Congressmember Doug Bereuter, one of the Republican’s most senior legislators focused on intelligence matters, announced just before his retirement that he now opposed the Iraq War. In a letter to constituents that the local Lincoln, NE Journal Star covered in Bereuter: War in Iraq not justified, Bereuter says that he would never have voted to authorize the war (as he did in 2002) had he known what he now knows about our intelligence failures and miscalculations regarding Iraqi WMD and other matters. Bereuter is a senior member of the House International Relations Committee and vice chair of the House Intelligence Committee.
Among the strong condemnations he levels against the Bush policy are:
“From the beginning of the conflict, it was doubtful that we for long would be seen as liberators, but instead increasingly as an occupying force.
“Now we are immersed in a dangerous, costly mess, and there is no easy and quick way to end our responsibilities in Iraq without creating bigger future problems in the region and, in general, in the Muslim world.”
Bereuter is making John Kerry look like a dithering fool. A senior Republican Congressmeber can oppose the war, but Kerry can’t?! I do understand the political calculus at work here and can respect it to a certain extent. But it still leaves a bitter taste in my mouth.
I’ve got to hand it to the right honorable House member–a Republican with principles who isn’t afraid to side with the other guys when he sees that they’re right and his side is wrong–that is an exceedingly rare breed in this political climate. I’m only sorry that he waited until his opposition would effectively have little or no impact on the national debate about the war (since he retires from Congress in only two weeks). Though I can understand that a House member who’s served for 26 years would feel tremendously ambivalent about biting the hand that fed him for lo those many years.
I first read about this story in Republican Now Opposes War in Iraq