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Senate Republicans Pushing for a Plan on Ending the War in Iraq


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WASHINGTON, Nov. 14 - In a sign of increasing unease among Congressional Republicans over the war in Iraq, the Senate is to consider on Tuesday a Republican proposal that calls for Iraqi forces to take the lead next year in securing the nation and for the Bush administration to lay out its strategy for ending the war.

 

The Senate is also scheduled to vote Tuesday on a compromise, announced Monday night, that would allow terror detainees some access to federal courts. The Senate had voted last week to prohibit those being held from challenging their detentions in federal court, despite a Supreme Court ruling to the contrary.

 

Senator Lindsey Graham, the South Carolina Republican who is the author of the initial plan, said Monday that he had negotiated a compromise that would allow detainees at Guant?namo Bay, Cuba, to challenge their designation as enemy combatants in federal courts and also allow automatic appeals of any convictions handed down by the military where detainees receive prison terms of 10 years or more or a death sentence.

 

The proposal on the Iraq war, from Senator Bill Frist, the majority leader, and Senator John W. Warner, Republican of Virginia, chairman of the Armed Services Committee, would require the administration to provide extensive new quarterly reports to Congress on subjects like progress in bringing in other countries to help stabilize Iraq. The other appeals related to Iraq are nonbinding and express the position of the Senate.

 

The plan stops short of a competing Democratic proposal that moves toward establishing dates for a phased withdrawal of troops from Iraq. But it is built upon the Democratic approach and makes it clear that senators of both parties are increasingly eager for Iraqis to take control of their country in coming months and open the door to removing American troops.

 

Mr. Warner said the underlying message was, "we really mean business, Iraqis, get on with it." The senator, an influential party voice on military issues, said he did not interpret the wording of his plan as critical of the administration, describing it as a "forward-looking" approach.

 

"It is not a question of satisfaction or dissatisfaction," he said. "This reflects what has to be done."

 

Democrats said the plan represented a shift in Republican sentiment on Iraq and was an acknowledgment of growing public unrest with the course of the war and the administration's frequent call for patience. "I think it signals the fact that the American people are demanding change, and the Republicans see that that's something that they have to follow," said Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the Democratic leader.

 

Mr. Frist said an important reason for the Republican proposal was to offer an alternative to the Democratic call for a withdrawal timetable. "The real objective was to get out of this timeline of cutting and running that the Democrats have in their amendment," he said.

 

Mr. Warner said he decided to take the Democratic proposal and edit it to his satisfaction in an effort to find common ground between the parties on the issue.

 

Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, Democrat of Connecticut, said he saw the proposal as a potential "turning point" in Congressional deliberation over Iraq and related issues.

 

The competing amendments include some of the most specific and expansive Congressional statements on the war in months and are being proposed for inclusion in a measure that also wrestles with the issues of treatment of terror detainees and their rights in American courts.

 

In announcing the compromise on the rights of detainees, Senator Graham said, "We have brought legal certainty to legal confusion." He said detainees would still be barred from mounting a wide array of court challenges regarding their treatment or the conditions of their confinement.

 

Senator Carl Levin of Michigan, the senior Democrat on the Armed Services Committee, said the compromise had eased some of his previous objections to the restrictions on the detainees.

 

On the Iraq resolutions, the Democratic and Republican proposals say that "2006 should be a period of significant transition to full Iraqi sovereignty, with Iraqi security forces taking the lead for the security of a free and sovereign Iraq, thereby creating the conditions for the phased redeployment of United States forces from Iraq."

 

The plan also seeks to put pressure on the Iraqis to find ways to resolve their internal political turmoil, saying the "administration should tell the leaders of all groups and political parties in Iraq that they need to make the compromises necessary to achieve the broad-based and sustainable political settlement that is essential for defeating the insurgency."

 

The White House is also directed "to explain to Congress and the American people its strategy for the successful completion of the mission in Iraq." Democrats have complained persistently that the administration has failed to outline a plan.

 

Lawmakers also seek much more specific regular reports from the administration covering "the current military mission and the diplomatic, political, economic and military measures, if any, that are being or have been undertaken to successfully complete or support that mission."

 

Senator Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate, said the provision would improve accountability.

 

"The president needs to report to the American people and leaders in Congress as this war develops," Mr. Durbin said. "It shouldn't be a matter of haphazard Congressional committee hearings."

 

The primary differences between the party approaches regards fixing dates for a withdrawal. The Democratic plan called for the administration to provide "estimated dates" for redeployment of American troops once a series of conditions was met, with the caveat that "unexpected contingencies may arise."

 

But Republicans said that provision was cutting too close to setting a schedule for withdrawal. "We are not going to have any timetable," Mr. Warner said.

 

 

 

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/15/politics...artner=homepage

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The republicans and 5 democrats blocked the timetable, there is no telling when deployments will stop and McCain is calling for 10k more. I agree with chewbacca, this is just a political move by the republicans to win back some support, but I don't think much is going to change as far as the war goes anytime soon because the fact of the matter is we're not pulling out of there until the Iraqi Security Forces can sustain themselves and if any of you have seen any recent reports, they're not doing too well, to say the least. Whether you agreed with the war or not, whether you consider the current situation in Iraq a mess or not, it's our responsibility to finish it and if we prematurely pullout before Iraq has been stabilized, the whole region will be in disarray more so than it already is.

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The republicans and 5 democrats blocked the timetable, there is no telling when deployments will stop and McCain is calling for 10k more. I agree with chewbacca, this is just a political move by the republicans to win back some support, but I don't think much is going to change as far as the war goes anytime soon because the fact of the matter is we're not pulling out of there until the Iraqi Security Forces can sustain themselves and if any of you have seen any recent reports, they're not doing too well, to say the least. Whether you agreed with the war or not, whether you consider the current situation in Iraq a mess or not, it's our responsibility to finish it and if we prematurely pullout before Iraq has been stabilized, the whole region will be in disarray more so than it already is.

 

Hydrogen bombs FTW

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I'm so glad to see that it took a mere 2.5 years for Congress to realize that they blew it.

 

I guess you missed the recent news that all of this was shot down in congress because the republicans refuse to set a timetable.

I didn't expect anything to pass, but this is their first public acknowledgement of the failures of the war by Congress.

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I believe the vote was 403-3. Damn.

 

That vote was the house and not the senate. The vote itself was the result of a ploy by the GOP to try and corner dems and split their ranks. It didnt work. The more controversial event happend when Jean Schmidt, a Republican form Ohio, essentially called a two war veteran a coward.

 

Differences over policy on the Iraq war ignited an explosion of angry words and personal insults on the House floor yesterday when the chamber's newest member suggested that a decorated war veteran was a coward for calling for an immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops.

 

As Democrats physically restrained one colleague, who appeared as if he might lose control of himself as he rushed across the aisle to confront Republicans with a jabbing finger, they accused Republicans of playing political games with the war.

 

GOP leaders hastily scheduled a vote on a measure to require the Bush administration to bring the troops home now, an idea proposed Thursday by Rep. John P. Murtha (D-Pa.). The Republican-proposed measure was rejected 403 to 3, a result that surprised no one.

 

The idea was to force Democrats to go on the record on a proposal that the administration says would be equivalent to surrender. Recognizing a political trap, most Democrats -- including Murtha -- said from the start they would vote no.

 

But the maneuvering exposed the chamber's raw partisan divisions and prompted a tumultuous scene, which Capitol Hill veterans called among the wildest and most emotional they had ever witnessed.

 

Though even many Democrats think Murtha's immediate withdrawal plan is impractical, it struck a chord in a party where frustration with the war and the Bush administration's open-ended commitment is mounting fast. Murtha galvanized the debate as few others could have. He is a 33-year House veteran and former Marine colonel who received medals for his wounds and valor in Vietnam, and he has traditionally been a leading Democratic hawk and advocate of military spending.

 

Murtha's resolution included language the Republicans wanted to avoid, such as "the American people have not been shown clear, measurable progress" toward stability in Iraq. It also said troops should be withdrawn "at the earliest practicable date," although Murtha said in statements and interviews Thursday that the drawdown should begin now.

 

Armed Services Committee Chairman Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) drafted a simpler resolution calling for an immediate withdrawal of troops, saying it was a fair interpretation of Murtha's intent.

 

Members were heatedly debating a procedural rule concerning the Hunter resolution when Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-Ohio) was recognized at 5:20 p.m. Schmidt won a special election in August, defeating Iraq war veteran Paul Hackett, and is so new to Congress that some colleagues do not know her name. She told colleagues that "a few minutes ago I received a call from Colonel Danny Bubp," an Ohio legislator and Marine Corps Reserve officer. "He asked me to send Congress a message: Stay the course. He also asked me to send Congressman Murtha a message: that cowards cut and run, Marines never do."

 

Dozens of Democrats erupted at once, pointing angrily at Schmidt and shouting repeatedly, "Take her words down" -- the House term for retracting a statement. For a moment Schmidt tried to keep speaking, but the uproar continued and several GOP colleagues surrounded her as she sat down, looking slightly dazed. Presiding officer Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) gaveled in vain for order as Democrats continued shouting for Schmidt to take back her words. Rep. Martin T. Meehan (D-Mass.) yelled "You guys are pathetic!" from the far end of the Democratic section to the GOP side.

 

Just as matters seemed to calm a bit, Rep. Harold E. Ford Jr. (D-Tenn.) suddenly charged across the aisle to the GOP seats, jabbing his finger furiously at a small group of GOP members and shouting, "Say Murtha's name!" Rep. David R. Obey (D-Wis.), who had led the chants for striking Schmidt's comments, gently guided Ford by the arm back to the minority party's side.

 

At 5:31, when order was finally restored, Schmidt rose again and said softly, "My words were not directed at any member of the House." She asked that they "be withdrawn" from the record.

 

As the House temporarily moved to other matters, a calm Ford said in an interview that he confronted the Republicans because he was angry that they were using a ploy to avoid "a real debate" about the war. "I said, 'If you believe it's about Murtha, then talk about Murtha, don't hide behind a resolution,' " Ford said.

 

It was past 10 p.m. when Murtha addressed a relatively subdued House. Hunter's resolution "is not what I envisioned" because it avoids a broader debate of the war, which "is not going as advertised," Murtha said. "The American people are way ahead of us" in wanting a strategy to bring the troops home, he added. "It's easy to sit in your air-conditioned offices and send them into battle."

 

But Rep. Sam Johnson (R-Tex.), who spent seven years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, said U.S. forces in Iraq "need our full support." He added: "They need to have full faith that a few naysayers in Washington won't cut and run and leave them high and dry."

 

Those voting yes on the resolution were Democrats Jose E. Serrano (N.Y.), Robert Wexler (Fla.) and Cynthia McKinney (Ga.). Six other Democrats -- none of them from Maryland or Virginia -- voted "present."

 

Top Democrats attacked the GOP tactic. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said the Republicans "engaged in an act of deception that undermines any shred of dignity that might be left in this Republican Congress." She called Hunter's resolution "a political stunt" and "a disservice to our country and to our men and women in uniform."

 

Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) said that the GOP resolution was meant to prevent a serious debate on the war's prosecution, and that he lacked the words "to express the magnitude of my contempt with which I view this shabby, petty political maneuver."

 

Staff writer Juliet Eilperin contributed to this report

 

 

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/conte...5111802896.html

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I believe the vote was 403-3. Damn.

 

That vote was the house and not the senate. The vote itself was the result of a ploy by the GOP to try and corner dems and split their ranks. It didnt work. The more controversial event happend when Jean Schmidt, a Republican form Ohio, essentially called a two war veteran a coward.

They didn't try to split their ranks, they decided the rhetoric and bulls*** coming from the dems on a daily basis was enough and it was time for the dems to either put up or shut up. Now the dems can't constantly whine all the time about wanting an immediate withdrawl, since they were forced to vote against it because they all knew an immediate withdrawl is not the answer and the worst possible thing you could do... but it sounds good in their speeches to all the sheep.

 

It was a rather brilliant move by the GOP, the republicans called their bluff and in the end, the dems showed yet again that they have no backbone.

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I believe the vote was 403-3. Damn.

 

That vote was the house and not the senate. The vote itself was the result of a ploy by the GOP to try and corner dems and split their ranks. It didnt work. The more controversial event happend when Jean Schmidt, a Republican form Ohio, essentially called a two war veteran a coward.

They didn't try to split their ranks, they decided the rhetoric and bulls*** coming from the dems on a daily basis was enough and it was time for the dems to either put up or shut up. Now the dems can't constantly whine all the time about wanting an immediate withdrawl, since they were forced to vote against it because they all knew an immediate withdrawl is not the answer and the worst possible thing you could do... but it sounds good in their speeches to all the sheep.

 

It was a rather brilliant move by the GOP, the republicans called their bluff and in the end, the dems showed yet again that they have no backbone.

It only works on people who cant understand the importance of details and only see the world in simple black and white. Any form of practical plan is labeled as unamerican treason and for some reason, people eat it up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looks like the pentagon is already looking into being unpatriotic cowards.

 

http://msnbc.msn.com/id/10101677/

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