Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Feingold chastises Senate, calls for redeployment

Russ Feingold has introduced an amendment to the emergency military approptiations bill about to be introduced to the floor of the Senate.His amendment calls on the administration to devise a "clear plan" for redeployedment of our forces in Iraq by December 31, 2006.The full text of his announcement is here. Meanwhile, here's a snippet:

Unfortunately, Mr. President, the Senate will not be given the opportunity to vote on this amendment if we invoke cloture on the emergency supplemental bill that we will be considering shortly. This body has failed time and again to debate the direction of our country’s policy in Iraq.

Three years ago the President landed on an aircraft carrier and declared “Mission Accomplished” in Iraq. Today, with thousands of lives lost and billions of dollars spent, we are still no closer to a policy that lifts the burden from our troops and taxpayers, and that actually makes our country safer from the terrorist networks that seek to hurt us.By failing to discuss alternatives to the Administration’s failed Iraq policy, we have let down this institution and our constituents.

We simply cannot continue to avoid asking the tough questions about Iraq. We should not be appropriating billions of dollars for Iraq without debating – and demanding -- a strategy to complete our military mission there. Not when the lives of our soldiers and the safety of our country are at risk, Mr. President.

Mr. President, our military has performed heroically in Iraq, but the continued and indefinite presence of large numbers of U.S. forces there significantly weakens our ability to fight the global terrorist networks that threaten us today. That is why I filed an amendment requiring the Pentagon to draw up a flexible timeline for redeployment of U.S. forces from Iraq by the end of this year.

The President has repeatedly failed to spell out for the American people when we can expect our troops to redeploy from Iraq. He has refused to provide a vision for ending our military mission in Iraq, and as a result a growing majority of Americans have lost confidence in our purpose, our direction, and our presence in Iraq.

Don't get all excited, though. Note that he is actually calling for the "Pentagon to draw up a flexible timeline for redeployment."

Better than just sitting around complaining, I guess.

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