Some serious tension between Sens. Jim Webb and Lindsey Graham in a debate over Iraq. A highlight here:
But the whole thing is well worth watching. The first half is basically civil (Webb tries to interrupt when Graham insists that al Qaeda is the “number one” enemy) but at about 15 minutes in, it gets testy. There’s so much bitchy crosstalk, I don’t envy the transcriber. When Graham dinged Webb for not having actually been to Iraq, I was hoping he’d fire back that, well, his son is there, but Webb was just sort of bemused and (I think) referenced the famous “market stroll.” A favorite exchange (approximate!), about Webb’s “readiness” amendment:
WEBB: Lindsey’s had a hard month.. he’s one of those people who gathered around the immigration bill… There is NO, there is NO operational policy that justifies what we’ve been doing… Somebody needs to speak up for them [soldiers] rather than the failed policies of this administration.
GRAHAM: [Interrupting, or trying to] they re-enlist in the highest number
WEBB: This is something… this something.. This is something that I really… Can I speak here? This is something I really take objection to, when politicians try to put their political views into the mouths of soldiers.
Then they sort of bitchslap each other about who’s family has been in the military the longer.
WEBB: My family’s been doing this since the Revolutionary War.
GRAHAM: Well, so has my family.
I’m not sure that’s true, but you, go girl! No seriously: They didn’t actually take out rulers or anything but, uhm, wow.
UPDATE: I’ll post a transcript when it’s available.
UPDATE: Looks like C&L has a more complete and probably more accurate selection of the dialog here.
Webb: “We’re now in a situation where the soldiers and the Marines are
having less than a one to one ratio [time at home versus time at war],
and somebody needs to speak up for them instead of simply defending
what this President …”
Graham: “Well, they reenlist in the highest numbers anywhere than the…”
Webb: “This one thing I really take objection to is politicians …”
Lindsey keeps interrupting
Webb: “May I speak? … Is politicians who put their political views
in the mouths of soldiers. You can look at poll after poll and the
political views of the United States military are no different than
the country writ large. Go take a look at the New York Times today.
Less than half of the military believes that we should have been in
Iraq in the first place.”