Friday, April 09, 2004

Another conservative sickened of this Administration's policies, part III

The Washington Post reports that another conservative is unhappy with Administration practices.

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Rep. Jim Leach (R-Iowa) said events in Iraq suggest that Bush and other administration officials should anticipate a new line of questioning of the assessment, at the time of the invasion, that U.S. forces would be greeted as liberators and face only slight resistance. This assumption "clearly is in doubt" considering recent events, he said.

The questions have come most forcefully from Democrats but are shared by Republicans. "In both parties, members are concerned," said Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) "There's not abject panic, but there's deep concern, and there should be."

***

Meanwhile, the NYT reports more Republicans that openly disagree with the Administration.

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"It's incumbent upon all Americans to rally around the leadership of this country in times of great crisis in the world when we are the leader of the free world and not to incite the other side," said Senator Saxby Chambliss, Republican of Georgia, even as he acknowledged that the administration "underestimated just how difficult and complex the job in Iraq would be."

But in an unwelcome development for the White House, even some right-leaning commentators and political leaders appeared uncomfortable with Mr. Bush's Iraq policy. Bill O'Reilly, the Fox News commentator who had been one of the most vocal supporters of the war, warned that the situation in Iraq might cost Mr. Bush re-election if he did not deal with it promptly. Mr. O'Reilly compared the Iraqis to the South Vietnamese in their lack of support for the United States.

"If these people won't help us, we need to get out in an orderly matter," Mr. O'Reilly said on his show Monday evening, repeating the sentiment again on Tuesday.

Newt Gingrich, the Georgia Republican and former House speaker, also said he was concerned that Iraq could hurt the administration unless it made a forceful case to stay there. "The administration has to win the argument that this is an unavoidable fight," Mr. Gingrich said. "This is painful and this is difficult, but we have no choice."

Patrick J. Buchanan, the conservative columnist who ran a spirited challenge to Mr. Bush's father in the 1992 Republican primaries, renewed his criticism of Mr. Bush's war policy. Mr. Buchanan opposed the decision to go to war but toned down his criticism after the war began.

"We have gotten ourselves bogged down in what is clearly a quagmire," Mr. Buchanan said in an interview. In a column published on Wednesday, he wrote, "What Falluja and the Shiite attacks Sunday tell us is that failure is now an option."

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Meanwhile Tom Holsinger a poster over at Dan Drezner's steadily becomes unhinged.

"But mostly you seem ignorant of history. The invasion or Iraq was a cakewalk as campaigns go. The occupation of Iraq is a cakewalk as occupations go. We're just being nice. We don't have to be nice. Given the culture, we shouldn't be.

And we'll get over that.
"

When Richard Perle, Newt Gringrich, Robert Kagan, Bill Kristol, Pat Buchanan, Richard Lugar, John McCain, Saxby Chambliss, Jim Leach, Henry Kissinger, and Bill O'Reilly (not to mention others) don't think things are going well in Iraq but someone does - then maybe it's time to consider getting a prescription for Thorazine for them.

Especially when the puppet members of our own council are bailing out on us (BBC) and highly educated Westernized Iraqis are turning against the use of US force.

Yet some people are still in la-la land.

Hat tip to Akim for the tip on the Independent (UK) story.

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