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Here are the clips from the Iraq war and foreign policy debate held in Chelmsford on May 23, Massachusetts, sponsored by The Citizens for Civic Courage. Chelmsford Telemedia taped the event, and gave me permission to post the video online. I’m posting them by clip, in order, by round or question. (You can also find the clips at Blip.tv where they are being hosted.)
The opening statements from the five Democratic candidates at the Chelmsford forum on the Iraq war and foreign policy.
Question #1: The Army is short 90,000 soldiers, according to their own figures. Expanded recruitment without dropping standards will add 5-6,000 net troops per year over 5 years for about 30,000, against the 90,000 current need. Are you in favor of a draft, and if not, where do we get the troops?
Question #2: What will you do to make sure that we have laws in place for the next 40-50 years to take care of people who ask for nothing and deserve everything…specifically tell us, what you will do as a Congressman, to make sure that when this war is over, that we will never forget the sacrifices made, and always be there for our veterans?
Question #3 (plus Miceli rebuttal): Are we in a GWOT, and if so, what is your plan for winning it? How would your response to 9-11 and other suicide attacks by Islamic extremists be different than the Bush administration?
Round 1 of candidates asking other candidates questions.
Question #4: How do you see the situation in Iraq if we don’t begin to negotiate, and what do you think of the possibility that Iran would invade Iraq once we leave?
Question #5: This regards PTSD…How will you balance the need to educate the public on returning veterans’ mental health needs without stigmatizing the same soldiers?
Question #6: When you are elected to Congress, what will be the very first bill that you will introduce?
Question #7: Don’t Ask Don’t Tell - where do you stand?
Question #8: I’d like to know the position of the candidates with regards to ROTC activities on campus at the high school and collage level.
Round 2 & 3 of candidates asking other candidates questions.
Question #9: A resolution was approved at the [MA Democratic] state convention last week, calling for the impeachment of President Bush and Vice President Cheney…where do you stand?
Question #10: Should Gitmo (Guantanemo) be closed, and how should we resolve the prisoner issue that has been going on since 2002 on this small piece of Cuba that belongs to the US?
Question #11: What world leaders should be recruited to help bring a diplomatic solution to the Iraq war, to hasten the end of that war and the bringing our troops home?
Question #12: The VA system has a backlog of 400,000 claims, wounded American veterans are having to wait six months to process a claim and 18 months to appeal one. How much of an increase in funding do we need on the VA system and do you support a tax increase to pay for it? Closer to home, is this a good time for the city of Lowell to cut the personell for the veteran’s office? [Another audience question, anecdote about injured vet friend]: How can more doctors be encouraged to help? On the disabled: 25,000 [veterans have experienced] loss of limbs, head injuries, PTSD, etc…over the next 60 years these men and women will require care…how do we finance this, the lowest bidder? [etc, so on]
Question #13: Article 1, Section 8 gives Congress the power to declare and fund wars … Are you prepared to cut off funding for the [Iraq war]?
Question #14: We’re losing a long-serving, hard-working, very effective Congressman, who’s been a strong voice and has consistantly delivered of funds and programs to the Fifth Congressional District. What will you do as a Freshman Congressman to come up to speed, and try to restore the kind of service we’ve had from our Congressman?
Question #15: Women are not considered combat soldiers…[but are taking part in combat]. I’m concerned funding for women in the future. [We’re] bringing young women back who are combat soldiers, who are seeing awful things. What are you going to do about making sure women are not disregarded in this way in the military?
Closing statements by the candidates.
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