GOP Sen. Blasts “Most Dangerous Foreign Policy Blunder Since Vietnam”
Meanwhile in the Senate, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told the Foreign Relations Committee the Iraqi government is living on “borrowed time.” She also declined to call the troop surge an escalation but rather an “augmentation.” Rice heard criticism from both sides of the aisle. Republican Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska had harsh words for the administration’s plan.
Sen. Chuck Hagel: “So, Madam Secretary, when you set in motion the kind of policy that the president is talking about here, it's very, very dangerous. As a matter of fact, I have to say, Madam Secretary, that I think this speech given last night by this president represents the most dangerous foreign policy blunder in this country since Vietnam -- if it's carried out. I will resist it.”
At least fifteen Republican lawmakers have now come out against sending more troops to Iraq. Across the aisle, Democratic Senator Russ Feingold called the troop increase “quite possibly the greatest foreign policy mistake in the history of our nation.” Democratic Senator Joseph Biden also spoke.
Sen. Joseph Biden: “I fear that what the president has proposed is more likely to make things worse. We hoped and prayed we would hear of a plan that would have two features: to begin to bring American forces home and a reasonable prospect of leaving behind a stable Iraq. Instead, we heard a plan to escalate the war, not only in Iraq but possibly into Iran and Syria as well. I believe the president's strategy is not a solution, Secretary Rice. I believe it's a tragic mistake.”
Republicans say the President risks a major defeat if House Democrats proceed with a non-binding resolution on the president’s troop surge. Republican Congressmember Ray LaHood of Illiinois said: “The White House will have to work 24 hours a day to find people on our side who aren’t going to jump ship.”