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Archive for the ‘Obama (D)’ Category

At Rollins Park in Concord on this beautiful sunshiny fall morning, Senator Obama answered a nuclear weapons question on the handshaking line.

Question: Do you support making new nuclear weapons?

Answer: I don’t see us developing new nuclear weapons, we need to get rid of the old ones.

Questioner then asked: so will you work for nuclear abolition?

Answer: I will work for [long pause as he stopped to think] huge reductions. Huge reductions.

Questioner then asked: from 10, 000 [nuclear weapons in US possession] to what?

Answer: Well, I haven’t given a specific number yet, but I want to restart conversations with Russia, getting our stockpiles down in a significant way.

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4 Part Harmony

Obama’s comprehensive plan to turn the page in Ira has four parts:

  • Obama would immediately begin to pull out troops engaged in combat operations at a pace of one or two brigades every month, to be completed by the end of next year.
  • He would call for a new constitutional convention in Iraq, convened with the United Nations, which would not adjourn until Iraq’s leaders reach a new accord on reconciliation.
  • He would use presidential leadership to surge our diplomacy with all of the nations of the region on behalf of a new regional compact.
  • He would take immediate steps to confront the humanitarian disaster in Iraq, and to hold accountable any perpetrators of war crimes.
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    Question: Over the weekend, the London Times reported the Pentagon has plans drawn up for a three day bombing campaign of Iran’s nuclear and military sites. This is all despite an August 30 IAEA report saying that Iran has not progressed in its nuclear capacity. What are you going to do as a senator to prevent the President from attacking Iran?

    Obama: The senator prefaced his remarks by saying that he does consider Iran a threat – Ahmedinejad has threatened the destruction of Israel and has a great deal of influence with Shiites in Iran. However, he said that it is very important that we have direct talks with Iran and mentioned the democratic impulses within Iran. But he said that we should be pursuing aggressive diplomacy, and said he supported the Webb amendment (which would not allow the President to take military action in Iran without congressional vote). I asked him if he would continue to support the Webb amendment now, and he said he would.

    He also said he would support the Webb Amendment.

    Questioner then asked if he would publicly support the Webb Amendment. He said yes.

    Questioner #2 approached Obama at the end of the event and asked for his views on nuclear weapons.

    Answer: Obama said he favors reductions in nuclear arms.

    Questioner #2: when?

    Answer: “in time.”

    Questioner #2 repeated, “in time?”

    Answer: “yes, in time.”

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    Question: Obama was asked if he was committed to reducing our nuclear weapons stockpile from ten thousand to one thousand weapons.

    Answer: Obama said he is committed to leading an effort to secure nuclear stockpiles and materials across the world within four years. To prevent countries from building weapons programs, he endorsed the concept of an international nuclear fuel bank, proposed last year by former Senator Sam Nunn, who now advises the Nuclear Threat Initiative. As president, Obama would provide $50 million to get the fuel bank started and urge Russia and other countries to join.

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    “The hard truth is, there’s no military solution to this war. Our troops have done all that they have been asked and more, but no amount of American soldiers are gonna solve the political differences that lie in the heart of the sectarian conflict. So, the news today that the Pentagon is considering extending the surge by extending the tour of 15,000 troops, the National Guard is about the call up another 13,000 soldiers before they were scheduled to deploy. All of this is just going to put more men and women in the crossfire of a civil war…”

    Click here to finish reading Obama’s comments

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    Question: “Will you come out against a new generation of nuclear weapons, such as the Complex 2030 program and the Reliable Replacement Warhead?”

    Answer: “As president, I would want to look at general U.S. nuclear policies to see what needs to be done. If we want the rest of the world to disarm, countries like India and Pakistan, we need to put something on the table, bring something to the table.” (He said an additional sentence about leading by example in disarmament – that was the jist of the comment.)

    Follow up: But will you AS SENATOR vote against funding for new nuclear weapons this year?

    Obama: I need to take a look at the bill and know more about it.

    Follow up (somewhat shamelessly): Senator Clinton has said she doesn’t support new nuclear weapons.

    Obama: I would probably vote against it, but would need to see the bill first.

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    Question: “Senator, I am very concerned about indications that the Bush administration is planning a military attack against Iran and that President Bush has said that no options are off the table as regards the weaponry that might be used in an attack. A March 2005 policy paper (Doctrine of Joint Nuclear Operations) stated that a preemptive use of nuclear weapons by the U.S. would be permissible against an enemy. At least one of your opponents has also stated that in regard to Iran ‘no options are off the table’. Do you agree?”

    Answer: Obama replied that, in the first place, he thinks that a military attack on Iran would be a mistake. On further questioning he said that from his current view he could not conceive of a situation in which he would recommend the use of nuclear weapons against Iran. He did/would not (and clearly seemed reluctant to be drawn out) say that the use nuclear weapons was not an option.

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