Democrats & Liberals Archives

The Iraq Debate

Both Democrats and Republicans want a debate. We did not have a debate before we got into the Iraq War. Now that nothing in Iraq is going right everbody wants a debate. So Senator Warner, a Republican, and Senator Levin, a Democrat, start the debate with a resolution against Bush’s “surge.” The debate starts and is abruptly ended by Republicans. Amazingly, Senator Warner, voted to end the debate he wanted to start.

Some Republicans say that such non-binding resolutions embolden our enemies. In a speech in the senate, Senator Levin disagrees:

What emboldens the enemy is the almost 4 years' presence of Western troops in the middle of a Muslim country's capital, which causes over 70 percent of the residents of that country to oppose our presence.

What emboldens the enemy is the open-ended presence of Western troops, which serves as a magnet for extremists and gives a propaganda club to our enemies.

What emboldens the enemy is invading Iraq without the support of the international community.

What emboldens the enemy is lawlessness and looters ransacking public buildings and institutions in Iraq.

What emboldens the enemy is invading Iraq without a plan for the aftermath of the invasion.

What emboldens the enemy is increasing the number of American troops, which results in Iraqis taking less responsibility for providing security for all the citizens of Iraq.

What emboldens the enemy is the creation of Green Zones protecting Iraqi political leaders, in which they pursue a winner-take-all political approach.

Will we have the debate? Of course we will. Senators are seeking other ways. If Republicans do not want to vote on a nonbinding resolution, they will have a chance to vote on binding legislation. A bill offered by Senator Barack Obama offers the following:

  • De-escalates the War with Phased Redeployment
  • Enforces Tough Benchmarks for Progress
  • Congressional oversight: Requires the President to submit reports to Congress every 90 days
  • Intensified Training
  • Regional Diplomacy
The diplomacy consists of launching a comprehensive regional and international diplomatic initiative - that includes key nations in the region - to help achieve a political settlement among the Iraqi people, end the civil war in Iraq, and prevent a humanitarian catastrophe and regional conflict. The bill recommends that within 60 days the president should appoint a Special Envoy for Iraq to carry out this diplomacy.

The bill also mandates that the president submit a plan to prevent the war in Iraq from becoming a wider regional conflict.

Not bad for someone being derided by Republicans as standing for nothing. Obama was against the Iraq War from the beginning. And now he is acting on what he believes - and what 70% of the people of America believe: The Iraq War was a great blunder and we should get out of it as soon as possible while encouraging diplomacy to calm tensions in the Middle East.

Will Republicans debate the Iraq War? Or will they stall again? Whether they stall or not, they will be faced with other opportunities in the future to debate the Iraq War. It's a sure thing. Why not join the debate now?

Posted by Paul Siegel at February 7, 2007 7:03 PM
Comment #207072

Paul, didn’t the Dems ask for Cloture?

Posted by: gergle at February 7, 2007 7:22 PM
Comment #207090


The Dems would not allow a debate or other resolutions. That was precisely the problem.

It was sort of like saying are you with us or against us, my was or highway. I have heard complaints about that before. Power does that I suppose.

Posted by: Jack at February 7, 2007 8:26 PM
Comment #207100
We did not have a debate before we got into the Iraq War.

Actually, we did. Some people just didn’t like the outcome…

Posted by: Rhinehold at February 7, 2007 9:24 PM
Comment #207113

I like it. The more the Republicans are seen as obstructionists the better it will be for the Democrats next year.

Lieberman is very lucky that states can’t recall senators or he would be history.

Posted by: jlw at February 7, 2007 10:21 PM
Comment #207127

The Reps managed a piece of palimentary obstruction peculular to the Senate. They apparently remember well how to be a minority party. Lott most likely helped with that. Now the torch passes to the House of the people where such niceities do not hold sway.
As Chris Dodd pointed out,the basis of the first resolution have been met or did not exist. Saddam is gone and there were no WMDs. It is appropiate to call for another authorization.

Jack:Correct me if I am wrong. Is not a cloture vote in the Senate before a motion is brought to the floor a means of limiting debate, avoiding a filibuster,but not preventing debate,and limiting topic of debate?

Posted by: BillS at February 7, 2007 11:17 PM
Comment #207153
The Dems would not allow a debate or other resolutions.

The other resolutions the GOP leadership wanted to debate had to do with military funding rather than a sense of the Senate on the escalation. It’s apples and oranges. Dems think defense funding and the escalation should be dealt with separately.

Republicans really tied themselves up in knots over this one. Warner proposed a GOP resolution, then he blocked it, and now he wants to propose it again.

The only thing more amazing than these wacky GOP convolutions is the patience Dems are displaying while waiting for Repulicans get their act together.

Posted by: American Pundit at February 8, 2007 2:06 AM
Comment #207159


“Republicans really tied themselves up in knots over this one. Warner proposed a GOP resolution, then he blocked it, and now he wants to propose it again.”

It really makes me wonder just who is pulling the GOP strings. In essense they want the dems to make a committment to funding in order that
they won’t be able to honorably play that hand in the future. It is another obvious attempt to make the dems look like the bad guys again. What has now become an obviously old and tired ploy of the GOP.

I would like to see them just one time accept full responsibility for their mistakes and make an honest and open effort to correct them. IMO until they do so they will not regain credibility with the majority of voters in this country. But then on the other hand their sustained lack of credibility bids well for the dems in 09.

Posted by: ILdem at February 8, 2007 8:38 AM
Comment #207167

If I read the newspaper account correctly, the resolution referred to above received 49 yea and 47 nay votes. Where was the majority sense of the Senate in this vote. Where were all those Senators who want an immediate pull-out of American troops in Iraq? Senator’s McCain and Graham would like the Senate to vote on the real issue…should Congress cut off funding for the war? Unfortunately…many Dems, and some Republicans, especially those with their hat in the ring, don’t want this vote. It might interfer with their political ambitions. How say you?

Posted by: Jim Martin at February 8, 2007 10:26 AM
Comment #207183

I think it’s pretty ridiculous for the GOP to philibuster a non-binding resolution. I’m sure Mitch McConnell recieved marching orders from Karl Rove to kill the debate and all the Repugs fell in line even Warner who proposed a resolution of his own. The GOP is once again being disengenuous by saying that they are holding things up because the Dems are stopping one of their proposals from being considered. They are only doing this to clog-up and confuse the process not because they have anything of substance to offer. At least they can’t stop the House from passing a resolution and the Senate will eventually have their say too. The GOP senators should pose for a picture in their George Bush cheerleader uniforms complete with skirts and pom-poms (and with blinders on).

Posted by: Tom Snediker at February 8, 2007 12:19 PM
Comment #207190

When the democrats were the miniorty they called it democracy. Now that they are the majority they call it “obstruction”.

They better figure out how to work WITH the Republicans or they won’t get anything accomplished.

Which is probably good because it appears they have nothing worthwhile they want to accomplish anyway.

No balanced Budget
No Fix to Social Security
No Fix to Medicare
No Closing the board to Illegals
No fighting the Terrorists

So we might as well do to them what they did to us until we can take back power and hopefully get something done next time about the things we should have done last time

Can anyone get Pelosi to stop spending? To even talk about a balanced budget?

Posted by: Stephen at February 8, 2007 12:54 PM
Comment #207199

How funny is this?

First, the Dems want to debate the war in Iraq. The debate begins.

Then, they want to end debate and pass the non-binding resolution…so they call for cloture.

The Reps don’t vote for cloture…and it fails. So the debate can’t be stopped.

Now the Dems are are crying “foul”.

Didn’t the Dems WANT to debate the War in Iraq? So debate! What’s stopping you? Nothing. You can now debate all you want!

While you are debating…just remember all the really important issues, bills and measures that are being ignored.

The Senate. Under new management…and business as usual.

It’s time for a Libertarian controlled Congress.

Posted by: Jim T at February 8, 2007 1:38 PM
Comment #207257

Jim T-
There’s a reason it’s called filibuster, and not Debate: one person talking their head off, trying to prevent consideration of the bill is not debate.

Et al.-
I think that Warner and others are actually on this resolution’s side. Warner is among the Republicans calling for a real debate on the war. They’re the ones we should try to help.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 8, 2007 11:14 PM
Comment #207260

I can understand the danger of having the resolution that says the Senate will not end Iraq funding being put forth at this time. Many Senators still want to give Bush’s latest plan a chance and do not want to look like they are undercutting the effort.They would have to vote for it. But what happens if the plan fails and Bush calls for more escalation and refuses to listen to congresse’s call for a withdrawel. Their only course is to withdraw funding and a resolution would make it more difficult. In the meantime lives would be lost.

Posted by: BillS at February 8, 2007 11:32 PM
Comment #207263
First, the Dems want…

Jim, you don’t quite have a handle on what’s happening. Cloture would have started the debate on the Senate floor, not ended it.

Dems wanted the debate and Reps blocked it — and now they want it again.

Can anyone get Pelosi to stop spending? To even talk about a balanced budget?

The Dems committed to balancing the budget by 2011 way back in November — long before President Bush jumped on the bandwagon. Since then, they successfully reinstated the “pay-as-you-go” rules that the Repblicans had let lapse. You’re way off base on this one, Stephen.

Posted by: American Pundit at February 9, 2007 12:01 AM
Comment #208527

Personally, IF the dems really want to raise their status AND possibly stop the war all while showing complete support in the trrops is to make any further troop deployment allowed to be completely funded without adding to the deficit (paygo)and all troops in theatre MUST be fully trained and with complete protection (gear and armor). These are things Americans…even those agains the war….will support and demand. We don’t want our troops in Iraq or Afghanistan to not have sufficient armor and training. To allow that is a disservice to everyoine. And the repigs have certainly failed on both counts. (so have the dems)

Posted by: qatnip at February 17, 2007 9:53 AM
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