State of Texas Archives: on War & Peace


John Cornyn: No ransom to North Korea on nukes; we've tried that before

Q: Secretary Kerry's plan in North Korea sounds familiar: Do we really want to go down this path again, more talks, more aid to the North Koreans?

Sen. DURBIN (D-IL): The last thing we want is the launch of any kind of nuclear missile or nuclear weapon on the Korean peninsula. We've got to deescalate the rhetoric and the testing that's going on in North Korea and we're turning primarily to China, to tell the North Koreans if they want to continue this kind of escalation of rhetoric, it's at the expense of the safety of this world, as well as their own economy.

Q: Sen. Cornyn, a year ago, you accused Obama of a policy of appeasement towards North Korea.

CORNYN: Well, I'm not for paying an unhinged leader like Kim Jong Un ransom in order to have him toned down his rhetoric. None of us wants [nuclear conflict]. But I don't see that this policy of paying ransom just to get him to tone down rhetoric has been successful. It's just sort of like a bad movie. We keep seeing the reruns.

Source: Fox News Sunday 2013, on 2014 Texas Senate race Apr 14, 2013

David Dewhurst: More combat troops were needed in Iraq, and for longer

Both candidates agreed that the U.S. should not commit to military action in Syria, and said that while the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan began for noble reasons, they went on too long. Only a bit of disagreement came when Dewhurst said the Obama administration pulled combat troops out of Iraq too soon and should have left some behind.
Source: San Francisco Chronicle on 2012 Texas Senate debates Jun 22, 2012

Ted Cruz: Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan went on too long

Both candidates agreed that the U.S. should not commit to military action in Syria, and said that while the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan began for noble reasons, they went on too long. Only a bit of disagreement came when Dewhurst said the Obama administration pulled combat troops out of Iraq too soon and should have left some behind.
Source: San Francisco Chronicle on 2012 Texas Senate debates Jun 22, 2012

Jon Roland: One more year of the surge, then withdraw

Q: Should the United States maintain its troop levels in Iraq?

A: No.

Q: Should the United States withdraw its troops from Iraq?

A: Yes. One more year of the surge, then withdraw.

Source: Texas Congressional Election 2008 Political Courage Test May 2, 2008

Rick Noriega: Safely remove 2 brigades per month from Iraq, for 10 months

Q: Would you vote for a bill to remove all troops from Iraq?

A: We all agree that the war must end. Currently the fastest way to make that occur is to elect 60 Senators who believe the same. Unfortunately, such an action on the ground is not physically possible or militarily feasible. With twenty combat brigades in theatre, only two brigades per month can be removed or safely repositioned. The current operational tempo has stretched forces too thin.

Source: Democracy for Texas Questionnaire Response Mar 1, 2008

Barack Obama: $2.7 billion each week of Iraq spending is unsustainable

Q: You were opposed to the surge from the beginning. Were you wrong?

A: It is indisputable that weíve seen violence reduced in Iraq. Thatís a credit to our brave men and women in uniform. The 1st Cavalry of Fort Hood played an enormous role in pushing back al Qaeda out of Baghdad. We honor their service. But this is a tactical victory imposed upon a huge strategic blunder. When weíre having a debate with McCain, it is going to be much easier for the candidate who was opposed to the concept of invading Iraq in the first place to have a debate about the wisdom of that decision than having to argue about the tactics subsequent to the decision. Not only have we been diverted from Afghanistan, weíve been diverted from Latin America. We contribute our entire foreign aid to Latin America is $2.7 billion, approximately what we spend in Iraq in a week. It is any surprise, then, that youíve seen people like Hugo Chavez and countries like China move into the void, because weíve been neglectful of that.

Source: 2008 Democratic debate at University of Texas in Austin Feb 21, 2008

Hillary Clinton: Up to the Iraqis to decide the future they will have

I would begin that with a very clear message to the Iraqis that they no longer had a blank check, as they had been given by Bush, that as we withdraw our troops, probably one to two brigades a month, they would have to step up and make these decisions. I believe that is in the best interest of our military, which has been stretched thin. I do not think it is in the interest of America or of the Iraqis that we continue to be there. It is up to the Iraqis to decide the kind of future they will have.
Source: 2008 Democratic debate at University of Texas in Austin Feb 21, 2008

Hillary Clinton: The purpose of the surge has not been fulfilled

Q: Is Iraq today better off than it was six months or a year ago because of the surge?

A: The rationale of the surge was to create the space and time for the Iraqi government to make the decisions that only it can make. There is no doubt, given the skill and the commitment of our young men and women in uniform that putting more of them in will give us a tactical advantage and will provide security in some places, and that has occurred. But the fact is that the purpose of it has not been fulfilled. The Iraqi government has slowly inched toward making a few of the decisions in a less than complete way, but it hasnít taken advantage of the sacrifice and the losses of life and billions of dollars that have occurred since the surge began. That is why I have said, upon taking office I would ask the secretary of defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff and my security advisers to give me a plan so that I could begin withdrawing our troops within 60 days.

Source: 2008 Democratic debate at University of Texas in Austin Feb 21, 2008

Barbara Radnofsky: US presence destabilizes Iraq; leaving causes stability

Q: Your solution in Iraq is a staged withdrawal. How is this not cutting-and-running?

RADNOFSKY: We are destabilizing Iraq by our presence. The NIE indicates as such, and British generals indicate as such. By withdrawing, we will allow international building, by the US taking its role as leader among nations. My opponent has said we must increase troops, and also that we cannot leave until weíve stabilized the country. Our presence is destabilizing there. Therefore when we leave, we will be able to mount, if we take our lead among the nations, a better international effort. We must realize that we canít go it alone. It is reprehensible to suggest that we ought to stay in Iraq so that our soldiers become targets--cannon fodder--so we donít take the war on terror to all the trouble spot in the world. We must set a timetable and we must withdraw.

HUTCHISON: I canít think of anything worse than America cutting-and-running because times are tough. I think it would hurt our troops.

Source: Texas 2006 Senate Debate, sponsored by LWV-TX Oct 19, 2006

Barbara Radnofsky: Partition of Iraq will increase terrorism

RADNOFSKY: My opponentís idea for partition is not adequate. First, the prime minister of Iraq has said that partitioning will increase terrorism in Iraq. Secondly, the history of partitioning in this part of the world is unsuccessful.

HUTCHISON: It is clear it is not going well in Iraq, and we should come up with ideas. One of the things we should put on the table as an option is semi-autonomous regions. This is provided for in the constitution of Iraq, and the parliament of Iraq has set out a process. The Sunnis reject that idea, because theyíre worried about not having the oil revenue, but that can be handled as well.

JAMESON: I am upset for the way the Iraq war is funded. It is inappropriate to fund a war on a constant emergency basis, because Congressmen can add in extra appropriations and pork barrel spending that they know will get passed.

Source: Texas 2006 Senate Debate, sponsored by LWV-TX Oct 19, 2006

Barbara Radnofsky: Secret CIA papers at time of war vote skeptical of WMD info

Q: Had you known then that there were no Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs), how would you have voted on the Iraqi War Resolution?

HUTCHISON: If I had known then what I know now about the WMDs--which was a key reason that I voted to go in there-- I would not vote to go into Iraq the way we did. But the President would not have asked for that vote, either. We had intelligence that we relied on. So did the British. Everyone thought they had WMDs.

RADNOFSKY: At the time of the Iraqi War Resolution, Sen. Graham of Florida begged his colleagues to read the secret papers that we werenít privy to. We now know that those secret papers revealed that the WMD documentation from the CIA was quite skeptical. I donít believe that our senators read the secret documents. Our senators made a mistake when they voted. They should have read the secret papers. Any senator who did not do as their colleagues begged was derelict in their abilities to lead. We need new leaders.

Source: Texas 2006 Senate Debate, sponsored by LWV-TX Oct 19, 2006

Kay Bailey Hutchison: Need ideas like option for semi-autonomous regions

RADNOFSKY: My opponentís idea for partition is not adequate. First, the prime minister of Iraq has said that partitioning will increase terrorism in Iraq. Secondly, the history of partitioning in this part of the world is unsuccessful.

HUTCHISON: It is clear it is not going well in Iraq, and we should come up with ideas. One of the things we should put on the table as an option is semi-autonomous regions. This is provided for in the constitution of Iraq, and the parliament of Iraq has set out a process. The Sunnis reject that idea, because theyíre worried about not having the oil revenue, but that can be handled as well.

JAMESON: I am upset for the way the Iraq war is funded. It is inappropriate to fund a war on a constant emergency basis, because Congressmen can add in extra appropriations and pork barrel spending that they know will get passed.

Source: Texas 2006 Senate Debate, sponsor: LWV-TX (X-ref Radnofsky) Oct 19, 2006

Kay Bailey Hutchison: I canít think of anything worse than cut-and-run

Q: Your solution in Iraq is a staged withdrawal. How is this not cutting-and-running?

RADNOFSKY: We are destabilizing Iraq by our presence. The NIE indicates as such, and British generals indicate as such. By withdrawing, we will allow international building, by the US taking its role as leader among nations. My opponent has said we must increase troops, and also that we cannot leave until weíve stabilized the country.

JAMESON: We need to take a measured approach to Iraq. I do not support an immediate withdrawal from Iraq. As far as I can tell, we still do have a role there.

HUTCHISON: I canít think of anything worse than America cutting-and-running because times are tough. I think it would hurt our troops. We need to support them, and make sure they have the cover they need. We must never cut-and-run. That would shred the credibility of America. The NIE says we are destabilizing the al-Qaeda leadership. The worst thing we could do is appear to leave and give terrorists a victory.

Source: Texas 2006 Senate Debate, sponsored by LWV-TX Oct 19, 2006

Kay Bailey Hutchison: Would have voted against war if current WMD info were known

Q: Had you known then that there were no Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs), how would you have voted on the Iraqi War Resolution?

HUTCHISON: If I had known then what I know now about the WMDs--which was a key reason that I voted to go in there--I would not vote to go into Iraq the way we did. But the President would not have asked for that vote, either. We had intelligence that we relied on. So did the British. Everyone thought they had WMDs. The President was trying to make sure that America was not hit with another 9/11 with a Weapon of Mass Destruction. He believed that Iraq had the weapons and had the capacity to deliver them. I certainly would not have voted that way had we known there were no such weapons.

RADNOFSKY: At the time of the Iraqi War Resolution, Sen. Graham begged his colleagues to read secret papers. We now know that those secret papers revealed that the WMD documentation from the CIA was quite skeptical. I donít believe that our senators read the secret documents.

Source: Texas 2006 Senate Debate, sponsored by LWV-TX Oct 19, 2006

Scott Jameson: No immediate withdrawal from Iraq

I canít think of anything worse than cut-and-run Q: Your solution in Iraq is a staged withdrawal. How is this not cutting-and-running?

RADNOFSKY: We are destabilizing Iraq by our presence. The NIE indicates as such, and British generals indicate as such. By withdrawing, we will allow international immediate withdrawal from Iraq. As far as I can tell, we still do have a role there.

HUTCHISON: I canít think of anything worse than America cutting-and-running because times are tough. I think it would hurt our troops. We need to support them, and make sure they have the cover they need. We must never cut-and-run. That would shred the credibility of America. The NIE says we are destabilizing the al-Qaeda leadership. The worst thing we could do is appear to leave and give terrorists a victory.

Source: Texas 2006 Senate Debate, sponsor: LWV-TX (X-ref Hutchinson) Oct 19, 2006

Scott Jameson: Iraq war should not be funded as an emergency

RADNOFSKY: My opponentís idea for partition is not adequate. First, the prime minister of Iraq has said that partitioning will increase terrorism in Iraq. Secondly, the history of partitioning in this part of the world is unsuccessful.

HUTCHISON: It is clear it is not going well in Iraq, and we should come up with ideas. One of the things we should put on the table as an option is semi-autonomous regions. This is provided for in the constitution of Iraq, and the parliament of Iraq has set out a process. The Sunnis reject that idea, because theyíre worried about not having the oil revenue, but that can be handled as well.

JAMESON: I am upset for the way the Iraq war is funded. It is inappropriate to fund a war on a constant emergency basis, because Congressmen can add in extra appropriations and pork barrel spending that they know will get passed.

Source: Texas 2006 Senate Debate, sponsor: LWV-TX (X-ref Radnofsky) Oct 19, 2006

  • The above quotations are from State of Texas Politicians: Archives.
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