The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Saturday, December 10, 2005

Senator Jack Reed talks tough on Iraq

There's been plenty of talk about Lieberman this week, with Bush, Cheney and even Rummy mentioning his name in various appearances. There was also some buzz about John Kerry's response to Bush's new wave of Iraq speeches-- namely that Harry Reid intended Jack Reed to make the statement, only to have Kerry muscle in and steal the show. (As I wrote earlier, I thought Kerry did a good job, so I wasn't too concerned.) Now Reed has come out swinging, and says all the right things, showing that the Dems aren't going to clam up because Lieberman shot his mouth off again. Reed isn't a high-profile Senator, but having yet another Dem with a solid military background speaking up is always a good thing.

President Bush has failed to outline an effective strategy for winning the war in Iraq, Sen. Jack Reed said Saturday in the Democratic Party's weekly radio address.

''The American people are eager to hear the president's plan for success in Iraq, rebuilding the country and bringing our troops home,'' Reed said. ''Instead, the president continues to offer vague generalities and rhetoric with no specifics about what needs to be done.''

The Rhode Island senator, saying the current course in Iraq is a mistake, called on Bush to offer a more candid appraisal of how the war-ravaged nation can be stabilized and put on a surer path to democracy.

''If the president has any hope of regaining the nation's support for operations in Iraq and justifying the growing cost in lives and taxpayer dollars ... he must be candid and honest about the current situation.''

Reed, a former Army Ranger who is a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, accused the Bush Administration of assailing the patriotism of Iraq war critics.

''I have found it disturbing that the Bush administration has attacked the patriotism of those who question the administration's policies in Iraq,'' Reed charged. ''Baseless partisan attacks won't help us win the war, won't help the troops and won't protect our nation from our enemies.''

Reed, unlike some Democrats, does not support an immediate withdrawal of troops from Iraq. His criticism comes in the wake of two major speeches on Iraq by Bush in the past two weeks aimed at rallying slumping public support for his war policies.

It's crucial that Dems keep pointing out that while they might not be in lockstep over how to deal with the problems in Iraq, the only position that really matters is the president's-- and he doesn't seem to have any plan at all.