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tv   U.S. House of Representatives  CSPAN  September 9, 2015 3:00pm-5:01pm EDT

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this resolution is fundamentally right based on our value system, democratic way, an element of democracy. this is a great program that's ever come true. i'm totally for host: you said you came to the united states in 1962. what brought you here? caller: i came here as a student, from there, i went and got two master's degree in the business, i work in the medical center for 25 years, i was one of the administrators and right now i have a management consulting firm. host: appreciate your perspective. let's go next to brooklyn, sal on the others line. what's your take on the congressional debate on the iran nuclear agreement? caller: hello, thank you. i am very much against this deal. agreement support an
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that's not even a treaty where the participants are saying death to america? give nuclear weapons to iran is crazy. don't we remember what happened before world war ii? we gave japan iron and steel and they turned around and used that against us in pearl harbor and killing many americans. we cannot let this deal go through. why does iran need nuclear energy anyway? we can give them solar panels. that's what our president wants. give them as much solar energy as they want. no good is going to come from this agreement. it's not a treaty. these politicians are just signing on the dotted line without even reading if they
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read iting then they'd really have to be stupid because here's no verification, giving $150 billion for nothing. i would love really to sell john kerry the brooklyn bridge. i think he's that gullible. thank you. host: sal from brooklyn. about five more minutes or so of your phone calls. the senate debating the iran nuclear agreement, a resolution of disapproval. the house a g.o.p. conference meeting set for 4:00 this afternoon. just a quick update on the senate side. senate democrats versus voters on iran. jennifer rubin is the author of the piece about the 42 democrat bhoss support the president on that. it said the senate democrats try to shield the president from the need to veto an overwhelming vote of disapproval. their predicament worsens. a pew poll shows public support
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for the deal has declined, currently just 21% approve of the deal on iran's nuclear issue. a few more calls. from georgia, on the democrats line, sammy. clip yes. i'm against the nuclear agreement. host: and what's behind your opposition to the agreement, sammy? caller: our united states of america military, we need to unite our military more than ever and we need to take care also of people here in the kids on tes, so many the street well, need to take kear of america first. then afterwards, you reach out. but right now with the nuclear thing, i disagree.
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host: appreciate your call. let's hear from mike in florida on the others line. caller: good afternoon, c-span, how are you? host: doing fine, thanks, mike. caller: i have to say i'm in agreement with trying to diplomatic means. obviously a lot of people are concerned using the phrase attack america and talking points but it's really not understanding what's going on. we got ourselveses in a predicament there with netanyahu, with the president early in his presidency got off on the wrong foot. they need to get back together and work for a total peace agreement because going down this path, some beginning and now, it's gotten serious. i hope people in america will take this very, very serious because it is problematic, throwing around the word knew
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leer. i don't think enough people are understanding that's going on and need to be forthright and not get caught up in this political sham or charade that the g.o.p. is trying to pull off. does us no good whatsoever. we've got into a situation with 9/11, with iraq, we found out from the intelligence -- we found out intelligence was wrong, we went in there it gout at of hand, we spent $2 trillion and got a bunch of wounded now we're talking about we may have to go down the nuclear path. you ask who wins in that particular path? i don't think there's any winners. so i'm definitely for diplomatic reasoning instead of fear with these nuclear bombastic and out of sorts type thinking. it's really crazy. so thank you.
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host: thanks, mike. thanks for all your calls. more ahead as the afternoon continues. here's the situation, debate is under way in the senate, you can follow that on c-span2. the house came in today, gaveled out subject to the call of the chair because of pushback on the republican side in moving forward with this resolution of disapproval. we do know that the house republican conference will meet this afternoon at 4:00 eastern, we'll keep you posted on what comes out of that meeting ahead of that look for more opportunities for you to wake in, and here with more phone calls as well. we have been covering that rally outside the u.s. capitol, hosted by the tea party patriots which featured at least three presidential candidates, up next, back-to-back, ted cruz and donald trump. [captioning performed by national captioning institute]
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[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] ted cruz: god bless the united states of america. what an incredible gathering ere today. i want to speak to three groups of people. i want to start by speaking to the american people. this iranian nuclear deal is catastrophic. it is the single greatest national security threat facing america. if it goes through, there will be three consequences. number one, the obama administration will become quite literally the world's leading financier of radical islamic terrorism.
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if it goes through, over $100 billion will flow directly to iran, to the ayatollah khomeini. and billions of those dollars will go directly to hamas, hezbollah, to the hue tees, to radical -- to the huttis, radical islamic terrorists across the world and those jihaddists will use those billions to murder americans, to murder israelis, to murder europeans. the second consequence of this catastrophic deal is that it abandoned four american hostages -- n iranian h hembings l hellhole, including pastor sayid a christian pastor, sentenced to eight years in prison for the crime of preaching the gospel. hekmati, former marine
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including "washington post" bob ter, and including levinson. it is a disgrace for this administration to abandon americans in iranian hellholes. but the third consequence of this deal going through if it does is that it will facilitate and accelerate the nation of iran icare -- acquiring nuclear weapons. there is no greater threat to the safety and security of america there is no greater threat to the safety and security of israel, than a nuclear iran. i agree with prime minister netanyahu. that a nuclear iran poses an existential threat to the nation of israel. and let me be clear when he says exiss ten rble he doesn't mean a
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-- of -- exiss tentall existentia he doesn't mean a bunch of french men in berets. this is an agreement that every member of the cabinet boycotted. i participated in a panel weisel, theith elie holocaust ate, the survivor, talking about the ability to destroy millions of jews in one flash of light, he said never again means never again. the second group i want to address are democratic senators and democrat exmembers of congress. right now today 42 senate
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democrats have come out in support of this deal. it is my hope and prayer that every one of those senate democrats reconsiders. that they go home and they fall to their knees and they pray tonight. i agree with former democratic senator joe lieberman that this vote is quite likely the most important vote that any member of congress nirk member of the senate will cast in their entire career. there was a time when there was a tradition of scoop jackson democrat, of j.f.k. democrats, of joe lieberman democrats. of democrats willing to defend national security. sadly, that is becoming rarer and rarer in today's congress. so to every democratic senator, they are facing a choice, do you value the safety and security of the united states of america?
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do you value standing with our friend and ally the nation of israel? do you value the lives of millions of americans? or do you value more party loyalty to the obama white house? to every democratic senator who has said he or she will support this deal, i ask you to consider, how will you look in the eyes of the mothers and fathers of our soldiers, the hundreds of soldier, american soldiers, who were murdered in iraq with iranian i.e.d.'s that came from general suleimani. this deal lifts sanctions on general suleimani. tell me how you look in a mom in the eyes and say i voted to lift sangs on the man who murdered your son when he was defending this nation. but beyond that, when we talk about terrorism, it's worth remembering that if this deal
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goes through, we know to an absolute certainty, people will die. americans will die, israelis will die, europeans will die. osama bin laden never had $100 billion. he was filled with bills you tai tread and using rudimentary tools murdered nearly 3,000 americans on september 11, 2001. we're now talking about giving the ayatollah khomeini a theocratic homicidal maniac who hates america every bit as much as lane did, giving him $1 -- as bin leaden dun, giving him $1 billion to carry out his murderous plan. i want to ask every senate democrat how will you look in the dwhrifes mother or father, sons and daughters of those who were murdered by jihaddists. those americans who were blown up. those americans who were shot.
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those americans who were killed. those israelis who were murdered. and let me be clear. if you vote to send billions of dollars to jihaddists who have pledged to murder america, then you bear direct responsibility for the murders carried out with the dollars you have given them. you cannot wash your hands of hat blood. and let me say to republican leadership -- well, hold on. i come not to bury caesar but to praise him. i want to give a path forward. there are two men in washington, d.c. who can defeat this deal. their names are majority leader mitch mcconnel and speaker john boehner. under the terms of the
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corker-cardin review legislation, the clock does not begin ticking until the president hands over the entire deal and he has not handed over the side agreements. is that all ns mitch mcconnel and john boehner have to do is say, the revie period has not started and under federal law it is illegal for president obama to lift sanctions. now this is a lawless president. so the odds are significant even if congress did that this president would ignore the law and try to lift sanctions. but i want in particular to speak to the c.e.o. and board of director and general counsel of every financial institution, every bank that is holding frozen iranian money. if this president behaves illegally and decrees you can
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hand that money over to iran, let me tell you now that doesn't exempt you from the legal obligation to follow the law. and any bank that listens to this president and releases billions to an international terrorist like the ayatollah khomeini will face billions of dollars in civil liblet and litigation. and there will come a president .ho is not named barack obama mitch mcconnel and john boehner can stop this deal if they simply enforce, if they simply enforce federal law. if iran gets a nuclear weapon, the single greatest risk is they
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would take that nuclear weapon they would put it on a ship anywhere in the atlantic and they would fire it up straight into the air, into the atmosphere and set off what's called an e.m.p., an electromagnetic pulse, it would take down the electric grid on the entire eastern seaboard and kill tens of millions of americans. we can stop that. but if senate democrats decide that party loyalty matters more than national security, and if republican leadership decides that a show boat is -- show vote is more important than stopping this deal, then the single most important issue in 2016 will be stopping iran from acquire agnew lear weapon. and any command for the chief worthy of defending this nation should be prepared to stand up to anuary 20, 2017, and rip
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shreds this catastrophic deal. any commander in chief worthy of defending this nation should be prepared in january, 2017, look in the eyes of the ayatollah khomeini and say under no circumstances does iran, led by a theocratic ayatollah who chants death to america, under no circumstances will iran be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons. and if iran will not stop its nuclear program, we will stop it for you.
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i want to thank every here for this rally, i want to thank tea party patriots, i want to thank the pro israel group, i want to thank my friend donald trump for oining us today. i want to thank the leaders of congress who are here. i want to thank the american people. let's rise up and tell every elected official in washington, no more talk. no more show votes. get it done. stop this deal. thank you and god bless you. [applause] >> thank you, senator cruz. before i introduce our next guest, i want to just thank all of the tea party patriots who are here today, who are watching in our live stream who get our emails and respond to our emails
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and helped make this event possible. thank you so much for all you do to make these events like this possible. thank you, tea party patriots. our next guest really doesn't need much of an introduction. usinessman donald trump! donald trump: thank you very much, everybody. such an honor. i was called by senator cruz a few days ago and he said, do you think we can get a really good crowd out here to protest this incompetent deal? i said, boy, can we get a crowd. that was three days, -- three days ago, and look what shows up. i want to thank you. i want to thank you. i've been doing deals for a long time. i've been making lots of wonderful deals, great deals, that's what i do.
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never, ever, ever in my life have i seen any transaction so incompetent negotiated as our deal with iran. and i mean never. now ted and everybody else have gone through all the details and we can talk about the 24 days which is ridiculous, we can talk about the $150 billion, which by the way they get even if the deal isn't approved they get it just for going to the table. we can talk about the fact that we have four wonderful people over there and frankly they're never going to come back with this group. and i will say this, if i win the presidency, i guarantee you that those four prisoners are back in our country before i ever take office. guarantee that.
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they will be back before i ever take office because they know what's hst -- they know that's what has to happen. they know it. if they don't know it, i'm elling them right now. so, i have a story that just came out an hour ago and as president obama calls him very routinely he calls him the supreme leader. our president is calling the person who is really the boss in iran supreme leader. i look at people shaking their heads, they can't believe it. but it just came out a little ile ago, he said israel will not exist in 25 years. think of that. he just said this he also said, very strongly, very, very strongly, that this is the end of our dealings with the united states. we want nothing more to do with them. we're not going to do anything
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right here. we made this deal. it's a phenomenal deal. we're not going to deal with the united states anymore. and that's what he just said. and this was a very short period of time ago system of they rip us off. they take our money. they make us look like fools. and now they're back to being who they really are. they don't want israel to survive. they will not let israel survive with incompetent leadership like we have right now. israel will not survive. and then when it's all done, or they think it's all done, they come out with these unbelievable, nasty statements that israel won't be around in 25 years and that we have no dealings and we will have no further dealings with the united states. now the people that we were negotiating with and we're working on the sanctions with, including, and as an example, russia, who is selling
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tremendous missiles to iran, ballistic missiles being sold, all these country, all of these countries are going to do business with iran. they're going to make lots of money and lots of -- at lots of other things with iran. and we're going to do, we're going to get nothing. nothing. we are led by very, very stupid people. ery, very stupid people. we cannot let it continue. we are a country that owes $19 trillion. we lose everywhere. we lose militarily. we can't beat isis. give me a break. can't beat anybody. our vets are being treated horribly. it will change. we will have so much winning if i get elected that you may get bored with winning. believe me. i agree.
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you'll never get bored with winning. we never get bored. we are going to turn this country around, we are going to start winning big league on trade, militarily, we're going to build up our military. we are going to have such a strong military that nobody, nobody is going to mess with us. we're not going to have to use t. i really, really appreciate this tremendous crowd. we are going to make america great again. thank you. thank you very much. thank you. >> that tea party patriots rally still under way on capitol hill. you can follow on our companion network c-span3 and also on we'll show all of it to you later on our program schedule on the c-span networks. opening up our phones to hear from you on the iran yaw --
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iranian nuclear agreement. 202-748-8920 the number to call if you're a democrat. republicans call 202-748-892 1. indepents and all others, call 202-748-8922. you can also reach us at or tweet us@ cspan. donnell trump made his way inside the capitol. lots of officials there, several presidential candidates speaking at that rally. there's a tweet about donald trump and sarah palin. in the e is under way senate, john mccain has been speaking on the senate floor for a bit. lots of senators throughout the afternoon. in the house, still a bit up in
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the air this headline from politico tells the story, a piece by jake sherman about the republican revolt in the u.s. house. headline says house republicans revolt against iran vote. and the story behind, advancing a little further, the associated press writes that house republican leaders are hastily developing a plan, plan b, involving votes on several related measures, according to peter roskam, representative of illinois, one that would specify that the obama administration has not properly submitted the iran deal to congress. a second bound to fail vote to approve the iran nuclear deal, and a third to prevent the president from lifting congressionally mandated sanctions on iran. all of this getting started with peter roskam's privileged resolution in the house yesterday. let's go to calls and get your thought. frank in pittsburgh on our democrats line. caller: yes, i'd like to say i understand some of the points,
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but specifically the four prisoners should have been included. but overall i think it's a good plan, i think you should try diplomacy first before screaming war and threatening to -- to ruin an entire nation. i don't understand how cruz and trump get where they are. they appeal only to emotion, nothing else. no logical thought at all in their process. they're worried about jihaddists when a nuclear bomb if we don't do this deal and it's a very good possibility, would kill a lot more people. say give the plan a chance. host: another view from pittsburgh here, mary ann on the republicans line. caller:: i'm against the deal. i don't believe iran would do anything to help us at all. i think the previous call wirs completely wrong about going to war. host: thomas in arizona, independents line. what do you think about the
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debate in congress over this deal? caller: actually, i'm from arkansas. host: i'm sorry, arkansas. go ahead. caller: ok. i think that if they can enforce this new treaty that you'll see things happen in this nation that make katrina look like nothing, that make sandy look like nothing. that makes your wildfire look like nothing. i think that every house in this nation will be destroyed. i think that your lands will be destroyed and your trees will be destroyed. i think your businesses will be destroyed and it will be god that does it all. this will be the worst deal that this nation will ever do because they are offending grace. that's my opinion and i'm never wrong. host: all right. elayne next up in new york.
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republican line. caller: hi, i'm totally against this. i don't trust obama, i never have. i always wonder and have discussions with others, who side he's on. hillary's conversation today about she agrees with it, how could anyone possibly agree with one word she says? i -- my stomach churns, i am in fear for this country. isn't there any way this can be stopped? host: comments on twitter from a few people watching the debate over on c-span2 on the senate floor. this is michael who tweets, you want to get your blood boiling, turn on c-span2, democrats defending the iran deal, they don't care, only 21% approval. he's referring to a recently released pew poll. and mark my words says on c-span senator bob corker just laid it out in the debate on the iran deal. we can't let this happen. n the senate on c-span2.
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rom durham north carolina. caller: actually it's durham, connecticut. host: i'm sorry, i'm getting my states all mixed up. caller: my narts -- my senators blumen that'll and murphy are wrong about it. they're just trying to maintain their position an maintain the party's control. it's ridiculous what they're doing, they're still -- selling this country down the road. host: senator blumen that'll of connecticut, one of the last democrats becoming one of the 42 northing the iran nuclear agreement. senators spoke about the agreement, senator mcconnel first, during the break, the party lunches. weal hear from leader mcconnel nd also dick durbin. mitch mcconnel: --
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mitch mcconnell: obviously the president's deal a bad deal with strong opposition. i have asked senators during the day to be at their desk and to treat this issue with the seriousness it deserves. this is the foreign policy debate at least of the last couple of decades and senator republican majority intends to treat it with the seriousness it eserves. the chairman of the senate foreign relations committee, had he not stepped up and got enough democrats to support this, we would have had no voice at all. this is an executive agreement which means a year and a half from now, the next president will be able to start all over if he or she chose to.
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it is not a treaty. and will be looked at again, i assume if there's a republican president in the white house in january of 2017. host: that's the majority leader. we'll show you dick durbin's comments in a little bit. here's carolyn from missouri. good amp. caller: hi. i'm in favor of the deal. it might not be the best but it's better than the alternative of another war that we can't afford, period. we're sick of wars. i'd rather see peace than war. and all the republicans that think that that's the best way to go should get on their uniforms and go fight. that's all i have to say. thank you. host: all right.
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here's jan in illinois, republican line. -- tim in illinois. mute your television there and go ahead with your comments. caller: i'm a republican and i cannot believe how the white house is going to destroy everything. how come boehner and mcconnell don't come out with something? if this goes through they ought to impeach him. that's going to be a total disaster. impeach him if this goes through, it's going to be a total disaster. host: here on c-span this afternoon, asking your thoughts on the iran nuclear deal. this is the senate gets under way with their debate, follow that on c-span2, waiting for word on how the house will proceed after some objections by republicans to the process moving forward that had been determined by the rules committee yesterday.
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the g.o.p. conference in the house meeting this afternoon, 4:00 eastern so we should find out sometime after that meeting what's ahead in terms of debate on the house floor. asking for your thoughts, you can -- phone numbers are on the screen, send your comments to, here's how things stand so far, supporting, 493, opposing, 425. people leaving comments there as well. bill says, put it another way. do you trust the iranians or don't you? tom says, colin powell supports it. dick cheney opposes it. enough said. keith in evansville, indiana, he is on our democrats line. hi, keith. caller: how's it going? host: fine, thanks. caller: i step back and ponder the reason why that obama and kerry and all of them would try to make this deal with iran and the only thing i could come up with, unless they're just
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stupider than whatever is that they're going to put the bomb in their hand to blow their own self up. if they mess up, that gives us a reason to come in and bomb their pants off so the rest of the world will see, well, look, we told you we were going to let you make a deal but we knew you wouldn't, so we blew you up and the rest of the world would have to accept it. that's my comment. host: here's rod in union, missouri. caller: thank you for taking my call. i'll guarantee one thing. if they pass this and it becomes law of the land, israel is going to get bombed. they've been threatening for three years, three months ago gave israel permission to fly other their land to refuel
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anes, they got 25 pound -- 25,000 pound bunker busters and 30,000 pound bunker busters. they will attack them and will start a war. i'm 61 years old, i've worried about this for 20 years. it's going to -- it's a premonition. thanks for taking my call. host: thank you. crent -- recent week's news reports reveal that israel and saudi arabia have asked the u.s. for additional military aid or military supplies in their comments with, conversations with, and visits with washington officials. to tennessee, bill on our republican line. caller: yes, this is -- i oppose this i highly oppose it because it's against the americans. we are right now at the white house, they are opposing it. everybody is standing against it. i'm going to tell you something, the wrong person getting locked up and put in jail around here. it has to be something changed
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in this country and i do appreciate you letting me make my comment. host: appreciate you calling. more of your calls ahead. tweets are welcome as well. here's one from mason who tweets that the iran nuclear deal, the democrats read the deal, weighed the pros and cons, making deliberate, educated decisions, g.o.p. said no before the deal was don. senator dick durbin spoke to reporters in the senate break and talked about the debate this afternoon on the senate floor. here's some of what he had to say. senator durbin: thanks very much, leader reid. it's clear what happened with senate republicans. 60 votes was the standard on the iran nuclear agreement until they didn't have 60 votes. then they changed the standard. and i think the announcement this week of four more senators supporting the iran agreement was really the breaking point for them. now they are in disarray. both in the senate and in the
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house, as to what to do next. i know what i think should be done and i hope you agree. let's get this to a vote. we want a full debate on the floor of the united states senate and want to vote on final passage of this measure with a 60-vote margin a clean vote. let's do this in a respectful way, a way that honors the senate and honors this awesome and historic vote that we are facing. that's what we should do host: follow that senate debate under way now on our companion network, c-span 2. back to more calls, al on our democrats line. caller: thanks for taking my call, thanks for c-span. i'm 81, a 100% disabled veteran who spent over 30 years on active duty. at the age of 24, i started working on war plans after having been over in the far east and doing the job i was called on, the tail end of the korean conflict. from my standpoint, any time we
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can avoid war, the better off we are. only when every diplomatic effort has been completely exhausted should we go to war. that's a lesson that the chinese general taught us. that's what the powell doctrine is all about. that's what virtually any graduate from the senior officers colleges. so please, i talked to my congresswoman this morning who is a republican, and i'm hoping that this time she won't go along just to get along. we should not be putting the lives of our ying men and women in harm's way unless there is no other alternative. again, thanks for c-span and thanks for airing the issues. i wish passion would not play so much in the comments and that reason could prevail but that's
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what our founding fathers mentioned to us when they said we should be enlight and elect enlightened people to serve us in the halls of congress. thanks again for taking my call. host: appreciate it, al. one more call this go-round. to woodstock, georgia, terry on the others line. caller: hello. thank you for taking my call. host: sure. caller: i oppose this deal. i think that we are making a gateway for iran to get precisely what they need to do what they want to do. they've always said first saturday and then sunday. israel and then the united states. i've been to bethesda, i've been to walter reed, i've seen the young men and women, talked with them and visited with them and have seen the horror that was created by the war in iraq. nobody wants to go to war. but if we let this deem go
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through, iran will not keep its word. there is no definitive way that we will ever know what's going on behind the scenes. i lived in the northeast. i've seen how the turk -- in the middle east and i've seen how the turks and the greeks got along and there was constantly problems. this will not be a solution for the united states. people need to go back and see what happened with chernobyl. the radioactive material, the skin falling off the bones. and if we want a war, we want to see this nation come to destruction, let this deal go through. and people will have this to remember and be haunted in their dreams. host: ok, terry, appreciate your comments and more ahead this afternoon. here's the status of debate on capitol hill. the senate is in and under way with debate on that disapproval resolution. the house is in recess subject to the call of the chair after
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opposition by a number of republicans to the planned way forward which would have been 11 hours of debate on the disapproval resolution but a number of members concerned that they haven't seen all of the negotiated agreements between iran and the p-5 plus one and the iaea. so house republicans, the conference meeting this afternoon at 4:00 eastern to figure out a way forward. we'll keep you posted on things we hear about that and certainly ea a -- certainly ahead of that hope to get more chances for you to weigh in with your thoughts. and on witter @cspan. and a number of think tanks have heard from the likes of dick cheney, hillary clinton, and john mccain laying out his case in opposition to the iran nuclear agreement.
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>> ladies and gentlemen, welcome to brookings. thank you for being here. welcome to our second brookings debate. my name is chris jones, vice president and director of foreign policy here at brookings, it's my honor to welcome all of you here in the room and online, thank you for coming and spending the evening with us. convening debate among top policy minds has long been a part of the culture at brookingsing but as we approach our 100th year we're trying to find new ways of doing that, find dynamic new ways of to
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generate debate and generate serious conversation among policy experts and decisionmakers. tonight we're continuing this knew series, it's not just an enjoyable way to spend an evening, combining serious debate and alcohol, not a bad way to go but also a way to generate serious debate among thought leaders on some of the most important issues of the day. the issue at hand is perhaps the biggest foreign policy question of the moment. whether or not the united states should move forward with' the iran nuclear deal and what happens beyond. congress will be voting on this issue as early as this week but of course this is an issue which will continue to occupy american foreign policy for a long time to come. we want to hear what you have to think, both in the room and online. if you have not already voted on our poll please do so now. there are instructions on the screen and in the handout you have as you came in tonight we have a real treat. an opportunity to listen to a discussion and debate among some
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of the biggest thinkers on foreign policy in washington. particularly deliked to welcome senator john mccain back to brookings. senator, when you were here some time back and talked about syria, i wrote at the time that i thought your statement was bound to become the rallying point for conserve tiff opposition to the administration's policy on syria and i was wrong. it was without question the most clearly articulated of any position on the policy on syria. i appreciate your willingness to engage with us here and offer your view on these critical issues. i'm delighted to welcome the rest of my colleagues at brookings to the stage. on both sides of the debate. without further ado, i'm going to get off the stage and hand it to a professional, that is to say, major garrett who will moderate the debate. major gare wet was named the cbs chief white house correspondent. as such, he reports for all cbs
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broadcast news and platforms, and is a substitute anchor for "face the nation." while covering the white house for cbs news, he's traveled extensively with the president to asia to europe, he's been there as they confront isis and ebola. he's supremely well qualified to lead the debate today. major, thank you for joining us and over to you. [applause] major: thanks very much, bruce. it's a full house. thank you to everyone who is here and in the overflow room. it's great to be invited to participate in that debate. it's been a newsy day, we'll get to some of the news made today in addition to what happened in the senate with the announcement of support for the deal. the white house as i was coming over issued a veto threat for the motion of disapproval. we'll get into all of that before as bruce suggested, what we want to do here is capture
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the thought in the room and online and in the overflow room about what you think about the iran deal now before you have a chance to hear our four panelists and then what you hear and what you think after you've heard the four fanlists. there's a process, of course, to vote and i'd like to walk you through that. we have a predebate polywhich will close in about five minutes or so. if you want to participate in that predebate poll and let us know what you're thinking about the merits of the deal, here's what you do. you text the word brookings to 22333. if you are in favor of the deal, you think congress should approve it, text 1. if you think congress should disapprove the deal, text 2. and in a new wrinkle for this format, if you are undecided, text 3. now we added the undecided element to create a space for those who genuinely are
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undecided if any are and so we can find out after you've hear -- after you've heard the four presenters if minds have been changed. that's true here in the room. those of you choosing to vote online, the voting information is on your screens on the streaming video that you are watching. we encourage, of course, because this is a twitter happy nation and a twitter happy city, to engage on twitter and the hashtag is #brookingsdebate. i'm told in the script here this will be a very structured and fast moving debate. i guess that's my obligation, i better live up to it. here's how we're going to do it. oxford style, i don't know what that means because i've never been to oxford but it sounds great, don't you think. soxford style debate. five minutes from the presenters, then i will conduct an open question of those after they make their presentations and then closing statements of
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two minutes. those are all timed very precisely. there will be lights and if the lights tell me, i will then jump in, not literally, but i will encourage those who are speaking to wrap it up and we can move it along. then we'll have, as i suggested earlier, a second vote on what you think about what you've heard and the underlying merits of the iran deal. now, i don't need to explain the iran deal to those here in the room or watching online or in the overflow room but a couple of things happened today. one is senate democrats secured in the white house 41 votes, which means the motion to disapprove that will be considered in the senate is now subject to a successful filibuster if in fact that's what the democrats decide to do. the white house encouraged them to do that today. ben cardin, the ranking member of the foreign relations committee, said that was always implied in the underlying legislation, so did tim kaine, the democratic senator from
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virginia. republicans said why would you filibuster something if you support it? why not have a vote and let the country see? that's part of the debate. procedurally, it's sort of an umbrella over the underlying merits of the deal which we'll get into very much. as i was coming over in the cab, the white house issued its veto threat with a lengthy list of objections to a motion of disapproval. we'll get into that with the panelists as well. you've got about 30 seconds more in the predebate poly. if you want to register your opinion. one last thing i would say before i invite your four panelists up hering i've been covering the obama white house for the better part of six years. and if there is one brief that the president has carried throughout his presidency, one thing he has constantly monitored, and deeply involved himself in the underlying details of, it has been first, the method to obtain a nuclear deal with iran, its underlying
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specific the verification regime, he believe he is knows this issue cold and therefore describes his support for it and his curiosity about opposition to it in very stark ways. that is sometimes left -- that has sometimes left republicans a bit annoyed but that's the political reality. the president does believe he's achieved the best deal imaginable and we're now going to get into the merits of what that deal is, what it isn't and what the future may hold. if i can now let you know, the polls are closed in the predebate survey. i can invite all four of our participants to the stage, we'll egin tonight's conversation. and i'll move the center podium. -- to the center podium thaws that's where i was just told to o.
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major: every has taken their seats, just so you know, john mccain and leon weisel will argue for disapproval of the iran deal. they will argue in fare of approval. we'll begin with suzanne maloney, the deputy director of foreign policy here at brookings and senior fellow in the center for middle east policy also here at brookings. uzanne, the podium is yours. suzanne: thank you and good evening. i'm honored to be here tonight sharing the stage with senator mccain and two of my most
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disteng wished -- distinguished rookings colleagues. i usually follow these great voices but tiant i'm glad to lead off. the obligation is not just a strategic one but a moral one. allow me in my remaining time to explain. first, by my nsh this is tissue by any measure this is a good arms control deal. it provides deep reductions in iran's centrifuge numbers. that means the deal extends the breakout timeline. the time it would take iran to rush toward a bomb without a deal from a matter of weeks to at least a year, for at least a decade. the deal imposes strict limits on research and development for a decade. it blocks the plutonium pathway to weapons capability for the foreseeable future. and it institutes advanced verification and monitoring for the full range of nuclear related activities, from mining to manufacturing and beyond.
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iran's incentives urn the deal are not forthcoming until and unless it fulfills its major potentially irreversible actions to curb its own nuclear program. there's plenty else to like about this deal, its level of detail, its procedures for dispute resolutioning even its planning for failure through clever procedures for snapping back united nations sanctions. even if you don't like the deal, consider the alternative. there is no renegotiations. if somehow, some way congress manages to kill the joint comprehensive plan of action, we go back to the bargaining table alone. our partners at the negotiating table, the powerful states of russia, china, the european three, have made it very clear, including in conversations with members of congress. many in congress may not be satisfied with this deal. many in this country may not be satisfied, but the world, the rest of the world has indicated that it is. secondly there is no scenario in which sanctions will be
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strengthened. just examine the track record of the past 36 years. in which we failed repeatedly, even after horrific provocation to generate sufficient political will among even our closest allies or adversaries to adhere to any sanctions at all on iran. washington can try to up the ante with new measures and we may even see a little bit of additional compliance for a while. ultimately, however, an attempt to intensify pressure without that multilateral coalition will fail and at no small cost to america's own economy. russia, china, they have their own experience with sanctions as targets of the u.s. economic pressure and the rest of the international community sees no interest in perpetual economic pressure on tehran. there is no military solution. we cannot bomb away iran's nuclear infrastructure and know-how. even the most ambitious plans
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for strikes would at best set back the program by a year or two or maybe three. they would no doubt incite a much more derled by iran to develop nuclear capability. there's no regime change. i've spent time in tehran and a couple of decades studying the country and no one has fewer illusions about the country than i do. it's a movement sponintoird washington that actually succeeds in overthrowing the islamic republic is naive. if you don't believe that, they have a few bridges to sell you. the realistic alternatives to this deal is not a better deal and it's also not war as the administration has argued. it's simply a much less attractive deal. the last time america turned its back on the possibility of resolving the nuclear issue, we lost the chance to curtail iran's nuclear activities at a much more preliminary stage.
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how will the world judge a failure today? many of the criticisms of the deal are not about the terms or the alternatives but simply because critics abhor the fact of the idea of striking a deal with a quintessentially bad actor. they're outraged that iran will be out of the international penalty box without terminating its entire nuclear program or any of the other offenses that have contributed to its recent pariah status. i understand that outrage. i even sympathize with it. iran r we tried that with and it got us nowhere. it neither forced iran to ka litsch late -- capitulate on the nuclear program. our partners in the p-5 plus one signed on to a process restricted to the nuclear issue as the paramount concern about iran's foreign policy. this was the only viable construct fer this talks since
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all the countries that we've been negotiated with have very different approaches to the other concerns we have with iranian policy. until now the only party that sought to broaden the conversation with tehran usually as a means of avoiding nuclear concessions. go it alone didn't work for the bush administration and it won't work now. but here's the good news. the nuclear deal is not the sum total of u.s. policy toward tehran nor should it be we can't renegotiate the deal but we can construct a better iran policy. one that does begin to curtail iran's malign influence around the region and its support for terrorist organizations. major: i'm going to have to ask you to wrap it up. suzanne: we arrived as prime minister netanyahu said, at a fateful crossroads. the paths available are clear, washington can continue to lead the broadest and most effective coalition in implementing an agreement that sets back tehran's proximity to nuclear weapons for a decade or strike
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out on our own, alienating our allies and leaving the islamic republic only two months away from nuclear capability. that's no choice at all, congress should approve the deal. jor: suzanne, senator mccain: if you like, i willey talk from here. thank you for coming. i always mention and always wonderful to see old friends and enemies again and those in the overflow room, i notice there is quite a bit of alcohol back there. thank you, it's great to be back. i had some prepared remarks,, but i think i'll maybe just mention the scenario in which we are considering and the debate will start tomorrow afternoon. as major garrett just pointed out, the president probably has
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enough votes to sustain a veto. and i'm sure that that is a great triumph for those who greatly favor this agreement. i would also like to point out, and i'm a student of history, first time in history that an agreement will be voted on on a strict party-line basis, strict party-line basis. not a single republican senator will be voting in favor of this agreement. you can draw your own conclusions as to what the ramifications of that are. but they're not good. they're not good. either somebody failed in outreach or somebody failed somewhere to at least obtain a degree of bipartisanship, which is characterized every other treaty and agreement throughout our history, including the one i remember that was so
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controversial, was the panama canal treaty. at least there were some republicans that voted for that. i think also we are talking about iran here as if it were on another planet somewhere. and that we were just discussing downsides of the this agreement. i don't know how you do that. i don't know how you do that. they are in control in four countries at least. they recently in yemen, syria, iraq and lebanon, recently they are giving weapons to the taliban and afghanistan. they are still the world's single most important sponsor of terrorism. saudi assassinate the ambassador in d.c. they are on the move and on the march and not relenting, nor has there
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been any indication of them changing their behavior. nd they are going to now get $100 billion, whatever it is. is there any belief whatsoever -- please raise your hand that they aren't going to use a hell of that money to pursue their ambitions in the region. we are handing tens of billions of dollars that they can now freely support the quds force, extend their influence in lebanon, continue until yemen, whatever activities that they want to continue. otivated by their, mr. suleimani who takes it outside of baghdad as he leads the shiite militias in their
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attempts to regain control of iraq for iranian purposes. and by the way, the individual who is responsible, according to the jefrpbl, incoming chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, mr. suleimani was responsible for the deaths of 500 soldiers and marines deaths. i have no idea how many idea. mr. suleimani is going to have a blank check to continue his activities. the world is in chaos, my friends. we are seeing nothing like we have not seen since the end of world war ii. we all know that. anybody disagrees with that? no one. what has happened? because of the failed policies of this president and this administration. the guy that wouldn't speak up. this president would not speak up in 2009 when iranians were demonstrating in the streets of tehran and a young woman bled to
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death and they were chanting, obama, obama are you with us or with them? and not a word was spoken on their behalf. now we see the middle east in chaos, but we're going to treat this agreement as if it took place in some more sterile and less interesting environment. and finally, let me just say that i have seen some bad deals in my time. and and i take particular exception to the president telling the american people there are two options war or this agreement. and i can tell you before the armed services committee, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, general dempsey said we have a range of options. i think there are other options going to war. .avy admiral james richardson
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so i'm upset about the intellectual dishonesty that we only have two choices. obvious there are many others and that is according to our military leadership. we need to engage and discuss this entire situation in the middle east, not just this. but the deteriorating chaos that now envelopes the entire middle east. we need to have that conversation with the american people. thank you. major: we now turn to bruce. he is the director of the intelligence project. you can have the table or the podium as you prefer, bruce. i only wish more of
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my colleagues had followed his path. we have a very big agenda and cover a couple of points. first of all, is there a better deal available? i don't think there is a better deal available. it is built into the internt structure of these negotiations. it's not a six-party agreement with iran but an eight-party, the european union and u.n. security council. all of those other parties have announced they intend to implement this resolution no matter what the congress does and they have indicated they are not going back to the negotiating table. if you think there is an alternative that we go back to the goisheses, i don't think there isn't. is it a good thing? i don't think there is. it was demonstrated last friday when the king of saudi arabia came here and he doesn't really
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like this deal, he moved on and said it's time to accept the fact that it's here and he solemnly endorsed it. and that gets to my second point. the region has moved on. it has accepted that this deal is going to be the reality that we have to deal with. i agree completely with the senator. the middle east is in flames as we have never seen it before. this is one of the most dangerous moments in the history of the middle east. and the iranian regime is up to no good. but better to have a deal with iran that keeps it from being a nuclear weapons state and building an arsenal than it is to allow it to move to that stage next. if the congress of the united states votes against this deal and shoes overturns a presidential veto, the regional reaction will be confusion. people won't understand how the american system works. they'll only know that the
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american system doesn't speak with one voice and they will react in a manner, confusion, doubts about what america stands for and where america stands on this deal. i have no illusions about the iranians. i have colleagues who have been murdered and tortured to death by the iranians. i know what they are going to do with the additional money. it is still better to find a path to keep them from developing nuclear weapons. the third issue i want to look at briefly is does this deal put israel at risk? we are hearing from a lot of commentators today that this deal is the equivalent of the munich agreement of 1938, that this deal somehow will create an israel which is check check 1939, and thrown under the bus. i don't believe that for a minute. the state of israel is a very powerful and strong state. it is fully capable of defending
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itself. thanks in large part, but not only in large part to american assistance over the last four decades, israel has strategic superiority and the qualitative edge not only over iran, but any combination of its enemies conceivable today. rst of all, israel has the strongest conventional military in the region. they fly f-15-i's. it will soon be flying f-35's. the iranians are flying state of the equipment from america, too, f-14's, there's no competition there. israel has the best intelligence system in the entire middle east. believe me, i have worked with them. they know more than anything else what is going on. third, israel is a nuclear weapon state. verboten but they
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have nuclear weapons and three means of delivering nuclear weapons. f-35's and nd intermediate range ballistic missiles and u-boats provided by germany. israel even in the worst case scenario is more than fully capable of defending itself. a close colleague and friend of 30 years, the former chief of staff said israel is the biggest beneficiary of this deal in the region and he knows what he is talking about. in short, i think the challenge for the united states is that we need to figure out ways we can bolster our allies to deal with the other threats that iran poses after this agreement is put into place, particularly the terrorism, subversion and
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political evil that iran is likely to be up to. senior fellow the and senior fellow in culture and policy and jointly appointed in he foreign policy studies at brookings. ean lean leon: it seems incontravert i believe that this deal does not do. it provides for a respite for 10 years and respite for another five years. it is not a release.
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we have not been emancipated from our unwarranted anxiety about its exashtse. if during that period, the iranians don't lie and our respite is not consumed by verification controversies which is a very big if, we will have accomplished a successful postponement to the questions which this presidency has cleared to finding a solution for. the most significant fact about this negotiation was that the iranian regime never made a decision to renounce nuclear weapons. it made a tactical decision to defer nuclear weapons. it is true the agreement states not once but twice that iran reaffirms under no circumstances will it seek, develop or acquire a nuclear weapon. but the refusal to provide an accurate of its military program and the very structure of this
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deal which legitimate mieses and acknowledging the activities that have no purpose for the civilian use of nuclear energy, indicates to me that no iranian renuns yation of its nuclear ambition is likely to occur as long as this regime persists. when tony tells congress that we cannot bomb iran out of its knowledge of how to enrich, he is correct. but there are other states who are in possession of the same knowledge and we aren't losing any sleep about the plans. the strategic decision that the islamic republic did make was to find a way out of the way of the crushing sanctions. so for me, the joint comprehensive plan represents a change of degree, not a change in kind. it is true that a lot of arms control has aspired only to that
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but not all arms control. from the standpoint of iran's interests, the renuns yation of nuclear weapons would have been a perfectly course of action and the administration likes to assure us that this regime is rational but pointed to no course of action and one of the reasons is that it did not insist to consider it. we made a prior assessment what is and what is not possible in terms of iranian flexibility. good and honest people can disagree. but we can disagree it was decisive for determining the outcome of negotiations. good and honest people can disagree about the deal itself. it is not hard to understand in all situations of tremendous pressure. that is why i do not oppose the deal, since i do not believe it is permanently or even for a long time altered our strategic
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circumstances. i regard it as only a mitigated threat that haunts the region and the world. all the options must remain on the table. the other grounds for my opposition is that in exchange for such a limited and passing deal, it will have a big regime. the deals must be considered along with its meanings for national security. insofar as this deal, a beginning of it, it seeks to accomplish a goal that in my view against american values and interests. many people regard values or at least some of them as the slippery slope to shock and awe. but it is not always the case that conflict is based on a misunderstanding or a mistake. sometimes conflict is a sign
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that fundamental differences have been accurately understood. our previous hostility to the islamic republic was not based on a misreading of the islamic republic in its borders or the conduct beyond its borders. the text of the agreement mentions, quote, a desire to build a new relationship with iran, closed quote, not a new relationship with a new iran but a new relationship with dis-iran ith anti--amendmentic -- anti-american regime and thwarting american purposes and allies and the support of terrorism. what democrat, what pluralist, what liberal or conservative would want this iran for a friend? what constructive role can this iran, i know it opposes isis, play in the community of nations? it is important to note that
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during the period of the negotiations, iran was intervening to inflame the shia in iraq to prop up assad in syria and arm hamas in gaza. unlies us, iran was not inhibitted in its interventions by the fear. nor should the islamic republic's loud and regular calls for the destruction of israel be treated as some sort of foible while we go about the important business. insofar as this arms deal represents a new beginnings in our relationship with iran, the behavior is germane to the discussion. vial is a nonprofessional term but it is precise for the patron of the syrian slaughterhaas. when one speaks about an unfree country when one utters iran, one may be referring to its
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regime or people, but not to both because they are not on the same side. the obama administration has not grasped this and it's overtures had the effect of invigorating only the regime. moreover, the iranian society will be significantly opened up by the economic windfall that will result from the suspension of sanctions is absurd. syria's evidence exists that economic liberalization need not entile political liberalization. if the eye tollas have not opened up their society until now, it is not because they lack the cash. thank you. major: i'm going to encourage our four panelists to engage directly and we are going to start here. senator mccain said not a single republican will vote for this and that is a bad sign of the
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deal, bad sign for history and failure of the administration. would you say the problem is with the deal or with republicans? [laughter] suzanne: i think i know the answer to that one. i would hope that bruce will follow in my wake. i think it is a sad statement on the character of politics today in washington and what's truly unfortunate about it, so much of our policy has been bipartisan. what we have constructed, what brought us to this deal, what made these negotiations effective was an effort between both congress and presidents from two parties to construct a strategy to create a really coherent coalition that imposed the kind of pressure that brought iran to the table that had an impact on its domestic politics. and despite that bipartisan
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agreement with the objectives of the u.s. policy and the need to engage in negotiations. it was a decision by george w. bush to understand that it wasn't going to be effective. we have lost lineship today. and i think that's less about the deal than it is about the quality of politics today in washington. ajor: bruce? bruce: i agree with suzanne. the problem is not the republican party, although the republican party has many problems today as the economists has brilliantly shown this week but -- senator mccain: democrat party is in great shape. bruce: it's not in great shape. both of them are having a lot of trouble. let me look at a different point.
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the middle east today is an incredibly confused and gray area. we heard some of the contents about the iranian regime. the iranian regime is trying to subvert our closest allies in the region, israel, saudi arabia and others. it is our most significant partner in the war against isis in the defense of baghdad. that's not a statement of opinion, but a statement of fact of what's going on in iraq today. i'm not advocating -- i think that would be foolish. but what i'm saying is unlike the black and white situation we see on whol hill, the real situation in the middle east is filled with grays, a lot of blacks and very little white. and that's the situation that this deal ought to be evaluated in. major: senator mccain, the suggestion is this is all politics and the bipartisanship
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is somehow being subverted purely for politics. that's the allege i want you to respond. senator mccain: thank you, bruce, for your kind words. i mean that about torture. thank you. to have some kind of aquifflensy tween israel and iran having weapons. bruce: i never suggested that. senator mccain: they have nuclear weapons, there is no aquifflens. israel has never had demonstrations, death to iran, death to america. israel is a country surrounded by nations committed to its ex timping shon and we are glad -- overjoyed they have nuclear weapons. i want to clear that up. but the second thing is i voted
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for sanctions and sought sanctions against iran not so much because of their path towards nuclear weapons, but their aggression in the entire region. by the way, the fact that there are iranians in baghdad today that are or chest traiting efforts against isis no greater example of the collapse of america influence, what happens when you leave. there is a vacuum and others fill it. i'm deeply alarm it's iranians that are our friends in baghdad. i voted against sanctions because of the long record because of the behavior, of the atrocious treatment of their people, four americans still being held hostage, one a reporter for the "washington post." why wasn't that in the negotiations? for god's sake and their entire
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behavior throughout the region. anti-democratic and trying to realize the ambitions that they are obviously pretty successful now. now that the united states has basically left the region -- i take that back, we have trained 60 people -- 54, a number of them captured. we are doing a lot there. so the point is, i think is that the iranians are about to receive a crowning victory. and if there is the slightest indication that is going to change their behavior in the region, i will be glad to see what that indication is. mallist once had a max position towards iran. if we did, we have a minimalist position. we have gone from overreach to underreach without stopping at
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reach as far as i can tell. i'm not prepared to look the iranian people in the ice and tell them there is no possibility of regime change. that doesn't mean i do not mean, i do not mean, i do not mean the iraq war. now we can move on. we can move on. in iraq, there was no democratic ovement when you mention the scorn, nobody is proposing anything like that. there is an indiningous with western sympathies that is beneath its society. it is a country, at the change of regime in tehran not only a moral obligation, not to change the regime but to help those people in iran who want to change the regime. there is a -- no greater prize
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in the region than an event you will, not the iraq war, not the iraq war, change of regime in tehran. suzanne: i see no possibility in the past 60 years in american policy that we have any capacity to influence that. senator mccain: how about them demonstrating in the streets panelists talking over one another] suzanne: many of the leaders in that movement came out. they do not believe further they are the people who understand what is happening on the ground, not people sitting here in ivory towers here in washington. [applause] leon: the dissident community -- senator mccain: have you ever
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been to syria lately? have you? i have been to syria. how many times have you been to iraq. i have been some 22 times. i resent a great deal that i'm sitting in an ivory tower. leon: she meant me. [laughter] senator mccain: i take it all ack. bruce: i never suggested an eqivalency. we are better off israel having nuclear weapons. israel is not weak. and that kind of argument doesn't consist with the facts. i don't want to fight the iraq war over again. but i do remember what the late
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saudi foreign minister said, he said the bush administration handed iraq to iran on a silver platter. i think that's the sin of letting the iranians getting into iraq occurred. i agree with you. the obama administration just helped them come in further. if we are going to debate the errors, we will have never have time to talk about the iran nuclear deal. major: arms control can not only be evaluated in its own terms but needs to be assessed in terms of larger considerations. leon: since the president's first inaugural address, since his first public pronouncement as president that he has dreamed for good reasons or bad, that he has dreamed of a new relationship with iran.
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in 2009 -- my own view is many people want a new relationship with iran, suffer from this feeling that the united states comes to iran with some sort of prior disqualifying guilt from helping it advance toward a democratic society. but the fact is that in 2009 when the valiant people were in the streets of tehran and we turned our back on them. they were screaming obama's name and he was in the white house -- most of the kids on the streets of tehran were too young to know who he was. suzanne: they understand that history. the simple reality is we do not have the leverage to influence iranian politics. ell people did not leave the streets in 2009. they left the streets because they didn't have a leadership in the opposition that was prepared to go to the mattresses with a ery impressive regime.
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that is the question of moral responsibility. what is our moral responsibility if we walk away from this deal? these negotiations are proof of concept of american leadership on tough foreign policy issues. we did this, not just one administration, but congress working with president bush and president obama, built this strategy and came up with a solution. it's not a perfect solution or a comprehensive solution because none of our allies are signed on to a comprehensive solution. but it solves one piece of the iranian puzzle for a less than optimal period of time and gives us more leverage and more leeway to address the other issues. if we walk away from this deal, how does that help syria or raq.
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bruce: we never had an aspiration of the nuclear weapons program. where do they stand today? they have identified facility after facility that needs to be changed in a significant way and the number of centrifuges reduced, all of which is an admission they were lying up front. now did we get the historical replay of that? no. anyone who thought that was going to happen does not know how negotiations really work. the key to the deal here is not whether we fell back and find out what happened in 2004 or 2003 or 2007, but is it -- >> are we in a position to -- if
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they start to cheat, we will know it. everyone agrees that this agreement has more teeth than we have seen before. is it perfect? no. we have put ultimately into the hands of the international atomic energy agency and i have a great deal of confidence in that organization because its track record in the past has been very good. i promise not to fight the iraq war again, but i'm going to fight it one part of it. they had dead right, there was no nuclear weapons program in iraq. i trust their verification because they have done it before. i don't trust those critics of this deal that have said, oh, the next thing you will hear will be a mushroom cloud. major: any reaction? senator mccain: to say that the iranian people would not go to the mattresses, while the
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iranian revolutionary guard was slaughtering them in the streets. i heard revisiononists of history. we saw a young woman bleed to death in the square. that's just really quite remarkable to me. they didn't have weapons. i don't know how they would have gone to the mattresses, but they wanted the president of the united states, the leader of the free world to speak up on their behalf and refused to do so. that is a historical fact. april 6, 2015, under this deal, you have anywhere you have 24/7 access as it relates to the nuclear facilities. u.s. deputy national security adviser. have 2015, we expect to access in a well-defined process
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and access to places, et cetera suspected oubds activities. that was our energy secretary. we know they have delayed inspections 24 days before they can visit an inspected site. majority of the eight members of the joint commission have to approve an iaea request for access before tehran is obliged to comply. they would vr equal standing. the agreement specifies no means of enforcing joint commission rulings although if they fail to comply, the u.s. could terminate its agreement by invoking the snap-back provision and we know how ludicrous that are is. and the deal concedes that iran will convert the facility in nuclear technology center.
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they are going to have a nuclear and technology center inside of a mountain. yes. sure. but they won't be enriching uranium or have any nuclear material. and i just want to get back to the conventional weapons embargo if i could, real quick. and that is that's going to be lifted within five years. and both our secretary of defense, ash carter, says, no, we want iran to be isolated as a military in terms of the kinds of equipment and material they are able to have. that embargo leaves in five years. and under no circumstances should we relieve pressure on iran relative to ballistic missile capabilities and arms trafficking. that was the chairman of the joint chiefs recommendations to the congress.
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neither of those statements are valid. major: both suzanne and bruce said there is no better deal than this deal. voting to disapprove and making that policy legislatively appears impossible but it is a position that you defend. what does a better deal look like? senator mccain: why did the iranians come to the table. they found their road to damascus? they did that, too. but the point is, they came to the negotiating table because their economy was hurt terribly by these sanctions. so we, of course, have and had that leverage, although we have given enough now in this agreement, but they didn't come because they wanted to see a new middle east. they came back -- because of the
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incredible punishment inflicted by these sanctions. i don't think it is more complicated. suzanne: could i jump in here. what made those effective is the adherence by much of the international community by major partners. they did not agree to sanctions. they did not agree to sanctions after iran sponsored terrorist activities all across the middle east and europe. only agreed to sanctions because of the unfairly unprecedented level of urgency, not about the rest of iran disturbing policies and they are not prepared to sustain them and not prepared to adhere to them. the russians, chinese, all the major purchasers are not interested in reducing their supplies. senator mccain: and that is no
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american leadership. there is no american leadership, no american leadership. suzanne: leadership isn't a magic word to do what we want. senator mccain: there is no deal that we can say and should, if they don't do business with iran, they don't do business with us. that's when america leads. but america doesn't lead anymore. suzanne: are you able to say there will be no business between the united states and europe? senator mccain: i'm prepared to tell the american people what this deal is and millions of refugees now floug into europe and probably the united states because of failure of american leadership and we have to restore that leadership, because other wise things are going to get worst. look at the map of the world of the middle east in 2009 and look at a map of the middle east today. and tell me how things are
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going. [applause] leon: this is no alternative. the argument that there was no alternative to this deal that gives respite of 10 and 15 years gives resspite of 7 and 12 or 3 and eight or one month and six months. this is some sort of a gain. if the deal is a bad deal. if it's a good deal. and does not furnish the solution to the problem it sets out to solve. i don't know how it can be defended. the only thing that matters to me is we get out of the strategic problem posed to develop a nuclear military exarkte and i see no evidence that this is what this agreement
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accomplishes. we get a band-aid and they get a bank et. i have a -- banquet. we are being played the fools. i believe this agreement, this negotiation was not conducted in the spirit of tough leadership that suzanne mentioned earlier. toughness is not the word i would describe. it was conducted in the spirit of reconciliation. and i have nothing against reconciliation. we should talk to our enemies nd have talked to our enemies. bruce: this is becoming a debate about the obama administration's middle east policy. i don't think there are a lot of people who are enthusiastic about the administration's policy. >> that's the vote i want. bruce: you are turning it into a debate about obama
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administration's policies. but this is a debate about the nuclear deal. as suzanne said at the beginning. this is not a deal to prevent iran to get nuclear weapons. this is a deal to prevent them getting nuclear weapons in the next 15 years. does it do that? the biggest argument that has been made against that, the verification process is not tough and stringent enough. i know a lot about the tactics to verify a deal. it is, let me tell you easier to work to verify if the other side is cheating. if you have inspectors. even if they can't go any time, anywhere, it is easier if they're on the ground looking around. it's a lot easier if you have an international agreement that says here's the standards of
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behavior. at the end of the day, any verification system depends upon united states intelligence community and how good it can do its job. i think this deal significantly enhances the capacity of the american intelligence community to do that. and depends on the ability of our allies, particularly israel to be able to do that. and this goes back to my friend, he says quite rightly, better able to verify this deal than it is to verify the current status quo. is it perfect, no. is the obama administration pursuing the perfect policy this the middle east? no. to vote in favor of this -- major: do you believe in snap -back and it's true about the
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collapse of the sanctions regime, in any event that they were cheating, do you believe snap-back or any serious -- bruce: i believe this deal has moved further towards snap-back. the proof of the pudding will be the moment of the violation occurs. the united states not only has the option of snap-back, the united states will have all its other options including use of the military options. major: this is the last question. you have both talked about the lack of appetite within the international community and the p-5 plus one partners to continue sanctions and that is the reason why the negotiations had to reach a conclusion and why the deal should be verified and upheld as written. but doesn't that suggest that if
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there is a legitimate disagreement over verification and compliance that the very same partners who are no longer interested in economic sanctions and believe they have run their course not only politically but not only want to create dislocations for their own populations, will not, to use your phrase go to the mattresses to require verification of iran and iran can by dragging this process out, keep going what we in the international community would like to block? suzanne: we are going to be tested during the implementation phase and test the alliance. i agree with some of the criticisms of the deal. it will be difficult if not impossible to achieve this level of economic pressure on iran. we never achieved it before. but the simple reality is, it's not going to stay if we
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disapprove the deal. we don't sustain our alliances if we tear up an agreement. major: we are out of time with the back and forth. it has been extremely liflely. give a round of applause to our four panelists. [applause] major: the word smith is working on the word smith. so, we are going to have another vote as i promised earlier as i beat into your heads earlier, we are going to have a vote and take one of the options away from you. we want to know whether the congress should approve or disapprove. text number one if congress should approve, text number two if congress should disapprove.
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the polling will close as soon as senator mccain concludes his remarks. he will be the last of the speakers. each speaker will have two minutes and we will start with bruce. bruce: i encourage you to continue to vote undecided and throw this thing up in the air. because this is a complicated issue. final point i would make to you is this. right now, the united states has allies, have successfully concluded an agreement in the middle east. first one in 17 years that the united states has successfully concluded in the region. what it has done is put iran in the box as to the country that has violated international norms and failed to live up to its obligations after it signed the nonproliferation treaty. the congress of the united states has an enormous task and
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very important that they do it. very important how we hear how they vote. at the end of the day, i don't want the congress of the united states to put us -- to put the united states as the partner of this deal the first to reneg ongoing forward with it. i think the congress has been been put in an awkward position. the negotiations talking about the deal very well on the hill. you put yourself in a position where if you vote no against it, you become the problem and the united states becomes the problem. that would not be good for american leadership in the region, for american leadership around the world. what we need is now find out if this deal goes forward, how can we better ensure that its implementation leads to all of the outcomes we want. first, that iran does not get a
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nuclear weapon, not now, not in 10 years and not later and secondly we address those other issues with both the senator and leon have pointed out, we need to put on the table for multi lateral and unilateral options. major: leon. you have two minutes. leon: it is ironic that we begin -- that people will begin to be concerned about the consequences about american leadership in their attitude towards this deal when we have been witnessing attrition of american leadership in the world for many years. i think that this deal -- and as i said earlier, i'm not against it apock libertyally. it changes it in degree. my heart sinks when i hear my
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friend bruce who was a proponent of the deal that we can always use the military option. the that's correct. but that means this deal has not advanced us beyond the strategic situation that troubles us. i worry that this deal is the latest expression of a certain spirit in american foreign policy that i regard as responsible for some of the disasters that we have been witnessing in the region and in the world. ipso that it was not facto the case, that they came to the table under did youres and not because they read leiber, who came to the table under duress. and we could not have gotten a tougher deal. if it is the fact that this deal is in their interest and the fact that they are hurting so bad economically and the fact
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that they do want to renounce nuclear weapons, it seems obvious to me that it seems wrong to rule out the possibility of a tougher negotiating position and a tougher position regarding this repus i have regime in tehran. the united states is historically the only country that will ever create obstacles and impedements to certain evils in the world. there is no other country. we are without american leadership and there will not be the obstacles and impedements and seems to me that the adoption of this deal which of course will be adopted, will be a fine occasion to begin a new discussion of the first principles of american foreign philosophy after both bush and obama. suzanne: we can change the question for this debate because we agree on perhaps more than we disagree. i share all of the aspirations
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that senator mccain and leon have expressed for greater leadership in the middle east and grave and strategic and humanitarian tragedies that are unfolding before us. i share their chorus of the policies that are responsible for many of these threats unfolding in the region. i oppose normalization. unhelpful and unrealistic. that's not what this deal is and that's where we subsidy. where we disagree is whether an imperfect solution to the most urgent but certainly not the only part of iran's threat is one we should move forward with to test the possibilities of whether we can after 36 years to mitigate the challenges that iran poses to our interests and the region around the world. it's an impact solution for two simple reasons. we have an international coalition. we couldn't do this on our own
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and needed the leverage contributed by our allies. and because of the realities of negotiations. the bush administration originally opposed to have nuclear den ties try. by the time president bush moved into the second term he had to come to the table and offer a deal to iran. where we subsidy is what the consequences of disapproving this deal would mean. walking away would leave washington with less influence not more at the very moment where the responsible superglobal powers are needed. we should be doubling down on the strategies and the bipartisan that brought us to these negotiations and agreements. we should use it to build a larger coalition on the broader range of concerns that we have with respect to iran. major: that is something we can
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agree on. e are all opposed to nuclear dentistry. the polls will close as soon as senator mccain wraps up his remarks. senator mccain: i thank you, major, for some very excellent questions and thank bruce and suzanne also for their presentation of their point of ew and the man gifted with poetry and proud to be in his company. i'm concerned about the verification as pebts of this agreement. especially from where we began and statements in the beginning and where we ended up. i'm concerned about the relaxation of any restriction on developments of icbm's. i'm concerned about the
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relaxation on the prohibition of conventional weapons, which obviously is -- are being used throughout the middle east today. but i'm -- the money is really something that bothers me as much as anything else. there is 230,000 syrians that have been slaughtered, millions have fled and we are now seeing the consequences of it. assad was about to fall. and the iranians brought in hezbollah, 5,000 of them. and then they brought in weapons. and then the barrel bombings started and the poison gas was used. someone needs to show me what the iranians are going to do with these additional funds? $100 billion as they attempt to extend their influence throughout the region. is there any indication of any slight change in iranian
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behavior? so, i think it's a very bad deal because i believe it puts the iranians on the path to nuclear weapons in 10 years, a blink of an eye in the middle east. but i'm more concerned or as concerned about the implications of this agreement as we basically legitimatize this regime which is the world's greatest sponsor of terror. and that frankly is what keeps me awake at night. and when i see all of us, when our hearts are broken, as we see these children, see a little baby wash up on the shore on the beach, it breaks our hearts and a lot of those things do not have to happen. and this agreement, i'm afraid, may facilitate other crises of this nature. major: the polls are now closed. it's rare in this city to have an assembly as distinguished as
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this and they engaged each other as forcefully as they did but to disagree agreebly. want to give them a round of applause. and join me in that. [applause] major: i want to add this thought, because there is a sense or could be a sense that because the white house has secured the votes in the senate that is anti-climactic. i don't think this debate is. everything said in public about what this deal is or isn't is important to the historical record not just for this administration but the next administration. this deal is going to survive. and everyone in the policy field and politics says about this will resonate for many years and i thank the panelists as well. i'm going to ask you to stay here for a second and i'll get the results of this poll we just
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took. so give me one second.
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>> don't you feel the "american idol" tension in the room think? know i feel it. major: all right. for those you curious, i count myself among those, 73% of you, before our conversation, felt congress should approve the deal. 15% said congress should disapprove. 12%, undecided. after the debate 85% felt congress should approve and 15% still believe congress should disapprove. that, ladies and gentlemen, our final results. [laughter] [applause] 60% variation from before and after. a big round of applause for our four panelists. they were fantastic. thank you. cheers and applause] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] major: we'll escort senator mccain out.


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