I think there's no question that, even though we may not have the evidence as Richard (Perle) says, that there have been such contacts (between Iraq and al Qaeda). It' s normal. It's natural. These are a lot of bad actors in the same region together. They are going to bump into each other. They are going to exchange information. They're going to feel each other out and see whether there are opportunities to cooperate. That's inevitable in this region, and I think it's clear that regardless of whether or not such evidence is produced of these connections that Saddam Hussein is a threat.
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We were really helped when President Ronald Reagan came in. I remember non-commissioned officers who were going to retire and they re-enlisted because they believed in President Reagan. That's the kind of President Ronald Reagan was. He helped our country win the Cold War. He put it behind us in a way no one ever believed would be possible. He was truly a great American leader. And those of us in the Armed Forces loved him, respected him, and tremendously admired him for his great leadership.
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I don't think it was a patriotic war. I think it was a mistake, a strategic mistake, and I think that the president of the United States wasn't patriotic in going after Saddam Hussein. He simply misled America and cost us casualties and killed and injured America's reputation around the world without valid reason for doing so. It's not patriotic; it's wrong.
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Once you take yourself off the pedestal, saying, "It's bad for you to torture, but for us, this is our national security, so we're gonna do it". You can't live that way and the United States doesn't need to do it, it shouldn't do it, and I think a Democratic administration, whoever the democratic president is, will repudiate that kind of conduct. I think it was an overreaction caused by a lot of different strains of thought in the administration. I think it was clearly wrong and I think that repudiation, which will come from the United States, will be a key in restoring America's legitimacy.
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Well we always need brave, capable young men and women who can run a tactical operation and take risks on the battlefield but you should know when we need you to go in there, that if there's any other way to do it, that we could do this without risking your life, we wouldn't ask you to risk your life.
There's no question that Saddam Hussein is a threat Yes, he has chemical and biological weapons. He's had those for a long time. But the United States right now is on a very much different defensive posture than we were before September 11th of 2001 He is, as far as we know, actively pursuing nuclear capabilities, though he doesn't have nuclear warheads yet. If he were to acquire nuclear weapons, I think our friends in the region would face greatly increased risks as would we.
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I wouldn't have known anything about Catholicism if I hadn't been dating Gert. In those days, Catholics were much less ecumenical than they are today. Gert was always of the mind that she wouldn't go to another church except the Catholic Church. So when I would date her in New York City and later when we went to Oxford before we got married we always went to the Catholic church.
Serious research and development efforts are required to produce technologies, strategies, organizations, and trained personnel who can go into failed states, work with our allies and friends, and promote the political and economic reforms that will meet popular needs and reduce the sources of terrorism and conflict.
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I think you have to repudiate torture and I think you have to end what's going on at Guantanamo and you have to live up to American values. Basically you restore - what the American dream brought to the world stage was respect for the individual and the idea that people aren't pawns that rulers can push around but they have rights.
One night I walked out of the church when the priest said that we should never have fought the Revolutionary war and every war was bad. It was 4th of July. It was an outrageously political statement. I just never felt right when people in the church would take these overtly political positions especially when I felt like I was a good Christian, I was serving my country, and I just didn't feel like I deserved to be lambasted by the priest on the 4th of July.
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I think we should be very clear on this... this country was founded on the principles of the Enlightenment... It was the idea that people could talk, reason, have dialogue, discuss the issues. It wasn't founded on the idea that someone would get struck by a divine inspiration and know everything right from wrong. I mean, people who founded this country had religion, they had strong beliefs, but they believed in reason, in dialogue, in civil discourse. We can't lose that in this country. We've got to get it back.
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Working together, we can build a world in which the rule of law "" not the rule of force "" governs relations between states. A world in which leaders respect the rights of their people, and nations seek peace, not destruction or domination. And neither we nor anyone else should live in fear ever again.
The campaign in Iraq illustrates the continuing progress of military technology and tactics, but if there is a single overriding lesson it must be this: American military power, especially when buttressed by Britain's, is virtually unchallengeable today. Take us on? Don't try! And that's not hubris, it's just plain fact.
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Imagine a world in which we saw beyond the lines that divide us, and celebrated our differences, instead of hiding from them. Imagine a world in which we finally recognized that, fundamentally, we are all the same. And imagine if we allowed that new understanding to build relations between people and between nations.
Well, it came from the White House, it came from people around the White House. It came from all over. I got a call on 9/11. I was on CNN, and I got a call at my home saying, 'You got to say this is connected. This is state-sponsored terrorism. This has to be connected to Saddam Hussein.
Certainly there's a connection between Iraq and Al Qaeda. It doesn't surprise me at all that they would be talking to Al Qaeda, that there would be some Al Qaeda there or that Saddam Hussein might even be, you know, discussing gee, I wonder since I don't have any scuds and since the Americans are coming at me, I wonder if I could take advantage of Al Qaeda? How would I do it? Is it worth the risk? What could they do for me?
When you use force, people get hurt, and when you kill people, their relatives don't like it. And usually war has some unanticipated consequences so it's something you shouldn't launch into, on the expectation that this is going to rally the nation. This is not like 'Friday Night Lights'.
I think there are some mass destruction capabilities that are still inside Iraq. I think there's some weapons that have been shipped over the border to Syria. But I don't think we're going to find that their capabilities provided the imminent threat that many feared in this country. So I think it's going to be a tough search, but I think there's stuff there.
I worked for the troops my entire time in the United States Armed Forces because we know in the United States Armed Forces that it's not the generals and the colonels that win battles, it's the soldiers: it's the people at the front, the mechanics with their wrenches, the drivers moving the logistics back in the rear.
I remember in the spring of 1971, a hundred thousand people converged on the Pentagon in June of 1971. They threw blood; I guess it was goat's blood or something, on the steps to the Pentagon. People were being accused of being murderers and baby killers. You just can't imagine the civic outrage.
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In the 1950s, Pakistan allied with the United States in something called the Central Treaty Organization. We were lined up with, at that time, Iran, ruled by the Shah, and Pakistan and Turkey as a southward shield against Soviet expansion toward the warm waters of the Indian Ocean and the Persian Gulf. It was part of the containment strategy.
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