Sunday, August 27, 2006

Shays Comments on Iraq: 2002-Present

The following are quotes made by Rep. Christopher Shays (R-4th CD) on the war in Iraq.

"The dangers we face may never be clear again. The mere existence of weapons of mass destruction in the hands of despots, tyrants and terrorists constitutes an imminent threat to our security." –Chris Shays, October 2002 (1)

"I find it funny how bellicose Chris Shays, a Peace Corps guy, has been these days when someone like me who's been in a war zone is just much more hesitant.” –Rob Simmons, October 2002 (2)

"This crisis has to be resolved now, not two, three or four years from now ... Regrettably, the world community remains divided, but the consequences of allowing Saddam Hussein to continue to manipulate the world community and develop his weapons of mass destruction are just too great." –Chris Shays, March 2003 (3)

"We now have to win the peace in Iraq and that's going to be very difficult ... If we fail to bring some stability to that area, then the whole effort will have been marred." –Chris Shays, following his first trip to Iraq in April 2003 (4)

"If we don't get the electricity and other things running, there will be many more problems.” –Chris Shays, encouraging the Administration to speed up its rebuilding efforts, during his second visit to Iraq in August, 2003. (5)

"The provisional authority has got more things in place ... There is no question we waited too long to do some of this stuff, but it is starting to happen." –Shays reporting on progress in Iraq during his third trip to the region in December 2003. (6)

"If this is their revolution, they [Iraqis] have to have a greater part in it ... They need to be listened to and no one is listening to them." –Shays, during his third visit to Iraq in December, 2003. (7)

"We met with six of the 25 members of the governing council and they have given me a lot more hope for what we can accomplish ... They said they're not going to be asking for more time, that they're up for the job." – Shays, during his fourth trip to Iraq in January, 2004. The governing council was the Iraqi body to which sovereignty was handed in May 2004 (8)

"We want to be out of Iraq and we want Iraq to govern itself." –Shays, speaking with Arab TV during the Republican National Convention, September 2004 (9)

"I believe with all my heart and soul the battle of terrorism is being fought in Iraq right now.” –Chris Shays, in a debate with Diane Farrell, October 2004 (10)

"To suggest somehow that President Bush should have known all this intelligence was false is not justified. It would have been foolish and irresponsible not to act. Saddam wanted us to think that he had weapons of mass destruction." –Shays, attacking Democrats in October, 2004 (11)

''When people say I don't understand what Saddam Hussein had to do with Sept. 11, I don't understand the question. It's like saying I don't understand what Adolf Hitler had to do with Pearl Harbor.'' –Shays, during a debate with Farrell in October 2004 (12)

"It is amazing to think of what is happening in these 20 months." –Shays, visiting Iraq for the seventh time to observe the Iraqi elections in January, 2005. (13)

"My own sense is that it is going to take a few years to get their police and army to the point where we would be able to totally back off." Shays, during his seventh visit to Iraq, February 2005 (14)

"We need to set some benchmarks and have a dialogue about that." Shays in June, 2005. Shays also said that setting a timetable would be a “mistake.” (15)

"I'm coming back pretty optimistic." Shays speaking about his tenth visit to Iraq, which preceded the Iraqi constitutional referendum, October 2005. (16)

"He is one of the few Democrats who is not making politics with the Iraq war." –Shays, referring to Joe Lieberman in March, 2006 (17)

"This is an issue of principle. Chris believes the war is the right thing to do." Shays campaign manager Michael Sohn, March 2006. (18)

I believe very strongly we can't pull our troops out as quickly as Americans want us to ... I'm having every expert on terror I talk to say the last thing you do to terrorists is give them a timetable.'' –Shays, April 2006 (19)

“I don't believe that this would even be a close election [for me] if it wasn't for Iraq. I accept that. If I lost over Iraq, I would be unhappy; but I would live with the knowledge that I've taken what I believe to be the right stand. The war in Iraq is a noble effort we can't afford to lose.'' –Shays in June, 2006 (20)

“I'd like to say I see light at the end of the tunnel, but I'm pessimistic about what I'll probably be reporting.” –Shays in August, 2006, preparing to leave for his 14th visit to Iraq. (21)

"Our troops cannot be there indefinitely. ... We should be able to tell the American people what kind of timeline we can have to begin to draw down our troops. It may be a timeline the American people don't want to hear. It may not be something that brings them out quickly." –Shays, following his 14th visit to Iraq in August, 2006. (22)

“A timeline is not an exit strategy.” –Diane Farrell, responding to Shays’ call for a timeline, August 2006 (23)


1. Urban, Peter. “Bush wins over Congress on support for Iraqi war.” Connecticut Post 3 October, 2002.

2. Urban, Peter. “Simmons apologizes to Shays for 'bellicose' characterization.” Connecticut Post 6 October, 2002.

3. “State Prepares for War.” Associated Press 17 March, 2003.

4. “Shays says Iraq rebuilding, Palestinian-Israel conflict urgent.” Associated Press 28 April, 2003.

5. Urban, Peter. “Shays calls for speedier rebuilding; Says Bush must push Iraqi plans.” Connecticut Post 28 August, 2003.

6. Urban, Peter. “Shays reports progress in Iraq; Has no protection in 3rd trip to area.” Connecticut Post 6 December, 2003.

7. “Lawmakers call for more Iraqi involvement in their nation's rebuilding.” Associated Press 10 December, 2003.

8. Baldor, Lolita. “Shays, lawmakers are first to stay overnight in Baghdad.” Associated Press 5 January, 2004.

9. Urban, Peter. “Shays faces blunt questions on controversial Arab TV.” Connecticut Post 3 September, 2004.

10. “Shays, Farrell square off in first debate in 4th District.” Associated Press 5 October, 2004.

11. “Iraq verdict fuels firestorm.” Connecticut Post 7 October, 2004

12. Cowan, Alison Leigh. “Using Iraq, a Challenger From Westport Has a Washington Veteran on the Defensive.” New York Times 10 October, 2004.

13. Urban, Peter. “Iraq vote witnessed by Shays.” Connecticut Post 31 January, 2005.

14. Urban, Peter. “Shays: Iraq needs continued U.S. support.Connecticut Post 1 February, 2005.

15. Urban, Peter. “Pressure builds on Bush to set Iraq timetable.” Connecticut Post 17 June, 2005.

16. Urban, Peter. “Returning Shays optimistic on voting outlook for Iraq.” Connecticut Post 12 October, 2005.

17. “Shays says he intends to vote for Lieberman.” Associated Press 1 March, 2006.

18. Christoffersen, John. “Shays faces tough race over Iraq war.” Associated Press 9 March, 2006.

19. Lightman, David. “Dodd, Shays see reason for Optimism.” Hartford Courant 22 April, 2006.

20. Buck, Rinker. “Out of Step: Why Chris Shays, Fairfield County’s Fiercely Independent Congressman, is Putting his Political Life on the Line over Iraq.” Hartford Courant 11 June, 2006.

21. Lightman, David. “Rivals Sound More Alike; Shays, Farrell Both Pessimistic on Iraq Outlook.” Hartford Courant 19 August, 2006.

22. Miga, Andrew. “Shays says U.S. should consider time frame for troop withdrawals.” Associated Press 24 August, 2006.

23. Pazniokas, Mark. “Shays’ Shift Causes a Stir.” Hartford Courant 26 August, 2006.


Anonymous said...

Chris Shays just like Ned Lamont a flip flopper.

bluecoat said...

As far as the military and intelligence communities are concerned, Shays has always been a non-entity when it comes to strategic issues. If they were more engaged with him, he never would have gone down the road he went down. He heads a subcommittee with exteremely limited reach. the full committee chairs that know what is going on are foreign relations, armed services and intelligence. Shays got as high as vice cahir of the budget committee but got kicked off when he went against his leadership who decided to spend like drunken soldiers.
Quite frankly, Shays has always been out of his league on the next step in Iraq but his position served the Bush Administration quite well. He should have stuck to what he knew - and military operations from a conscientious objector and Trumbull town administrator tweren't one of his areas. I don't know if he'll recover on this one - we'll see.

Bobby McGee said...

"Chris Shays just like Ned Lamont a flip flopper.

Watch Joe flip and flop like a fish out of water!

Anonymous said...

Here's a comment you might want to add:

"When I left office, there was a substantial amount of biological and chemical material unaccounted for . . . it is incontestable that on the day I left office, there were unaccounted for stocks."

Author? Bill Clinton, July 2003.

swami7774 said...

Here's a comment you might want to add:

"When I left office, there was a substantial amount of biological and chemical material unaccounted for . . . it is incontestable that on the day I left office, there were unaccounted for stocks."

Author: Bill Clinton, July 2003, on "Larry King Live."

bluecoat said...

Nobody argues with that in the Senate. That's why Blix went back in to Iraq to do the accounting but Bush short ciruited that and ordered the invasion.