Kennedy, Leahy blast Bush's Iraq wake-up call
In the wake of a press conference today that had George W. Bush babbling such inanities as "my view is the only way we lose in Iraq is if we leave before the job is done" and asserting that "Al Qaeda is on the run" despite the unknown whereabouts of the guy who attacked us on September 11 -- you know, that dude named bin Laden? -- Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) was quick to call Bush on his contrived, newly-discovered flexibility on Iraq.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s deeply disturbing that it takes a close election Ã¢â‚¬â€œ not in Iraq, but in America Ã¢â‚¬â€œ to get this White House to even talk about flexibility and changing course," said Kennedy. "American and Iraqi deaths didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t do it. The growing insurgency and increasing sectarian violence didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t do it. The conclusion in April by our intelligence community that the Iraq war is a rallying cry for anti-American extremism didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t do it. Only the prospect of losing his rubber stamp Congress and the PresidentÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s own low polls seem to penetrate the wall of denial around 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue."
Kennedy also rebutted Bush's recent claim that his longstanding stay-the-course mantra has been a figment of 300 million Americans' imaginations.
"Sadly, the bottom line is that it's still a stay-the-course strategy from the White House. The President may have abandoned the label but he has not abandoned the failed strategy," said the Massachusetts Senator.
Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) also responded quickly, saying that Bush's mild admission that things may not be going just peachy in Iraq and his replacement of the notion of a troop-withdrawal timeline with the word "benchmark," are clearly a function of the looming midterm elections.