|07-10-2007, 02:46 PM||#1|
Angling in the Deep
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Texas Riviera, Southern Mountains
Democrats call for Iraq Combat to End by 2008
Looks like Democrats are doing exactly what they said they would do.
Dems call for combat to end by 2008
By ANNE GEARAN and ANNE FLAHERTY, Associated Press Writers
WASHINGTON - A senior Democrat said Tuesday it was obvious the Iraqi government has made no progress and the only way to propel it was to begin pulling out U.S. troops.
In a countermove, President Bush's national security adviser Stephen Hadley and war adviser Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute arrived on Capitol Hill to consult with members.
Sen. Carl Levin, chairman of the Armed Services Committee, proposed legislation with Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., that would order President Bush to begin pulling out troops in 120 days and end combat by April 30, 2008.
The measure would allow for some troops to remain to conduct counterterrorism, train the Iraqi security forces and protect U.S. infrastructure.
"There is much too little pressure on Iraqi leaders to do what they have to do," Levin, D-Mich., told reporters.
Democrats are reviving their push for troop withdrawals as a progress report on the war finds Baghdad has not met key targets for security, economic and political reform.
Members said they planned to receive details on the assessment Thursday morning, just as they likely will vote on the Levin proposal.
Rebuffing all such talk, President Bush said he won't succumb to political pressure. During a visit to Parma, Ohio on Tuesday, he reiterated that troop levels in Iraq "will be decided by our commanders on the ground, not by political figures in Washington, D.C."
"I fully understand that this is a difficult war. It's hard on the American people but I will once again explain the consequences of failure," he said.
White House spokesman Tony Snow earlier Tuesday confirmed that the coming administration report to Congress would say that Iraq has not met all the benchmarks set for it. The nature of that report was revealed earlier to The Associated Press by a senior administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity.
But Snow argued that the assessment is only "a look at the starting line" of the U.S. troop surge and shouldn't be used by critics to demand withdrawal.
"What Congress will get this week is a snapshot of the beginning of the retooling of the mission in Iraq," he said.
Levin's proposal, offered as an amendment to a $649 billion defense policy bill, is expected to fail because Republicans say they still oppose setting a timetable on troop withdrawals.
But in a sign that GOP frustration with the war is growing, Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine said she was considering switching her position and backing the measure. Also considered likely supporters were Sens. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska and Gordon Smith of Oregon.
|07-10-2007, 11:45 PM||#2|
Mo' holla fo' yo' dolla!
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: In a bunker in an undisclosed location