Thursday, January 10, 2008

Republican Debate - 1/10/08 - 5

Iran -- Reacted Passively to Iran's provocation rather than aggressively. Did he respond correctly?
Huck -- I'll trust the President and the military leaders. If you interact aggressively with U.S., you will see the U.S. ship, then the gates of hell. I support the military leaders...that's what we train them for. We can't show that you can just "kick sand in our eyes." If they do engage us..severe penalty.

Thompson -- I agree, you can't take judgment away from military more step and they would've been introduced to those virgins they're looking for...they're clearly testing us, have taken British hostages..some insight into how they're thinking;...Rev. Guard has taken over and they're gonna get a little more frisky...they will be destroyed if they're not careful

Rudy -- This incident reminds of that the NIE shouldn't give us a false sense of confidence. Impose serious sanctions on Iran...indications of domestic difficulties...maybe use this incident and not see Iran as benign...

Revolution Guard What would you have done if you were captain?
McCain -- a bit presumptuous to answer that...references Barbary pirates, WWI, outbreak of WWII...maybe they think we're weaker because of NIE, maybe they haven't stopped their nuclear capability...agree with President's statement about the freedom of the seas...don't think this wasn't a very serious much oil goes through...we will stick to principles of freedom of the seas.

Paul -- More caution than what I'm hearing on this stage...Reminds me of the Gulf of Tonkin...5 small speed boats...we're ready to start WWIII over this? That voice may not have come from those vessels...some in the administration are disappointed about the NIE report because they want to bomb Iran.

Brit -- They responded that they supported the captain's decision to be passive...what are you responding to?

Paul -- People are looking for an excuse to bomb Iran...don't blow this incident out of proportion.

Romney -- Don't read Iran's press releases...Iran is a serious threat...designed to test our defenses...saber-rattling...Iran is a very troubled nation...we need to put extraordinary pressure on Iran...

Surge has worked...warned against bringing more troops home...
Can this position work to win the election?
McCain -- Can Dems win when they deny facts on the ground? Can Sen. Clinton retract statement of suspending disbelief? You have to suspend disbelief that it's not working. Today is an historic's been a year since the decision was made to go forward with the Surge...decision on troops coming home with be made by the man who should have been Time's Man of the Year: Gen. Petraeus.

Bush in Middle East
Rudy -- Steps that the PA now takes to accomplish: 1 accept right of Israel to exist 2 forego terrorism -- Reagan, trust but verify -- I support the Surge from the beginning...goal must be a stable Iraq as a stable ally of the U.S.

McCain -- I condemned the Rumsfeld strategy

Should Pres be there today?
Paul -- If we weren't there, there would be more incentives to come to agreement. Israel could've taken care of things in the first Iraq invasion.

McCain -- I don't want to trade with them

Paul -- we used to be allied with Hussein and Bin laden...what about all those weapons we're giving the Sunnis? It's time to come home! [big applause]

McCain -- It's not American presence, it's American has nothing to do with the length of's about the casualties...we should support them and not condemn what they're doing.

Let's move on...

Bush said...We will not trade stability for democracy..

With Pakistani people turning against Musharraf, should we be backing him?
Thompson -- Go against a poll? [laughter] We know the news is good b/c we read so little about it in the New York Times. Visited Prez Musharraf...democracy in Pakistan is a long-term security interest...govt in question...our people irresponsibly calling for his resignation, etc. Who are you going to replace him with? Remember they are nuclear capable...we must support him and encourage him to move toward democracy...he needs to help us more in the west where OBL probably is...our national security interest requires the weapons don't fall into the wrong hands.

Romney -- foreign policy is no longer checkers, but 3d chess -- must understand everything -- 1. be secure 2. some general to work with us to capture OBL Think more broadly than the hot-spots...we must move the world of Islam toward modernity...we have to fight the hot spots, but ultimately muslims need to reject the extreme

Are we throwing good money after bad?
Huck -- lost $12b in Pakistan...ask Musharraf for better accounting...not "the best idea' to push Mush. out...we need to communicate our displeasure about his reluctance to go after OBL. Addressing Paul -- We have one true ally in the Mid-East -- Israel...cannot give the world the impression that we'll stand by while neighboring countries vow to destroy it.

Paul -- we treat Israel as a step-child...undermine their sovereignty...they'd be a lot safer...why do we arm their enemies? No purpose in failing to treat Israel in an adult fashion. If they assumed more responsibility they'd be safer.

Rudy -- Absurd. Israel is a close and strong of a few...defense of Israel is of critical importance...Mush. clear picture on who would replace...I could convince him to go after OBL.

Thompson -- To Huck's point on giving money to the military...we helped train their military...they lost people fighting the Taliban...of course we're going to cooperate...


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