Here is an excerpt from the latest Republican Presidential debate:

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BLITZER: If it came down to a preemptive U.S. strike against Iran’s nuclear facility if necessary, would you authorize as president the use of tactical nuclear weapons?

HUNTER: I would authorize the use of tactical nuclear weapons if there was no other way to preempt those particular centrifuges.

When the Osirak reactor was hit in ’86, when the six F-18s came over the horizon and knocked that out, they didn’t need anything but conventional weapons.

Probably it’s going to take a little more than that. I don’t think it’s going to take tactical nukes.

BLITZER: What do you think, Mayor? Do you think, if you were president of the United States and it came down to Iran having a nuclear bomb, which you say is unacceptable, you would authorize the use of tactical nuclear weapons?

GIULIANI: Part of the premise of talking to Iran has to be that they have to know very clearly that it is unacceptable to the United States that they have nuclear power. I think it could be done with conventional weapons, but you can’t rule out anything and you shouldn’t take any option off the table.

And during the debate the other night, the Democrats seemed to be back in the 1990s. They don’t seem to have gotten beyond the Cold War. Iran is a threat, a nuclear threat, not just because they can deliver a nuclear warhead with missiles. They’re a nuclear threat because they are the biggest state sponsor of terrorism and they can hand nuclear materials to terrorists.

And we just saw it just last week in New York, an attempt by Islamist terrorists to attack JFK airport; three weeks ago, an attempt to attack Fort Dix.

These are real problems. This war is not a bumper sticker. This war is a real war.

BLITZER: Thank you, Mayor.

(APPLAUSE)

BLITZER: Let me bring Governor Gilmore in.

What do you say about the potential use of tactical nuclear weapons if that’s what it takes to go deep underground and destroy those Iraqi facilities?

GILMORE: One of the central problems of the Middle East is the desire for Iran to dominate that portion of the world, because of what they are doing. And that is why I believe that they are seeking this kind of nuclear capacity. That is one of the reasons why we are, in fact, in Iraq.

And that’s why our soldiers, when they fight and die there, are in fact serving the interests of the United States. Nobody ought to have any doubt about that.

With respect to Iran, the policy I would follow would be dual.

Number one, we need to work with our European allies in order to put in appropriate sanctions. We need to communicate directly with the Iranians that we are going to offer them an opportunity to work with us.

But we are also going to say that having a nuclear weapon is unacceptable; they need to understand it. And all options are on the table by the United States in that instance.

BLITZER: All right. Thank you, Governor.

Governor Romney, I want to get you on the record. Do you agree with the mayor, the governor, others here, that the use of tactical nuclear weapons, potentially, would be possible if that were the only way to stop Iran from developing a nuclear bomb?

ROMNEY: You don’t take options off the table, but what you do is stand back and say, “What’s going on here?” You see what’s happening in Sudan and Afghanistan, in Iraq and Iran. All over the world, we’re seeing the same thing happening, and that is people are testing the United States of America. And we have to make sure they understand that we’re not arrogant; we have resolve. And we have the strength to protect our interests and to protect people who love liberty.

For that to happen, we’re going to have to not just attack each one of these problems one by one, but say, how do we help move the world of Islam so that the moderate Muslims can reject the extreme?

And for that to happen, we’re going to have to have a strong military and an effort to combine with our allies in such a way, we combine for an effort to help move Islam toward modernity.

That’s what we’re going to have to do, instead of looking at each theater one by one and saying, “We’ll bomb here, we’ll attack here, we’ll go to Sudan.”

I watched the Democrats…

BLITZER: Thank you.

ROMNEY: … they don’t think there’s a war on terror.

BLITZER: Thank you.

ROMNEY: There’s a war going on, and we need a broad response to make sure that these people have a different vision.

(APPLAUSE)

BLITZER: Thank you, Governor.

(…)

BLITZER: Thank you, Mayor.

(APPLAUSE)

Congressman Paul, what is the most pressing moral issue in the United States right now?

PAUL: I think it is the acceptance just recently that we now promote preemptive war. I do not believe that’s part of the American tradition.

We, in the past, have always declared war in defense of our liberties or go to aid somebody. But now we have accepted the principle of preemptive war. We have rejected the just war theory of Christianity.

And now, tonight, we hear that we’re not even willing to remove from the table a preemptive nuclear strike against a country that has done no harm to us directly and is no threat to our national security.

I mean, we have to come to our senses about this issue of war and preemption and go back to traditions and our Constitution and defend our liberties and defend our rights, but not to think that we can change the world by force of arms and to start wars.

(APPLAUSE)

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So at least four Republicans are weighing in on the side of the “crazies”: Hunter, Gilmore, Giuliani, and Romney. The only one clearly opposed to such madness is Ron Paul.

My guess is that among Democrats at least Hillary and Obama would be willing to use nukes.

Here is how the American public opinion reacted to this: CNN viewers had Ron Paul winning the debate in all categories except for “the snappiest dress” (remember: this is corporate media asking the questions) which went to Mitt Romney.

By the way, the worst performance on the debate was, again according the the public, Guiliani’s. The “official” talking heads of the US Nomenklatura hired by CNN came to diametrically opposed conclusions and declared that the best performance was, I am not kidding, Giuliani, Romney and McCain. See the full poll results here.

In spite of this, Hillary and Giuliani (the worst warmongering Fascists in each camp) are still leading in their respective factions (of the single War Party, that is).

So it looks like the USA will not only get a Fascist President in 2008, but that this Fascist President will be willing to use nuclear weapons.

Scary.

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