Democratic challenger for U.S. Senate seat calls Iraq war 'strategic blunder'

Sunday, October 29, 2006

The weekly Democratic Party radio broadcast on Saturday featured Virginia's U.S. Senate seat challenger James Webb, who said "I told you so," referring to his prediction before the Iraq war that, "our troops would become terrorist targets, and that there was no exit strategy because the people who were doing this did not intend to leave."

Calling the war a "strategic blunder", Webb said the Bush administration should "make it clear that we have no intention to build permanent bases in Iraq." The presence of U.S. forces in Iraq destabilize the region, where their withdrawal would take the moral high ground away from {[w|Muslim}} insurgents, Webb said.

Webb also called on the Administration to open a diplomatic dialogue with Syria and Iran, countries with a vested interest in the security of Iraq. "We could also encourage accountability among other nations in that region, who are now threatened by Iraq's instability and will benefit by a proper solution."

The too-close-to-call and hotly contested Senate race between Webb and incumbent Republican opponent George Allen is closely watched as Democrats try to gain majority control in both the Senate and House of Representatives in the November 7 mid-term election.