“Stay the course is not a policy. Part of the problem … is we have no measurement for progress, for success.
And so I think by any standard when you analyze two and a half years in Iraq where we have put in over a third of a trillion dollars, where we have lost over 1,900 Americans, over 14,000 wounded. Electricity production down, oil production down. Any measurement, any standard you apply to this, we’re not winning.
The reason that I don’t think more troops is the answer now is we’re past that stage now because now we are locked into a bogged down problem, not unsimilar, dissimilar to where we were in Vietnam.
The longer we stay, the more problems we’re going to have, the more occupying force dynamics flow into this, the more influence of the outside people, as well as the inside people are going to hurt this country.”
So… which hate-America-first, lefty, lunatic-fringe wacko gave this devastating critique of the war in Iraq? Um… Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, who received two Purple Hearts and other military honors for his service in Vietnam, and who sits on both the Foreign Relations Committee and the Select Committee on Intelligence. He continues:
“We should start figuring out how we get out of there … I think our involvement there has destabilized the Middle East. And the longer we stay there, I think the further destabilization will occur.”
Hmmm. So why are influential Republicans suddenly finding their cojones, and speaking their minds about President Bush’s failed war in Iraq? Could it have anything to do with the fact that Bush’s approval rating is now below that of Richard Nixon during the depths of Watergate? I dunno. Maybe.