Search for...
Follow @ontheissuesorg
OnTheIssuesLogo

Lincoln Chafee on War & Peace

Independent RI Governor; previously Republican Senator (1999-2007)


Only Republican vote against Iraq War

I had cast the only Republican vote against the war in Iraq.

Like every American, I looked at the facts and reached my own conclusion on whether Pres. Bush and V.P. Cheney knew, before they ordered our troops into Iraq, that Saddam had no weapons of mass destruction. Behind the scenes, I think, key figures in the administration had a variety of reasons for wanting to topple the dictator. But none were willing to suggest to the American people that their sons and daughters should fight and die for any of these reasons. Instead, the White House marketed the war on chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons and the threat of "the smoking gun that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud."

Source: Against the Tide, by Sen. Lincoln Chafee, p.164&203 , Apr 1, 2008

Deny future Bin Ladens recruitment propaganda tools

In September 2001 those of us who wanted to know what drove bin Laden's rage against us were looked upon with suspicion. Bin Laden had talked extensively about 3 grievances:
  1. American military bases the holy sites of Mecca and Medina, in his native Saudi Arabia;
  2. the plight of the Palestinians under Israeli occupation in Gaza and the West Bank;
  3. and the misery of the Iraqi people living under UN sanctions.
As I read the materials my staff gathered, I felt we had to define two missions ahead: to pursue bin Laden with every ounce of vigor and bring him to justice, and to deny future bin Ladens the propaganda tools that had recruited the 19 men who brought down our airliners in New York, Virginia, and Pennsylvania.
Source: Against the Tide, by Sen. Lincoln Chafee, p. 69-70 , Apr 1, 2008

2002: War authorization just ratchets up the hatred

In October of 2002, how could any Republican senator vote to send his country over the precipice again based on party loyalty? How could any Democratic senator follow suit out of political cowardice? When the president declared that Saddam was an imminent threat to America from 7,000 miles away, veteran lawmakers in both parties failed to fight back. They let the administration go unchallenged when it sent up witnesses who did their best to get us into the war the president wanted.

On October 9, roughly 36 hours before the vote, I went to the Senate floor to say that the war authorization would serve those who believe in "ratcheting up the hatred."

In the end, even a majority of Senate Democrats voted for war. Only 23 senators voted to check a reckless president. I was the lone Republican among them.

Source: Against the Tide, by Sen. Lincoln Chafee, p. 91-92 , Apr 1, 2008

Support a timetable if diplomacy does not work

Q: You have both spoken out against any timetables for the withdrawal of American troops. How would you bring this fight to a successful conclusion?

CHAFEE: That’s the biggest issue facing this country, what we do in the Middle East and particularly in Iraq. We have to work with those countries around Iraq. There’re six countries that share a border with Iraq. And they all have a vested interest. A couple of them our adversary, Syria and Iran, we need their help in stabilizing what’s happening in Iraq. If we can’t work with those countries, I would support a timetable.

LAFFEY: The plan is this?we told people of the world that we would make Iraq a stable place. By stable, we really mean it’s a place that’s no threat to itself. No threat to the neighboring countries and no threat to the US. That means taking troops in Iraq, Iraqi troops and taking them to Europe to train them and bring them back. We have to train those troops so that we can get them to stand up so eventually we can stand down.

Source: 2006 R.I. Republican Senate Primary debate on WPRI , Aug 24, 2006

Only Republican to vote against Iraq war?but keep Rumsfeld

Q: What about Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld?

LAFFEY: I have called for the resignation of Rumsfeld. We took the worst case scenario to go to war but then we use one of the rosiest cases to win the war. I come from the business world and we have to hold people accountable so my opponent has complained about the war and called Rumsfeld arrogant but wants to keep him around. I think he should leave. I think we should re-energize that.

CHAFEE: Laffey criticized me for not calling for Rumsfeld’s resignation as he has, and by saying that job is not going well in Iraq and Rumsfeld should step down, that maybe that vindicates my vote against the war in Iraq. The only Republican to vote against the war in Iraq. Laffey is very critical of me when I cast that vote as we traveled around the state at joint appearances. Very, very critical of Chafee’s vote against the war. I suppose now you might say that was a good vote.

Source: 2006 R.I. Republican Senate Primary debate (x-ref Laffey) , Aug 24, 2006

Pressure Israel firmly, even when it looks like non-support

Chafee, chairman of the Senate subcommittee that oversees the Middle East, is among a handful of senators who often dissent from measures calling for support of Israel and sanctions against its enemies. Supporters call Chafee a courageous voice of independence from the pro-Israel lobby who is willing to prod Israel to take difficult actions needed for peace.

They praise Chafee for having warned that a U.S. failure to press Israel firmly enough toward peace would risk the election of Hamas -- a party advocating Israel’s destruction -- to lead the Palestinian Authority. Hamas won the Palestinian legislative elections in January.

Critics say Chafee’s record puts him outside the mainstream of strong U.S. support for Israel. The senator replied last week that his “dogged” support of the peace process is in Israel’s long-term best interests.

Source: John E. Mulligan, Providence Journal, “Differ on Mideast” , Apr 17, 2006

Voted NO on redeploying troops out of Iraq by July 2007.

Voting YEA on this amendment would establish a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq. Voting NAY would keep the current situation without a timetable. The amendment states:
  1. The President shall redeploy, commencing in 2006, US forces from Iraq by July 1, 2007, leaving only the minimal number of forces that are critical to completing the mission of standing up Iraqi security forces and conducting specialized counterterrorism operations.
  2. The President should maintain an over-the-horizon troop presence to prosecute the war on terror and protect regional security interests.
  3. Within 30 days, the administration shall submit to Congress a report that sets forth the strategy for the redeployment of US forces from Iraq by July 1, 2007.
Reference: Kerry Amendment to National Defense Authorization Act; Bill S.Amdt. 4442 to S. 2766 ; vote number 2006-181 on Jun 22, 2006

Voted YES on investigating contract awards in Iraq & Afghanistan.

To establish a special committee of the Senate to investigate the awarding and carrying out of contracts to conduct activities in Afghanistan and Iraq and to fight the war on terrorism. Voting YES would: create Senate special committee to investigate war contracts, taking into consideration: bidding, methods of contracting, subcontracting, oversight procedures, allegations of wasteful practices, accountability and lessons learned in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Reference: Committee to Investigate War Contracts; Bill S Amdt 2476 to S 1042 ; vote number 2005-316 on Nov 10, 2005

Voted YES on requiring on-budget funding for Iraq, not emergency funding.

Amendment to express the sense of the Senate on future requests for funding for military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. A YES vote would:
Reference: Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act; Bill S.AMDT.464 to H.R.1268 ; vote number 2005-96 on Apr 20, 2005

Voted YES on $86 billion for military operations in Iraq & Afghanistan.

Vote to pass a bill that would appropriate $86.5 billion in supplemental spending for military operations and reconstruction in Iraq and Afghanistan, in Fiscal 2004. The bill would provide $10.3 billion as a grant to rebuild Iraq. This includes:
Reference: FY04 Emergency Supplemental for Iraq and Afghanistan; Bill S1689 ; vote number 2003-400 on Oct 17, 2003

Voted NO on authorizing use of military force against Iraq.

H.J.Res. 114; Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002. The administration would be required to report to Congress that diplomatic options have been exhausted before, or within 48 hours after military action has started. Every 60 days the president would also be required to submit a progress report to Congress.
Reference: Bill H.J.RES.114 ; vote number 2002-237 on Oct 11, 2002

Supports $48 billion in new spending for anti-terrorism.

Chafee adopted the Republican Main Street Partnership issue stance:

The Republican Main Street Partnership (RMSP), the largest group of moderate GOP elected officials in the nation, applauds President Bush's call for $48 Billion in new defense spending to win the war on terrorism, provide for homeland defense and modernize the U.S. military.

Main Street Moderates, also offer support for the President's "Homeland Defense" initiative that strengthens border security ($2.1 Billion Increase), bulks up INS and Customs inspectors and agents (focusing on the northern border), and proposes a 500% increase in "Bio-Terrorism" spending. These were part of the RMSP Anti-Terrorism Policy proposed by key Main Street members Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Rep. Christopher Shays (R-CT) and others shortly after Sept. 11th. Sen. Snowe called "the President's proposals to boost funding for the Coast Guard, border security and customs right on target." "By focusing on these issues (Defense and Homeland Security), he's clearly in touch with what's most important to the American people," said fellow Main Street member Rep. Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY).

Source: Republican Main Street Partnership press release 01-RMSP5 on Jan 30, 2002

Other governors on War & Peace: Lincoln Chafee on other issues:
RI Gubernatorial:
Donald Carcieri
RI Senatorial:
Jack Reed
Mark Zaccaria
Sheldon Whitehouse

Gubernatorial Debates 2014:
AL: Bentley(R) vs.Griffith(D)
AR: Ross(D) vs.Hutchinson(R) vs.Griffin(R,Lt.Gov.)
AZ: Ducey(R) vs.DuVal(D) vs.Mealer(AE) vs.Gilbert(L) vs.Riggs(R)
CA: Brown(D) vs.Kashkari(R)
CO: Hickenlooper(D) vs.Beauprez(R) vs.Tancredo(R) vs.Hess(L)
CT: Malloy(D) vs.Foley(R) vs.Walker(R,Lt.Gov.)
FL: Scott(R) vs.Crist(D) vs.Snitker(L,Lt.Gov.)
GA: Deal(R) vs.Carter(D) vs.Hunt(L)
HI: Ige(D) vs.Aiona(R) vs.Abercrombie(D)
IA: Branstad(R) vs.Hatch(D) vs.Hoefling(R)
MA: Coakley(D) vs.Baker(R) &Polito(R,Lt.Gov.) vs.Grossman(D) vs.Berwick(D)
ME: LePage(R) vs.Michaud(D) vs.Cutler(I)
MI: Snyder(R) vs.Schauer(D)
NM: Martinez(R) vs.King(D)
NY: Cuomo(D) &Hochul(D,Lt.Gov.) vs.Astorino(R) vs.Hawkins(G) vs.Teachout(D)
OK: Fallin(R) vs.Dorman(D)
PA: Corbett(R) vs.Wolf(D) vs.Schwartz(D,lost primary) vs.Critz(D,Lt.Gov.,lost primary)
Up for re-election 2014:
AK-R: Sean Parnell
AL-R: Robert Bentley
CA-D: Jerry Brown
CO-D: John Hickenlooper
CT-D: Dan Malloy
FL-R: Rick Scott
GA-R: Nathan Deal
HI-D: Neil Abercrombie
IA-R: Terry Branstad
ID-R: Butch Otter
IL-D: Pat Quinn
KS-R: Sam Brownback
ME-R: Paul LePage
MI-R: Rick Snyder
MN-D: Mark Dayton
NH-D: Maggie Hassan
NM-R: Susana Martinez
NV-R: Brian Sandoval
NY-D: Andrew Cuomo
OH-R: John Kasich
OK-R: Mary Fallin
OR-D: John Kitzhaber
PA-R: Tom Corbett
SC-R: Nikki Haley
SD-R: Dennis Daugaard
TN-R: Bill Haslam
VT-D: Peter Shumlin
WI-R: Scott Walker
WY-R: Matt Mead

Term-Limited or Retiring 2014:
AR-D: Mike Beebe
AZ-R: Jan Brewer
MA-D: Deval Patrick
MD-D: Martin O'Malley
RI-I: Linc Chafee
TX-R: Rick Perry
Abortion
Budget/Economy
Civil Rights
Corporations
Crime
Drugs
Education
Energy/Oil
Environment
Families/Children
Foreign Policy
Free Trade
Govt. Reform
Gun Control
Health Care
Homeland Security
Immigration
Infrastructure/Technology
Jobs
Local Issues
Principles/Values
Social Security
Tax Reform
War/Iraq/Mideast
Welfare/Poverty


Election 2013:
New Jersey:
NJ-R: Chris Christie (won)
NJ-D: Barbara Buono (lost)
Virginia:
VA-R: Bob McDonnell(Retiring)
VA-R: Ken Cuccinelli (lost)
VA-D: Terry McAuliffe (won)

 

Page last updated: Oct 08, 2014