Topics in the News: Arab Spring

John Bolton on War & Peace : Jun 18, 2018
Advocated violent regime change in Tehran and Pyongyang

Bolton, despite his avuncular mustachioed appearance, is an unrepentant champion of foreign intervention who has advocated violent regime change in Tehran and Pyongyang. The Trump-Kim summit almost didn't happen following Bolton's ill-advised remark about North Korea adhering to the "Libya model"--a reference that North Korean officials took as a threat. (Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi was famously run out of power and executed in the streets after agreeing to dismantle his weapons program--a fate that Kim is particularly sensitive to avoid.) North Korean officials responded angrily, characterizing the comparison as "absurd" and "awfully sinister," and Bolton was seemingly benched. Though he ultimately attended the summit in Singapore, Bolton's absence from an Oval Office meeting between Trump and a top North Korean official, Kim Yong Chol, days before the meeting on June 12, was particularly noteworthy.
Click for John Bolton on other issues.   Source: Vanity Fair on 2018 Trump Administration

John Bolton on Foreign Policy : Mar 23, 2018
The two-state solution is dead; split up "Palestine"

Meet John Bolton, Trump's new National Security Adviser. 'The two-state solution is dead,' Bolton once wrote, claiming that Gaza should be given to Egypt and the West Bank to Jordan.

"Just as a matter of empirical reality, the two-state solution is dead," Bolton told Breitbart during the Obama administration's attempt to revive peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. Bolton even called for a "three-state solution" in which Gaza would be handed over to Egypt and the West Bank returned to Jordan.

"As long as Washington's diplomatic objective is the 'two-state solution'--Israel and 'Palestine'--the fundamental contradiction between this aspiration and the reality on the ground will ensure it never comes into being," he wrote, claiming that "the only logic underlying the demand for a Palestinian state is the political imperative of Israel's opponents to weaken and encircle the Jewish state."

Click for John Bolton on other issues.   Source: Ha'Aretz (Israel) on 2018 Trump Administration "Meet Bolton"

Donald Trump on Immigration : Mar 6, 2017
Protect America by banning refugees from terrorist countries

The Trump administration today announced a new Muslim ban executive order entitled "Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry". [The original Jan. 2017 order reduces to 50,000 the annual number of refugees allowed from 7 Muslim countries, and sets the number allowed from Syria to zero. After a court found that unconstitutional, the March 2017 order replaced the list of 7 countries with Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen, for 90 days]. The director of the ACLU's Immigrants' Rights Project had this reaction:

"The Trump administration has conceded that its original Muslim ban was indefensible. Unfortunately, it has replaced it with a scaled-back version that shares the same fatal flaws. The only way to actually fix the Muslim ban is not to have a Muslim ban. Instead, Pres. Trump has recommitted himself to religious discrimination. The changes the Trump administration has made completely undermine the bogus national security justifications the president has tried to hide behind.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: ACLU Fact-Check of Trump Administration promises & actions

Mike Pence on Immigration : Feb 5, 2017
Obama certified 7 Muslim countries compromised by terrorism

Q: Is it time to say about the controversial travel ban from 7 Muslim countries, "Rescind the order. Go through Congress"?

PENCE: Pres. Trump has made it clear he's going to put the safety and security of the American people first. And using a list of countries that the Obama administration and the Congress have certified were compromised by terrorist influence, seven different countries, is consistent with the President's commitment to do just that.

Q: But on this travel ban, no Egypt, no Saudi Arabia. No Pakistan, no Afghanistan. Why weren't those countries included? Because you wanted that Obama talking point.

PENCE: Well, no. It was done because both the Congress and the prior administration identified seven countries, one in Syria, torn asunder by civil war, and the other six--these are countries that do not have the internal systems in place so that we can be confident today that, when people present themselves for access to the United States, that they are who they say they are.

Click for Mike Pence on other issues.   Source: Meet the Press 2017 interview by Chuck Todd

Jill Stein on Homeland Security : Oct 19, 2016
Don't take sides in Yemen; arms embargo instead

Q: You propose "a weapons embargo in the Middle East"; what about Yemen? Should we be taking a side?

STEIN: Well, we already are taking a side in Yemen.

Q: But should we be?

STEIN: Yeah, we certainly should not be taking a side in Yemen. We are party to the war crimes that are being committed by Saudi Arabia, who's using cluster bombs made by us. And we've supplied $100 billion worth of weapons to the Saudis, who have been massively committing human rights abuses. It's against our own laws. The Leahy bill requires that we not sell weapons to human rights abusers. So just in accord with our own policies, we should not have anything to do with Yemen.

Q: What happens if the Houthis take over Yemen? If the U.S. disengages in Yemen, how does ISIS respond?

STEIN: Well, the point is, ISIS needs to be deprived of its nutrition and its life-blood. That's why we need to start an arms embargo, that's why we need to cut off the funding that flows through our allies, in particular.

Click for Jill Stein on other issues.   Source: interview after Second 2016 Presidential Debate

Hillary Clinton on War & Peace : Sep 7, 2016
Libya war, with full coalition, prevented massacre

TRUMP: [Going to war] is the most difficult decision you can possibly ever make. I would be very, very cautious. I think I'd be a lot slower. She has a happy trigger. She votes for the wars, she goes in Libya.

CLINTON: With respect to Libya, there's no difference between my opponent and myself. He's on record extensively supporting intervention in Libya, when Gadhafi was threatening to massacre his population. I put together a coalition that included NATO, included the Arab League, and we were able to save lives. We did not lose a single American in that action. And I think taking that action was the right decision. Not taking it, and permitting there to be an ongoing civil war in Libya, would have been as dangerous and threatening as what we are now seeing in Syria.

TRUMP: She made a terrible mistake on Libya. And not only did she make the mistake, but then they complicated the mistake by having no management once they bombed the you-know-what out of Gadhafi.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: 2016 NBC Commander-in-Chief forum

Donald Trump on War & Peace : Sep 7, 2016
2011: Knock out Ghadafi; 2016: Libya war was a mistake

CLINTON: With respect to Libya, there's no difference between my opponent and myself. He's on record extensively supporting intervention in Libya, when Gadhafi was threatening to massacre his population. I put together a coalition that included NATO, included the Arab League, and we were able to save lives.

TRUMP: She made a terrible mistake on Libya. And not only did she make the mistake, but then they complicated the mistake by having no management once they bombed the you-know-what out of Gadhafi.

USA TODAY Fact-Check: This isn't the first time Trump has ignored his past support for the U.S. intervention in Libya. During the 10th GOP debate, Trump said he had "never discussed that subject" when Sen. Ted Cruz called him out on supporting U.S. action in the country. But Trump said in a February 2011 YouTube video that the U.S. should go into Libya "on a humanitarian basis" and "knock [Gadhafi] out very quickly, very surgically, very effectively and save the lives."

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: USA Today Fact-check on 2016 NBC Commander-in-Chief forum

Donald Trump on War & Peace : Sep 7, 2016
I would be slower to go to war than Hillary

I would be very, very cautious. I think I'd be a lot slower. She has a happy trigger. You look, she votes for the wars, she goes in Libya. I think it's a tremendous burden. I think there is no greater burden that anybody could have.

I am totally prepared. But remember this. I found this subject and these subjects of interest all of my life. This hasn't been over the last 14 months. I've found these substantiates of tremendous interest. That's why they were asking me about Iraq 14 years ago. They were asking me these questions. They don't ask businesspeople those questions.

Right here is a list that was just printed today of 88 admirals and generals that I meet with and I talk to. I'm doing a lot of different things. I am studying. You see General Flynn and you see some of the folks that we have, and they're scattered throughout the audience. So we have admirals, we have generals, we have colonels. We have a lot of people that I respect.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: 2016 NBC Commander-in-Chief forum with Matt Lauer

Jill Stein on War & Peace : Aug 25, 2016
Invasions violate international law unless we're threatened

Q: Your running mate [Ajamu Baraka] referred to the "gangster states" of NATO. 'Gangster' means criminal. Do you agree?

STEIN: Well, criminal? Does it violate international law? Yes. I think it does violate international law.

Q: What violates international law?

STEIN: For example, sending in the troops to Libya. Sending in the troops to Iraq for that matter. I think the criteria for invading other countries is that we need to be under imminent threat. And I think it would be hard to establish that we were under imminent threat, say, in Libya. Or in Iraq for that matter. I would argue that this is not consistent with international law or human rights, and that that should be the basis of our foreign policy going forward. We're proposing essentially a weapons embargo, a freeze on the bank accounts of countries who continue to fund terrorist enterprises and also we call on allies like Turkey to close their borders to the movement of jihadi groups.

Click for Jill Stein on other issues.   Source: Wash. Post editorial board on 2016 presidential hopefuls

Jill Stein on Homeland Security : Aug 8, 2016
Close the 700+ foreign military bases

Click for Jill Stein on other issues.   Source: Stein-Baraka platform on 2016 presidential campaign website

Ajamu Baraka on Homeland Security : Aug 8, 2016
Close the 700+ foreign military bases

Click for Ajamu Baraka on other issues.   Source: Stein-Baraka platform on 2016 presidential campaign website

Gary Johnson on War & Peace : Jul 7, 2016
Our involvement with ISIS wasn't intentional but it happened

Q: What would you do as president with ISIS?

JOHNSON: Well, you can't make this up and it wasn't intentional. But if you look at Syria and Libya, we go in and we back the moderate opposition in both of those countries and they are aligned with ISIS and Al-Qaeda, the jihadists. Was this intentional? Well, it's what happened. You can't make it up.

Click for Gary Johnson on other issues.   Source: Johnson-Weld interview at National Press Club

John Kasich on War & Peace : Mar 3, 2016
We need more than Special Forces in Libya

Sen. Marco RUBIO: ISIS needs to be targeted wherever they have an operating space. It will require a specific number of American special operators, in combination with an increase in air strikes.

Q [to Kasich]: Would you put ground troops in Libya?

KASICH: We absolutely have to be -- and not just with special forces. I mean, that's not going to work. We have to be there on the ground in significant numbers. We do have to include our Muslim Arab friends to work with us on that. And we have to be in the air. It should be a broad coalition, made up of the kinds of people that were involved when we defeated Saddam. Now, you've got to be on the ground and in the air both in Syria and Iraq. And at some point, we will have to deal with Libya. I am very concerned about ISIS getting their hands on the oilfields in Libya & being able to fund their operations. The fact is cool, calm, deliberate, effective, take care of the job, and then come home. That's what we need to do with our military foreign policy.

Click for John Kasich on other issues.   Source: 2016 Fox News GOP debate in Detroit Michigan

Marco Rubio on War & Peace : Mar 3, 2016
I've warned about ISIS in Libya for 2 years; US troops there

Q: You proposed sending a larger number of American ground troops to help defeat ISIS in Syria and Iraq...

RUBIO: That's correct, and Libya.

Q: Because military commanders say the biggest ISIS threat to Europe now is coming from Libya, not Syria?

RUBIO: Correct.

Q: So if you're for putting more U.S. ground troops in Iraq and Syria, are you also ready to send U.S. ground troops on the ground in Libya?

RUBIO: Well, what I've argued from the very beginning is that in order to defeat ISIS, you must deny them operating spaces. Today that operating space has largely been based in Iraq and Syria, but I've been warning about the Libyan presence for the better part of two years. So they need to be targeted wherever they have an operating space. They can only be defeated if they are driven out and the territory is held by Sunni Arabs. But it will require a specific number of American special operators, in combination with an increase in air strikes.

Click for Marco Rubio on other issues.   Source: 2016 Fox News GOP debate in Detroit Michigan

John Kasich on War & Peace : Feb 25, 2016
Arm the Ukrainians and fight ISIS in Syria, Libya

Libya didn't go down because there was a people's revolution. Hillary Clinton, Samantha Power and other people convinced the president to undermine Gadhafi. They undermined him, and they have created a cesspool in Libya. We have ISIS in Syria, and we have ISIS in Iraq. Because this administration has not had a strong foreign policy, one of us is going to inherit a mess and we're going to have to work our way out of it, including the need to arm the Ukrainians.
Click for John Kasich on other issues.   Source: 2016 CNN-Telemundo Republican debate on eve of Texas primary

Donald Trump on War & Peace : Feb 25, 2016
We would be better off if Gadhafi were in charge right now

Sen. Ted CRUZ: Both Donald and Senator Rubio have agreed with both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama: in Libya, they agreed with the Obama/Clinton policy of toppling the government in Libya. That was a disaster.

TRUMP: I was in favor of Libya? I never discussed that subject. We would be so much better off if Gadhafi were in charge right now. If these politicians went to the beach and didn't do a thing, and we had Saddam Hussein and if we had Gadhafi in charge, instead of having terrorism all over the place, at least they killed terrorists, all right? And I'm not saying they were good--because they were bad, they were really bad--but we don't know what we're getting. You look at Libya right now, ISIS, as we speak, is taking over their oil. As we speak, it's a total mess. We would have been better off if the politicians took a day off instead of going into war.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: 2016 CNN-Telemundo Republican debate on eve of Texas primary

Hillary Clinton on Foreign Policy : Feb 23, 2016
Post-Gadhafi Libya replaced dictator with democracy

Q: You are for a regime change in Syria. But as we have learned in Libya, getting rid of longtime dictators can lead to problems?.

CLINTON: Libya is a little different [than Syria]. Libya actually held elections. They elected moderates. They have tried to piece together a government against a lot of really serious challenges internally coming from the outside with terrorist groups and other bad actors. Let's remember what was going on at the time. This was at the height of the Arab spring. The people in Libya were expressing themselves, were demanding their freedom, and Gadhafi responded brutally. Now, they had an election, and it was a fair election, it met international standards. That was an amazing accomplishment for a nation that had been so deprived for so long. This doesn't happen overnight. And, yes, it's been a couple of years. I think it's worth European support, Arab support, American support to try to help the Libyan people realize the dream that they had when they went after Gadhafi.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: 2016 CNN Town Hall on eve of South Carolina primary

Hillary Clinton on War & Peace : Feb 23, 2016
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.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: 2016 CNN Town Hall on eve of South Carolina primary

Bernie Sanders on Foreign Policy : Feb 11, 2016
Need to look at consequences of removing dictators

CLINTON: Senator Sanders voted in 1998 on what I think is fair to call a regime change resolution with respect to Iraq, calling for the end of Saddam Hussein's regime. He voted in favor of regime change with Libya, voted in favor of the Security Council being an active participate in setting the parameters for what we would do, which of course we followed through on.

SANDERS: Where Secretary Clinton and I disagree is the area of regime change. We can overthrow dictators all over the world. The point about foreign policy is not just to overthrow a dictator, it's to understand what happens the day after. In Libya, Secretary Clinton, as secretary of state, working with some other countries, did get rid of a terrible dictator named Gadhafi. But what happened is ISIS came in and now occupies significant territory in Libya. But this is nothing new. This has gone on 50 or 60 years where the United States has been involved in overthrowing governments.

Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: 2016 PBS Democratic debate in Wisconsin

Hillary Clinton on War & Peace : Feb 11, 2016
My 2002 vote for Iraq war does not impact ISIS plan today

SANDERS: Secretary Clinton has enormous experience in foreign affairs. But judgment matters as well. And she and I looked at the same evidence coming from the Bush administration regarding Iraq. I led the opposition against it. She voted for it. But more importantly, in terms of this Libya resolution that you have noted before, this was a virtually unanimous consent. Everybody voted for it wanting to see Libya move toward democracy, of course we all wanted to do that.

CLINTON: I do not believe a vote in 2002 [for the Iraq war] is a plan to defeat ISIS in 2016. It's important we focus on the threats we face today. When people vote, they are voting for the commander-in- chief. It's important that people look at who is best prepared for dealing with them. Senator Obama, when he ran against me, was against the war in Iraq. Yet he turned to me, trusting my judgment, my experience, to become secretary of state.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: 2016 PBS Democratic debate in Wisconsin

John Kasich on Foreign Policy : Jan 14, 2016
We need coalition of Arab countries, like Bush-41 did

If we're going to have a coalition, we're going to have to have a coalition not just of people in the western part of the world, our European allies, but we need the Saudis, we need the Egyptians, we need the Jordanians, we need the Gulf states. We need Jordan. We need all of them to be part of exactly what the first George Bush put together in the first Gulf War. It was a coalition made up of Arabs and Americans and westerners and we're going to need it again.
Click for John Kasich on other issues.   Source: Fox Business Republican 2-tier debate

Hillary Clinton on Homeland Security : Dec 19, 2015
Libyans refused much of what US offered as help

The president decided we would protect civilians on the ground and that led to the overthrow of Gadhafi. What Libya did by having a free election was an indication of their desire to get on the right path. The whole region has been rendered unstable, in part because of the Arab Spring, in part because of the propagandizing that ISIS and other terrorist groups do. This is not easy work. We did as much as we could because the Libyans had strong feelings about what they wished to accept.
Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: 2015 ABC/WMUR Democratic primary debate in N.H.

Martin O`Malley on Homeland Security : Dec 19, 2015
Stop creating safe havens where ISIS can flourish

We have not made the investments we need to make to have relationships with future leaders. Now what we have is a whole stretch of the coast of Libya, 100 miles, 150 miles, that has now become potentially the next safe haven for ISIL. They go back and forth between Syria and this region. We have to stop contributing to the creation of vacuums that allow safe havens to develop.
Click for Martin O`Malley on other issues.   Source: 2015 ABC/WMUR Democratic primary debate in N.H.

Lindsey Graham on War & Peace : Dec 15, 2015
To destroy ISIL in Libya, take the Caliphate's headquarters

Q: Are you ready to commit U.S. ground troops to Libya?

GRAHAM: I want to talk to General Keane first. I want to find out, what do we need militarily to keep them contained and eventually destroy them in Libya? They're in nine countries. You want to deal with Libya, go to Iraq and Syria. You want to prevent another 9/11, take the caliphate headquarters away from ISIL. There is no other way to do it without a ground force going into Syria.

Click for Lindsey Graham on other issues.   Source: 2015 CNN/Salem Republican second-tier debate

Gary Johnson on Foreign Policy : Nov 19, 2015
Stop replacing bad guys with slightly-less-bad guys

I opposed the Iraq War. I supported going after Al Qaeda in Afghanistan after 9/11, but opposed--and continue to oppose--our failed attempt at Afghan nation building. And I opposed our involvement in overthrowing the government in Libya.

The list goes on and on. Our ill-advised attempts to shape the outcomes of civil wars and replace bad guys with slightly less bad guys have not only failed, but have created vacuums that are today being filled by the politics of Sharia.

The cost of those interventions has been tremendous, with too many of our young men and women of the military killed and wounded... and trillions of dollars spent ineffectively.

Click for Gary Johnson on other issues.   Source: Our America Initiative press release, "Nazi fascism"

Carly Fiorina on Foreign Policy : Nov 10, 2015
Arm the Kurds, the Emiratis, and more

We have a set of allies in the Arab Middle East that know that ISIS is their fight. They have asked us specifically over and over again to support them. King Abdullah of Jordan, a man I've known for a very long time, has asked us for bombs and material, we have not provided it.

The Egyptians are asking us to share intelligence, we are not, I will. The Kurds have asked us to arm them for three years, we are not, I would. The Egyptians, the Saudis, the Kuwaitis, the Bahrainis, the Emirati, the Kurds--all of these understand ISIS is their fight, but they must see leadership support and resolve from the United States of America. We have the strongest military on the face of the planet, and everyone has to know it.

Click for Carly Fiorina on other issues.   Source: Fox Business/WSJ First Tier debate

John Kasich on War & Peace : Nov 10, 2015
Work with allies like Israel, Egypt, Jordan

In Syria, yes, a no-fly zone in the north, and a no-fly zone on the Jordanian border. Jordan, we want the king to reign for years. Egypt, they have been our ally and a moderating force in the Middle East. In Israel, we have no better ally in the world, and no more criticizing them in public, we should support them.
Click for John Kasich on other issues.   Source: Fox Business/WSJ Second Tier debate

Donald Trump on War & Peace : Nov 10, 2015
Assad is a bad guy, but his replacement could be worse

Gov. Jeb BUSH: We should have a no fly zone in Syria.

TRUMP: Assad is a bad guy, but we have no idea who the so-called rebels--nobody even knows who they are.

Carly FIORINA: Governor Bush is correct. We must have a no fly zone in Syria.

TRUMP: So, I don't like Assad. Who's going to like Assad? But, we have no idea who these people, and what they're going to be, and what they're going to represent. They may be far worse than Assad. Look at Libya. Look at Iraq. Look at the mess we have after spending $2 trillion dollars, thousands of lives, wounded warriors all over the place--we have nothing. And, I said, keep the oil. And we should have kept the oil, believe me. We should have kept the oil. And, you know what? We should have given big chunks of the oil to the people that lost their arms, their legs, and their families, and their sons, and daughters, because right now, you know who has a lot of that oil? Iran, and ISIS.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: Fox Business/WSJ First Tier debate

Marco Rubio on War & Peace : Nov 10, 2015
ISIS hates our way of life; either they win or we win

Radical terrorist groups are not just in Syria and in Iraq, ISIS is now in Libya. They are a significant presence in Libya, Afghanistan, and a growing presence in Pakistan. Soon they will be in Turkey. They will try Jordan. They will try Saudi Arabia. They are coming to us. They don't hate us simply because we support Israel. They hate us because of our values. They hate us because our girls go to school. They hate us because women drive in the United States. Either they win or we win.
Click for Marco Rubio on other issues.   Source: Fox Business/WSJ Second Tier debate

Ted Cruz on Foreign Policy : Oct 18, 2015
If Mideast strongmen still in power, better for US interests

Q: Would the Middle East be more stable today if you had the strongmen there?

CRUZ: Of course, it would.

Q: Gaddafi, Saddam, Assad, if they're strongmen, they keep stability?

CRUZ: It wasn't even close that Libya under Gaddafi was better for US interests than the chaos now that is allowed jihadists to gain strength.

Q: What about Iraq under Saddam?

CRUZ: It wasn't even close.

Q: Do you think Iraq would be more stable today under a strong man like Saddam?

CRUZ: Based on what we know now, should we have gone into Iraq? No, of course not. It was based on the belief that they had weapons of mass destruction that they would use against us.

Click for Ted Cruz on other issues.   Source: Meet the Press 2015 interview moderated by Chuck Todd

Marco Rubio on Foreign Policy : Sep 16, 2015
Putin trying to position Russia as a geopolitical force

Putin said that the fall of the Soviet Union was the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the 20th century, and he's trying to reverse that.

He's trying to destroy NATO. He is exploiting a vacuum that this administration has left in the Middle East. The Russians will begin to fly combat missions in that region, not just targeting ISIS, but in order to prop up Assad. Putin will say, "America is no longer a reliable ally, Egypt. America is no longer a reliable ally, Saudi Arabia. Rely on us."

Click for Marco Rubio on other issues.   Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary debate on CNN

Carly Fiorina on War & Peace : Sep 16, 2015
Arm the Kurds and other allies in the Mideast

Sen. Marco RUBIO [to Fiorina]: The Russians will begin to fly combat missions in [Syria and its region], not just targeting ISIS, but in order to prop up Assad. [Russian leader Putin] will then turn to other countries in the region and say, "America is no longer a reliable ally, Egypt. America is no longer a reliable ally, Saudi Arabia. Begin to rely on us." He is trying to replace us as the single most important power broker in the Middle East, and this president is allowing it.

FIORINA: We could rebuild the Sixth Fleet [the US' main force in the Mediterranean Sea]. I will. We haven't. We could rebuild the missile defense program. We haven't. I will. We could also, to Senator Rubio's point, give the Egyptians what they've asked for, which is intelligence. Bombs and materiel. We have not supplied it.We could arm the Kurds. They've been asking us for three years. All of this is within our control.

Click for Carly Fiorina on other issues.   Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary debate on CNN

Bernie Sanders on Foreign Policy : Sep 5, 2015
Begrudgingly supports NATO, but no eastward expansion

Although Bernie is generally anti-war, he begrudgingly supported NATO's bombing of Serbia in 1999. He voiced concerns, but did not vigorously oppose NATO's 2011 military intervention in Libya.

Bernie is against the expansion of NATO because it provokes unnecessary aggression from Russia. Moreover, he believes European nations should fund more of the costs of an alliance primarily intended to protect their continent.

Q: What is Bernie's opinion on NATO expansion?

A: He's against it, claiming it is a waste of taxpayer dollars and not geo-politically sound. In 1997, Bernie said: "After four decades of the cold war and trillions of taxpayer dollars allocated to compete in the arms race, it is not the time to continue wasting billions helping to defend Europe, let alone assuming any costs associated with expanding NATO eastward." Bernie opposes eastward expansion because he's not interested in revisiting the Cold War era when Russia and the US were constantly pitted against each other.

Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: 2016 grassroots campaign website, "Issues"

Scott Walker on Foreign Policy : Aug 6, 2015
When America leads, we build alliances in Mideast

Q: In February you said that we needed to gain partners in the Arab world. Which Arab country not already in the U.S. led coalition has potential to be our greatest partner?

WALKER: We need to focus on the ones we have. You look at Egypt, probably the best relationship we've had in Israel, at least in my lifetime, incredibly important. You look at the Saudis--in fact, earlier this year, I met with Saudi leaders, and leaders from the United Arab Emirates, and I asked them what's the greatest challenge in the world today? Set aside the Iran deal. They said it's the disengagement of America. We are leading from behind under the Obama-Clinton doctrine--America's a great country. We need to stand up and start leading again, and we need to have allies, not just in Israel, but throughout the Persian Gulf.

Click for Scott Walker on other issues.   Source: Fox News/Facebook Top Ten First Tier debate transcript

Ted Cruz on Homeland Security : Aug 6, 2015
Label the enemy that Obama won't: radical Islamic terrorists

We need a commander in chief that speaks the truth. We will not defeat radical Islamic terrorism so long as we have a president unwilling to utter the words, "radical Islamic terrorism". President Obama, at a prayer breakfast, essentially acted as an apologist. He said, "Well, gosh, the crusades, the inquisitions..." We need a president that shows the courage that Egypt's President al-Sisi, a Muslim, when he called out the radical Islamic terrorists who are threatening the world.
Click for Ted Cruz on other issues.   Source: Fox News/Facebook Top Ten First Tier debate transcript

Bobby Jindal on Foreign Policy : Jul 12, 2015
Bad Iran nuclear deal is worse than no deal

Q: Diplomats are suggesting that an Iran nuclear deal could be announced as soon as tomorrow. Your reaction?

JINDAL: I think a bad deal is worse than no deal. I fear this administration could start a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. Sunni countries like Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Turkey are likely going to want their own nuclear capabilities This would be a threat to Israel, to Europe, to America. We're talking about an existential threat to the region, to the United States. Never mind the fact that we're not even asking Iran to recognize Israel, to cut off ties to terrorism, to release American prisoners. I'm just talking about giving up enriched uranium, giving up all their centrifuges, anytime, anywhere inspections. Those are the basic tenets of a basic deal. And it doesn't look like we're getting any of those things.

Click for Bobby Jindal on other issues.   Source: Fox News Sunday 2015 coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls

Ted Cruz on Homeland Security : Jun 30, 2015
Benghazi: administration knew right away it was terrorism

The years of chaos that followed the so-called Arab Spring [included] four dead Americans at the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya. The Sept. 11, 2012 attack on the Benghazi compound was coordinated and carried out by radical Islamic terrorists. The Secretary of Defense testified to the Senate that he knew "immediately" that it was a terrorist attack. And yet for weeks President Obama and Secretary Clinton insisted instead that it was a spontaneous protest over an Internet video.

The administration's feckless response to Benghazi was emblematic of President Obama's long-standing approach to radical Islamic terrorism--three words that almost never enter his vocabulary in the same sentence. In his worldview, the real root problem behind terrorism is disaffected youth who have been antagonized by American and Western imperialism. He and his administration dogmatically refuse to call terrorism "Islamic" or "Islamist," nor will they reference "jihad."

Click for Ted Cruz on other issues.   Source: A Time for Truth, by Ted Cruz, p.289-90

Martin O`Malley on Crime : Apr 28, 2015
Abolish the death penalty: we're one of the last refuges

The majority of public executions now take place in just seven countries: Iran, Iraq, China, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and the United States of America. Our home is one of the last refuges of the death penalty.

Our nation was not founded on fear, or on revenge, or on retribution. Freedom, justice, equal rights before the law, and a fierce belief in the dignity of every human being--these are the foundational notions of what it means to be American. Our values are our treasures, and the death penalty is incompatible with them.

Nevertheless, advocates of the death penalty will argue that the death penalty is firmly rooted in our legal tradition, extending to its roots in England. But just as our notions on equality and civil liberties have rightfully changed since the early days of the republic, it is time to reconsider the place of the death penalty in our criminal justice system--and whether we should, as a nation, replace the death penalty with life without parole.

Click for Martin O`Malley on other issues.   Source: Brennan Center for Justice essays, p. 79

Rand Paul on Foreign Policy : Apr 12, 2015
U.S. intervention in Libya strengthened Islamic State

Q: Some of your Republican critics argue that you are actually to the left of Hillary Clinton on foreign policy, that she's more hawkish than you are.

PAUL: Interestingly, many of the hawks in my party line right up with President Obama. The war that Hillary prominently promoted in Libya, many of the hawks in my party were right there with her. Their only difference was in degree. They wanted to go into Libya as well. Some of the hawks in my party, you can't find a place on the globe they don't want boots on the ground.

Q: And that's their point, that you're to the left of all them.

PAUL: No, my point is, is that they are actually agreeing with Hillary Clinton and agreeing with Pres. Obama that the war in Libya was a good idea. I'm not agreeing with either one of them. I'm saying that that war made us less safe, that it allowed radical Islam to rise up in Libya. There are now large segments of Libya that are pledging allegiance to ISIS, supplying arms to the Islamic rebels in the Syrian war.

Click for Rand Paul on other issues.   Source: CNN SOTU 2015 interviews of 2016 presidential hopefuls

Mike Huckabee on Foreign Policy : Mar 29, 2015
Governors have world views; I've been all over the Mideast

Q: You got good reviews when you were governor of Arkansas for the most part. But do you consider yourself qualified to handle foreign policy? What can you bring to that?

HUCKABEE: Well, a lot of people don't know my first trip to the Middle East was in 1973, 42 years ago, when I was all of 17. I have been to the Middle East several dozen times. Just got back from Israel last month, was there three times just last year. I have been to virtually every country that we talk about, whether it's Egypt, Jordan, Israel, Iraq, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, the Emirates, Kuwait, Turkey, Pakistan, India. This is a part of the world with which I am familiar firsthand. And as a governor, I also met with many world leaders, as well as CEOs of multinational corporations. And, frankly, most governors do. I think it's sometimes perceived that governors don't have much of a world view. I would tend to take issue that that is not always the case.

Click for Mike Huckabee on other issues.   Source: CBS Face the Nation 2015 coverage:2016 presidential hopefuls

Scott Walker on Homeland Security : Feb 26, 2015
Build up U.S. military to take out ISIS entirely

On ISIS, Walker stated, "you've got to take them out entirely--it takes a combination of building up force in terms of the United States military, which I think has fallen to woefully low levels here, it standing up with our allies like Israel, it means working with other allies around the world, but it also means making partners even in the Arab world--Jordan, certainly Turkey, Saudi Arabia and others--Egypt, for sure, of late have seen what's happened, they want a leader in America."
Click for Scott Walker on other issues.   Source: on 2015 Conservative Political Action Conf.

Rand Paul on War & Peace : Feb 7, 2015
Hillary's War: Ousting Gadhafi in Libya gave rise to ISIS

Calling it "Hillary's war," Sen. Rand Paul told voters that the US intervention in Libya has been an "utter disaster" that empowered radical Islamist groups such as Islamic State.

Paul said Hillary Clinton was to blame for what he described as foreign-policy failures: she was a proponent of interventions during popular uprisings against the ruling regimes in Libya and Syria. "Hillary's war in Libya has been an utter disaster," Paul said. "There are now jihadists roaming all across Libya. It's a jihadist wonderland."

The US was part of an international coalition to oust Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi from power in 2011. "Gadhafi was a secular dictator," Paul said. "Not the kind of guy that we want to have representing us in country, but he was secular. He didn't like radical Islam, and he kept them down because they were a threat to him. What happened when we toppled the secular dictator? Chaos. More radical Islam."

Click for Rand Paul on other issues.   Source: 2015 Wall Street Journal on 2016 presidential hopefuls

Rand Paul on War & Peace : Feb 7, 2015
Supporting rebels in Syrian Civil War gave rise to ISIS

Paul argued that US foreign policy in Libya, Syria & elsewhere had helped create threats such as Islamic State. Paul said Hillary Clinton was to blame for what he described as foreign-policy failures [because she] was a proponent of interventions during popular uprisings against the ruling regimes in Libya and Syria. Paul called the former secretary of state the "biggest cheerleader" for intervention in Syria and Libya and said that those policies had empowered radical Islamic groups in both countries.

In Syria, Paul said that Islamic State--a militant group operating in Syria and Iraq that is also known as ISIS--was essentially created by the US aid program under the Obama administration. "I think we have to do something about ISIS," he said. "But, you know why we're doing something and why we have to be there again? Because of a failed foreign policy that got us involved in a Syrian Civil War. By supporting the Islamic rebels, ISIS grew stronger and stronger. And now we have to go back."

Click for Rand Paul on other issues.   Source: 2015 Wall Street Journal on 2016 presidential hopefuls

Tim Kaine on Foreign Policy : Jan 29, 2015
Congress censured Obama for troops to Libya without asking

Most recently, President Obama committed US troops into a combat operation in Libya in 2011 as part of a NATO mission and never sought the permission of Congress, and was censured by the House of Representatives. Even members who said, we would have voted yes actually, we liked your rationale. Many still voted against the president to sanction the president for not seeking congressional authorization.
Click for Tim Kaine on other issues.   Source: Coursera Lecture #54, "Problems of War Powers"

Tim Kaine on War & Peace : Jan 29, 2015
The public deserves robust debate before we go to war

This is the most important decision we make as a government. How does the public get educated about whether it's worth using military force in Libya or to stop Assad from using chemical weapons? By watching somebody propose military action and then somebody oppose it. And then have that debate back and forth. We shouldn't ask men and women to risk their lives on the battlefield if there's not a political consensus that says this mission is worth it. If there's any ambiguity between the executive and the legislature, then you're asking those who serve to risk their lives when the political branches of government haven't bothered to do the work to determine whether the mission is worthwhile. We should never ask anybody to sacrifice in that way.
Click for Tim Kaine on other issues.   Source: Coursera Lecture #54, "Problems of War Powers"

Carly Fiorina on Homeland Security : Jan 24, 2015
On Benghazi: I'm familiar with America's allies and enemies

Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina touted her international business experience to help position herself as one familiar with America's allies and enemies. "Unlike Hillary Clinton, I know what difference it makes that our American ambassador and three other brave Americans were killed in a deliberate terrorist attack," she said, alluding to the 2012 attack at the U.S. embassy in Benghazi, Libya. The line brought a standing ovation from attendees, halting her mid-speech.
Click for Carly Fiorina on other issues.   Source: Des Moines Register on 2015 Iowa Freedom Summit

Rand Paul on Homeland Security : Jan 20, 2015
We've over-militarized our foreign policy

Secretary Gates got it right when he said that we've over-militarized our foreign policy. Should we be engaged in trying to encourage stability in the world? Absolutely. But we must think before we act.

Hillary's war in Libya is a prime example of acting without thinking. In Libya, jihadists swim in our embassy pool, and we are now more at risk from terrorist attacks than ever before.

Unfortunately, both parties too often seek military intervention without thinking through the possible unintended consequences. Many Republicans complain that we didn't send US ground troops or we didn't stay long enough.

The Middle East is in the midst of a 1,000-year war between Sunni and Shia--superimposed on a century-old war pitting a barbaric aberration of Islam against civilized Islam. We are foolish to believe we will solve this puzzle. We must defend vital American interests, but we must not be deluded into believing that we can remake the Middle East in an image of Western Democracy.

Click for Rand Paul on other issues.   Source: Tea Party response to the 2015 State of the Union address

Carly Fiorina on Foreign Policy : Jul 20, 2014
Lack of American leadership causes world trouble

Q: What about our current narcissistic policy disorder? It is a messy world. Russia & the Ukraine, the Arab spring-- is it really fair to blame President Obama for much of this?

FIORINA: Yes, it is fair. Because American leadership matters in the world. American strength matters in the world. And it particularly matters when things are going wrong. I think President Obama has made two crucial errors. First, he confuses ending a war with securing the peace. And unfortunately, the way he ended the wars in Iraq and is attempting to end the war in Afghanistan are making both of those situations very, very troublesome. Secondly, he continues to believe that his words matter. And his words matter less and less because both our friends and our allies as well as our enemies have figured out that words do not signal intention. There is no execution behind them. And that creates a situation in which our allies believe they cannot count on us and our enemies believe they can ignore us.

Click for Carly Fiorina on other issues.   Source: Fox News Sunday 2014 interview of 2016 presidential hopefuls

Hillary Clinton on Foreign Policy : Jun 17, 2014
2011: we abandoned Egypt's Mubarak too readily

Mrs. Clinton argues the White House moved too quickly to pull U.S. support for former Egyptian strongman Hosni Mubarak in 2011:

"Like many other young people around the world, some of President Obama's aides in the White House were swept up in the drama and idealism of the moment as they watched the pictures from Tahrir Square on television. I shared the feeling. It was a thrilling moment. But along with Vice President Biden, Secretary of Defense Bob Gates and National Security Advisor Tom Donilon, I was concerned that we not be seen as pushing a longtime partner out the door, leaving Egypt, Israel, Jordan and the region to an uncertain, dangerous future. (Pages 339-340)

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: Wall Street Journal on Hard Choices, by Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton on Foreign Policy : Jun 7, 2014
Arab Spring: Egyptian uprising had destabilizing impact

Clinton writes that one of her envoys who she sent to deal with then-Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak displeased the White House when he said publicly that Mubarak should remain in power to "oversee a transition." Clinton was not among Obama advisers who wanted to side with the uprising instantly, and saw a potentially destabilizing impact if Mubarak left immediately.

"The President called me to express his unhappiness about the 'mixed messages' we were sending," she writes. "That's a diplomatic way of saying he took me to the woodshed."

There are some other instances throughout the book in which Clinton was in a different place than Obama, but this is the one of the only times in which she describes the president as genuinely unhappy with something that the State Department did.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: on Hard Choices by Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton on Homeland Security : May 30, 2014
Dozens of Benghazi attackers had dozens of motives

On the Benghazi attack: "There were scores of attackers that night, almost certainly with differing motives. It is inaccurate to state that every single one of them was influenced by this hateful video. It is equally inaccurate to state that none of them were. Both assertions defy not only the evidence but logic as well."

On the President's actions during the Benghazi attack: Obama "gave the order to do whatever was necessary to support our people in Libya. It was imperative that all possible resources be mobilized immediately. When Americans are under fire, that is not an order the Commander in Chief has to give twice. Our military does everything humanly possible to save American lives--and would do more if they could. That anyone has ever suggested otherwise is something I will never understand."

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: Hard Choices, by Hillary Clinton, excerpts

Marco Rubio on Homeland Security : May 11, 2014
No one has been held accountable for Benghazi

Q: On the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya: there have already been 13 congressional hearings on the attack. Do we really need another committee investigating Benghazi?

RUBIO: Yes. No one has been accountable. I mean, who has been accountable for what happened in Benghazi? This administration has a tendency on foreign policy issues in particular, not to worry nearly as much about what to do, and to worry more about what to say. And they decided not just to mislead the American public, but to mislead the families of these victims as to exactly what had happened.

Q: But you have the Republican Party raising money off this investigation. Is that appropriate?

RUBIO: I would prefer that we would focus not on the fundraising elements or the political elements of it, because I think it takes away from the reality of how serious a situation this is.

Q: How big a problem is this going to be for Hillary Clinton?

RUBIO: She's going to have to be held accountable for the State Department's failures.

Click for Marco Rubio on other issues.   Source: ABC This Week 2014 series of 2016 presidential hopefuls

Lindsey Graham on Homeland Security : Mar 23, 2014
Doing nothing about Benghazi leads to a more dangerous world

Graham released a new ad: "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."

In a recent interview, Graham tied together different areas where he believes Obama has failed: "When you tell the world we're gonna find the people who killed our four Americans in Libya, including the ambassador, and you do nothing about it; whether you agree with his policy in Syria, Egypt, whether you agree with his policies, when he tells people there will be consequences, and there are none, it sets in motion exactly what you see."

Graham argued he wasn't harping on Benghazi for political reasons: "Everything I've done has been about what I think is best for the country. I think it's best to find the truth about Benghazi, when my primary's over, I'm gonna still be on Benghazi," he said.

Click for Lindsey Graham on other issues.   Source: The Hill AdWatch on 2014 South Carolina Senate race

John Bolton on Foreign Policy : Mar 7, 2014
Weak America means trouble in Russia, China, & Libya

We do not accept an America that is weak & declining. We do not accept an American military that is weak & poorly equipped, and in particular, we do not accept and American president who is weak, indecisive and apologetic about our country
Click for John Bolton on other issues.   Source: Speech at 2014 CPAC convention

Barack Obama on Foreign Policy : Jan 28, 2014
Double access to electricity in Africa

Our alliance with Europe remains the strongest the world has ever known. From Tunisia to Burma, we're supporting those who are willing to do the hard work of building democracy. In Ukraine, we stand for the principle that all people have the right to express themselves freely and peacefully, and have a say in their country's future. Across Africa, we're bringing together businesses and governments to double access to electricity and help end extreme poverty. In the Americas, we are building new ties of commerce, but we're also expanding cultural and educational exchanges among young people.

We do these things because they help promote our long-term security. And we do them because we believe in the inherent dignity and equality of every human being, regardless of race or religion, creed or sexual orientation.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: 2014 State of the Union address

Barack Obama on War & Peace : Jan 28, 2014
Support rebels in Syria who oppose terrorism

While we have put al Qaeda's core leadership on a path to defeat, the threat has evolved, as al Qaeda affiliates and other extremists take root in different parts of the world. In Yemen, Somalia, Iraq, and Mali, we have to keep working with partners to disrupt and disable these networks. In Syria, we'll support the opposition that rejects the agenda of terrorist networks.

American diplomacy, backed by the threat of force, is why Syria's chemical weapons are being eliminated, and we will continue to work with the international community to usher in the future the Syrian people deserve--a future free of dictatorship, terror and fear.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: 2014 State of the Union address

Brian Schweitzer on Foreign Policy : Dec 23, 2013
1980s: Resided and worked in Libya and Saudi Arabia

Brian Schweitzer was born in 1955 in Havre, a railroad town in north-central Montana. Schweitzer pursued two degrees in the agriculture sciences and shipped off to the Middle East for 7 years in the 1980s to develop irrigation systems there. Among the places he lived were Libya and Saudi Arabia, giving the young Schweitzer a worldliness not enjoyed by most sons of Montana. (On a recent TV panel discussion on the Middle East, Schweitzer showed off his Arabic with a hearty "marhaba," or "welcome.")
Click for Brian Schweitzer on other issues.   Source: Michael Warren in The Weekly Standard magazine

Hillary Clinton on Homeland Security : Sep 22, 2013
Benghazi: Figure out what happened to prevent repeating

The NATO intervention in Libya was the most important foreign intervention of her tenure, and a seemingly successful one, but the lack of security in Benghazi and the confusion over how the incident occurred set off a heated Republican attack on Clinton's handling of the disaster, and she was roasted on the cable-news spit for weeks. In January, she took responsibility for the deaths of the four Americans before Congress--while also questioning her inquisition, snapping at a Republican congressman, "What difference at this point does it make? It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again."

Benghazi will be the go-to bludgeon for Republicans if and when Clinton tries using her experience at State to run for president. Republicans are liable to use Benghazi as a wedge to pry back her stately exterior, goading her into an outburst, once again revealing the polarizing figure who saw vast right-wing conspiracies.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: New York Magazine interview, "Hillary in Midair"

Peter King on Foreign Policy : Sep 9, 2013
No military aid to Egypt until freedom is re-established

The United States agreed to supply military equipment to Egypt, including F-16 jets, in 2009 when former President Hosni Mubarak was in power. Given the radical and inconsistent policies of Egyptian President Morsi, I have strong concerns over providing such military assistance. That is why I supported legislation to restrict military aid until the Obama Administration certified that Egypt's government was protecting freedom of expression, religion and due process of law. Unfortunately, the Administration chose to waive those requirements.

This denial of reality by the Administration must stop. To continue to receive American aid, Egypt must, at a minimum, adhere to its peace agreement with Israel and address the ongoing security situation in the Sinai.

Click for Peter King on other issues.   Source: Congressional website,, "Issues"

Rick Santorum on War & Peace : Aug 31, 2013
Unclear which side in Syria used chemical weapons

Santorum said, "The impact of the failure of this administration in both Egypt and in Syria is going to have a ripple effect in the Middle East and for our country for a long, long time. It's because we have a president who has decided to defer his foreign policy to the United Nations. He's a president who believes that America is not a moral force or a military or ideological force in the world."

Santorum said he has no "doubt" chemical weapons were used, but he is not sure which side used them, differing from the administration and most voices weighing in on the issue. "It wouldn't be a surprise to me that both sides were using them or that the radical Islamists are using them," Santorum said. "While I agree it is very clear that chemical weapons were used--the idea that we need to be punishing Assad and doing things to tip the balance in favor of al Qaeda who are running the rebel forces to me is a very questionable tactic of itself.

Click for Rick Santorum on other issues.   Source: ABC News "Candidates stand on Syria"

John Bolton on Foreign Policy : Aug 21, 2013
Help Egyptian Army over Muslim Brotherhood, even if elected

Bolton said it's time for the US to step up to the plate and choose sides in the Egyptian conflict--and that side should be the military. "Like it or not," he said, the US ought to back Egypt's government and military, not the Muslim Brotherhood or ousted Pres. Mohammed Morsi, despite the fact that US supported Morsi a year ago and helped his elected rise to power.

But Bolton said his view is the only one that works for the long term. "If the Muslim Brotherhood wins, say good-bye to the peace treaty with Israel and stability in Sinai," Bolton said. "Egypt has not yet succumbed to civil war, as Syria has, but it's getting close."

Bolton wrote: "The Muslim Brotherhood is not a normal political party as Westerners understand that term. It is an armed ideology--a militia that fires on its opponents and burns down churches. The Brotherhood, therefore, shares full blame for the continuing carnage. Should it ever regain power, whether through free elections or otherwise, it will never let go."

Click for John Bolton on other issues.   Source: Cheryl K. Chumley in the Washington Times

Rand Paul on Foreign Policy : Jun 13, 2013
US aid enables a war on Christianity in the Middle East

Before the Arab Spring, Christianity flourished in small outposts, like the Coptic Christians in Egypt. I had hoped that the Arab Spring would bring freedom to long-oppressed people throughout the Middle East, but I fear the Arab Spring is becoming an Arab winter.

Today, Christians in Iraq, Libya, Egypt and Syria are on the run--persecuted or under fire--and yet, we continue to send aid to the folks chasing them. While they burn the American flag and the mobs chant "Death to America," more of your money is sent to these haters of Christianity.

Even if all the atrocities to Christians were not occurring in these countries, we simply don't have the money to engage in this foolishness. We must borrow the money from China to send it to Pakistan.

It is clear that American taxpayer dollars are being used to enable a war on Christianity in the Middle East and I believe that must end.

Click for Rand Paul on other issues.   Source: Faith & Freedom Coalition speech: 2016 presidential hopefuls

Rand Paul on Foreign Policy : Mar 14, 2013
End US aid to countries that burn our flag

Sen. Paul told conservatives gathered at CPAC that ending foreign aid to nations like Egypt rather than stopping school children from touring the White House is a better way to cut federal spending: "I say not one penny more to countries that are burning our flag," Paul said, as the crowd rose to its feet and cheered. He chided the president for halting the tours as a way to deal with the across-the-board federal budget cuts required by the Budget Control Act, or sequester, which was proposed and signed into law by the president.

"The president's He's trying to do his fair share," Paul said. "But within a few days, the president finds an extra $250 million dollars to send to Egypt." Paul was referring to money appropriated by Congress to help the new government in Egypt where protests against the US have included burning the America flag, and "where mobs attacked out embassy and chanted 'Death to America,' [but Obama] found an extra $250 million to reward them," Paul said.

Click for Rand Paul on other issues.   Source: on 2013 Conservative Political Action Conf.

Joe Biden on Foreign Policy : Mar 4, 2013
Arab Spring changed Mideast; commitment to Israel unchanged

The Arab Spring, at once full of both hope and uncertainty, has required Israel--and the United States--to reassess old and settled relationships. Iran's dangerous nuclear weapons program, and its continued support of terrorist organizations, like Hezbollah and Hamas, not only endanger Israel, but endanger the world.

All these pressures put enormous pressure on the State of Israel. We understand that. And we especially understand that if we make a mistake, it's not a threat to our existence. But if Israel makes a mistake, it could be a threat to its very existence. And that's why, from the moment the President took office, he has acted swiftly and decisively to make clear to the whole world and to Israel that even as circumstances have changed, one thing has not: our deep commitment to the security of the state of Israel. That has not changed. That will not change as long as I and he are President and Vice President. It's in our naked self-interest, beyond the moral imperative.

Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: Speech at the AIPAC Policy Conference

Hillary Clinton on Foreign Policy : Jan 29, 2013
Work toward Arab Spring not being hijacked by extremists

Q: What about the Arab Spring?

A: I think that post the Arab revolutions that took place in Egypt and Libya and Tunisia, and elsewhere in the region, there was always going to be a period of adjustment. What we have to work for, along with the international community, is not to see these revolutions hijacked by extremists, not to see the return of dictatorial rule. It's hard going from decades under one party or one man rule, as somebody said, "waking up from a political coma and understanding democracy."

Q: Is President Morsi with us or not? He's said that the Holocaust didn't exist.

A: You have to look at the fact that the people now in power in these countries have never been in government, never had a chance to really learn how to run agencies or to make decisions. We don't condone what a lot of these leaders are doing, or failing to do. But we also know how important it is that we try to avoid even more extreme elements taking control of territory, even threatening a regime.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: Fox News "On the Record with Greta Van Susteren"

Hillary Clinton on Homeland Security : Jan 23, 2013
We responded to Benghazi immediately, and for the long run

Let me share some of the lessons we learned [about Benghazi]. Let's start on the night of Sept. 11 itself and those difficult early days. I directed our response from the State Department, stayed in close contact with officials from across our government and the Libyan government. No delays in decision making, no denials of support from Washington or from our military. The Review Board said the response saved American lives in real time and it did.

The very next morning, I told the American people that heavily armed militants assaulted our compound. I vowed to bring them to justice, and I stood with President Obama in the Rose Garden as he spoke of an act of terror.

It's also important to recall that in that same period, we were seeing violent attacks in our embassies, as well as large protests outside many other posts where our thousands of our diplomats serve. So, I immediately ordered a review of our security posture around the world with particularly scrutiny for high threat posts.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: Testimony at Senate Hearing on 9/11/2012 Benghazi attack

Hillary Clinton on Homeland Security : Jan 23, 2013
Worked with Libya before Benghazi, but they had no capacity

Sen. RUBIO: Were there any interagency meetings--before this attack--with regard to deteriorating security situation in Libya?

CLINTON: I had no knowledge of specific security requests. With regard to the situation in Libya, there were a number of meetings about this transition to elections.

RUBIO: At the Oct. 2011 & March 2012 meetings, did this issue come up with regards to the inability of the Libyan government to protect our diplomatic institutions?

CLINTON: We talked a great deal about th deteriorating threat environment in Libya.

RUBIO: Was there a specific conversation with regards to the inability of Libya to meet their obligations to provide security?

CLINTON: Oh, absolutely--a constant conversation. And what I found with the Libyans was willingness, but not capacity.

RUBIO: Before the attack, what had we done to help them build their security capacity?

CLINTON: Well, there's a long list, filled with training, with equipment, with planning that they had not done before.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: Testimony at Senate Hearing on 9/11/2012 Benghazi attack

Jill Stein on War & Peace : Nov 1, 2012
National conversation before we go to war

Q: The Green Party platform states that the US must handle disputes with foreign countries through the United Nations. If a humanitarian crisis erupts and the UN fails to pass a resolution would you consider bypassing the UN and staging an intervention without the assistance of other countries?

STEIN: I think the priority is that we do not bypass the American people who have been routinely bypassed in most of the interventions in recent decades including Iraq and Libya. This is being done without the explicit permission from Congress and is a critical check and balance that has gotten lost in the shuffle and is a violation of the US Constitution and the war powers act. It is very dangerous when politicians declare war and exhaust economic resources and spill the blood of Americans and civilians overseas. Most of the conflicts of the last decade would not have happened had there been a national conversation and discussion about what the true risks and benefits of our national security were.

Click for Jill Stein on other issues.   Source: interview of Jill Stein

Barack Obama on Foreign Policy : Oct 22, 2012
Libyans marching FOR America means we've been successful

Q: Your opinion on the Benghazi attack?

ROMNEY: With the Arab Spring came a great deal of hope that there would be a change towards more moderation. But instead we've seen in nation after nation a number of disturbing events.

OBAMA: With respect to Libya, [I said that] we would go after those who killed Americans, and we would bring them to justice. But I think it's important to step back and think about what happened in Libya. Now, keep in mind that I and Americans took leadership in organizing an international coalition that made sure that we were able to--without putting troops on the ground, at the cost of less than what we spent in two weeks in Iraq--liberate a country that had been under the yoke of dictatorship for 40 years, got rid of a despot who had killed Americans. And as a consequence, you had tens of thousands of Libyans after the events in Benghazi marching and saying, "America's our friend. We stand with them." Now that represents the opportunity we have to take advantage of.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: Third Obama-Romney 2012 Presidential debate

Barack Obama on Foreign Policy : Oct 22, 2012
I stand by "time for Mubarak to go" in Egyptian Revolution

Q: During the Egyptian turmoil, there came a point when you said it was time for President Mubarak to go. Some in your administration thought perhaps we should have waited a while on that. Do you have any regrets about that?

OBAMA: No, I don't because I think that America has to stand with democracy. But now that you have a democratically elected government in Egypt, they have to make sure that they take responsibility for protecting religious minorities--and we have put significant pressure on them to make sure they're doing that--to recognize the rights of women, which is critical throughout the region. These countries can't develop if young women are not given the kind of education that they need. They have to abide by their treaty with Israel. That is a red line for us.

Q: [to Romney]: Would you have stuck with Mubarak?

ROMNEY: No, I supported the president's action there. I wish we'd have had a better vision of the future.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: Third Obama-Romney 2012 Presidential debate

Mitt Romney on Foreign Policy : Oct 22, 2012
With Arab Spring came hope; but we got disturbing events

Q: You said the Benghazi attack was an example of an American policy in the Middle East that is unraveling before our very eyes.

ROMNEY: This is obviously an area of great concern to the entire world and to America in particular, which is to see a complete change in the structure and the environment in the Middle East. With the Arab Spring came a great deal of hope that there would be a change towards more moderation and opportunity for greater participation on the part of women and public life and in economic life in the Middle East. But instead we've seen in nation after nation a number of disturbing events. Of course, we see in Syria 30,000 civilians having been killed by the military there. We see in Libya an attack apparently by terrorists. Northern Mali has been taken over by al-Qaida-type individuals. We have in Egypt a Muslim Brotherhood president. So what we're seeing is a pretty dramatic reversal in the kind of hopes we had for that region.

Click for Mitt Romney on other issues.   Source: Third Obama-Romney 2012 Presidential debate

Gary Johnson on Homeland Security : Oct 22, 2012
Drones may create more adversaries than they eliminate

Q: What is your position on the use of drones?

Gary Johnson: Though we should leave all options on the table, drone strikes are a dangerous tool. There are unintended consequences from using them to kill targets in Pakistan and Yemen. We may get our target, but we can also create new enemies due to collateral damage. Drone strikes should be used with caution, and understanding that they may create more adversaries than they eliminate.

Click for Gary Johnson on other issues.   Source: Libertarian Party response to Third Obama-Romney 2012 debate

Jill Stein on War & Peace : Oct 22, 2012
Blowback across Middle East due to our immoral war policy

OBAMA: I think it's important to step back and think about what happened in Libya. We took leadership in organizing an international coalition that made sure that we were able to liberate a country that had been under the yoke of dictatorship for 40 years. And as a consequence, despite this tragedy, you had tens of thousands of Libyans after the events in Benghazi marching and saying, "America's our friend."

STEIN: It's very clear that there is blowback going on now across the Middle East, not only the unrest directed at the Libyan embassy. 75% of Pakistanis actually identify the US now as their enemy, not as their supporter or their ally. And, you know, in many ways, we're seeing a very ill-conceived, irresponsible and immoral war policy come back to haunt us, where US foreign policies have been based, unfortunately, on brute military force and wars for oil. Under my administration, we will have a foreign policy based on international law and human rights and the use of diplomacy.

Click for Jill Stein on other issues.   Source: Democracy Now! Expanded Third Obama-Romney 2012 debate

Barack Obama on War & Peace : Oct 22, 2012
Supported "Iron Dome" defense shield for Israel

ROMNEY: The reason I call it an "apology tour" is because you went to the Middle East and you flew to Egypt and to Saudi Arabia and to Turkey and Iraq. And you skipped Israel, our closest friend in the region, but you went to the other nations, and they noticed that you skipped Israel.

OBAMA: When I went to Israel as a candidate, I went to Yad Vashem, the Holocaust museum there, to remind myself the nature of evil and why our bond with Israel will be unbreakable. And then I went down to the border towns of Sderot, which had experienced missiles raining down from Hamas. And I saw families there who showed me where missiles had come down near their children's bedrooms, and I was reminded of what that would mean if those were my kids, which is why, as president, we funded an Iron Dome program to stop those missiles. So that's how I've used my travels when I travel to Israel and when I travel to the region.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: Third Obama-Romney 2012 Presidential debate

Jill Stein on Foreign Policy : Oct 16, 2012
Get tough policy has opposite effect of what was intended

Q: What about the attack on the US embassy in Benghazi, Libya?

STEIN: The tragedy in Libya, I think, is a very good case in point that really shows how this "get tough" international policy has really been extremely unproductive, has really produced the opposite effect of what was intended. And we're seeing this now not only in Libya, but in the demonstrations against U.S. embassies across the Middle East, in the fact that the Afghanistan army is shooting at U.S. soldiers. The war effort really is not being turned over to an Afghan army. The Afghan army itself has a very high desertion rate. We need a foreign policy based not on "tough guy" militarism, but on international law and respect for human rights, not on wars for oil.

Click for Jill Stein on other issues.   Source: Democracy Now! Expanded Second Obama-Romney 2012 debate

Gary Johnson on Homeland Security : Oct 16, 2012
Why were we in Benghazi or Libya at all?

Q: Why did the State Department refuse extra security for the Benghazi embassy?

Pres. OBAMA: As soon as we found out that the Benghazi consulate was being overrun, I gave my national security team three instructions:

  1. Beef up our security & procedures, not just in Libya, but at every embassy in the region.
  2. Investigate exactly what happened, to make sure it doesn't happen again.
  3. We are going to find out who did this and we're going to hunt them down.
Gov. Mitt ROMNEY: The president just said correctly that the buck does stop at his desk. There were many days that passed before we knew whether this was a spontaneous demonstration, or actually whether it was a terrorist attack. And there was no demonstration involved.

Click for Gary Johnson on other issues.   Source: 3rd-party response to Second Obama-Romney 2012 debate

Paul Ryan on Foreign Policy : Oct 11, 2012
Apologize for bad acts, but don't apologize for our values

Q: The Romney campaign talks a lot about no apologies. He has a book called "No Apology." Should the US have apologized for Americans burning Qurans in Afghanistan? Should the US apologize for US Marines urinating on Taliban corpses?

RYAN: Oh, gosh, yes. What we should not be apologizing for are standing up for our values. What we should not be doing is saying to the Egyptian people, while Mubarak is cracking down on them, that he's a good guy and then the next week say he ought to go.

Click for Paul Ryan on other issues.   Source: 2012 Vice Presidential debate

Joe Biden on War & Peace : Oct 11, 2012
Syria not like Libya; intervention would ignite the region

Q: In March of last year, President Obama explained the military action taken in Libya by saying it was in the national interest to go in and prevent further massacres from occurring there. So why doesn't the same logic apply in Syria?

BIDEN: It's a different country. It's a different country. It is five times as large geographically. It has 1/5 the population that is Libya. It's in a part of the world where you're not going to see whatever would come from that war. If it blows up and the wrong people gain control, it's going to have impact on the entire region, causing potentially regional wars. And all this loose talk of [Ryan and] Romney, about how we could do so much more there, what more would they do other than put American boots on the ground? The last thing America needs is to get into another ground war in the Middle East.

RYAN: Nobody is proposing to send American troops to Syria. But we would not be going through the UN.

Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: 2012 Vice Presidential debate

Mitt Romney on Foreign Policy : Sep 30, 2012
Support Arab Spring gov't & individuals who share our values

The Arab Spring presented an opportunity to help move millions of people from oppression to freedom. But it also presented grave risks. We needed a strategy for success, but the president offered none.

In this period of uncertainty, we need to apply a coherent strategy of supporting our partners in the Middle East--that is, both governments and individuals who share our values.

This means restoring our credibility with Iran. When we say an Iranian nuclear-weapons capability--and the regional instability that comes with it--is unacceptable, the ayatollahs must be made to believe us. And it means using the full spectrum of our soft power to encourage liberty and opportunity for those who have for too long known only corruption and oppression. The dignity of work and the ability to steer the course of their lives are the best alternatives to extremism.

Click for Mitt Romney on other issues.   Source: Romney's editorial in the Wall Street Journal

Barack Obama on Foreign Policy : Sep 19, 2012
Partner with Arab Spring countries to work toward democracy

[After the riots attacking American embassies], there is a larger issue, and that is what's going to be happening in the Arab Spring as these countries transition from dictatorship to democracy. And we cannot replace the tyranny of a dictator with the tyranny of a mob. And so my message to the Presidents of Egypt, Libya, Tunisia and these other countries is, we want to be a partner with you, we will work with you, and we stand on the side of democracy, but democracy is not just an election; it's also, are you looking out for minority rights, are you respecting freedom of speech, are you treating women fairly.

All these issues are ones that the region is going to wrestle with. The one thing we can't do is withdraw from the region, because the US continues to be the one indispensable nation. And even countries where the US is criticized, they still want our leadership. And so we're going to continue to work in these regions.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: Obama-Romney interviews by Univision Noticias (Spanish News)

Barack Obama on Homeland Security : Sep 19, 2012
Remain vigilant & focus forcefully on groups like al Qaeda

Q: The White House said today that the attacks in Libya were a terrorist attack. Was Iran, or al Qaeda behind organizing the protests [which led to the American embassy attacks]?

A: Well, we're still doing an investigation. The natural protests that arose were used as an excuse by extremists to harm US interests. We have to remain vigilant. Look, when I came into office I said I would end the war in Iraq--and I did. I said that we would begin transitioning in Afghanistan. But what I also said was we're going to have to focus narrowly and forcefully on groups like al Qaeda. Those forces have not gone away. We've decimated al Qaeda's top leadership in the border regions around Pakistan, but in Yemen, in Libya--increasingly in places like Syria-- what you see is these elements that don't have the same capacity that a bin Laden or core al Qaeda had, but can still cause a lot of damage, and we've got to make sure that we remain vigilant and are focused on preventing them from doing us any harm.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: Obama-Romney interviews by Univision Noticias (Spanish News)

Barack Obama on War & Peace : Sep 19, 2012
Libyan people appreciate that America liberated them

Q: [After the release of a movie preview perceived as mocking Muhammad], we have seen anti-American protests by thousands of Muslims in many countries. Why weren't our embassies better prepared with more security on September 11?

A: We mourn the loss of the Americans who were killed in Benghazi. But that's not representative of the attitudes of the Libyan people towards America, because they understand because of the incredible work that our diplomats did as well as our men and women in uniform, we liberated that country from a dictator who had terrorized them for 40 years. We've seen this in the past, where there is an offensive video or cartoon directed at the prophet Muhammad. And this is used as an excuse to carry out inexcusable violent acts. We told the [Libyan & other] leaders, that although we had nothing to do with the video, we find it offensive, it's not representative of America's views, but we will not tolerate violence, and we will bring those who carried out these events to justice.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: Obama-Romney interviews by Univision Noticias (Spanish News)

Paul Ryan on Foreign Policy : Sep 14, 2012
Confident exercise of US leadership keeps peace in Mideast

Peace, freedom, and civilized values have enemies in this world, as we have been reminded by events in Egypt, Libya, and Yemen. [Our enemies] are extremists who operate by violence and intimidation. And the least equivocation or mixed signal only makes them bolder. Look across that region today, and what do we see?Amid all these threats & dangers, what we do not see is steady, consistent American leadership. In the years ahead, American foreign policy needs moral clarity and firmness of purpose. Only by the confident exercise of American influence are evil and violence overcome. That is how we keep problems abroad from becoming crises. That is what keeps the peace. And that is what we will have in a Romney-Ryan administration.
Click for Paul Ryan on other issues.   Source: Speech at 2012 Values Voters Summit

Rand Paul on Foreign Policy : Sep 12, 2012
Freeze aid to Egypt until they release detained Americans

When Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was ousted from office in 2011, a member of Mubarak's old guard decided to charge workers with the "crime" of doing something they had been doing legally and with full permission for years. American and Egyptian citizens were arrested.

Due to a near criminal degree of corruption, abuse, and waste on the part of many recipients--not to mention the fact that we can't afford it--I had long been in favor of eliminating foreign aid altogether. But since the aid existed, I thought it gave Congress the perfect tool to help the detained Americans.

I attempted to freeze aid to Egypt. We had sent Mubarak's regime over $60 billion and now a member of that same regime was responsible for arresting and holding American citizens against their will--19 US nationals. I proposed an amendment to end ALL foreign aid to Egypt--economic aid, military aid, all aid--in 30 days unless the American citizens were released. We give over $1.5 billion to Egypt annually.

Click for Rand Paul on other issues.   Source: Government Bullies, by Rand Paul, p.196-198

Condoleezza Rice on War & Peace : Aug 29, 2012
We should support free people, including Syria

We have seen that the desire for liberty and freedom is, indeed, universal, as men and women in the Middle East rise up to seize it. Yet, the promise of the Arab Spring is engulfed in uncertainty, internal strife, and hostile neighbors our challenging the young, fragile democracy of Iraq. Dictators in Iran and Syria butcher their people and threat to regional security. Russia and China prevent a response, and everyone asks, where does America stand?

Indeed, that is the question of the hour. Where does America stand? You see when the friends or foes alike don't know the answer to that question, unambiguously and clearly, the world is likely to be a more dangerous and chaotic place. Since world war II, the US has had an answer to that question. We stand for free peoples and free markets. We will defend and support them.

Click for Condoleezza Rice on other issues.   Source: 2012 Republican National Convention speech

Hillary Clinton on Technology : Jun 14, 2012
Condemned China's use of Internet to monitor dissidents

Hillary Clinton had already demonstrated that she was willing to confront China. In 2010, she delivered a speech on the increasingly important and contentious issue of Internet freedom around the world. She criticized various countries' barriers to the free flow of information and their detention of bloggers. In particular, she condemned the use of the Internet to monitor and silence the activities of political and religious dissidents.

She singled out Tunisia and Egypt, but the country to which Clinton devoted the most attention in her speech was China. Later, Google publicly threatened to pull out of China because of cyberattacks on its email system and the targeting of Chinese dissidents and human rights activists. Clinton's response was swift and pointed: She called on the Chinese government to investigate the attacks on Google. Countries that engage in such attacks "should face consequences and international condemnation," she said.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: The Obamians, by James Mann, p.245

Ben Carson on Foreign Policy : Jan 24, 2012
Rome's decline began with immoral lifestyle; like in America

The US is still the pinnacle nation in the world today. It is not, however, the 1st pinnacle nation to face a decline. Ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, Great Britain, France, and Spain all enjoyed their time at the top of the world, so to speak--in many cases, for several hundred years. Then, as they began to decline, they all experienced some peculiar similarities: an inordinate emphasis on sports and entertainment, a fixation with lifestyles of the rich and famous, political corruption, and the loss of a moral compass.

One certainly sees this pattern being repeated in American society today, and if we continue to follow the course of other pinnacle nations prior to us in history, we will suffer the same fate. The question is, "Can we learn from the experience of those nations that preceded us and take corrective action, or must we inexorably follow the same self-destructive course?"

Click for Ben Carson on other issues.   Source: America the Beautiful, by Ben Carson, p. 9

Ben Carson on Foreign Policy : Jan 24, 2012
US poverty pales compared to billions in India & Africa

God has opened many doors of opportunity throughout my lifetime, but I believe the greatest of those doors was allowing me to be born in the USA.

Growing up, I heard many complaints from those around me about poverty, but visiting such places as India, Egypt, and Africa has provided me with perspective on what poverty really is. Hundreds of millions, if not billions, of people in the world live on less than $2 a day. Many of those living in poverty in this country, in fact, would be considered quite wealthy by poor people in other countries. Also, here in the US, there is no caste system to determine one's social status, so there are many opportunities for people to escape poverty without resorting to a life of crime. You are much more likely to be judged in this nation by your knowledge and the way you express yourself than you are by your pedigree. I'm not sure we realize how good we have it on this point.

Click for Ben Carson on other issues.   Source: America the Beautiful, by Ben Carson, p.180

Rick Santorum on War & Peace : Jan 7, 2012
Stay in Afghanistan until security of our country is secure

Q: Would you send troops back into Iraq right now?

SANTORUM: Well, I wouldn't right now, but we need someone who has a strong vision for the region and we have not had that with this president. He has been making mistakes at every turn in Iran, in Egypt, I would argue, Libya, Syria, Israel. All of these places, he has made mistakes on the ground that have shown the people in that region that we are the weak horse. That is something that cannot happen because it will cause events like you're seeing in the Straits of Hormuz. There will be push. America is soft and so they can be pushed around. That's what this administration has done. They did it by withdrawing from Iraq, and [the same] if we get out of Afghanistan. Let's just wait and see how things turn out when the United States isn't there and see how consequential our efforts were for the stability of that region.

HUNTSMAN: So how long do you want to wait?

SANTORUM: Until the security of our country is ensured.

Click for Rick Santorum on other issues.   Source: WMUR 2012 GOP New Hampshire debate

Jill Stein on War & Peace : Dec 21, 2011
Humanitarian aims in Libya ok; but not regime change

Q: What about the war in Libya?

A: We're going to see it's not over in Libya . You don't solve problems, you don't promote international stability and democracy by bringing in the army and the bombs. That does not create national stability. The humanitarian concerns were legitimate but those humanitarian aims were really cast aside very early. After NATO entered the fray it quickly morphed from protecting civilians to regime change. There was no legitimate international justification for that.

Click for Jill Stein on other issues.   Source: 2011 OnTheIssues interview with Jill Stein

Joe Biden on War & Peace : Dec 13, 2011
We shared responsibility to bring democracy to Libya

The Iraq War really spiraled out of control pretty quickly. One of the lessons we`ve learned is that you can go into any dictatorship and try to impose democracy, but it`s going to take you $1 trillion, a decade, and you`re going to have to make a judgment whether or not you`d better spend your time and effort doing something else to make the world safer.

I would give Libya as an example. It was clear that Moammar Gadhafi was really not a good guy at all. But what did the president do? We spent several billion dollars, but we didn`t lose one American life. We didn`t put one boot on the ground. And we had a shared responsibility with the rest of the world, including Arab nations as well as NATO to deal with that issue.

And now, there`s a shared responsibility to the world to help them establish a democracy. That`s very different than going it alone. I hope we`ve learned the lesson that, unless our immediate vital national interest is at stake, going it alone should be the last option.

Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: MSNBC's "The Rachel Maddow Show" on 2012 election

Donald Trump on Energy & Oil : Dec 5, 2011
Libya: No oil, no support; no exceptions

Qadaffi is dead and gone. So what? We have spent more than $1 billion on the Libya operation. And what are we getting in return? A huge bill, that's what. It's incredible how foolish the Obama administration is. Libya has enormous oil reserves. When the so-called "rebels" came to NATO (which is really the U.S.) and asked for help to defeat Qadaffi, we should have said, "Sure, we don't like the guy either. We will help you take out Qadaffi. But in exchange, you give us 50 percent of your oil for the next twenty-five years to pay for our military support and to say thank you for the United States doing what you could never have done on your own." The "rebels" would have jumped at the offer and said yes.

Imagine the amount of oil we could have secured for America. Our policy should be: no oil, no military support.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: Time to Get Tough, by Donald Trump, p.102

Marco Rubio on Foreign Policy : Nov 12, 2011
Intervention to promote democracy abroad

Rubio says he believes it's "essential" for the United States to "spend money and risk lives on foreign policy." In particular, Rubio says he will reinforce the importance of promoting democracy. "We don't always agree with other democracies but very rarely do we find ourselves fighting them," he says.

Rubio has not been shy in pushing for that sort of muscular foreign policy approach. He has been an outspoken voice for intervention in Libya, and aggressively questioned what he called the Obama administration's "troubling" response to the rising violence within the country. "Is the message that we're sending that when future conflicts arise, the United States' actions are difficult to predict? There may be none? That, basically, the way to repress and bring down resistance like this is to be brutal? What are we going to do if there's a bloodbath after this?" Rubio asked, his voice rising.

Click for Marco Rubio on other issues.   Source: Congressional Quarterly "Roll Call" weblog

Condoleezza Rice on Foreign Policy : Nov 1, 2011
Channel Arab Spring into positive development

In the Middle East the Arab Spring has freed millions. American can help to channel the development there in a positive direction. We have influence with the militaries in Egypt and Tunisia; with civil society and political activists, many of whom we've helped train through America's nongovernmental institutions.

In other places, our friends--particularly the monarchs of the region--still have a chance to reform now before it's too late. The United States can coax these monarchies to adopt constitutions and reforms that give greater voice to their people. The changes will strengthen moderate voices across the region. And to our enemies, the Syrian and Iranian regimes, we should say, "Your time has come. Whatever follows you is unlikely to be worse, for your people and for the world, than who you have been."

Click for Condoleezza Rice on other issues.   Source: No Higher Honor, by Condoleezza Rice, p.733

Rick Santorum on War & Peace : Sep 7, 2011
No isolationism on Libya; but Obama did it wrong

Q: [to Bachmann]: You opposed the US intervention in Libya. If Pres. Obama had taken the same view, Gadhafi would still be in power today.

BACHMANN: I believe that it was wrong for the president to go into Libya. There was no American vital interest in Libya. We didn't know who the rebel forces were in Libya.

SANTORUM: I'm hearing from at least a couple of people on this panel a very isolationist view. Ronald Reagan was committed to America being a force for good around the world. We could have been a force for good from the very get-go in Libya, but this president was indecisive and confused from the very beginning. He only went along with the Libyan mission because the UN told him to. This is a very important issue for our party. Are we going to stand in the Reagan tradition, or are we going to go the isolationist view that some in this party are advocating?

Click for Rick Santorum on other issues.   Source: 2011 GOP debate in Simi Valley CA at the Reagan Library

Gary Johnson on War & Peace : Aug 21, 2011
No military threat from Iraq, Afghanistan, nor Libya

Q: You write that "maintaining a strong national defense is the most basic of the federal government's responsibilities. However, building schools, roads, and hospitals in other countries are not among those basic obligations. Yet that is exactly what we have been doing for much of the past 10 years." Do you oppose current US military intervention in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya and, if so, on what moral grounds?

A: I do. In all three cases, I don't see a military threat. I initially thought the intervention in Afghanistan was warranted--we were attacked and we attacked back--but we've wiped out Al Qaeda and here we are; we're still there.

Q: Isn't there evidence that we merely drove Al Qaeda from Afghanistan into Pakistan?

A: Sure.

Click for Gary Johnson on other issues.   Source: Interview by Scott Holleran on blog

Newt Gingrich on War & Peace : Aug 11, 2011
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.

Click for Newt Gingrich on other issues.   Source: Iowa Straw Poll 2011 GOP debate in Ames Iowa

Rick Santorum on War & Peace : Jul 21, 2011
No national security at stake in Libya

Q: Would any of you have gone into Libya?

Santorum: We need to focus our military on OUR national security not UN or humanitarian efforts, the first being to defend our borders.

Bachmann: No. There is no vital US interest in Libya. Worse, we might be aiding terrorist groups by supporting the Libyan opposition.

Santorum: I would not go anywhere unless our national security was at stake. It seems clear that was not the case.

Click for Rick Santorum on other issues.   Source: 2011 Republican primary debate on

Newt Gingrich on War & Peace : Jul 21, 2011
No US conventional forces in Libya

Q: Would any of you have gone into Libya?

Cain: I've said many times before that US intervention in Libya is inappropriate and wrong. The US does not belong in this war.

Gingrich: Not with conventional forces.

Cain: Pres. Obama did not make it clear what our mission was in Libya, what the American interests were or what victory looks like. We cannot risk our treasury or national treasures (brave men & women in uniform) without knowing those answers.

Click for Newt Gingrich on other issues.   Source: 2011 Republican primary debate on

Gary Johnson on War & Peace : Jul 21, 2011
Absolutely would not have gone into Libya; get out now

Q: Would any of you have gone into Libya?

Johnson: Absolutely not.

McCotter: The Administration shouldn't have commenced its ill-defined Libya mission; however once committed, we can't abruptly withdraw & further harm our diminishing credibility in the world. Now, in solely a support role to prevent further involvement--no US boots on ground.

Johnson: Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya--Get out now!

Click for Gary Johnson on other issues.   Source: 2011 Republican primary debate on

Tim Kaine on War & Peace : Jun 19, 2011
Obama had a "good rationale" for going in Libya in 2011

Kaine said that the Obama administration should consult Congress further over American involvement in Libya's civil war. "Err on the side of caution and go to Congress," Kaine said. When asked whether the War Powers Act legally requires the White House to get congressional approval for Libya, Kaine was noncommittal, adding that the president had a "good rationale" for going in, given that sanctions had failed and the United Nations and the Arab League signed off on intervention.
Click for Tim Kaine on other issues.   Source: The Daily Progress, "Kaine talks Libya," by Graham Moomaw

Gary Johnson on War & Peace : Jun 15, 2011
No threat from Libya; so no authority to topple dictator

Q: What about Libya?

A: I went on record immediately saying, "Let's not do this." There was no congressional authorization, no military threat. Where in the constitution does it say that because we don't like a foreign country's leader we should go in and topple the dictator?

Click for Gary Johnson on other issues.   Source: Tim Dickinson in Rolling Stone Magazine

Newt Gingrich on War & Peace : Jun 13, 2011
Get out of Arab region rapidly; make new strategy

Q: Should the president have supported the NATO operation in Libya? Should the price tag be a factor when you're the commander in chief?

GINGRICH: Sure. The price tag is always a factor, because that's part of the decision. But ten years after 9/11, our intelligence is so inadequate that we have no idea what percent of the Libyan rebels are, in fact, al Qaeda. Libya was the second largest producer of people who wanted to kill Americans in Iraq. I think that we need to think fundamentally about reassessing our entire strategy in the region. I think that we should say to the generals we would like to figure out to get out as rapid as possible with the safety of the troops involved. And we had better find new and very different strategies because this is too big a problem for us to deal with the American ground forces in direct combat. We have got to have a totally new strategy for the region, because we don't today have the kind of intelligence we need to know even what we're doing.

Click for Newt Gingrich on other issues.   Source: 2011 GOP primary debate in Manchester NH

Barack Obama on Homeland Security : Jun 8, 2011
OpEd: Failed promise to close Guantanamo loses left votes

Obama won a lot of the Left votes by promising to close Guantanamo and by claiming to be the anti-war candidate. But Guantanamo still operates and the American involvement in wars has escalated in Afghanistan and Libya. Some on the Left are so upset that they want someone with Left credibility to run against Obama in the primaries. If many on the Left abandon Obama, he will lose a lot of fundraising sources. And he might lose enough votes in the swing states and lose the general election.
Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: Why She Will Win, by Ron Paul Jones, p. 17

Barack Obama on War & Peace : Jun 8, 2011
Intervene in Libya for humanitarian reasons

Obama does have some political cover for Afghanistan and Iraq because the US was already involved in those countries when he became President. But Libya is entirely Obama's war.

Michele Bachmann's position on Libya distinctly contrasts with Obama's position. Bachmann is against American involvement in the civil war in Libya. Her view is that no one really knows who the rebels in Libya are, nor how they intend to change Libya. She further explains that there are terrorist groups assisting the rebels. Obama's position is that the US must be involved in Libya for "humanitarian" reasons. As the Libya situation drags on, people will realize that if NATO and the U.S. had never intervened in Libya, the civil war would have been over in a few weeks. The rebels would have been driven out long ago, and thousands of deaths would have been prevented. Americans will demand that Obama answer "Why Libya?" just like they demanded that Bush answer "Why Iraq?"

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: Why She Will Win, by Ron Paul Jones, p. 24

Sarah Palin on Homeland Security : Feb 6, 2010
Question terrorists before they get lawyered up & Mirandized

We should acknowledge that, on Christmas day, the system did not work. This terrorist trained in Yemen with al Qaeda. His American visa was not revoked until after he tried to kill hundreds of passengers. On Christmas day, the only thing that stopped this terrorist is blind luck and brave passengers. It was a Christmas miracle. And that is not the way that the system is supposed to work.

What followed was equally disturbing after he was captured. He was questioned for only 50 minutes. We have a choice in how to do this. The choice was only question him for 50 minutes and then read his Miranda rights. The administration says then there are no downsides or upsides to treating terrorists like civilian criminal defendants. But a lot of us would beg to differ. For example, there are questions we would have liked this foreign terrorist to answer before he lawyered up and invoked our U.S. constitutional right to remain silent.

Click for Sarah Palin on other issues.   Source: 2010 Tea Party Convention speeches

Barack Obama on War & Peace : Feb 11, 2008
Humanitarian aid now for displaced Iraqis

Q: Will you use every tool in our country’s arsenal to prevent civil war in Iraq after troops are pulled out?

A: If we are doing this right, if we have a phased redeployment where we’re as careful getting out as we were careless getting in, then there’ not reason why we shouldn’t be able to prevent the wholesale slaughter some people have suggested might occur. And part of that means we are engaging in the diplomatic efforts that are required within Iraq, among friends, like Egypt, and Turkey and Saudi Arabia, but also enemies like Iran and Syria. They have to have buy-in into that process. We have to have humanitarian aid now. We also have two-and-a-half million displaced people inside of Iraq and several million more outside of Iraq. We should be ramping up assistance to them right now. But I always reserve the right, in conjunction with a broader international effort, to prevent genocide or any wholesale slaughter than might happen inside of Iraq or anyplace else.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: 2008 Politico pre-Potomac Primary interview

Mike Huckabee on Homeland Security : Jan 1, 2008
Support moderate modern evil over Al-Qaeda’s medieval evil

The United States’ biggest challenge in the Arab and Muslim worlds is the lack of a viable moderate alternative to radicalism. On the one hand, there are radical Islamists willing to fight dictators with terrorist tactics that moderates are too humane to use. On the other, there are repressive regimes that stay in power by force and through the suppression of basic human rights--many of which we support by buying oil, such as the Saudi government, or with foreign aid, such as the Egyptian government.

Although we cannot export democracy as if it were Coca-Cola or KFC, we can nurture moderate forces in places where al Qaeda is seeking to replace modern evil with medieval evil. Such moderation may not look or function like our system--it may be a benevolent oligarchy or more tribal than individualistic--but both for us and for the peoples of those countries, it will be better than the dictatorships they have now or the theocracy they would have under radical Islamists.

Click for Mike Huckabee on other issues.   Source: America’s Priorities in the War on Terror: Foreign Affairs

Hillary Clinton on Homeland Security : Nov 1, 2003
I despise terrorism and the nihilism it represents

On Oct. 11, the USS Cole was attacked by terrorists in Yemen. The explosion killed 17 US sailors and ripped a hole in the destroyer’s hull. This attack, like the embassy bombings, was later traced to al Qaeda.

I despise terrorism and the nihilism it represents, and I was incredulous when the NY Republican Party and Lazio campaign insinuated that I was somehow involved with the terrorists who blew up the Cole. They made this charge in a TV ad and an automatic telephone message directed to NY voters 12 days before the election. The story they concocted was that I had received a donation from somebody who belonged to a group that they said supported terrorists--“the same kind of terrorism that killed our sailors on the USS Cole.” The phone script told people to call me and tell me to “stop supporting terrorism.” This last-minute desperation tactic blew up, however, thanks to a vigorous response by my campaign and with help from former NYC mayor Ed Koch, who cut a TV commercial scolding Lazio.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: Living History, by Hillary Clinton, p.521-522

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