Washington, D.C. â€“ Council for a Livable World likened the struggle to bring American troops home from Iraq to the slow trench warfare of World War I, not the Blitzkrieg of World War II, after this morningâ€™s Senate vote on the Levin-Reed amendment.
Levin-Reed brought together a majority of the Senate in favor of binding legislation to end the war, including two new Republican defectors: Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, both of Maine. Snowe and Collins were joined by Republican Sens. Chuck Hagel and Gordon Smith in voting for the timetable for withdrawal contained in Levin-Reed.
John Isaacs, Executive Director of Council for a Livable World and a veteran of legislative battles to end the Vietnam War, remarked: â€œThe Iraq War will end when Republicans are ready for it to end and they head to the White House and tell President Bush enough is enough.â€�
The final cloture vote on the Levin-Reed amendment was 52 â€“ 47, or 53 – 46 when taking into account Sen. Harry Reidâ€™s purposeful switch to a â€œNayâ€� vote which allowed a subsequent move to reconsider.
In recent weeks, several Republican Senators have verbally defected from President Bush but failed to match their words with deeds. These wavering Republicans include Richard Lugar, Pete Domenici, John Warner, Lamar Alexander, George Voinovich, Judd Gregg, Norm Coleman, and Elizabeth Dole.
Many Senators who spoke during the past two days stressed that mid-September may now be the decisive point at which pressure will bubble over to end the war.
Isaacs added: â€œMy expectation is that in mid-September, when General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker provide a new report on the disastrous situation, Republicans critics will become Republican votes against war.â€�