Virginia Democratic Senator Jim Webb has responded to the president's State of the Union address -- calling on Mr. Bush to change course in Iraq so American combat troops can come home soon.
The new senator said President Bush took the country into the Iraq war - in his words - "recklessly" and he described the war's costs as "staggering." Webb said the majority of Americans and the majority of the military no longer support the way the war is being fought, and called for a new policy to take U.S. soldiers off the streets of Iraq's cities and to allow them to leave Iraq soon.
He called on Mr. Bush to immediately shift his Iraq policy towards regionally-based diplomacy, saying Democrats would join him if he takes the right action, and if not, Democrats would -- in his words - "show him the way."
Webb is a former Marine and an outspoken critic of Mr. Bush's Iraq policies. He has a son now serving in the Iraq war. He is also a former Republican who served as Secretary of the Navy for President Ronald Reagan.
In elections last November, Webb upset Republican Senator George Allen in Virginia to give Democrats control of the U.S. Senate.
The Democratic senator said his party looks forward to working with President Bush on alternative energy programs to help free the United States from its dependence on foreign oil.