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Thursday, January 11, 2007

White House Candidate Hits Bush, Dems on Iraq

A former Democratic U.S. senator from Alaska and a proclaimed candidate for the presidency in 2008 is calling both President Bush's plans for U.S. involvement in Iraq and the Democrats' response inadequate.

"President Bush's call for 20,000 more troops to continue the tragic misadventure in Iraq, reveals a myopia not seen in the White House since President Hoover failed to adequately respond to the Bonus Marchers and the Great Depression," says Mike Gravel, who served in the U.S. Senate from 1969 through 1981. "Despite the overwhelming evidence and testimony that the American militarypresence/occupation only exacerbates the Bush made crisis in Iraq whilethreatening the fragile stability in the Middle East where one civil war already rages (Iraq) and two others (in The Palestinian Authority and Afghanistan) threaten to explode, the President is either pursuing anillusory and impossible military victory or buying enough time to push the blame for the Iraqi failure onto the next administration while he contemplates military action against Iran."

The "tepid" response from top Democrats is "even more disappointing and disheartening," Gravel says.

"Senator Joe Biden, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has suggested that cutting funding for the war was 'micromanaging' and 'unconstitutional,' while Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid first supported the 20,000 troop surge and then quickly reversed himself and incredibly, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that while she is against the 'surge,' she also opposes cutting off funding for the war while favoring an increase in the size of the Army (30,000) and Marines (20,000)," he says.

Gravel adds, "And finally, Senator Kennedy will only offer legislation that requires the president to secure new congressional authority before being given the funds to send additional troops while remaining silent on withdrawing the140,000 soldiers currently on the ground. Hardly a profile in courage! Asfor the current and prospective democratic presidential candidates, they are all taking cover behind the new Democratic Congress and its leadership. In other words, the Democrats, despite their posturing, seem to be on theverge of endorsing more of an unwinnable, unending, costly and murderouswar before any serious action is taken."

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