Iraq: We have a great game plan, and Rumsfeld does fine job
CASEY [to Santorum]: I’ve called for Donald Rumsfeld to be replaced. Where do you stand on that?
SANTORUM: I think Secretary Rumsfeld has done a fine job as the defense secretary, and the problems that we are confronting are problems of an
enemy that’s much more potent than I think anybody ever anticipated. You know, we have a great game plan. We need to go out there and continue to fight this war on Islamic fascism.
Source: Meet the Press: PA 2006 Senate Debate, Tim Russert moderator
Sep 3, 2006
War in Iraq is one front in war on Islamic fascism
We need to go out there and continue to fight this war on Islamic fascism. Not just the war in Iraq. That’s a front of a multi-front war in which we’re fighting against an enemy that’s a very dangerous enemy. This is an enemy that uses a tactic that is a
very effective tactic against us, called terror, because they don’t care about life, and we do. We have an enemy that now is trying to get nuclear weapons. The real tough questions is how do you win this war? And I’ve laid out a very clear vision on that
Source: Meet the Press: PA 2006 Senate Debate, Tim Russert moderator
Sep 3, 2006
Iran is at the heart of the Iraq war
Q: Our ambassador to Iraq has said the principal problem is not foreign terrorists, it’s sectarian violence, Sunni vs. Shiite. This is Shiite vs. Sunni, Iraqi vs. Iraqi. What do you do about that, stay the course?
SANTORUM: That makes it more complex.
The radical Sunni terrorist groups, as well as Shia nation-states like Iran, want to defeat the United States.
Q: But stay on Iraq, Senator.
SANTORUM: I’m coming back to it. But you can’t ignore the fact that Iraq is simply a front. And Iran, the
principal stoker of this Shia/Sunni sectarian violence, would love nothing more to see than the Iraqi democracy fail. Iran is the one that’s causing most of the problems in Iraq, and, obviously, with Israel today. Iran is the country that we need to
focus on in this war against Islamic fascism.
Q: So Iran now has more influence in Iraq than they did before Saddam Hussein?
SANTORUM: I would say that they have more influence in a free country than they would within a totalitarian regime.
Q: In Oct. 2002, you said, “Saddam Hussein’s regime is a serious and grave danger to the safety of the American people. Given the threat posed by his weapons of mass destruction.” Would you now acknowledge that that was not correct?
SANTORUM: We have
found weapons of mass destruction, they were older weapons, but we have found chemical weapons.
Q:The president has accepted the report of his two task forces which said, “Iraq did not have the weapons our intelligence believed were there.”
There were all sorts of weapons that our intelligence believed were there. So far we have not found any new weapons. But we have found over 500 old chemical weapons.
Q: Was Saddam a serious and grave danger to America?
SANTORUM: I believe that Iraq
was a serious and grave danger to America.
Q: Based on what?
SANTORUM: Based on the fact that they were working with other terrorist organizations, including al-Qaeda, and that they had camps that they were training Baathists and terrorists.
Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, but still a necessary war
Q: President Bush said that Iraq had “nothing to do with Sept. 11th.” Do you agree with that?
SANTORUM: As far as we know, that’s the case. But that doesn’t mean that they didn’t have a working relationship with a variety of different terrorist
organizations. In fact, the Saddam Hussein government was giving terrorists bounties for killing Israelis.
Q: But knowing what you know now about the weapons of mass destruction, the primary rationale for the war, would you believe that the Iraq war
was a choice or a necessity?
SANTORUM: I believe that it was a war of necessity because they were a threat. It is important that we are in the Middle East right now and confronting this broad war against Islamic fascism. The bottom line is that we are
now almost 5 years from Sept. 11th. We have not had any kind of terrorist attack in this country, because we’ve taken it to them. We’ve disrupted their networks, not just in Afghanistan. Iraq was a state sponsor of terror, and we went after them.
My Iraq plan, and my opponent’s plan, is same as Bush’s
Q: In ‘04, after the war, you said, “the Bush administration deserves a lot of credit for getting it right in Iraq.” Do you believe the Bush administration is still “getting it right”? In Iraq, what would you do differently?
The plans that my opponent has laid out in some of his speeches and I’ve laid out in mine are basically the same thing the administration is trying to do. You’re trying to get the Iraqis to take control of the security situation.
We are trying to get international cooperation to get money in there. We’re trying to improve their quality of life. We’re trying to stabilize their democracy and make sure their constitution is defended.
Would you put more troops in Iraq?
SANTORUM: I don’t know if it’s a question of more troops or less troops. I think the focus should not be Iraq, but should be Iran.
Needed exit strategy & objective in Kosovo, but not in Iraq
Q: Have the American people have turned against the war in Iraq?
SANTORUM: Yes, they have.
SANTORUM: Because the Bush administration hasn’t laid out the complexity of dealing with this war and, and how it fits into a broader picture.
Q: When President Clinton took troops into Kosovo, you said, “President Clinton is once again releasing American military might on a foreign country with an ill-defined objective and no exit strategy. He is yet to tell Congress how much this operation
will cost. And, he has not informed our nation’s Armed Forces about how long they will be away from home.“ Do you believe you should have the same standard for President Bush? He should give a defined objective, he should give an exit strategy,
he should give a cost, and he should give a timeline for Iraq, just as you were demanding President Clinton give for Kosovo?
SANTORUM: No. Because Kosovo and Slobodan Milosevic were never a security threat to the US. It wasn’t even close.
Sanctions against Iran, despite Administration disagreement
Q: Should we launch a military attack against Iran?
SANTORUM: No, we have an opportunity to go after them by using pro-democracy forces outside and within Iran, and to crack down with additional sanctions. That’s the one-two punch [outlined in my
proposed bill]. The administration so far has opposed me on that.
Q: No military option?
SANTORUM: That’s part of the 2% that President Bush doesn’t agree with me on.
CASEY: There’s no question that the policy of our government has to be to do
everything possible to make sure that Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon. And we’ve got to use sanctions in a very skilled way. We agree that sanctions have got to be very tough.
SANTORUM: You would have voted for my bill?
I have to ask about the most prominent critic of Iran’s sanctions, Dick Cheney. Are you going to denounce him for continually opposing sanctions?
SANTORUM: I disagree with him on sanctions, but I don’t denounce people because I disagree with them.
Voted NO on redeploying troops out of Iraq by July 2007.
Voting YEA on this amendment would establish a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq. Voting NAY would keep the current situation without a timetable. The amendment states:
The President shall redeploy, commencing in 2006, US forces from Iraq by July 1, 2007, leaving only the minimal number of forces that are critical to completing the mission of standing up Iraqi security forces and conducting specialized counterterrorism operations.
The President should maintain an over-the-horizon troop presence to prosecute the war on terror and protect regional security interests.
Within 30 days, the administration shall submit to Congress a report that sets forth the strategy for the redeployment of US forces from Iraq by July 1, 2007.
Opponents of the Resolution say:
This amendment would withdraw American forces from Iraq without regard to the real conditions on the ground.
The consequences of an American retreat would be terrible for the security of the
American people at home.
Our commitment is not open-ended. It is conditional on the Iraqis moving toward self-government and self-defense.
Supporters of the Resolution say:
Congress talks almost incessantly about the situation in Iraq as if on 9/11 the situation involved Iraq. Of course, it didn't. We were attacked by al-Qaida operating out of Afghanistan on 9/11.
One of the theories we hear is that somehow staying in Iraq is necessary because all the terrorists will come into Iraq, and then they wouldn't be able to attack us anywhere else. Some call this the roach-motel theory. The fact is, al-Qaida is operating in 60 to 80 countries. Yet our resources are only heavily focused on this Iraq situation.
In terms of differences from other Iraq amendments: This is binding, not just a sense of the Senate.
Secondly, we have a date; other amendments are open-ended.
Thirdly, this has an over-the-horizon force specifically to protect our security interests.
Voted NO on investigating contract awards in Iraq & Afghanistan.
To establish a special committee of the Senate to investigate the awarding and carrying out of contracts to conduct activities in Afghanistan and Iraq and to fight the war on terrorism. Voting YES would: create Senate special committee to investigate war contracts, taking into consideration: bidding, methods of contracting, subcontracting, oversight procedures, allegations of wasteful practices, accountability and lessons learned in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Voted YES on $86 billion for military operations in Iraq & Afghanistan.
Vote to pass a bill that would appropriate $86.5 billion in supplemental spending for military operations and reconstruction in Iraq and Afghanistan, in Fiscal 2004. The bill would provide $10.3 billion as a grant to rebuild Iraq. This includes:
$5.1 billion for security
$5.2 billion for reconstruction costs
$65.6 billion for military operations and maintenance
$1.3 billion for veterans medical care
$10 billion as a loan that would be converted to a grant if 90% of all bilateral debt incurred by the former Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein, would have to be forgiven by other countries.
Reference: FY04 Emergency Supplemental for Iraq and Afghanistan;
; vote number 2003-400
on Oct 17, 2003
Voted YES on authorizing use of military force against Iraq.
H.J.Res. 114; Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002. The administration would be required to report to Congress that diplomatic options have been exhausted before, or within 48 hours after military action has started. Every 60 days the president would also be required to submit a progress report to Congress.
Voted YES on allowing all necessary force in Kosovo.
Majority Leader Trent Lott motioned to kill the resolution that would have authorized the president to "use all necessary forces and other means," in cooperation with U.S. allies to accomplish objectives in Yugoslavia.
Status: Motion to Table Agreed to Y)78; N)22