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Friday, May 09, 2008

Sam Bennett Interview: Iraq and Foreign Affairs

On her campaign web page, congressional challenger Sam Bennett claims "Bush Republicans" present us with two false choices in Iraq - "keep a force of more than 100,000 troops there, or pull out suddenly and leave the country in chaos." She endorses a third choice, "A Responsible Plan to End the War in Iraq." That report notes that the "further destabilization of the Middle East is also a growing threat to U.S. national security. Al-Qaeda’s strength is growing in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and Iran’s power is growing." With that report in mind, I asked Bennett a few questions about our foreign policy.

Question: What is your time table on withdrawal from Iraq? What will you do if Iran continues its nuclear program or if peace fails in Iraq? How will we prevent another Cambodia or South Vietnam if we leave? What's your understanding of "A Responsible Plan to End the War in Iraq."

"The greater question is how can we position ourselves to prevent WWIII? We have to knock off the lone ranger act. By admitting we screwed up, we can engender support from the international community. The Middle East is the powder keg of the globe. We can't do it alone. We need a Tonto. We need a couple of Tontos."

Question: How well-versed are you in foreign affairs?

"Fairly well-versed."

Question: Who is the President of China? France's Prime Minister? Germany's Chancellor? India's Prime Minister? Afghanistan's President? Syria's President? Sudan's President?

"I've got to work on that. I'll research it today."

Me: Is that an unfair question? I don't know most world leaders by name myself. I came up with that question myself.

"No, it's a fair question. But I'm running for Congress, not President."

(Blogger's Note: Some of my friends claim that world leaders question is unfair. Perhaps they are right. But we do have 34,000 U.S. troops fighting in Afghanistan. Shouldn't a member of Congress be familiar enough with at least that country to know its President is Hamid Karzai? Lehigh Valley Congressman Charlie Dent, whose college major was International Politics, was actually there in January. He knows all about Karzai's "divide and conquer" strategy of appealing to moderate chieftains to weaken hard-liners with ties to al-Qaeda fighters.

When it comes to Foreign Affairs, Dent is simply far more knowledgeable than Bennett. My daughter is currently in Iraq. Do you think I want to send a person to Congress who has no idea who the leaders are in that region? I like Sam Bennett, but not that much.)


Oh, for Pete's sake! said...

She never gave a timetable. She never said what to do about Iran if it continues nuclear development. She never gave her take on "A Responsible Plan to End the War in Iraq," even though she supposedly co-authored it.

Bob said...

Bernie I do love you, but this was the sorriest story you have ever done. Unfortunately you let her pander to you and your readers.
As I have already said Bernie I still love you but you can do a heck of a lot better.
(By the way, why wouldn't she let you record the discussion?)

Bernie O'Hare said...


I can write stories a lot sorrier than this!

I was expecting a slam for inserting myself editoriallly here, not for being too nice to Bennett. You have to let her speak and decide for yourself.

As far as not recording her, she told me it would make her uncomfortable. That's just as well. My recorder has been in my jeep all winter, and I'm not sure it would have worked.

hayshaker said...

That's very disappointing.

1. Anyone even relatively awake knows Karzai, al-Assad and Sarkozy. Did she choose to sidestep the question because she didn't know some of the answers? It's possible.

2. She apparently does not support a withdrawal from Iraq.

3. Her answers also tell me that she didn't bother to take this interview seriously. If she did, she would have seen the suggested questions and prepared for them. She obviously did not.

4. This is exactly why I suggested the question, "What is the difference between a Shiite and a Sunni?" It's a question that speaks directly to a person's seriousness when it comes to running for Congress and tackling the enormous problems this country faces.

Anonymous said...

"No, it's a fair question. But I'm running for Congress, not President."

I guess Congress must have given up Constitutional oversight of foreign expenditures, treaties, and alliances while I was raking my yard!

We are a nation at war and this is the best the Lehigh Valley can offer for Congressional oversight. She's going to vote on sending (or not) kids to potentially DIE in our names in places she likely can't find on a labeled map? God please help us.

I've never voted for Dent, but I could never vote for her. We can do better than this. Thanks for the interview we likely won't get from the MSM. Frightening.

Anonymous said...

Is it really important to know anything if you are a Democrat running for office? Isn’t electing Democrats the priority?

Allentown Democrat Voter

Anonymous said...

She is painfully embarassing.

Anonymous said...

Add "Tontos" to the list of words that really shouldn't be used when you're trying to broker diplomatic agreements with allies.

"Hey, Germany. You want to be one of our Tontos on this whole Iraq thing?"

What's revealing about her choice of words is that for all the squawking about the need for equal partners in facing the world's stability problems, Bennett still views foreign allies as nothing more than sidekicks.

She really is not ready for primetime.