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2008 U.S. Presidential Campaign:
Sam Brownback


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Learn More about Republican Challenger Senator Sam Brownback:
AICE does not rate or endorse any candidate for political office. This page is for informational purposes only.

Iranian Threat:

“One of the greatest threats we face as a free and democratic people is a nuclear weapon in the hands of terrorist groups and their state sponsors.  Iran is at the forefront of this threat.   

All nations must work together to prevent the mullahs in Tehran from carrying out their genocidal threats against Americans and Israelis.  We must use all the tools at our disposal, including robust, fully enforced sanctions and divestment at the federal, state, and local levels.

We must continue to reach out to the Iranian people, who often suffer from the torture and abuse of the Iranian regime, through any means possible including academic, scientific and cultural efforts.  And while implementing these measures, we have to be very clear that all options remain on the table. 

We are fighting a war that is an ideological struggle against militant Islamic fascism.  We can and must win, but we have to remain firm that ours is the path of hope, freedom and truth.” (Statement to the Israel Project, July 19, 2007)

“Ahmadinejad and the mullahs match genocidal rhetoric with proud defiance of international objections to their nuclear program.  Their acquisition of nuclear weapons would constitute a threat to the security of the United States and the free world.  This dangerous situation requires that all options remain on the table, demonstrating a credible and unwavering commitment to an Iran free of nuclear weapons.

The regime should understand the consequences of intransigence. We should speak directly to Iran and make our objections to its behavior clear. We should not negotiate with the regime, however, until it stops enriching uranium and supporting terrorism.

Our strong words should support strong actions. I propose a three-pronged solution to the Iranian nuclear crisis:  squeeze the regime economically, undermine it politically, and expose it morally. First, economic sanctions: We can and must de-fund the regime's ability to build and sustain a nuclear program.

As president, I would enforce all sanctions authorized in the Iran Sanctions Act, including against Russian, European, and Chinese corporations and financial institutions that invest in the Iranian oil and gas sectors.  I would also call for additional sanctions and penalties included in the Iran Counter-Proliferation Act, of which I am a cosponsor.  I also believe we should encourage individuals, corporations and other countries to divest from Iran.

Second, political pressure: We must overhaul our public diplomacy efforts in Iran and challenge the regime's cynical manipulation of the nuclear issue. The Iranian people should hear that we support their desire for progress and better technology and stand with them in opposing the regime's drive for nuclear weapons.  This will require US broadcasts that beam fewer hours of Britney Spears music and spend more time reporting on the regime's corruption and ineffectiveness. The Iranian people want democracy and we should give them the tools they need to reform their country from within.

Third, human rights: Any regime that relies on secret police, censorship, imprisonment, and torture to maintain its grip on power ought not be trusted to maintain a "peaceful, civilian nuclear program." The Iran Human Rights Act of 2007 ( S.1534), which I introduced earlier this month, outlines ways to leverage human rights and undermine the regime's credibility inside Iran and among the community of free nations.” “Teheran's opposition to a secular, democratic Iraq means the US is already dealing with Iranian threats. While Iran may pose a future nuclear threat, the regime already represents the world's foremost state sponsor of terror, thanks to its actions in Iraq and elsewhere.

The best way to deal with Iranian threats today and tomorrow is to change the political conditions that enable Iranian aggression while maintaining the capability to punish Teheran, if necessary.

First, the US must push aggressively for a political solution in Iraq that will stabilize the country and undercut Iran's ability to influence events there. The US must simultaneously support the efforts of the Iranian people to moderate the behavior of the regime from within. Political progress in Iraq and Iran decreases the need for future military action.

But we cannot make our security dependent on political progress. We must counter Iran's efforts to intervene in Iraqi affairs and demonstrate that such efforts cannot succeed.  We must also remind Teheran that no matter what happens in Iraq, our commanders indicate they are prepared to address future contingencies. All options for dealing with provocative actions from Iran remain on the table.” (Jerusalem Post, July 7, 2007)

“Teheran's opposition to a secular, democratic Iraq means the US is already dealing with Iranian threats. While Iran may pose a future nuclear threat, the regime already represents the world's foremost state sponsor of terror, thanks to its actions in Iraq and elsewhere.

The best way to deal with Iranian threats today and tomorrow is to change the political conditions that enable Iranian aggression while maintaining the capability to punish Teheran, if necessary.

First, the US must push aggressively for a political solution in Iraq that will stabilize the country and undercut Iran's ability to influence events there. The US must simultaneously support the efforts of the Iranian people to moderate the behavior of the regime from within. Political progress in Iraq and Iran decreases the need for future military action.

But we cannot make our security dependent on political progress. We must counter Iran's efforts to intervene in Iraqi affairs and demonstrate that such efforts cannot succeed.  We must also remind Teheran that no matter what happens in Iraq, our commanders indicate they are prepared to address future contingencies. All options for dealing with provocative actions from Iran remain on the table.” (Jerusalem Post, June 21, 2007)

“The international community has repeatedly called for an end to Iran's nuclear program, citing abundant evidence of the regime's determination to obtain nuclear weapons. Given Iranian President Ahmadinejad's previous threats against Israel and his rampant Holocaust denial, we must take such words at face value.” (May 2006)

Hamas and the Situation in Gaza:

(The following is a letter Senator Brownback sent to the White House on June 22)

“Dear President Bush:

I write to express my concern over the current situation in Gaza. The violent campaign by Hamas to secure control of Gaza has dealt a strong blow against those in the region who desire peace. Hamas' actions during this takeover-kidnappings, summary executions, indiscriminate rocket attacks against Israeli civilians-expose and reinforce the group's radical, terrorist agenda.

Unfortunately, Hamas' ability to exert its will in Gaza may further embolden militant Islamic extremists within the Palestinian community and beyond. Only by directly addressing the problem of Hamas and militant Islamic extremism will we begin to tackle the root causes of instability and violence.

You made this clear in your press conference on June 19, when you said, "We recognize that it was Hamas that attacked the unity government. They made a choice of violence. It was their decision that has caused there to be this current situation in the Middle East…"  I strongly support this assessment.

However, I was disappointed to read the statement by the Quartet regarding the same situation. The Quartet statement failed even to mention the word Hamas, let alone assign responsibility for the crisis to the terrorist group. Such whitewashing of the facts is both misleading and dangerous, and I urge you to use our nation's influence among the Quartet principals so that the relevant facts and root causes are addressed.

Also, I am concerned about your decision for the US Government to contribute an additional $40 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA). While there can be no doubt that the Palestinian humanitarian crisis will worsen due to Hamas' cruelty and violence, UNRWA is the wrong agency to manage this crisis. Not only does UNRWA suffer from a lack of oversight and transparency, but also, as recently as 2004, UNRWA employees have been accused of providing shelter and assistance to Hamas and other terrorist groups that flourish in Palestinian refugee camps. These, along with many other serious problems with UNRWA, make the UN agency ill-suited to receive US taxpayer dollars.

Finally, I respectfully ask that your Administration broaden the scope of the discussion about Gaza to expose the long reach of Iranian sponsorship of terror in the Middle East. Hamas has collaborated with and received financial assistance from the Iranian regime for decades. The violence in Gaza, Hizbullah's attacks last summer, and the ongoing insurgency in Iraq, all have ties to the mullahs in Tehran, who stand to benefit from the spread of instability and extremism.

I remain hopeful that despite these setbacks, we will soon see the advancement of freedom, moderation, and respect for human rights, and I thank you for your leadership in promoting these goals.

Sincerely, Sam Brownback, US Senator”

(Jerusalem Post, July 5, 2007)

“Israel has the right to defend itself and aggressively seek the return of Corporal Shalit.” (June 28, 2006)

Peace with the Palestinians:

"I continue to believe there can be a just solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. That solution will not come from capitulation to terror, nor will it come from intervention." (April 2002)

The United States-Israel Relationship:

“I am tempted here to discuss all the reasons why I support Israel, to thank the people of Israel for bringing the message of G-d into this world, and to explain my commitment to a united Jerusalem that has always been, and should always remain, the capital of the Jewish people. But I will limit my answer only to the importance of Israel as a strategic ally of the United States.

The simple answer is to point out the strategic benefits of allying with the only democracy in the Middle East. These benefits come in the form of economic opportunities, military cooperation, and political stability - all of which are derived from a shared system of values. But this is only part of the answer.

I submit that the United States and Israel share not only democratic values, but also a common moral vision.

We are engaged in a great struggle against militant Islamo-fascism. Our enemies have many targets - Western democracies, free societies, moderate Muslims - but if you listen to our enemies' words and follow their actions, they single out America and Israel.

Why? Our two nations represent the greatest threat to the Islamo-fascists because, at our core, we strive for goodness. We seek wisdom, compassion, and humility. We aspire for moral excellence.

While campaigning I have said that if America ever loses its goodness, it will surely lose its greatness. Herein we see the importance of Israel: that it remains good in the face of darkness and hostility. America learns from Israel's example. We learn when the people of Israel take great risks for peace, when Israeli response teams are first on the ground in disaster sites around the world, and when Israel removes from danger thousands of Ethiopian Jews and welcomes them into the country with open arms.

In my administration, I would center diplomatic ties with Israel on the fact that Israel's existence is not only fully justified, but in fact it has enhanced the Middle East and the world. My administration would continue to support a peace process, but only from this perspective. Too often it seems that Israel is viewed by others as a burden - an obstacle to stability that must be overcome.

Nothing could be further from the truth. To be sure, Israel has problems and difficulties, and my support for any particular Israeli policy or government would not be unconditional. However, my administration would always reaffirm that at its heart Israel is good, and because of that, Israel can help America and the world be great.” (Jerusalem Post, May 24, 2007)

“The United States has diplomatic relations with 184 countries around the world. With only one of those countries - Israel - do we neither recognize the country's designated capital nor have our embassy located in the designated capital. That is as incredible as it is unacceptable.” (May, 1999)


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