issues2000

Topics in the News: Iraq


Kamala Harris on War & Peace : Oct 7, 2020
Trump does not care about troops' injuries or deaths

HARRIS: There was a counter strike on our troops in Iraq, and they suffered serious brain injuries, and do you know what Donald Trump dismissed them as? Headaches. This is a pattern where he referred to our men who are serving as suckers and losers. Public reporting said Russia had bounties on the heads of American soldiers. Donald Trump had talked at least six times to Vladimir Putin and never brought up the subject.

PENCE: My son is in captain in the United States Marine Corps. My son-in-law's deployed in the United States Navy. I can assure all of you with sons and daughters serving in our military, President Donald Trump, not only respects, but reveres all of those who serve in our armed forces and any suggestion, otherwise is ridiculous. Let me also say the American people deserve to know-

Click for Kamala Harris on other issues.   Source: 2020 Vice-Presidential Debate in Utah

Donald Trump on War & Peace : Sep 15, 2020
I'm bringing troops back, when advisers wanted war

I'm bringing our troops back from Afghanistan. I'm bringing our troops back from Iraq. We're almost out of almost every place. You know, everybody said--because of my personality, they said, "he'll be in a war immediately."

Look at North Korea, how that's worked out. We haven't--the sanctions are on. Everything's the same. We haven't spent anything. We're getting along with him. I get along with Kim Jong-un. That was supposed to be a war.

If President Obama were president, if Hillary Clinton ever got in, that would be a war, probably a nuclear war with North Korea. In the meantime, I'm getting calls all the time from friends of mine in South Korea. Thank you. We love you. Thank you. It's really been rather amazing.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: ABC This Week: special edition 2020 Town Hall interview

Donald Trump on War & Peace : Sep 15, 2020
Soldiers don't want to be in Afghanistan

I'm bringing our troops back from Afghanistan. I'm bringing our troops back from Iraq. We're almost out of almost every place. You know, everybody said--because of my personality, they said "he'll be in a war immediately."

You know, there's no sadder thing than to sit with a widow or a mother, and these incredible Marines are walking off a casket and they were killed in the Middle East. Going there was the worst decision in the history of our country. We've spent $8 trillion and we've lost thousands of lives.

Iraq did not--Saddam Hussein did not knock down the World Trade Center. They said they had weapons of mass destruction. They made a mistake.

So we've been in there almost 20 years in Afghanistan. And we're bringing our soldiers back home. Nobody expected that from me. And people are so happy about it. And you know who's the happiest? The soldiers, I see them all the time. "What do you think, should we be here?" "No, sir, you shouldn't be here." "Why?" "They don't like us, sir."

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: ABC This Week: special edition 2020 Town Hall interview

Joe Biden on War & Peace : Feb 8, 2020
FactCheck: removed troops from Iraq, but they went back

Biden spun his role in bringing troops home from Iraq when he was vice president. Biden said, "The president [Obama] turned to me with the entire security apparatus and said, 'Joe, I want you to organize getting 156,000 troops out of Iraq.' I did that."

It's true that in 2009 Biden chaired a committee that oversaw the troop withdrawal, while also keeping an eye on economic and political issues in Iraq. The Biden committee included representatives from the Defense Department, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Treasury Department and other agencies.

But what Biden fails to mention is that later--in Obama's second term, with Biden still vice president--the U.S. sent troops back into Iraq to combat the Islamic State fighters who had occupied much of the country. Near the end of the Obama administration, in late September 2016, the number of U.S. troops deployed exceeded 5,000.

Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: FactCheck.org on 8th Democrat 2020 primary debate

Joe Biden on War & Peace : Feb 7, 2020
I made a mistake; Bush said he wouldn't go into Iraq

I made a mistake and I said it 14 years ago. I trusted George Bush to keep his word. He said he was not going to go into Iraq. He said he was only using this to unite the United Nations to insist we get inspectors in to see what Saddam was doing. When we got elected, the president turned to me with the entire security apparatus and said, "Joe, I want you to organize getting 156,000 troops out of Iraq." I did that. I did that.
Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: 8th Democrat 2020 primary debate, St. Anselm College in NH

Joe Biden on War & Peace : Feb 7, 2020
I made a mistake; Bush said he wouldn't go into Iraq

I made a mistake and I said it 14 years ago. I trusted George Bush to keep his word. He said he was not going to go into Iraq. He said he was only using this to unite the United Nations to insist we get inspectors in to see what Saddam was doing. When we got elected, the president turned to me with the entire security apparatus and said, "Joe, I want you to organize getting 156,000 troops out of Iraq." I did that. I did that.
Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: 8th Democrat 2020 primary debate, St. Anselm College in NH

Pete Buttigieg on War & Peace : Feb 7, 2020
Taking out a bad guy is not always a good idea

It's also the case that if we learned nothing else from the war in Iraq, it's that taking president has moved us this much closer to the brink of war. This is not an episode of 24. This is a situation that requires that you evaluate the entire intelligence picture. This president has insulted the intelligence community, but they put their lives on the line to gather the I don't think he even reads it.
Click for Pete Buttigieg on other issues.   Source: 8th Democrat 2020 primary debate, St. Anselm College in NH

Pete Buttigieg on War & Peace : Feb 7, 2020
Biden made wrong decision on Iraq War

I believe that I have the judgment to help us get through these situations where obviously the vice president made the wrong decision when it came to such an important moment in our foreign policy. It's not just about dealing with the aftermath of the war in Iraq, it's about preventing a war with Iran.
Click for Pete Buttigieg on other issues.   Source: 8th Democrat 2020 primary debate, St. Anselm College in NH

Pete Buttigieg on War & Peace : Feb 7, 2020
Biden made wrong decision on Iraq War

I believe that I have the judgment to help us get through these situations where obviously the vice president made the wrong decision when it came to such an important moment in our foreign policy. It's not just about dealing with the aftermath of the war in Iraq, it's about preventing a war with Iran.
Click for Pete Buttigieg on other issues.   Source: 8th Democrat 2020 primary debate, St. Anselm College in NH

Bernie Sanders on War & Peace : Feb 7, 2020
I listened about Iraq; they were lying thru their teeth

I also heard the arguments in terms of the war in Iraq from Bush, from Cheney, from John Bolton. If you hear what I said, it's on YouTube, my fears about all the destabilization that would take place by the US invading Iraq. That is what happened. Trump wants to build a wall around America. The problem is if we are going to deal with issues like climate change, not only do we in America have to take on the greed of the fossil fuel industry, we have to lead the entire world. It's a global issue.
Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: 8th Democrat 2020 primary debate, St. Anselm College in NH

Joe Biden on War & Peace : Jan 14, 2020
Pull troops out of Mideast, except to patrol Gulf and ISIS

Q: In the wake of the Iran crisis, Iran has called for all U.S. troops to be pulled out of the Middle East. Yet when American troops last left Iraq, ISIS emerged.

Sen. Bernie SANDERS: What we need to do is have an international coalition. The nuclear deal with Iran was worked on with a number of our allies.

BIDEN: I was part of that deal to get the nuclear agreement with Iran. And it was working. It was being held tightly. There was no movement on the part of the Iranian government to get closer to a nuclear weapon.

Q: So would you leave troops in the Middle East or would you pull them out?

BIDEN: I would leave troops in the Middle East in terms of patrolling the Gulf, where we have--where we are now, small numbers of troops, and I think it's a mistake to pull out the small number of troops that are there now to deal with ISIS. And with regard to this idea that we can walk away and not have any troops anywhere, including special forces, there's no way you negotiate with terrorists.

Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: 7th Democrat primary debate, on eve of Iowa caucus

Joe Biden on War & Peace : Jan 14, 2020
As veep, worked to end Iraq war

BIDEN: I said 13 years ago it was a mistake to give the president the authority to go to war if, in fact, he couldn't get inspectors into Iraq to stop what--thought to be the attempt to get a nuclear weapon. It was a mistake, and I acknowledged that. But the man who also argued against that war, Barack Obama, picked me to be his vice president. And once we were elected, he asked me to end that war.

Sen. Bernie SANDERS: When Congress was debating whether or not we go into a war in Iraq, I said that would be a disaster. I helped pass a War Powers Act resolution, working with a conservative Republican, Mike Lee of Utah, which said that the war in Yemen, led by Saudi Arabia, was unconstitutional because Congress had not authorized it. We got a majority vote in the Senate. We got a majority vote in the House. Unfortunately, Bush vetoed that and that horrific war continues.

Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: 7th Democrat primary debate, on eve of Iowa caucus

Joe Biden on War & Peace : Jan 14, 2020
Iraq war vote mistake based on Bush/Cheney lies

BIDEN: We should not send anyone anywhere unless the overwhelming vital interests of the United States are at stake. They were not at stake in Iraq. It was a mistaken vote. It was a mistake to trust that they weren't going to go to war. They said they were not going to go to war. They said they were just going to get inspectors in. From that point on, I was in the position of making the case that it was a big, big mistake. And from that point on, I've voted to--I moved to bring those troops home.

Sen. Bernie SANDERS: The war in Iraq turned out to be the worst foreign policy blunder in the modern history of this country. We lost 4,500 brave troops. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis died. We have spent trillions of dollars on that endless war, money which should go into health care and education and infrastructure in this country. Joe and I listened to what Dick Cheney and George Bush & Rumsfeld had to say. I thought they were lying. I didn't believe them for a moment. Joe saw it differently.

Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: 7th Democrat primary debate, on eve of Iowa caucus

Amy Klobuchar on War & Peace : Jan 14, 2020
I opposed Iraq War from the very beginning

Sen. Bernie SANDERS [to Joe Biden and Amy Klobuchar]: In 2002, when the Congress was debating whether or not we invade Iraq, I said that would be a disaster, Joe and I listened to what Dick Cheney and George Bush had to say. I thought they were lying. Joe saw it differently.

V.P. Joe BIDEN: I said 13 years ago it was a mistake to trust that they weren't going to go to war, to stop what we thought to be Iraq's attempt to get a nuclear weapon.

Sen. Amy KLOBUCHAR: I wasn't in the Senate for that Iraq War vote, but I opposed that war from the very beginning. In my first campaign for Senate, I ran against a Republican who ran ads against me on it, but I stood my ground. When I got to the Senate, I pushed to bring our troops home. Then I have dealt with every issue, from Afghanistan to being part of an effort to improve the situation for our troops in a very big way with our education and with their jobs and also with their health care.

Click for Amy Klobuchar on other issues.   Source: 7th Democrat primary debate, on eve of Iowa caucus

Bernie Sanders on War & Peace : Jan 14, 2020
Great disasters of our time--Vietnam & Iraq--based on lies

SANDERS [to Joe Biden]: In 2002, when the Congress was debating whether or not we invade Iraq, I said that would be a disaster, Joe and I listened to what Dick Cheney and George Bush had to say. I thought they were lying. Joe saw it differently. Last year, I helped pass a War Powers Act resolution, which said that the war in Yemen was unconstitutional because Congress had not authorized it. We got a majority vote in the Senate & House. Unfortunately, Trump vetoed that and that horrific war continues.

V.P. Joe BIDEN: I said 13 years ago it was a mistake to trust that they weren't going to go to war, to stop what we thought to be Iraq's attempt to get a nuclear weapon.

SANDERS: We have to face as a nation is that the two great foreign policy disasters of our lifetimes were the war in Vietnam and the war in Iraq. Both of those wars were based on lies. And right now, what I fear is we have a president who is lying again and could drag us into a war that is even worse than the war in Iraq.

Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: 7th Democrat primary debate, on eve of Iowa caucus

Bernie Sanders on War & Peace : Jan 14, 2020
Passed bipartisan War Powers Act to stop Yemen war

SANDERS: When Congress was debating whether or not we go into a war in Iraq, I said that would be a disaster. I helped pass a War Powers Act resolution, working with a conservative Republican, Mike Lee of Utah, which said that the war in Yemen, led by Saudi Arabia, was unconstitutional because Congress had not authorized it. We got a majority vote in the Senate. We got a majority vote in the House. Unfortunately, Bush vetoed that and that horrific war continues.

V.P. Joe BIDEN: I said 13 years ago it was a mistake to give the president the authority to go to war if, in fact, he couldn't get inspectors into Iraq to stop what--thought to be the attempt to get a nuclear weapon. It was a mistake, and I acknowledged that. But the man who also argued against that war, Barack Obama, picked me to be his vice president. And once we were elected, he asked me to end that war.

Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: 7th Democrat primary debate, on eve of Iowa caucus

Bernie Sanders on War & Peace : Jan 14, 2020
Endless war in Iraq cost us trillions and 4,500 troops

SANDERS: The war in Iraq turned out to be the worst foreign policy blunder in the modern history of this country. We lost 4,500 brave troops. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis died. We have spent trillions of dollars on that endless war, money which should go into health care and education and infrastructure in this country. Joe and I listened to what Dick Cheney & George Bush & Rumsfeld had to say. I thought they were lying. I didn't believe them for a moment. Joe saw it differently.

V.P. Joe BIDEN: We should not send anyone anywhere unless the overwhelming vital interests of the United States are at stake. They were not at stake in Iraq. It was a mistaken vote. It was a mistake to trust that they weren't going to go to war. They said they were not going to go to war. They said they were just going to get inspectors in. From that point on, I was in the position of making the case that it was a big, big mistake. And from that point on, I've voted to--I moved to bring those troops home.

Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: 7th Democrat primary debate, on eve of Iowa caucus

Joe Walsh on War & Peace : Dec 24, 2019
Withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan

Walsh criticizes Trump's approach to peace talks in Afghanistan, as well as the president's treatment of US defense allies. Walsh calls for the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, though while in Congress he supported a "surge" strategy of additional troops, similar to the one carried out in Iraq during the Bush administration. He has criticized President Trump's negotiations with the Taliban, particularly the possibility of inviting Taliban representatives to the United States for talks.
Click for Joe Walsh on other issues.   Source: Council on Foreign Relations on 2020 presidential hopefuls

Mike Bloomberg on War & Peace : Dec 24, 2019
Supported 2003 Iraq War, as response to 9/11

Bloomberg supported the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, framing it as a response to the 9/11 attacks. He later grew critical of the war, though he consistently opposed congressional attempts to put a timetable on the withdrawal of U.S. forces.
Click for Mike Bloomberg on other issues.   Source: Council on Foreign Relations on 2019 Democratic primary

Bernie Sanders on War & Peace : Dec 19, 2019
I was wrong on my vote for Afghan War; remove all troops

Q: You often point to your vote against the war in Iraq is evidence of your judgment on foreign policy. But you did vote for the war in Afghanistan and as recently as 2015 you said you supported a continued U. S. troop presence there. Was that support a mistake?

Bernie Sanders: Well, only one person, my good friend Barbara Lee [U.S. Rep, D-CA-13] was right on that issue. She was the only person in the House to vote against the war in Afghanistan. She was right; I was wrong. So was everybody else in the House. But to answer your question, I don't think you do what Trump does and make foreign policy decisions based on a tweet at 3AM in the morning, or desert your long-time allies like the Kurds. I think you work with the international community, you remove all troops over a period of time, a short period of time, within one year.

Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: Newshour/Politico/PBS December Democratic primary debate

Joe Biden on Homeland Security : Oct 15, 2019
ISIS will come here if they take over Iraq and Syria

[Trump] questions whether or not he'll keep the sacred commitment of Article 5 for the NATO members. If he is reelected, I promise you, there will be no NATO. Our security will be vastly underrated--we will be in real trouble.

And with regard to regime change in Syria [Trump withdrew US forces from the Kurdish areas of Syria last week], that has not been the policy. It has been to make sure that the regime did not wipe out hundreds and thousands of innocent people between there and the Iraqi border.

And lastly, what is happening in Afghanistan all the way over to Syria, we have ISIS, it's going to come here. They are going to, in fact, damage the United States of America. That's why we got involved in the first place, and not ceded the whole area to Assad and to the Russians.

Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: October Democratic CNN/NYTimes Primary debate

Bill Weld on Homeland Security : Sep 24, 2019
Lesson of Iraq War: train Saudis, but no US troops there

Q: How would you handle U.S.-Saudi relations?

WELD: One of the things that troubles me about Trump in the foreign area is he claims to be a non-interventionist but he's awful quick on sending those troops. A couple of months ago he said, "I'm sending 5,000 more troops to the Middle East immediately." Well, they never got there because they must have had a second thought. And he never said what it was for. I'm not quite clear why we're sending troops to Saudi Arabia to defend their oil supplies. Don't they have any troops over there? I know they have a lot of weapons--because we sold them all to Saudi Arabia--but maybe we should make sure they know how to fly those planes and fire those missiles. I just I don't get it. Boots on the ground to another country for regime change or to correct something that we see in the other country that we don't like? That's the height of the lessons we learned from the Iraq war --we shouldn't do that.

Click for Bill Weld on other issues.   Source: Business Insider 2019 GOP presidential primary debate

Bill Weld on War & Peace : Sep 24, 2019
Supported the Obama administration's Iran nuclear deal

Click for Bill Weld on other issues.   Source: Business Insider background for 2019 GOP presidential debate

Joe Biden on Principles & Values : Sep 12, 2019
Deal with loss by finding purpose in what you do

Q: What did you learn from your most significant professional setback?

BIDEN: I think the most critical setback that can occur to anyone is to lose family. [The philosopher Soren] Kierkegaard said "faith sees best in the dark." Right after I got elected, my wife and daughter were killed in an automobile accident. And I lost my faith for a while. I came back.

And then later, when my son Beau came home from Iraq with a terminal disease, and a year later, losing him was like losing part of my soul.

But the fact is that I learned that the way you deal with it is you deal with finding purpose, purpose in what you do. We've all been through that, in some form or another. And for me, the way I've dealt with it is finding purpose. And my purpose is to do what I've always tried to do and stay engaged in public policy.

But there's a lot of people been through a lot worse than I have who get up every single morning, put their feet one foot in front of another, without the help I had.

Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: September Democratic Primary debate in Houston

Joe Biden on War & Peace : Sep 12, 2019
Can't put Afghanistan together: it's 3 different countries

Q: Was it wrong to pull out of Iraq quickly, as you did in the Obama Administration, and then had to return troops? What are the lessons for pulling out of Afghanistan?

BIDEN: I've been in and out of Afghanistan, not with a gun--and it's an open secret that I was opposed to the surge in Afghanistan. The whole purpose of going to Afghanistan was to not have a counterinsurgency, meaning that we're going to put that country together. It cannot be put together. Let me say it again. It will not be put together. It's three different countries. Pakistan owns the three provinces in the east. They're not run it. I will go on and on. But here's the point. The point is that it's a counterterrorism strategy. We can prevent the United States from being the victim of terror coming out of Afghanistan by providing for bases-insist the Pakistanis provide bases for us to air lift from and to move against what we know.

Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: September Democratic Primary debate in Houston

Joe Biden on War & Peace : Sep 12, 2019
I shouldn't have voted for Bush's AUMF; he did it wrong way

Q: Obama turned to you to bring the troops home from Iraq. There was a major drawdown, but you then had to send thousands of troops back in. Was it wrong to pull out of Iraq that quickly?

BIDEN: No, it wasn't wrong to pull out. The fact of the matter is that, you know, I should have never voted to give Bush the authority to go in and do what he said he was going to do. The AUMF was designed, he said, to go in and get the Security Council to vote 15-0 to allow inspectors to go in to determine whether or not anything was being done with chemical weapons or nuclear weapons. And when that happened, he went ahead anyway without any of that proof. The big mistake that was made, which we predicted, was that you would not have a circumstance where the Shia and the Kurds would work together to keep ISIS from moving in.

Sen. Bernie SANDERS: The truth is, the big mistake, the huge mistake, and one of the big differences between you and me, I never believed what Cheney and Bush said about Iraq

Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: September Democratic Primary debate in Houston

Bernie Sanders on War & Peace : Sep 12, 2019
I never made the huge mistake of voting for Iraq AUMF

Q [to VP Joe BIDEN]: Obama turned to you to bring the troops home from Iraq. There was a major drawdown, but you then had to send thousands of troops back in to fight ISIS. Was it wrong to pull out of Iraq that quickly?

BIDEN:

BIDEN: No, it wasn't wrong to pull out. I should have never voted to give Bush the authority to go in and do what he said he was going to do in the AUMF [Authorization for the Use of Military Force in Iraq]. The big mistake that was made, which we predicted, was that you would not have a circumstance where the Shia and the Kurds would work together to keep ISIS from moving in.

SANDERS: The truth is, the big mistake, the huge mistake, and one of the big differences between you and me, I never believed what Cheney and Bush said about Iraq...

BIDEN: You're right.

SANDERS: I voted against the war in Iraq, and helped lead the opposition. And it's sad to say--I kind of had the feeling that there would be massive destabilization in that area if we went into that war.

Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: September Democratic Primary debate in Houston

Joe Biden on War & Peace : Sep 4, 2019
FactCheck:No, didn't oppose Iraq War right after war started

In recent interviews defending his past foreign policy decisions, Biden has misrepresented his past position on the Iraq War. In explaining his 2002 vote to authorize military force in Iraq, Biden told NPR this week that, "Immediately, that moment it started, I came out against the war at that moment."

But a review of Biden's public statements about Iraq in the lead up to the invasion shows he was never entirely opposed to military action against Saddam Hussein:

Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: CNN K-File FactCheck on 2020 presidential hopefuls

Joe Biden on War & Peace : Sep 2, 2019
U.S. forces out of Iraq, by whatever path led there fastest

Mattis recounts a meeting with Biden in the run-up to the U.S. withdrawal. "He wanted our forces out of Iraq," Mattis writes. "Whatever path led there fastest, he favored. He exuded the confidence of a man whose mind was made up, perhaps even indifferent to considering the consequences were he judging the situation incorrectly." After the U.S. withdrew at the end of 2011, the Islamic State seized a large part of western and northern Iraq. Obama reluctantly sent forces back to Iraq in 2014.
Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: NPR Morning Edition on 2019 Democratic Primary

Barack Obama on War & Peace : Sep 2, 2019
OpEd: Withdrew from Iraq for political reasons

Mattis recounts a meeting with Biden in the run-up to the U.S. withdrawal. "He wanted our forces out of Iraq," Mattis writes. "Whatever path led there fastest, he favored. He exuded the confidence of a man whose mind was made up, perhaps even indifferent to considering the consequences were he judging the situation incorrectly." After the U.S. withdrew at the end of 2011, the Islamic State seized a large part of western and northern Iraq. Obama reluctantly sent forces back to Iraq in 2014.
Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: NPR Morning Edition on 2019 Democratic Primary

Tulsi Gabbard on War & Peace : Jul 31, 2019
No arbitrary deadline, but out of Afghanistan in one year

I was deployed to Iraq in 2005 during the height of the war where I served in a field medical unit where every single day I saw the high cost of war. This is not about arbitrary deadlines. This is about leadership to do the right thing to bring our troops home, within the first year in office, because they shouldn't have been there this long. We have to do the right thing, end these wasteful regime change wars, and bring our troops home.
Click for Tulsi Gabbard on other issues.   Source: July Democratic Primary debate (second night in Detroit)

Jay Inslee on War & Peace : Jul 31, 2019
We need a president to stand up against drums of war

We have to determine whether a potential president has adequate judgment. I was called to make a judgment about the Iraq war. I was a relatively new member of Congress, and I made the right judgment, because it was obvious to me that George Bush was fanning the flames of war. Now we face similar situations. We need a president who can stand up against the drums of war and make rational decisions.
Click for Jay Inslee on other issues.   Source: July Democratic Primary debate (second night in Detroit)

Beto O`Rourke on War & Peace : Jul 30, 2019
End U.S. wars in Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, and Syria

It's time to bring those servicemembers back home from Afghanistan, but also from Iraq, also from Yemen, and Somalia, and Libya, and Syria. There is no reason for us to be at war all over the world tonight. As president, I will end those wars, and we will not start new wars. We will not send more U.S. servicemembers overseas to sacrifice their lives and to take the lives of others in our name. We can resolve these challenges peacefully and diplomatically.
Click for Beto O`Rourke on other issues.   Source: July Democratic Primary debate (first night in Detroit)

Eric Swalwell on War & Peace : Jul 17, 2019
Keep the troops deployed abroad

Eric Swalwell on Overseas Deployments: Keep the troops deployed.

EIGHT CANDIDATES HAVE SIMILAR VIEWS: Michael Bennet; Joseph Biden, Jr.; Cory Booker; Peter Buttigieg; Amy Klobuchar; Seth Moulton; Tim Ryan; Andrew Yang.

Other candidates have urged restraint, warning that allies in nations such as Afghanistan and Iraq still need American military support. Withdrawing all U.S. troops, they assert, could be a grave mistake and only make the situation worse.

Click for Eric Swalwell on other issues.   Source: Politico "2020Dems on the Issues"

Pete Buttigieg on War & Peace : Jul 17, 2019
Keep the troops deployed abroad

Buttigieg on Overseas Deployments: Keep the troops deployed.

EIGHT CANDIDATES HAVE SIMILAR VIEWS: Michael Bennet; Joseph Biden, Jr.; Cory Booker; Peter Buttigieg; Amy Klobuchar; Seth Moulton; Tim Ryan; Eric Swalwell; Andrew Yang.

Other candidates have urged restraint, warning that allies in nations such as Afghanistan and Iraq still need American military support. Withdrawing all U.S. troops, they assert, could be a grave mistake and only make the situation worse.

Click for Pete Buttigieg on other issues.   Source: Politico "2020Dems on the Issues"

Amy Klobuchar on War & Peace : Jul 17, 2019
Keep the troops deployed abroad

Klobuchar on Overseas Deployments: Keep the troops deployed.

EIGHT CANDIDATES HAVE SIMILAR VIEWS: Michael Bennet; Joseph Biden, Jr.; Cory Booker; Peter Buttigieg; Seth Moulton; Tim Ryan; Eric Swalwell; Andrew Yang.

Other candidates have urged restraint, warning that allies in nations such as Afghanistan and Iraq still need American military support. Withdrawing all U.S. troops, they assert, could be a grave mistake and only make the situation worse.

Click for Amy Klobuchar on other issues.   Source: Politico "2020Dems on the Issues"

Tim Ryan on War & Peace : Jul 17, 2019
Keep the troops deployed abroad

Ryan on Overseas Deployments: Keep the troops deployed.

EIGHT CANDIDATES HAVE SIMILAR VIEWS: Michael Bennet; Joseph Biden, Jr.; Cory Booker; Peter Buttigieg; Amy Klobuchar; Seth Moulton; Eric Swalwell; Andrew Yang.

Other candidates have urged restraint, warning that allies in nations such as Afghanistan and Iraq still need American military support. Withdrawing all U.S. troops, they assert, could be a grave mistake and only make the situation worse.

Click for Tim Ryan on other issues.   Source: Politico "2020Dems on the Issues"

Seth Moulton on War & Peace : Jul 17, 2019
Keep the troops deployed abroad

Moulton on Overseas Deployments: Keep the troops deployed.

EIGHT CANDIDATES HAVE SIMILAR VIEWS: Michael Bennet; Joseph Biden, Jr.; Cory Booker; Peter Buttigieg; Amy Klobuchar; Tim Ryan; Eric Swalwell; Andrew Yang.

Other candidates have urged restraint, warning that allies in nations such as Afghanistan and Iraq still need American military support. Withdrawing all U.S. troops, they assert, could be a grave mistake and only make the situation worse.

Click for Seth Moulton on other issues.   Source: Politico "2020Dems on the Issues"

Michael Bennet on War & Peace : Jul 17, 2019
Keep the troops deployed abroad

Bennet on Overseas Deployments: Keep the troops deployed.

EIGHT CANDIDATES HAVE SIMILAR VIEWS: Joseph Biden, Jr.; Cory Booker; Peter Buttigieg; Amy Klobuchar; Seth Moulton; Tim Ryan; Eric Swalwell; Andrew Yang.

Other candidates have urged restraint, warning that allies in nations such as Afghanistan and Iraq still need American military support. Withdrawing all U.S. troops, they assert, could be a grave mistake and only make the situation worse.

Click for Michael Bennet on other issues.   Source: Politico "2020Dems on the Issues"

Seth Moulton on War & Peace : Jul 10, 2019
AdWatch: Don't send troops back to Iraq

Click for Seth Moulton on other issues.   Source: OnTheIssues.org AdWatch: 2020 Democratic primary

Seth Moulton on Immigration : Jul 7, 2019
Helped his Iraqi interpreter get asylum in U.S.

Q: While home in Massachusetts, Moulton helped his Iraqi interpreter, Mohammed Harba, with efforts seeking asylum in the U.S.

MOULTON: He was one of the many people in the world who came to America looking for asylum, a perfectly legal thing to do, which I think is something that's lost in this immigration debate today, and he did so because he is an American hero too. He put his life on the line not just for his country - Iraq, but for his new country, America.

Click for Seth Moulton on other issues.   Source: ABC This Week interviews in 2019

Joe Biden on Health Care : Jun 27, 2019
Build on ObamaCare, with Medicare buy-in

When my wife and daughter were killed in an automobile accident, my two boys were badly injured. I couldn't imagine what it would be like if I'd not had adequate health care. When my son came home from Iraq, he was diagnosed with terminal cancer and given months to live. I can't fathom what would have happened if they said the last six months of your life, you're on your own. The quickest way to do it is build on ObamaCare and make sure everyone does have an option to a Medicare-like plan.
Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: June Democratic Primary debate (second night in Miami)

Joe Biden on War & Peace : Jun 27, 2019
I got 150,000 troops out of Iraq; do same in Afghanistan

Q: You voted for the Iraq war. You have said you regret that vote. Why should voters trust your judgment when it comes to making a decision about war the next time?

V.P. Joe BIDEN: I was responsible for getting 150,000 combat troops out of Iraq, and my son was one of them. I also think we should not have combat troops in Afghanistan. It's long overdue. It should end. We cannot go it alone in terms of dealing with terrorism. I would eliminate the act that allowed us to go into war. That's why we have to repair our alliances. We put together 65 countries to make sure we dealt with ISIS in Iraq and other places. That's what I would do. That's what I have done.

Sen. Bernie SANDERS: Joe voted for that war;I helped lead the oppositio

Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: June Democratic Primary debate (second night in Miami)

Bernie Sanders on War & Peace : Jun 27, 2019
Used War Powers Act to get US out of Saudi-Yemen war

Q [to Joe Biden]: You voted for the Iraq war. You have said you regret that vote. Why should voters trust your judgment when it comes to making a decision about war the next time?

V.P. Joe BIDEN: I was responsible for getting 150,000 combat troops out of Iraq. I also think we should not have combat troops in Afghanistan. It's long overdue. It should end.

Sen. Bernie SANDERS: One of the differences that Joe and I have in our record is Joe voted for that war, I helped lead the opposition to that war, which was a total disaster. I helped lead the effort for the first time to utilize the War Powers Act to get the United States out of the Saudi-led intervention in Yemen, which is the most horrific humanitarian disaster on Earth. Let me be very clear. I will do everything I can to prevent a war with Iran, which would be far worse than disastrous war with Iraq.

Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: June Democratic Primary debate (second night in Miami)

Tulsi Gabbard on War & Peace : Jun 26, 2019
No war with Iran: it would escalate region-wide

I served in the war in Iraq at the height of the war in 2005, a war that took over 4,000 of my brothers and sisters in uniforms' lives. The American people need to understand that this war with Iran would be far more devastating, far more costly than anything that we ever saw in Iraq. It would take many more lives. It would exacerbate the refugee crisis.

And it wouldn't be just contained within Iran. This would turn into a regional war. This is why it's so important that every one of us, every single American, stand up and say no war with Iran. We need to get back into the Iran nuclear agreement, and we need to negotiate how we can improve it.

Obviously, if there was an attack against American troops, then there would have to be a response. But a war with Iran is incredibly dangerous. Trump needs to get back into the Iran nuclear deal and swallow his pride, put the American people first.

Click for Tulsi Gabbard on other issues.   Source: June Democratic Primary debate (first night in Miami)

Joe Sestak on Homeland Security : Jun 23, 2019
First 3-star Admiral elected to Congress

Joe Sestak is an experienced, independent leader who rose to the rank of 3-star Admiral. He was the highest ranking military officer ever elected to Congress when he represented Pennsylvania's 7th District from 2007-2010. He commanded an aircraft carrier battle group that conducted combat operations in Afghanistan and Iraq with 30 US and allied ships and more than 15,000 sailors and 100 aircraft.

Joe served as President Clinton's Director for Defense Policy on the National Security Council in the White House, the first Director of the Navy's strategic anti-terrorism unit (Deep Blue) after 9/11, and the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Warfare Requirements responsible for the Navy's five year $350 billion warfare requirements.

Click for Joe Sestak on other issues.   Source: 2020 presidential campaign website JoeSestak.com

Pete Buttigieg on Foreign Policy : Jun 16, 2019
Isolationism is not right way for us to go

Ever since the Iraq War, it's been difficult for the Democratic Party to feel out what we believe the limits, the boundaries and the basis of foreign policy can be. We were so horrified by the wrong steps taken toward Iraq some felt pushed in the direction of isolationism, which I don't think is the right way for us to go. Now is a moment that we establish a new set of foundations for how American values, American interests, and American relationships are going to interact with each other.
Click for Pete Buttigieg on other issues.   Source: CNN "SOTU" 2019 interview series

Beto O`Rourke on War & Peace : Jun 14, 2019
Deal with conflicts diplomatically or fight wars for years

I'm going to make sure that we end the wars in Afghanistan, and Iraq, and Syria, and Somalia, and Yemen and Libya. We've got to find a way to peacefully, diplomatically convene other players and stakeholders in these regions to resolve otherwise intractable problems or else let's expect to find ourselves at war 10, 15, 20 years from now. I will not put the life of an American service member on the line unless that is the option of last resort. There are other options available to us.
Click for Beto O`Rourke on other issues.   Source: NPR Morning Edition, "Election 2020: Opening Arguments"

Pete Buttigieg on War & Peace : Jun 11, 2019
Never send troops without clear definition of their mission

The greatest strategic advantage for America has always been the fact that our country has stood for values shared by humanity, touching aspirations felt far beyond our borders. The lesson of the Iraq disaster is not that there is anything wrong with standing for American values, but rather that any action in the name of such values must be strategic, legitimate, and constrained by the premise that we only use force when left with no alternative.

We should never again send troops into conflict without a clear definition of their mission and an understanding of what will come after.

I believe we should use force when there is a clear and present threat to the US; when it's necessary to deter and defend against an attack on or imminent threat against the United States, our citizens at home or abroad, or our treaty allies; and when we act as part of a legitimate international coalition to prevent genocide or other atrocities. But when we must use force, we must also have an end game.

Click for Pete Buttigieg on other issues.   Source: 2020 presidential campaign website, PeteForAmerica.com

Seth Moulton on War & Peace : Jun 2, 2019
Against pushing us into war with Iran

The parallels between how the Bush administration pushed us into war with Iraq and how the Trump administration is pushing us into war with Iran are uncanny. But I also think there's a parallel here with Vietnam, where what Bolton and Pompeo are trying to do is put enough troops in the Gulf, that there's just a good chance there will be a Gulf of Tonkin-type incident. It's been very clear from things that the secretary of state in particular has said that that's what he hopes happens.
Click for Seth Moulton on other issues.   Source: CNN SOTU 2019 interview of presidential hopefuls

Seth Moulton on War & Peace : Jun 2, 2019
A mistake for those who voted for Iraq war

Q: Was it a mistake to vote to go to war in Iraq?

A: It was a mistake, because we should have been a lot more careful about going into Iraq. We should have questioned the intelligence. We should have made sure that we exhausted every opportunity before we put young American lives in danger.

Click for Seth Moulton on other issues.   Source: CNN SOTU 2019 interview of presidential hopefuls

Seth Moulton on War & Peace : Jun 2, 2019
Trump's "Chicken hawks" pushing us towards war in Iran

The parallels between how the Bush administration pushed us into war with Iraq and how the Trump administration, under a draft-dodging commander in chief, is pushing us into war with Iran are uncanny. But I also think there's a parallel here with Vietnam, where Bolton and Pompeo are trying to put enough troops in the Gulf that will set off war with Iran. We have a commander in chief who's not tough enough, who doesn't have the credibility to stand up to these chicken hawks.
Click for Seth Moulton on other issues.   Source: CNN State of the Union 2019 interview

Tulsi Gabbard on Foreign Policy : Apr 22, 2019
Met with Syrian president; for "extreme vetting" of Syrians

Key criticisms of Gabbard:
Click for Tulsi Gabbard on other issues.   Source: Axios.com on 2020 Democratic primary

Julian Castro on War & Peace : Apr 11, 2019
Don't entangle ourselves in wars, but rebuild alliances

My first order of business would be to make sure that we repair our alliances around the world that have helped keep us safer. The country has a role to lead for the values that we believe in, for freedom, democracy, and opportunity. That doesn't mean that we entangle ourselves in wars. We saw what can happen when we make a mistake, like the Iraq war. However, we need to reclaim our role as the world leader in standing up for things like human rights around the world.
Click for Julian Castro on other issues.   Source: CNN Town Hall: 2020 presidential hopefuls

Jay Inslee on War & Peace : Mar 27, 2019
Opposed war in Iraq; opposed use of torture

Inslee was a strong opponent of the U.S. war in Iraq, and introduced a bill to impeach Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez for approving torture by U.S. forces.
Click for Jay Inslee on other issues.   Source: Truthout.org, "War and Peace," on 2020 presidential hopefuls

Joe Biden on War & Peace : Mar 27, 2019
Supported wars in Iraq & Afghanistan, but not Iran

Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: Truthout.org, "War and Peace," on 2020 presidential hopefuls

Mike Gravel on Foreign Policy : Mar 20, 2019
1971: end Vietnam involvement; 2008: end Mideast involvement

In the 2008 debates, Gravel delivered a searing indictment of the vast majority of his fellow candidates for their support of the Iraq war and their continued commitment to American interventionism in the Middle East. Thanks to his Senate background, Gravel succeeded in getting into early debates where he served as a bit of an antiwar gadfly. His hostility to U.S. interventionism, however, dated back to a much earlier moment of national notoriety, in 1971, when Gravel "entered 4,000 pages of the Pentagon Papers into the congressional record just before the U.S. Supreme Court lifted an injunction on publishing them in the press." The papers, a collection of internal DoD memos and other materials documenting the planning and execution of the Vietnam War, offered a searing indictment of U.S. foreign policy, which is why the Nixon administration battled unsuccessfully to keep them secret.
Click for Mike Gravel on other issues.   Source: New York Magazine on 2020 Democratic primary

Mike Gravel on Principles & Values : Mar 20, 2019
Push Dems toward sensible views on political reform

The @MikeGravel Twitter account has tweeted over 100 times since the initial sort-of-announcement, and done so with social media acumen uncharacteristic of an 88-year-old former politician.

The account has also fired off several scathing attacks of Gravel's prospective opponents, including Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), who "kept innocent men on death row"; Joe Biden, who "voted for the Iraq War"; Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), who likes to "abuse American workers"; and Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), who "invented a drug dealer friend (and voted with Big Pharma)." The account also attacked Booker's "melodramatic" performance during Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court confirmation hearing last year while touting Gravel reading the Pentagon Papers into the congressional record in 1971. Meanwhile, the account seems to favor Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), candidates it wants to push "toward more sensible views on political reform and foreign policy through the debate."

Click for Mike Gravel on other issues.   Source: Rolling Stone magazine on 2020 presidential hopefuls

Tulsi Gabbard on War & Peace : Mar 12, 2019
No more wars for regime change, like Syria and Afghanistan

Her big idea: A central part of Ms Gabbard's campaign has been her call for an end to US-led "regime change wars"--in Syria and Afghanistan. She also condemns runaway military spending as a "new arms race". As a major in the US Army reserve and a veteran of the Iraq War, Ms Gabbard has a unique perch from which to launch her critique.

Her biggest obstacle: Her foreign policy has also been a source of controversy. In 2017 she met President Bashar Assad in Syria and has questioned the international consensus that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons against its own citizens.

"I served in a war in Iraq, a war that was based on lies," she said. "I think that the evidence needs to be gathered." She refused to label Mr Assad as a "war criminal"--a position that sets her well apart from the majority of US politicians and the American people.

Click for Tulsi Gabbard on other issues.   Source: BBC.com on 2020 Democratic primary contenders at 2019 SXSW

Pete Buttigieg on War & Peace : Mar 11, 2019
Don't let Iraq war supporters plan Venezuela invasion

Buttigieg fired on Trump foreign policy official John Bolton, who has long advocated and defended the invasion of Iraq. (Buttigieg served during the war in Afghanistan.). "I don't understand how somebody leading us into the Iraq war is allowed that near the situation room to begin with," Buttigieg said in an answer about conflict in Venezuela, where Bolton has suggested military force could be an option.

Bolton was an early supporter of the Iraq War and pushed for the initial invasion during his time, after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, as President George W. Bush's undersecretary of State for arms control and international security.

Click for Pete Buttigieg on other issues.   Source: CNN KFile on 2019 SXSW conference in Austin

Tulsi Gabbard on War & Peace : Mar 11, 2019
U.S. government lied to American people to launch Iraq War

Gabbard would not say whether she believes Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad is a war criminal -- the latest in a string of skeptical comments about whether Assad was, as the United Nations concluded, behind an April 2017 chemical weapons attack. "I think that the evidence needs to be gathered and, as I have said before, if there is evidence that he has committed war crimes, he should be prosecuted as such," Gabbard said.

Gabbard also would not say whether she would trust the American intelligence community as president. "We have, in our recent past, a situation where our own government told lies to the American people, and to the United Nations for that matter, to launch a war," she said.

Click for Tulsi Gabbard on other issues.   Source: CNN KFile on 2019 SXSW conference in Austin

Pete Buttigieg on Homeland Security : Feb 12, 2019
Signed up for military in 2008, during Iraq troop surge

[In 2008] three of my friends decided to reach out to the Obama campaign to see if we could be helpful by taking a few days off [from classes at Harvard] to knock on doors. Our trio spent the days around New Year's 2008 in south-central Iowa, working in towns.

The Iraq troop surge was winding down but not yet over. Afghanistan, mostly out of view, was simmering. Yellow ribbons were everywhere, and more than once I would knock on a door and get into a conversation with a young man who told me he would love to go to the caucus on Thursday and vote, but couldn't because he was packing up for Basic Training. [He signed up].

Click for Pete Buttigieg on other issues.   Source: Shortest Way Home, by Pete Buttigieg, p. 70-1

Pete Buttigieg on War & Peace : Feb 12, 2019
2002: opposed Iraq War because believed WMDs would be used

It turns out that most of us, for and against the war, were wrong about the Saddam's WMDs. He didn't have any--and so they were not there to be used against American troops.

Iraq fell quickly, and for a moment it seemed that the invasion was a vindication of American intervention abroad. Protesters like me looked foolish. Sure, the pretext for war was actually false, but who could quibble over that, as a brutal dictatorship was being turned into a model democracy at relatively little cost to America?

Then the suicide bombings began. We were not, as the administration had promised, "greeted as liberators." A well-functioning democracy did not emerge. And the ensuing chaos made it clear that the administration had not planned for the aftermath of the invasion, as Iraqi cities became a kill zone for our troops. We who were against the invasion had been wrong about the weapons, but right about the war. The administration had been wrong about both.

Click for Pete Buttigieg on other issues.   Source: Shortest Way Home, by Pete Buttigieg, p. 52

Hillary Clinton on War & Peace : Feb 12, 2019
OpEd: supported Iraq War to avoid looking unpatriotic

Soon president [Buh in 2002] was telling us that "either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists," a dictum impossible for America to uphold or enforce in the case of Pakistan and many other states playing the three-dimensional chess game of geopolitics in the Islamic world. Next it was an "Axis of Evil," and so on. For the home front, the message was that we would be kept safe through the deployment of force and the acceptance of some encroachments on our freedom and privacy. And also, for some reason, we would need to invade Iraq.

Democrats, unsure of themselves, were afraid to sound like an opposition at all, and many carefully avoided opposing the Iraq War for fear of looking unpatriotic. (Some, particularity Hillary Clinton, would come to regret this posturing.) Instead they tried to change the subject, emphasizing Social Security and Medicare, even though global security was the dominant issue of our moment--even in Indiana.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: Shortest Way Home, by Pete Buttigieg, p. 50

Pete Buttigieg on War & Peace : Feb 12, 2019
2002 Iraq War made no strategic sense, even if WMDs existed

[In 2002] our president declared that Saddam Hussein must disarm his chemical and biological weapons, and vow, "If he won't do so voluntarily we will disarm him."

The tough talk was rousing, but it made no strategic sense. Saddam was a notoriously sinister dictator whose top priority, as with all dictators, was his own survival. It followed that he viewed his arsenal of chemical and biological weapons (as most of us believed he had) as an insurance policy to keep him in power. He would only part with them voluntarily if it would benefit his personal security--an unlikely course for someone who did not trust America. But actually using them would almost certainly lead to his destruction, so he had every reason to sit on his weapons if he had them. The only scenario where he might use them would be if he had nothing to lose by doing so--and now by invading, we were poised to create that very situation.

He didn't have any WMDs--and so they were not there to be used against American troops.

Click for Pete Buttigieg on other issues.   Source: Shortest Way Home, by Pete Buttigieg, p. 51-2

Donald Trump on War & Peace : Feb 5, 2019
Afghani settlement: great nations do not fight endless wars

Our brave troops have now been fighting in the Middle East for almost 19 years. In Afghanistan and Iraq, nearly 7,000 American heroes have given their lives. More than 52,000 Americans have been badly wounded. We have spent more than $7 trillion in the Middle East.

I have also accelerated our negotiations to reach a political settlement in Afghanistan. Our troops have fought with unmatched valor--and thanks to their bravery, we are now able to pursue a political solution to this long and bloody conflict.

In Afghanistan, my Administration is holding constructive talks with a number of Afghan groups, including the Taliban. As we make progress in these negotiations, we will be able to reduce our troop presence and focus on counter-terrorism. We do not know whether we will achieve an agreement--but we do know that after two decades of war, the hour has come to at least try for peace.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: 2019 State of the Union address to United States Congress

Elizabeth Warren on War & Peace : Jan 17, 2019
Withdraw US troops from Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria

Click for Elizabeth Warren on other issues.   Source: PBS News hour on 2020 Presidential hopefuls

Tulsi Gabbard on Homeland Security : Jan 14, 2019
Allow transgender Americans in the military

Click for Tulsi Gabbard on other issues.   Source: PBS News hour on 2020 Presidential hopefuls

Marianne Williamson on Homeland Security : Jul 24, 2018
Remove pathological romanticization of the military

During the run-up to the invasion of Iraq, I was one of many Americans saying, "This is Vietnam all over again." At the time, we were described by officialdom as facile thinkers who simply didn't understand the severity of the situation. What we did understand was that Iraq had absolutely nothing to do with 9/11; there was no Al Qaeda in Iraq; and even if Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, let us be adult enough to remember we do business with countries that have WMD every day. Oh, and Saddam Hussein killed his own people? So have the Chinese, and we did not invade them.

We need a miracle of God to remove from us what has become an almost pathological romanticization of the military. I have a great respect for the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces, but their idealization as ultimate and exclusive saviors in times of national distress is a disservice to them and to us all. If America spent more time and resources waging peace, we would find ourselves waging far less war.

Click for Marianne Williamson on other issues.   Source: Healing the Soul of America, by Marianne Williamson, p.105-6

Marianne Williamson on War & Peace : Jul 24, 2018
U.S. imperialistically devastated both Vietnam and Iraq

The very tyrannies from which we had fought to be free would reappear among us, and often we were the oppressors as well as the oppressed. With every generation, we've waged a fiery personal and political contest between our most noble and our basest thoughts. Which would control the destiny of our country? Even now, the contest rages.

To look in our national mirror is to see both glory and shame. We endured the horrors of a Civil War, heroically fought two world wars, brilliantly helped defeat Hitler--and then imperialistically devastated both Vietnam and Iraq. We are blessed with more money and more technological resources than any other nation in the world, yet we give only 1 percent of our budget away to nations less fortunate than us. America has always been a land of contradictions.

Click for Marianne Williamson on other issues.   Source: Healing the Soul of America, by Marianne Williamson,p.xix-xx

John Kasich on Immigration : Jun 6, 2018
Allies directly affected should repatriate Syrian refugees

President Trump deserves credit for improving on President Obama's strategy against the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, in Syria and Iraq. Now that the terrorists' strongholds have been all but eliminated, the only remaining core U.S. interest at stake is preventing ISIS from using those countries to mount future attacks against us. That mission does not require a major commitment of U.S. combat troops. With our help, allies whose interests are more directly affected than our own--such as Egypt, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and European countries--should take the lead in mitigating the continuing but reduced threat from ISIS and in repatriating Syrian refugees.

Going forward, we need to be much more careful and focused about how we fight terrorism. We have to develop better criteria for when to intervene abroad. And when we do intervene, we need clearer guidelines about what kinds of resources to commit--for example, combat troops versus military trainers.

Click for John Kasich on other issues.   Source: 2020 presidential hopeful Kasich column in Foreign Affairs

John Kasich on War & Peace : Jun 6, 2018
War on terror should focus on threats to US homeland

After 17 years, the war on terrorism has become a series of open-ended commitments. In Afghanistan, Pres. Obama put in place a series of half measures, and Pres. Trump sent additional troops into a conflict that cannot be resolved militarily. Both presidents' decisions were mistakes. We must now look instead to diplomacy to negotiate a sustainable US exit.

Regarding ISIS, in Syria and Iraq, the terrorists' strongholds have been all but eliminated. The only remaining core US interest at stake is preventing ISIS from using those countries to mount future attacks against us.

Going forward, we need to be much more careful and focused about how we fight terrorism. We have to develop better criteria for when to intervene abroad. In particular, we should restrict our major counterterrorism efforts to instances in which our homeland is directly at risk. When it is not, we should avoid getting embroiled in civil wars and instead use diplomacy to rally international partners to assume the lead.

Click for John Kasich on other issues.   Source: Kasich column in Foreign Affairs: 2020 Presidential hopefuls

Donald Trump on War & Peace : Jan 29, 2018
2016: secret plan to defeat ISIS; 2018: caliphate gone

Donald Trump made this pledge in April 2016: "We're gonna beat ISIS very, very quickly, folks. I have a great plan. They ask, 'What is it?' Well, I'd rather not say."

At the time, it seemed unlikely he would ever have to make good on the promise. However, Trump's surprise victory gave him the chance to back up his claim. Many were openly skeptical he could do it.

But one year into the Trump administration, the facts on the ground--in Syria and Iraq--have changed dramatically. The 'Caliphate' announced with such fanfare in the summer of 2014 was in tatters. "We have made, alongside our coalition partners, more progress against these evil terrorists in the past several months than in the past several years," Trump proclaimed last fall. So is ISIS now defeated?

President Trump deserves credit for hastening the downfall of their Caliphate. However, ISIS 2018 will launch an insurgency in its former territory. ISIS has access to electronic spaces where it can continue recruitment efforts.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: Heritage Commentary on 2018 Trump Administration

Joe Biden on War & Peace : Oct 24, 2017
Son Beau served in Iraq while Delaware Attorney General

When Joe visited Beau's National Guard's unit in Iraq, Stephen Colbert offered to film a segment of a father-and-son-reunion. Beau nixed the idea--he didn't want the free publicity, and why should he be treated differently from his fellow soldiers? At the time he was Delaware's attorney general, and clearly that segment would have been good for "optics." Beau wasn't an optics guy. "He didn't want any special attention," remembered Colbert. "He didn't want to leave his unit. He didn't want to be singled out.")

Beau did things the hard way, the right way. At first, Delaware's governor offered to appoint Beau to be the attorney general, filling a vacancy. He turned it down so that, Obama said, he could run in an election and "win it fair and square."

Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: The Book of Joe, by Jeff Wilser, p.159

Bernie Sanders on Foreign Policy : Sep 21, 2017
Foreign policy is directly related to military policy

Let me be clear: Foreign policy is directly related to military policy and has everything to do with almost seven thousand young Americans being killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, and tens of thousands coming home wounded in body and spirit from a war we should never have started. That's foreign policy. And foreign policy is about hundreds of thousands of people in Iraq and Afghanistan dying in that same war.

Foreign policy is about U.S. government budget priorities. At a time when we already spend more on defense than the next 12 nations combined, foreign policy is about authorizing a defense budget of some $700 billion.

Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: Westminster College speech in Where We Go From Here, p. 92

Bernie Sanders on War & Peace : Sep 21, 2017
1990s Iraq invasion laid groundwork for more wars in region

I had as a young man strongly opposed the disastrous war in Vietnam, one of the worst foreign policy blunders in the history of our country. I had also spoken out against U.S. coups and invasions that overthrew democratically elected governments in Chile, Guatemala, the Congo, Brazil, Iran, and elsewhere.

As a freshman congressman in 1991, I voted against the first Persian Gulf War, [saying], "I fear that one day we will regret that decision and that we are in fact laying the groundwork for more and more wars in that region for years to come.". Not a bad analysis for a freshman congressman.

In 2003, I did everything I could to prevent George W. Bush's invasion of Iraq--a war that Hillary Clinton supported. In one debate, when Hillary Clinton cited Henry Kissinger as a friend and mentor, I suggested that he was a terrible secretary of state, a war criminal, and would play no role in a Sanders administration.

Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: Where We Go From Here, by Bernie Sanders, p.88-9

Bernie Sanders on War & Peace : Sep 21, 2017
Iraq War discredited vision of benevolent global hegemony

Some in Washington continue to argue that "benevolent global hegemony" should be the goal of our foreign policy, that the US, by virtue of its extraordinary military power, should stand astride the world and reshape it to its liking. I would argue that the events of the past two decades--particularly the disastrous Iraq war and the instability and destruction it has brought to the region--have utterly discredited that vision.

The goal is not for the US to dominate the world. Nor, on the other hand, is our goal to withdraw from the international community and shirk our responsibilities under the banner of "America First." Our goal should be global engagement based on partnership, rather than dominance. This is better for our security, better for global stability, and better for facilitating international cooperation.

Far too often, American intervention and the use of American military power has produced unintended consequences which have caused incalculable harm.

Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: Westminster College speech in Where We Go From Here, p.100-1

Tulsi Gabbard on Immigration : May 27, 2017
2015: Favor Christian over Islamic refugees

She was one of 47 Democrats to join the GOP in passing the SAFE Act in 2015, which would have added extra requirements to the refugee vetting process [affecting] the admission of Syrian and Iraqi refugees into the country. She introduced a resolution calling for the United States to prioritize religious and ethnic minorities in the Middle East -- namely, Christians and Yezidis -- when granting refugee status. "These persecuted religious minority groups must be our first priority," she said. She seems to have somewhat softened her stances recently. She came out against Trump's refugee and travel bans, for example. Around the same time, Gabbard spoke at an event held by the group Muslims for Peace, in which she uncharacteristically spoke of "so-called religious terrorism" and affirmed that "the perpetrators of these horrific actions have no connection with the spiritual love that lies at the heart of all religions."
Click for Tulsi Gabbard on other issues.   Source: Jacobin Mag., "Not your friend": 2020 presidential hopefuls

Tulsi Gabbard on War & Peace : May 27, 2017
Opposes fighting in Afghanistan & Syria; end arms to Saudis

She has called for pulling out of Afghanistan, the longest war in US history, suggesting that the government invest the money instead into "rebuilding our own nation through long-term infrastructure projects." She's opposed US intervention in Syria since 2013, air strikes in Iraq, and arms sales to Saudi Arabia. She backed Sanders in the Democratic primary because of Clinton's record of supporting "interventionist regime change wars."
Click for Tulsi Gabbard on other issues.   Source: Jacobin Mag., "Not your friend": 2020 presidential hopefuls

Tulsi Gabbard on War & Peace : Nov 15, 2016
Iraq was a war we never should have gotten into

Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii joined our campaign in a rather dramatic fashion: She resigned as vice chair of the Democratic National Committee. Tulsi, a veteran of the war in Iraq, is deeply concerned about foreign and military policy. She saw the lives of too many of her comrades destroyed by a war we should never have gotten into, and she wanted policies to make sure that we never got into another such war again.
Click for Tulsi Gabbard on other issues.   Source: Our Revolution, by Bernie Sanders, p.102

Bernie Sanders on War & Peace : Nov 15, 2016
1990: Tried to stop Bush's driving Saddam out of Kuwait

President George H. W.; Bush was determined to send in our military to drive the Iraqi army out of Kuwait, which Saddam Hussein had invaded in August 1990. Almost all Republicans supported the war effort, as did a number of Democrats. I didn't. I had campaigned against going to war, and did everything I could to stop it.

I feared not only the immediate impact of the war, in terms of the death and destruction it would bring, but what it portended for the future. Would war, and more and more wars, be the norm in solving international conflicts in the future? The entire world was united against a small country with a weak army. Surely, I reasoned, there must be a way other than war to achieve our goals and get Iraq out of Kuwait.

Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: Our Revolution, by Bernie Sanders, p. 41-2

Bernie Sanders on War & Peace : Nov 15, 2016
Iraq War: worst foreign policy blunder in modern history

I was considered to be "vulnerable" on foreign policy. Hillary Clinton had been secretary of state for four years under President Obama. She had traveled the world, been involved in a number of important foreign policy decisions, and knew many heads of state personally. Therefore, according to the pundits, she was the "expert" on foreign policy. I was, presumably, the novice, and ill-prepared in that area.

Needless to say, that wasn't my view. Clinton, as a former secretary of state, had more hands-on experience in foreign policy than I did, that did not necessarily make her better qualified in that area. In foreign policy, judgment mattered, and on the most important foreign policy issues of our time, my judgment had been better than Hillary Clinton's.

I not only voted against the war in Iraq, I helped lead the opposition to what turned out to be the worst foreign policy blunder in American modern history. Hillary Clinton, as a U.S. senator from New York, had voted for the war.

Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: Our Revolution, by Bernie Sanders, p.165-6

Rocky De La Fuente on War & Peace : Nov 1, 2016
Increase intervention in Iraq and Syria beyond air support

Q: Should the U.S use military force in order to prevent governments hostile to the United States from possessing a nuclear weapon?

A: No.

Q: Do you support increased American intervention in Iraq and Syria beyond air support?

A: Yes. The threat to the United States is immediate or impending (as in the case of "confirmed" terrorists), we have the authority to address it. If the threat is hypothetical, then we must exercise well-measured restraint.

Click for Rocky De La Fuente on other issues.   Source: VoteSmart Presidential Election 2016 Political Courage Test

Hillary Clinton on War & Peace : Oct 19, 2016
No US troops as occupying force in Iraq

CLINTON: I will not support putting American soldiers into Iraq as an occupying force. I don't think that is in our interest, and I don't think that would be smart to do. That would be a big red flag waving for ISIS to reconstitute itself. I'm going to push for a no-fly zone and safe havens within Syria to gain leverage on both the Syrian government and the Russians so we can have the kind of serious negotiation necessary to bring the conflict to an end.

TRUMP: Three months ago, I read that they're going to attack Mosul. Whatever happened to the element of surprise? We announce we're going after Mosul. These people have all left.

CLINTON: The goal here is to take back Mosul. It's going to be a hard fight. I've got no illusions about that. And then continue to press into Syria to begin to take back and move on Raqqa, which is the ISIS headquarters. I am hopeful that the hard work that American military advisers have done will pay off and that we will see a successful military operation.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: Third 2016 Presidential Debate moderated by Fox News

Donald Trump on War & Peace : Oct 19, 2016
Iran is taking over Iraq

TRUMP: Iran should write us a letter of thank you, the stupidest deal of all time, a deal that's going to give Iran absolutely nuclear weapons. Iran should write us yet another letter saying thank you very much, because Iran, as I said many years ago, Iran is taking over Iraq, something they've wanted to do forever, but we've made it so easy for them.
Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: Third 2016 Presidential Debate moderated by Fox News

Hillary Clinton on War & Peace : Oct 9, 2016
Arm and support the Kurds against Assad

I hope by the time I am president that we will have pushed ISIS out of Iraq. I do think that there is a good chance that we can take Mosul. Trump says he knows more about ISIS than the generals. No, he doesn't. There are a lot of very important planning going on, and some of it is to signal to the Sunnis in the area, as well as Kurdish Peshmerga fighters, that we all need to be in this. And that takes a lot of planning and preparation. I would go after Baghdadi. I would specifically target Baghdadi, because I think our targeting of Al Qaida leaders--and I was involved in a lot of those operations, highly classified ones--made a difference. So I think that could help. I would also consider arming the Kurds. The Kurds have been our best partners in Syria, as well as Iraq. I know there's a lot of concern about that in some circles, but I think they should have the equipment they need so that Kurdish & Arab fighters on the ground are the principal way that we take Raqqa after pushing ISIS out of Iraq
Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: Second 2016 Presidential Debate at Washington University

Mike Pence on War & Peace : Oct 4, 2016
Back at war in Iraq because we didn't leave enough forces

After Clinton traveling millions of miles as our Secretary of State, after she being the architect of the foreign policy of this administration, America is less safe today than it was the day that Obama became president. It's absolutely inarguable. We've weakened the US's place in the world. It's been a combination of factors, but mostly it's been a lack of leadership. I will give you [the killing of bin Laden]. Osama bin Laden led Al Qaida. Our primary threat today is ISIS. Because Clinton failed to renegotiate a status of forces agreement that would have allowed some American combat troops to remain in Iraq and secure the hard fought gains the American soldier had won, ISIS was able to be conjured up out of the desert, and it's overrun vast areas that the American soldier had won. Because Clinton and Obama failed to provide a status of forces agreement and leave sufficient troops in there, we are back at war.
Click for Mike Pence on other issues.   Source: 2016 Vice-Presidential Debate at Longwood University

Bill Weld on War & Peace : Oct 3, 2016
Supports libertarian "restraint" on military action

Weld has always been fiscally conservative and socially liberal, he says: "I've self-identified as a small-l libertarian since I was in law school." On military matters, he was once a typical GOP hawk, but events in Iraq, Libya, and Syria have made him reconsider and he now supports Johnson's more "restrained" posture.
Click for Bill Weld on other issues.   Source: Molly Ball in The Atlantic: 2020 presidential hopefuls

Hillary Clinton on War & Peace : Sep 26, 2016
Take out current ISIS leaders like we took out bin Laden

We need to do much more with our tech companies to prevent ISIS and their operatives from being able to use the Internet to radicalize, even direct people in our country & Europe & elsewhere. We also have to intensify our air strikes against ISIS and support our Arab & Kurdish partners to be able to actually take out ISIS in Raqqa. We're making progress. Our military is assisting in Iraq. We're hoping that within the year we'll be able to push ISIS out of Iraq and then really squeeze them in Syria. They've had foreign fighters coming to volunteer for them, foreign money, foreign weapons, so we have to make this the top priority. I would also do everything possible to take out their leadership. I was involved in a number of efforts to take out Al Qaida leadership when I was secretary of state, including, of course, taking out bin Laden. We need to go after Baghdadi, as well, make that one of our organizing principles. We've got to do everything we can to disrupt their propaganda efforts online.
Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: First 2016 Presidential Debate at Hofstra University

Hillary Clinton on War & Peace : Sep 7, 2016
Iraq war VOTE was my mistake; Iraq WAR was Bush's mistake

Q: Let's talk about your vote in favor of the war in Iraq. You've since said it was a mistake.

CLINTON: Look, I think that the decision to go to war in Iraq was a mistake. And I have said that my voting to give President Bush that authority was, from my perspective, my mistake. I also believe that it is imperative that we learn from the mistakes, like after-action reports are supposed to do, and so we must learn what led us down that path so that it never happens again. I think I'm in the best possible position to be able to understand that and prevent it. But I will say this. I'm asking to be judged on the totality of my record, what I've done for our veterans as first lady, as senator, what I've done for Gold Star Families, working with them to increase the death benefit from $12,000 to $100,000,

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

Donald Trump on War & Peace : Sep 7, 2016
I opposed Iraq War in 2004; it destabilized entire Mideast

CLINTON: My opponent was for the war in Iraq. He says he wasn't. You can go back and look at the record. He supported it. He told Howard Stern he supported it. So he supported it before it happened, and he is on record as supporting it after it happened.

TRUMP: I was totally against the war in Iraq. You can look at Esquire magazine from '04. You can look at before that. I was against the war in Iraq because I said it's going to totally destabilize the Middle East, which it has.

USA TODAY Fact-Check: Trump expressed mild support for invading Iraq when asked about it on the Howard Stern radio show on Sept. 11, 2002--about six months before the war started. Stern asked Trump if he supported a war with Iraq, and Trump responded, "Yeah, I guess so." Trump cited an Esquire article that appeared in August 2004 to show his opposition to the war. But that article appeared 17 months after the war started. The facts don't support either candidate's strong assertions.

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
When we defeated Iraq, we didn't know what to do after that

I was totally against the war in Iraq. I was against the war in Iraq because I said it's going to totally destabilize the Middle East, which it has. It has absolutely been a disastrous war.

Part of the problem that we've had is we go in, we defeat somebody, and then we don't know what we're doing after that. We lose it, like as an example, you look at Iraq, what happened, how badly that was handled. When President Obama took over, it was a disaster. He took everybody out and ISIS was formed. If you look at the aftermath of Iraq, Iran is going to be taking over Iraq.

If we would have taken the oil, you wouldn't have ISIS, because ISIS formed with the power and wealth of that oil. They have among the largest oil reserves in the world. We go in, we spend $3 trillion, we lose thousands and thousands of lives, and then, we get nothing. It used to be to the victor belong the spoils. I always said: Take the oil.

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

Mike Pence on War & Peace : Jul 15, 2016
Supported Iraq war and sending more US troops there in 2007

Pence, near the beginning of his 12-year tenure in the U.S. House, voted for the resolution authorizing the 2003 Iraq invasion. Pence, who chaired the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on the Middle East, was also a prominent backer of the 2007 "surge" strategy sending more U.S. troops to the faltering effort in Iraq, telling CNN's Wolf Blitzer at the time that "the surge is working" while also defending the original decision to invade despite the absence of weapons of mass destruction.
Click for Mike Pence on other issues.   Source: CNN.com 2016 Veepstakes, "Pence foreign policy"

Amy Klobuchar on Foreign Policy : Jun 12, 2016
Fight ISIS Internet recruiting, but don't indict Islam

Q: Your reaction to news of a mass shooting in the "Pulse" nightclub in Florida?

KLOBUCHAR: Having been the local prosecutor during 9/11 when they caught Moussaoui, in our state [Minnesota], I know that you want to make sure that you have the evidence clear before you make statements about a solution. But we know some of the things that have to happen here. The continual work to root out this evil at its roots at the enclave of ISIS in Iraq and Syria, to stop the flow of the international money, to go after the recruiting that we've seen in the US over the Internet.

Q: In Minnesota, there have been numerous cases about people being recruited to part of the ISIS campaign?

KLOBUCHAR: Yes; dozens of indictments & recent jury verdicts. And what we've found is that individual people are recruited over the Internet. No mom wants their kid recruited to go fight for ISIS. You don't want to indict an entire religion, you don't want to indict an entire community over a lone wolf.

Click for Amy Klobuchar on other issues.   Source: Fox News Sunday 2016: interviews for 2016 Veepstakes

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 19, 2016
FactCheck: Supported Iraq invasion in 2002; opposed in 2003

Trump has claimed that he opposed the Iraq War before the invasion began--as an example of his great judgment. But in a 2002 interview with Howard Stern, Donald Trump said he supported an Iraq invasion. In an interview on Sept. 11, 2002, Stern asked Trump directly if he was for invading Iraq. "Yeah I guess so," Trump responded. "I wish the first time it was done correctly."

Trump has repeatedly claimed that he was against the Iraq War before it began, despite no evidence of him publicly stating this position. Trump's comments on Stern's show are more in line with what he wrote in his 2000 book, The America We Deserve, where he advocated for a "principled and tough" policy toward "outlaw" states like Iraq.

Asked at the CNN town hall about the Stern interview, Trump said, "I could have said that. I wasn't a politician. It was probably the first time anyone has asked me that question. By the time the war started, I was against it, and shortly thereafter, I was really against."

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: Buzzfeed FactCheck on 2016 CNN GOP Town Hall

John Kasich on Foreign Policy : Feb 13, 2016
US should not be world's police in places like Iraq

Dr. Ben CARSON: I was not particularly in favor of us going to war in Iraq, primarily because I have studied the Middle East, recognizing that those are nations that are ruled by dictators and have been for thousands of years. When you remove one of those dictators, unless you have an appropriate plan for replacing them, you're going to have chaos.

Sen. Marco RUBIO: Saddam Hussein was in violation of U.N. resolutions, in open violation, and the world wouldn't do anything about it, and George W. Bush enforced what the international community refused to do.

KASICH: I don't believe the United States should involve itself in civil wars. Civil wars are not in our direct are interest. The fact is, is that we should go to war when it is our direct interest. We should not be policemen of the world, but when we go, we mean business. We'll do our job. We'll tell our soldiers, our people in the service, take care of your job and then come home once we've accomplished our goals.

Click for John Kasich on other issues.   Source: 2016 CBS Republican primary debate in South Carolina

John Kasich on War & Peace : Feb 13, 2016
If there weren't WMDs in Iraq, we shouldn't have gone

RUBIO: I thank God it was George W. Bush in the White House on 9/11 and not Al Gore. I think you can look back in hindsight and say a couple of things, but he kept us safe. Not only did he keep us safe, but no matter what you want to say about weapons of mass destruction, Saddam Hussein was in violation of U.N. resolutions, in open violation, and the world wouldn't do anything about it, and George W. Bush enforced what the international community refused to do.

KASICH: We thought there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Colin Powell, who is one of the most distinguished generals in modern times said there were weapons there. The fact is we got ourselves in the middle of a civil war. The borders of that country were drawn after World War I by Westerners that didn't understand what was happening there. The tragedy of it is that we're still embroiled. If there weren't weapons of mass destruction we should never have gone.

Click for John Kasich on other issues.   Source: 2016 CBS Republican primary debate in South Carolina

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

Bernie Sanders on Foreign Policy : Feb 4, 2016
Key doctrine: We can't do it alone; must work in coalition

Q: You have not proactively laid out a foreign policy doctrine yet. Why?

SANDERS: I did give a speech at Georgetown where I talked about democratic socialism and foreign policy. Maybe I shouldn't have combined the two in the same speech. While it is true that the secretary and I voted differently on the war in Iraq, what is important is that we learn the lesson of the war in Iraq. And that lesson is intrinsic to my foreign policy if elected president, is the United States cannot do it alone. We cannot be the policeman of the world. We are now spending more I believe than the next eight countries on defense. We have got to work in strong coalition with the major powers of the world and with those Muslim countries that are prepared to stand up and take on terrorism. So I would say that the key doctrine of the Sanders administration would be no, we cannot continue to do it alone; we need to work in coalition.

Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: MSNBC Democratic primary debate in New Hampshire

Hillary Clinton on Principles & Values : Feb 4, 2016
I am a progressive who gets things done

Q: Senator Sanders is arguing that you are not progressive enough to be the Democratic nominee. He has said that if you voted for the Iraq war, if you are in favor of the death penalty, if you wobbled on things like the Keystone Pipeline or TPP, if you said single payer health care could never happen, then you're too far to the right of the Democratic Party. Why should liberal Democrats support you?

CLINTON: Because I am a progressive who gets things done. The root of that word, progressive, is progress. I've heard Senator Sanders' comments, and it's caused me to wonder who's left in the progressive wing of the Democratic Party. Under his definition, President Obama is not progressive because he took donations from Wall Street; Vice President Biden is not progressive because he supported Keystone; Senator Shaheen is not progressive because she supports the trade pact.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: MSNBC Democratic primary debate in New Hampshire

Hillary Clinton on War & Peace : Feb 4, 2016
4,000 U.S. trainers & special forces in Iraq & Syria

Q: Is President Obama right to escalate the number of U.S. troops fighting ISIS now?

A: We have to support Arab and Kurdish fighters. It is important to keep the Iraqi army on a path where they can take back territory. They're doing the fighting. We're doing the support and enabling. I am against American combat troops being in Syria and Iraq. I support special forces. I support trainers. I support the air campaign. I want to continue, and that's what the president is doing.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: MSNBC Democratic primary debate in New Hampshire

Bernie Sanders on War & Peace : Feb 4, 2016
Iraq war led to ISIS creation, as I predicted would happen

Q: Is President Obama right to escalate the number of U.S. troops fighting ISIS now?

CLINTON: We have to support Arab & Kurdish fighters. It is important to keep the Iraqi army on a path where they can take back territory. They're doing the fighting. We're doing the support and enabling. I want to continue, and that's what the president is doing.

SANDERS: Let me agree with much of what the secretary said, but where we differ is on the war in Iraq, which created barbaric organizations like ISIS. Not only did I vote against that war, I helped lead the opposition. It gives me no pleasure to tell you that much of what I feared would happen the day after Saddam Hussein was overthrown, in fact, did happen. I think our task is to make certain that our young men and women in the military do not get sucked into never-ending, perpetual warfare within the quagmire of Syria and Iraq. It must be Muslim troops on the ground that destroy ISIS, with the support of a coalition of major powers.

Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: MSNBC Democratic primary debate in New Hampshire

Barack Obama on Foreign Policy : Jan 20, 2016
US should learn lessons from Iraq and Vietnam

Instability will continue for decades in many parts of the world -- in the Middle East, in Afghanistan, parts of Pakistan, in parts of Central America, in Africa, and Asia. We can't try to take over and rebuild every country that falls into crisis, even if it's done with the best of intentions. That's not leadership; that's a recipe for quagmire, spilling American blood and treasure that ultimately will weaken us. It's the lesson of Vietnam; it's the lesson of Iraq.
Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: 2016 State of the Union address to Congress

Bernie Sanders on Foreign Policy : Dec 19, 2015
I do not believe in unilateral action against terrorism

Our goal is to crush and destroy ISIS. I voted against the war in Iraq because I thought unilateral military action would not produce the results that were necessary and would lead to the kind of unraveling and instability that we saw in the Middle East. I do not believe in unilateral American action. I believe in action in which we put together a strong coalition of forces, major powers and the Muslim nations. One of the heroes in the Middle East is King Abdullah II of Jordan.
Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: 2015 ABC/WMUR Democratic primary debate in N.H.

Bernie Sanders on Foreign Policy : Dec 19, 2015
Easy to overthrow a dictator but hard to control aftermath

Where we have a disagreement is that if you look at regime changes, you go back to Mossaddegh in Iran, you go back to Salvador Allende who we overthrew in Chile, you go back to overthrowing Saddam Hussein in Iraq. It is relatively easy for a powerful nation like America to overthrow a dictator but it is very hard to predict the unintended consequences and the turmoil and the instability that follows after you overthrow that dictator.
Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: 2015 ABC/WMUR Democratic primary debate in N.H.

Hillary Clinton on War & Peace : Dec 19, 2015
3-part plan to go after ISIS: territory; network; safety

I have a plan to go after ISIS. Not to contain them, but to defeat them. It has three parts. First, deprive them of territory they occupy in Syria and Iraq. Second, dismantle their network of terrorism. Third, do more to keep us safe. We have to have an American-led air campaign, we have to have Arab and Kurdish troops on the ground. We have got to go after everything from North Africa to South Asia and beyond. Here at home, we have to share information and work closely with Muslim-Americans.
Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: 2015 ABC/WMUR Democratic primary debate in N.H.

Hillary Clinton on War & Peace : Dec 19, 2015
Support Sunni Arab and Kurdish forces against ISIS in Syria

What we're facing with ISIS is especially complicated. It was a different situation in Afghanistan. We were attacked from Afghanistan. We went after those who attacked us. What's happening in Syria and Iraq is that, because of the failures in the region, there has been a resurgence of Sunni activities, as exemplified by ISIS. We have to support Sunni-Arab and Kurdish forces against ISIS, because I believe it would be not only a strategic mistake for the US to put ground combat troops in.
Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: 2015 ABC/WMUR Democratic primary debate in N.H.

Bernie Sanders on War & Peace : Dec 19, 2015
I voted against 1st Gulf War, which led to 2nd Gulf War

I voted against the first Gulf War, which set the stage, I believe, for the second Iraq war. What I believe is the US cannot be thought of as the policeman of the world, that when there's an international crisis all over the world, in France and in the U.K., hey, just call up the American military and the American taxpayers, they're going to send the troops, and if they have to be in the Middle East for 20 or 30 years no problem.
Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: 2015 ABC/WMUR Democratic primary debate in N.H.

John Kasich on War & Peace : Nov 17, 2015
US ground troops in Syria, but not involved in civil war

As for his policy to defeat ISIS, he proposed leading a coalition that includes soldiers fighting on the ground in both Syria and Iraq. He would not indicate a number and said the coalition should not be involved in Syria's civil war. "Civil wars do not work out well for the U.S.," he said. "Nation building. Count me out."
Click for John Kasich on other issues.   Source: 2016 presidential hopefuls on Syrian Refugees by NBC News

Hillary Clinton on Gun Control : Nov 14, 2015
Reverse gun manufacturer immunity; let them get sued

Q: You say that Senator Sanders took a vote on immunity that you don't like. So if he can be tattooed by a single vote and that ruins all future opinions by him on this issue, why then isn't he right when he says your wrong vote on Iraq tattoos you forever in your judgment?

CLINTON: I said I made a mistake on Iraq, and I would love to see Senator Sanders join with some of my Senate colleagues in addition the Senate that I see in the audience. Let's reverse the immunity. Let's put the gun makers and sellers on notice that they're not going to get away with it.

SANDERS: Let's do more than reverse the immunity.

Q: Was that a mistake, Senator?

SANDERS: Let me hear if there's any difference between the Secretary and myself. I don't know that there's any disagreement here.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: 2015 CBS Democratic primary debate in Iowa

Bernie Sanders on War & Peace : Nov 14, 2015
Invasion of Iraq led to ISIS; Hillary voted to invade

Q: Was ISIS underestimated? In 2014, the president referred to ISIS as the "J.V."

CLINTON: ISIS has developed [since 2014]. There are many other reasons why it has, but I don't think that the US has the bulk of the responsibility. I really put that on Assad and on the Iraqis and on the region itself.

SANDERS: She said the bulk of the responsibility is not ours. Well, in fact, I would argue that the disastrous invasion of Iraq, something that I strongly opposed, has unraveled the region completely and led to the rise of al-Qaeda and to ISIS.

Q: You're saying Secretary Clinton, who was then Senator Clinton, voted for the Iraq war. And are you making a direct link between her vote for that or and what's happening now for ISIS?

SANDERS: I don't think any sensible person would disagree that the invasion of Iraq led to the massive level of instability we are seeing right now. I think that was one of the worst foreign policy blunders in the more than history of the United States.

Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: 2015 CBS Democratic primary debate in Iowa

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

John Kasich on War & Peace : Nov 4, 2015
Destroy ISIS, with US troops as part of coalition

Kasich said that the United States needs to get serious about creating a broader international coalition to fight ISIS--even if that means sending more US troops into Syria and Iraq. In an interview on CNN's "The Lead," Kasich faulted President Obama for allowing US allegiances overseas to "deteriorate over time."

"We have not led, and when you don't lead, you create doubt in the minds of our friends, and also, it encourages our enemies," he said. He said he'd support a larger US military presence in the region. "The time has come to destroy ISIS as part of a coalition," Kasich said. "And if that means that US boots have to be on the ground, so be it," he said. "Because to allow this to linger, to put this off, to think that somehow this is going to go away is naive at best."

Kasich said joining Russia in the fight against ISIS doesn't mean the US should set aside fights with Moscow over its incursion in Ukraine and its intervention in favor of Syrian leader.

Click for John Kasich on other issues.   Source: CNN 2015 coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls

Donald Trump on War & Peace : Nov 3, 2015
We should have demanded a deal with Kuwait to liberate them

When Kuwait was attacked by Saddam Hussein, all the wealthy Kuwaitis ran to Paris. They didn't just rent suites--they took up whole buildings, entire hotels. They lived like kings while their country was occupied.

Who did they turn to for help? Who else? Uncle Sucker. That's us. We spent billions of dollars sending our army to win back Kuwait. Our people were killed and wounded, but the Iraqis went back to their country.

About two months after the war, several Kuwaitis came up to my office. They told me, "We want to invest outside the United States." We had just handed them back their country! They were watching TV in the best hotel rooms in Paris while our kids were fighting for them. And they didn't want to invest in this country?

How stupid are we? Why didn't the United States make a deal with them that outlined how they would pay for us to get their country back for them? They would have paid anything if just asked.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: Crippled America, by Donald Trump, p. 34-5

Donald Trump on War & Peace : Nov 3, 2015
Blunder to announce withdrawal timetable from Afghanistan

Unfortunately, it may require boots on the ground to fight the Islamic State. I don't think it's necessary to broadcast our strategy. (In fact, one of the most ridiculous policy blunders President Obama has committed was to announce our timetable for withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan.) If military advisers recommend it, we should commit a limited--but sufficient--number of troops to fight on the ground.
Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: Crippled America, by Donald Trump, p. 37

Donald Trump on War & Peace : Oct 20, 2015
Afghanistan war made a mess, but troops need to stay

Trump said the US was right to invade Afghanistan after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks--a reversal of his position earlier this month when he called the war a "mistake."

"We made a mistake going into Iraq. I've never said we made a mistake going into Afghanistan," Trump told CNN. Trump said on October 6 that he believed entering Afghanistan was a mistake and worried about U.S. forces getting stuck there.

"At some point, are they going to be there for the next 200 years? It's going to be a long time," Trump said, when asked about Afghanistan. "We made a terrible mistake getting involved there in the first place. We had real brilliant thinkers that didn't know what the hell they were doing. And it's a mess. And at this point, you probably have to stay because that thing will collapse about two seconds after they leave."

Trump first signaled his backtrack when he said Afghanistan is "where we should have gone," meaning the US should have focused its attention on Afghanistan over Iraq.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: Tom LoBianco on CNN, "Afghanistan war not a mistake"

Bernie Sanders on War & Peace : Oct 18, 2015
Diplomacy and coalition-building before unilateral action

Q: You were asked about when you would authorize the use of force. You went on to say, "I do not support the U.S. getting involved in unilateral action." So there are no circumstances where you would authorize unilateral action?

SANDERS: Well, I'm not going to get into hypotheticals, but I would say that Bush's decision to get us into a war in Iraq unilaterally was one of the worst foreign policy blunders in the history of the US. I think sensible foreign policy and military policies suggest that it cannot be the US alone which solves all of the world's [problems].

Q: In all circumstances?

SANDERS: I didn't say in all circumstances. But I think that there's a lesson to be learned from Iraq and Afghanistan, then what a great military power like the United States is about is trying to use diplomacy before war and working with other countries rather than doing it alone. At the end of the day, a military coalition is what will succeed, not the US doing it alone.

Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: ABC This Week 2015 interview by Martha Raddatz

Lincoln Chafee on Foreign Policy : Oct 16, 2015
After Iraq war, we have to repair American credibility

We have to repair American credibility after we told the world that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, which he didn't. Any time someone is running to be our leader, and a world leader, which the American president is, credibility is an issue out there with the world. And we have repair work to be done. I think we need someone that has the best in ethical standards as our next president.
Click for Lincoln Chafee on other issues.   Source: Vox.com e-zine on 2020 presidential hopefuls

Lincoln Chafee on War & Peace : Oct 16, 2015
Calls drone strikes "extrajudicial assassinations"

He does think Hillary Clinton is far too hawkish to be president--and indeed, she's more hawkish than our current Democratic president and more hawkish than most of the Democratic Party. She supports the Obama administration's anti-ISIS airstrikes in Iraq and Syria; Chafee opposes them. Her State Department helped develop the legal rationale for the drone war; Chafee calls drone strikes "extrajudicial assassinations."
Click for Lincoln Chafee on other issues.   Source: Vox.com e-zine on 2020 presidential hopefuls

Bernie Sanders on Energy & Oil : Oct 13, 2015
Address climate change so we can leave planet to our kids

Q [to all]: What is the greatest national security threat to the United States?

CHAFEE: It's certainly the chaos in the Middle East. And it all started with the Iraq invasion.

O'MALLEY: I believe that nuclear Iran remains the biggest threat, along with the threat of ISIL; climate change, of course, makes cascading threats.

CLINTON: I think it has to be continued threat from the spread of nuclear material that can fall into the wrong hands.

WEBB: Our greatest long-term strategic challenge is our relation with China.

Q: Senator Sanders, greatest national security threat?

SANDERS: The scientific community is telling us that if we do not address the global crisis of climate change, transform our energy system away from fossil fuel to sustainable energy, the planet that we're going to be leaving our kids and our grandchildren may well not be habitable. That is a major crisis.

Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: 2015 CNN Democratic primary debate in Las Vegas

Lincoln Chafee on Foreign Policy : Oct 13, 2015
Work with UN on issues such as climate change & trade

Chafee was the only Republican in the Senate to vote against the Iraq War--like Webb, Chafee is a party-switcher--and he has said he's running to keep Iraq on the public's mind. His website promises to "end drone strikes, torture of prisoners, and warrantless wiretaps." It also says he wants to work with the U.N. "to pursue strategic international agreements that reduce tensions, increase security, attack climate change, and promote civil liberties and fair trade."
Click for Lincoln Chafee on other issues.   Source: Reason magazine on 2016 presidential hopefuls

Lincoln Chafee on War & Peace : Oct 13, 2015
There was no real evidence of WMDs in Iraq before invasion

CHAFEE: If you're looking ahead, and you're looking at someone who made that poor decision in 2002 to go into Iraq when there was no real evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, I know because I did my homework, and, so, that's an indication of how someone will perform in the future. And that's what's important.

Q: He's questioning your judgment.

CLINTON: I recall very well being on a debate stage about 25 times with then Senator Obama, debating this very issue. After the election, he asked me to become Secretary of State. He valued my judgment, and I spent a lot of time with him in the Situation Room.

Click for Lincoln Chafee on other issues.   Source: 2015 CNN Democratic primary debate in Las Vegas

Lincoln Chafee on War & Peace : Oct 13, 2015
American credibility suffered because of Iraqi WMD lies

We have to repair American credibility after we told the world that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, which he didn't. So there's an issue of American credibility out there. We have repair work to be done. I think we need someone that has the best in ethical standards as our next president.
Click for Lincoln Chafee on other issues.   Source: 2015 CNN Democratic primary debate in Las Vegas

Lincoln Chafee on War & Peace : Oct 13, 2015
I never believed Saddam had WMDs

What I'm most proud of is my judgment, particularly in the Iraq war vote. There was a lot of political pressure, public pressure. But I did my homework and I did not believe that the evidence was there that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. And we live now with the consequences. I'm running for president to end the wars. I want to be the peacemaker. I am a proven peacemaker.
Click for Lincoln Chafee on other issues.   Source: 2015 CNN Democratic primary debate in Las Vegas

Hillary Clinton on War & Peace : Oct 13, 2015
We're already involved in Syria; deal with Russia there

We are already flying in Syria just as we are flying in Iraq. What I believe and why I have advocated that the no-fly zone--which of course would be in a coalition-- be put on the table is because I'm trying to figure out what leverage we have to get Russia to the table. You know, diplomacy is not about getting to the perfect solution. It's about how you balance the risks.
Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: 2015 CNN Democratic primary debate in Las Vegas

Donald Trump on Foreign Policy : Oct 4, 2015
Better to have Mideast strongmen than Mideast chaos

Q: You think the Middle East would be better today if Gaddafi, Saddam and Assad were stronger? That the Middle East would be safer?

TRUMP: It's not even a contest. Iraq is a disaster. And ISIS came out of Iraq.

Q: Well, let me button this up. If Saddam and Gaddafi were still in power, you think things would be more stable?

TRUMP: Of course it would be. You wouldn't have had your Benghazi situation, which is one thing, which was just a terrible situation.

Q: Would you pull out of what we're doing in Syria now?

TRUMP: no, I'd sit back.

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

Donald Trump on War & Peace : Sep 16, 2015
I'm pro-military but I opposed invading Iraq in 2003

TRUMP: I am the only person on this dais that fought very, very hard against us going into Iraq, because I said going into Iraq--that was in 2003, you can check it out--I'll give you 25 different stories. In fact, a delegation was sent to my office to see me because I was so vocal about it. I'm a very militaristic person, but you have to know when to use the military. I'm the only person up here that fought against going into Iraq.

Sen. Rand PAUL: I've made my career as being an opponent of the Iraq War. We have to learn sometimes the interventions backfire. The Iraq War backfired and did not help us. We're still paying the repercussions of a bad decision.

Dr. Ben CARSON: When the issue occurred in 2003, I suggested to President Bush that he not go to war. So I just want that on the record.

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

Bernie Sanders on Foreign Policy : Sep 13, 2015
Address humanitarian crisis in Syria with allies in region

Q: The UN wants up to 65,000 Syrians placed here. How many refugees do you think the US should take in?

SANDERS: I think it's impossible to give a proper number until we understand the dimensions of the problem. What I do believe is that Europe, the United States and, by the way, countries like Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, must address this humanitarian crisis. People are leaving Iraq, they're leaving Syria with just the clothes on their backs. The world has got to respond. The United States should be part of that response.

Q: When it comes to Syria, how much of the problem is the United States' fault, of policy, whether Bush in Iraq or Obama in Syria?

SANDERS: Look, I voted against the war in Iraq; much of what I feared would happen, in fact, did happen: Massive destabilization in that region. The issue now is not who is at fault. The issue is now what we do. And what we do is bring the region together.

Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: Meet the Press 2015 interviews of 2016 presidential hopefuls

Bernie Sanders on War & Peace : Sep 5, 2015
Stop ISIS, but only with an international & Arab coalition

According to a February 2015 Gallup poll, Americans consider the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant--abbreviated as ISIS or ISIL?--and the international terrorism they support to be the greatest threat to the United States' vital interests. These are the main planks of Bernie's position on ISIS:
Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: 2016 grassroots campaign website FeelTheBern.org, "Issues"

Bernie Sanders on War & Peace : Sep 5, 2015
Iraq war destabilized Mideast; stay out of Mideast quagmire

Q: Did Bernie support the invasion of Iraq like most other politicians at the time?

A: No. In 2002, as a congressman, Bernie spoke extensively about the dangers of going to war in Iraq, and warned about the destabilizing impact that a war would cause and how it might lead to a counter-insurgency like we've seen, first with al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) and now ISIS: He voted against the resolution that gave President George W. Bush permission to invade Iraq.

Q: How has the Iraq war impacted Bernie's position on dealing with ISIS?

A: In February 2015, in response to a war powers resolution--a formal request by President Barack Obama to authorize a military campaign against ISIS--Bernie said, "I voted against the war in Iraq because I feared very much the destabilizing impact it would have on the region. Today, I very much fear U.S. involvement in an expanding and never-ending quagmire in that region of the world."

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

Bernie Sanders on Social Security : Aug 30, 2015
Raise the Social Security cap on taxable income

I believe that, as opposed to my Republican colleagues who want to cut Social Security, I believe we should expand Social Security by lifting the cap on taxable income. That's not Hillary Clinton's position.

I believe that we have got to raise the minimum wage over a period of several years to $15 an hour--not Hillary Clinton's position. I voted against the war in Iraq. Hillary Clinton voted for it.

Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: CNN SOTU 2015 interview series: 2016 presidential hopefuls

Amy Klobuchar on Homeland Security : Aug 24, 2015
Offer troops care for traumatic brain injury

[After my 2007 visit to Iraq, I said in a national speech]: "Between the Gulf War in the early 1990s and our invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, our country had spawned a generation of young veterans with unique needs. All too often they had traumatic brain injuries (the signature injury coming out of these wars) or mental health issues or a lack of gainful employment when they returned home. As I said at dozens of deployment and welcome home ceremonies, we owed it to our troops to do the right thing--despite major disagreements about the policy in Iraq, our nation simply could not make the same mistake that so many made during the war in Vietnam. This time, we would agree to disagree about the war but still respect and support the warriors. When our troops signed up to serve our country there wasn't a waiting line, and when they come home to our country and they need a job or a house or health care or an education, there should never be a waiting line in the United States of America.
Click for Amy Klobuchar on other issues.   Source: The Senator Next Door, by Amy Klobuchar, p.233-4

Amy Klobuchar on War & Peace : Aug 24, 2015
2006: turn over governance of Iraq to the Iraqis

[At the Oct. 15, 2006 Senate debate , my Republican opponent Mark Kennedy and I] first discussed North Korea and then spent a lot of time talking about the war in Iraq. Kennedy called the war the "number one issue in this race" and repeated his position that although we had made some mistakes, we should stay the course. I noted that we had already spent $300 billion on the war and that while we should not suddenly pull out, we needed to turn the governing of the country over to the Iraqis and over time withdraw our troops. When I was given a chance to ask Kennedy a question, I asked him if he believed he was wrong to vote for the war in Iraq. He said he wasn't.
Click for Amy Klobuchar on other issues.   Source: 2006 MN Senate Debate in The Senator Next Door, p.213

Amy Klobuchar on War & Peace : Aug 24, 2015
2007: Withdraw combat troops from Iraq on sensible timetable

The public mandate coming out of the 2006 election was to change the course of the war in Iraq. From 2003 to 2006, we lost more than 3,000 U.S. military men and women in the war, 45 of them Minnesotans. And besides the tragic loss of American and Iraqi lives in the military effort, our country had already spent more than $300 billion on the war.

After my election to the Senate, I wanted to do everything in my power to help end the war. In March 2007, I flew to Iraq; then I was tapped to give the national response to President Bush's weekly radio address. I spoke about our soldier's bravery and commitment but also about the need to withdraw our combat forces on a sensible timetable, train the Iraqi police, and transition to Iraqi governance.

In March 2007, I flew to Iraq; [then] I gave the national response to President Bush's weekly radio address. I spoke about the need to withdraw our combat forces on a sensible timetable, train the Iraqi police, and transition to Iraqi governance.

Click for Amy Klobuchar on other issues.   Source: The Senator Next Door, by Amy Klobuchar, p.232-3

Lincoln Chafee on War & Peace : Aug 20, 2015
Neocon advocates for invasions are "delusional"

Chafee ripped Republican Jeb Bush for suggesting that President Obama screwed things up in Iraq. No, said Chafee, the mess was made by Bush's brother, George W. and, Dick Cheney. If Bush thinks differently, "he's just drinking some kind of neocon Kool-Aid." Referring to Obama-bashing Republicans and neoconservative advocates for new invasions and incursions as "delusional," Chafee warned that, "We just cannot have those people come back to make those same kind of mistakes."
Click for Lincoln Chafee on other issues.   Source: The Nation magazine on 2020 presidential hopefuls

Lincoln Chafee on War & Peace : Aug 20, 2015
Iraq: There was "no evidence" of WMDs, it was a hoax

"I went to the CIA, sir, before I took my vote on the Iraq War. Listen to this: I asked them to show me all the evidence you have--'I have to vote on this in three weeks.' And all the analysts laid out what they had for evidence and it wasn't anything. I was there for more than an hour. There just was no evidence of weapons of mass destruction. It was all a hoax. That's the facts. That's the truth."
Click for Lincoln Chafee on other issues.   Source: The Nation magazine on 2020 presidential hopefuls

John Kasich on War & Peace : Aug 16, 2015
Fight ISIS by supporting Kurds and educating Iraqis

Q: What do you think of Obama pulling the troops out of Iraq?

A: Well, we should have had a base left in Iraq, for sure.

Q: But do you think that President George W. Bush, who launched the attack initially on Iraq, bears some responsibility for ISIS now?

A: I would have never committed ourselves to Iraq. And, as you can see, ultimately, it's going to end up being divided into three parts. I think the Kurds are great allies of ours. And we have got to very conscious of some of the things that they need and balance that off against the Turks, because that's become an issue over there. But all the religions of the world ought to stand up and say, "you blow up innocent men, women, and children, and you think you're going to paradise, there's something wrong with you, you're nuts, and if we catch you, we're going to throw you into prison, maybe for the rest of your life."

Click for John Kasich on other issues.   Source: CNN SOTU 2015 interview series: 2016 presidential hopefuls

John Kasich on War & Peace : Aug 16, 2015
2002: go to war with Iraq; 2015: we never should have gone

John Kasich says now that he never would have taken the United States to war in Iraq--but the Ohio governor supported then-President George W. Bush's push for war in 2002.

In an interview on "State of the Union," Kasich said, "I would never have committed ourselves to Iraq." Kasich said the US "should've left a base in Iraq" instead of withdrawing troops in 2011.

But in November 2002, Kasich, then a former congressman, made a very different argument during an event at The Ohio State University, as the US was gearing up for war in Iraq. "We should go to war with Iraq. It's not likely that (Saddam) Hussein will give up his weapons. If he did he would be disgraced in the Arab world," he said then.

Kasich's 2002 comments, in front of a crowd of 100 students, were reported at the time by The Lantern, Ohio State's student newspaper, under the headline: "Fireside speaker favors war with Iraq."

Click for John Kasich on other issues.   Source: CNN on "State of the Union" on 2016 presidential hopefuls

Bernie Sanders on Foreign Policy : Aug 9, 2015
We have to negotiate with others, even Iran

Q: Do you support the Iranian nuclear deal?

SANDERS: We have got to go through every possible effort in order to make sure that we achieve that goal of Iran not having a nuclear weapon without going to war.

Q: So, do you support the agreement?

SANDERS: Yes, I do. Look, I'm not going to tell that you this is a perfect agreement. And every agreement can be better.

Q: What about hard-liners chanting death to America in Iraq making common cause with the opponents of this deal?

SANDERS: I wouldn't frame it that way. But this is the way I would frame it. It's so easy to be critical of an agreement which is not perfect. But the US has to negotiate with other countries. We have to negotiate with Iran. And the alternative, you know what it is? It's war. Do we really want another war, a war with Iran? I think we go as far as we possibly can in trying to give peace a chance, if you like, trying to see if this agreement will work. And I will support it.

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

Donald Trump on War & Peace : Aug 6, 2015
Opposed Iraq war in 2004 & predicted Mideast destabilization

In July of 2004, I came out strongly against the war with Iraq, because it was going to destabilize the Middle East. And I'm the only one on this stage that knew that and had the vision to say it. And that's exactly what happened. And the Middle East became totally destabilized.
Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: Fox News/Facebook Top Ten First Tier debate transcript

Lincoln Chafee on Principles & Values : Jun 25, 2015
Voted for Bush41 in 2004 as protest against Bush43

Those who know Chafee call him "Linc" for short. The last of a dying breed of liberal Republicans, he earned the distinction of being the only GOP senator to vote against the war in Iraq. He placed a symbolic vote for George H.W. Bush for president in 2004, as a means of expressing his disapproval of W. Later, in his time as Rhode Island governor during the Great Recession, he earned the nicknames "Governor Gump" and "Governor Grinch," the latter after a fight over what to call Christmas trees.
Click for Lincoln Chafee on other issues.   Source: Daily Beast e-zine on 2020 presidential hopefuls

Lincoln Chafee on War & Peace : Jun 25, 2015
Iraq war was on hawks' wish list; feared another Vietnam

Chafee outlined the "primary three" reasons for his decision to vote against the war. The first was his fear that it would be for the next generation what Vietnam had been for his. Second, "I had learned in the nine months of the Bush-Cheney administration prior to September 11 not to trust their word." Third, the war in Iraq had long been on the "hawks'" wish list, and a visit to the CIA convinced him "there was no intelligence" that made the case for intervention.
Click for Lincoln Chafee on other issues.   Source: Daily Beast e-zine on 2020 presidential hopefuls

Donald Trump on War & Peace : Jun 16, 2015
Boots on the ground to fight ISIS

What does Donald Trump believe? Islamic State and Iraq: Send a limited number of combat troops on the ground.

In early 2015, Trump told CPAC that he felt the U.S. may need "boots on the ground" to fight the Islamic State. Soon after, he clarified to Fox News that he would send limited numbers of troops if all of his military advisers recommended it.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: PBS News Hour "2016 Candidate Stands" series

Lincoln Chafee on War & Peace : Jun 4, 2015
Averse to foreign entanglements, including Iraq

Aversion to Foreign Entanglements: Only 23 of 100 Senators saw the folly of allowing Bush/Cheney to invade Iraq. I am very proud to be one of the 23.

The tragedies of the Iraq War are manifold; lost and injured lives, hundreds of billions of squandered tax dollars, the difficulty of providing just and proper care for our brave veterans, but maybe the most tragic, the loss of American credibility. I commit to the repair needed to all the harm done. Our credibility will be restored when we respect our world partners and truly listen when they speak. In a world of nuclear weapons, the United States must make international decisions with brains and not biceps.

Click for Lincoln Chafee on other issues.   Source: 2016 presidential campaign website Chafee2016.com

Lincoln Chafee on Homeland Security : Jun 3, 2015
Rebuild alliances abroad to fight ISIS

Chafee says the 2003 invasion of Iraq was a mistake; and that to fight Islamic State, the U.S. must build alliances, including with Russia.

Chafee told MSNBC in April that to fight Islamic State, America must forge stronger alliances and rebuild its relationship with Russia. The former governor opposes open-ended U.S. military action and supports contained strategies, citing the 1990 Gulf War as an example.

Click for Lincoln Chafee on other issues.   Source: PBS News Hour "2016 Candidate Stands" series

Bernie Sanders on Foreign Policy : Apr 30, 2015
Focus on domestic needs instead of international conflict

A longtime anti-war activist, Sanders voted against the Iraq war resolution in 2002. He has regularly called for the US to withdraw troops from Afghanistan and Iraq as soon as possible. Regarding the Islamic State, Sanders has said the US should not lead the fight. In general, he believes the US should focus less on international conflict and more on the domestic needs of the middle class.

Sanders backs President Obama's negotiations with Iran and sharply criticized Republican senators who signed a letter warning Iran against a potential deal. In a statement, the Jewish senator pushed back against the idea of tougher sanctions and was critical of Netanyahu's speech to Congress. Sanders was the first senator to announce he would not attend the speech.

Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: PBS News Hour "2016 Candidate Stands" series

Lincoln Chafee on War & Peace : Apr 12, 2015
Until Iraq War, there was lasting peace ahead of us

Q: You said explicitly that you're challenging Hillary Clinton primarily because of her vote for the Iraq war. Do you really think there's still enough anger left--this was a long time ago--to propel your candidacy based on that?

CHAFEE: Well, I enjoyed working with Sen. Clinton. We overlapped for six years and we served on the environment and public works committee together. But that vote for the Iraq war, that was a moment in time where the Vietnam era had ended, the Berlin wall come down. There was lasting peace ahead of us if we made good decisions particularly after September 11th when people were angry and they were scared. And that was just a moment in time where the premise for going into Iraq was so false that there were weapons of mass destruction--she didn't do her homework and we live with the ramifications today. And so you may say that's 12 years ago, but if you show lack of judgment, lack of doing your homework then, what can we expect in the future?

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

Barack Obama on War & Peace : Jan 20, 2015
Authorize the use of force against ISIL

We've learned some costly lessons over the last 13 years. Instead of sending large ground forces overseas, we're partnering with nations from South Asia to North Africa to deny safe haven to terrorists who threaten America. In Iraq and Syria, American leadership--including our military power--is stopping ISIL's advance. Instead of getting dragged into another ground war in the Middle East, we are leading a broad coalition, including Arab nations, to degrade and ultimately destroy this terrorist group. We're also supporting a moderate opposition in Syria that can help us in this effort, and assisting people everywhere who stand up to the bankrupt ideology of violent extremism. This effort will take time. It will require focus. But we will succeed. And tonight, I call on this Congress to show the world that we are united in this mission by passing a resolution to authorize the use of force against ISIL.
Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: 2015 State of the Union address

Bernie Sanders on Technology : Jan 15, 2015
$1 trillion investment in infrastructure

Rebuilding Our Crumbling Infrastructure:
We need a major investment to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure: roads, bridges, water systems, waste water plants, airports, railroads and schools. The Bush-Cheney Iraq War will total $3 trillion by the time the last veteran receives needed care. A $1 trillion investment in infrastructure could create 13 million decent paying jobs and make this country more efficient and productive. We need to invest in infrastructure, not more war.
Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: 12 Steps Forward, by Sen. Bernie Sanders

Hillary Clinton on Foreign Policy : Jun 10, 2014
Push Russia on press freedom; they've killed 20 journalists

Among the most egregious developments in the new Russia were the attacks on the press. Newspapers, TV stations, and bloggers faced intense pressure to toe the Kremlin line. Since 2000, Russia has been the 4th most dangerous place in the world to be a journalist--not as bad as Iraq but worse than Somalia or Pakistan. Between 2000 and 2009 nearly 20 journalists were killed in Russia, and in only one case was the killer convicted.

When I visited Moscow in 2009, I thought it important to speak out in support of press freedoms and against the official campaign of intimidation. I met with journalists, lawyers, and other civil society leaders, including one activist who told me that he had been badly beaten by unidentified thugs. These Russians had seen friends and colleagues harassed, intimidated, even killed, yet they went on working, writing, and speaking, refusing to be silenced. I assured them that the US would publicly and privately raise human rights concerns with the Russian government.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: Hard Choices, by Hillary Clinton, p.229

Hillary Clinton on War & Peace : Jun 6, 2014
I got it wrong on 2002 Iraq War vote

Many Senators came to wish they had voted against the resolution [authorizing the Iraq War in 2002]. I was one of them. As the war dragged on, with every letter I sent to a family in New York who had lost a son or daughter, a father or mother, my mistake became more painful.

I thought I had acted in good faith and made the best decision I could with the information I had. And I wasn't alone in getting it wrong. But I still got it wrong. Plain and simple.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: Hard Choices, by Hillary Clinton, CBS pre-release excerpts

Joe Biden on Foreign Policy : Mar 1, 2014
An internationalist as Foreign Relations Committee chair

After the collapse of Biden's 1988 presidential campaign, Biden reinvented himself again, this time as the Foreign Relations Committee chairman, an internationalist who voiced skepticism about, but didn't oppose, the Iraq invasion. He was on everybody's short list for secretary of state and even re-entered the presidential ring in 2008. The race rebranded him as an avuncular liberal with an incongruous skill set: a blue-collar populist and jet-setting foreign policy wise man rolled into one gabby package. But he hadn't been a serious contender for the presidency since '88, and he tallied less than 1% of the Iowa Caucus vote in '08 before calling it quits on Jan. 3.
Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: Politico Mag profile, "Joe Biden in Winter"

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

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

Barack Obama on War & Peace : Oct 22, 2012
We had forgotten why we went into Afghanistan

OBAMA: When I came into office, we were still bogged down in Iraq, and Afghanistan had been drifting for a decade. We ended the war in Iraq, refocused our attention on Afghanistan. And we are now in a position where we have met many of the objectives that got us there in the first place. Part of what had happened is we'd forgotten why we'd gone. We went because there were people who were responsible for 3,000 American deaths. And so we decimated al-Qaida's core leadership in the border regions between Afghanistan and Pakistan. We then started to build up Afghan forces. And we're now in a position where we can transition out, because there's no reason why Americans should die when Afghans are perfectly capable of defending their own country.

ROMNEY: Inside Pakistan you have a large group of Pashtuns that are Taliban, that they're going to come rushing back into Afghanistan when we go.

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

Joe Biden on War & Peace : Oct 11, 2012
Out of Iraq as promised; out of Afghanistan soon

On Iraq, the president said he would end the war. Governor Romney said that was a tragic mistake--that he ended it--Governor Romney said we should have left 30,000 troops there.

With regard to Afghanistan, he said he will end the war in 2014. Governor Romney said, #1, we should not set a date, and #2, with regard to 2014, it depends.

When it came to Osama bin Laden, the president, the first day in office, he called in the CIA and signed an order saying, 'my highest priority is to get bin Laden.' Prior to Pres. Obama being sworn in, Governor Romney was asked a question about how he would proceed. He said, 'I wouldn't move heaven and earth to get bin Laden.' He didn't understand it was more than about taking a murderer off the battlefield; it was about restoring America's heart.

And lastly, the president has led with a steady hand and clear vision. Governor Romney, the opposite. The last thing we need now is another war.

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

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 6, 2012
End our longest war: out of Afghanistan in 2014

Four years ago, I promised to end the war in Iraq. We did. I promised to refocus on the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11. And we have. We've blunted the Taliban's momentum in Afghanistan, and in 2014, our longest war will be over.

A new tower rises above the New York skyline, Al Qaeda is on the path to defeat, and Osama Bin Laden is dead.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: 2012 Democratic National Convention speech

Deval Patrick on War & Peace : Sep 4, 2012
Obama ended war in Iraq & is ending war in Afghanistan

We shape our own future. Let's start by standing up for President Barack Obama. This is the president who delivered the security of affordable health care to every single American after 90 years of trying. This is the president who brought Osama bin Laden to justice, who ended the war in Iraq and is ending the war in Afghanistan. This is the president who ended "don't ask, don't tell" so that love of country, not love of another, determines fitness for military service. Who made equal pay for equal work the law of the land. This is the president who saved the American auto industry from extinction, the American financial industry from self-destruction, and the American economy from depression. Who added over 4.5 million private sector jobs in the last two-plus years, more jobs than George W. Bush added in eight. The list of accomplishments is long, impressive and barely told.
Click for Deval Patrick on other issues.   Source: 2012 Democratic National Convention speech

Barack Obama on War & Peace : Aug 11, 2012
Green Party OpEd: We are not out of Iraq

Dr. Jill Stein, the Green Party nominee for President, says of Pres. Obama's withdrawal from Iraq, "We are not out of Iraq--we should be out of Iraq and we are not," referring to the US Armed Forces move into nearby Kuwait as Obama's promised exit from Iraq. Dr. Stein disagrees with many of Obama's international policies; our OnTheIssues book details both their stances, side-by-side, on issues like: This book details the issue stances of the presidential nominees from the four leading parties: Democratic, Republican, Green, and Libertarian.
Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: Paperback: Obama-Romney-Stein-Johnson On The Issues

Joe Biden on War & Peace : Jun 14, 2012
1990 Gulf War: reason enough to send generation to war?

Most of the congressional Democrats determinedly opposed the Persian Gulf War. When Saddam Hussein sent Iraqi troops into Kuwait in August 1990, the Bush administration sought authorization from Congress for the use of force to reverse the invasion. The debate on Capitol Hill made clear that most Democrats still held to the core beliefs that had dominated the thinking of the liberal wing of the party since Vietnam. The Democrats exhibited a deep aversion to the use of force, even for the purpose of repelling one country's invasion of another.

"The president says he's angry and impatient, but God bless him, so are all of us. But is that a reason to send a whole generation to war?" asked Biden.

"The price is in body bags, in babies killed," said Barbara Boxer, then a member of the House of Representatives.

Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: The Obamians, by James Mann, p. 28-29

Joe Biden on War & Peace : Jun 14, 2012
OpEd: Iraq war follows tradition of active US leadership

The administration was clearly and openly moving toward war with Iraq. The Democrats did little to slow down Bush's momentum. In the fall of 2002, their acquiescence in this hurried process had been a huge blunder. Most of the prominent Democrats in Congress, including Senators John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, John Edwards and Joe Biden, decided to support the Iraq resolution, casting votes that they would all find themselves obligated to justify for years afterwards.

At the grass roots, the Democratic Party included millions of liberals who, since Vietnam, had been instinctively skeptical about the use of force or other assertions of American power abroad. By contrast, many of the party's foreign policy hands, particularly the alumni of the Clinton administration, had a different outlook. They viewed themselves as heirs to the foreign policy traditions of Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman and John Kennedy, all proponents of national strength and an active leadership role for the US.

Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: The Obamians, by James Mann, p. 47

Hillary Clinton on War & Peace : Jun 14, 2012
OpEd: Iraq war follows tradition of active US leadership

Most of the prominent Democrats in Congress, including Senator Hillary Clinton, decided to support the 2002 Iraq resolution, casting votes that they would all find themselves obligated to justify for years afterwards.

For the Democratic foreign policy elite, the Iraq War was a disaster both politically and for the ideas they had come to hold. The war reopened old divisions between the Democratic Party's leaders and the party's base. At the grass roots, since Vietnam, liberals had been instinctively skeptical about the use of force. By contrast, many of the party's foreign policy hands, particularly the alumni of the Clinton administration, had a different outlook. They viewed themselves as heirs to the foreign policy traditions of Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman and John Kennedy, all proponents of national strength and an active leadership role for the US. The Clinton administration had put its imprint on the general idea of regime change in Iraq, though not by American military invasion.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: The Obamians, by James Mann, p. 47

Barack Obama on War & Peace : Jun 14, 2012
OpEd: Calling Iraq "a dumb war" left open "smarter war"

In 2002, Obama spoke at a demonstration in Chicago against the war. Congress was preparing to vote on whether to authorize the use of force. Obama went out of his way to emphasize that he was not a pacifist. His characterization of Iraq as a "dumb war" clearly left open the possibility of a "smarter" war. In this sense, he was not giving the demonstrators what they expected to hear. "I stand before you as someone who is not opposed to war in all circumstances," Obama declared. He mentioned the Civil War, WWII and finally, the Bush administration's action against al-Qaeda after 9/11. "I would willingly take up arms myself to prevent such tragedy from happening again," Obama said.

Obama's speech set him apart from the elite Democrats. To be sure, there had been a series of caveats about other wars, but these would be either overlooked or dismissed as necessary hedging. Obama had actually taken a clear, forthright and unequivocal position against the war in Iraq--before it occurred, not afterward.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: The Obamians, by James Mann, p. 63-64

Barack Obama on War & Peace : Jun 14, 2012
Iraq was a rash war, based on politics, not on reason

Even the prominent Democrats lagged well behind the party's rank and file. Party activists & peace groups had been strongly against the Iraq War much earlier, and so had some local politicians. One of them was a state senator from Illinois, Barack Obama.

In the fall of 2002, Obama was beginning to lay the groundwork for a campaign for the US Senate. Obama's speech [to an anti-war demonstration] proved to be a critical step in launching him to the Senate & then to the presidency. What he said would be recalled and recited again and again during his battle for the Democratic nomination in 2008. He called Bush's intervention in Iraq "a dumb war. A rash war. A war based not on reason, but on passions, not on principle, but on politics. I know that an invasion of Iraq, without a clear rationale and without strong international support, will only fan the flames of the Middle East, and encourage the worst, rather than the best, impulses of the Arab world, and strengthen the recruitment of al-Qaeda."

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: The Obamians, by James Mann, p. 63-64

Barack Obama on War & Peace : Jun 14, 2012
2008 trump card: opposition to Iraq War showed experience

When early in the campaign Obama began advocating a more aggressive stance toward Pakistan, Senators Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden and Chris Dodd chided Obama for his inexperience in foreign policy.

In response, Obama pulled out his trump card: his early opposition to the Iraq War that his opponents had voted to authorize. He recited: "I find it amusing that those who helped to authorize and engineer the biggest foreign policy disaster in our generation are now criticizing me for making sure that we are on the right battlefield and not the wrong battlefield in the war against terrorism." Obama said. The audience cheered.

Years later, an Obama aide said he felt this was a turning point in winning the Democratic nomination. Obama not only deflected the attacks on his inexperience in foreign policy, but turned that inexperience into a virtue. His words reinforced the campaign's larger message that Obama was a young, energetic outsider who was not tied to the Democrats of the past.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: The Obamians, by James Mann, p. 87

Barack Obama on War & Peace : Jan 24, 2012
For first time in 9 years, no Americans are fighting in Iraq

For the first time in nine years, there are no Americans fighting in Iraq. For the first time in two decades, Osama bin Laden is not a threat to this country. Most of al Qaeda's top lieutenants have been defeated. The Taliban's momentum has been broken, and some troops in Afghanistan have begun to come home.

These achievements are a testament to the courage and teamwork of America's Armed Forces. They don't obsess over their differences. They focus on the mission at hand. They work together.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: 2012 State of the Union speech

Barack Obama on War & Peace : Jan 24, 2012
Make sure Afghanistan is never again a source of attack

Ending the Iraq war has allowed us to strike decisive blows against our enemies. From this position of strength, we've begun to wind down the war in Afghanistan. 10,000 of our troops have come home. 23,000 more will leave by the end of this summer. This transition to Afghan lead will continue, and we will build an enduring partnership with Afghanistan, so that it is never again a source of attacks against America.
Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: 2012 State of the Union speech

Barack Obama on Homeland Security : Jan 11, 2012
Reduce defense spending 1% in 2013; add 2% per year after

According to the first details of the Obama administration's fiscal 2013 defense budget, defense spending in 2013 would be reduced 1% from this year's initial $525 billion request before growing annually 1.8% in 2014, 2.3% in 2015, 1.9% in 2016, and 2.2% in 2017.

The administration plans $82 billion in funding for the Afghanistan and Iraq wars for 2013, according to OMB. The basic defense-only "topline" numbers are currently projected at: $524 billion in 2013; and $533 billion in 2014; $546 billion in 2015; $556 billion in 2016; and $568 billion in 2017. The percentage increases are expressed in "nominal growth," not adjusted for inflation.

The 2012-2021 defense plan calls for $5.652 trillion in spending. OMB calculated that the total Budget Control Act- mandated defense cut over those years is $488 billion--or about an 8.5% total decrease.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: Tony Capaccio in Bloomberg News, "First Budget Numbers"

Joe Biden on War & Peace : Dec 13, 2011
Proud of involvement in winding down Iraq war

Q: The end of the Iraq war was tasked to you in terms of winding this down. Your son served there. You were involved intimately in all of these decisions. How do you feel about the end of the war?

BIDEN: I feel like I participated in something that I can be proud of the rest of my life. Had I stayed as chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, no matter how engaged I was, I don`t think I would have been in a position to be able to affect events on a day to day basis.

Q: In 2002, you voted for the authorization of use of force to go to Iraq. Is there a lesson learned about how we debate the use of force, how we debate whether or not to go to war?

BIDEN: I hope to God there is, because when that original debate took place, those of us like myself who voted to authorize to use force were based on the president`s commitment not to use force. He had no intention of using force. It was to demonstrate to the United Nations and to the world that we were united in wanting to stop Saddam Hussein.

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

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

Joe Biden on War & Peace : Dec 13, 2011
Iran is isolated, and will be more so when Syria falls

Q: After the Iraq war, is Iran in a stronger position than it would have been without the Iraq war? Because Saddam Hussein was Iran`s sworn enemy, and now, a new Iraq is in some ways a de facto ally of Iran.

BIDEN: Well, the argument was made early on that we removed two of Iran`s most greatest concerns, Saddam in Iraq, and the Taliban in Afghanistan. But the result now, in part because of some really outrageous moves that Iran has made, it actually has lost power in the entire region. The fact of the matter is its only ally left in the region is about to be toppled. That is in Syria with Bashar Assad. But the biggest thing that`s happened is the president has been able to unite the world, including Russia and China, in continuing to ostracize and to isolate Iran. So, the truth is, the capacity of Iran to project power in the Gulf is actually diminished. They are less feared. They have less influence than they have had any time, I would argue, in the last 20 years.

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

Donald Trump on War & Peace : Dec 5, 2011
Iraq should pick up the tab for their own liberation

When you do someone a favor, they say thank you. When you give someone a loan, they pay you back. And when a nation like the US sacrifices thousands of lives of its own young servicemen and women and more than a trillion dollars to bring freedom to the people of Iraq, the least the Iraqis should do is pick up the tab for their own liberation.

How much is it worth to them to be rid of the bloodthirsty dictatorship of Saddam Hussein and to have gained a democracy? In reality, that's a priceless gift. When I say they should pay us back, I'm not even talking about cash out of their pockets. All I'm asking is that they give us, temporarily, a few flows of oil--enough to help pay us back and help take care of the tens of thousands of families and children whose brave loved ones died or were injured while securing Iraqi freedom.

But does Iraq do that? No. In fact, they've made it clear they have no intention of ever doing so. Ever. The ingratitude of Iraq's leadership is breathtaking.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: Time to Get Tough, by Donald Trump, p. 9-10

Joe Biden on War & Peace : Aug 30, 2011
1998: only way to remove Saddam is massive military effort

In 1998 Saddam Hussein insisted that international weapons inspectors stop work and leave Iraq. In response, Congress passed and President Clinton signed into law the Iraq Liberation Act, making regime change in Iraq the policy of the United States government and approving nearly $100 million to fund Iraqi opposition groups working for Saddam's ouster.

There was bipartisan support for the operation. Sen. Joe Biden, writing in The Washington Post two months before the strikes, noted the limitation of any policy that left Saddam in power. "Ultimately, as long as Saddam Hussein is at the helm, no inspectors can guarantee that they have rooted out the entirety of Saddam Hussein's weapons program," he wrote, and he observed that "the only way to remove Saddam is a massive military effort, led by the United States."

Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: In My Time, by V.P. Dick Cheney, p.365-366

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

Deval Patrick on War & Peace : Apr 12, 2011
Bush was careless in starting Iraq war

Kerry was given a perfect opportunity to distinguish himself from Bush in the summer of 2004 when a bipartisan commission issued a damning report on the run-up to the American invasion of Iraq. The weapons of mass destruction, used by Bush to justify his decision to go to war, did not exist. Both candidates were asked: Had you known then what you know now--that there were no weapons of mass destruction--would you have still invaded Iraq?

Bush immediately said yes. Kerry dawdled for 3 days, and many assumed he was conducting a poll to determine the best answer or the best way to frame it. I furiously shot off emails to Kerry's brother, a prominent Boston lawyer who was central to the campaign. I thought Kerry had a chance to present a different vision for using American military force while confronting the Bush administration for its carelessness in starting the war. Instead, he answered the question by agreeing with Bush. I was certain it was not what he believed.

Click for Deval Patrick on other issues.   Source: A Reason to Believe, by Gov. Deval Patrick, p.204-205

Jesse Ventura on Technology : Apr 4, 2011
WikiLeaks exposes how our government lies when waging war

WikiLeaks is exposing our government officials for the frauds that they are. They also show us how governments work together to lie to their citizens when they are waging war.

Here are a few things we've learned from WikiLeaks' document releases that we didn't know before: The CIA has a secret army of 3,000 in Afghanistan.In Iraq, there are another 15,000 civilian casualties that haven't been brought into the light, and our troops were instructed not to look into torture tactics that our Iraqi allies were using. US Special Operations forces are in Pakistan without any public knowledge, and our Pakistani "allies" are the main protectors if the Taliban in Afghanistan.

I mean: Let's face it: WikiLeaks exists because the mainstream media haven't done their job. Instead of holding government accountable as the "fourth branch" the founders intended, I guess corporate media's role today is to protect the government from embassassment.

Click for Jesse Ventura on other issues.   Source: 63 Documents, by Gov. Jesse Ventura, p. 7

Bernie Sanders on Homeland Security : Dec 10, 2010
War in Iraq will cost us $3 trillion including veteran care

We all know that 9/11 was not President Bush's fault, but what happened is, we went to war in Afghanistan. We went to war in Iraq. The war in Iraq was the fault of President Bush, something I certainly did not support, nor do I think most Americans supported. The war in Iraq, by the time our last veteran is taken care of, will probably end up costing us something like $3 trillion, adding enormously to our national debt.

So when we talk about Iraq, it is not only the terrible loss of life that our soldiers and the Iraqi people have experienced, let's not forget what it has done to the deficit and the national debt. We did not pay for the war in Iraq. We just put it on the credit card.

Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: The Speech: A Historic Filibuster, by Bernie Sanders

Hillary Clinton on War & Peace : Nov 9, 2010
OpEd: 2003 Iraq vote unmistakably authorized war

Senators Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Harry Reid would later claim that they were not voting to authorize war but only to continue diplomacy. They must not have read the resolution. Its language was unmistakable: "The President is authorized to use the Armed Forces of the US as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in order to defend the national security of the US against the continuing threat posed by Iraq; and enforce all relevant UN Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq."
Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: Decision Points, by Pres. George W. Bush, p.240-241

Joe Biden on War & Peace : Nov 9, 2010
OpEd: 2003 Iraq vote unmistakably authorized war

Senators Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Harry Reid would later claim that they were not voting to authorize war but only to continue diplomacy. They must not have read the resolution. Its language was unmistakable: "The President is authorized to use the Armed Forces of the US as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in order to defend the national security of the US against the continuing threat posed by Iraq; and enforce all relevant UN Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq."
Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: Decision Points, by Pres. George W. Bush, p.240-241

Joe Biden on Foreign Policy : Oct 5, 2010
New World Order should not mean US fights for the UN

Kuwait, with a January 15 deadline. Biden expressed concern that the president had changed and broadened his foreign policy goals in the Middle East. "We talk about a New World Order," he said, "A Resolution 678 authorized member states "to use all necessary means" to force compliance with the UN demands for Iraq's withdrawal from You go get them; we give you the authority to do it.' That is the essence of that New World Order. That is not a New World Order I am prepared to sign on to." New World Order in the United Nations and collective security adds up to 'We will hold your coat, United States.
Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: A Life of Trial & Redemption, by Jules Witcover, p.249-250

Joe Biden on War & Peace : Oct 5, 2010
2008: Afghanistan is forgotten war, & Pakistan is neglected

Biden, as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in late February 2008, he flew to Afghanistan, India, Turkey and Pakistan on a fact-finding tour. Afterward, Biden labeled Afghanistan "the forgotten war" and Pakistan "the neglected frontier," calling for a fresh look at the former and more economic aid for the latter. Afghanistan, he said, was "slipping toward failure because it has never been given a priority" as the war in Iraq dragged on.
Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: A Life of Trial & Redemption, by Jules Witcover, p.405

Joe Biden on War & Peace : Oct 5, 2010
Enemy is Al Qaeda, not Taliban; timetable for withdrawal ok

Biden and Gen. McChrystal, the Afghan Commander, disagreed over the troop surge and the prime enemy in the war. McChrystal insisted it was the Taliban; Biden said it was still al-Qaeda, and he never saw the defeat and destruction of the Taliban as essential, since the American mission was not nation-building as it was under Pres. Bush in Iraq--hence Biden's insistence on a timetable for troop withdrawal. Such sentiments were muted, however, by the time the Afghan strategy had been hammered out.
Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: A Life of Trial & Redemption, by Jules Witcover, p.475

Joe Biden on War & Peace : Oct 5, 2010
Not necessary to defeat Taliban; it's part of Afghan society

    I wrote to the president, a long, 20-page handwritten memo focused on making the case:
  1. that this is a 3-dimensional problem--al Qaeda, Pakistan and Afghanistan;
  2. that there be a limit on the number of troops so that this wouldn't be a constant, creeping escalation whatever troop level was announced;
  3. that there be a date at which we would begin the drawdown of American forces with the aim of drawing down all combat forces out, a la Iraq;
  4. that it was not necessary to defeat the Taliban because the Taliban was and is part of the fabric of the Pashtun society--20% to 30% of it is incorrigible and must be defeated, and the remainder should be integrated into Afghan society;
  5. that the return of the ability of the Taliban to overthrow the Afghan government was simply not within their power;
  6. that the Taliban was not seeking to establish a new caliphate, they were not an existential threat to the USA,
  7. that al-Qaeda's return to Afghanistan was highly unlikely.
Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: A Life of Trial & Redemption, by Jules Witcover, p.463

Hillary Clinton on War & Peace : Oct 5, 2010
2002: Saddam gave sanctuary to terrorists including Al Qaeda

Bill Clinton saw Iraq as a major threat. His secretary of state called the ability of states like Iraq to use their weapons "the greatest security threat we face." Clinton's national security adviser stated with certainty that "Saddam will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten times since 1983." In 2002, Hillary Clinton also warned the Saddam was working to rebuild his nuclear program and had "given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al Qaeda members."
Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: The Last Best Hope, by Joe Scarborough, p. 36-7

Joe Biden on War & Peace : Oct 5, 2010
2002: Iraq pivots from unfinished business in Afghanistan

In 2002, Biden flew to Afghanistan, as mopping-up operations continued. What Biden heard from all quarters were pleas for more of everything--money, troops, security--and a commitment for the US presence to remain, at least until circumstances greatly improved.

Biden returned conveying a plea for urgent help, and Powell joined it, but while Bush "was agreeable and willing to listen, he was also noncommittal," Biden wrote later. Though Bush talked of a Marshall Plan for Afghanistan, he had other ideas, and was already giving Cheney and Rumsfeld "the force and resources they requested for a new target"--Iraq.

By now it was becoming increasingly clear to Biden that a critical pivot was under way from the unfinished business in Afghanistan to the neoconservatives' vision of spreading democracy throughout the Middle East, starting with deposing Saddam Hussein.

Biden and Republican Senator Chuck Hagel introduced a bill providing more money for Afghanistan, but the administration opposed it.

Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: A Life of Trial & Redemption, by Jules Witcover, p.340-342

Joe Biden on War & Peace : Oct 5, 2010
No vital interest in Kuwait in 1990; like Vietnam in 1972

playing into the hands of Ho Chi Minh where we disagreed [with administration policy]. Now I hear today we are unknowingly playing into the hands of Saddam Hussein. Boy, oh boy," Biden said in his folksy way, "Here we go again." In another apparent Biden questioned what American vital interest was involved in the [Iraq War] objective, noting that the same question had been raised in the Vietnam War. "I came to the Senate in 1972," he said, "because I was so tired of hearing that we were unknowingly resumed his argument for more time to allow the sanctions to break Saddam's will. "Before we ask Americans to die for the liberation of Kuwait, I would like to be sure we have tried every possible alternative. So far, this has not been the case." analogy to Vietnam, he added that no one had "laid out clearly what our vital interests are sufficient to have 10 thousand, 20 thousand, 30 thousand, 40 thousand Americans killed. I have not heard that one yet. A week before the UN deadline, Biden
Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: A Life of Trial & Redemption, by Jules Witcover, p.249-250

Mike Bloomberg on Foreign Policy : Sep 28, 2010
2008: I know foreign policy from negotiating deals worldwide

He had never articulated an Iraq policy, then the central issue in the campaign, and bristled when anyone questioned his foreign policy credentials: "I know more about foreign policy than any of the candidates. I've negotiated deals around the world, I've dealt with politicians in every one of these countries, we do business with their companies and with the governments."
Click for Mike Bloomberg on other issues.   Source: Bloomberg: Money, Power, Politics, by J.Purnick, p.167-168

Kirsten Gillibrand on War & Peace : Aug 11, 2010
Timetable for drawing down troops from Afghanistan

Q: What timetable would you support for the removal of troops from Iraq and Afghanistan?

A: I support the recent removal of combat troops from Iraq, as agreed to with the Iraqi government. I also support a timetable for drawing down troops from Afghanistan as a political tool to help encourage the Afghan government to assume more responsibility for their own security.

Click for Kirsten Gillibrand on other issues.   Source: League of Women Voters 2010 Candidate Questionnaire

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