Fred Thompson on War & Peace

Former Republican Senator (TN)

I would do essentially what the president's doing in Iraq

I would do essentially what the president's doing [on Iraq]. I know it's not popular right now, but we're the leader of the free world whether we like it or not. People are looking to us to test our resolve and see what we're willing to do in resolving the situation that we have there.

If Saddam Hussein was still around today with his sons looking at Iran developing a nuclear capability, he undoubtedly would have reconstituted his nuclear capability. Things would be worse than what they are today.

Source: The Fred Factor, by Steve Gill, p.144 Jun 3, 2007

Take any chance to not get run out of Iraq

We've got to rectify the mistakes that we've made. We went in there too light, wrong rules of engagement, wrong strategy, placed too much emphasis on just holding things in place while we built up the Iraqi army, took longer than we figured.

Wars are full of mistakes. You rectify things. I think we're doing that now.

Why would we not take any chance, even though there are certainly no guarantees, to not be run out of that place? I mean, we've got to take that opportunity & give it a chance to work.

Source: The Fred Factor, by Steve Gill, p.144 Jun 3, 2007

Internationalizing war effort will not win the war

For those who argue that "internationalizing" the security force will allow us to win the war, I would simply ask what foreign nation should be in Iraq that is not already there? Does anyone seriously believe that the only thing keeping us from military victory in Iraq is a couple of platoons of French soldiers and a NATO stamp of approval?

We should not confuse symbolic gestures for genuine strategy. Our enemies can tell the difference, and so should we.

Source: The Fred Factor, by Steve Gill, p.153 Jun 3, 2007

President must decide on war based on unclear evidence

Intelligence services had consistently over the years understated the capabilities of enemies & potential enemies. [With Iraq] there was unanimity among the intelligence services, some of whom are supposed to be better than ours. People don't understand intelligence. It's seldom clear. It's often caveated. It's sometimes flat-out wrong. Different people often have different ideas. That's what a president is faced with. And some today would say that politically a president has got to have unanimity before he can make a choice.

It's absurd. Presidents in the future, as always, have to make a determination based on a lot of things, and intelligence is one of them. And the president not only has the right to evaluate the intelligence that he's receiving, he has a duty to do that. He listens to the British. I mean, if history was any judge, if the Brits tell me that there's an [Iraqi] deal with Niger and our guys don't know whether there was or not, I tend to rely on the Brits.

Source: The Fred Factor, by Steve Gill, p.145 Jun 3, 2007

Prophets of doom are wrong--we can't cut-and-run

In every war, the prophets of doom reach for the same old phrase book: Every significant battle facing the US has been "another Vietnam." But just as these voices were wrong in 1991, wrong in 2001, wrong in 2003, so too are they wrong again today.

Let's not minimize the challenges. Our nation faces a formidable enemy, in Iraq & elsewhere. Angry Baathists, fanatical Islamists and opportunistic terrorists from across the Mideast have perpetrated attacks against US soldiers, US allies, & against the Iraqi people themselves. Our resolve as a nation is being tested.

It's obvious we can't afford to cut and run. Even the most partisan critics admit as much. However, by invoking Vietnam, they are in effect predicting a US defeat & pullout. Even as they give lip service to winning, they foment a sense of despair, instead of offering a strategy for victory.

Let's be blunt here: For many of President's critics there is a domestic constituency to be won from failure abroad. They are campaigning on defeat

Source: The Fred Factor, by Steve Gill, p.149 Jun 3, 2007

Goal of Iraqi enemies is to demoralize us

The strategic center of gravity for this war is American willpower. Our enemies know that they cannot defeat us in any conventional military contest, so instead, their aim is to demoralize us, to shake our resolve. They know that their only hope is in gruesome, made-for-TV atrocities to undermine the confidence of the American public. Their purpose is not to win, but to convince us that we can't win, to break our will, to convince us to cut and run. Unfortunately, that strategy is not illogical. We have run before.

Past failures of will are among the main reasons we are under siege today. Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1990 because he believed that Americans couldn't take casualties. He looked at Vietnam & Lebanon and concluded that the Americans didn't have the guts for a really tough fight. America's failure to confront Saddam during the 1990s, as he thwarted weapons inspectors and economic sanctions and corrupted the oil for food program, only spurred him further.

Source: The Fred Factor, by Steve Gill, p.150 Jun 3, 2007

Serious & painful international sanctions on nuclear Iran

The Iranian people are not an anti-Western horde. They're an educated and freedom-loving people for the most part, and reformers there have been begging us for support & sanctions that would weaken the ruling theocracy. Instead, they've seen the Iranian dictatorship bully the West into impotent submission.

We need to use every means at our disposal, starting with serious and painful international sanctions, to prevent Iran's rulers from becoming the nuclear-armed blackmailers they want to be. Unfortunately, we are hearing demands that we abandon the people of the Middle East who have stood up to Islamo-fascism because they believed us when we said we would support them.

If we retreat precipitously, the price for that betrayal will be paid in blood & freedom by the Iranian people [and then others]. And America's word may never be trusted again. Right now, the pirate Ahmadinejad is clearly more confident about the outcome of the Global War on Terror than we are. That ought to give us pause.

Source: The Fred Factor, by Steve Gill, p.155-156 Jun 3, 2007

Voted YES on authorizing use of military force against Iraq.

H.J.Res. 114; Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002. The administration would be required to report to Congress that diplomatic options have been exhausted before, or within 48 hours after military action has started. Every 60 days the president would also be required to submit a progress report to Congress.
Reference: Bill H.J.RES.114 ; vote number 2002-237 on Oct 11, 2002

Voted YES on allowing all necessary force in Kosovo.

Majority Leader Trent Lott motioned to kill the resolution that would have authorized the president to "use all necessary forces and other means," in cooperation with U.S. allies to accomplish objectives in Yugoslavia.
Status: Motion to Table Agreed to Y)78; N)22
Reference: Motion to table S. J. Res. 20; Bill S. J. Res. 20 ; vote number 1999-98 on May 4, 1999

Voted NO on authorizing air strikes in Kosovo.

Vote to adopt a resolution to authorize the President to conduct military air operations and missile strikes in cooperation with NATO against Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro).
Reference: Bill S.Con.Res 21 ; vote number 1999-57 on Mar 23, 1999

Voted YES on ending the Bosnian arms embargo.

Ending the Bosnian arms embargo.
Status: Bill Passed Y)69; N)29; NV)2
Reference: Bosnia Herzegovina Self-Defense Act of '95; Bill S. 21 ; vote number 1995-331 on Jul 26, 1995

Condemns anti-Muslim bigotry in name of anti-terrorism.

Thompson sponsored the Resolution on bigotry against Sikh Americans:

Title: Condemning bigotry and violence against Sikh Americans in the wake of terrorist attacks against the United States on September 11, 2001.

Summary: Declares that, in the quest to identify, locate, and bring to justice the perpetrators and sponsors of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, the civil rights and liberties of all Americans, including Sikh-Americans, should be protected.

Source: House Resolution Sponsorship 01-HR255 on Oct 4, 2001

Move the US Embassy to Jerusalem.

Thompson sponsored the Jerusalem Embassy Act

Corresponding House bill is H.R.1595. Became Public Law No: 104-45.
Source: Bill sponsored by 77 Senators and 78 Reps 95-S1322 on Oct 13, 1995

Other candidates on War & Peace: Fred Thompson on other issues:
TN Gubernatorial:
Phil Bredesen
TN Senatorial:
Bill Frist
Bo Heyward
Bob Corker
Chris Lugo
Ed Bryant
Harold Ford
Lamar Alexander
Van Hilleary

2004 Presidential:
Pres.George W. Bush
Sen.John Kerry
Ralph Nader

2008 possibilities:

Sen.Hillary Clinton
Sen.John Edwards
Sen.Russ Feingold
Rudy Giuliani
V.P.Al Gore
Sen.Barack Obama
Sen.John McCain

2006 Senate retirements:
Jon Corzine(D,NJ)
Mark Dayton(DFL,MN)
Bill Frist(R,TN)
Jim Jeffords(I,VT)
Paul Sarbanes(D,MD)
2006 Senate Races:
(AZ)Kyl v.Pederson
(CA)Feinstein v.Mountjoy
(CT)Lieberman v.Lamont v.Schlesinger
(DE)Carper v.Ting
(FL)Nelson v.Harris
(HI)Akaka v.Thielen
(IN)Lugar v.Osborn
(MA)Kennedy v.Chase
(MD)Cardin v.Steele v.Zeese
(ME)Snowe v.Bright
(MI)Stabenow v.Bouchard
(MN)Kennedy v.Klobuchar
(MO)Talent v.McCaskill
(MS)Lott v.Fleming v.Bowlin
(MT)Burns v.Tester
(ND)Conrad v.Grotberg
(NE)Nelson v.Ricketts
(NJ)Menendez v.Kean
(NM)Bingaman v.McCulloch
(NV)Ensign v.Carter
(NY)Clinton v.Spencer
(OH)DeWine vBrown
(PA)Santorum v.Casey
(RI)Chafee vWhitehouse
(TN)Ford v.Corker
(TX)Hutchison v.Radnofsky
(UT)Hatch v.Ashdown
(VA)Allen v.Webb
(VT)Sanders v.Tarrant
(WA)Cantwell v.McGavick v.Guthrie
(WI)Kohl v.Vogeler v.Redick
(WV)Byrd v.Raese
(WY)Thomas v.Groutage
Civil Rights
Foreign Policy
Free Trade
Govt. Reform
Gun Control
Health Care
Homeland Security
Social Security
Tax Reform

Other Senators
House of Representatives
SenateMatch (matching quiz)
Senate Votes (analysis)
House Votes
Search for...