Pete Buttigieg on War & Peace
Democratic Presidential Challenger; IN Mayor
Mayor Buttigieg: Well, respectfully, Congresswoman, I think that is dead wrong. The slaughter going on in Syria is not a consequence of American presence, it's a consequence of a withdrawal and a betrayal, by this President, of American allies and American values. Look, I didn't think we should've gone to Iraq in the first place, I think we need to get out of Afghanistan, but it's also the case that a small number of specialized special operations forces and intelligence capabilities were the only thing that stood between that part of Syria and what we're seeing now, which is the beginning of a genocide, and the resurgence of ISIS.
Mayor Pete BUTTIGIEG: Soldiers in the field are reporting that, for the first time, they feel ashamed of what their country has done.
Rep. Tulsi GABBARD: What you're saying is that you would continue to support having US troops in Syria for an indefinite period of time to continue this regime change war?
BUTTIGIEG: You can put an end to endless war embracing Trump's policy as you're doing.
GABBARD: Will you end the regime change war is the question?
BUTTIGIEG: What we were doing in Syria was keeping our word. Part of what makes it possible for the United States to get people to put their lives on the line to back us up is the idea that we will back them up too. When I was deployed, not just the Afghan National Army Forces, but the janitors put their lives on the line just by working with US Forces. It is undermining the honor of
BUTTIGIEG: I served under General Dunford, way under General Dunford, in Afghanistan. And today, September 12, 2019, means that today you could be 18 years old, old enough to serve, and had not been alive on 9/11. We have got to put an end to endless war. And the way we do it is see to it that that country will never again be used for an attack against our homeland, and that does not require an open-ended commitment of ground troops. Let me say something else, because if there's one thing we've learned from Afghanistan, it's that the best way not to be caught up in endless war is to avoid starting one in the first place.
EIGHT CANDIDATES HAVE SIMILAR VIEWS: Michael Bennet; Joseph Biden, Jr.; Cory Booker; Peter Buttigieg; Amy Klobuchar; Seth Moulton; Tim Ryan; Eric Swalwell; Andrew Yang.
Other candidates have urged restraint, warning that allies in nations such as Afghanistan and Iraq still need American military support. Withdrawing all U.S. troops, they assert, could be a grave mistake and only make the situation worse.
BUTTIGIEG: First of all, engage our allies. We are not alone. At least we shouldn't be acting alone. Another thing I would never have done is to get us out of the nuclear deal setting off a chain reaction that has destabilized the regional security framework and the politics of that area. We need to have a completely different approach. We're going to have to do something new. The point is that we never should have left it in the first place.
Bolton was an early supporter of the Iraq War and pushed for the initial invasion during his time, after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, as President George W. Bush's undersecretary of State for arms control and international security.
We might have had, in those years, a more serious conversation about what each of us owes to the country in a time of conflict.
Democrats, unsure of themselves, were afraid to sound like an opposition at all, and many carefully avoided opposing the Iraq War for fear of looking unpatriotic. (Some, particularity Hillary Clinton, would come to regret this posturing.) Instead they tried to change the subject, emphasizing Social Security and Medicare, even though global security was the dominant issue of our moment--even in Indiana.
The tough talk was rousing, but it made no strategic sense. Saddam was a notoriously sinister dictator whose top priority, as with all dictators, was his own survival. It followed that he viewed his arsenal of chemical and biological weapons (as most of us believed he had) as an insurance policy to keep him in power. He would only part with them voluntarily if it would benefit his personal security--an unlikely course for someone who did not trust America. But actually using them would almost certainly lead to his destruction, so he had every reason to sit on his weapons if he had them. The only scenario where he might use them would be if he had nothing to lose by doing so--and now by invading, we were poised to create that very situation.
He didn't have any WMDs--and so they were not there to be used against American troops.
Iraq fell quickly, and for a moment it seemed that the invasion was a vindication of American intervention abroad. Protesters like me looked foolish. Sure, the pretext for war was actually false, but who could quibble over that, as a brutal dictatorship was being turned into a model democracy at relatively little cost to America?
Then the suicide bombings began. We were not, as the administration had promised, "greeted as liberators." A well-functioning democracy did not emerge. And the ensuing chaos made it clear that the administration had not planned for the aftermath of the invasion, as Iraqi cities became a kill zone for our troops. We who were against the invasion had been wrong about the weapons, but right about the war. The administration had been wrong about both.
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2020 Presidential Democratic Primary Candidates:
Sen.Michael Bennet (D-CO)
V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC)
Gov.Steve Bullock (D-MT)
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Secy.Julian Castro (D-TX)
Rep.John Delaney (D-MD)
Rep.Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
Sen.Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Gov.Deval Patrick (D-MA)
Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
CEO Tom Steyer (D-CA)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
CEO Andrew Yang (D-NY)
2020 GOP and Independent Candidates:
Rep.Justin Amash (Libertarian-MI)
CEO Don Blankenship (C-WV)
Howie Hawkins (Green-NY)
V.P.Mike Pence (R-IN)
Gov.Mark Sanford (R-SC)
Pres.Donald Trump (R-NY)
V.C.Arvin Vohra (Libertarian-MD)
Rep.Joe Walsh (R-IL)
Gov.Bill Weld (L-NY,R-MA)
External Links about Pete Buttigieg:
2020 Withdrawn Democratic Candidates:
State Rep.Stacey Abrams (D-GA)
Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NYC)
Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Sen.Mike Gravel (D-AK)
Sen.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Gov.John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
Gov.Jay Inslee (D-WA)
Mayor Wayne Messam (D-FL)
Rep.Seth Moulton (D-MA)
Rep.Beto O`Rourke (D-TX)
Rep.Tim Ryan (D-CA)
Adm.Joe Sestak (D-PA)
Rep.Eric Swalwell (D-CA)