Monday, June 20, 2005

Some Republican Senators Face Iraq Realities

Like some of their colleagues in the House of Representatives, Republican Senators are finally coming around and giving a tough, honest assessment of the situation in Iraq.

"Too often we've been told and the American people have been told that we're at a turning point," said Senator John McCain (R-AZ) on yesterday's "Meet the Press." "What the American people should have been told and should be told is that it's long; it's hard; it's tough."

"It's going to be at least a couple more years," said McCain.

Last week, Republican Congressman Walter Jones of North Carolina – who was so rabidly in support of the Bush administration years ago that he pushed for "French fries" to be renamed "freedom fries," – another Republican and two Democratic House members, formed a bipartisan group of Congressmen calling on Bush to begin plans for a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq. (Fellow Republican Ron Paul and Democrats Neil Abercrombie and Dennis Kucinich joined Jones in those efforts.)

In the latest edition of U.S. News and World Report, Senator Chuck Hagel, a Nebraska Republican, was quoted by as saying the administration's Iraq policy was failing.

"Things aren't getting better; they're getting worse. The White House is completely disconnected from reality," said Hagel, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. "It's like they're just making it up as they go along. The reality is that we're losing in Iraq."

So there is at least a glimmer of hope for our troops in Iraq, whom I believe are behaving with extraordinary bravery, under horrible circumstances and despite being used in a criminal way by the Bush administration.

Republicans in the House and Senate are facing reality and turning on Bush, the American people are now overwhelmingly against continued U.S. presence in Iraq and more memos continue to come from within the British government showing the duplicitous strategy that was the genesis of this war.

But, according to McCain, that doesn't mean that America should just trash a country and leave.

"I don't think Americans believe that we should cut and run out of Iraq by any stretch of the imagination," said McCain . "But I think they also would like to be told, in reality, what's going on,"

Porter Goss, Director of the CIA, supported Vice President Dick Cheney's remarkable assertion that the Iraq insurgency is in its "last throes." "I think they're not quite in the last throes, but I think they are very close to it," said Goss.

Democratic Senator Joseph Biden of Delaware suggested that, like his boss in the White House, Goss might be disengaged from reality.

"I wish Porter Goss would speak to his intelligence people on the ground," Biden said on CBS's "Face the Nation." "They didn't suggest at all it was near its last throes. Matter of fact it's getting worse, not better."

By the way, the last-throes insurgency has been killing people at an incredible clip, including a suicide bombing in Baghdad yesterday that killed at least 23 people.

Stay tuned... This should be one heck of a week.