Sunday, December 10, 2006

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.

8 Comments:

Anonymous eleny said...

good for him - and us

when one of ours says this, it's considered criminal. so, really, it's like nixon going to china. only one of them can do/say it.

in this case, i'm warmed over the better late than never aspect. and if he saw the light because of the election, so be it. so long as it's now a true epiphany. we'll see how he votes.

11:22 PM  
Anonymous Radical Activist said...

He should vote to de-fund the war and support real investigations. I won't hold my breath.

3:27 PM  
Anonymous iconoclastic cat said...

Of course, don't hold your breath---BUT if I recall my history correctly, isn't this how Nixon was brought down? Of course, the Dems were credited/blamed for forcing Nixon out, but wasn't it really the Repubs who played along and kicked him out?

3:27 PM  
Anonymous berni_mccoy said...

Smith has cut a deal with Dems... Dems can say Impeachment is off the table

UNLESS a Republican forces the issue... then it's back on again...

That way, Dems look good politically, and Repubs in Congress are given a second chance (not that they deserve it, but if they are willing to take down BushCo...)

3:28 PM  
Anonymous musiclawyer said...

Got to hand it to him. He's smart

He knows his seat is in jeopardy, and any equivocation now will be held against him. He wants to be reelected and knows that he's toast unless he spends the next two years begging forgiveness acting like a democrat. Orgegon is a blue state.

3:28 PM  
Anonymous originalpckelly said...

WOW! SOB! That's kind of cool.
I mean I know it's a cheap political ploy, but it's going to fuck with the freepers puny little brains.

The freepers are screwn.

3:29 PM  
Anonymous rodeodance said...

a caller from OR said yesterday he votes with Bush but 08 is coming up.

3:30 PM  
Anonymous central scrutinizer said...

Rank oppportunism

Sorry Smitty, this is way too little and 2935 dead GIs, 20,000 wounded GIs, 600,000 dead Iraqis, $300,000,000,000 and 50,000 newly minted terrorists too late. While you had the majority, you were a reliable rubber stamp, a reliable blind eye, and a reliable conduit for Karl Rove's talking points. You voted for impeachment of Clinton and lent your voice to the up-or-down-vote chorus. Now, with the political wind blowing against you, all of sudden the scales have dropped from your eyes? Why not resign now, so we Oregonians can elect somebody to finish out your term who might actually want some accountably and put the good of the country ahead of the good of the Republic Party.

3:30 PM  

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