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'08 Hopefuls Turn Up Heat On War

The tone of the Iraq war debate got more strident today with Democratic presidential candidates competing to be more anti-war than the next and Republicans delivering bi-partisan blasts.

While stumping for Democrats in California yesterday, Sen. Barack Obama reiterated his opposition to the war and gave a thinly-veiled rebuke to President Bush's calls to continue fighting with a new strategy. "There are no good options in Iraq at this point," Obama said. "There are only bad options or worse options. But the worst option is to continue to put our young men and women in the midst of what is essentially a sectarian civil war in which they cannot succeed."

Meanwhile, Sen. Joe Biden didn't just criticize the commander-in-chief strategies as ineffective, but said they are "emboldening the enemy." This came after Biden accused Bush himself of saying war critics embolden the enemy. (Taking the cake was Rep. Dennis Kucinich who claimed the U.S. is "on its way toward being a fascist kind of government.")

On the GOP side, Rep. Duncan Hunter characterized Congress' war debate as equivalent to pulling "the rug out from under the soldiers ... by condemning this mission," Hunter said. "I thought it was a disservice to our soldiers."

Sen. John McCain continued to campaign as a critical hawk by blasting Donald Rumsfeld's conduct of the war, claiming he predicted the bloodshed in Iraq and the need for more soldiers and a new strategy more than three years ago. McCain said, "We are paying a very heavy price for the mismanagement -- that's the kindest word I can give you -- of Donald Rumsfeld, of this war. ... I think that Donald Rumsfeld will go down in history as one of the worst secretaries of defense in history." McCain's comments were met by applause.

The best of the rest of today's news can be found here.