Senator Gordon Smith gave the keynote speech at Dorchester Friday night. Here is a review of the main relevent points of his speech.
– Gordon has been to Iraq many times, and his impression everytime was the same thing where big bombs went off and our soldiers went to leave the Green zone and came back injured. This was a defining experience for Gordon.
– Gordon complained of watching our soldiers set-up barricades which reduced violence in Bahgdad, yet the Iraqi prime minister demanded them down.
– Gordon felt that the Iraqi politicians werenot gving 100% like the Americans
– Gordon actually said of his feelings of the Iraqi politicians as “they were played us like a shield” (paraphrase), meaning we were protecting them to do their duty but they were not doing their duty.
– Gordon stated that George Bush said that 2/3rds of the American public do not like how the war is going, and a 1/3rd do, and Bush said he is with the 2/3rds belief.
– Gordon criticized the 20,000 surge, saying that the surge needs to be 250,000 but they need to be Iraqis
– Gordon said we were in Iraq indefinitly
– Gordon gave a detailed history of the Shite/Sunni conflict, and said it has been going on for over 1400 years, and Americans cannot fix it.
– When asked about uniting the fractured Republican Party Gordon mentioned (1) Power of the Free Market (2) ethanol (3) windmills (4) affordable health care (5) fixing Iraq (6) War of terror and (7) renewable energy.
Finally the crowd reaction, atmosphere and questions was very receptive. There was lot sof grumbling and complaining before the speech, but little after. Few people asked difficult questions, so a truly stark debate never occurred.