One of the most alarming segments of Wednesday night’s GOP presidential debate in Arizona was the 20-minutes of war-mongering by Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, and Rick Santorum.
On the topic of promoting a pre-emptive attack on Iran, Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) was the only adult in the room. Paul responded to the saber-rattling by saying, “I disagree because we don't know if they have a weapon. As a matter of fact, there's no evidence that they have it.” Paul clearly argued against expanding offensive wars using sharp economic, moral, and constitutional reasoning. Now, let’s get to the hawkish quotes from Paul’s fellow debaters:
1. Gingrich: “You live in a world of total warfare.”
2. Gingrich: [On the threat of nuclear weapons going off in our cities] “All of us are more at risk today, men and women, boys and girls, than at any time in the history of this country.”
Writer's Response: Really, Newt? Don’t you think we were slightly more at risk during the 13 days in 1962 that our Cold War enemies had armed nuclear missiles in range of every major U.S. city?!?!?
3. Romney: “We must not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon. If they do, the world changes. America will be at risk. And some day, nuclear weaponry will be used. If I am president, that will not happen. If we reelect Barack Obama, it will happen.”
Writer's Response: It is shameful fear-mongering for Romney to claim that nuclear weaponry will be used if Barack Obama is re-elected. It is a “Daisy” ad without the mushroom cloud visual.
4. Santorum: “…We are going to have a cataclysmic situation with a — a power that is the most prolific proliferator of terror in the world that will be able to do so with impunity because they will have a nuclear weapon to protect.”
Writer's Response: I condemn the scare tactics and the redundancy but, I must commend the strong use of alliteration. To paraphrase, “I will protect you by punitizing the most powerful prolific proliferator.”
5. Romney: “We need to work with — with Saudi Arabia and with Turkey to say, you guys provide the kind of weaponry that's needed to help the rebels inside Syria”
Writer's Response: Arming rebels would turn a humanitarian crisis into an all-out civil war. In contrast, Syrian’s main opposition leaders are promoting international cooperation to apply pressure for a cease-fire and setting up humanitarian corridors. Doing nothing is not an option, but throwing weapons on a fire is not going to help.
Quotes taken from CNN’s rush transcript of the debate
Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore