George Allen on War & Peace
Republican Senate Challenger
ALLEN: We’re going to need to do what it takes to succeed.
Q: Including more troops?
ALLEN: That is actually happening right now. If you look at the troop levels in Iraq, they are higher than they were several months ago. Moreover, they have been concentrated in the Baghdad area, so the troops are going to where they’re needed. But every single week you see more and more Iraqis and their military taking control, with the US in a supportive role.
Q: Mr. Webb, should we increase American troop levels in Iraq?
WEBB: We don’t have the troops. We’ve got people now in the Army pulling their third and sometimes their fourth tours into Iraq. We’re burning out our people. It’s a double strategic mouse trap--first, it was going to burn out our conventional forces, and second, that we have gotten so engaged in fighting the Sunni insurgency that we have allowed the Shia to get more power inside Iraq.
ALLEN: I was supporting our efforts of our administration. It was bipartisan support for this resolution, because I thought we needed to show unity of resolve so that Saddam Hussein would see how resolved and how unified were the US as well as the UN, and would actually comply with the weapons inspections.
Q: So in fact you cast that vote out of loyalty to President Bush?
ALLEN: No, it’s loyalty to this country, and making sure that our country is unified in this effort to disarm Saddam Hussein. That was the point.
ALLEN: What we have created and helped create in Iraq is indeed, I think, a much freer and more just society than what they had under the regime of Saddam Hussein, who was paying families $35,000 to send their sons and daughters on these suicide missions, killing people in Israel. They do have freedom of religion in their constitution where rights are not enhanced nor diminished on account of religious beliefs. They do have the right of women and men to express themselves without fear of retribution. They do have a judicial system that they’re trying to put together. It is a fledgling representative democracy. It is like an infant. We’re trying to help them learn normal things, like procurement and budgets. Because all the decisions previously were centrally decided by Baghdad, by Saddam Hussein, and there wasn’t any decision-making or discretion at the provincial level.
ALLEN: You can’t say, “Gosh,” five years later-my opponent’s campaign’s about second-guessing.
Q: If you knew Saddam did not have WMDs, was it still worth going to war?
ALLEN: I stand by my vote, and the vote was based on the evidence & information before us. We had a choice whether to listen to the critics and do nothing, and then have this world more dangerous if we were right.
ALLEN: We have spent money on all those things. In homeland security, we just passed a port security bill this past week.
Q: But my question is $300 billion in Iraq. Could it have been better spent?
ALLEN: We made a decision. You got to stand by your decision and you can’t be constantly second-guessing, Monday-morning quarterbacking.
ALLEN: I have no interest for us to be permanently in Iraq.
Q: Would you vote against them?
ALLEN: I have voted against permanent US bases.
WEBB: Would you vote against these four large bases in the remote areas of Iraq?
ALLEN: The four bases are a consolidation for force protection.
WEBB: How long are we going to be in these bases?
ALLEN: No longer than necessary.
WEBB: If our conventional mission is done in the cities of Iraq, we should be getting our conventional forces out of Iraq. Not into the remote areas of Iraq.
ALLEN: It’s important for force protection. It’s important to have the military options, whether it’s ground forces or air forces.
WEBB: As long as the US conventional forces are in Iraq there will not be peace in the Middle East.
ALLEN: No, that’s not the point. The Iraqis will ultimately take over these bases.
WEBB: Iraqis can build their own bases. You’re not protecting forces if you’re sitting in one area.
ALLEN: Military and security aspects of it are absolutely essential. The people of Iraq voted last year three times, 70 percent turnout, walking like slow-moving targets to vote. And they do want a free and just society there.
Q: But what is staying the course?
ALLEN: Staying the course is meaning that we don’t tuck tail and run, that we don’t retreat, that we don’t surrender. This is a central battle front in the war on terror, and it’s not just the president or the vice president or me saying that, that’s what al-Qaeda says, because al-Qaeda’s designs and their goals are to have an Islamic caliphate from Indonesia to Spain, with the capital being in Iraq, an oil-rich area. And we cannot allow Iraq, where al-Qaeda was and is now, we cannot allow them to have that haven for terrorist activity.
Title: Condemning bigotry and violence against Sikh Americans in the wake of terrorist attacks against the United States on September 11, 2001.
Summary: Declares that, in the quest to identify, locate, and bring to justice the perpetrators and sponsors of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, the civil rights and liberties of all Americans, including Sikh-Americans, should be protected.
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Retiring as of Jan. 2013:
Senate elections Nov. 2012:
CA:Feinstein(D) vs.Emken(R) vs.Lightfoot(L) vs.
CT:McMahon(R) vs.Murphy(D) vs.
FL:Nelson(D) vs.Mack(R) vs.
HI:Hirono(D) vs.Case(D) vs.Lingle(R) vs.Pirkowski(R)
ME:King(I) vs.Dill(D) vs.Summers(R)
MI:Stabenow(D) vs.Hoekstra(R) vs.Boman(L)
NJ:Menendez(D) vs.Kyrillos(R) vs.Diakos(I)
NY:Gillibrand(D) vs.Long(R) vs.Noren(I) vs.Clark(G)
TX:Cruz(R) vs.Sadler(D) vs.Roland(L) vs.
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