I missed Senator Feingold's appearance on Meet the Press yesterday but, thanks to the great blog Crooks and Liars
was able to watch. Read these excerpts to see why he should be our next President. From Meet the Press
SEN. FEINGOLD: Not only does it make sense, but it short—sort of shows that all this talk about a timetable being unreasonable or ridiculous is just wrong. Even General Casey is talking about how realistic it is to bring the troops home, and our timetable that we proposed last week had to do with bringing the troops home within one year. I mean, how is this different? And of course, the claim is, if you tell the terrorists that you’re going to leave, that somehow they’re going to be able to wait us out. Well, apparently General Casey and the administration is allowing us to tell them this.
The fact is it is a public timetable, just of the kind that General Casey here is basically talking about, where everybody’s going to know about it, is the best way to transition so that the Iraqis know what’s going to happen, we know what’s going to happen, the American people knows what’s going to happen—know what’s going to happen. That is the way to have confidence in the process in Iraq and get us refocused on the broader fight against terrorism in those places in the world, Tim, where we’re losing ground. We’re losing ground in Afghanistan. We don’t have enough resources in Indonesia and Malaysia area in this regard. We have lost ground in Somalia. And the fact is that Iraq is draining our strength. I think General Casey knows that. And this plan is very similar to the type of thing that Senator Kerry and I actually proposed in the United States Senate this week.
MR. RUSSERT: What General Casey and others would say about your plan is that it limited his flexibility. You wanted a time certain for all troops out. What he says is, “I need flexibility. I need to be able to have a withdrawal plan on my terms, based on what’s happening on the ground.” And he would have 40,000 to 50,000 troops on the ground at the end of next year. You would be completely out.
SEN. FEINGOLD: When he gives—we give total flexibility to the Pentagon and to General Casey in terms of what order he wants to do this, what time frame within the year that we have proposed. And the fact is our amendment does not call for the complete elimination of all troops. We allow exceptions to protect American facilities, to conduct anti-terrorist activities, and to help in a limited way in terms of training the Iraqi military and the Iraqi police. So the fact is, we do provide the flexibility that General Casey needs. Our plan is so similar to what he’s talking about it makes me wonder what the Republicans of the United States Senate and others were talking about when they said a timetable was a sort of a crazy idea. It’s a perfectly reasonable idea.
MR. RUSSERT: So you’d be content with 50,000 American troops on the ground at the end of next year?
SEN. FEINGOLD: No, I didn’t say that. What I said was we’d give him substantial flexibility, and if there are some troops that are still needed for the purposes I just mentioned, that is something I can accept. Of course, the Congress would also listen. Of course, the Congress would also listen if General Casey and the president said, “Look, we’re almost there, we need a little more time.” We could obviously extend the deadline. But having a public deadline that the American people could see, that the Iraqi people could see, that the world could see, so that people couldn’t use the idea of a so-called “American occupation of Iraq” as an excuse to recruit terrorists, that would be good for us, it would help us in the fight against al-Qaeda, which should be our top goal, Tim, fighting al-Qaeda and its affiliates, not being bogged down in Iraq.
MR. RUSSERT: The vice president, Cheney, weighed in on the debate. He offered these comments: “The worst possible thing we could do is what the Democrats are suggesting. And no matter how you carve it, you can call it anything you want, but basically it is packing it in, going home, and persuading and convincing and validating the theory that the Americans don’t have the stomach for this fight.”
SEN. FEINGOLD: The worst thing we could possibly do is what Vice President Cheney and President Bush did, which was take us into an unnecessary war that had nothing to do with 9/11 on false pretenses. They have done the worst thing that’s ever been done in this regard. The question is, do we just keep making the same mistake over and over again? Do we just stay in Iraq so that Cheney and Bush can say that, that they were right? That appears to be why we’re there. That appears to be the only logical reason to stay in a situation that is draining our military, that is hurting our recruiting, that is allowing Osama bin Laden to have us exactly where he wants us.
Tim, the Iraq invasion has played into the hand of al-Qaeda. They use Iraq as a training ground, as a place where they can go after Americans and say to people, “Come into Iraq, and we will train you to go after America and the West.” And the evidence is all over the world, where there are attacks going on all over the world of, of terrorists. We have not addressed the real issue here, and it’s Cheney and Bush and the administration that have failed the American people by a policy that has essentially nothing to do with those that attacked us on 9/11.
Russ for President