Characterizing GOP Senate leadership actions earlier in the week as a “Republican effort to stifle debate,” Iowa junior Senator Tom Harkin roundly criticized both President George W. Bush’s Iraq war plan as well as his Senate Republican colleagues for exercising their procedural rights to prevent a full floor debate on the issue.

In a press release, Harkin used his harshest language to date attacking Bush’s handling of the Iraq war:

“Is the President’s plan to escalate the war in Iraq in the best interest of the United States? Will the additional troops be sent into combat with proper equipment? The answer to those questions I strongly believe- after nearly four years of incompetence, bungling, and disastrously bad judgment by this administration – is a resounding ‘no.’ The President’s plan to escalate the war is not just deeply disappointing, it is deeply disturbing. Escalation is not a way forward; it is a way deeper into a tragic quagmire.”

Harkin also stated he was deeply disappointed for GOP republicans “refus(ing) to listen, and refus(ing) to even have this debate.”