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Cory Booker on War & Peace

 

 


All options on the table with Iran, including military

As a state sponsor of terrorism, Iran poses a threat to American security, a threat made worse by their pursuit of nuclear technology in defiance of the international community & their own treaty obligations. A nuclear-armed Iran is plainly unacceptable.

Iranians recently elected a new President who has taken a less confrontational tone and positioned himself as open to negotiation.

The president is right to keep all options, including military action, on the table while vigorously pursuing both international sanctions and a negotiated settlement that prevents Iran from gaining nuclear weapons. Today, sanctions have imposed real and increasing harm on Iran's economy and isolated them from the international community. Pursuing these diplomatic and economic actions must continue while there is time, because while all options should remain on the table, the cost of military action to end the Iranian nuclear program could be very high for us and our allies in the region.

Source: 2013-2014 New Jersey Senate campaign web CoryBooker.com , Nov 3, 2013

Direct military intervention in Syria only as last resort

[All four Democratic candidates] agreed the United States shouldn't take any rash actions against Russia for harboring Edward Snowden, but said it should pressure that country against instituting restrictive laws against gays. All four said the United States should be careful in how it deals with Syria, advocating against direct military intervention except as a last resort.
Source: Star-Ledger coverage of 2013 N.J. Senate debate , Aug 5, 2013

We're spending billions on a war based on unjust pretenses

My concern frankly is that we are putting billions of dollars on a war that we went into on unjust pretenses. And cities like mine who are struggling are actually getting a lot accomplished without the help of Federal programs that have dried up like the COPS program, putting more police officers on the street, like helping protect public housing authorities from crime.
Source: Bill Maher interview Democratic National Convention, Denver , Aug 25, 2008

Iran must accept long-term intrusive nuke inspection.

Booker signed demanding that Iran accept intrusive nuclear inspection

Excerpts from Letter from 85 Senators to President Obama We all hope that nuclear negotiations succeed in preventing Iran from ever developing a nuclear weapons capability. For diplomacy to succeed, however, we must couple our willingness to negotiate with a united and unmistakable message to the Iranian regime. We urge you to insist on the realization of these core principles with Iran:

Iran must clearly understand the consequences of failing to reach an acceptable final agreement. We must signal unequivocally to Iran that rejecting negotiations and continuing its nuclear weapon program will lead to much more dramatic sanctions, including further limitations on Iran's oil exports.

Opposing argument: (Cato Institute, "Enforcing Iran Nuke Deal," Jan. 25, 2017): More than anything else, the Iran nuclear deal must be kept because the alternative is a return to ever-heightening tensions and clamoring by hawks in both countries. From 2003 to 2014, years of unrelenting U.S. sanctions and confrontation, Iran went from 164 centrifuges to 19,000. The hostile approach generates a more expansive, less transparent Iranian nuclear program and increases the chances for another disastrous U.S. war in the Middle East. Let's hope the Trump administration chooses not to go that route.

Source: Iran Nukes Letter 14LTR-NUKE on Mar 18, 2014

Hold Assad accountable for slaughter of civilians.

Booker signed holding Assad accountable for slaughter of civilians

Excerpts from Letter from 14 Senators to Secretary of State Tillerson: A February 7 Amnesty International report asserts that up to 13,000 people have been methodically executed at the Saydnaya Prison as part of a calculated campaign of extrajudicial execution authorized at the highest levels of the Syrian government.

Assad's actions--including the confirmed use of chemical weapons—provide sufficient documentation exists to charge Bashar al-Assad with war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Russia, [despite its support of the Assad regime], must join the international community in seeking to hold Assad accountable, stop enabling the slaughter of the Syrian people, and undertake efforts to remove Iran-affiliated fighters from Syria.

Opposing argument: (ACLU blog, "Protect Syrian Civilians," 4/4/2017): Following the April 4 chemical attack, the president launched cruise missiles. There is no doubt that that the use of chemical weapons against civilians in northern Syria was illegal and immoral. However, the ACLU objected to President Trump unilaterally launching strikes without advance congressional authorization. The Constitution is clear that only Congress can declare war and authorize the use of our armed forces, absent an emergency need to stop a sudden attack.

Opposing argument: (Heritage Foundation, "Terrorism Report"): [The US should] support measures to hold Bashar al-Assad accountable to the Syrian people. Assad must answer for his crimes, and the Syrian people should be given discretion as to how this process is conducted. Their options could include trial in a domestic court, inviting the International Criminal Court into Syria, or establishing a truth and reconciliation commission. Such a measure might also help to reduce the flow of foreign fighters into Syria.

Source: Syria Letter 17LTR-SYR on Feb 22, 2017

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John Wisniewski
Kim Guadagno
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Rich Pezzullo
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