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Steve Forbes on War & Peace

2000 Republican Primary Candidate for President


Premature agreement with Syria could hurt Israeli security

FORBES [to Bauer]: .Do you believe, as I do, that this administration is pushing them to make a premature agreement that could hurt the sovereignty and hurt the security of Israel, our own democratic ally in the Middle East? And if they do push them into an agreement, would you go along with using tens of billions of taxpayers’ dollars to finance an agreement with Syria and Israel?

BAUER. This administration has been tougher on Israel than it has been on China. It’s outrageous that our ally, Israel, has been getting the back of the hand from this administration. You’ve got this little democratic country in the middle of the Mideast surrounded by adversaries with much more land. And what are we doing, and the rest of the world, expecting that little Israel has to sacrifice more land for peace and security. I will stand with Israel as president and I will not waste billions of dollars of the taxpayers’ money to try to make up for mistakes that this administration’s making in the Middle East.

Source: (X-ref to Bauer) GOP Debate in Manchester NH , Jan 26, 2000

Syria: End support of terrorism to qualify for US funds

FORBES [to Bauer]: In terms of Syria, I hope you agree, that at the very least we should demand of Syria that they cease financing terrorist organizations. This administration’s turned a blind eye to it. And we should demand that Syria withdraw its strategic alliance with North Korea and Iran in developing missile technology. Would you join with me in making that minimal demand of Syria?

BAUER: Of course I will, but I just think you’ve got blinders on. You know, the threat to America is not Syria. I will be very tough on Syria about their transfer of weapons, of supporting terrorists. But I’ll do that to China, too. You know, that’s the big challenge for America. I’m going to be tough on American foreign policy. Not just against Syria, but also against the Chinese in Beijing.

Source: (X-ref to Bauer) GOP Debate in Manchester NH , Jan 26, 2000

Arming intended victims would have avoided Bosnia & Kosovo

In Bosnia we didn’t have to put ground forces there. This is not hindsight. I wrote about it in the early 90’s, that if we had real diplomacy, we could have avoided that disaster by making clear to Milosevic that his intended victims would have the means to defend themselves. That would have solved that crisis without putting our people there. When finally the Croats and the Bosnian Muslims got arms in ‘94 & ‘95, lo & behold, the aggressors were thrown out. We could have done the same thing in Kosovo.
Source: Phoenix Arizona GOP Debate , Dec 7, 1999

Iran: More spies, pro-democracy, & bio-terror defense

Source: “A New Birth of Freedom,” p. 172 , Nov 9, 1999

Allow full use of airpower; arm Kosovars; help refugees

“What is unfolding in Kosovo is a dramatic example of the lack of foresight and foreign policy drift of the Clinton-Gore administration. To end the human suffering in Kosovo, we must do three things: remove the Vietnam-like restrictions on the use of airpower against the Serbs, arm the Kosovar Albanians, and offer a significant and immediate infusion of humanitarian aid to the refugees fleeing Milosevic’s genocidal bloodlust.”
Source: forbes2000.com , Jun 1, 1999

Supports bombing; supports arming the Kosovars

I supported the decision to bomb, and I think also we should arm the Kosovars so they can defend their homeland. And if we have to intensify the bombing, we should.
Source: CNN “Inside Politics” , Mar 30, 1999

Israel: Official support for Palestine jeopardizes security

Forbes today sharply criticized the Clinton-Gore Administration for attempting to dictate peace terms to Israel that would jeopardize Israel’s national security, and for expressing support for a Palestinian State. “Why is the Clinton-Gore Administration shilling for Yasser Arafat and the PLO?” asked Mr. Forbes. “Netanyahu is trying to establish a securely-based peace. The Clinton Administration should stop browbeating Israel. It should treat Israel like a democratic, peaceful partner.”
Source: www.forbes2000.com/ “Advancing Peace” , May 7, 1998

Iraq: Assist Iraqi opposition in removing Saddam

Air strikes would neither rid Iraq of weapons of mass destruction nor of Saddam Hussein. Why then use military force if not to destroy these weapons or eliminate the man poised to use them? Our policy goal should not be to contain Saddam; rather, it should be remove him and his regime from power. We should assist the indigenous opposition to Saddam, and help it by broadcasting the truth with a Radio Free Iraq.
Source: “American Leadership” speech at Casey Inst., NYC , May 4, 1998

Palestine: No peace, no money

Forbes today strongly condemned the suicide bombings in Israel and urged President Clinton to suspend immediately US financial support of the Palestinian Authority. “Clinton must now make it crystal clear to Yasser Arafat: No peace, no money,” said Forbes. “The responsibility for cracking down on Hamas and other terrorist factions rests with Arafat. Instead, the Palestinian Authority is creating a safe haven for terrorists. This is absolutely unacceptable, and Mr. Arafat should pay a stiff price.”
Source: www.forbes2000.com/ “Advancing Peace” , Sep 5, 1997

Extend international order friendly to our security.

Forbes signed Project for the New American Century Statement of Principles

Conservatives have not confidently advanced a strategic vision of America's role in the world. We aim to change this. We aim to make the case and rally support for American global leadership.

As the 20th century draws to a close, the United States stands as the world's preeminent power. Having led the West to victory in the Cold War, America faces an opportunity and a challenge: Does the United States have the vision to build upon the achievements of past decades? Does the United States have the resolve to shape a new century favorable to American principles and interests? Our aim is to remind Americans of these lessons and to draw their consequences for today. Here are four consequences:

  1. we need to increase defense spending significantly if we are to carry out our global responsibilities today and modernize our armed forces for the future;
  2. we need to strengthen our ties to democratic allies and to challenge regimes hostile to our interests and values;
  3. we need to promote the cause of political and economic freedom abroad;
  4. we need to accept responsibility for America's unique role in preserving and extending an international order friendly to our security, our prosperity, and our principles.
Source: PNAC Principles 97-PNAC-WP on Jun 3, 1997

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Page last updated: Mar 14, 2014