March 28, 2008
Hagel calls BS on Bush's rosy Iraq
Senator Chuck Hagel on Thursday said President Bush's rosy and gleeful view of the war in Iraq is like he's living in "Alice in Wonderland."
"Everything is not fine" Hagel said after three days of fighting in the southern region of Iraq have left more than 100 Iraqis dead and prompted thousands to demonstrate Thursday in Shiite neighborhoods of the capital against the crackdown launched by Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.
"I think this is another episode of 'Alice in Wonderland,'" the Senator says. "What's up is down, and what's down is up. What do you mean, 'stability and security?' Baghdad, for example, has been over the last year essentially ethnically divided."
"And," Hagel adds, "when you look at the casualties the United States has taken since since the so-called 'military surge,' over 900 deaths; you look at almost 30,000 wounded, and the money we've put in there.
And then, the other point of this is, too: If, in fact, the 'surge' has calmed things to a point where the President and others are saying 'Well, they've done a great service, and they've achieved some terrific things,' why, then, is the administration talking about keeping more American troops in Iraq for the remainder of this year than we had before the 'surge'?"
"This," the Senator continues, "is still a very unstable, serious, dangerous situation in Iraq."
"The Shia militias have controlled southern Iraq the last three years," Hagel said. "We have just deferred that. There are no Americans down there and we act like, well, everything is fine.
"Well, everything is not fine ... what we're seeing as a consequence of our actions in Baghdad are going to further play out more violence."
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