Mike said a little while ago that the Iraq war isn’t a local issue, and Newsday smacked him for it.
Today, he got the same question, and responded that it’s “a national issue and a local issue.”
He also gave the fullest answer he has on the war, after years of being asked. It is, unfortunately, quite difficult to decipher his position from it: he seems to be in the Dodd-Feinstein regret my vote/support the troops camp. But it’s hard to be sure.
Here’s what he said:
“We’ve lost 30 or so young men and women from this city. It’s a great tragedy, 2,000 men and women who have volunteered to go overseas and protect the freedoms that have been fought for and won at such a terrible cost over the last 235 years.
“Mrs. Sheehan has a right to protest and whatever she is — that’s a different issue. The war itself is clearly something that all of us, tragically, have an interest in.”
In response to a follow-up about withdrawing troops, he continued:
“I think that we have to make sure that while we may have gone into this war based on what turned out to be faulty intelligence, 2,000 of our young men and women have paid a terrible price. I want to make sure the soldiers over there get the kind of support that they need so that we can bring them home safely and then we’ve got to find a way to make sure that the sacrifices that we have made to date haven’t been in vain.
“I think everybody would love to get our troops home as quickly as is practicable. But I think I go along with our Senators who said we’re asking our young men and women to live in a very — perform a great service, a great sacrifice for us, and to support them while they are there.”