GOP candidates Ron Paul and Michele Bachmann went head to head at the Thursday’s Fox News debate in Iowa over the issue of a nuclear Iran.
When asked hypothetical questions regarding intelligence of a fully nuclear Iran by Fox News host Bret Baier, Congressman Paul answered, saying a nuclear Iran isn’t as big of an issue as America overreacting and starting another costly war.
Bachmann responded, calling his comment dangerous: “With all due respect to Ron Paul, I think I have never heard a more dangerous answer for American security than the one that we just heard from Ron Paul.”
“I’ll tell you the reason why,” she added. “Because we know without a shadow of a doubt that Iran will take a nuclear weapon, they will use it to wipe our ally Israel off the face of the map and they stated they will use it against the United States of America.”
Bachmann said the Iranian constitution condones such force.
“Look no further than the Iranian constitution,” she told Baier. “Which states unequivocally that their mission is to extend jihad across the world and eventually to set up for a worldwide caliphate. We would be fools to ignore their purpose and their plan.”
Paul responded, saying he would like to see less nuclear weapons across the board, especially with Iran, and then he posed a variety of questions:
“Why do we have 900 bases in 130 countries and we’re totally bankrupt? How do you rebuild a military when we have no money? How are we going to take care of the people? I think this wild goal to have another war in the name of defense is the dangerous thing. The danger is really us overreacting.”
Many Republicans share Bachmann’s view, and hold that a nuclear Iran would seek to destroy Israel, our ally. With America, Iran, and Israel at the forefront of the war on terror, the issue is seemingly becoming a war of religions.
Last year, CSM revealed a new opinion poll, which found that many Arabs view America as the enemy mainly because of what they view as the blind support of Iran’s Jewish neighbors.
“What this poll reveals is a backlash against the United States, reflecting the loss of hope that people had in what they thought were to be the policies of the new President Obama,” said Shibley Telhami, the University of Maryland Middle East Expert who conducted the poll. “It’s really people venting by supporting ‘the enemy of my enemy.’”
On Thursday Dec. 15, 2011, the Pentagon announced an official end to its mission in Iraq. According to Pentagon statistics, the war has claimed 4,487 American lives, and wounded 32,226 Americans.
See the feisty exchange between Bachmann and Paul below: