issues2000

Topics in the News: Iranian Nukes


Barack Obama on Foreign Policy : Jan 28, 2014
Negotiations with Iran don't rely on trust

American diplomacy, backed by pressure, has halted the progress of Iran's nuclear program--and rolled parts of that program back--for the very first time in a decade. Iran has begun to eliminate its stockpile of higher levels of enriched uranium. It is not installing advanced centrifuges. And with our allies and partners, we're engaged in negotiations to see if we can peacefully achieve a goal we all share: preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

These negotiations will be difficult. We are clear-eyed about Iran's support for terrorist organizations like Hezbollah; and the mistrust between our nations cannot be wished away. But these negotiations do not rely on trust; any long-term deal we agree to must be based on verifiable action that convinces us and the international community that Iran is not building a nuclear bomb. If JFK and Reagan could negotiate with the Soviet Union, then surely a strong and confident America can negotiate with less powerful adversaries today.

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

Peter King on War & Peace : Sep 9, 2013
We cannot allow Iranian pursuit of nuclear weapons

Iran poses a grave threat not only to Israel and the Middle East, but also to the US and the entire world. It is the world's leading state sponsor of terror and continues to violate United Nations Security Council Resolutions in its pursuit of nuclear weapons. That is something we cannot allow. Strong economic sanctions on Iran have been enacted with my strong support. We must take decisive action against this dangerous regime and keep all options on the table. I have endorsed:
Click for Peter King on other issues.   Source: Congressional website, peteking.house.gov, "Issues"

Marco Rubio on War & Peace : Jun 16, 2013
New Iranian leader is more moderate but still supports nukes

Q: We had a big election in Iran over the weekend. The most moderate candidate won. Is Iran under a President Rohani going to be potentially less of a threat than Iran under President Ahmadinejad?

RUBIO: First of all, a moderate by Iranian political standards is not what we could describe as moderate here in the West, but let me just say that I hope so, because the people of Iran do not want the future that their leaders have wanted. The people of Iran want to engage with the rest of the world, and hopefully this will be a step in that direction. But I'm not all that optimistic. In order to have better relations, not just with the US but with the world, Iran needs to abandon its nuclear weapons ambitions. And unfortunately, this gentleman who was just elected is a strong supporter of the nuclear program and the nuclear weaponization as well.

Click for Marco Rubio on other issues.   Source: ABC This Week 2013 series of 2016 presidential hopefuls

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

Joe Biden on War & Peace : Mar 4, 2013
Prevent--not contain--Iranian nuclear weapon

We're mindful that pursuing a better future for Israel means helping Israel confront the myriads of threat it faces in the neighborhood. It's a tough neighborhood, and it starts with Iran. It is not only in Israel's interest that Iran does not acquire a nuclear weapon, it's in the interest of the United States of America. It's simple. And, as a matter of fact, it's in the interest of the entire world.

Iran's acquisition of a nuclear weapon not only would present an existential threat to Israel, it would present a threat to our allies and our partners--and to the United States. And it would trigger an arms race--a nuclear arms race in the region, and make the world a whole lot less stable.

So we have a shared strategic commitment. Let me make clear what that commitment is: It is to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. Period. End of discussion. Prevent--not contain--prevent.

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

Barack Obama on War & Peace : Mar 4, 2013
On Iranian nukes: Big nations can't bluff

We have a shared strategic commitment with Israel. Let me make clear what that commitment is: It is to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. Period. End of discussion. Prevent--not contain--prevent.

The President has flatly stated that. And he always says--he'll turn to other people and say, "as Joe would say, big nations can't bluff." Well, big nations can't bluff. And Presidents of the United States cannot and do not bluff. And President Obama is not bluffing. He is not bluffing.

We are not looking for war. We are looking to and ready to negotiate peacefully, but all options, including military force, are on the table. Our strong preference, the world's preference is for a diplomatic solution. So while that window is closing, we believe there is still time and space to achieve the outcome. We are in constant dialogue, sharing information with the Israeli military & Israeli intelligence, and we're taking all the steps required to get there.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: Joe Biden speech at the AIPAC Policy Conference

Hillary Clinton on War & Peace : Jan 29, 2013
Policy of prevention, not containment, on Iranian nukes

Q: Your predecessor, Henry Kissinger, said that if Iran gets a nuclear weapon, that it is a turning point in history.

A: Our policy is prevention, not containment. And we have, through hard work with the international community, imposed the toughest set of sanctions on any country. We know it's having an effect. We have to continue to keep them isolated, and keep Russia and China on board. [But] we've said from the very beginning, we're open to diplomacy. We are doing so in the so-called P5-plus-1 format.

Q: What about military action against them?

A: Well, we've always said all options are on the table. The president has been very clear about that. [With regards to the] terrorism aspect of Iran's behavior, when I came into office, there were too many countries that were turning a blind eye to it. We have worked very hard to get the international community to say these guys need to be stopped on the terrorism front. They cannot be permitted to go forward.

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

Mitt Romney on Foreign Policy : Oct 22, 2012
Indict Ahmadinejad for inciting genocide

Q: Besides the crippling sanctions you call for, how would you dissuade Iran from nuclear development?

ROMNEY: I'd take on diplomatic isolation efforts. I'd make sure that Ahmadinejad is indicted under the Genocide Convention. His words amount to genocide incitation. I would indict him for it. I would also make sure that their diplomats are treated like the pariah they are around the world, the same way we treated the apartheid diplomats of South Africa. We need to increase pressure time and time again on Iran because anything other than a solution which stops this nuclear folly of theirs is unacceptable to America. And of course, a military action is the last resort. It is something one would only, only consider if all of the other avenues had been tried to their full extent.

OBAMA: You know, I'm glad that Gov. Romney agrees with the steps that we're taking. The work involved in setting up these crippling sanctions is painstaking; it's meticulous. We started from the day we got into office.

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

Mitt Romney on Foreign Policy : Oct 22, 2012
America hasn't dictated; we free nations from dictators

ROMNEY: The president began what I've called an apology tour of going to various nations in the Middle East and criticizing America.

OBAMA: This notion of me apologizing has been probably the biggest whopper that's been told during the course of this campaign, and every fact-checker and every reporter who's looked at it, Governor, has said this is not true.

ROMNEY: We're four years closer to a nuclear Iran. 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. And then in those nations and on Arabic TV you said that America had been dismissive and derisive. You said that on occasion America had dictated to other nations. Mr. President, America has not dictated to other nations. We have freed other nations from dictators.

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

Mitt Romney on War & Peace : Oct 22, 2012
We can't kill our way out of the mess in the Islamic world

ROMNEY: [In the Islamic world], we've seen in nation after nation a number of disturbing events. Of course, the greatest threat of all is Iran, four years closer to a nuclear weapon. And we're going to have to recognize that we have to do as the president has done. I congratulate him on taking out Osama bin Laden and going after the leadership in al-Qaida. But we can't kill our way out of this mess. We're going to have to put in place a very comprehensive and robust strategy to help the world of Islam and other parts of the world reject this radical violent extremism which is really not on the run. This is a group that is now involved in 10 or 12 countries, and it presents an enormous threat.

OBAMA: My first job as commander in chief is to keep the American people safe, and that's what we've done over the last four years. We ended the war in Iraq, refocused our attention on those who actually killed us on 9/11. And as a consequence, al-Qaida's core leadership has been decimated.

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

Mitt Romney on War & Peace : Oct 22, 2012
Dissuade Iran from nukes by peaceful means, like sanctions

OBAMA: As long as I'm president, Iran will not get a nuclear weapon. A nuclear Iran is a threat to our national security.

ROMNEY: There's no question but that a nuclear-capable Iran is unacceptable to America. It presents ultimately a threat to us to have Iran have nuclear material or nuclear weapons. It's also essential for us to understand what our mission is in Iran, and that is to dissuade Iran from having a nuclear weapon through peaceful & diplomatic means. And crippling sanctions are something I'd called for five years ago. I laid out seven steps. Crippling sanctions were #1. And they do work. You're seeing it right now in the economy. It's absolutely the right thing to do to have crippling sanctions. I'd have put them in place earlier, but it's good that we have them. #2, something I would add today is I would tighten those sanctions. I would say that ships that carry Iranian oil can't come into our ports. And I'd take on diplomatic isolation efforts.

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

Paul Ryan on War & Peace : Oct 11, 2012
Nuclear Iran is worse than war

BIDEN: There is no nuclear weapon that the Iranians have at this point. What are they talking about? Unless he's talking about going to war.

RYAN: Let's look at this from the view of the ayatollahs. They see this administration trying to water down sanctions in Congress for over two years. They're moving faster toward a nuclear weapon; they're spinning the centrifuges faster. We have to change their mind so they stop pursuing nuclear weapons, and they're going faster.

Q: What's worse: another war in the Middle East, or a nuclear-armed Iran?

RYAN: I'll tell you what's worse. A nuclear-armed Iran, which triggers a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. This is the world's largest sponsor of terrorism. They've dedicated themselves to wiping an entire country off the map. They call us the Great Satan. And if they get nuclear weapons, other people in the neighborhood will pursue their nuclear weapons as well. We can't live with that.

BIDEN: War should always be the absolute last resort.

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

Joe Biden on War & Peace : Oct 11, 2012
Iran Sanctions are most crippling in history

Q: Last week former Defense Secretary Bob Gates said a strike on Iran's facilities would not work and "could prove catastrophic, haunting us for generations." How effective would a military strike against Iran be, to prevent nuclear development?

RYAN: We cannot allow Iran to gain a nuclear weapons capability. This administration watered down sanctions, delayed sanctions, tried to stop us from putting the tough sanctions in place. Now we have them in place because of Congress.

BIDEN: Incredible. These are the most crippling sanctions in the history of sanctions, period. Look, imagine had we let the Republican Congress work out the sanctions. You think there's any possibility the entire world would have joined us, Russia and China, all of our allies? These are the most crippling sanctions in the history of sanctions, period, period. You're talking about doing more; are you going to go to war? Is that you want to do now?

RYAN: We want to prevent war!

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

Joe Biden on War & Peace : Oct 11, 2012
Iran is not close to nuclear weapons; stop the bluster

RYAN: When Barack Obama was elected, Iran had enough fissile material to make one bomb. Now they have enough for five. They're racing toward a nuclear weapon. They're four years closer toward a nuclear weapons capability.

BIDEN: We feel quite confident we could deal a serious blow to the Iranians. But #2, the Israelis and the US--our intelligence communities are absolutely the same exact place in terms of how close the Iranians are to getting a nuclear weapon. They are a good way away. When [Ryan] talks about fissile material, they have to take this highly enriched uranium, get it from 20% up. Then they have to be able to have something to put it in. There is no weapon that the Iranians have at this point. Both the Israelis and we know we'll know if they start the process of building a weapon. So all this bluster I keep hearing--Let's all calm down a little bit here. Iran is more isolated today than when we took office. It was on the ascendancy when we took office. It is totally isolated.

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

Paul Ryan on War & Peace : Oct 11, 2012
US needs credibility to have an effect on Iranian nukes

Q: How effective would a military strike against Iran be, to prevent nuclear development?

RYAN: We cannot allow Iran to gain a nuclear weapons capability. And talk about credibility. When this administration says that all options are on the table, they send out senior administration officials that send all these mixed signals. In order to solve this peacefully, you have to have the ayatollahs change their minds. It's because this administration has no credibility on this issue. It's because this administration watered down sanctions, delayed sanctions, tried to stop us from putting the tough sanctions in place. Now we have them in place because of Congress. They say the military option's on the table but it's not being viewed as credible, and the key is to do this peacefully, is to make sure that we have credibility. Under a Romney administration, we will have credibility on this issue.

BIDEN: Incredible. These are the most crippling sanctions in the history of sanctions, period.

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

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

Mitt Romney on Foreign Policy : Aug 30, 2012
A free world is a more peaceful world

Every American is less secure today because he has failed to slow Iran's nuclear threat. In his first TV interview as president, Obama said we should talk to Iran. We're still talking, and Iran's centrifuges are still spinning.

President Obama has thrown allies like Israel under the bus, even as he has relaxed sanctions on Castro's Cuba. He abandoned our friends in Poland by walking away from our missile defense commitments, but is eager to give Russia's President Putin the flexibility he desires, after the election. Under my administration, our friends will see more loyalty, and Mr. Putin will see a little less flexibility and more backbone.

We will honor America's democratic ideals because a free world is a more peaceful world. This is the bipartisan foreign policy legacy of Truman and Reagan. And under my presidency we will return to it once again.

Click for Mitt Romney on other issues.   Source: 2012 Republican National Convention speech

Gary Johnson on War & Peace : May 16, 2012
Cut all support and aid to Israel

Q: Should the U.S. continue to support Israel?

A: No, cut all support and aid.

Q: Should the U.S. intervene in the affairs of other countries?

A: Yes, but only in matters of national security.

Q: How should the U.S. deal with Iran?

A: Iran does not threaten our national security and there is no proof they are building a nuclear weapon.

Q: Should the U.S. maintain a presence at the United Nations?

A: Yes, but scale back our current involvement.

Click for Gary Johnson on other issues.   Source: Presidential comparison website www.iSideWith.com

Marco Rubio on Foreign Policy : Apr 25, 2012
Military action should be on the table in Iran & Syria

Rubio argued for an American foreign policy that remains engaged in foreign lands, saying the U.S. should become involved in Syria, and arguing that military action may need to be taken to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

And Rubio made clear that military action should be on the table in Iran. "We should also be preparing our allies, and the world, for the reality that unfortunately, if all else fails, preventing a nuclear Iran may, tragically, require a military solution," he said.

Click for Marco Rubio on other issues.   Source: MSNBC on Rubio's speech to Brookings Institution

Barack Obama on War & Peace : Jan 24, 2012
Take no options off the table if Iran develops nukes

We will safeguard America's own security against those who threaten our citizens, our friends, and our interests. Look at Iran. Through the power of our diplomacy, a world that was once divided about how to deal with Iran's nuclear program now stands as one. The regime is more isolated than ever before; its leaders are faced with crippling sanctions, and as long as they shirk their responsibilities, this pressure will not relent. Let there be no doubt: America is determined to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, and I will take no options off the table to achieve that goal. But a peaceful resolution of this issue is still possible, and far better, and if Iran changes course and meets its obligations, it can rejoin the community of nations.
Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: 2012 State of the Union speech

Newt Gingrich on War & Peace : Jan 7, 2012
We have mismanaged region-wide crisis in Middle East

Q: When should our 90,000 troops in Afghanistan should be brought home?

GINGRICH: I think we're asking the wrong questions. Afghanistan is a tiny piece of a gigantic mess that is very dangerous. Pakistan is unstable and they probably have between 100 and 200 nuclear weapons. Iran is actively trying to get nuclear weapons. They go out and practice closing the Strait of Hormuz, where one out of every six barrels of oil goes through every day. You have the Muslim Brotherhood winning the elections in Egypt. The truth is, we don't know who's in charge in Libya. You have a region-wide crisis, which we have been mismanaging and underestimating, which is not primarily a military problem. We're not going to go in and solve Pakistan militarily. We're not going to go in and solve all these other things. We need a fundamentally new strategy for the region comparable to what we developed to fight the cold war. And I think it's a very big, hard, long-term problem, but it's not primarily a military problem.

Click for Newt Gingrich on other issues.   Source: WMUR 2012 GOP New Hampshire debate

Donald Trump on War & Peace : Dec 5, 2011
Stop Iran's nuclear programs by any & all means necessary

America's primary goal with Iran must be to destroy its nuclear ambitions. Let me put them as plainly as I know how: Iran's nuclear program must be stopped--by any and all means necessary. Period. We cannot allow this radical regime to acquire a nuclear weapon that they will either use or hand off to terrorists. Better now than later!

Pres. Bush authorized a covert program to "undermine the electrical and computer systems" at Natanz, Iran's uranium enrichment facility. What came out of that initiative was the Stuxnet cyber worm. It was unleashed against Iran's nuclear centrifuges and made them spin so fast they destroyed themselves. The operation was very successful and destroyed roughly 1/5 of Iran's centrifuges. No one knows for sure how many months or years we put back on Iran's nuclear clock. Some analysts say 6 months, others 1 or 2 years, But that's the point: the clock is still ticking.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: Time to Get Tough, by Donald Trump, p. 98

Rick Perry on War & Peace : Nov 22, 2011
Sanction the Iranian Central Bank; no-fly zone over Syria

Q: Do you believe that there is any set of sanctions that could be put in place that would stop Iran from getting a nuclear weapon?

PERRY: Absolutely. We need to sanction the Iranian Central Bank. That would be one of the most powerful ways to impact that. That is what we need to do before we ever start having any conversations about a military strike, is to use every sanction that we have. And when you sanction the Iranian Central Bank, that will shut down that economy. At that particular point in time, they truly have to deal with the US. All of them working together--and I'm talking about Syria--bring them into the mix as well. One of the options is to have a no-fly zone over Syria at the same time you're putting those types of sanctions against Iran. And in that moment, they will understand that America is serious. This President refuses to do that, and it's another show of lack of leadership from the President of the US.

Click for Rick Perry on other issues.   Source: 2011 CNN National Security GOP primary debate

Newt Gingrich on War & Peace : Nov 12, 2011
Covert operations & military, if needed, to stop Iran nukes

Q: How do you prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon?

Gingrich: There are a number of ways to be smart about Iran and relatively few ways to be dumb. And the Obama administration skipped all the ways to be smart.

Q: Could you tell us the smart ways?

Gingrich: Sure. First of all, as maximum covert operations, to block and disrupt the Iranian program, including taking out their scientists, including breaking up their systems. All of it covertly, all of it deniable. Second, maximum coordination with the Israelis, in a way which allows them to maximize their impact in Iran. Third, absolute strategic program comparable to what President Reagan, Pope John Paul II, and Margaret Thatcher did in the Soviet Union, of every possible aspect short of war of breaking the regime and bringing it down. And if in the end, despite all of those things, the dictatorship persists, you have to take whatever steps are necessary to break its capacity to have a nuclear weapon.

Click for Newt Gingrich on other issues.   Source: 2011 debate in South Carolina on Foreign Policy

Rick Perry on War & Peace : Nov 12, 2011
Shut down the Iranian Central Bank to stop nukes

Q: [to Romney]: Would it be worth going to war to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon?

Romney: The president should have built credible threat of military action, and made it very clear that the US is willing, in the final analysis, if necessary, to take military action to keep Iran from having a nuclear weapon.

Paul: No, it isn't worthwhile. I'm afraid what's going on right now is similar to the war propaganda that went on against Iraq.

Perry: The issue that has not been raised is that this country can sanction the Iranian Central Bank right now and shut down that country's economy. And that's what this president needs to do and the American people need to stand up and force him to make that stand today.

Click for Rick Perry on other issues.   Source: 2011 debate in South Carolina on Foreign Policy

Mitt Romney on War & Peace : Nov 12, 2011
If we reelect Barack Obama, Iran will have a nuclear weapon

Q: Would it be worth going to war to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon?

Romney: This is Pres. Obama's greatest failing, from a foreign policy standpoint, which is he recognized the gravest threat that America faced was a nuclear Iran and he did not do what was necessary to get Iran to be dissuaded from their nuclear folly. What he should have done is speak out when dissidents took the streets and say, "America is with you." And work on a covert basis to encourage the dissidents. #2, he should have put in place crippling sanctions against Iran. Finally, the president should have built credible threat of military action, and made it very clear that the US is willing, in the final analysis, if necessary, to take military action to keep Iran from having a nuclear weapon. Look, one thing you can know: if we reelect Barack Obama, Iran will have a nuclear weapon. And if we elect Mitt Romney, if you'd like me as the next president, they will not have a nuclear weapon.

Click for Mitt Romney on other issues.   Source: 2011 debate in South Carolina on Foreign Policy

Mitt Romney on War & Peace : Nov 12, 2011
Crippling sanctions against Iran, & military, to stop nukes

Q: How do you prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon? Is it worth going to war to prevent that?

Romney: Well, it's worth putting in place crippling sanctions. It's worth working with the insurgents in the company to encourage regime change in the country. And if all else fails, if after all of the work we've done, there's nothing else we can do beside take military action, then of course you take military action. It is unacceptable for Iran to have a nuclear weapon. We will not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon. This term "unacceptable" has been applied by several presidents over history, and our current president has made it very clear that he's not willing to do those things necessary to dissuade Iran from their nuclear folly. I will take a different course. I will make sure that the sanctions, diplomatic pressure, economic pressure, and support of insurgents within the country help them become dissuaded to get away from their nuclear ambition. And finally, have a military presence there.

Click for Mitt Romney on other issues.   Source: 2011 debate in South Carolina on Foreign Policy

Newt Gingrich on Homeland Security : Sep 22, 2011
Real danger of Iran getting nukes from Pakistan

Q: [to Santorum] What would happen in the case of a Pakistani coup, with regards to Iran getting Pakistan's nuclear weapons?

SANTORUM: We should be establishing relationships in Pakistan with allies of ours, folks like Pres. Musharraf, so we could work to make sure that that coup could be overturned and make sure those nuclear weapon do not fall in those hands. But working with allies at that point is the last thing we want to do. We want to work in that country to make sure the problem is defused.

GINGRICH: I think people need to understand how real this is. This world is in danger of becoming dramatically more dangerous in the not-too-distant future. People talk about an Iranian weapon? There may be well over 100 nuclear weapons in Pakistan. And the example you used is not too far-fetched to worry about.

Click for Newt Gingrich on other issues.   Source: 2011 GOP Google debate in Orlando FL

Newt Gingrich on Foreign Policy : Sep 12, 2011
We have failed for a decade to deal with North Korea & Iran

Q: Do you believe high defense spending is essential to security?

GINGRICH: I think we are at the edge of an enormous crisis in national security. I think that we are greatly underestimating the threat to this country. And I think that the day after we celebrated the 10th anniversary of 9/11 we should be reminded exactly what is at stake if a foreign terrorist gets a nuclear weapon into this country. We have failed for a decade to deal with North Korea. We have failed for a decade to deal with Iran. We need, frankly, to ask for a very serious national dialogue.

I'd like to see Congress holding hearings on three levels of security. What do you do in Mexico where there's a civil war underway next door to us? What do you do in the Middle East where we have totally underestimated the scale of the threat? And what do you do about our national domestic industrial base which is crucial if we're going to be competitive with China? All three of those are a major threat to us.

Click for Newt Gingrich on other issues.   Source: 2011 GOP Tea Party debate in Tampa FL

Gary Johnson on War & Peace : Aug 21, 2011
Let Israel deal with Iranian nukes; not US role to tell them

Q: Do you agree with Ron Paul that Iran is not a threat?

A: I think Israel is an important military ally and I support that alliance. I think Iran gets dealt with by Israel, which is likely to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. I think it's wrong for our government to presume to tell Israel what to do.

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

Jeb Bush on War & Peace : Nov 29, 2010
Encourage regime change in Iran; keep military option open

Military options must be left on the table to force Iran's leaders to abandon their nuclear ambitions, according to Jeb Bush. The US should be much more assertive in encouraging regime change there as well, he said.

Bush said that not maintaining the viable prospect of US military action "empowers bad behavior in Tehran amongst its leaders." Bush criticized the Obama administration for failing to encourage internal resistance to Iran's mullahs. Iran's theocrats have subjected the "green movement" protesters to a series of brutal crackdowns.

"I think we need to be much more aggressive in supporting civil opposition to the regime in Iran," Bush said. "I was saddened to see how the Obama administration handled the post-election revolution on the streets. It seemed like we were very tepid, at a time when we should forcefully support freedom. It's part of who we are as a nation, and I think we should embrace this noble notion: If not for the United States, who? Who will be there to help?"

Click for Jeb Bush on other issues.   Source: David A. Patten and Kathleen Walter on Newsmax.com

Rick Perry on Homeland Security : Nov 15, 2010
Invest in defense to prepare for unpredictable threats

There is no reason to believe that armed conflict with any major power is imminent, but the world is rapidly changing, and the US must be prepared for the ramifications of shifting balances of power.

North Korea and Iran, in contrast, are utterly unpredictable and do present an imminent threat with their nuclear ambitions. Kim Jon Il's regime sunk a South Korean ship, the "Cheonan", for no apparent reason, killing 46 sailors. Iran is rattling its sabers and developing nuclear technology with impunity. Hugo Chavez is harboring communist rebels in Venezuela. All of these issues require our attention and investment in defense capabilities.

Yet it is clear that after decades of ignoring the constitutional division of authority, our bloated national government is distracted and running thin on resources to perform its central mission.

Defense spending is not being squeezed out of the budget because of the explosion in entitlement spending.

Click for Rick Perry on other issues.   Source: Fed Up!, by Gov. Rick Perry, p.125-6

Barack Obama on Homeland Security : Jun 1, 2010
Strengthen NPT to have automatic sanctions on Iran

[On Iran, Obama called for tough diplomacy "to pressure Iran directly to change their troubling behavior," namely pursuing a nuclear program and supporting terrorism. If Iran abandons its troubling behavior, the US might move toward normal diplomatic and economic relations, Obama proposed, but "if Iran continues its troubling behavior, we will step up our economic pressure and political isolation."

Furthermore, Obama proceeded, he will strengthen the NPT "so that countries like North Korea and Iran that break the rules will automatically face strong international sanctions." He made no mention of the conclusion of US intelligence that Iran had not had a weapons program for five years, unlike US allies in Israel, Pakistan, and India, the three countries that all maintain extensive nuclear weapons programs (with direct US support), all unmentioned as well.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: Hopes and Prospects, by Noam Chomsky, p.249

Barack Obama on Homeland Security : Mar 2, 2010
OpEd: walked away from missile defense of Eastern Europe

Russia's burgeoning relationship with Venezuela has purpose beyond energy: anything that diminishes America pleases Putin, both because it weakens a competing power and because it gratifies his personal animus for the US. Russia's resistance to severe sanctioning of North Korea and Iran as they have pursued their nuclear programs are a stick in the eye for the US. So, too, is Russia's insistence that the world replace the dollar as the reserve currency. Putin also bitterly opposes any development that would strengthen the US such as missile defense, particularly in Eastern Europe, and admission of the former Soviet satellites into NATO. Pres. Obama's decision to walk way from our missile defense program in Poland and the Czech Republic was a huge concession to Putin, as is the stalling on admission of Georgia and the Ukraine into NATO. Russia welcomes concessions, and these, like their predecessors, were not repaid in kind. Russia takes, Pres. Obama gives, and Russia demands more.
Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: No Apology, by Mitt Romney, p. 18

Newt Gingrich on Homeland Security : Feb 27, 2009
Be prepared in a very militant and aggressive way

We are not developing national security and homeland security at the margins. This is not about stopping two snipers or three car bombers...or 5 airplanes. We live in a world where if we gamble wrong, and the current proposed defense budget is much too small, if we gamble wrong whether it is a major power like China or Russia, a medium sized power like North Korea, Pakistan, and Iran, and North Korea is a medium sized power by possession of nuclear weapons. Or it is a fanatic group willing to die in the process of killing us.

We live in a world where there are weapons capable of ending civilization as we know it. And we need to be prepared in a very militant and aggressive way to defend America from having a catastrophic disaster of the first order.

Click for Newt Gingrich on other issues.   Source: Speech to 2009 Conservative Political Action Conference

Rahm Emanuel on Homeland Security : Jan 5, 2009
We cannot win the War on Terror without more troops

From Iran to North Korea to the Arab street, America can't stop the emergence of new nuclear states, contain loose nukes, or disrupt Al Qaeda all on its own.

If we are to win the war that we have, we must rebuild the army we need. Our friend Paul Begala's motto has become "It Takes a Battalion"--and he's right. We cannot fight and win a long war without more troops. When George Bush ran for president in 2000, he complained that the military had been hollowed out. That wasn't true then, but it is true now. Under Donald Rumsfeld, the Pentagon engaged in a drawn-out debate about military transformation but gave short shrift to the basic needs of the soldiers, the heart and soul of our military might. The army doesn't have enough troops, the National Guard and the Reserves are exhausted to the breaking point, and the soldiers we send into battle don't always get the equipment they need to survive.

Click for Rahm Emanuel on other issues.   Source: The Plan, by Rahm Emanuel, p.150

Barack Obama on War & Peace : Oct 7, 2008
Prevent Iran from attacking Israel, but keep military option

Q: If Iran attacks Israel, would you be willing to commit US troops in defense of Israel? Or would you wait on approval from the UN Security Council?

McCAIN: We obviously would not wait for the United Nations Security Council. Both Russia and China would probably pose significant obstacles.

OBAMA: We cannot allow Iran to get a nuclear weapon. It would be a game-changer in the region. Not only would it threaten Israel, our strongest ally in the region and one of our strongest allies in the world, but it would also create a possibility of nuclear weapons falling into the hands of terrorists. And so it’s unacceptable. And I will do everything that’s required to prevent it. And we will never take military options off the table. And it is important that we don’t provide veto power to the UN or anyone else in acting in our interests. It is important, though, for us to use all the tools at our disposal to prevent the scenario where we’ve got to make those kinds of choices.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: 2008 second presidential debate against John McCain

Joe Biden on Homeland Security : Oct 2, 2008
Greatest security threat is from al Qaeda in Pakistan

Q: What’s the greater threat, a nuclear Iran or an unstable Pakistan?

BIDEN: Pakistan already has nuclear weapons. Iran getting a nuclear weapon would be destabilizing, but they are not close to getting a nuclear weapon that’s able to be deployed. John continues to tell us that the central war on terror is in Iraq. I promise you, if an attack comes in the homeland, it’s going to come from al Qaeda in the hills of Pakistan. We need to support that democracy by helping them with their economic well-being.

PALIN: Both are extremely dangerous. And as for who coined that central war on terror being in Iraq, it was the Gen. Petraeus and al Qaeda, and it’s probably the only thing that they’re ever going to agree on. An armed, nuclear Iran is so extremely dangerous. Israel is in jeopardy when we’re dealing with Iran. Others who are dangerous dictators are ones that Barack Obama has said he would be willing to meet with without preconditions. And that goes beyond naivete and poor judgment.

Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: 2008 Vice Presidential debate against Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin on Homeland Security : Oct 2, 2008
Terrorists in Iraq are the biggest threat to Americans today

Q: What’s the greater threat, a nuclear Iran or an unstable Pakistan?

PALIN: Both are extremely dangerous. And as for who coined that central war on terror being in Iraq, it was the Gen. Petraeus and al Qaeda, and it’s probably the only thing that they’re ever going to agree on. An armed, nuclear Iran is so extremely dangerous. Israel is in jeopardy when we’re dealing with Iran. Others who are dangerous dictators are ones that Barack Obama has said he would be willing to meet with without preconditions. And that goes beyond naivete and poor judgment.

BIDEN: Pakistan already has nuclear weapons. Iran getting a nuclear weapon would be destabilizing, but they are not close to getting a nuclear weapon that’s able to be deployed. John continues to tell us that the central war on terror is in Iraq. I promise you, if an attack comes in the homeland, it’s going to come from al Qaeda in the hills of Pakistan. We need to support that democracy by helping them with their economic well-being

Click for Sarah Palin on other issues.   Source: 2008 Vice Presidential debate against Joe Biden

Barack Obama on Foreign Policy : Sep 26, 2008
Must be tough on Iran, but talk to them too

Q: How big a threat is Iran to the US?

A: Ironically, the single thing that has strengthened Iran over the last several years has been the war in Iraq. What we’ve seen over the last several years is Iran’s influence grow. They have funded Hezbollah, they have funded Hamas, they have gone from zero centrifuges to 4,000 centrifuges to develop a nuclear weapon.

So our policy over the last eight years has not worked. We cannot tolerate a nuclear Iran. Not only would it threaten Israel, a country that is our stalwart ally, but it would also set off an arms race in the Middle East.

We are going to have to engage in tough direct diplomacy with Iran and this is a major difference I have with Senator McCain, this notion by not talking to people we are punishing them has not worked. It has not worked in Iran, it has not worked in North Korea. In each instance, our efforts of isolation have actually accelerated their efforts to get nuclear weapons.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: 2008 first presidential debate, Obama vs. McCain

Sarah Palin on War & Peace : Sep 11, 2008
Nuclear Iran is dangerous to whole world

Q: Do you consider a nuclear Iran to be an existential threat to Israel?

A: I believe that under the leadership of Ahmadinejad, nuclear weapons in the hands of his government are extremely dangerous to everyone on this globe.

Q: So what should we do about a nuclear Iran?

A: We have got to make sure that nuclear weapons are not given to those hands of Ahmadinejad, not that he would use them, but that he would allow terrorists to be able to use them. So we have got to put the pressure on Iran.

Click for Sarah Palin on other issues.   Source: ABC News: 2008 election interview with Charlie Gibson

Sarah Palin on War & Peace : Sep 11, 2008
Don’t second-guess Israel if they act against nukes in Iran

Q: What if Israel decided it felt threatened and needed to take out the Iranian nuclear facilities?

A: Well, first, we are friends with Israel and I don’t think that we should second guess the measures that Israel has to take to defend themselves and for their security.

Q: So if we wouldn’t second guess it and they decided they needed to do it because Iran was an existential threat, we would cooperative or agree with that?

A: I don’t think we can second guess what Israel has to do to secure its nation.

Q: So if it felt necessary, if it felt the need to defend itself by taking out Iranian nuclear facilities, that would be all right?

A: We cannot second guess the steps that Israel has to take to defend itself.

Click for Sarah Palin on other issues.   Source: ABC News: 2008 election interview with Charlie Gibson

Condoleezza Rice on War & Peace : May 23, 2008
Consequences via international coalition if Iran keeps nukes

Q: This week, Sen. Obama criticized the US’s approach to Iran. What do you say to that?

A: We have built an international coalition of states led by the US, the UK, Germany, France, Russia and China which is showing Iran that there is a course of cooperation. And if they are not willing to cooperate and give up the technologies that could lead to a nuclear weapon then there are consequences. And we’ve passed three Security Council resolutions. Iran has increasingly difficult access issues with th international financial system. People, for reputational and investment risk reasons, are not investing in Iran.

Q: Is it not worth trying to open a discussion with the Iranian leader to get these thoughts on the table?

A: We’ve certainly made every attempt to open a dialogue with Iran. But we need to have them suspend their enrichment and reprocessing, because what we don’t need to do is to negotiate while they’re perfecting the technologies that could lead to a nuclear weapon.

Click for Condoleezza Rice on other issues.   Source: CNBC interview on Maria Bartiromo show

Barack Obama on War & Peace : Apr 16, 2008
Take no options off the table if Iran attacks Israel

Q: Iran continues to pursue a nuclear option that poses a threat to Israel. Should it be US policy to treat an Iranian attack on Israel as if it were an attack on the US?

OBAMA: Our first step should be to keep nuclear weapons out of the hands of the Iranians. I will take no options off the table when it comes to preventing them from using nuclear weapons, &that would include any threats directed at Israel or any of our allies in the region.

Q: So you would extend our deterrent to Israel?

OBAMA: It is very important that Iran understands that an attack on Israel is an attack on our strongest ally in the region, one that we would consider unacceptable, and the US would take appropriate action.

Q: Sen. Clinton, would you?

CLINTON: We should be looking to create an umbrella of deterrence that goes much further than just Israel. I would make it clear to the Iranians that an attack on Israel would incur massive retaliation from the US, but I would do the same with other countries in the region.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: 2008 Philadelphia primary debate, on eve of PA primary

Hillary Clinton on War & Peace : Apr 16, 2008
Massive retaliation from US if Iran attacks Israel

Q: Iran continues to pursue a nuclear option that poses a threat to Israel. Should it be US policy to treat an Iranian attack on Israel as if it were an attack on the US?

OBAMA: I will take no options off the table. It is very important that Iran understands that an attack on Israel is an attack on our strongest ally in the region, and the US would take appropriate action.

CLINTON: I think that we should be looking to create an umbrella of deterrence that goes much further than just Israel. Of course I would make it clear to the Iranians that an attack on Israel would incur massive retaliation from the US, but I would do the same with other countries in the region. We are at a very dangerous point with Iran. The Bush policy has failed. Iran has not been deterred. #1, we’ve got to begin diplomatic engagement with Iran. #2, we’ve got to deter other countries from feeling that they have to acquire nuclear weapons. And finally, we cannot permit Iran to become a nuclear weapons power.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: 2008 Philadelphia primary debate, on eve of PA primary

Barack Obama on Homeland Security : Mar 25, 2008
2007: With Hagel, introduced nuclear nonproliferation bill

We must once again convince the world that America has the clear intention of fulfilling the nuclear disarmament commitments that we have made. Building a new global nuclear consensus is the only way to achieve lasting solutions to challenges such as Iran's nuclear ambition.

Last summer, Senator Barack Obama and I introduced comprehensive nuclear nonproliferation legislation. Among other things, our bill would provide funding for an international fuel bank that would be administered by the International Atomic Energy Agency. This fuel bank has the potential to be a critical mechanism to help reduce the demand for sensitive nuclear technologies that could be used to produce nuclear weapons-grade uranium and plutonium. Our bill would also provide funding to enable the United States to work with other countries to develop the technology to identify sources of nuclear material. If Iran's nuclear intentions prove to be peaceful, as its leaders claim, this bill can put that to the test.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: Our Next Chapter, by Chuck Hagel, p. 92-93

Mitt Romney on Foreign Policy : Jan 30, 2008
The US is the only major power believing in free enterprise

China is saying we’re going to use communism, plus sort of a Wild West form of a free enterprise. We’re going to give nuclear weapons -- or nuclear technology to the Iranians, we’re going to buy oil from the Sudanese. You’ve got China. Then you’ve got al Qaeda, which says we want to bring everybody down. And then finally there’s us, the only major power in the world that says we believe in free enterprise and freedom for the individual. And this great battle is going on right now, and it’s essential for us to strengthen other friends like ourselves, and to confront one by one these other strategies and help turn them towards modernity so that the world our kids inherent does not have to know war. Will there be war? Of course there will always be terrible events in the world. But let’s do everything in our power to keep war from occurring. Move these voices of moderation and having such strength in our own military that people never question our ability to respond.
Click for Mitt Romney on other issues.   Source: 2008 Republican debate at Reagan Library in Simi Valley

Hillary Clinton on War & Peace : Dec 13, 2007
Believed, with others, that Iran was pursuing nuclear weapon

Q: Are the Revolutionary Guards proliferators of mass destruction?

A: Well, many of us believe that. Earlier this year, Senator Edwards told an audience in Israel that the nuclear threat from Iran was the greatest threat to our generation. Back in 2004, Senator Obama told the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board that he would even consider nukes to take out Iran’s nuclear capacity. So there was a very broadly based belief that they were pursuing a nuclear weapon.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: 2007 Des Moines Register Democratic debate

Joe Biden on War & Peace : Dec 13, 2007
Accept NIE conclusion that Iran stopped nukes in 2003

Q: Do you agree with the president’s assessment that Iran still poses a threat?

A: [The NIE concludes that] in 2003, they stopped their nuclear program. This president is not trustworthy. He has undermined our security in the region. He has undermined our credibility in the world. He has made it more difficult to get cooperation from the rest of the world. He has caused oil to go up roughly $25 a barrel--a security premium--because of his threat of war. It is outrageous, intolerable, & it must stop.

Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: 2007 Des Moines Register Democratic debate

John Bolton on War & Peace : Nov 6, 2007
Throughout Bush presidency, Iranian nukes were a problem

Throughout George W. Bush's presidency, Iran's nuclear weapons ambitions were a constant problem. Iran's goals never changed, but the administration's goals were too often in flux, and not pursued as consistently or as relentlessly as they might have been. Whether, after his reelection, President Bush wavered personally remains unknown, but too many of his subordinates did, and he allowed them to do so. As a result, Iran continued to make progress toward its goal, while we watched.

I certainly did not accomplish what I wanted to do on Iran. I was not able to convince enough other people above me of the seriousness of Iran's threat; I suggested early on a multilateral diplomatic course that others hijacked and ran in slow motion, to my dismay and to our detriment; and finally, time just ran out on me as I left State.

Click for John Bolton on other issues.   Source: Surrender is Not an Option, by John Bolton, p.130

Joe Biden on Homeland Security : Oct 30, 2007
Talks about nations acquiring uranium are more complicated

Q: Would you pledge that Iran will not develop a nuclear bomb while you are president?

A: I would pledge to keep us safe. This is complicated stuff. We talk about this in isolation. The Iranians may get 2.6 kilograms of highly-enriched uranium. But the Pakistanis have thousands of kilograms of highly-enriched uranium. If by attacking Iran to stop them from getting 2.6 kilograms of highly-enriched uranium, the government in Pakistan falls, who has missiles already deployed with nuclear weapons on them that can already reach Israel, already reach India, then that’s a bad bargain. Presidents make wise decisions informed not by a vacuum in which they operate, by the situation they find themselves in the world. I will do all in my power to stop Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, but I will never take my eye off the ball. What is the greatest threat to the US: 2.6 kilograms of highly enriched uranium in Tehran or an out-of-control Pakistan? It’s not close.

Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: 2007 Democratic debate at Drexel University

Barack Obama on War & Peace : Oct 30, 2007
Committed to Iran not having nuclear weapons

Q: Would you pledge that Iran will not develop a nuclear bomb while you are president?

A: We are committed to Iran not having nuclear weapons. We have been governed by fear for the last 6 years. Bush has used the fear of terrorism to launch a war that should have never been authorized. We are seeing the same pattern now. It is very important for us to draw a clear line and say, “We are not going to be governed by fear. We will take threats seriously and take action to make sure that the US is secure.”

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: 2007 Democratic debate at Drexel University

Barack Obama on War & Peace : Oct 30, 2007
Iran military resolution sends the region a wrong signal

That is a continuation of the kinds of foreign policy that rejects diplomacy and sees military action as the only tool available to us to influence the region. What we should be doing is reaching out aggressively to our allies, talking to our enemies and focusing on those areas where we do not accept their actions, whether it be terrorism or developing nuclear weapons, and talking to Iran directly about the potential carrots that we can provide in terms of them being involved in the World Trade Organization, or beginning to look at the possibilities of diplomatic relations being normalized. We have not made those serious attempts. This kind of resolution does not send the right signal to the region. It doesn’t send the right signal to our allie or our enemies. As a consequence, over the long term, it weakens our capacity to influence Iran. There may come a point where those measures have been exhausted & Iran is on the verge of obtaining a nuclear weapon, where we have to consider other options
Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: 2007 Democratic debate at Drexel University

Hillary Clinton on War & Peace : Oct 30, 2007
Pledge that Iran will not develop a nuclear bomb

Q: Would you pledge to the American people that Iran will not develop a nuclear bomb while you are president?

A: I have pledged that I will do everything I can to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear bomb.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: 2007 Democratic debate at Drexel University

Hillary Clinton on War & Peace : Oct 30, 2007
Rushing to war with Iran vs. doing nothing is a false choice

Q: Why did you vote for the Kyl-Lieberman amendment which calls upon the president to structure our military forces in Iraq with regard to the capability of Iran?

A: I am against a rush to war. I was the first person on this stage and one of the very first in the Congress to go to the floor of the Senate back in February & say Bush had no authority to take any military action in Iran. Secondly, I am not in favor of this rush for war, but I’m also not in favor of doing nothing. Iran is seeking nuclear weapons. And the Iranian Revolutionary Guard is in the forefront of that, as they are in the sponsorship of terrorism. So some may want a false choice between rushing to war, which is the way the Republicans sound--it’s not even a question of whether, it’s a question of when and what weapons to use--and doing nothing. I prefer vigorous diplomacy. And I happen to think economic sanctions are part of vigorous diplomacy. We used them with respect to North Korea. We used them with respect to Libya.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: 2007 Democratic debate at Drexel University

Mike Huckabee on War & Peace : Oct 9, 2007
Attack Iran’s nukes even if Congress says no

Q: If you were president, would you need to go to Congress to get authorization to take military action against Iran’s nuclear facilities?

: A president has to do whatever is necessary to protect the American people. If we think Iran is building nuclear capacity that could be used against us in any way, including selling some of the nuclear capacity to some other terrorist group, then yes, we have a right to do it. And I would do it in a heartbeat.

Q: Without going to Congress?

A: Well, if it’s necessary to get it done because it’s actionable right now, yes. If you have the time and the luxury of going to Congress, that’s always better.

Q: And if Congress says no, what do you do?

A: You do what’s best for the American people, and you suffer the consequences. What you never do is let the American people one day get hit with a nuclear device because you had politics going on in Washington instead of the protection of the American people first.

Click for Mike Huckabee on other issues.   Source: 2007 Republican debate in Dearborn, Michigan

Mitt Romney on War & Peace : Oct 9, 2007
Let lawyers decide if authorization needed to attack Iran

Q: If you were president, would you need to go to Congress to get authorization to take military action against Iran’s nuclear facilities?

A: You sit down with your attorneys and tell you what you have to do, but obviously, the president has to do what’s in the best interest of the US to protect us against a potential threat. The president did that as he was planning on moving into Iraq and received the authorization of Congress.

Q: Did he need it?

A: You know, we’re going to let the lawyers sort out what he needed to do and what he didn’t need to do, but certainly what you want to do is to have the agreement of all the people in leadership of our government, as well as our friends around the world. But the key thing here is to make sure that we don’t have to use military action against Iran. And that’s why we’re going to have to put a lot tougher sanctions on Iran, economic sanctions, credit sanctions, and treating Ahmadinejad like the rogue and the buffoon that he is.

Click for Mitt Romney on other issues.   Source: 2007 Republican debate in Dearborn, Michigan

Hillary Clinton on War & Peace : Sep 6, 2007
Prevent Iran from becoming nuclear power by diplomacy first

Q: [to Clinton]: Would the Israelis be justified in taking military action if they felt their security was threatened by a nuclear presence in Iran?

CLINTON: I’m not going to answer that because it’s hypothetical. There would need to be a high standard of proof.

Q: Rudy Giuliani said, “Iran is not going to be allowed to build a nuclear power. If they get to a point where they’re going to become a nuclear power, we will prevent them; we will set them back 8 to 10 years. That is not said as a threat; that should be said as a promise.“ Would you make that promise?

CLINTON: I will do everything I can to prevent Iran from becoming an nuclear power, including the use of diplomacy, the use of economic sanctions, opening up direct talks. We haven’t even tried. That’s what is so discouraging about this. We need a concerted, comprehensive strategy to deal with Iran. We haven’t had it. We need it. And I will provide it.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: 2007 Democratic primary debate at Dartmouth College

Mitt Romney on War & Peace : Sep 5, 2007
Deal with Iran nukes with Dems at home & with allies abroad

Q: Would you go to war with Iran if they developed nuclear weapons & threatened Israel?

A: Well, clearly your hypothetical suggests that everything we’ve done, up until this point and beyond, didn’t work. And there’s a lot we can do to keep that scenario from occurring. Before you actually take military action, what you do next is this: the president meets with leaders, Republican and Democrat, to make sure we’re all on the same page. We want to make sure that Democrats sign up, that we’re all part of this on a unified basis. Number two, you meet with our allies around the world and make sure we’re on the same page on this, including China & Saudi Arabia. Now we take the military option off the table. When they see our military in our hand, a possible blockade or possible aerial strikes, they recognize we mean business. And that’s going to make them think twice and, hopefully, abandon their folly. Because it is unacceptable to the world for us to have a nuclear Iran.

Click for Mitt Romney on other issues.   Source: 2007 GOP debate at UNH, sponsored by Fox News

Newt Gingrich on Homeland Security : Sep 1, 2007
Contain nuclear threats:China, Russia, Pakistan, North Korea

Every day, terrorists try to acquire weapons of mass destruction & weapons of mass murder. Iran & North Korea continue to develop their nuclear and other weapons programs. There is constant danger of a coup by radical Islamists in nuclear-armed Pakistan.

And the greatest danger for us in meeting this threat is the weakness of our intelligence services. We do not have any significant intelligence on the enemy’s plans, networks, & troop strength.

Second, we must contain powers that could threaten us, including China, Russia, North Korea, Iran, & Pakistan--all of which have weapons of mass destruction.

The greatest threat of rogue dictatorships, like Iran or North Korea, is that they will sell weapons of mass destruction. While North Korea--with nuclear, chemical, & biological weapons--is a big threat to South Korea & Japan, it is a very distant threat to the US. But an Iran or a North Korea willing to sell nuclear and biological weapons to terrorists is very dangerous to America.

Click for Newt Gingrich on other issues.   Source: Gingrich Communications website, www.newt.org, “Issues”

Barack Obama on War & Peace : Aug 19, 2007
Deal with al Qaeda on Pakistan border, but not with nukes

Q: [to Clinton]: You criticized Sen. Obama for ruling out the use of nuclear weapons against Al Qaida in Pakistan, yet you said the same against Bush’s use of tactical nuclear weapons in Iran, saying: “I would certainly take nuclear weapons off the table.” What’s the difference there?

CLINTON: I was asked specifically about the Bush-Cheney administration’s policy to drum up support for military action against Iran. Combine that with their continuing effort to try to get “bunker-buster” nuclear bombs that could penetrate into the earth to go after deeply buried nuclear sites. This was not a hypothetical, this was a brushback against this administration which has been reckless and provocative.

Q: Do you accept that distinction?

OBAMA: There was no difference. It is not hypothetical that Al Qaida has established base camps in the hills between Afghanistan and Pakistan. No military expert would advise that we use nuclear weapons to deal with them, but we do have to deal with that problem.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: 2007 Democratic primary debate on “This Week”

Hillary Clinton on War & Peace : Aug 19, 2007
Rule out nukes against Iran

Q: You criticized Sen. Obama for ruling out the use of nuclear weapons against Al Qaida in Pakistan, yet you said the same against Bush’s use of tactical nuclear weapons in Iran:
Clinton on videotape:
“I would certainly take nuclear weapons off the table. And this administration has been very willing to talk about using nuclear weapons in a way we haven’t seen since the dawn of the nuclear age. I think that’s a terrible mistake.”
Q: What’s the principal difference there?

CLINTON: I was asked specifically about the Bush-Cheney administration’s policy to drum up support for military action against Iran. Combine that with their continuing effort to try to get what are called bunker-buster bombs, nuclear bombs that could penetrate into the earth to go after deeply buried nuclear sites. This was not a hypothetical, this was a brushback against this administration which has been reckless and provocative.

OBAMA: There’s no difference [in our policies].

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: 2007 Democratic primary debate on “This Week”

Mitt Romney on Foreign Policy : Jun 3, 2007
US is not arrogant, but we have resolve

Q: If it came down to Iran having a nuclear bomb, would you authorize the use of tactical nuclear weapons?

A: You don’t take options off the table. All over the world we’re seeing the same thing happening, and that is, people are testing the US. We have to make sure they understand that we’re not arrogant. We have resolve. And we have the strength to protect our interests and to protect people who love liberty. For that to happen, we’re going to have not just to attack each one of these problems one by one, but say, “How do we help move the world of Islam so that the moderate Muslims can reject the extreme?” And for that to happen, we’re going to have to have a strong military and an effort to combine with our allies in such a way that we combine for an effort to help move Islam towards modernity. There is a war going on, and we need a broad response to make sure that these people have a different vision.

Click for Mitt Romney on other issues.   Source: 2007 GOP debate at Saint Anselm College

Joe Biden on War & Peace : Jun 3, 2007
Do away with the policy of regime change for Iran

I would do away with the policy of regime change. What we’re saying to everybody in Iran is, “Look, by the way, give up the one thing that keeps us from attacking you, & after that we’re going to attack you. We’re going to take you down.” It’s a bizarre notion, number one. Number two, understand how weak Iran is. They are not a year away or two years away. They’re a decade away from being able to weaponize exactly what the question was, if they put a nuclear weapon on top of a missile that can strike. They’re far away from that. Number three, we’re going to - we have to understand how weak that government is. They import almost all of their refined oil. By 2014, they’re going to be importing their crude oil. There’s much better ways, if we had to get to the point of being real sanctions, of doing economic sanctions on them forcefully that way. But at the end of the day, if they posed the missile, stuck it on a pad, I’d take it out.
Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: 2007 Dem. debate at Saint Anselm College

Hillary Clinton on War & Peace : Jun 3, 2007
Iran having a nuclear weapon is absolutely unacceptable

I am very concerned about Iran, and we should have been using diplomacy for a number of years now. I am pleased that Bush is starting to talk to the Iranians, but it is way overdue. We have allowed the Iranians to begin their nuclear program, to imprison Iranian Americans as they are now, to send weapons across their borders to be used against our young men and women, and we need a process of engagement. Bush’s policy has been, we don’t talk to people we don’t agree with or that we think are bad. All during the Cold War, we always talked to the Soviet Union. They had missiles pointed at us. They had leaders who said they would bury us. They waged wars around the world. We never stopped talking. In my administration, patient, careful diplomacy, th kind of diplomacy that really gets people to stay with it over time. Are you always going to get good results? No. But you’ve got to start the process. However, we still have to make it clear that Iran having a nuclear weapon is absolutely unacceptable.
Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: 2007 Dem. debate at Saint Anselm College

Barack Obama on War & Peace : Apr 26, 2007
Iran with nuclear weapons is a profound security threat

KUCINICH: You previously said that all options are on the table with respect to Iran. That means you’re setting the stage for another war. We’re in Iraq for oil. We’re looking at attacking Iran for oil.

OBAMA: I think it would be a profound mistake for us to initiate a war with Iran. But, have no doubt, Iran possessing nuclear weapons will be a major threat to us and to the region. They’re in the process of developing it. And I don’t think that’s disputed by any expert. They are the largest state sponsor of terrorism, of Hezbollah and Hamas.

KUCINICH: It is disputed.

OBAMA: There is no contradiction between us taking seriously the need, as you do, to want to strengthen our alliances around the world--but I think it is important for us to also recognize that if we have nuclear proliferators around the world that potentially can place a nuclear weapon into the hands of terrorists, that is a profound security threat for America and one that we have to take seriously.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: 2007 South Carolina Democratic primary debate, on MSNBC

Condoleezza Rice on Principles & Values : Mar 11, 2005
Faith & prayer guide me on difficult matters

My faith isn’t something that I can set outside of anything that I do, because it’s so integral to who I am. Prayer is very important to me and a belief that if you ask for it, you will be guided. Now, that doesn’t mean that I think that God will tell me what to do on, you know, the Iran nuclear problem. But I do believe very strongly that if you are a prayerful and faithful person, that that is a help in guiding us, as imperfect beings, to have to deal with extremely difficult and consequential matters.
Click for Condoleezza Rice on other issues.   Source: Interview With Washington Times, on www.4condi.com, “Issues”

Bobby Jindal on War & Peace : Nov 2, 2004
Prevent the proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction

Fight terrorists wherever the hide, keeping them on the run with broad strategies to disrupt terrorist’s resources and operations. Prevent the proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction, as terrorist groups attempt to steal discarded or unprotected Cold War era weapons materials. Prevent countries such as North Korea and Iran from developing nuclear weapons and missile technologies. Continue to make the tracking of terrorist financing the center of America’s counterterrorism efforts.
Click for Bobby Jindal on other issues.   Source: 2004 House campaign website, BobbyJindal.com

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V.P.Joe Biden
Secy.John Kerry
Secy.Chuck Hagel

 Related issues:
Afghanistan
American Exceptionalism
Arab Spring
Armed Forces Personnel
Gays in Military
Iraq
Israel & Palestine
North Korea
Nuclear Energy & Weapons
SDI Missile Defense
Syria
Veterans
War on Terror
WMD

2016 Presidential contenders:
Mayor Michael Bloomberg(I-NYC)
Amb.John Bolton(R-MD)
Gov.Jeb Bush(R-FL)
Dr.Ben Carson(T-MD)
Gov.Chris Christie(R-NJ)
Secy.Hillary Clinton(D-NY)
Sen.Ted Cruz(T-TX)
Gov.Andrew Cuomo(D-NY)
Mayor Rahm Emanuel(D-IL)
Gov.Bobby Jindal(R-LA)
Gov.Nikk Haley(R-SC)
Rep.Peter King(R-NY)
Gov.Martin O`Malley(D-MD)
Gov.Deval Patrick(D-MA)
Sen.Rand Paul(R-KY)
Sen.Rob Portman(R-OH)
Sen.Marco Rubio(R-FL)
Gov.Jesse Ventura(I-MN)
2012 Presidential:
Rep.Michele Bachmann(T-MN)
Rep.Newt Gingrich(R-GA)
Gov.Mike Huckabee(R-AR)
Gov.Jon Huntsman(R-UT)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Gov.Sarah Palin(R-AK)
Rep.Ron Paul(R-TX)
Gov.Rick Perry(R-TX)
Gov.Mitt Romney(R-MA)
Rep.Paul Ryan(R-WI)
Sen.Rick Santorum(R-PA)
Donald Trump(I-NY)
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Page last updated: Mar 06, 2014