progress by September are “fundamentally irresponsible,” and they are giving a timetable for retreat to our enemies.

GIULIANI: I was talking about the timetable for retreat that the Democrats passed, in which they did something I’ve never heard of in the history of war, which is to give your enemy a schedule of how a retreating army is going to retreat. That was highly irresponsible. What the Republicans suggested isn’t the right approach either.

Q: Rep. Tancredo, you are one of those congressional Republicans who talks about disengaging from Iraq. You have talked about November as a timeframe for beginning to pull some of our troops back from the frontlines.

TANCREDO: We are going to have troops in Iraq or in the region for a long time. The question is, will the troops be a constabulary force, which I do not believe they should be? Will they be a supporting force for the Iraqi government, which I believe they should be?

Source: [X-ref Giuliani] 2007 Republican Debate in South Carolina May 15, 2007

Tom Tancredo: Opposed the troop surge, but supports the troops

Q: You have talked about November as a timeframe for beginning to pull some of our troops back from the frontlines, & you opposed the troop surge?

A: The president said, “I am establishing a benchmark of November for the Iraqi government to be in control of all 18 provinces of Iraq.” I believe that that is a good benchmark to set. I will support him in that effort, & I will support our troops while they are in the field in every single way I can. That is my responsibility as a member of Congress.

Source: 2007 Republican Debate in South Carolina May 15, 2007

Tom Tancredo: Muslims attack us because it’s a dictate of their religion

Q [to Paul]: Should the 9/11 attacks have changed our non-interventionist policies?

PAUL: No. [Abandoning our tradition of] non-intervention was a major contributing factor. They attack us because we’ve been over there; we’ve been bombing Iraq for 10 years.

TANCREDO: Whether Israel existed or didn’t, whether or not we were in the Iraq war or not, they would be trying to kill us because it’s a dictate of their religion, at least a part of it, and we have to defend ourselves.

Source: 2007 Republican Debate in South Carolina May 15, 2007

Tommy Thompson: Split oil revenue 1/3 federal; 1/3 local; 1/3 to people

Q: In the last debate, you said that you would “Require the Maliki government to vote on whether or not they want us to continue to stay in Iraq,” and “Require the 18 provinces to elect governments and that you would split oil revenues.” This is a freely elected government--how can you require them to do anything?

A: It’s time for the al-Maliki government to vote whether or not they want us to stay in their country or go home. Secondly, if in fact they do allow the 18 territories, which, geographically defined, allow them to elect their leaders like we elect the 50 governors in the US, they will feel that they have a stake in their government. And if you split the oil revenues--one-third to the federal government, one-third to the territories, and one-third to every man, woman and child--then they’ll start using that money for peace and for building businesses and making sure they build their country. That’s why my plan will work, and it will win the peace in Iraq.

Source: 2007 Republican Debate in South Carolina May 15, 2007

Barack Obama: Iraq has distracted us from Taliban in Afghanistan

Afghanistan is an area where we should be focusing. NATO has made real contributions there. Unfortunately, because of the distraction of Iraq, we have not finished the job in terms of making certain that we are driving back the Taliban, stabilizing the Karzai government, capturing bin Laden and making sure that we’ve rooted out terrorism in that region.
Source: 2007 South Carolina Democratic primary debate, on MSNBC Apr 26, 2007

Barack Obama: War in Iraq is “dumb” but troops still need equipment

Q: You have called this war in Iraq “dumb.” How do you square that position with those who have sacrificed so much? And why have you voted for appropriations for it in the past?

A: I am proud that I opposed this war from the start, because I thought that it would lead to the disastrous conditions that we’ve seen on the ground in Iraq. What I’ve also said is if we’re going to send hundreds of thousands of our young men and women there, then they have the equipment that they need to make sure that they come home safely. I’m proud of the fact that I put forward a plan in January that mirrors what Congress ultimately adopted. And it says there’s no military solution to this. We’ve got to have a political solution, begin a phased withdrawal, and make certain that we’ve got benchmarks in place so that the Iraqi people can make a determination about how they want to move forward.

Source: 2007 South Carolina Democratic primary debate, on MSNBC Apr 26, 2007

Barack Obama: Increase ground forces in Iraq to decrease troop rotations

Q: What would you consider to be a “mission complete” status in Iraq?

A: One of the enormous difficulties of this war has been the strain it’s placed on our men and women in uniform. We have seen our Army and our Reserves and our National Guard all being stretched to a breaking point. That’s one of the reasons why I proposed that we’re going to have to increase the size of our ground forces, so we can stop the sort of rotations that we’ve been placing them on, which have been putting enormous strai not only on the soldiers themselves, but also their families. But we are one signature away or 16 votes away from ending this war. Now, if the president is not going to sign the bill that has been sent to him, then what we have to do is gather up 16 votes in order to override his veto. We can’t expect that we can continue to impose a military solution on what is essentially a political problem, and that’s what we have to organize around.

Source: 2007 South Carolina Democratic primary debate, on MSNBC Apr 26, 2007

Barack Obama: Iran with nuclear weapons is a profound security threat

KUCINICH: You previously said that all options are on the table with respect to Iran. That means you’re setting the stage for another war. We’re in Iraq for oil. We’re looking at attacking Iran for oil.

OBAMA: I think it would be a profound mistake for us to initiate a war with Iran. But, have no doubt, Iran possessing nuclear weapons will be a major threat to us and to the region. They’re in the process of developing it. And I don’t think that’s disputed by any expert. They are the largest state sponsor of terrorism, of Hezbollah and Hamas.

KUCINICH: It is disputed.

OBAMA: There is no contradiction between us taking seriously the need, as you do, to want to strengthen our alliances around the world--but I think it is important for us to also recognize that if we have nuclear proliferators around the world that potentially can place a nuclear weapon into the hands of terrorists, that is a profound security threat for America and one that we have to take seriously.

Source: 2007 South Carolina Democratic primary debate, on MSNBC Apr 26, 2007

Bill Richardson: Stop funding for Iraq war-it is a disaster and must end

Q: Would you vote to fund the troops?

A: No. Let me be very clear about my position. This war is a disaster. We must end this war. This is what I would do if were president today. I would withdraw all of our troops, including residual troops, by the end of this calendar year. I would use the leverage of that withdrawal, coupled with intensive diplomacy in three areas.

  1. A political framework led by the United States where the three religious entities in Iraq have a coalition government, divide oil revenues and possible set up three separate entities.
  2. I would convene a security conference, and I would invite Iran and Syria. They’re going to be tough, and we should be tough with them. But we have to have an international peacekeeping effort.
  3. And I would have a donor conference. I would have other countries take over the reconstruction responsibility and the security of Iraq.
Source: 2007 South Carolina Democratic primary debate, on MSNBC Apr 26, 2007

Chris Dodd: Cut off the funding spigot for Iraq in one year

Q: You’ve cosponsored something called Feingold-Reid, which would, in effect, cut off the funding spigot by about a year from now, and draw the troops out. Is that possible, the notion of no more troops in Iraq?

A: I believe it is. I don’t think the stakes have ever been higher for us as a country. We’re more vulnerable today. We’re far less secure. We’re more isolated in the world as a result of this policy. This is a failed policy. We need to understand that we’ve got to move beyond this policy. We need bolder, experienced leadership that will take us in a different direction than where we’re clearly headed. I’m proud to support the Feingold-Reid legislation, which does exactly as you’ve described it. It would impart an end date at the end of next March. Also we need to engage in the robust diplomacy that we haven’t been engaged in. This administration treats diplomacy as if it were a gift to our opponents; a sign of weakness, not a sign of strength.

Source: 2007 South Carolina Democratic primary debate, on MSNBC Apr 26, 2007

Dennis Kucinich: One cannot be against Iraq war yet still fund it

Q: Do you think one can be against the war and yet still fund it?

A: No. I think it’s inconsistent to tell the American people that you oppose the war and, yet, you continue to vote to fund the war. Because every time you vote to fund the war, you’re reauthorizing the war all over again. My good friends here from the Senate just came back from Washington where they voted to continue funding the war. The Democrats have the power to end the war right now, and that’s what we should do. They were under no obligation to give George Bush any money at all. The money’s in the pipeline to bring the troops home. And that’s exactly what ought to be done, at this moment. I have a plan, H.R. 1234, a plan to end the war in Iraq, which calls on the international community to provide peacekeepers and security forces that will move in as our troops leave. But we can’t do that until we determine we’re going to end the occupation. And we will do that when we stop the funding.

Source: 2007 South Carolina Democratic primary debate, on MSNBC Apr 26, 2007

Dennis Kucinich: Lack of info was no excuse for voting for Iraq war

Q: Sen. Edwards , you apologized for your vote for the Iraq war. Should others?

EDWARDS: Anyone who voted for this war has to search themselves and decide whether they believe they’ve voted the right way. If so, they can support their vote.

CLINTON: I take responsibility for my vote. Obviously, I did as good a job I could at the time. It was a sincere vote based on the information available to me. If I knew then what I now know, I would not have voted that way. But I think that the real question before us is: What do we do now?

KUCINICH: I don’t think that it’s sufficient to say that if we had the information at the beginning that we would have voted differently. That information was available to everyone. And, if you made the wrong choice, we’re auditioning here for president of the United States. People have to see who had the judgment and the wisdom not to go to war in the first place, and I made the choice not to go to war.

Source: 2007 South Carolina Democratic primary debate, on MSNBC Apr 26, 2007

Dennis Kucinich: 2003 war vote was audition for presidential decision-making

Q: You were anti-war before the anti-war position started surging in the polls. Why don’t you think you have more traction politically?

A: That may change when people understand not only that I opposed the war from the start, but I opposed the idea of using war as a matter of policy. I don’t think it reflects America’s greatness. I also think that this isn’t “American Idol” here. We’re choosing a president. And we have to look at the audition that occurred that in 2003, when my good friends were calle upon to make a decision and then made the wrong decision. Apologies aren’t enough, because we’ve had 3,333 Americans die, & perhaps as many as 650,000 innocent Iraqis. People are looking for a president who has the wisdom to make the right choices about America’s security and who also has the integrity to be able to take a stand that may be unpopular. When people see that this campaign comes from a place of the heart and wants to reconnect with the world, I think they’ll be ready to support it.

Source: 2007 South Carolina Democratic primary debate, on MSNBC Apr 26, 2007

Dennis Kucinich: We’re in Iraq for oil & looking at attacking Iran for oil

KUCINICH: You previously said that all options are on the table with respect to Iran. The real meaning of that, is that you’re setting the stage for another war. I think it’s important that we move away from global warming and global warring. And the connection is oil. We’re in Iraq for oil. We’re looking at attacking Iran for oil. And until we change our international policies, which quit using war as an instrument of policy and change our energy policies we will continue to repeat this sorry cycle.

OBAMA: I think it would be a profound mistake for us to initiate a war with Iran. But, have no doubt, Iran possessing nuclear weapons will be a major threat to us and to the region. They’re in the process of developing it. And I don’t think that’s disputed by any expert. They are the largest state sponsor of terrorism, of Hezbollah and Hamas.

KUCINICH: It is disputed.

OBAMA: It is important for us to recognize that nuclear proliferators are a profound security threat for America.

Source: 2007 South Carolina Democratic primary debate, on MSNBC Apr 26, 2007

Dennis Kucinich: FactCheck: Iraqi oil production has fallen during war

In Iraq for Oil? Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio repeated once again the claim that “we’re in Iraq for oil,” something always denied by the Bush administration and hardly supported by the record. In only one month since the invasion has Iraqi oil production risen above its pre-war levels, and production today still lags far behind pre-war output, according to the Brookings Iraq Index. If the U.S. really went in for oil, it has so far gotten less, not more.
Source: FactCheck on 2007 South Carolina Democratic debate Apr 26, 2007

Hillary Clinton: This war is up to Iraqi people to win or lose, not the US

Q: Harry Reid recently said the war in Iraq is lost. Some call his comments treasonous. Do you agree with the position of your Senate leader?

A: The American people have spoken. The Congress has voted, as of today, to end this war. And now we can only hope that the president will listen. I’m very proud of the Congress under the leadership of Speaker Pelosi and Leader Reid for putting together a piece of legislation which says we will fund our troops and protect them, we will limit the number of days that they can be deployed, and we will start to bring them home. And I think that is exactly what the American people want. This is not America’s war to win or lose. We have given the Iraqi people the chance to have freedom, to have their own country. It is up to them to decide whether or not they’re going to take that chance.

Source: 2007 South Carolina Democratic primary debate, on MSNBC Apr 26, 2007

Hillary Clinton: Voted for Iraq war based on available info; now would not

Q: You made a high-profile apology for your vote in favor of the Iraq war resolution. You have said, “We need a leader who will be open and honest, who will tell the truth when they made a mistake.” Was that not a direct shot at your opponent, Senator Clinton?

EDWARDS: No, I think that’s a question for the conscience of anybody who voted for this war. Senator Clinton and anyone else who voted for this war has to search themselves and decide whether they believe they’ve voted the right way. If so, they can support their vote.

CLINTON: I take responsibility for my vote. Obviously, I did as good a job I could at the time. It was a sincere vote based on the information available to me. If I knew then what I now know, I would not have voted that way. But I think that the real question before us is: What do we do now? How do we try to persuade or require this president to change course? He is stubbornly refusing to listen to the will of the American people.

Source: 2007 South Carolina Democratic primary debate, on MSNBC Apr 26, 2007

Joe Biden: Change the fundamental premise of Iraq engagement

Q: Do you agree with Senator Reid that the war is lost?

A: This is not a football game. This is not win or lose. The fact of the matter is that the president has a fundamentally flawed policy. It’s based upon the notion of being able to set a strong, central government in Baghdad that will be democratic. And the real question is: Are we going to be able to leave Iraq, get our troops out, and leave behind something other than chaos? The president should start off by not vetoing the language which we just passed today. Look, there’s only one way. You’ve got to change the fundamental premise of this engagement: you’ve got to decentralize Iraq, you’ve got to give the regions control over their own destiny, get them control over their police forces, and have a limited central government and share their oil wealth. The president better get on the game plan here, or he is just going to drag this out to the point where it’s not recognizable.

Source: 2007 South Carolina Democratic primary debate, on MSNBC Apr 26, 2007

Joe Biden: Replace pre-emption doctrine with prevention

[I would] make two fundamental changes in this administration’s policy. We have to jettison this notion of preemption as a doctrine, and we have to jettison the notion of regime change. Replace it with prevention; open our ears and talk, before things become crises.

And, two, we have to move in the direction of making sure that we deal with the one thing that no one’s talking about, and that is conduct change, not regime change. Think of the folly of what this administration has acted on. It has said, “By the way, give up your weapons, the very thing that’s [stopping] us from attacking you. And once you give them up, then we’re going to take you out.” That’s the logic of this administration. That’s why we’ve lost respect all over the world. My goal would be to reestablish America’s place in the world.

Source: 2007 South Carolina Democratic primary debate, on MSNBC Apr 26, 2007

John Edwards: Apologized for Iraq war vote; others must search conscience

Q: You made a high-profile apology for your vote in favor of the Iraq war resolution. You have said, “We need a leader who will be open and honest, who will tell the truth when they made a mistake.” Was that not a direct shot at your opponent, Senator Clinton?

EDWARDS: No, I think that’s a question for the conscience of anybody who voted for this war. Senator Clinton and anyone else who voted for this war has to search themselves and decide whether they believe they’ve voted the right way. If so, they can support their vote.

CLINTON: I take responsibility for my vote. Obviously, I did as good a job I could at the time. It was a sincere vote based on the information available to me. If I knew then what I now know, I would not have voted that way. But I think that the real question before us is: What do we do now? How do we try to persuade or require this president to change course? He is stubbornly refusing to listen to the will of the American people.

Source: 2007 South Carolina Democratic primary debate, on MSNBC Apr 26, 2007

Mike Gravel: Soldiers in Iraq are dying in vain; so just get out

We should just plain get out [of Iraq]. It’s their country. They’re asking us to leave. And we insist on staying there. And why not get out? What harm is it going to do? Oh, you hear the statement, “Well, my God, these soldiers will have died in vain.” The entire deaths of Vietnam died in vain. And they’re dying in vain right this very second. And you know what’s worse than a soldier dying in vain? It’s more soldiers dying in vain. That’s what’s worse.
Source: 2007 South Carolina Democratic primary debate, on MSNBC Apr 26, 2007

Mike Gravel: Iraq war was lost the day Bush invaded-make it illegal

Q: In your two-terms in the Senate, you played a role in the fight to cut off money for the Vietnam War. What would be your advice for the elected officials on this stage who are opposed to the conflict, but also feel the need to keep on funding the conflict?

A: Well, first off, understand that this war was lost the day that George Bush invaded Iraq on a fraudulent basis. Now with respect to what’s going on in the Congress, I’m really embarrassed. What has been passed? George Bush communicated over a year ago that he would not get out of Iraq until he left office. Do we not believe him? We need to find another way. I would hope the other senators would focus on, how do you get out? You pass the law, not a resolution, a law making it a felony to stay there. We’ve got the votes there. Let the American people see clearly who’s keeping the war going and who’s not. And that’s just the beginning of the tactic, if they’re tough enough to do it.

Source: 2007 South Carolina Democratic primary debate, on MSNBC Apr 26, 2007

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2016 Presidential contenders on War & Peace:
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