Republican Senator Says Iraq War "May Even Be Criminal"
Sen. Gordon Smith (R-OR), who voted to give President Bush the authority to go to war in Iraq and has supported the war since, now says the current war effort is "absurd" and "may even be criminal."
Speaking on the Senate floor Thursday night, Smith called for changes in U.S. policy that could include rapid pullouts of U.S. troops from Iraq.
Looking back on his 2002 vote, Smith said he never would have supported the measure if had known the intelligence that Bush presented was inaccurate.
"I for one am at the end of my rope when it comes to supporting a policy that has our soldiers patrolling the same streets in the same way, being blown up by the same bombs day after day," Smith said. "That is absurd. It may even be criminal. I cannot support that anymore. ... So let's cut and run or cut and walk, but let us fight the war on terror more intelligently than we have because we have fought this war in a very lamentable way."
According to the Associated Press, Smith's spokesman tried to backtrack from the "criminal" line the next day. But Smith himself did not backtrack from the comment on this morning's edition of ABC's This Week.
Should we believe Smith, or is his better-late-than-never sentiment a recognition that voters ade a clear statement in the mid-term elections about Iraq, and might do so again in 2008? (Smith is up for re-election in 2008.)
Here's a thought: Actions speak louder than words. Smith, if his speech Thursday truly reflect his thoughts on Iraq, should take the next logical step. He should introduce, or be a co-author, of legislation setting forth a clear redeployment plan for our troops.