The Klamath Basin Peace Forum

December 9, 2006

Senator Gordon Smith speaks from his heart.

Filed under: Uncategorized — kbpeaceforum @ 3:00 pm
Friday, December 08, 2006

GOP senator criticizes Iraq war in emotional speech

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- In an emotional speech on the Senate floor Thursday night, 
Sen Gordon Smith, a moderate Republican from Oregon who has been a supporter of 
the war in Iraq, said the U.S. military's "tactics have failed" and he "cannot support that 
anymore."

Smith said he is at, "the end of my rope when it comes to supporting a policy that 
has our soldiers patrolling the same streets in the same way, being blown up the 
same bombs, day after day.

"That is absurd," he said. "It may even be criminal."

Smith said he has tried to quietly support President Bush during the course of the war--and 
doesn't believe the president intentionally lied to get the U.S. into the war -- but now recognizes, 
"we have paid a price in blood and treasure that is beyond calculation" for a war waged due to 
bad intelligence.

Moved this week by the findings of the Iraq Study Group, Smith said he needed to "speak from 
my heart. I, for one, am tired of paying the price of 10 or more of our troops dying a day. 
So let's cut and run or cut and walk, but let us fight the way on terror more intelligently
that we have because we have fought this war in a very lamentable way," he said.

This is the text of a letter i may be sending to our local newspaper, The Herald and News, in Klamath Falls, Oregon in response to the words of Senator Smith posted above.

The recent political polls indicate that the approval rating for the current administration’s management of the war in Iraq is at an all time low. Nearly 70% of Americans now believe that the war has been mismanaged. The Iraq Study Group (ISG) has found that current policy and practice will not yield the results that the administration says it desires. As of this writing, over 2,900 American troops have died as well has over 100,000 Iraqis (estimates widely vary in these numbers). The violence continues to escalate as the country wages civil war. The President even “admits” that things in Iraq are “bad”.

According to GOP Senator Gordon Smith, long time supporter of Bush’s policy, in a speech given on the Senate floor on Thursday night , December 7 (Ironically on the anniversary of Pearl Harbor) “We have paid a price in blood and treasure that is beyond calculation for a war waged due to bad intelligence.” The Klamath Basin Peace Forum recognizes the wisdom and courage of our Republican Senator in breaking ranks from his party’s hard and fast line of support for the current “stay the course policy.” The Senator proclaimed emotionally that ” I am at the end of my rope when it comes to supporting a policy that has our soldiers patrolling the same streets in the same way, being blown up by the same bombs, day after day.

Thank you, Senator Smith. Only when reasoned minds on both sides of the aisle push for change in policy will the debacle of Iraq be salvaged and our troops be supported by removing them from harm’s way as soon as possible. It is time for a change in policy in Iraq. The Senator’s own words provide the best conclusion to this letter, ” I, for one, am tired of paying the price of 10 or more of our troops dying a day. So let’s cut and run or cut and walk, but let us fight the war on terror more intelligently than we have because we have fought this war in a very lamentable way.”

David Isaiah Hedelman

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