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Tony Knowles on War & Peace

2004 former Democratic Challenger for Senate (AK; previously served as Governor)


We need a different strategy for this war

Q: If the Secretary of Defense calls on the Alaska Guard to extend its tour of duty, what would be your response?

KNOWLES: As a Vietnam veteran, I understand service and having been commander and chief of the National Guard as your governor, I saw them respond magnificently during 9-11, and countless other incidents where they--through their outstanding training and good equipment--stand ready to protect our lives and our safety. I’m proud of them. I’m proud of everything that they do, and they’re serving with honor in Iraq. But with a growing number of the top generals who already saying that this war is mismanaged, it’s misjudged, it is putting lives unnecessarily at risk. I pray for there to be a new strategy. Donald Rumsfeld’s on the line, wanting to extend one more year? I will challenge that on behalf of the Alaska National Guard. They’ve served their time. They don’t need to be extended. They should understand at the top of the Pentagon, that they need a different strategy for this war.

Source: Alaska 2006 Governor Debate: moderated by John Tracy Oct 30, 2006

Reasons given for going to war were not justified

Q: From a philosophical standpoint, in hindsight, do you believe the US was justified in invading Iraq, and if we are continuing on the proper course.

KNOWLES: I think the record books are fairly clear, that there’s a lot of concerns on the basis, the reasons that were given for going to war, were not justified. We’re not going to second guess and say yes I know what we should do. All I know is that we should pray for a strategy that brings our troops home at the earliest possible time.

PALIN: I think that all Americans agree that every life lost there in Iraq and Afghanistan, it profoundly touches us all. And again, as I said in my previous answer, I do support our troops, I support the mission there, that the idea of keeping the enemy outside of our borders.

Source: Alaska 2006 Governor Debate: moderated by John Tracy Oct 30, 2006

We are bogged down as an occupying army in Iraq

KNOWLES: “We were told about weapons of mass destruction and (connections) to al-Qaida, and today we know that’s not true,” Knowles said. He said he supported the doctrine expressed by Secretary of State Colin Powell when he was an Army general: strike only when you have an overwhelming force, broad public support and an exit strategy. “We’re lost in a quagmire and alone in the world,” said Knowles, a Vietnam veteran. “We are bogged down as an occupying army,” while America’s real threat, Osama bin Laden, remains free.

MURKOWSKI: Murkowski said Americans are engaging in “a lot of Monday-morning quarterbacking” on the war. “We all agree that the world is a better place, a safer place, without Saddam Hussein in power,” she said. She described prewar Iraq as a “safe haven for terrorists,” an assertion that was not reached by the Sept. 11 Commission.

Source: AK Senate Debate in Anchorage Daily News Oct 27, 2004

Could have assaulted on Al-Qaida and bin Laden on full-scale

Q: Was the Iraqi invasion a successful step toward democracy in the Middle East or a setback?

KNOWLES: Based on the information of imminent threat presented to Congress by Bush, I supported the decision to invade Iraq. Knowing today this information was false, we would be safer if we had used those forces for a full-scale assault on Al-Qaida and bin Laden, who remain an imminent threat to our security. It remains in the best interests of America and the world to continue efforts to bring peace and stability to Iraq.

MURKOWSKI: Iraq will be a successful and stable democracy and the result will place greater pressure on other Middle Eastern nations to grant individuals greater civil rights and liberties. This will only come about if the US remains committed to assisting Iraq make this transformation. If not, other groups who would like to play a greater role in their own government’s decision-making process are likely to be disillusioned and unlikely to push for reform.

Source: AK Senate Debate, Q&A by Fairbanks Daily News-Miner Oct 10, 2004

Other governors on War & Peace: Tony Knowles on other issues:
AK Gubernatorial:
Sean Parnell
AK Senatorial:
Lisa Murkowski
Mark Begich

Newly seated 2010:
NJ Chris Christie
VA Bob McDonnell

Term-limited as of Jan. 2011:
AL Bob Riley
CA Arnold Schwarzenegger
GA Sonny Perdue
HI Linda Lingle
ME John Baldacci
MI Jennifer Granholm
NM Bill Richardson
OK Brad Henry
OR Ted Kulongoski
PA Ed Rendell
RI Donald Carcieri
SC Mark Sanford
SD Mike Rounds
TN Phil Bredesen
WY Dave Freudenthal
Newly Elected Nov. 2010:
AL: Robert Bentley (R)
CA: Jerry Brown (D)
CO: John Hickenlooper (D)
CT: Dan Malloy (R)
FL: Rick Scott (R)
GA: Nathan Deal (R)
HI: Neil Abercrombie (D)
IA: Terry Branstad (R)
KS: Sam Brownback (R)
ME: Paul LePage (R)
MI: Rick Snyder (R)
MN: Mark Dayton (D)
ND: Jack Dalrymple (R)
NM: Susana Martinez (R)
NV: Brian Sandoval (R)
NY: Andrew Cuomo (D)
OH: John Kasich (R)
OK: Mary Fallin (R)
PA: Tom Corbett (R)
RI: Lincoln Chafee (I)
SC: Nikki Haley (R)
SD: Dennis Daugaard (R)
TN: Bill Haslam (R)
VT: Peter Shumlin (D)
WI: Scott Walker (R)
WY: Matt Mead (R)
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Page last updated: Aug 15, 2011