Quotables: On Iraq - Left, Right, and Center

Ross Mackenzie
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Posted: Mar 08, 2007 3:23 PM
Quotables: On Iraq - Left, Right, and Center

Comments about Iraq (etc.) from across the ideological spectrum. . .

Abu Hamza al-Muhajir, the terrorist leader of al-Qaida in Iraq: "The American people.voted for something reasonable in the last elections."

Republican Sen. John McCain: "We are paying a very heavy price for the mismanagement - that's the kindest word I can give you - of Donald Rumsfeld, of this war. . . . I think that Rumsfeld will go down in history as one of the worst secretaries of defense in history."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, on Democrat-backed legislation to reduce or kill President Bush's request for $93 billion in new Pentagon funds for Iraq: "The stakes in Iraq are too high to recycle proposals that have little prospect for success. The passage of this legislation will signal a change in direction in Iraq that will end the fighting and bring our troops home."

Republican Congressman Sam Johnson of Texas, a seven-year veteran of Vietnamese communist prison camps: "Now it's time to stand up for my friends who did not make it home, and for those who fought and died in Iraq already. We must not cut funding for our troops. We must stick by them."

Washington Post national security writer William Arkin, interviewed on television: "Through every Abu Ghraib and Haditha, through every rape and murder, the American public has indulged those in uniform. . . . We pay the soldiers a decent wage, take care of their families, provide them with housing and medical care and vast social support systems, and ship obscene amenities into the war zone for them, we support them in every possible way - and their attitude is that we should in addition roll over and play dead, defer to the military and the generals and let them fight their war, and give up our rights and responsibilities to speak up because they are above society? . . . This NBC report is just an ugly reminder of the price we pay for a mercenary - oops sorry, volunteer - force that thinks it is doing the dirty work."

Democratic Sen. John Kerry on Republican Sen. John Warner's proposal that the Senate debate a resolution opposing more troops for deployment to Iraq: "I really think the (Bush) administration should bend over backward to listen to this senator."

Historian, farmer and columnist Victor Davis Hanson on recent Democratic examples of pre-emption and insertion of American expeditionary forces abroad: "Many Democrats in Congress . . . authorized the first President Bush to fight the Gulf War to stop Hussein's mad drive to absorb Kuwait. In 1999, House Democrats sought, but failed, to pass congressional authorization for President Clinton's ongoing air war against Slobodan Milosevic. Democratic leaders from Bill Clinton to Barack Obama have long lamented that the U.S. did not pre-empt in Africa to stop the Rwandan genocide."

Australia's Prime Minister John Howard, on Democratic Sen. Barack Obama's bill to remove all American troops from Iraq by March 31, 2008: "If I were running al-Qaida in Iraq, I would put a circle around March 2008 and be praying as many times as possible for a (presidential) victory not only for Obama but also for the Democrats. I think that will just encourage those who want to completely destabilize and destroy Iraq, and create chaos and a victory for terrorists to hang on and hope for an Obama victory."

Sen. Joseph Lieberman, a longtime Democrat forced to become an Independent by Democratic leftists - in The Wall Street Journal: "Washington has never been more bitterly divided over our mission in Iraq. The Senate and House of Representatives are bracing for parliamentary trench warfare - trapped in an escalating dynamic of division and confrontation that will neither resolve the tough challenges we face in Iraq nor strengthen our nation against its terrorist enemies around the world."

Lieberman in conclusion: "We are at a critical moment in Iraq - at the beginning of a key battle, in the midst of a war that is irretrievably bound up in an even bigger, global struggle against the totalitarian ideology of radical Islamism. However tired, however frustrated, however angry we may feel, we must remember that our forces in Iraq carry America's cause - the cause of freedom - which we abandon at our peril."