"More troops, more targets"

Soldiers on the ground in Iraq undercut Joe Lieberman's declaration of progress.

Published May 31, 2007 12:47PM (EDT)

Just before Joe Lieberman sat down for lunch with U.S. troops in Iraq yesterday, McClatchy Newspapers' Leila Fadel asked a few of them what they'd tell the senator if they had the chance. The answers were all pretty much the same.

From Spc. Will Hedin, 21, of Chester, Conn.:

"We're not making any progress. It just seems like we drive around and wait to get shot at."

Hedin said the president's surge, which Lieberman has supported, simply means "more troops, more targets." But he told Fadel that he might not be able to work up the nerve to tell Lieberman as much. "I think I'd be a private if I did," he said.

After lunch, Lieberman told reporters that the troops he met are "not Pollyannaish" about the war, but he did not retract his claim -- the same one he made nearly two years ago -- about all the "progress" the United States is making in Iraq now.

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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Iraq War Joe Lieberman War Room