CONCORD, N.H. -- Three retired generals challenged a dozen members of Congress in a new ad campaign yesterday, saying the politicians can't expect to win reelection if they support President Bush's policies in Iraq.
"I am outraged, as are the majority of Americans. I'm a lifelong Republican, but it's past time for change," retired Major General John Batiste told reporters.
"Our strategy in Iraq today is more of the same, a slow grind to nowhere which totally ignores the reality of Iraq and the lessons of history," he said.
Batiste and Paul Eaton, also a retired major general, are featured in the ads by VoteVets.org. They challenge the president's argument that he listens to his commanders on the ground in Iraq and say the president's Iraq policies endanger US security.
Other veterans promoted the campaign at a news conference in Manchester, the start of a six-state publicity tour targeting Republican Senators John Sununu of New Hampshire, Susan Collins of Maine, Norm Coleman of Minnesota, and John Warner of Virginia, as well as nine House members.
Many in the group, including Sununu, have criticized various aspects of administration policy.
But all of them have opposed legislation to establish a timetable for withdrawing American troops.
Separately in Manchester, about a dozen peace activists staged a sit-in at Sununu's office to oppose the war.
When VoteVets.org ran ads in February, Sununu said critics of the war have every right to speak out, "but no group or individual should claim to speak for all the patriotic Americans serving in Iraq and around the world in our armed forces."
The House members targeted by the new ads are Mary Bono of California, Phil English of Pennsylvania, Randy Kuhl and James Walsh of New York, Jo Ann Emerson of Missouri, Timothy Johnson of Illinois, Mike Rogers and Fred Upton of Michigan, and Michael Castle of Delaware.
English's spokeswoman, Julia Wanzco, fired back. "The congressman has long stated that he is for a political settlement not a surge, and at the end of the day, these ads are more about cheap Democratic political stunts than about solving the actual problem," she said.