Kerry and the other liberals who want to cut and run from Iraq get shot down in the Senate. I know some jello-spined liberals in this forum that will be unhappy about this news. They claim to not be liberals, but are actually aligned with the a small minority of the minority Democrat party. In otherwords, they are leftwing nuts.
Senate Rejects Calls on Iraq Troop Pullout
Jun 22 4:26 PM US/Eastern
By LIZ SIDOTI
Associated Press Writer
The GOP-controlled Senate on Thursday rejected Democratic calls to start withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq by year's 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 to require the administration to withdraw all combat troops from Iraq by July 1, 2007, with redeployments beginning this year. No Republicans voted in favor of the plan.
Minutes later, the Senate rejected by 60-39 the proposal more popular with Democrats, a nonbinding resolution that to urge the administration to begin withdrawing troops, but with no timetable for the war's end.
That vote was mostly along party lines.
Siding with all but one Republican were six Democrats _ Sens. Mark Dayton of Minnesota, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Mark Pryor of Arkansas, and three running for re-election this fall: Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, Bill Nelson of Florida and Ben Nelson of Nebraska.
Sen. Lincoln Chafee, who also is up for re-election, was the only Republican supporter of the troop withdrawal resolution.
Despite the Democratic defections and the two different proposals, Reid said his rank-and-file was united. "Every Democrat agrees that the direction of the war in Iraq must change, and change now," he said.
But Frist said the views Democrats espoused _ and that the Senate defeated _ amounted to "plans for surrender and cut and run."
The votes come a week after both houses of Congress soundly rejected withdrawal timetables for the 127,000 troops in Iraq and as polls show voters are weary about the war in its fourth year.
Republicans argued the United States must stay put to help the fledgling Iraqi government, while Democrats demanded that the Bush administration make clear that American forces won't be in Iraq forever.
"We must give them that support and not send a signal that we're going to pull possibly the rug out from under them," Sen. John Warner, R- Va., said.
"The United States, with our Iraqi partners, has the responsibility to see this through," Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., added.
But Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., said: "It is time to tell the Iraqis that we have done what we can do militarily."
"Maintaining the status quo ... is a recipe for continuing instability and failure," Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., said.
Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill have staged bitter partisan debates on Iraq for two weeks, with both sides maneuvering for the political upper-hand in a midterm election year.
This week, Senate Republicans welcomed the Democratic-engineered debate because it highlighted divisions in the Democratic Party little more than four months before Election Day and as the GOP is trying to overcome polls showing the public favors a power shift in Congress to Democrats.
Democrats, for their part, tried to deflect attention from differences in their party on Iraq, even though the debate was over two separate Democratic proposals on the fate of U.S. troops.
The first proposal, which would have pulled all combat troops out of Iraq within about a year, was sponsored by Feingold and Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts.
The other proposal, supported by most Democrats and their leadership, would have called for the administration to begin "a phased redeployment of U.S. forces" by year's end. The nonbinding resolution would not have set a deadline for when all forces must be withdrawn.
The Bush administration says U.S. troops will stay in Iraq until Iraqi security forces can defend the country against a lethal insurgency that rose up after the U.S.-led invasion in 2003 that toppled dictator Saddam Hussein.
Senate Republicans opposed any timeline. They said a premature pullout and a public pronouncement of any such plan would risk all-out civil war, tip off terrorists, threaten U.S. security and cripple the Iraqi government just as democracy is taking hold.
In turn, almost all Democrats chastised Republicans for walking in lockstep with Bush and they accused him of failing to articulate a plan for the way ahead in Iraq. Democrats said it is time for troops to start coming home and for Congress to send a clear signal that the U.S. presence is not indefinite.