July 8th, 2007
02:06 PM ET
7 years ago

Lugar: Most U.S. forces out of Iraq by middle '08

Senator Richard Lugar, R-Indiana

WASHINGTON (CNN)–Sen. Richard Lugar, (R – Indiana), who called last week for a change of course in Iraq, thinks American forces could leave by the middle of 2008. On CNN’s Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer, Sen. Lugar said, “I would think a majority of our forces could redeploy by the midpoint of next year, probably before that time, but by then. I've advocated a majority to come out of Iraq, that the rest to redeploy somewhere other than going door to door in the present surge.”

Sen. Lugar made headlines last week with a speech on the Senate floor calling for an end to the current strategy in Iraq. He is the first of three Senate Republicans to criticize the administration’s approach in the last two weeks.

- CNN Associate Producer Jennifer Burch

Filed under: Iraq • Senate
soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. bret, atl, ga

    Finally, some leadership. Smell the coffee, fellas?

    You better reinvent the Republican party in a hurry or else it's curtains...

    Ron Paul can help you with that!

    July 8, 2007 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  2. Carl Gillig, ND

    I hate to think that we as a nation have become a gutless jellyfish wonder of human excrament. I know from the lessons of Viet Nam and for many vets that served and the ones we left behind that this is all related to politicians that have no backbone. I often wonder what would become of us if these cowards had been in office during WW2. I guess everyone would've been speaking German right now!

    July 8, 2007 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  3. Ashen Shard, Chambersburg, PA

    There is no comparison between WWII and Iraq simply because we had no choice but to fight in WWII and Iraq was a war of choice.
    In fact, by continuing to pour our resources into fighting in Iraq we are running the risk of destroying our nation morally and economically.
    BTW, we were almost speaking German way back right after our nation gained its independence. It came to a vote, and German missed becoming our official language by a few votes. Also, technically we do speak a form of German, because English at its most basic level is a Germanic language. Further, defeat in a war doesn't mean we are forced to adopt the language of the victor. Last I checked very few in this country speak Vietnamese, and the Germans did not adopt English after we beat them in WWII.

    July 8, 2007 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  4. officedoodles

    Hopefully that really happens! 4 yrs and counting and what? Nothing has happened but more dead bodies!

    July 8, 2007 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  5. Eric Bunnell; New richmond, WI

    Looking for safe and proven ways to progress in Iraq would impossiable. In order to create new forground you have to test a theory and learn from your mistakes. If the only perceptions of progress are baced on personal expectations, then you're bound to be disapointed.

    I toyed with the idea that "battered wife syndrom" (too beat down and complacent with terror threats) was the cause for them failing to take over government. Yet the big motivator with them would be experiance from succeeding from their own trial and error processes.

    The other big aspect is propaganda from two sides biting off more then they can chew and filling in the gaps personal perspective. If Jihad was really going to work, then God would perpetuate their actions. But they have hit a brick wall in communicating their opinion. Because if it was factual to all variables then it would be proven. So like all people that hit a brick wall and they don't know why they will hit the brick wall harder and harder as the frustraition builds.

    How do you help them understand that change starts in the heart and in the law second.

    As a religious humanitarian, I believe the cure for the problem will be in their own fruits of their labor. Let the good shine through the ugly. After all it's how you focus on the problem that dictates the answers you arrive at.

    In religion it's becomming spiritually content so worldly things don't become perverted by biasness and missing the right prioreties. Maybe I could generalize that people who use sex as a bigger priorety then love, their life becomes unbalanced and they evolve toward how they "eat".

    July 8, 2007 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  6. JAF, Los Angeles, CA

    To withdraw US troops without consideration to the implications on the Iraqi people and the regional effects is frankly immoral.

    It is what has always bothered me most about the anti-war crowd during Vietnam. They are somehow viewed as having a superior moral positions when in fact it was selfish and led to the deaths of literally millions unnecesarily. The same will happen in Iraq if we simply succumb to the anti-war feeling being expressed by many Americans that seems only concerned with the deaths of Americans and an irrational hatred of Bush.

    If you support any position where the needs of the Iraqi people are not considered primarily then you essentially are choosing the morally wrong path.

    The blood of 10's of thousands of Iraqi children would be on your hands.

    Do NOT withdraw American forces from Iraq in any way that does not enhance stability.

    It is the RIGHT thing to do for us and the Iraqis.

    July 8, 2007 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  7. George

    A lot has happened. The Oil companies who sell gas and oil for your car are making record amounts of money. The contractors who manufacture the weapons and ammunition are making record amounts of money. And Congress, the House of Representatives, and the President are making record amounts of money. Not much is happening for the many, but the few are making serious Bank.

    July 8, 2007 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  8. Bob, San Francisco, CA

    The Bush administration will withdraw just like the Democrats (and the majority of the nation) wanted, but will say that his goals were accomplished and we didn't "cut and run." What a load!!

    July 8, 2007 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  9. The People of Indiana

    Too late sir, you have let us down too long for us to re-elect you. Take it from one of your constituents: You voted for a lie of a war, you helped get Bolton into the UN seat, and you repeatedly campaign on energy independence but side with the great Oilmen when it comes to energy policy. How does it feel to be the old man no one listens to anymore? Indiana needs a change. Take it from a real patriot, Ron Paul, and vote what you believe, not what you're strong-armed into. And being on the CFR hurts you too, you think your efforts for a North American Union aren't going to haunt you? Think again

    July 8, 2007 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  10. Rick, Chicago Illinois

    Carl Gillig ... lessons of Vietnam? WHAT lessons? That a conventional military is useless in a guerrilla-type war? And why is it that many of the things you guys swore would happen if we didn't win in Vietnam NEVER happened? Oh wait ... you didn't see that story because it wasn't on FOX news right?

    Nobody likes a 500 BILLION dollar war they're NOT winning. And Dubya can't defeat a third-world country with 1/1000th the military might we have – after FOUR YEARS of trying! Why did he start a war on terror that he said himself he didn't think was winnable, and then lie and say we WERE ("absolutely") winning before his Sec of Defense busted him on it by saying we WEREN'T after the Nov 7th congressional elections? Why did he pay Baker God-knows how much money for a bipartisan report from the Iraq Study Group only to ignore its recommendations?

    And speaking of Vietnam, here's another lesson on how to LOSE a war – elect and re-elect a guy to run a war who 1) never saw combat in one because 2) his daddy got him a gig in a champaign unit of the National Guard 3) flying for Viet Kong over TEXAS 4) in a plane not suitable for combat in Vietnam before he 5) flunked a physical for reasons he won't disclose and 6) refused to re-take the physical so he could continue doing the job the military paid him GOOD money to do.

    Maybe you're all our troops need to make all those bad guys go away? The recruitment offices are probably open as you read this .. don't delay! After all, it's your patriotic duty to fight the war you support and voted for!

    July 8, 2007 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  11. diane, la fayette, ga.

    another thousand could die by that time, where are your brains. bring them home now.

    July 8, 2007 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  12. Paul Johnston, Professor of Political Studies, UCLA


    July 8, 2007 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    Ha. Some of these comments are humorous. I enjoyed the attempt to fight back the "we'd all be speaking German comment" by saying that English is Germanic. Good point, but that doesn't address the comment. Also...we didn't lose the vietnam war, we were not on either side, so that is a terrible example. And the Germans did not adopt english because we are a peaceful society! We didn't force ourselves on their culture, unlike Hitler's plan if he had actually be victorious. He plan was for us all to speak German and have Berlin as the mega-capitol of the world! Oh, and for someone to sit at their computer and say "Nothing has happened but more dead bodies!" is one of the most ignorant comments i've ever come across. You have NO idea what is happening in Iraq. Do I think everything is working out in the best possible situation? No. Have nothing happened but people die?? Absolutely not. Come on people.

    July 9, 2007 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  14. Jake, Boston Mass

    English at its most basic form is latin you idiot.

    July 9, 2007 01:21 am at 1:21 am |
  15. Mike, Corpus Christi Texas

    The comparison of US forces fighting in Iraq, compared to the US forces who fought in both Europe and the Pacific in WWII is absolute insanity! As was said the Japanese didn't give us a choice when they attacked Pearl Harbor. Bush "chose" to attack Iraq, based on lies, and Saddam made death threats against the father, so, despite 9/11, Bush always had his 'personal' sights set on Saddam.

    What is very scary are the number of Americans, around 30%, who still believe that Saddam Hussein was responsible for the 9/11 attacks. The truth be known is that Saddam and Bin Laden hated each other profusely, and had no alliance with each other. The last thing Saddam wanted was an "Islamic Theocracy" imposed on Iraq. Saddam's Iraq was a military dictatorship, and NOT a satellite state for Al Qaeda or the Taliban. Ironically, now Iraq has become an Al Qaeda 'safe haven.' Sheesh, wonder why??!!

    July 9, 2007 04:06 am at 4:06 am |
  16. Steve H, Odenton, MD

    We had plenty of choice regarding Germany in WWII. Germany did not bomb Pearl Harbor, Japan did.

    Idiotic arguments that Iraq wasn't directly responsible for 9/11 show their proponents know nothing of history. How is it that Bush was the only one who knew better?!? Wake up liberals, including you Republican libs, and realize a fourth World War is under way. And except for the mainstream media headlines, it is actually going quite well.

    July 9, 2007 04:28 am at 4:28 am |
  17. Mike, Corpus Christi Texas

    Now, getting back to the subject issue posted, Im very glad to see Senator Lugar, along with a growing number of Republicans 'slowly but surely' becoming dissatisfied with the 'bush doctrine' for Iraq. I believe this will now set a trend for a Congressional showdown between bush and the Congress, for an eventual US Force withdrawal from Iraq. And again, 'slowly but surely' more Republicans will be voting with Democrats to accomplish this long overdue goal. With Senators like Lugar, and especially John Warner of Virginia, it sounds optimistic!

    July 9, 2007 04:40 am at 4:40 am |
  18. BT, NYC, NY

    I was anti-war from 2002 when we suspected Bush was about to attack Iraq. The reason is what would we do if we replace Sadaam? You can check what the French said back then: If the US goes in we would be stuck between sectarian groups for several years.
    We act like this situation was not in the cards – it always was from the day we attacked. We just never listened to the experts because we had terrorism shoved down our throat as a proxy.

    Starting the war was the biggest mistake. We took away an aging, at times ruthless, leader and replaced him with our army. It is now our obligation that we protect Iraq. We should accept that as a society we supported starting this war, it was our choice, and we took away the power that kept that society together without understanding it – even though our state deparment warned the pentagon. The casuality rate of 1000 Americans a year is acceptable to keep the peace for ten years until the country solidifies. If we leave now it will NOT be Vietnam. There is no organised other side ready to take over. It will be 100,000s of thousands killed and 1,000,000s of refugees de-stabilising the region.

    And this time we cant say it isnt our problem. We've created it and we should sit it out. Otherwise we would have indirectly killed more Iraqis than Sadaam ever did.

    Coming from a liberal, anti war peacenik..we already made a choice – now stick to it for the sake of saving lives.

    July 9, 2007 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
  19. WDRussell, East Liverpool, Ohio

    So Dick wants to let George send Americans to their deaths for another year, then go from there.
    Is that what they meant by compasionate conservative?
    For everybody who can't see any difference between Iraq and WWII, I am surprised you can tie your own shoes.

    July 9, 2007 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  20. Anonymous

    No Jake...English is Germanic and Latin is the basis for "romance" languages, like French and Italian...idiot.

    July 9, 2007 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  21. J Tierney

    This is to Paul Johnson, who claims he is a Professor of Political Studies at UCLA. First, don't you know how to use your keyboard and turn off all CAPs? Second, the president did not "lie" about WMD, he believed the worst case intelligence estimates from multiple services and countries. The fact, in 20/20 hindsight, that the intelligence services oversold the extent of their development does not make him a liar. Saddam used NBC weapons against his own people (gassing the Kurds) and if they destroyed their stockpiles he never bothered to explain/document where or when they did it. The fact that a college professor from a respected college can't figure this out scares the hell out of me. I think that you are the liar.

    July 9, 2007 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  22. Mike, Corpus Christi Texas

    Steve, your arguement doesn't hold water. As to WWII history, surely you must know that Germany, Italy, and Japan were all allies, before the Dec. 7th, 1941 attack. There was no way to avoid war with Germany or Italy because of this fact, not to mention that Germany actually declared war on the US, after the Japanese 12-7-41 attack, and doing this before we declared war on Germany. Enough on the WWII history.

    As to Iraq, there is absolutely no credible evidence whatsoever, that Saddam Hussein was responsible for the Al Qaida sponsored attacks on the US, on 9-11-01. Therefore, how can anyone make a credible arguement that Bush was absolutely right in attacking Iraq, while pulling a considerable number of US troops out of Afghanistan and putting them in Iraq, when US forces were still in conflict with the very enemies who attacked us on 9-11, that being Al Qaida, sponsored by the Taliban? Does anyone remember Osama bin laden for that matter? The real enemy has always been in Afghanistan, and now Pakistan unfortunately. We lost a golden oppertunity to destroy Al Qaida once and for all, but that would have meant total effort and focus on that country, not Iraq. Surely you remember Afghanistan, sometimes now called the "forgotton war." It's high time to re-deploy!

    July 9, 2007 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  23. Dennis Zabel, Daykin, NE

    The investigative reports that I've read indicate that Cheney/Bush's sole reason for invading Iraq was to make the country safe for U.S. based oil companies. If we pull out now we'll have to leave the oil behind. How will we fuel our gas hungry SUV's if that happens? Rather than driving our heavy duty 4×4's to the sports bar, we may have to walk.

    July 9, 2007 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  24. Pete, Tarpon Springs, FL

    When we, without provocation attacked a sovereign nation we made a commitment to install a pro western government. Intelligence told us that it would not work, yet we installed a puppet government that is full of corruption and is unable to get anything done (like ours). The military and police forces of Iraq are a joke.

    We can not control the situation with the number of boots on the ground now, what makes anyone think a year from now it will get better. We do not know who our enemy is. They hate each other but they hate us more. Let’s pull out of the volatile regions and let the Iraqis fight it out amongst themselves.
    What is left can either deal with us or be eradicated!


    July 9, 2007 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  25. Rick, Chicago Illinois

    JAF in Los Angeles and BT in NYC... if you want to talk about moral responsibility, let's talk about the IRAQI'S moral responsibility and THEM fighting for their OWN freedom. THEY are the very ones choosing the instability you talk about. They've had 4 years to step up while we babysat them – and spent hundreds of BILLIONS of dollars and thousands of our own troops lives in the process. Their grace period is over! We owe them nothing more.

    Steve H in Odenton, MD ... "We had plenty of choice regarding Germany in WWII." So you think Germany, who 1) attacked Russia (its own ally) during WW2 and 2) torpedoed several of our ships before the war – including the Reuben James which killed 26, would have just stayed out of it while we went to war solely with Japan? Thanks for that "idiotic argument" and for "knowing nothing of history" yourself! Then again, you think that spending 500 BILLION dollars to NOT defeat a third-world country with 1/1000th the military we have – after FOUR YEARS of trying with several troop level increases means the war is "actually going quite well" too!

    July 9, 2007 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
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