“There’s a growing impatience by the members of Congress and the public,” added Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., another [Senate Foreign Relations] committee member. “It isn’t a cacophony yet, but it’s a growing voice of people concerned.”
Republican outspokeness on Iraq ranges from Lamar Alexander’s (Yes! He’s still alive!) desperate search for a fig leaf to cover Bush’s failure…
Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “It’s harder than we thought. We don’t need an exit strategy; we need a success strategy, but we may have a different definition of success.”
…to John “Turtle Love” Cornyn’s reaction to a frightening brush with reality…
The training of Iraqi soldiers by U.S. forces also has become a top worry, with lawmakers saying it’s taking longer than anticipated. “That,” said Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, “was not encouraging.”
He returned from Iraq last month with a bipartisan congressional delegation that included committee Chairman John Warner, R-Va. Early this month, Warner told reporters the visit revealed “a great deal of work needs to be done to achieve the level of forces that will allow our country and other members of the coalition to reduce force levels.”
…to Rep. Ann Davis’s faux concern for our troops…
“Our troops are stretched so thin,” said Rep. Jo Ann Davis, R-Va. “That’s my top concern.”
…while those who truly support our troops begin the push to bring them home.
The rising number of U.S. casualties — climbing by 70 or more each month as the election draws near to at least 1,365 — also has been cause for alarm. The uptick prompted a small group of House Democrats to ask President Bush to start bringing troops home.
“Our troops are like sitting ducks,” said Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D-Calif., the effort’s ringleader.
Because of the casualties, at least one Republican, Rep. Howard Coble of North Carolina, is trying to spark discussion of withdrawal. “It is a component of the big picture, and it seems to me a component that has been virtually invisible,” he said.