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Growing GOP Dissent on Iraq
cbsnews.com ^ | April 7, 2004 | David Paul Kuhn

Posted on 04/08/2004 1:41:59 AM PDT by DayTripper

President Bush is facing increasing dissent among leading conservative politicians and pundits in the face of mounting U.S. casualties in Iraq.

The war has become the long slog that some Republicans feared. Since Sunday, 32 Americans have been killed in fighting across Iraq. American body bags are on the front page of major U.S. newspapers.

The Washington Post and The New York Times brandished images of charred U.S. civilian remains last week. The networks are leading their nightly news broadcasts with stories of dead Americans.

"If we have two or three more weeks of this you are going to start to see Republican members of Congress who have never been critical of President Bush and the Iraq policy starting to get that way," said Charles Cook, editor of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report.

Republican Party ranks are beginning to break and the White House is worried. Longtime GOP critics on Iraq are growing progressively more vocal in their condemnation.

The Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana, has strongly suggested that the Bush administration reconsider its June 30 deadline to transfer sovereignty from the interim government to Iraqis.

"How do you know, come June 30, that a civil war will not occur?" Lugar said on Voice of America radio. "After all, the coalition has not disarmed all of these militia that these religious groups have in various places. They still are armed and apparently ready to fight."

Usually loyal pundits are speaking out, too. Conservative columnist George Will wrote in The Washington Post on Wednesday, "U.S. forces in Iraq are insufficient."

There are currently 135,000 U.S. soldiers in Iraq – along with 24,000 international troops – and pressure is rising on the Bush administration to increase troop deployment. But the Department of Defense says it plans to decrease the number of U.S. troops in Iraq by tens of thousands around the June 30 deadline.

The White House continues to claim that most Iraqis support the American presence. But even some ardent conservative backers of the president are voicing skepticism.

"I'm not buying this 'Iraqis are on the American side' right now," Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly said on the Tuesday night broadcast of "The O’Reilly Factor." The leading conservative commentator repeatedly called the current conflict a "second war in Iraq."

O'Reilly added, "I think Rumsfeld has got a lot of explaining to do here. There's a lot of mistakes that are now killing American soldiers."

Fellow conservative pundit and former Republican congressman Joe Scarborough of MSNBC was even more critical in his broadcast Tuesday.

Scarborough: "Do we need more troops in Iraq? Hell, yes, we do. ... Should June 30 handover date to the Iraqis be extended? You can bet your life on it ... because creating this false deadline in time for a presidential election is no way to win a war."

Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry called the administration's June 30 deadline "arbitrary" in an NPR interview broadcast Wednesday. He also accused President Bush of not providing "Americans with a thorough understanding of exactly who we are turning the authority over to and precisely what the consequences of that will be."

The presumptive Democratic nominee's criticism of the president is no surprise. But for that criticism to be echoed by leaders of Mr. Bush's own party and top conservative pundits is a problem that could have grave affects on the president's hopes of winning reelection.

"Now that things aren't going so well, Republican critics are more open in their criticism," Cook said. "When there was a limit in how critical they could be of their own president before, even though they thoroughly disagreed."

Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska told CNN Tuesday that the Bush administration has "few good options" left regarding Iraq. The implication: the White House has dug a ditch that it possibly cannot get out of without getting its hands dirty.

The foundation of the president’s reelection campaign is the portrayal of Mr. Bush as the steady commander in chief successfully fighting the war on terror (the war in Iraq being one and the same to the Bush White House). Republicans questioning Mr. Bush's leadership in that war adds more fodder to Sen. Kerry's larger critique of the president.

A Pew Research Center national survey conducted this week shows that the majority of Americans now disapprove of President Bush's handling of the war in Iraq. Adding to the GOP dilemma, on Election Day there is more at stake for Republicans than the White House alone.

"For the first time in this election cycle there is some doubt about whether the Republicans will be able to hold onto the Senate," Cook said, adding his own critique of the Iraq war effort.

"Whether you agree about whether we should've done it or not, it is hard to say the war is being done well."

(Excerpt) Read more at cbsnews.com ...


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Extended News; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: 2004election; 2004electionbias; agitprop; baghdadbob; baghdadbobreturns; bds; bias; bigmedia; bodybags; boycottviacom; bull; bullpuckey; bushhassers; bushhaters; cbs; cbsviacom; ccrm; clintonbs; danblather; danratherbiased; dnctalkingpoints; election2004; hagelsellout; horsehockey; infinitybroadcasting; iraq; iraqaftermath; joescarborough; kerrycampaign; lovedclintonswars; lyingliars; lyinliars; mediabias; mtv; nick; nickelodeon; olielly; oreilly; paramount; pmsnbc; presidentbush; propaganda; quackmire; quagmire; reelectpresidentbush; saddamites; scumsucking; seebeeass; seebs; slimedogs; spike; tvland; upn; vh1; viacom; viacommie; whataload

1 posted on 04/08/2004 1:42:00 AM PDT by DayTripper
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To: DayTripper
The networks are leading their nightly news broadcasts with stories of dead Americans.

This is evidence of nothing except that the liberal media elites are trying to oust President Bush from office.

The same man than made Perky Katie cry when she announced he won on election day.

The same man that made Dan Rather look fatigued when he announced that it looked like George W. Bush had won on election day (only to find new energy when Gore recanted his concession).

The same party that had an election sweep in 1994 that made Peter Jennings declare "America threw a temper tantrum last".

The same man that Peter Jennings said of on 9/11/01 "some presidents do this sort of thing well, (rolls eyes) while others (pause) do not."

2 posted on 04/08/2004 1:48:11 AM PDT by weegee (Maybe Urban Outfitters should sell t-shirts that say "Voting Democrat is for Old Dead People.")
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3 posted on 04/08/2004 1:49:23 AM PDT by Support Free Republic (I'd rather be sleeping. Let's get this over with so I can go back to sleep!)
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To: weegee
"The O’Reilly Factor." The leading conservative commentator

I thought Rush Limbaugh was the 'leading conservative commentator'?
4 posted on 04/08/2004 1:50:29 AM PDT by Samurai_Jack (I'm not a campaign finance lawyer.... but I did stay at a holiday inn express)
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To: Timesink; *CCRM; governsleastgovernsbest; martin_fierro; reformed_democrat; Loyalist; ...
The "revived" public Media Schadenfreude and and Media Shenanigans lists:

Freepmail An Amused Spectator to get on/off this list.

5 posted on 04/08/2004 1:50:35 AM PDT by weegee (Maybe Urban Outfitters should sell t-shirts that say "Voting Democrat is for Old Dead People.")
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To: DayTripper
This article is so flawed in it's logic and arguments, not to mention it "out of context" interpretation of quotes cited, that it's hardly worth commenting on.
6 posted on 04/08/2004 1:52:41 AM PDT by dawn53
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To: DayTripper
Republican Party ranks are beginning to break and the White House is worried. Longtime GOP critics on Iraq are growing progressively more vocal in their condemnation.

True to form, CBS news remains rabidly anti-Bush. Most of this is wishful thinking on the part of CBS.

The Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana, has strongly suggested that the Bush administration reconsider its June 30 deadline to transfer sovereignty from the interim government to Iraqis.

Neither Lugar, nor the Senate has any wiggle room on this. The Dems pushed for an exit date on Iraq and got one - June 30. Bush has repeatedly said that this date will not change. Lugar and the rest of the 'Pubbies wenta along and let the Dems lead them - AGAIN! No one from EITHER party has ANY room to complain.

I would like to point out a substantial difference between Bush and his predecessor - when Clinton went into Bosnia, he promised that we would ONLY be there for one (1) year. Well, apparently, he was using another planet's calendar, because we have remained mired in Bosnia for well over one (1) EARTH calendar year. Bush says June 30, the date that the Dems and the UN pushed him to commit to, is the date and we will hand over control of the country to the Iraqis. While I don't believe that the situation will be totally stable at that time, Bush is a man of his word and will, unlike ANY Dem (other than Zell Miller), HONOR his commitment.
7 posted on 04/08/2004 1:56:50 AM PDT by DustyMoment (Repeal CFR NOW!!)
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To: DayTripper
"I'm not buying this 'Iraqis are on the American side' right now," Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly said on the Tuesday night broadcast of "The O’Reilly Factor."

I don't buy that the majority of muslims in America are on our side either:

Most U.S. Muslims see U.S. as immoral

"...the survey revealed that 85 percent disapprove of the job President Bush is doing."

8 posted on 04/08/2004 1:59:10 AM PDT by weegee (Maybe Urban Outfitters should sell t-shirts that say "Voting Democrat is for Old Dead People.")
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To: Samurai_Jack
Heck, O'Reilly's not even a conservative.

But then the majority of the press is so far off in left field I guess a *real* moderate like O'Reilly looks about the same as Rush Limbaugh to them...
9 posted on 04/08/2004 2:12:02 AM PDT by swilhelm73
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To: DayTripper
Interesting that, even if you accept the CBS report as 100% accurate, the Republican "dissidents" want to get even TOUGHER in Iraq than the administration; they want MORE troops to be dispatched.

They're hardly "breaking" with the Administration the way the Democrats have.
10 posted on 04/08/2004 2:34:33 AM PDT by Poundstone
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To: Poundstone
If our political and military resolve fail in Iraq, this country will never again be capable of defending itself. Casualties are a part of war. A necessary part. Why do our young military men and women understand that so much better than politicians and news people?
11 posted on 04/08/2004 3:31:51 AM PDT by billhilly (If you're lurking here from DU, I trust this post will make you sick)
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To: DayTripper
Usually loyal pundits are speaking out, too. Conservative columnist George Will wrote in The Washington Post on Wednesday, "U.S. forces in Iraq are insufficient."

There are currently 135,000 U.S. soldiers in Iraq – along with 24,000 international troops – and pressure is rising on the Bush administration to increase troop deployment. But the Department of Defense says it plans to decrease the number of U.S. troops in Iraq by tens of thousands around the June 30 deadline.

Does he think we'll have a draft? That's the only way we'll have a measurable increase in troop counts. We don't have enough now in reserve to boost our total in a significant way.

12 posted on 04/08/2004 3:46:30 AM PDT by GraniteStateConservative (...He had committed no crime against America so I did not bring him here...-- Worst.President.Ever.)
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To: DayTripper
Scarborough: "Do we need more troops in Iraq? Hell, yes, we do. ... Should June 30 handover date to the Iraqis be extended? You can bet your life on it ... because creating this false deadline in time for a presidential election is no way to win a war."

It's about winning an election, Joe. This war won't be won for years and years. First things first.

13 posted on 04/08/2004 3:48:29 AM PDT by GraniteStateConservative (...He had committed no crime against America so I did not bring him here...-- Worst.President.Ever.)
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To: DustyMoment
The Dems pushed for an exit date on Iraq and got one - June 30.


I believe this is the very first time ANYONE has said this. Thank You. I thought I had imagined it.

When they b!tch that this administration is *stubborn*, they mean that they cannot be rolled, although, as this date (and countless other) flap shows: they try.

It is the same w/the accusation of *secrecy*. If I knew there were burrowed Civil Service-protected Dem moles in every department of the government, I'd be secretive, too.

Lugar and Hegel are not supporters of the administration. They both can tick me off easily w/their siding w/the liberals.

And O'Reilly is not a Republican, although he has all but said he is voting for Bush because he cannot imagine Kerry as POTUS and he has recently said the same about Gore.

Scarborough: well, I haven't watched him in a long time. I could be wrong, but I stopped when he began to remind me of Savage. I notice they aren't including Savage, either. That must irritate him.

Calling these sources long time GOP critics is accurate.
14 posted on 04/08/2004 3:48:59 AM PDT by reformedliberal
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To: DayTripper
Sen. Richard Lugar (R - France)....
15 posted on 04/08/2004 3:52:36 AM PDT by Psalm 73 ("Gentlemen, you can't fight in here - this is a war room".)
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To: GraniteStateConservative
"Scarborough: "Do we need more troops in Iraq? Hell, yes, we do. ... Should June 30 handover date to the Iraqis be extended? You can bet your life on it ... because creating this false deadline in time for a presidential election is no way to win a war." I think its been said over and over that if more troops are required by the command in Iraq, they will get them!...and June 30 turn over of the will put the pressure on Iraqi leaders..Its perfect...think about it folks
16 posted on 04/08/2004 3:53:11 AM PDT by rrrod
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To: DustyMoment
"The Dems pushed for an exit date on Iraq and got one - June 30."

It's not an "exit date". Our troops will remain in Iraq long past that date. They will continue to take their orders from Washington. This 30 June date is largely meaningless.
17 posted on 04/08/2004 4:12:09 AM PDT by DugwayDuke
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To: weegee
Looks like See-BS finally decided it was safe to put up a seditious piece after the Fallujah counterattack. And they got to use "body bags"! Nothing tickles the treasonous soul of a Democrat "journalist" quite like using the phrase "body bags" to tear down US troop morale, and morale on the home front.

I can imagine these ghouls writing about Normandy, Tarawa and the Battle of the Bulge.

18 posted on 04/08/2004 4:41:17 AM PDT by an amused spectator (FR: Leaving the burning dog poop bag of Truth on the front door step of the liberal media since 1996)
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To: weegee
"...the survey revealed that 85 percent disapprove of the job President Bush is doing."

I STRONGLY disapprove with the manner in which Muslims living in the USA have conducted themselves before and after 9/11! BUT no one is surveying me!

19 posted on 04/08/2004 4:45:24 AM PDT by TrueBeliever9 (aut viam inveniam aut faciam)
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To: DugwayDuke
I agree. It's mostly symbolic. If people think that after June 30th our troops will be safe, they are leaving in a fantasy land. This is going to last for years, like Bosnia. But I think most people knew that going in.
20 posted on 04/08/2004 4:46:53 AM PDT by Maine For Bush
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To: weegee
Shouldn't we just have an hourly quagmire post?
21 posted on 04/08/2004 4:48:28 AM PDT by snooker (Clinton's definition of terror ... Monica I told you not to use your teeth.)
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To: DayTripper
"If we have two or three more weeks of this you are going to start to see Republican members of Congress who have never been critical of President Bush and the Iraq policy starting to get that way," said Charles Cook, editor of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report.

LOL! I Googled up the "Cook Political Report", and noticed that some gay political blog referred to the "Cook Political Report" as "well-regarded". Of course, the blog appeared to be using some quote by Charles Cook to bash Republicans over the head over their non-inclusiveness. ;-)

22 posted on 04/08/2004 4:50:39 AM PDT by an amused spectator (FR: Leaving the burning dog poop bag of Truth on the front door step of the liberal media since 1996)
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To: Maine For Bush
Yes it is a "fantasy" land but there are a lot of folks that seem to be confused about all this. I fully expect the dems to start calling Bush a liar because our troops are still their after 30 June. Of course, they'll only state that Clinton's promise to pull our troops out of Bosnia in '96 was 'different'.
23 posted on 04/08/2004 4:51:03 AM PDT by DugwayDuke
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To: GraniteStateConservative
Does he think we'll have a draft? That's the only way we'll have a measurable increase in troop counts. We don't have enough now in reserve to boost our total in a significant way.

My hypothesis is that you don't get an increase in enlistments when there is an increase in body bags coming home.

If people are going to die much beyond a normal death rate for healthy young people, there should be a draft. Then see how much support these adventures have.

My hunch is that no draft would have been necessary to find people to cover every square foot of Afghanistan if that's what it took to capture BinLaden, but that changes when the goal is to take over a country and change its religious values, culture, and economy.

24 posted on 04/08/2004 4:57:03 AM PDT by grania ("Won't get fooled again")
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To: DugwayDuke
I agree. This is what concerns me the most. Troops will continue to die after June 30th, and the sick dems will take full advantage of it.
25 posted on 04/08/2004 4:58:08 AM PDT by Maine For Bush
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To: DayTripper
Cut and run by any other name.
Either we must take an undertaking seriously or we should just give it up. Either we turn return the concept of treason tout d'suite and deal with it and we should stop the fiction that Islam is the religion of peace and deal with it decisively and quickly, or we should embrace isolationism totally.

We can't deal indefinitely with enemies both foreign and domestic. Definitely not have to put up with sedition as blatant as has ever existed in recent history and expect to wage any kind of a war anywhere.
If we are not willing to deal with the traitors among us how can we ever expect to wage a successful war ever again?
I am not prepared to blame GW for the problem; it has been developing for generations. But we can insist or demand that all foreign nationals domestically delivering our news be deported immediately. That would be a good start...

26 posted on 04/08/2004 5:06:15 AM PDT by Publius6961 (50.3% of Californians are as dumb as a sack of rocks (subject to a final count).)
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To: DayTripper
America lost in Korea,Vietnam and Desert Storm simply because of politics. Every-time we leave it to the politicans instead of the military to run a war we lose.
Truman stopped MacArthur simply because of politics and he, Truman, felt vulnerable to MacArthur politically. Had MacArthur been left alone China probably wouldn't be the threat it is today nor would Vietnam simply because foreign countries know how to push the buttons of our politicians.Foreign countries now read America like a book.
Being politically correct in Vietnam cost us that war. When you fight a war by the book you have written and bring all these foreign governments in to train them under that book you not only lose your advantage you give it to the enemy and our politicians have not learned a damn thing over the last 54 years.
Desert Storm was a loss for all intents and purposes because of the politicians, including Bush #1 following the UN. Remember this is the same UN we now find in up to its neck in graft. This graft even leads to Koffi. This is the same UN that allowed France,Germany and no telling how many other of its members to steal from the poor souls in Iraq and gave Saddam a free reign to do damn well as he pleased. It is the same France and Germany that were on the take that manipulated all of our great leaders in the Democrat Party to stand by them and demand we get their approval.These are the same Democrat leaders that make it almost impossible to win a war because of their Rhetoric and aid to the enemy in the time of war. Some of these same leaders were doing the same thing in the Vietnam War.
I could care less about dissenting opinions before or after a war but during a war the SOB's should be hung for treason.
The Democrat Party in is the pocket of Koffi Annan and the UN and if left up to them America will lose her sovereignty and we will be ruled by a dictator. No telling how many of those dollars from Iraq made their way to the Democrat Party just as those from China and the Buddhist Temple.
27 posted on 04/08/2004 5:27:46 AM PDT by gunnedah
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To: Samurai_Jack
You zeroed in on what made me laugh hardest--O'Reilly? That's no conservative, that's a guy who'll say whatever it takes to get ratings. Right now, he (and other Fox commentators) are courting the 'rat viewers. And he really loves these headlines, trust me.
28 posted on 04/08/2004 5:31:35 AM PDT by MizSterious (First, the journalists, THEN the lawyers.)
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To: DustyMoment
They are mixing apples and oranges. We are talking about a handover date to the interim Iraqi government not an exit date for the US. Militarily we will be there for years maintaining the security enviroment with the Iraqi authorities. Lugan may question the transfer date but he supports our continuing presence there. This is another CBS anti-Bush piece.
29 posted on 04/08/2004 5:38:29 AM PDT by kabar
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To: DayTripper
Thay are really cranking up the propaganda machine.

Once again, consider the source for this - CBS News. Run by none other than the Goebbels of the American Left, Dan Rather.

30 posted on 04/08/2004 7:52:04 AM PDT by FierceDraka (Service and Glory!)
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To: DayTripper

B/S
31 posted on 04/08/2004 7:53:36 AM PDT by Unicorn (Two many wimps around)
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To: DayTripper
""The O’Reilly Factor." The leading conservative commentator"

Ha! Reilly is closer to Pat Buchannan and O'Reilly is out of his league on this issue. He is somewhat of a bully and is an Independent-not the conservative movement. Recall his old days as a schlep reporter who went to school and came up with an interesting business plan.

32 posted on 04/08/2004 1:26:31 PM PDT by Helms (May The Democratic Party's Road to the Whitehouse Dead End Over B.Streisand's Cliff at Malibu.)
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To: Helms
"Name and town,name and town, if you care to opine."

Bill has largely opinions to share. There are many on this forum that have a better understanding of dynamics than O'Reilly. Certainly Rush does. His is a minority opinion.

Sorry, no factor gear for me til he stops his faux contrarian position.

33 posted on 04/08/2004 1:31:20 PM PDT by Helms (May The Democratic Party's Road to the Whitehouse Dead End Over B.Streisand's Cliff at Malibu.)
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