There has been much furor this week about Alan Greenspan’s new book, The Age of Turbulence, in which he states, "I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows. The Iraq war is largely about oil." On CNN’s Late Edition, Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee Rep. Tom Lantos acknowledged that he agrees with him "to a large extent." Watch the video here.
Rep. Lantos also had some harsh words in his opening statement at last week’s hearing with General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker:
The Administration’s myopic policies in Iraq have created a fiasco. Is it any wonder that on the subject of Iraq, more and more Americans have little confidence in this Administration? We can not take ANY of this Administration’s assertions on Iraq at face value anymore, and no amount of charts or statistics will improve its credibility.
This is not a knock on you, General Petraeus, or on you, Ambassador Crocker. But the fact remains, gentlemen, that the Administration has sent you here today to convince the members of these two Committees and the Congress that victory is at hand.
With all due respect to you, I must say…I don’t buy it. And neither does the independent Government Accountability Office or the Commission headed by General Jones. Both recently issued deeply pessimistic reports…
The situation in Iraq cries out for a dramatic change of course. We need to get out of Iraq, for that country’s sake and for our own. It is time to go – and to go now.
His statement makes me think back to the summer of 2005 when I was the Berkeley Canvass Director. We spent the entire summer targeting Rep. Lantos and generated over 1000 letters from his district urging him to support a timeline for withdrawal from Iraq. In the last 5 years, we have worked on many levels to push Rep. Lantos in a better direction. His words and voting record this year show a significant shift in his position on the war in Iraq, and as Chair of Foreign Affairs, we need him taking leadership on this issue.
The next step is pressuring him to support unconditional, direct negotiations with Iran.