More Republicans bail on Bush’s war

The tide of Republican defections from President George W. Bush’s camp swelled Saturday when two more US senators joined the chorus of critics of his Iraq policy, demanding change.

But while expressing sharp disagreement with the strategy of “surging” the number of US troops in Iraq, Senators Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Judd Gregg of New Hampshire stopped short of backing legislation that would force the White House to begin a drawdown of US troops in Iraq.

“It should be clear to the president that there needs to be a new strategy,” said Alexander told The Los Angeles Times. “Our policy in Iraq is drifting.”

Gregg, who up to now had belonged to the camp of Iraq hardliners, said in an interview with the same newspaper that attempts to put down the Iraqi insurgency with higher numbers of US troops “don’t seem to be making a lot of progress.”

It is vital to have “a clear blueprint for how we were going to draw down,” he said.

The new cracks in the Republican front opened just three days after Bush urged Americans to support his policy of maintaining 159,000 US troops in Iraq, arguing that if they were to quit Iraq prematurely, Al-Qaeda terrorists would bring the war to US soil.

Withdrawing troops “based on politics, not on the advice and recommendation of our military commanders, would not be in our national interest,” the president told members of the West Virginia Air National Guard as they celebrated Independence Day on Wednesday.

The White House has urged Congressional Republicans to maintain a united front on Iraq at least until September, when top US military commanders in Iraq were to present their assessment of the effectiveness of the 30,000-troop surge, which was begun by Bush early this year.

But on Thursday, Senator Pete Domenici of New Mexico jolted the Republican establishment by publicly announcing that his patience had run out and he was “unwilling” to continue lending his support to “our current strategy.”

Domenici argued that he now supported “a new strategy that will move our troops out of combat operations and on the path to coming home.”

A couple of month ago, just two US Republican senators, Chuck Hagel of Nebraska and Gordon Smith of Oregon, openly opposed the current Iraq policy.

But the floodgates opened two weeks ago when Republican Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana, a former chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, stated on the Senate floor that “our course in Iraq has lost contact with our vital national security interests in the Middle East and beyond” and demanded urgent change.

Republican Senator George Voinovich of Ohio echoed Lugar’s concerns in a letter to the president, which contained a detailed action plan and argued that while the United States “must not abandon” its mission in Iraq, “we must begin to develop a comprehensive plan for our countrys gradual military disengagement from Iraq.”

Voinovich argued that the Iraqi government and the country’s neighbors play must step in and begin playing a larger role in stabilizing Iraq.

Meanwhile Senator John Warner of Virginia, a Republican stalwart and former chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, praised Lugar for speaking out.

However, most Republican critics have made it clear they will not support new Democratic efforts to pass legislation aimed at forcing Bush’s hand in beginning a pullout from Iraq or denying funds for the war.

Such efforts could come as early as this coming week when the Senate begins considering a massive defense authorization bill.

According to congressional officials, Democrats are likely to use this opportunity to insert into the bill language that would include a timetable for a US military pullout from Iraq.

Efforts to include such language into an earlier bill funding the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan faltered when Democrats failed to garner the votes necessary to override Bush’s veto.


  1. Klaus Hergeschimmer

    Yeah isn’t it just hilarious how these V.I.s are
    just now ‘finding’ themselves and changing their minds.

    Yeah Gene, CHB is my favorite site, in fact the only one I visit and post on a regular basis. A lot of the other
    pages are great such as and many others but
    CHB is nice cause it really has its hand on the pulse of Washington D.C. and current events + I can’t think of any other page that has such spirited & intelligent

    It is indeed shocking to see how much damage has been
    done by the Bushwacker in the last 10 years and the
    generally spineless demeanor of a lot of members of the

    Yes! We are the Stars in Shrub’s Horror/Comedy

  2. gene

    So another article about another “village idiot” changing his
    mind. I appreciate this web site and it
    has become my favorite as far as enjoying the (always current) news worthy information and the many comments that follow.

    I reflect back just 10 years and suddenly I’m almost in shock as I come forward and realize (to some extent) what
    is happening and has happen over this last decade, with a few years of the 90s thrown in just to get this insanity started.

    As I said once…this is a horror show and WE are the stars. The ending will not be pretty.

  3. Henry M. Onsgard

    Can it be that the Scamnesty gyrations and belated anti-Bush rebellion emboldened some senators to speak their minds at last about Iraq too?

    When once you’ve thrown off the yoke, you may get a taste for cutting loose from the bipartisan Beltway ignore-the-majority consensus.

    The two hot issues of foreign interventionism and immigration reform go together like Lewis and Clark. Neocons and fauxcons are gung-ho for crusading and, mostly, dead set against sealing the border. An America distracted by overseas wars of choice from keeping its own house in order is just what these globalists require. “Creative chaos” at home and abroad!

    Let’s hope more Republican Congresscritters begin listening to their constituents instead, just for a change- if only because they live in terror of being booted out in ’08 along with a “Rudy McRompson” RINO presidential nominee.


  4. gene

    Hey Bryan…dam good comment. You know, I live on the Gulf Coast and was at the beach the other day and saw a UFO “Unidentified floating object”. Shit!!!! it might have been one of those “amphibious assult camels”. Hard to say though, had a couple of drinks under the old belt.

  5. bryan mcclellan

    When chimp calls his flip-floppers out for shortarm inspection all we will see is a pack of babbling eunuchs ready to bow down to his every whim.I don’t look for anything but the usual from the Dems either.Chimp has always had them by the short hairs as proven by the, all bluster no action facade they put forth.WE have to end this occupation of foreign soil now.Pull back to the pre 911 fly zones and let them fight it out.So what if Iran takes over Iraq,they will be so busy killing each other they won’t have time to focus on us for awhile, and I’m not buying the crap about them following us here.The next thing chimp will tell us is they have amphibious assault camels poised to invade.They all see us as crusaders and want out of our sphere of influence,and frankly,I can’t blame them. Christ,can’t we get someone to apply some diplomacy in our dealings with these nuts? There is an old saying that goes, If you can’t pass and you can’t slow down it’s time to get off the damn merry-go-round…Someone please wrest the controls from this maniac chimp !!!

  6. Sandra Price

    I remember when Lamar Alexander tossed in his hat to run for POTUS in 1999. I was thrilled as his policies and agenda sounded perfect to me but to few others. He was a man who wanted individual freedoms and a limited control over the people. I did not realize until the election was nearing that the religious right was going to determine who ran against Gore. I did not vote for Bush and in fact did not vote for any Republican after that. A couple of years later he ran and won the Senate seat in Tennessee and I regret I lost interest in his voting record.

    Standing up today against the War shows me I may have been right on trusting this man with the White House but of course it never happened. I had visions of Alexander running with Ridge. I’ve grown up since then. Two powerful pro-choice Republicans were a dream team to me.

  7. SEAL

    You hit the nail on the head, Bryan. It’s the Iraq/al Queda Navy we have to worry about. We learned they recently purchased a hundred new ChrisCraft boats and a shitload of 5 gallon gas cans in preparation for the Atlantic crossing and invasion.

    If you look at what these republican clowns are saying, they really haven’t changed their position on anything. They are just making the kind of noises they need to make to protect their jobs.

    The thing that makes me believe the democranks in control like Pelosi and Reid are “in on it” is that they never rebut Bush’s bullshit with the obvious. Crap like “support the troops” and “they will follow us home.” The only reason they attacked our embassys and the Cole and kidnapped our people, etc. Is because we are over there meddling in their affairs, supporting their enemies, and attempting to steal their resources or force our way of life on them. All they want and have ever wanted is for us to leave them alone. That’s what they told me when I was over there.

    The only reason the current Iraq government exists today is because we are there to support it. No matter when we left it would be history in one day and the strongest meanest USA hating SOB would evolve as the new ruler. That is why we will never leave. The current government gave us the oil in exchange for keeping them in power.

    The Middle Eastern Countries have always had the same system of governence. One ruling family or iron man or religious figure that keeps all the money and rules the poor masses by force. The same system Bush, Cheney, and the christian republicans are setting up here. They just call force – credit. But credit enslavement is just as effective.

  8. geyser

    President bush might have to brush up on his begging and groveling and go to congress especially, the Senators. It seems each day one or two are changing their tune on Iraq. The count is around 6 or 7 that have spoken out about bringing troops home.
    What is causing this jumping ship? Have they finally reached the end of their patience, too many soldiers dead, to much waste, the inadequate Iraqi Army, The slowness of the Iraqi government pulling their weight? Whatever the reason or reasons, it is about time.

    Taking One Day at a Time