Can America balance diplomacy and the use of force?
Arlen Specter was a United States Senator for Pennsylvania who served as the Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and a senior member of the Appropriations and Veterans Affairs committees.
Arlen Specter’s five terms made him the longest-serving U.S. Senator in Pennsylvania’s history. A voice of reason, his independence and balance won him endorsements from the AFL-CIO and high marks from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (100% in 2006), the National Association of Manufacturers (86% in 2006), and the Americans for Tax Reform (90% in 2006).
Time Magazine listed him among the ten best Senators in 2006. Knowlegis rated him the second most powerful Senator in 2006 behind only Majority Leader Bill Frist. A November 11, 2007 Philadelphia Inquirer editorial stated: “Senator Arlen Specter has more clout than some sovereign nations.”
Born to Russian immigrant parents in Wichita, Kansas, Specter was educated at the University of Pennsylvania and Yale Law School, where he served as an editor of the Yale Law Journal.
Arlen Specter: Well I believe that the military option should be the very last resort; and then only when it is in our vital, national interest. I think had we known that Saddam did not have weapons of mass destruction we would not have gone into Iraq. Once there, we don’t want to leave it in a destabilized situation. I think we have not pursued diplomacy with near the intensity we should with Iran. Finally, we did have bilateral talks with North Korea and those have borne fruit. We’re not exactly sure in the long run how North Korea will respond, but we straightened out the $25,000,000, got that released, and now we’re all on the path perhaps to defusing the nuclear threat with North Korea. I long advocated dialogue with Syria and dialogue with Iran. I believe that we do not approach four nations with sufficient respect. Treat them with sufficient dignity so that the diplomatic approach should be pursued much more intently. If we would do more ourselves, I think we could get more cooperation as we have to from Russia, and China, and European countries if we’re to have sanctions or turn Iran away from developing nuclear weapons.
Recorded on: 7/4/07
Diplomacy first, use of force last.
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