Monday, August 21, 2006

Senators Speaking Truth Over Weekend

One is a Democrat and one a Republican, but they were both on television over the weekend speaking the truth to people not too busy watching coverage of the suspect in the JonBenet Ramsey case flying back to the United States. One was John Kerry (D-MA) and the other Chuck Hagel (R-NE) and both of them must have sent the collective blood pressure at the White House through the roof.

Kerry was on ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos yesterday and made clear what the majority of Americans now believe -- that the Iraq war was a monumental mistake that has made us far less safe.

"I believe the president's policy in Iraq is a disaster of catastrophic proportions," said Kerry. "It has set us back in the region. It has set the peace process back. It has unleashed an unbelievable course of events, all of which we're paying the price for today."

More Kerry:
"Iraq is not the center of the war on terror. The president keeps saying it is. The president keeps trying to push it down America's throat. It's wrong, it's a mistake and it's losing us the ability to do what we need to do in the region.

"All of us want to win the war on terror but the war on terror is not centered in Iraq. It's in a host of nations, probably 40 to 60 nations now and we are weakened in our ability to fight the war. I believe we can fight a far more effective war on terror

"The only way to solve Iraq, according to our generals, according to Secretary Rice, according to all of the experts, in not militarily -- it is politically and diplomatically. And we have an absence of the kind of effort that is going to do that."
Kerry said this when asked by Stephanopoulos if Iraq is indeed in a civil war right now:

"Iraq is in a civil war. Of course it's in a civil war. Iraq is obviously, fundamentally sectarian violence. Again, our own generals said that testifying to the Congress just a few weeks ago. Why this administration chooses to ignore the facts, ignore the truth continually is beyond me. And what it does is make it so much more difficult to build the kind of consensus, bipartisan support for a legitimate policy."

The Massachusetts Senator also reiterated his strong support for Ned Lamont as the Democratic nominee for Senate in Connecticut, in the face of bizarre remarks from Dick Cheney, who is once again trying to make it sound like the terrorists win if Lieberman is not reelected.

"I'm concerned that he [Lieberman] is making a Republican case and he is uttering almost the same words as Vice President Cheney and I think it's inappropriate. Ned Lamont has been courageous and he has stood up and the voters of Connecticut, they're not 'Dean Democrats' they're not 'Kerry Democrats,' they're not 'Lamont Democrats' -- they're Democrats," said Kerry.

"The fact is Joe Lieberman is out of step with the people of Connecticut. I believe that he is just dead wrong with respect to the war," Kerry continued. "And to adopt the rhetoric of Dick Cheney, who has been wrong about almost everything he has said about Iraq shows you just exactly why he got in trouble with the Democrats there. The continued rhetoric of this administration and Joe Lieberman adopting it, I think, is a huge mistake for Joe and obviously the people of Connecticut are going to make their own decision just as they did in the primary."

Kerry also goes on to give very good points about Bush's lack of respect -- and understanding -- of the Constitution when it comes to illegally spying on Americans and shows, in so many ways, why it's so sad to see him on television and not see the word "President" in front of his name.

You can see the entire interview -- and it's well worth the 12 minutes to do so -- at the 'This Week ' web site.

Meanwhile, one of the few Republican Senators who has consistently had the nerve to speak out against Bush's Iraq calamity, Chuck Hagel of my home state of Nebraska, lashed the administration on the situation in Iraq and their continually lying to the American people about the existence of an Iraqi civil war.

Hagel, a decorated Vietnam Veteran who just last month called Iraq "an absolute replay of Vietnam," said the situation in the Middle East is a "mess" and that the wrong solution is to keep having more American troops die there.

"How do we get out of this mess? We've got a very unstable Middle East. I think the most unstable Middle East we've seen since 1948," said Hagel on Fox News Sunday. "The answer in my opinion is not to just keep feeding more American troops into it. We in fact are in probably a low-grade, maybe a very defined civil war. You've got corruption -- everywhere. As bad as it's ever been. You've got uncontrollables that we can't control and that we can't deal with."

Hagel then dropped the bombshell that probably about made Dick Cheney's bum ticker explode:

"Iran probably has more influence in Iraq than we do at this point."

Hagel was then challenged by host Chris Wallace on his frequent assertion that it's time to start withdrawing troops from Iraq. "How's that going to make things better?" Wallace demanded.

"How's it going to make things better for us to continue to kill Americans and put Americans in the middle of a civil war that we have less and less control and influence over every day?" countered Hagel. "How does that stabilize things?"

You can see an excellent clip of this interview at Crooks and Liars.

And, while you're watching both of these interviews, ask yourself why it's always the military Veterans, who have actually seen combat, who are less hungry for war, while the Chickenhawks in the Bush administration always seem to want more of it.