Biden & Hagel: Frick Joins Frack in Cutting From Iraq
(Updated and Bumped)
Now… This from Dan on the Anti-Iraq War politicians in 2002:
LOOKING AT IRAQ: SENATORS ASSURE KURDS U.S. WON’T FORGET THEM
IRBIL, Iraq — Two U.S. senators met Kurdish politicians and victims of Saddam Hussein’s regime in Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq on Saturday, in the highest-level American visit to the autonomous area since it was set up after the 1991 Gulf War. Sens. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., and Joseph Biden, D-Del., assured the Kurds that the United States, which patrols the skies above the Kurdish areas, would not forget them in planning for a government after Saddam. “We will stand with you in your effort to build a united Iraq, “ Biden told a hastily called session …
Distinguished senators Joe Biden and Chuck Hagel on a fact finding mission in the mideast in 2002.
The two later came together in a moment of bipartisanship to write the following letter in December 2002…
From the desks of Senator Joseph Biden and Senator Chuck Hagel:
IRAQ: THE DECADE AFTER
December 20, 2002
By Joseph R. Biden and Chuck Hagel
The United States will face enormous challenges in a post-Saddam Hussein Iraq, as well as broad regional questions that must be addressed. These are both matters that members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee have been focusing on for some time. During a week-long trip to the region, we came away with a better understanding of the possibilities and perils that lie ahead.
In northern Iraq we saw the extraordinary potential of Iraqis once they are out from under Saddam Hussein’s murderous hand. New hospitals, schools, roads and lively media are testimony to the determination of Iraqi Kurds and to the bravery of coalition air crews patrolling the no-fly zone. Just a few hours’ drive from the oppressive rule in Baghdad, a freely elected regional government and legislature (which we were honored to address) are embarked on a path of clear-eyed realism. While neighboring countries fear an independent Kurdistan, Kurdish leaders appear committed to working together for a united Iraq. They realize they could lose everything they have built in the past decade by pursuing independence.
Although no one doubts our forces will prevail over Saddam Hussein’s, key regional leaders confirm what the Foreign Relations Committee emphasized in its Iraq hearings last summer: The most challenging phase will likely be the day after — or, more accurately, the decade after — Saddam Hussein.
Once he is gone, expectations are high that coalition forces will remain in large numbers to stabilize Iraq and support a civilian administration. That presence will be necessary for several years, given the vacuum there, which a divided Iraqi opposition will have trouble filling and which some new Iraqi military strongman must not fill. Various experts have testified that as many as 75,000 troops may be necessary, at a cost of up to $ 20 billion a year. That does not include the cost of the war itself, or the effort to rebuild Iraq.
Then… back in June 23, 2003 during another trip together to Iraq the two senators had this to say…
“Leading U.S. senators said Monday they believed American troops could be in Iraq for at least five years.”
Senators Richard Lugar, R-Ind, right, Chuck Hagel, R-Neb (2nd from right) and Joseph Biden, (left), D-Del, walk towards the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad, Iraq. The senators believe American troops could be in Iraq for at least five years. (AP)
The Futurist has more on the two politicians.