Republican leader: Iraq is a "small price" to pay

How MoveOn critic John Boehner supports the generals and their troops.

Published September 13, 2007 12:11PM (EDT)

As House Minority Leader John Boehner and his Republican colleagues continue to attack Democrats for MoveOn's "General Petraeus or General Betray Us" ad, let's take a moment to remember that Boehner himself once blamed America's problems in Iraq on the U.S. generals serving there.

Arguing that then Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld shouldn't be hung out to dry for Iraq, Boehner told Wolf Blitzer on Nov. 1, 2006: "The fact is the generals on the ground are in charge, and [Rumsfeld] works closely with them and the president."

Of course, Rumsfeld was hung out to dry just a few days later. Boehner? He's still around. In an interview with Blitzer from Baghdad Wednesday, Boehner said that "the investment that we're making today [in Iraq] will be a small price if we're able to stop al-Qaida here, if we're able to stabilize the Middle East. It's not only going to be a small price for the near future, but think about the future for our kids and their kids."

We're not sure which investment Boehner considers such a "small price" -- the trillion dollars the United States will eventually spend in Iraq, or the 3,776 American soldiers who have already lost their lives there. Nor are we sure how much "smaller" that price might have been if we'd actually put our resources into fighting al-Qaida where it was after 9/11 rather than creating a new and deadly battleground where it wasn't.

By Tim Grieve

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

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Iraq War John Boehner R-ohio