Friday, July 06, 2007

Another GOPer turns on Bush’s war

By J. Kingston Pierce

One day after Senator Pete Domenici (R-New Mexico) told reporters that he wants to bring U.S. troops home by next spring, a longtime hawk in the House says he too has had enough of Bush’s failed Iraq policies. From Editor & Publisher:

Rep. John Doolittle, a conservative California congressman, today joined others in his party rapidly deserting the president on the Iraq war.

At a town hall meeting in Rocklin and then in a meeting with the editorial board of The Sacramento Bee he questioned whether the conflict was worth the loss of more American lives. He said U.S. troops should be pulled back from the front lines “as soon as possible” and the fighting turned over to Iraqi forces.

A longtime supporter of the war, Doolittle called the situation in Iraq a “quagmire” on Thursday. “We’ve got to get off the front lines as soon as possible,” Doolittle said at Rocklin City Hall, the Bee reported. “And in my mind that means something like the end of the year. We just can’t continue to tolerate these kinds of losses.

“I don’t want to keep having our people dying on the front lines. I am increasingly convinced that we never are going to succeed in actually ending people dying (in Iraq). I think it’s going to be a constant conflict ... and if that is going to happen ... it needs to be the Iraqis dying and not the Americans.”

Later he told the Bee’s editorial board: “My belief is that the majority of my colleagues on the Republican side have become skeptical of all of this. And that’s a big change.”

Indeed, it could be. But as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) reminded everyone in a statement on Thursday, “we will not see a much-needed change of course in Iraq until Republicans like Senators Domenici, Lugar and Voinovich are willing to stand up to President Bush and his stubborn clinging to a failed policy--and more importantly, back up their words with action.” Their first opportunity--and the first opportunity for wavering Democrats to show more backbone on this matter than they have recently--will arrive next week, when a Defense Authorization bill comes up for a vote in the Senate.

(Cross-posted at Limbo.)

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