June 26th, 2007
05:45 PM ET
4 years ago

Voinovich calls for change of Iraq policy

Voinovich called for a change in Iraq policy Tuesday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Less than 24 hours after Indiana Republican Sen. Dick Lugar broke ranks with the president and urged a change of course in Iraq, fellow GOP Sen. George Voinovich of Ohio has followed suit.

In a letter to President Bush Tuesday, Voinovich writes, "We must begin to develop a comprehensive plan for our country’s gradual military disengagement from Iraq and a corresponding increase in responsibility to the Iraqi government and its regional neighbors."

"Though it may seem contradictory, I believe we can accomplish more in Iraq by gradually and responsibly reducing our forces and focusing on a robust strategy of international cooperation and coordinated foreign aid," he added.

Both Voinovich and Lugar are members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and have, until now, supported the president's policy in Iraq.

In a speech on the Senate floor Monday night, Lugar said, "The costs and risks of continuing down the current path outweigh the potential benefits that might be achieved. Persisting indefinitely with the 'surge' strategy will delay policy adjustments that have a better chance of protecting our vital interests in the long term."

– CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney 


Filed under: Iraq
soundoff (70 Responses)
  1. Veteran, Manchester, NH

    I am reminded of "Rats jumping off a sinking ship" - NOW the GOP has decided it's election time and they have been following an evil, decadent, incompetent team–the old Jedi mind trick is melting–and it's time to scream–FOWL!!! You discharged and silenced the naysayers from the beginning; Colin Powell states on Meet the Press to close GITMO; veterans and countries have begged you to STOP this!! Still you marched on into the depths of depair and indifference!! When the people spoke in November, your leader told us it was HIS government-so –when this war is referred to as "the baby" it defies logic, you stupid politicians! Comparing death, destruction, refugees, and chaos to "a baby to leave to the next president" buys no sympathy votes...you are ALL hopeless and the eyes of the world are watching as America crumbles under unprecedented DEBT and rampant hatred with NO friends...that heat will be felt by all of us very, very soon...WAKE UP!!!!

    June 27, 2007 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  2. Yuma, AZ

    Wonder what changed their minds? It couldn't be the latest Iraq War popularity poll now could it? I mean this couldn’t be a political maneuver could it? Surely members of our Senate wouldn't be that transparent now would they? Politicizing a war, come on, that can not happen in America. Not HERE! It’s such a complete about face that it’s obvious that these two wouldn't have said this if they didn't think it would play well with
    potential voters.

    This is very poor timing on Sen. Lugar's part. At least wait until Sept. The surge is showing progress. If he is trying to convince Iraqi politicians that time is running out, then that's a different matter. But if that's the case, then he should have spoken directly to them behind closed doors.

    Now if Bush all of a sudden cared more about popularity polls than the ability of the Iraqi people to sustain their own government and freedom, we might see some immediate changes, but going by his latest quote about it all, I don’t think that’s going to happen. “No act of the terrorists will change our purpose, or weaken our resolve, or alter their fate.” – George W. Bush. Attack and lambaste me all ya’ll want, I know it makes you feel so much better when you’ve got somebody to attack but, I still think A President who doesn't bend to the will of the uninformed is a desirable leader.

    June 27, 2007 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  3. Michael Wade

    In response to the email that suggested that telling the troops that they have failed in the middle of the war. I do not believe that that is the intention to look at it as failure but to be more realistic about the achievment that they have already achieved. It will not be productive to loose more lives for a government that should be looking at ways to deal with their own developments.

    June 27, 2007 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  4. John

    Yeah, we should listen to the real foreign policy experts like Frederick Kagan and Douglas Feith, Paul Wolfewitz and Dick Cheney......great job guys.
    Finally, the grown ups arrive.

    Thank you Dick Lugar.

    June 27, 2007 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  5. John- Philadelphia PA

    Cowardly. Where were you before the lies and the war senator? This military action should not have started but should of ended on the day Hussein was hanged.

    June 27, 2007 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  6. Anonymous

    Wonder what changed their minds? It couldn't be the latest Iraq War popularity poll now could it? I mean this couldn’t be a political maneuver could it? Surely members of our Senate wouldn't be that transparent now would they? Politicizing a war, come on, that can not happen in America. Not HERE! It’s such a complete about face that it’s obvious that these two wouldn't have said this if they didn't think it would play well with
    potential voters.

    This is very poor timing on Sen. Lugar's part. At least wait until Sept. The surge is showing progress. If he is trying to convince Iraqi politicians that time is running out, then that's a different matter. But if that's the case, then he should have spoken directly to them behind closed doors.

    Now if Bush all of a sudden cared more about popularity polls than the ability of the Iraqi people to sustain their own government and freedom, we might see some immediate changes, but going by his latest quote about it all, I don’t think that’s going to happen. “No act of the terrorists will change our purpose, or weaken our resolve, or alter their fate.” – George W. Bush. Attack and lambaste me all ya’ll want, I know it makes you feel so much better when you’ve got somebody to attack but, I still think A President who doesn't bend to the will of the uninformed is a desirable leader.

    June 27, 2007 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  7. Rex Horst

    Maybe we should stop questioning a patriot of this country asking where this war is going. An question the people that advocate the war, but are to coward to serve in the war.

    June 27, 2007 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  8. Captain America

    How about YOU go doc? My kids have had enough! Two tours as Guard reservists when they signed on to protect their own country was a dirty trick. The military has been badly misused.

    But I guess it looks easy from where you sit. Finally Voinovich got the message that most of his constituents want this lie to end.

    The Iraqi people and their government want us to leave by the end of 2007. They have asked but CNN fails to report this.

    Bush, of course, continues to deny reality, just like he did his drinking problem for 20 years. Only now it isn't just his family who gets the abuse-and military families are daily paying the price. The ONLY ones in this country...don't tell me about troop morale, they know this war is not our place too.

    June 27, 2007 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  9. Paul Sheanus, Alberta Canada

    These senior Republicans are acknowledging reality. Corrective steps can only be taken once reality is accepted. The military presence in Iraq is a mistake and 'more of the same' just delays making the hard decision to withdraw from a combat role. Time to start fresh.

    June 27, 2007 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  10. Michael Trapp, Columbia Missouri

    The war in Iraq has become unwinnable if in fact it has not been from its inception. At some point we will have to withdraw anyway, why spend more lives before we reach that point of decision. I am glad Voinovich, Lugar, and other Republicans have finally seen the light.

    June 27, 2007 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  11. Middleman, Redbank, NJ

    I have a lot of respect for Sen. Lugar. I can't stand the thought of a full withdrawl, but I tire of the attitude reflected by a previous poster. The concept that as long as we have troops on the ground in Iraq, we can't entertain any thoughts of re-deployment without admitting defeat. THat's nonsense. We "win" in Iraq by achieving long-term stability in the region. Perhaps fewer troops now would help us toward that goal. More troops have been added, and I hear is "Wait.. wait... it's coming... year six of the war will be the turning point... don't have a failure of will... wait..."

    June 27, 2007 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  12. Bill McGuire, Weiser, Idaho

    What will happen now is more and more Republicans will jump on the withdrawl platform.

    It's a good gesture, but hopefully the public is wise enough to understand these clowns care more about their party standing and reelections than the multitude of people who have died becau9se of party loyalties.

    So much for patriotism...

    June 27, 2007 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  13. John, Austin, TX

    Ah, the end is in sight. The sane GOP senators are trying to salvage their reputations and political careers before it is too late. Those who want to go down with Bush will not be reelected.

    June 27, 2007 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  14. Tim, Dayton, Ohio

    What fickle Americans we are. Looking at the historical polls, a majority of us favored the actions that put us in Iraq at that time, in essence, telling our leaders what we wanted done. Now we have the gull, through latter polls, to play partisan politics by second guessing and armchair Monday morning quarterbacking these leaders thus exasperating the debates in our legislature. The task at hand is not the fast food order we spoiled Americans have come to expect. Leadership is difficult and often unpopular, especially in a democracy. How dare we be so fickle. What message does this send to the rest of the world. Shame on us all!

    June 27, 2007 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  15. Tim, Dayton, Ohio

    One more thing. Our polled opinions are mostly formed from what we hear, read and see in the media. The media is the true winner in all this. They can shape, twist and turn (i.e. sensationalize) events, and opinions, to make stories. Be careful what you pay attention or lend credit to when forming your opinions.

    June 27, 2007 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  16. Oscar Garcia, San Francisco CA

    "Another good reason why Congress has an approval rating lower than the Commander-in-Chief.
    Posted By Tom Z, Deltona, FL : June 26, 2007 6:53 pm"

    Hah!! I think you atribute the wrong thing to the falling popularity of the Dem-led Congress. They were popular because there was a popular hope and expectation that they would help bring this war to an end. When they BOWED to the President and the Republicans and provided continued funding...that's when you saw the popularity of Congress fall hard.

    You have it backwards Tom, COngress lost its ratings BECAUSE they didn't do more to end the Iraqi occupation.

    June 27, 2007 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  17. Pete, Tarpon Springs. FL

    This is not a right or a left issue, this is an American issue. We can't decide it by saying who supports the troops more. The military does what it is told to do. It is not about the troops it is about the will of the American voter. It will take all of us to end this, the “greatest mistake in our brief history”.

    June 27, 2007 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  18. J.P., Mountain View, CA

    Finally wake up to realize the situation? It is irresponsible to keep supporting a bad (and they knew it!) policy for so long.

    June 27, 2007 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  19. Mark Erndt

    If we are going to continue paying for this WAR – Bring our troops home. If we are going to get paid for our services, I see the benifit. We are in a lose – lose situation.

    June 27, 2007 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  20. DS, Houston, TX

    After Sadaam tried to assassinate Bush Sr in Kuwait (~1991), Sr should have had him taken out. He owed that to the soldiers who were hurt and killed during that war, and maybe we would not be there now. That said, it's now time for Iraq to stand-up or be cut-off by year's end.

    June 27, 2007 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
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