[Homestead] Straight Arrow McCain describes Crooked Arrow Bush in Iraq
tvoivozd at infionline.net
Mon Sep 20 01:24:36 EDT 2004
Search for More <http://www.tbo.com/search/>
• /Make TBO your Home Page/ <http://tbo.com>
• /Advertise with us/ <http://clients.tbo.com>
• /Web site feedback/ <http://feedback.tbo.com>
Sunday, September 19
Printer friendly version
Email this to a friend
Senators Ask for Bush Rethink of Iraq Policies as Elections Loom
*By William C. Mann* Associated Press Writer
Published: Sep 19, 2004
WASHINGTON (AP) - Senators from both parties urged the Bush
administration on Sunday to make a realistic assessment of the situation
in Iraq and adjust its policies aimed at pacifying the country.
But Bush readied a firm defense of his Iraq policy - and a sharp new
attack on rival John Kerry's stance - for a speech Monday morning.
"The fact is a crisp, sharp analysis of our policies is required. We
didn't do that in Vietnam, and we saw 11 years of casualties mount to
the point where we finally lost," said Sen. Chuck Hagel, a Vietnam War
veteran who is co-chairman of President Bush's re-election committee in
"We can't lose this. It is too important," Hagel, R-Neb., said on CBS'
"Face the Nation."
A major problem, said leaders of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee,
was incompetence by the administration in reconstructing the country's
The chairman, Sen. Richard Lugar, noted that Congress appropriated $18.4
billion a year ago this week for reconstruction. No more than $1 billion
has been spent. "This is the incompetence in the administration," Lugar,
R-Ind., said on ABC's "This Week."
"Exactly right," interjected Delaware Sen. Joseph Biden, the committee's
top Democrat. He said later: "This has been incompetence so far. Five
percent of the $18.4 billion that George Bush keeps ... beating the
other candidate up and about the head for how he voted and didn't vote,
and he's released 5 percent."
Sen. John McCain, who has campaigned often with the president, said
mistakes in Iraq generally can be attributed to inadequate manpower.
McCain, R-Ariz., said problems began arising shortly after the dash
through the desert to take Baghdad, the capital, in April 2003.
"We made serious mistakes right after the initial successes by not
having enough troops on the ground, by allowing the looting, by not
securing the borders," McCain said.
"Airstrikes don't do it; artillery doesn't do it. Boots on the ground do
it," McCain told "Fox News Sunday."
Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., said Bush had pointed out from the beginning that
the risks of combat in Iraq.
"I find it shocking that some people are surprised by the fact that it
is a long and difficult conflict," Kyl said.
"What's important is that you have a leader who recognizes that there
are difficulties, but who is committed to prevailing; who has a firm
idea of what he wants to accomplish, confidence in his commanders in the
field, and who doesn't send mixed messages to the troops or to our
allies, or most importantly, to our enemies," Kyl said.
Bush planned to use that line of attack against Kerry on Monday, seeking
to counter increasingly hard-hitting language the Massachusetts senator
has been using on Bush's Iraq policy.
In a speech in New Hampshire, Bush "will step up his critique of John
Kerry's policy on Iraq or retreat and defeat," said Bush campaign
spokesman Scott Stanzel. "Our troops deserve better than to hear Kerry's
campaign pushing pessimism and lack of faith in the mission."
Bush's campaign also was airing a new TV commercial promoting his
broader anti-terror efforts.
"President Bush and our leaders in Congress have a plan," an announcer
says. Among the items listed on the ad are beefing up border and port
security, reorganizing the intelligence services, renewing the Patriot
Act, and giving the military "all it needs."
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., acknowledged that the situation may
deteriorate further before it gets better as antidemocratic forces try
to prevent democracy from taking hold.
"So this is not a civil war. This is a part of the war on terror, where
the terrorists have gone to Iraq, and we need to fight back or we'll
lose the region," Graham told CNN's "Late Edition."
McCain was asked about a report in Sunday's New York Times that U.S.
commanders were planning a drive in November or December to retake areas
where insurgents have won control. Such a timetable would place the
operations after the Nov. 2 election for the White House.
McCain said Bush was not being "as straight as we would want him to be"
about the situation. "The longer we delay with these sanctuaries, the
more difficult the challenge is going to be and the more casualties we
will incur and the Iraqi people will suffer because they will be able to
operate out of these sanctuaries obviously now with somewhat of
impunity," McCain said.
More information about the Homestead