Friday, September 26, 2008

Presidential Debate #1 - Live Blog #6 - What is Threat of Iran

McCain: Iran getting nuclear weapon is existential threat to Israel. Cannot allow a second Holocaust. Proposed league of democracies. Concern about Russia. Could impose meaningful sanctions on Iran that would help. They have a lousy government so have lousy economy. We can affect Iranian behavior. Have no doubt that Iran continues to try to get nuclear weapon. Putting the most lethal IEDs into Iraq and sending groups in there. Tried to declare them sponsor of terror, Obama said this would be provocative.

Obama: He believes Republican Guard of Iran is terrorist organization. The Iraq war is what has strengthened Iran. They've funded Hezbollah and Hamas, gotten centrifuges. Our policy has not worked. We cannot tolerate a nuclear Iran, would threaten Israel, our stalwart ally. We need tougher sanctions but need help from countries like Russia and China. We need to talk to people, notion that we are punishing people by not talking to them is a mistake.

McCain: Obama said he would sit down with Ahmadinejad, Chavez and (forgot??) without preconditions. Afraid Obama will give Ahmadinejad a propaganda platform. Mentions historical negotiations with China and Russia. Will sit down with anyone but has to be preconditions.

Obama: Ahmadinejad not most important person in Iran so may not be the best person. As president will meet with anyone if it will keep US safe. Kissinger, his advisor said we should meet Iran without preconditions. Doesn't mean we invite them to tea, means we don't tell them we only meet if they do what we say. Says he was called naive when he said we have to explore contacts with Iran and then Bush sent envoy to Iran discussions. In North Korea we cut off talks, and they quadrupled nuclear capacity. McCain said he wouldn't meet with the president of Spain, a NATO ally.

McCain: Says Kissinger didn't say he would approve meeting between Ahmadinejad and the president. If you meet without preconditions you legitimize comments like Israel being a stinking corpse, dangerous. North Koreans have broken agreements, have to go back to Reagan's trust but verify.

Obama: Nobody is talking about meeting without preparation. Preconditions just means we don't expect to solve every problem before we have talks. Nobody is suggesting we sit down and listen to Ahmadinejad spew insults at Israel.

McCain: (Interjects, laughing) Are we going to just let Iran say they are going to wipe out Israel and say "no we aren't"....

(Crosstalk, arguing about Kissinger.)

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