Mainstream Republican Senator Gordon Smith Offers A Blistering Attack On Bush War Strategy
Mainstream conservative Republican senators such as John Warner and Gordon Smith are becoming the driving effort to convince President Bush to drastically alter the failing war strategy in Iraq. As late as 2004, Smith was even the Oregon head of the 2004 Bush re-election campaign. Yesterday he offered a blistering attack in an deeply heartfelt speech on the Senate floor calling the current strategy of placing American lives in constant danger by having them patrol the same dangerous streets over and over, risking their lives both "absurd" and morally even "criminal". These are strong words for a sentor who noted that he tried to be a "good soldier" in offering support for the Iraq War policy of both Bush and Rumsfeld.
It is also mainstream Republicans who will likely warn the White House when they think this situation in Iraq is beyond redemption, and it's time to pull the plug. Between the possibility of a violent militia group coup in Iraq, and mounting American deaths in the face of a policing of the sectarian violence that clearly is not working, very soon the Iraq War is likely to break open and U.S. troops will likely begin to come home. Even previously unthinkable prospects such as allowing Syria some role in helping with the Sunni problems in Iraq, and Iran to offer some pressure on the Shiite community were given a boost by the Iraq study group this week. While many are right to be wary of giving Iran or Syria any attempt at boosting their regional power by involvement in Iraq, it is nonetheless a sign of how desperate the situation in Iraq has become.
What gives a Senator such as Gordon Smith so much credibility, was not only his previous strong suport for Bush, but also his deeply religious background as a Latter Day Saints Church Elder. Like the former Oregon senators, Wayne Morse who went from a Republican to antiwar Democrat, or very religious Baptist Republican Mark Hatfield, both of whom found deep moral reasons to oppose the continued Vietnam War, when a deeply religious senator such as Smith begins to break on war policy, then it starts to become a moral cause among many religious persons, creating a powerful argument against any failed policy that does little to stabilize Iraq or prevent more deaths and killing.
Just like the Biblically -inspired quotation, that "the hand writing is on the wall", new events and pressures from influential senators and others will soon result in major changs in the Iraq War policy or soon even send our troops home.