Kennedy Calls Iraq Bush's 'Vietnam'

Democratic manuevering on Capitol Hill may likely foment more criticism of a surge. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Joseph Biden of Delaware plans to begin four weeks of hearings this week. His house counterpart, Rep. Tom Lantos of California, has also planned hearings in his committee.

Nearly 40 Republican senators, meanwhile, have already voiced their support for a surge.

"If it destroys any ambitions I may have, I'm willing to pay that price gladly," likely 2008 presidential hopeful Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said Friday after an appearance at the conservative American Enterprise Institute think tank in Washington.

McCain added that the surge "must be substantial and it must be sustained."

McCain agrees with retired Army Chief of Staff and ABC News consultant Gen. Jack Keane and AEI's Frederick Kagan that a surge would have to include a large number of troops -- Keane and Kagan say 35,000 -- and last well into 2008.  

"If Americans push back the insurgents, they will hold only while the Americans are still there," Rep. Duncan Hunter, a presidential candidate and chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, told a New Hampshire radio talk show this weekend.

As the debate heightens in intensity ahead of President Bush's speech, the killing in Iraq continued. Shortly before Kennedy spoke, violence flared along Baghdad's Sunni-dominated Haifa Street, where the Iraqi Ministry of Defense said U.S. and Iraqi troops killed 50 insurgents. Although the raid targeted a Sunni district, U.S. military commanders say they intend to cooperate with Iraqi forces in clamping down on factional violence in the Baghdad neighborhoods dominated by Iraq's Shiite Muslim majority.

"Anyone who conducts activities outside the rule of law will be subject to the consequences," American military spokesman Rear Adm. Mark Fox said in a news conference.

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