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Senate Rejects Two Iraq Pullout Amendments

The Kerry-Feingold and the Reed-Levin amendments both went down to defeat:

The GOP-controlled Senate on Thursday rejected Democratic calls to start withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq by years' end, as the two parties sought to define their election-year positions on a war that has grown increasingly unpopular.

"Withdrawal is not an option. Surrender is not a solution," declared Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist of Tennessee, who characterized Democrats as defeatists wanting to abandon Iraq before the mission is complete.

Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid of Nevada, in turn, portrayed Republican leaders as blindly following President Bush's "failed" stay-the-course strategy. "It is long past time to change course in Iraq and start to end the president's open-ended commitment," he said.

In an 86-13 vote, the Senate turned back a proposal from some Democrats that would require the administration to withdraw all combat troops from Iraq by July 1, 2007, with redeployments beginning this year.

Minutes later, the Senate rejected the proposal more popular with Democrats, a nonbinding resolution that would call for the administration to begin withdrawing troops, but with no timetable for the war's end. That was a closer vote, 60-39.

While being interviewed by Bill Hemmer on Fox News, Senator George Allen (R-VA) called the Kerry-Feingold amendment what it was: a strategic plan for retreat.

Last week, the House passed a nonbinding resolution which stated that a timeline for pulling out of Iraq is not in our country's best interest. However, 149 House Democrats thought otherwise and voted to wave the white flag of surrender.

Update: Here are the roll calls for the Kerry-Feingold and Reed-Levin amendments. Even though Joe Lieberman is in a very tight Democratic Primary race because of his strong support for the Iraq war, he stuck to his principles and voted against both amendments. Hat tip: Hot Air.

Update II: Ned Lamont, Joe Lieberman's primary opponent, has issued a statement in which he declared his support for the Reed-Levin amendment. Here's part of his statement:

This is an issue that needs to be dealt with by the current President and the current government of Iraq. "Stay the course" is not a strategy for any real victory, and it is time that the President and Congress recognize that fact and take the steps needed to ensure true safety and security for the region and for America.

Take a look at what one of the commenters on Lamont's blog had to say in reponse:

[T]here is no victory when you're the fucking bad guys...

The sentiment expressed by this person is typical of the loony, anti-American leftists who are trying to defeat Joe Lieberman.


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Senate Rejects Two Iraq Pullout Amendments:

» Morning Coffee linked with Only Two Choices, Victory or Defeat

» Maggie's Farm linked with Dems Scared by Diaperheads

» PartisanTimes.com linked with Kerry's Flip Gets Flopped In The Senate

» Pirate's Cove linked with Dems Want Change

Comments (32)

Uh dah, can We like twy aga... (Below threshold)

Uh dah, can We like twy again?

The reason for the vote is ... (Below threshold)

The reason for the vote is that it was important to get the House and Senate Republicans on record.

Reality check - the withdrawl is already moving forward, you just won't find many Republicans willing to admit it. Fortunately, the military leadership is admitting it.

U.S. commander in Iraq predicts gradual withdrawl of troops in coming months

On the eve of President Bush's summit on Iraq, the top U.S. commander in Baghdad predicted Sunday that coalition troops will gradually move out of the country in the coming months.

Gen. George Casey said he thinks it will be possible to withdraw some of the 130,000 U.S. forces in the months ahead as long as Iraq's government and security forces make progress.

Casey would not say whether he plans to advise Bush on a troop reduction plan during two days of meetings with the administration's top national security officials that begin Monday at Camp David in Maryland. But the general hinted the time soon may come for such a recommendation.

"I was waiting until we got a government seated before I gave the president another recommendation so we have some sense of what
we've got," Casey said on "Face the Nation" on CBS.

There's Republican politics and rhetoric ("We will not cut and run!"), and then there's reality. As usual, reality has a definite left-leaning bias.

The votes of the Republicans today will eventually be shown as nothing more than the partisan "Culture of Denial" death grip that the failures of the current administration has placed on the ability of Republican elected officials to act responsibly.

Global warming isn't real, we will not cut and run.. etc. These clowns are not representing the American people, they are attempting to maintain a political stranglehood on this country. Their reign will end with the coming elections thanks to their own actions -- such as today's vote.

Lee, a partial withdrawal b... (Below threshold)

Lee, a partial withdrawal based on what is happening on the ground is way different than one mandated by Congress. Your example does not prove your apparent point.

If the past two weeks don't... (Below threshold)

If the past two weeks don't prove even to the most rabid leftie that Hanoi John is insane then they are insane also. The wild eyed look he has makes me believe he has some type of STD that is eating his brain away. That wouldn't take long since he's never had a lot of brains. You could shoot him in the head a dozen times and all the wounds could be patched with a bandaide, nothing it there to hurt.

Lee's claim is of a piece w... (Below threshold)
Lurking Observer:

Lee's claim is of a piece with those who claim that, because the US has drawn down its forces from Saudi Arabia, therefore, the US has capitulated to Osama bin Laden.

Never mind the removal of the actual reason for those troops, i.e., the threat from Iraq.

These are likely the same sorts of folks who would argue that drawing down forces from Korea in 1954 is indicative that we had lost the Korean war.

OTOH, would they admit that Clinton cut-and-ran from Somalia? Or that Reagan cut-and-ran from Lebanon? (Probably the latter, since Ronnie was a Republican, after all.)

The difference you choose n... (Below threshold)

The difference you choose not to see, little Lee, is that the democrats want a hard and fast date, the administration and the Pentagon don't want to tip their hat.

Lee just supported what the... (Below threshold)

Lee just supported what the President has been saying since day one. Guess he got twisted trying to be illogical and got logical. At least he proved he doesn't know what he was talking about. Lost in a haze of drugs.

Lee is actually correct tha... (Below threshold)

Lee is actually correct that the Democrats are playing politics with war, staging votes that are sure losers. These sort of votes put guys like Chafee (especially Chafee) in a box. So the votes make Democrats look generally like anti-American buffoons, but it can help them in a couple of targeted races. Of course, it is immoral to call for withdrawal knowing that a slaughter would follow, but liberals aren't exactly moral creatures.

"<a href="http://www.foreig... (Below threshold)

"Cut and Run? You bet." by Lieutenant General William Odom.

Appointed by Reagan to head the NSA.
Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute.

You know...we often accuse ... (Below threshold)
Big Mo:

You know...we often accuse Congress of having tin ears. But these four votes over the past two weeks make me wonder if the war is not as "unpopular" as the media wants us to beleive.

Oh, I'm not so naive to think that everything's coming up roses. But I think that these four votes are indicitive that the public wants us to WIN the war, not run away just because some willy nilly leeberals can't stand the fever in their brains and want to run run run from Iraq because they just KNOW it's Vietnam redux and we can't win because they say so.

It's absurd to set up a ti... (Below threshold)
Jonas Planck:

It's absurd to set up a timetable for something you can't define, much less state directly. Pull out? Doesn't sound too manly to me. Need to leave it in there, get the job done. Impregnate her with the Seed of Democracy, Stay with the kid to term, and raise the boy, finally putting it through college? That's gonna take at least fifty years. And even then, we won't have complete "Victory," because the boy's gonna keep coming back and borrowing money.

The thing is, if you can't say what Victory entails, how is anyone supposed to achieve it?

Getting the Mission Accomplished:

1. "Disarm" Saddam: Done.
2. Kill his psychotic sons: Done.
3. Capture Saddam: Done.
4. Drain the Baath party: Got'r'done.
5. Keep Halliburton out of bankruptcy: WELL done.
6. Hold Elections: Got'r'did!
7. Rebuild basic services: Allegedly been done.
8. Kill Zark-OWwie: Got him.
9. Make people think that a Ground War in Asia is a good idea: Priceless.

So what's the new Mission? The Tenth Mission. Christian Conversion? Genocide? Stability(good luck with THAT)? Industrial overhaul? All of the Above? Are we not going to rest until Iraq is the 51st state? Or just until all the oil is drained out, and being sold to us at $7.00 a gallon? Come on, throw me a bone, here. Just a hint, even. What does "Winning" mean in this context? How will we know when we have WON?

...And can you define victory without parroting a slogan?

86-1360-39<p... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:



If this were little league sports, Dems would have to have forfeit the game long ago.

Go ahead, Democrats, keep running these hapless Iraq troop pullout amendments up the flagpole and keep getting smacked down. It's unquestionable proof that you truly are the Party of Defeat. (Oddly, you seem to take great pleasure in showing just how much you like to lose. Bizarre, truly.)

epador said: "Lee, a par... (Below threshold)

epador said: "Lee, a partial withdrawal based on what is happening on the ground is way different than one mandated by Congress."

The general states that he's recommending a "gradual" withdrawl, not a partial one - that's a significant difference. And he thinks it can occur in the coming months, just as the Dems asked.

We will likely have a military presence of some form in Iraq for many years, but starting the withdrawl in the coming months is an important part of what the Dems have ben pushing for.

Don't tell me there will be political pressure to go against the General's recommendations? Gee, that would be a surprise....but this General at least is showing the kind of non-partisian leadership we expect from our military brain-trust.

Tangentially, I am really encouraged by the way the Marine Command is tackling their "issues", and the fact that General Casey is standing up for what's right here, regardless of the political fallout to the party in power. I have always been impressed by Military leaders, who invariably exhibit the kind of integrity lacking in most political leaders (from all parties).

I'd even vote Republican if Colin Powell got the nomination for President -- but don't tell my Democrat friends, ok?

Jonas - sure, I can. When t... (Below threshold)
Big Mo:

Jonas - sure, I can. When the Iraqi government says to Bush, "Ok, thanks. We can take it from here." THAT's when we declare victory and come home.

And the Iraqi government has already hinted that they think that will start happening next year, with coalition troops gone by 2008.

Bush has been telling this to you and the media and anyone who will listen for the last three years: "As the Iraqis stand up, we will stand down." You may dismiss this as a slogan, but it's the absolute truth. The more Iraqi soldiers and police are trained, deployed and assume primary duties, the less we are needed.

This has been going on--albiet imperfectly--for at least two years. The media doesn't talk to much about this because it's not as sexy a story as the latest car bombing or the latest phoney "milestone" of troop casualties. (Plus, of course, it doesn't fit the template of Bush=bad and Bush=liar.)

As far as the cute "cut and... (Below threshold)

As far as the cute "cut and run" and "lie and die" policies go, I like what Hagel said:

"This debate should transcend cynical attempts to turn public frustration with the war in Iraq into an electoral advantage. It should be taken more seriously than to simply retreat into focus-group tested buzz words and phrases like "cut and run," catchy political slogans that debase the seriousness of war."

Why read Wizbang when you can listen to Tony Snow?

and you guys sound surprise... (Below threshold)

and you guys sound surprised that the Dems had political motives in forcing the vote today? It was a given that the measures would fail - what else would be behind it?

btw -- As military leaders like General Casey act on the wishes of the democratic leadership and the majority of Americans... how long will it take for you guys to recognize the slippage in your sway? A Republican vote to "stay the course" and not "cut and run" seems superfluous to me, given the circumstances.

Oh sure, Bush/Rove/Cheney/Rumsfeld could ignore the recommendations of our Generals (as they ignored Powell), and lose more Republican seats this November as a result. That's not far-fetched at all... given the death grip of fear and terror the current adminstration operates under.

How long before you guys wake up? I'm guessing a long, long time.

Lee - what recommendations ... (Below threshold)
Big Mo:

Lee - what recommendations of what generals? The ones in the field in Iraq? Or retired generals that the media loves because they bash Bush?

Jonas PlanckYes, i... (Below threshold)

Jonas Planck

Yes, in a word JAPAN

Big Mo,The critics... (Below threshold)

Big Mo,

The critics are Generals who have actually served in Iraq, unlike you.

Major Gen. Paul Eaton, who helped revive the Iraqi army, described Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld as "incompetent strategically, operationally and tactically" and called for his resignation.

Lt. General Gregory Newbold, Director of operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff until 2002.

Maj. Gen. John Batiste, commander of the First Infantry Division in Iraq during 2004-2005 "turned down a third star and a tour in Iraq as the second-ranking U.S. military officer there. He retired rather than continue to work for Rumsfeld"

Why are you lying about which Generals are complaing about Rusmfeld and the war, Big Mo?

By the way, in case you didn't know, it would be illegal for Generals to criticize the President while wearing the uniform.

Bush appointed Secretary of the Army Thomas White (whom I don't like) is saying it a mess and the White House isn't being honest.

Two former heads of CENTCOM (Zinni and Hoar)

Army Gen. George Casey, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, also said that troop reductions were required to "take away one of the elements that fuels the insurgency, that of the coalition forces as an occupying force."


The Iraqis have been "standing up" for years. And our troop levels are as high now as three years ago, and the number of armed mecenaries has apparently increased!

Stop lying, Big Mo.

it's NIPPON, and they had ... (Below threshold)
Jonas Planck:

it's NIPPON, and they had it comin'!

Jonas - First, ... (Below threshold)
Big Mo:

Jonas -

First, what did I do to you to deserve such venom? I don't know you, you don't know me. I thought we were having a discussion.

Second, what did I say that was a lie? I was repeating what the President said. That's what he's been saying all along, and that's what JCOS has been saying. He believes it, he's been sticking to it, that's his template, with adjustments made in the field as the generals see fit. There's no lie there.

Third, I asked you this question (on another thread, by the way) "are any of the generals you mention active duty and in Iraq currently?" and then reasked the question this way:

"Are those generals retired or in the field? I'm guessing they're retired, because in the field, they aren't Democrat or Republican. They're U.S. soldiers. And if they're retired, their opinion of matters on the ground over there carries as much weight as yours and mine does regardless of what they did before."

I was thinking of Zini and a few others who hadn't been in Iraq at all during this conflict. I wasn't aware of those who had been there and recently retired and voiced their opinions. WHICH IS WHY I ASKED YOU IN THE FIRST PLACE, YOU JACKASS!


Unless, of course, you wish to return to reasonable discussion, in which case I'd be happy to do so.

Big Mo, I was refe... (Below threshold)
Lee - whoops. Thanks. Shoul... (Below threshold)
Big Mo:

Lee - whoops. Thanks. Shoulda read up further.

But Lee, I won't thank you ... (Below threshold)
Big Mo:

But Lee, I won't thank you for your interpretation of what Casey says, because it's really loopy. You seem to have an irrational hatred of all things Republican and conservative.

I hate to break this to you, but the withdrawal of troops from Iraq has nothing, nor will have nothing, to do with anything Democrats say about the matter.

I feel much better leaving troops withdrawls in the hands of Gen. Casey and the President, instead of the likes of Murtha and Kerry.

General Casey said the troo... (Below threshold)

General Casey said the troops in Iraq are fuelling the insurgency (in other words, not ending the insurgency, fueling = encouraging).

So, if you believe General Casey, you probably want the troops out.

re: update II:Tak... (Below threshold)

re: update II:
Take a look at what one of the commenters on Lamont's blog had to say in reponse:

[T]here is no victory when you're the fucking bad guys...

The sentiment expressed by this person is typical of the loony, anti-American leftists who are trying to defeat Joe Leiberman.

Or typical of a rightie trying to make the left look bad. I can't believe, Kim, that you are willing to prosecute a large portion of the american population on the basis of an anonymous blog comment.

Oh wait, Never mind. I CAN believe it... This is the website that doesn't comment until after an investigation is over and there is a signed confession and it is determined the confession was not coerced and there are 20 unimpeachable eyewitnesses....


and Big MO said:
I hate to break this to you, but the withdrawal of troops from Iraq has nothing, nor will have nothing, to do with anything Democrats say about the matter.

Let's see, Republicans in Congress say NO WITHDRAWL, while the Democrats say "withdrawl soon"....and General Casey agrees with the Dems and is ready to recommend that to the White House.

I guess its just a coincidence, but either way, according to General Casey, the Dems are correct in saying it is time to start a phased withdrawl.

Ouch, thats gotta hurt! What's awful is that seeing the political sway this removes from the red state majority on Capitol Hill, there is no doubt that pressure will be put on Casey to recant; to go against his military judgement and "stay the course" not "cut and run".

I can hear the propeller heads warming up their fax machines now....

Yes its a coincidence alrig... (Below threshold)

Yes its a coincidence alright, the Dems wait and see the progress thats being made and then when its going to be happening anyways no thanks to their efforts they bring up resolutions so as to take credit for the progress they had nothing to do with..sounds legit to Me..

> Global warming isn't real... (Below threshold)

> Global warming isn't real, we will not cut and run.. etc. These clowns are not representing the American people, they are attempting to maintain a political stranglehood on this country. Their reign will end with the coming elections thanks to their own actions -- such as today's vote.

Lee, I've made this point in many other places.

I strongly suspect there will be no loss by the GOP in November. I'm certain it won't be a major loss.

When it comes to '08, you have a pipe dream.

I would SERIOUSLY CONSIDER Joe Lieberman in '08. I might consider voting for him simply because he clearly has principles, and also because I AM NOT HAPPY WITH THE GOP. However, by '07 he may no longer represent even the Dems in the Senate.

There is NO serious candidate currently put forth by the Dems for '08 which I would consider for even a moment. NOT ONE. The GOP could nominate a RETARDED ELEPHANT in '08, and I'd vote for the elephant over Hillary, Gore, or Kerry.

And I'm not alone:

Now, think of me on November 8th, just before your head explodes from the disconnect when you finally start to grasp the VERY important fact that

Disaffection with the GOP =/= approval of the Dems.

Most particularly because:

Disapproval of the Dems > Disapproval of the GOP.

MUCH greater.

I know LOTS of people who aren't happy with the GOP -- none, offhand, who will agree with "I'm voting Dem to punish them".

As an aside note, about the... (Below threshold)

As an aside note, about the only way, in my state (FL) that they will get me to vote FOR the re-election of Nelson is IF the GOP is so stupid as to NOT support Harris.

And that's only because Nelson isn't so fool as to actually have voted for either of the two Bugger Out! resolutions.

Wow ... I'm shocke... (Below threshold)
Martin A. Knight:

Wow ...

I'm shocked that nobody except Big Mo is the only one seeing the asinine con Lee is trying to pull here.

Apparently, General Casey is not planning on drawing down the number of troops because he believes they have met critical mission objectives, but because John Kerry and Jack Murtha say they want the troops redeployed.

In other words, the troops are being withdrawn not because of what is happening on the ground in Iraq, but the bloviations of Democrat politicians in Congress! If anything else, this is a serious attack on General Casey's integrity.

Such transparent and pathetic idiocy.

All this is based on Lee's implicit and clinically insane assertion that Republicans apparently want American troops stationed in Iraq forever, so therefore any time the number of troops is drawn down, Lee and his fellow Leftist compadres would attribute it to the Democrats.

Let's be clear here; both Democrats and Republicans want the troops withdrawn out of Iraq and back home as soon as possible. The only difference is that Democrats want a withdrawal plan based on time, while the GOP believe in a withdrawal plan based on events.

What Congress should do sho... (Below threshold)

What Congress should do shouldn't be based on time or events, Martin.

They should just say Bush, you've only got 40 billion left. Do whatever you want with it in Iraq, inside the law, and then you better be home, because your well is dry.

That's what the Constitution explicitly and with complete clarity says the Congress has the power to do, raise and support armies.

If they don't want to support them, they don't have to.

If they don't want to s... (Below threshold)
Martin A. Knight:
    If they don't want to support them, they don't have to.

I do believe that both Houses of Congress had votes in the past few days confirming that they do indeed intend to continue supporting the troops in Iraq.

So the issue of wanting is kinda settled, don't you think?






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