State of Iowa Archives: on War & Peace


Sam Clovis: Pursue active enemies with all available dispatch

At no time should we be "negotiating" with sworn enemies of this nation. We have supported the Islamic Brotherhood in Egypt, sought concessions from Israel concerning Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed terrorist group, and are now training and arming Syrian rebels who are affiliated with Al Qaeda. This seems hardly a sound foreign policy approach. It seems this administration is unable to bring itself to recognize that there are virulent, active enemies of this nation on the loose. Why are we not pursuing these enemies with all available dispatch? As your next Senator, I will work tirelessly to ensure this, or any other, administration is held to account for how it conducts activities that affect the safety of and security of the nation.
Source: 2014 Senate campaign website, Iowans4SamClovis.com, "Issues" Nov 11, 2013

Michele Bachmann: Leaving Iraq now invites in Iran as hegemon

Q: There is concern about the growing influence of Iran within Iraq. Are there any circumstances as president where you would send US troops back into Iraq?

A: The biggest mistake that Pres. Obama has made has been the decision he made regarding Iraq. He was essentially given on a silver platter victory in Iraq, and he's choosing intentionally to lose the peace.

We all know what is going to happen. We know that Iran is going to be the hegemon & try to come into Iraq and have the dominant influence. And then Iran will essentially have dominance from the Persian Gulf all the way to the Mediterranean, through its ally Syria.

We know without a shadow of a doubt that Iran will take a nuclear weapon; they WILL use it to wipe our ally Israel off the face of the map, and they've stated they will use it against the US. Look no further than the Iranian constitution, which states unequivocally that their mission is to extend jihad across the world and eventually to set up a worldwide caliphate.

Source: Iowa caucus 2011 GOP primary debate on Fox News Dec 15, 2011

Mitt Romney: Disagree with Israelis in private; stand with them in public

Q: Speaker Gingrich caused a stir in the Middle East by calling the Palestinians "an invented people." Are they?

ROMNEY: I happen to agree with most of what the speaker said, except by going down and saying the Palestinians are an invented people. That I think was a mistake on the speaker's part. I think the speaker would probably suggest that as well.

GINGRICH: No.

ROMNEY: Israel does not want us to make it more difficult for them to sit down with the Palestinians. Ultimately, the Palestinians and the Israelis are going to have to agree on how they're going to settle the differences between them. My view is this: We stand with the Israeli people. We link arms with them. If we disagree with them, like this president has time and time again, we don't do it in public like he's done it, we do it in private. And we let the Israeli leadership describe what they believe the right course is going forward.

Source: Yahoo's "Your Voice Your Vote" debate in Iowa Dec 10, 2011

Ron Paul: Let locals settle Israel-Palestine issue; no world police

Q: Speaker Gingrich caused a stir in the Middle East by calling the Palestinians "an invented people." Are they?

PAUL: No, I don't agree with that. And that's just stirring up trouble. I believe in a non-interventionist foreign policy. I don't think we should get in the middle of these squabbles. Technically and historically, yes, under the Ottoman Empire, the Palestinians didn't have a state, but neither did Israel have a state then too. But the people in those regions should be dealing with these problems; we shouldn't be dealing with these things. This idea that we can be the policemen of the world and settle all these disputes, I mean, soon we'll have to quit because we're flat out broke. We cannot continue to get into these issues like this and get ourselves into more trouble.

GINGRICH: Look, is what I said factually correct? Yes. Is it historically true? Yes. Somebody ought to have the courage to tell the truth: These people are terrorists.

Source: Yahoo's "Your Voice Your Vote" debate in Iowa Dec 10, 2011

Michele Bachmann: Iran is a state sponsor of terror; can't be a nuclear power

Q: [to Cain]: You said, "The way you stop Iran from getting a nuclear weapon is for us to get serious about a real energy-independent strategy." How will that convince the mullahs in Tehran not to pursue a nuclear weapon?

CAIN: I believe that our energy strategy is directly related to national security, as well as stopping Iran in their efforts. As the price of oil goes down, it puts an economic squeeze on Iran. There's more to foreign policy than bombs and bullets. There's bombs and bullets and economics.

BACHMANN: Iran is the central issue in the Middle East and their capacity to become a nuclear power. They're one of the four state sponsors of terror in the world. I sit on the House Select Committee on Intelligence. I can't reveal classified information, but I can say this: As president of the United States, I will do everything to make sure that Iran does not become a nuclear power.

Source: Iowa Straw Poll 2011 GOP debate in Ames Iowa Aug 11, 2011

Mitt Romney: We should withdraw from Afghanistan after 2012

Q: In June 2009 you said America should "nurture democracy and human rights all over the world," and that made America, "the hope of the earth." Yet last debate about Afghanistan you said, "we've learned that our troops shouldn't go off and try to fight war of independence for another nation." Have your views changed?

A: No, I have the same view. We have helped the people of Afghanistan establish freedom from the Taliban. But now we are at a point where they are going to have to earn and keep that freedom themselves. This is not something we are going to do forever. We've been there 10 years. We've been training the Afghan troops. It's time for the troops of Afghanistan to take on that responsibility according to the time table established by the generals in the field. And those generals recommended to President Obama that we should not start drawing our troops down until after the fighting season in 2012. He took a political decision to draw them down faster than that. That is wrong.

Source: Iowa Straw Poll 2011 GOP debate in Ames Iowa Aug 11, 2011

Newt Gingrich: Wrong to intervene in Libya; covert action more effective

Q: As Pres. Obama was deciding what to do in Libya, you recommended, "exercise a no-fly zone this evening, communicate to the Libyan military that Gadhafi was gone, and that sooner they switched sides the more likely they were to survive." After Obama launched military action a few days later you said, "I would not have intervened. I think there were other ways to affect Gadhafi." Which is it?

A: Let me suggest this is a good example of a "gotcha" question. Two weeks earlier, I said we should go in covertly, use Egyptian and other allies not use American forces.

Q: But Mr. Speaker, you said these two things.

A: That's right. I said [the first] after the president announced gloriously that Gadhafi has to go. And I said if the president is seriou about Gadhafi going, this is what we should do. The [second] came after the same president said, well, I really meant maybe we should have a humanitarian intervention. I was commenting about a president who changes his opinion every other day.

Source: Iowa Straw Poll 2011 GOP debate in Ames Iowa Aug 11, 2011

Rick Santorum: We should withdraw from Afghanistan more slowly

Q: [to Pawlenty] With casualties mounting in Afghanistan, and costs adding up, is it still worth it?

PAWLENTY: We were justified in the invasion. It was 10 years ago. People killed Americans. We needed to go there, find them, bring them to justice or kill them. But in terms of where we are now, 10 years removed, I was last there last summer and met with Gen. Petraeus. He thought would it take two years from last summer to have an orderly and successful wind down of our mission in Afghanistan, at leas in terms of significant troop withdrawal. Pres. Obama has accelerated that faster than the generals recommended. I would have accepted their recommendations and drawn them down a little slower.

Q: [to Santorum]: So it is still worth it?

SANTORUM: It is still worth it. But we are going to have to have a successful draw down, not one according to Barack Obama's campaign calendar next year.

Source: Iowa Straw Poll 2011 GOP debate in Ames Iowa Aug 11, 2011

Rick Santorum: Iran has been at war with us since 1979

Q: [to Ron Paul]: Your policy towards Iran is: No sanctions?

PAUL: No, that makes it much worse. This whole idea of sanctions, all these pretend free traders, they're the ones who put on these trade sanctions.

SANTORUM: Well, as the author of the Iran Freedom Support Act, which he is criticizing, it actually imposed sanctions on Iran because of their nuclear program--Iran is not Iceland, Ron. Iran is a country that has been at war with us since 1979. Iran is a country that has killed more American men and women in uniform than the Iraqis and the Afghanis have. The Iranians are the existential threat to the state of Israel, via funding of Hamas and Hezbollah and the support of Syria.

PAUL: The senator is wrong on his history. We've been at war in Iran for a lot longer than 1979. We started it in 1953 when we sent in a coup, installed the shah, and the blowback came in 1979. It's been going on and on because we just plain don't mind our own business. That's our problem.

Source: Iowa Straw Poll 2011 GOP debate in Ames Iowa Aug 11, 2011

Rick Santorum: Iran must be confronted to stop them from getting nukes

SANTORUM: Iran is the greatest supporter of terrorism in the Middle East and around the world and is setting up training camps and is working with Venezuela and other countries south of our border to threaten us. Iran is a country that must be confronted I was in front of this curve. I authored the Iran Freedom and Support Act back in 2004. It was blocked by Joe Biden and Barack Obama, but , nonetheless, we got it passed. And I can tell you, if Rick Santorum is president, Iran will not get a nuclear weapon because the world as we know it will be no more.

PAUL: You've heard the war propaganda that is liable to lead us into a sixth war. And I worry about that position. Iran does not have an air force that can come here. And here we are building this case up, just like we did in Iraq--build up the war propaganda. There was no al Qaeda in Iraq. And [Bush claimed Iraq] had nuclear weapons and we had to go in. I'm sure you supported that war, as well. It's time we quit this

Source: Iowa Straw Poll 2011 GOP debate in Ames Iowa Aug 11, 2011

Ron Paul: Of course Iran wants nukes; talk to them like we did USSR

Q: On Iran's nuclear ambitions, you wrote: "One can understand why they might want to become nuclear capable, if only to defend themselves and to be treated more respectfully." Is that your policy towards Iran?

A: Even our own CIA has no evidence that they're working on a weapon. Just think of what we went through in the Cold War. All through the '60s, we were standing up against the Soviets. They had like 30,000 nuclear weapons with intercontinental missiles. Just think of the agitation and the worrying that a country might get a nuclear weapon some day. And just think of how many nuclear weapons surround Iran. The Chinese. The Indians. The Pakistanis. The Israelis. All these countries have nuclear weapons. Why wouldn't it be natural that they might want a weapon? Internationally, they'd be given more respect. Why should we write people off? In the '50s, we at least talked to them. At least our leaders and Reagan talked to the Soviets. What's so terribly bad about this?

Source: Iowa Straw Poll 2011 GOP debate in Ames Iowa Aug 11, 2011

Ron Paul: I worry about war propaganda will lead to war against Iran

SANTORUM [to Paul]: Iran is the greatest supporter of terrorism in the world and is setting up training camps with Venezuela. I authored the Iran Freedom and Support Act back in 2004. If Rick Santorum is president, Iran will not get a nuclear weapon because the world as we know it will be no more.

PAUL: You've heard the war propaganda that is liable to lead us into a sixth war. And I worry about that position. Iran is a threat because they have some militants there. But believe me, they're all around the world and they're not a whole lot different than others. Iran does not have an air force that can come here. They can't even make enough gasoline for themselves. And here we are building this case up, just like we did in Iraq--build up the war propaganda. There was no al Qaeda in Iraq. And [Bush claimed Iraq] had nuclear weapons and we had to go in. I'm sure you supported that war, as well. It's time we quit this. It's trillions of dollars we're spending on these wars.

Source: Iowa Straw Poll 2011 GOP debate in Ames Iowa Aug 11, 2011

Tim Pawlenty: We should withdraw from Afghanistan more slowly

Q: With casualties mounting in Afghanistan, and costs adding up, is it still worth it?

PAWLENTY: We were justified in the invasion. It was 10 years ago. People killed Americans. We needed to go there, find them, bring them to justice or kill them. But in terms of where we are now, 10 years removed, I was last there last summer and met with Gen. Petraeus. He thought would it take two years from last summer to have an orderly and successful wind down of our mission in Afghanistan, at leas in terms of significant troop withdrawal. Pres. Obama has accelerated that faster than the generals recommended. I would have accepted their recommendations and drawn them down a little slower.

Q: [to Santorum]: So it is still worth it?

SANTORUM: It is still worth it. But we are going to have to have a successful draw down, not one according to Barack Obama's campaign calendar next year.

Source: Iowa Straw Poll 2011 GOP debate in Ames Iowa Aug 11, 2011

Terry Branstad: Remain vigilant in support of 3,000 National Guard overseas

I am proud of our president, and our troops, who never lost their resolve in finding Osama bin Laden and bringing him to justice. While the world is no longer nervously looking over its shoulder for this ruthless murderer, Iowans must remain vigilant in our support of the nearly 3,000 Iowa National Guard members deployed overseas. Our thoughts, prayers and support are with our brave men and women who remain in harm's way.
Source: 2011 Iowa Gubernatorial press release May 2, 2011

Roxanne Conlin: Oppose addition of 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan

We are at war with Al Qaeda because they attacked us on September 11, 2001. [Now] Al Qaeda has dispersed into Pakistan and other countries. We need better cooperation and accountability from the Afghani government. We must demand that it root out corruption. We need a narrowly focused mission, with clear, measurable goals for success. We cannot write a blank check. I appreciate President Obama's attempts to focus our mission but I oppose the addition of 30,000 more troops.
Source: 2010 Senate campaign website, www.RoxanneForIowa, "Issues" Jul 20, 2010

Christopher Reed: Support the surge; wants more positive news coverage

Q: Have you been happy with the way the war has been prosecuted?

A: I think that over the last year, since the increase in the surge, I agree with what is going on in Iraq and I support it. The Iraqi troop level is up to over 540,000.

Q: What about the polls that people overwhelmingly oppose the war?

A: I’m not sure that Americans overwhelmingly oppose it. I think the idea that they’re not getting all the correct stats like those that I just gave, if more of that positive news came out instead of just the doom and gloom of Iraq came out I think more Americans would see what’s really going on over there.

Q: So, it’s our fault.

A: No, I wouldn’t say that. I just think that people need to be informed of what’s going on.

Source: Dean Borg, Iowa Public TV. on 2008 Iowa Senate debate Jun 6, 2008

Christopher Reed: No timetable for exit; stay until Al Qaeda is quelled

Q: How long do you think the U.S. is going to have to have a substantial troop involvement in Iraq?

A: I would say until we’re comfortable that the Al Qaeda threat and fundamentalism threat and people who want to destroy Americans just for being Americans is quelled.

Q: So, there’s no two years, ten years?

A: I would never put a timetable on that because all that serves to do is give our enemies a timetable to relax and wait for us to get to that timetable.

Source: Dean Borg, Iowa Public TV. on 2008 Iowa Senate debate Jun 6, 2008

Christopher Reed: Saddam was a madman who had WMDs and used them

Q: What do you say to the argument that the war in Iraq is really all about oil?

A: Propaganda. I think it was a madman that had possession and had used weapons of mass destruction before and was willing and able to use them again and we had to make sure that wasn’t going to happen.

Source: Dean Borg, Iowa Public TV. on 2008 Iowa Senate debate Jun 6, 2008

Joe Biden: Iraq war is sucking up a $150B a year

A lot of you wonder why I always talk about Iraq. Iraq is like a big boulder sitting in the middle road. It’s sucking up a $150 billion a year now. Unless you end that war in Iraq all the things we all care about are not going to be able to be done. But they are going to have to move quickly to end this war, to get the money available to deal with health care, to deal with education, to deal with all the things we’ve all talked about tonight.
Source: 2007 Iowa Brown & Black Presidential Forum Dec 1, 2007

Duncan Hunter: Marines are doing a good job; don’t rush for the exit

Q: What would be your strategy for ending the war in Iraq?

A: I’ve been here before. I was here when we stood up to the Russians in Central Europe when they were ringing our allies with SS-20 missiles. We stood up them and we finally brought that wall down. I was here when we did Central America, when the liberals were raging that we had to get out of Salvador. Today, Salvadoran troops are standing side-by-side with Americans in Iraq.

I watched the Democrat debate. I watched them say, as [Rep. Ron Paul] has said, “Just bring them home.” And it was a race to see who could stampede for the exit the quickest. None said, “Good job.” But the Marines in Anbar province have turned that situation around. They brought the communities there on our side, fighting back against Al Qaida.

We are standing up the Iraq military. When the 129 battalions are stood up, when they’re reliable & battle-ready, they can displace American heavy combat forces. That’s the right way to leave, not a stampede for the exit

Source: 2007 GOP Iowa Straw Poll debate Aug 5, 2007

Duncan Hunter: Work with Pakistan against Taliban and Al Qaida

Q: [to Romney]: Sen. Obama said, “If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets, and Pres. Musharraf will not act, we will.” You said you didn’t agree?

ROMNEY: It’s wrong for a person running for the president to get on TV and say that. America always maintains our option to do whatever we think is in our best interests. But we keep our options quiet.

HUNTER: I disagree with that. Barack Obama didn’t understand, there are now 100,000 Pakistani troops who have been moved to the border. You right now have operations that are being taken in cooperation with American forces in Afghanistan. The problem is that you have the tribal chiefs in that strip in Pakistan accommodating the Taliban and Al Qaida. When you have a country which is cooperating, you don’t tell them you are going to unilaterally move against them, or you are somehow going to undertake this by yourself. We need the Pakistani army to work that with American support. That’s the right way.

Source: 2007 GOP Iowa Straw Poll debate Aug 5, 2007

John McCain: Support the surge even if benchmarks are not met

Q: It’s written into the law right now benchmarks that the Iraqi government has to meet. It is also very clear that they are not going to meet those benchmarks by September. If they fail, will you still continue to support the surge?

A: Of course. They are making progress & we are winning on the ground. And there are political solutions being arrived at all over Iraq today, not at the national level. I’m disappointed that the Maliki government has not done what they need to do. But it’s not only in the national interest of the Iraqis, it’s an American national interest. We are winning. We must win. If we lose, there’ll be catastrophic consequences and genocide, and we will be back. This is a seminal moment in American history. We must succeed. There will be a big debate coming up in September on the floor of the Senate. We will win that debate because the American people understand the consequences of failure. Morale is good amongst our military. We will not set a date for surrender.

Source: 2007 GOP Iowa Straw Poll debate Aug 5, 2007

Mike Huckabee: We made Saudis rich; pressure them to help win with honor

Q: Rep. Paul says, “Come home.” Rep. Hunter says, “We’ve got to stay.” Is there a middle ground in this debate?

A: Certainly. The middle ground is that we win this war & we do it with honor. We don’t just stay indefinitely. We put some pressure on the Saudis. Look, we’ve made them rich. Every time somebody in this room goes to the gas pump, you’ve helped make the Saudi royal family a little wealthier. And the money that has been used against us in terrorism has largely come from the Middle East. There’s two things we’ve got to do. Number one, we’ve got to insist that the people in that neighborhood take a far greater role militarily and financially in solving the problem. It’s their neighborhood. But the second thing we’d do, for our own national security, is end our dependence on foreign oil. And let’s not play around and say “30 years,” let’s get it done. Let’s get it done now. And let’s make sure that we don’t have to depend upon their oil for our future energy needs.

Source: 2007 GOP Iowa Straw Poll debate Aug 5, 2007

Mitt Romney: It’s time for people of America to show a surge of support

Q: Are you, Mayor Giuliani & Sen. McCain all in the same place right now on Iraq?

A: I think we’re pretty much in the same place. It is critical for us to win this conflict. It is essential, and that’s why we’re going to continue to pursue this effort. And we’re going to get a report from General Petraeus on the success. And I agree the Brookings Institution report over the weekend was a very encouraging indication that we’re making progress. That’s great news. At the same time, you look at that Democratic debate, I had to laugh at what I saw Barack Obama do. I mean, in one week he went from saying he’s going to sit down for tea, with our enemies, but then he’s going to bomb our allies. I mean, he’s gone from Jane Fonda to Dr. Strangelove in one week.

We have families who made a huge surge of sacrifice to support this surge. And it’s time, in my view, for the people of America to show a surge of support, including our leaders in Washington, for these families and for the troops.

Source: 2007 GOP Iowa Straw Poll debate Aug 5, 2007

Mitt Romney: Keep option to attack Al Qaeda in Pakistan, but don’t say it

Q: Sen. Obama said, “If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets, and President Musharraf will not act, we will.” You said you didn’t agree with Obama’s plan and you called it “ill-timed and ill-considered.”

A: Yes, I think Barack Obama is confused as to who are our friends and who are our enemies. In his first year, he wants to meet with Castro & Chavez & Assad & Ahmadinejad. Those are our enemies. Those are the world’s worst tyrants. And then he says he wants to unilaterally go in and potentially bomb a nation which is our friend. We’re trying to strengthen Musharraf.

Q: But if the CIA said, “We had Osama bin Laden in our sights, Musharraf says no,” what do you do?

A: It’s wrong for a person running for the president to get on TV and say, “We’re going to go into your country unilaterally.” Of course, America always maintains our option to do whatever we think is in the best interests of America. But we keep our options quiet.

Source: 2007 GOP Iowa Straw Poll debate Aug 5, 2007

Ron Paul: Iraq war is illegal; undeclared wars never end & we lose

Q: What would be your strategy for ending the war in Iraq?

PAUL: Just come home. We just marched in. We can just come back. We went in there illegally. We did not declare war. It’s lasting way too long. We didn’t declare war in Korea or Vietnam. The wars were never really ended. We lose those wars. We’re losing this one. We shouldn’t be there. We ought to just come home. The #1 reason it’s in our national self-interest & for our national security, think of our defenses now, how rundown they are. What is the morale of our military today when they’re sent over there for 12 months and then they’re kept for another three months? They come home and, with less than a year’s rest, they’re sent back again. Congress is currently trying to change the rules so we give these men an adequate rest. This war is not going well because the foreign policy is defective.

HUNTER: I’m tired of the Democrats and my colleague saying, “Come home.” It’s a race to see who could stampede for the exit the quickest.

Source: 2007 GOP Iowa Straw Poll debate Aug 5, 2007

Ron Paul: Neocons promoted Iraq war for years; not about Al Qaida

I opposed the war a long time before it started. The neoconservatives promoted this war many, many years before it was started. It had nothing to do with Al Qaida. There was no Al Qaida in Iraq. There were no weapons of mass destruction. Just think of the weapons the Soviets had in the ‘60s. We did not have to go to nuclear war with them. There’s no reason to go to war against these Third World nations.

At the same time, those individuals who predicted these disastrous things to happen if we leave Iraq are the same ones who said, “As soon as we go in, it will just be duck soup, it’ll be over in three months and it won’t cost us anything because the oil will pay for it.”

The individuals who predict [an Iraq] disaster, predicted the domino theory, in Vietnam. I served five years in the military in the ‘60s. When we left there, it was tough, yes. But now we trade with Vietnam. We can achieve much more in peace than we can ever achieve in these needless, unconstitutional, undeclared wars.

Source: 2007 GOP Iowa Straw Poll debate Aug 5, 2007

Rudy Giuliani: Winning in Iraq is one battle in overall terrorist war

Q: Rep. Paul says, “Come home.” Rep. Hunter says, “We’ve got to stay.” Is there a middle ground in this debate?

A: In four Democratic debates, not a single Democratic candidate said the word “Islamic terrorism.” Now, that is taking political correctness to extremes. It really is. The reality is that you do not achieve peace through weakness and appeasement. Weakness and appeasement should not be a policy of the American government. We should seek a victory in Iraq and in Baghdad, and we should define the victory. Why we would want to retreat in the face of at least some empirical evidence that [we’re winning]?

Q: But that’s military progress. No political progress. You’d continue to support the surge even if there’s no political progress?

A: The reality is that if we can bring stability to Iraq, and we can give them a chance to develop stability, that’s what we should be trying to accomplish. This is part of an overall terrorist war against the US. It’s a battle in that war.

Source: 2007 GOP Iowa Straw Poll debate Aug 5, 2007

Rudy Giuliani: Keep option open to attack Al Qaeda in Pakistan unilaterally

Q: Sen. Obama said, “If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets, and President Musharraf will not act, we will.” You said the other day, “I would take that option.” Could you elaborate?

A: I believe that is an option that should remain open. We should encourage Musharraf to allow us to do it if we thought he couldn’t accomplish it.

Q: But if he said no, you’d go in?

A: I didn’t say I would go in. I said I wouldn’t take the option off the table.

Q: No, you actually said, “If we have a chance to catch bin Laden and we’ve got to do it ourselves because we’re not sure if somebody is going to do it correctly, yeah, I think I would take that option.”

A: I would take that action if I thought there was no other way to crush Al Qaida, no other way to crush the Taliban, & no other way to be able to capture bin Laden. I think Pakistan has, unfortunately, not been making the efforts that they should be making

Source: 2007 GOP Iowa Straw Poll debate Aug 5, 2007

Sam Brownback: We need a political surge to match the military surge

Q: Rep. Paul says, “Come home.” Rep. Hunter says, “We’ve got to stay.” Is there a middle ground in this debate?

A: There’s another piece to this as well. And that is that you’ve got the military performing. They’re doing an outstanding job, but the political situation continues to deteriorate on the ground in Iraq. You’ve got the Iraqi politicians not even meeting now. You’ve got a weak leadership that’s taking place there. I think the key missing element here is political resolve on the ground. We need a political surge. We need to put a three-state solution in place, like was in Iraq prior to World War I, where you have a north that’s Kurdish, which is right now; a west that’s Sunni, which is right now; and a Shia south, with Baghdad as the federal city. A weak, soft partition: that’s the piece missing.

Source: 2007 GOP Iowa Straw Poll debate Aug 5, 2007

Tom Tancredo: We are in a war with radical Islam; Iraq is one battle

Q: Do you differ at all from Mayor Giuliani, Governor Romney or Senator McCain?

A: There are a number of things, of course, with regard to Iraq that I think we have found some common ground on, but the reality is this: that it is absolutely true I think that we are in a war with radical Islam. That is the war. A battle is being fought in Iraq. Now, can we win the military battle on the ground? Yes, we can. Our guys are the best in the world, and cannot be faulted in any way.

Source: 2007 GOP Iowa Straw Poll debate Aug 5, 2007

Tom Tancredo: Stop restricting army with rules of engagement

I am concerned about the rules of engagement, that apparently are restricting the ability of our people to do their job and to protect themselves. No one should ever go into harm’s way, no president should ever send anyone in this military into harm’s way and keep one arm tied behind them. These rules of engagement have got to be reviewed, and no president should ever pursue them in this wan, or let people go into battle and be actually at risk.

I unveiled a statue in my district for a Navy SEAL. He is dead because the rules of engagement did not allow them to do what they needed to do over there. That is unacceptable. In the broader picture, of course, we have to do something about the fact that there is no political or economic solution being developed by the Iraqis. And you have to push them into it. America cannot be the police force in Iraq. It cannot remove itself entirely from Iraq, but Iraq has got to take control of Iraq.

Source: 2007 GOP Iowa Straw Poll debate Aug 5, 2007

Tom Tancredo: If Islamic terrorists threaten nukes, we nuke Mecca & Medina

Q: Last week you said that, in order to deter an attack by Islamic terrorists using nuclear weapons, you would threaten to bomb Mecca and Medina. The State Department called that “reprehensible” & “absolutely crazy.”

A: Yes, the State Department--boy, when they start complaining about things I say, I feel a lot better about the things I say, I’ll tell you right now. My task as president is primarily to do one thing--not to make sure everybody has health care or everybody’s child is educated--my task is to do one thing: to protect and defend this country. And that means to deter--and I want to underline “deter”--any kind of aggression, especially the type we are threatened with by Al Qaida, which is nuclear attack. I read the national intelligence estimate. I see what they are planning. And I’m telling you right now that anybody that would suggest that we should take anything like this off the table in order to deter that kind of event in the United States isn’t fit to be president.

Source: 2007 GOP Iowa Straw Poll debate Aug 5, 2007

Tommy Thompson: Iraqi parliament incapable of partitioning Iraq

BROWNBACK: [to Thompson] I think the key missing element here is political resolve: We need to put a three-state solution in place, like was in Iraq prior to World War I, where you have a north that’s Kurdish, which is right now; a west that’s Sunni, which is right now; and a Shia south, with Baghdad as the federal city. A weak, soft partition: that’s the piece missing.

THOMPSON: I differ with Senator Brownback. They can’t even decide in parliament in Iraq whether or not they’re going to be able to take a month or six weeks off for summer. How will they ever decide three particular divisions? They’ve already got that country divided into 18 states that have been there since 1921. And if, in fact, you’re going to elect people, why don’t you a elect state leader, like you do in Iowa, like we do in Wisconsin, all over America? And those individual governments will be Shiite, Sunnis and Kurds. And it will stop the civil war.

Source: 2007 GOP Iowa Straw Poll debate Aug 5, 2007

Howard Dean: AdWatch: “My opponents voted for war”-negative but true

AD VIDEO: Head shots of Gephardt, Kerry & Edwards standing with President Bush and Republican Sen. Trent Lott.

AD AUDIO: NARRATOR: Where did the Washington Democrats stand on the war? Dick Gephardt wrote the resolution to authorize war. John Kerry and John Edwards both voted for the war. Then Dick Gephardt voted to spend another $87 billion on Iraq. Howard Dean has a different view.

DEAN: I opposed the war in Iraq, and I’m against spending another $87 billion there. Our party and our country need new leadership.

ANALYSIS: While Dean has used the war issue hundreds of times, his decision to target three opponents with a negative ad is unusual for Iowa, which has a tradition of positive campaigning. It suggests he is also worried about Kerry and Edwards, who trail Dean in Iowa, gaining momentum. The ad is factually accurate, but while Dean says he opposes the president’s $87 billion budget for Iraq, he does not favor a quick pullout and therefore would have to spend some of that money.

Source: Ad-Watch of Iowa market, Washington Post, p. A06 Jan 14, 2004

Carol Moseley-Braun: Saddam capture has little to do with keeping Americans safe

Q: Do you agree that the Iraq war has removed a genocidal gangster, and we’re installing a progressive government that will not be a threat to peace?

MOSELEY BRAUN: Well, removing the genocidal gangster-that’s over, he’s captured. But it had little to do with keeping the American people safe. We should have continued to search for bin Laden. We should have continued to break up Al Qaeda. We should have continued to work on breaking up the terrorist cells, some of which, operating out of northern Iraq right now, continue to threaten us.

The fact is, fear is power. We’ve seen a lack of focus on dealing with the fears of the American people, dealing with the real threats that we face, dealing with our domestic security in ways that will give us the ability to work with others around the world, with international organizations, to give us the law enforcement capacity to go after these criminals wherever they may be. We’ve lost focus on that while going off on a misadventure in Iraq.

Source: Democratic 2004 Presidential Primary Debate in Iowa Jan 4, 2004

Dick Gephardt: Helped initiate Iraqi war resolution because of CIA support

Q: You helped facilitate what turned out to be a congressional OK for the president to launch the war on Iraq. Would you again?

GEPHARDT: I will always do what I think is right to keep the people of this country safe. And I became convinced that taking that action was the best thing to keep the people of this country safe. I didn’t [just] listen to George Bush. I went to the CIA. I said [to the CIA director], “I want to know if we’re worried about weapons, or the components of weapons, or the ability to quickly make components that can wind up in the hands of terrorists.“ He said emphatically yes. And it was on the basis of that and talking to other people that had been in the Clinton administration in the security apparatus that this was a great worry.

Now, the president has not followed the right advice. He has not gotten the help of NATO or the UN. It’s inexplicable to me that he has not done the things that I told him and many people told him from the beginning he should have done.

Source: Democratic 2004 Presidential Primary Debate in Iowa Jan 4, 2004

Howard Dean: Supported Afghan war & not Iraq, but always supports troops

Q: You said after Saddam Hussein was captured, that he could have been captured six months ago. Were you saying that our soldiers weren’t working hard enough?

DEAN: Of course not. Our military has done an absolutely terrific job in Afghanistan, which is a war I supported, and in Iraq, where I did not support the policy but I always support the troops. I believe that, had Saddam been captured earlier, we might have been able to spend more time looking for Osama bin Laden, which is the real problem.

Source: Democratic 2004 Presidential Primary Debate in Iowa Jan 4, 2004

Howard Dean: US is no safer with Saddam gone-we’re still losing troops

LIEBERMAN: The overthrow and then capture of Saddam Hussein has made America safer and made the world safer.

DEAN: I beg to differ. Saddam is a dreadful person and I’m delighted to see him behind bars. But since Saddam Hussein has been caught, we’ve lost 23 additional troops; we now have, for the first time, American fighter jets escorting commercial airliners through American airspace. Saddam Hussein has been a distraction [from fighting Al Qaeda].

LIEBERMAN: We had good faith differences on the war against Saddam. But I don’t know how anybody could say that we’re not safer with a homicidal maniac, a brutal dictator, an enemy of the US, a supporter of terrorism, a murderer of hundreds of thousands of his own people in prison instead of in power. To say that we haven’t obliterated all terrorism with Saddam in prison is a little bit like saying somehow that we weren’t safer after WWII after we defeated Hitler because Stalin and the communists were still in power.

Source: Democratic 2004 Presidential Primary Debate in Iowa Jan 4, 2004

Howard Dean: Fact Check: Fighter jet escorts since 9/11-not 12/2004

FACTCHECK on Terrorism: Dean argued that the US is less safe as a result of the Iraq invasion, but got it wrong when he said military jets were escorting airlines “for the first time.”

DEAN: But the fact is, since Saddam Hussein has been caught, we’ve lost 23 additional troops; we now have, for the first time, American fighter jets escorting commercial airliners through American airspace.

FACTCHECK: Actually, scrambling fighter jets to intercept and escort airliners has been fairly common ever since Sept. 11, 2001. The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) has scrambled more than 1,600 such missions since the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon more than two years ago, according to a news report:

NORAD: Sometimes they’re scrambled because someone has violated a restricted airspace, sometimes they’re scrambled to respond to an emergency request, and there are other situations we can’t discuss.

Source: FactCheck on 2004 Presidential Primary Debate in Iowa Jan 4, 2004

John Edwards: Saddam’s trial will reveal atrocities, but won’t end terror

Q: How do you reconcile Saddam’s capture with continued fear of terrorism?

EDWARDS: The trial of Saddam Hussein is going to reveal the atrocities that he’s been engaged in and some of the incredible conduct that’s occurred in Iraq during the time of his reign. But the reality of protecting the American people is, there’s a still great deal of work to be done. Everybody across America knows that we have nuclear and chemical plants that are not adequately protected; that we are extraordinarily vulnerable through our ports. We don’t have a comprehensive warning system in place, we don’t have a comprehensive response system. And we know is that we know that terrorist cells exist all over this country. We need to do a much more effective job of putting humans inside those terrorist cells so that we can stop them before they do us harm.

Source: Democratic 2004 Presidential Primary Debate in Iowa Jan 4, 2004

John Edwards: Don’t negotiate with Arafat, but build trust with envoy

Q: Are you willing to negotiate directly with Hamas, and would Yasser Arafat have a seat at that table? EDWARDS: No. There is clear, overwhelming evidence of Arafat’s connection to terrorism. I think a two-state solution is ultimately the answer. [We need] to create some level of trust. For example, going to the Palestinians and saying, “Arrest these leaders of Hamas who we both know are involved in terrorism,” and saying to the Israelis, “In exchange, we expect you to allow freer passage in the West Bank.“

Q: But if the Palestinian leaders say, ”We’re not willing to arrest these people, but this is what we are willing to do,“ how much would you negotiate with Hamas?

EDWARDS: The most critical thing is for us to be engaged. That’s what’s been missing from this administration. [Bush] flies in, he has a photo-op, he leaves. We need to be on the ground constantly. We have to find ways to reduce the level of violence, to create some level of trust so that we can move toward peace.

Source: Democratic 2004 Presidential Primary Debate in Iowa Jan 4, 2004

John Kerry: Pre-emptive strike ok only when US survival at stake

Q: Under what future conditions would you support a pre-emptive military strike against another nation without wide international approval?

KERRY: Only when the US is so threatened that it is required for the survival of our country or for the accomplishment of some extraordinary humanitarian goal. Look, this administration misled the American people, abused the power that they were given, and has run an ineffective war on terror. Saddam Hussein was way down the list, with respect to the targets, even on the Pentagon’s own list of targets. And what they did was supplant Iraq for the real war on terror, which is Osama bin Laden, Al Qaeda, and terror across the world. The war on terror is less of a military operation and far more of an intelligence-gathering and law-enforcement operation. And we deserve presidential leadership that knows that and knows how to make America safer, and I will do that.

Source: Democratic 2004 Presidential Primary Debate in Iowa Jan 4, 2004

Joseph Lieberman: Iraq victory opens door to Israeli-Palestinian peace

Q: What’s the correct road map now for Israel and the Palestinians?

LIEBERMAN: The overthrow and then capture of Saddam Hussein has made America safer and made the world safer. It has not ended all of our problems or all the threats to our security, but a president has to deal with more than one threat at a time. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict directly related. We have to stay the course in Iraq now and continue to build a stable, modernizing, democratizing country there. That will show the Arab world what happens as a result of American intervention, that you live better, freer lives, and will send a message to terrorists that we mean business.

Between the Israelis and the Palestinians, there is only one good solution, it is a two-state solution. As president, I would devote time, commit my secretary of state to it, appoint a special ambassador to be there to work with both sides to move along the path to peace. The doors are open now, in part because of our victory in Iraq.

Source: Democratic 2004 Presidential Primary Debate in Iowa Jan 4, 2004

Joseph Lieberman: US and world are safer with homicidal maniac Saddam gone

LIEBERMAN: The overthrow and then capture of Saddam Hussein has made America safer and made the world safer.

DEAN: I beg to differ. Saddam is a dreadful person and I’m delighted to see him behind bars. But since Saddam Hussein has been caught, we’ve lost 23 additional troops; we now have, for the first time, American fighter jets escorting commercial airliners through American airspace. Saddam Hussein has been a distraction [from fighting Al Qaeda].

LIEBERMAN: We had good faith differences on the war against Saddam. But I don’t know how anybody could say that we’re not safer with a homicidal maniac, a brutal dictator, an enemy of the US, a supporter of terrorism, a murderer of hundreds of thousands of his own people in prison instead of in power. To say that we haven’t obliterated all terrorism with Saddam in prison is a little bit like saying somehow that we weren’t safer after WWII after we defeated Hitler because Stalin and the communists were still in power.

Source: Democratic 2004 Presidential Primary Debate in Iowa Jan 4, 2004

Howard Dean: AdWatch: blames Gephardt for $87B-but Dean’s view evolved

AD ANNOUNCER: October, 2002. Dick Gephardt agrees to co-author the Iraq war resolution-giving George Bush the authority to go to war. A week later, with Gephardt’s support, it passes Congress. Then last month, Dick Gephardt votes to spend $87 billion more on Iraq. Howard Dean has a different view.

DEAN: I opposed the war in Iraq . And I’m against spending another $87 billion there.

ANALYSIS: The ad accurately reminds viewers that Gephardt voted both to give George Bush the authority to wage war in Iraq, and also for the $87-billion postwar reconstruction package. But Dean’s statement is not exactly what Dean has said in the past:

Source: Ad-Watch in Iowa by Fact Check.org Dec 3, 2003

Bob Graham: Iraq was a distraction from the war on terror

I’m running for president because of your personal and our national security. We all admire the valor of the troops. But Iraq was a distraction from the war on terror. We are less secure, not more secure. The terrorists have regenerated.

And the president is now attempting to cover up the facts. Just as you are being asked to be held accountable in your work, the Oval Office should also be accountable for its.

Source: AFSCME union debate in Iowa May 17, 2003

  • The above quotations are from State of Iowa Politicians: Archives.
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2016 Presidential contenders on War & Peace:
  Democrats:
Secy.Hillary Clinton(NY)
V.P.Joe Biden(DE)
Gov.Andrew Cuomo(NY)
Mayor Rahm Emanuel(IL)
Gov.Martin O`Malley(MD)

Republicans:
Amb.John Bolton(MD)
Gov.Jeb Bush(FL)
Dr.Ben Carson(MD)
Gov.Chris Christie(NJ)
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Gov.Mike Huckabee(AR)
Gov.Jon Huntsman(UT)
Gov.Bobby Jindal(LA)
Rep.Peter King(NY)
Gov.Sarah Palin(AK)
Sen.Rand Paul(KY)
Gov.Rick Perry(TX)
Sen.Rob Portman(OH)
Secy.Condi Rice(CA)
Sen.Marco Rubio(FL)
Rep.Paul Ryan(WI)
Sen.Rick Santorum(PA)
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Donald Trump(NY)
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