Washington, D.C. — Council for a Livable World today commended the Senate for its two votes today on American policy in Iraq.
The Kerry (D-MA), Feingold (D-WI) and Boxer (D-CA) amendment to mandate the completion of the troop withdrawal from Iraq by July 1, 2007 was defeated 13 – 86.
The Levin (D-MI), Reed amendment to urge the U.S. to begin the phased deployment of American forces from Iraq in 2006 was defeated 39 – 60.
Six months ago, there was only one Senator willing to call for redeployment of American combat forces out of Iraq, Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold. Last month, the total had increased to three, Kerry, Feingold and Harkin (D-IA).
Today 39 Senators — including one Republican — voted to begin a troop drawdown in 2006 and 13 voted to complete the process by 2007.
John Isaacs, President of Council for a Livable World, pointed out that the early fight to bring American forces from Vietnam similarly began with few supporters.
"The McGovern-Hatfield amendment to end American military involvement in Vietnam similarly had few supporters at first, but eventually built to a majority," said Isaacs.
"With President Bush saying that troops will remain in Iraq at least until 2009 when he steps down, national efforts to prod Congress to mandate an earlier withdrawal will grow," continued Isaacs.
Many media reports have talked of Republican unity around the President's â€˜stay the course' policy while Democrats are divided.
"Republicans are virtually united around a policy rejected by about 60% of Americans who believe the war is a bad idea and want to begin the process of withdrawal," Isaacs pointed out.
"While Republicans have crowed over their â€˜success' in the past few days, it is akin to the sailors on the Titanic pointing to unity as their ship went down," stated Isaacs.
"The voters in November will not be congratulating politicians who stick with a disastrous war and a failed policy," concluded Isaacs.