“It seems a bunch of years ago I participated in a clunkers for cash program. My president sold me a clunker, and I paid for it,” with the cash that should have gone to his children, Ackerman said during a hearing before the House Foreign Affairs Committee Wednesday. “I just want to make sure that we’re not buying another clunker.”
“The best I can come up with is that we have a shack that’s on fire, but it’s located next to the dynamite factory,” he continued. “Is it worth risking the lives of those who respond to the fire in a place that may or may not hold a lot of value in and of itself. And what’s going to be the result?”
Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who testified at the afternoon hearing, said the war is the same one.
“But it is a dynamic war, and, frankly, the situation is getting worse. The fire is getting hotter,” he said referencing the increase in terrorist bombings in Pakistan over the last year. The change, he said, is the president is opting for a narrower mission that’s focused on defeating the direct threat of al Qaeda.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the president could have chosen to walk away, noting it would have been easier both politically and economically.
“But the dynamite factory is there, and unfortunately it’s been stocked with more dynamite in the past year.”