I love it. One GOP senator/guest slaps down another GOP senator/guest and gives us the unvarnished truth on Iraq:
Senator CHUCK HAGEL (Republican, Nebraska; Foreign Relations Committee): No, I don’t think we’re winning. In all due respect to my friend Jon Kyl, the term hand-wringing is a little misplaced here. The fact is a crisp, sharp analysis of our policies are required. We didn’t do that in Vietnam, and we saw 11 years of casualties mount to the point where we finally lost. We can’t lose this. This is too important. There’s no question about that. But to say, `Well, we just must stay the course and any of you who are questioning are just hand-wringers,’ is not very responsible.
The fact is we’re in trouble. We’re in deep trouble in Iraq.
Then Schieffer gives us some news that somehow was missed by the rest of our corporate media:
SCHIEFFER: OK. Let me go to Chairman Hamilton. You, of course, as the chair of the 9-11 Commission, you focused in on intelligence. One of the things that struck me, Mr. Hamilton, was last Sunday when we saw this attack on the Green Zone which is the place where US offices are, where the Iraqi government is, they were heavily mortared and the mortaring went on for more than five hours before they could figure out where it was coming from. It turned out it was coming from everywhere. That suggests to me that our intelligence is no better today than when we went in there. We didn’t know who was doing this or where these people were. It took five hours to get it stopped. What’s your assessment of that?
Lee Hamilton breaks out his ruler and applies it to Iraq:
Mr. LEE HAMILTON (Co-Chairman, 9-11 Commission): If you look at all of the metrics of measuring where we are in Iraq today, governance–I think the president is right. We’ve had some progress on governance. Security–I think it’s gone downhill and it’s a very serious situation today. Economic reconstruction–languishing, probably because of the security problem. The well-being of the Iraqi people–an awful lot of them are being killed. And some other metrics they just don’t measure up very well.
Richard Holbrooke gives Bush a partial credit:
Mr. RICHARD HOLBROOKE (Former UN Ambassador): Well, first of all, in the dispute between two Republican friends of mine, I should side with Senator Hagel, and Prime Minister Allawi’s comments remind me of Groucho Marx’s great line, `Who do you believe? Me or your own two eyes?’ The fact is that although the original intent in Iraq, which I supported, to get rid of Saddam Hussein is a worthy goal–the way it’s been carried out has created a catastrophe. Not catastrophic success as President Bush has said, but he’s half right. It’s a catastrophe.
Finally, John Kyl gives Cheney the vapors:
Sen. KYL: Well, just a couple of points. First of all, when Senator Kerry talked about waging a more sensitive war, I was one of the people who didn’t really jump on him for that because I think what he was trying to say is that we had to allow the Iraqi people to be involved in the decisions about how that war is conducted.