President Obama: War with Iran ‘is not a game’

President Obama speaks during a news conference in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, March 6, 2012.
President Obama speaks during a news conference in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, March 6, 2012.
(AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Throughout this election season, the Republican presidential candidates (with the exception of Ron Paul) have been doing what they do best to get votes, fear mongering over Iran.  Since the very first debates, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney have been literally saying things to scare the American people into voting for them.  

The best examples of their blatant scare tactics were from the February 22nd Arizona Republican debate. Here’s just a few quotes from the hawkish candidates:

Mitt Romney: “Ahmadinejad having fissile material that he can give to Hezbollah and Hamas and that they can bring into Latin America and potentially bring across the border into the United States to let off dirty bombs here. I mean – or – or more sophisticated bombs here, this – we simply cannot allow Iran to have nuclear weaponry… We must now allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon. If they do, the world changes. America will be at risk. And some day, nuclear weaponry will be used. If I am president, that will not happen. If we reelect Barack Obama, it will happen.”

Rick Santorum: “We have a president who isn’t going to stop them. (Iran) He isn’t going to stop them from getting a nuclear weapon. We need a new president or we are going to have a cataclysmic situation with a – a power that is the most prolific proliferator of terror in the world that will be able to do so with impunity because they will have a nuclear weapon to protect – protect them for whatever they do. It has to be stopped, and this president is not in a position to do that.”

Newt Gingrich: “You live in a world of total warfare… we live in an age when we have to genuinely worry about nuclear weapons going off in our own cities. So everybody who serves in the fire department, in the police department, not just the first responders, but our National Guard, whoever is going to respond, all of us are more at risk today, men and women, boys and girls, than at any time in the history of this country. And we need to understand that’s the context in which we’re going to have to move forward in understanding the nature of modern combat.”

Just this morning Santorum and Romney gave speeches at the conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and continued their call for action against Iran.  

Mitt Romney: “hope is not a foreign policy… The only thing respected by thugs and tyrants is our resolve, backed by our power and our readiness to use it.”

 Rick Santorum: “As I’ve sat and watched this play out on the world stage I’ve seen a President who has been resident he says he has Israel’s back, from everything I’ve seen from the conduct of this administration he has turned his back on the people of Israel.”

Romney, Santorum and Gingrich are all guilty of scaring the hell out of people to try and get their vote. It’s like the 3 of them have forgotten the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq that have taken a serious toll on our country as a whole.

According to Brown University, since the wars began 6,051 American soldiers have been killed and 99,065 more have been wounded, injured or diagnosed with medical problems while at war.

As for the economic toll of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Brown estimates the total cost between $3.2 and $4 Trillion dollars and counting.

Today, President Obama challenged Republicans on Iran and defended his position so far:

President Obama: “At this stage, it is my belief that we have a window of opportunity where this can still be resolved diplomatically. That’s not just my view. That’s the view of our top intelligence officials. It’s the view of top Israeli intelligence officials. And as a consequence, we are going to continue to apply the pressure, even as we provide a door for the Iranian regime to walk through where they could rejoin the community of nations by giving assurances to the international community that they’re meeting their obligations and they are not pursuing a nuclear weapon. That’s my track record. Now, what’s said on the campaign trail – you know, those folks don’t have a lot of responsibilities. They’re not commander in chief. And when I see the casualness with which some of these folks talk about war, I’m reminded of the costs involved in war; I’m reminded of the decision that I have to make, in terms of sending our young men and women into battle, and the impacts that has on their lives, the impact it has on our national security, the impact it has on our economy. This is not a game. And there’s nothing casual about it.”