During the heated U.S. Senate race in Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren and Sen. Scott Brown were asked questions, then wrote down their answers – the questions were on foreign policy. The contrast between the two was telling.
One particular question stuck out: ‘Was the War in Iraq, which ended last year, a worthwhile effort or was it a mistake from the start? About 4,500 US military members were killed and another 32,000 injured. What was accomplished in Iraq that made it worthwhile?’
While she praised the courage and fortitude of troops in Iraq, Warren, 63, said people need to learn a larger lesson from the war.
“We should exhaust all other options before going to war, and we must never again put wars on a credit card for our grandchildren to pay for,” Warren wrote. “If war is unavoidable and in our national interest, then we should be willing to pay for it as we fight it.”
After years of sacrifice by America’s armed forces and billions of dollars in spending put on a credit card for our children and grandchildren to pay, President Obama made the right decision to end combat operations in Iraq. Now we must build a strong political and economic partnership with the Iraqi government to promote stability in the region.
In stark contrast Brown answered:
Brown said that Saddam Hussein, the former Iraqi president, was a “murderous dictator” who had to be stopped.
“It was the American forces that captured Saddam and gave the Iraqi people the chance to chart their own destiny, voting in free and fair elections for the first time,” Brown wrote. “While each country is a unique case, I also believe that seeing Iraqis vote and get a taste of democracy has had a positive ripple effect across the region.”
American troops did their job. Now, the US government must continue to aid Iraq and assist in a full transition to a competent, capable and functioning government and security force so that Al Qaeda cannot reemerge as a serious threat to our national interests.
I’m going to guess that Scott Brown hasn’t heard about the part where America invaded a sovreign country based on a false premise – but that’s cool, in the name of spreading America’s version of democracy, right?
Question: ‘President Obama has been criticized for using the raid that killed Osama bin Laden as a way to boost his re-election campaign. The Associated Press reported that he used the May 2 anniversary of bin Laden’s death to help maximize a political narrative that portrays the president as bold and decisive. Is it appropriate for the president to use the death of bin Laden for his re-election campaign?’
A snippet from each answer, starting with Brown’s:
I do have concerns about the possibility that the Administration shared sensitive information about the raid, including the identities of sources and the tactics and techniques used. Not only did this put American lives at risk, but also risked the lives of the brave individuals who work and partner with the United States abroad.
President Obama displayed strong leadership with his decision to order the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, and his assertive operations have eliminated many of al Qaeda’s senior leadership and weakened its affiliates. We must continue our political, military, economic, and diplomatic efforts against al Qaeda and its affiliates, and we need to continue to support the efforts of our intelligence, law enforcement, homeland security, and military professionals.
On Iran, Warren notes that a nuclear Iran would be a threat, however, opts for negotiating before beating the war drums. Crazy, huh?
“I support economic sanctions in conjunction with other countries that have placed political pressure on Iran, as well as vigorous diplomacy to try to resolve the situation through negotiations,” Warren wrote. “Like the president, I believe the United States must take the necessary steps to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon — but also that careless talk of rushing to war is unhelpful.”
Brown said that there is no greater threat to the world than Iran obtaining nuclear weapons capability.
“Evidence that Iran is working toward a nuclear weapon continues to emerge,” Brown wrote. “It would be counterproductive to embrace this dangerous ambition with the full recognition of the United States government.”
This is another area where Elizabeth shines:
Warren said the budget cuts should start with tax breaks for the oil and gas industry, loopholes for hedge fund managers and special deals that allow some multinational companies to pay no federal income taxes.
Brown said foreign aid is important for humanitarian purposes and provides leverage in negotiations involving national security for the U.S. The aid is a relatively small portion of the federal budget, but the nation should not spend anything more than necessary to accomplish those goals, Brown wrote.
Donate here to Elizabeth Warren for U.S. Senate.
You can read more here at MassLive, including questions about Afghanistan.