July 18th, 2007
12:40 PM ET
3 years ago

Senate Republicans scuttle Iraq pullout plan

WASHINGTON (CNN) - As predicted, Senate Democrats failed to win the 60 votes they needed Wednesday to end debate and forward an amendment to that chamber's floor for a vote.

The Democratic amendment introduced by Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin of Michigan and Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island, would have brought U.S. troops home from Iraq by April 30. The tally was 52-47.

Senators Susan Collins of Maine, Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, Olympia Snowe of Maine, and Gordon Smith of Oregon voted with Democrats to advance the amendment.

However, Collins' spokeswoman said the senator still opposes the amendment.

Her spokeswoman told CNN the senator voted with the Democrats only because it was a procedural motion on whether to allow a vote.

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soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. eric, IL

    DS,
    If you are going to quote something please do not rewrite it in your own spin. The title was "Senate Republicans scuttle Iraq pullout plan," not “Senate Republicans filibuster ending the Iraq War.”

    July 18, 2007 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  2. CMS, California

    aloha Mike,

    Apparently CNN edited (deleted) this. Can you please answer my question?

    The war was a mistake, but we are there NOW and have an obligation to stablize the country before leaving. The fact is leaving prior to that would create the exact same scenario that happened in Afganistan (post-USSR occupation) which ultimately facilitated 9/11. It sucks I know, but it is reality. Decry my position all you want, but please tell me how you would avert a failed nation state.

    July 19, 2007 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  3. rochelle, anchorage, alaska

    Recommending a presidential candidate is a little different than recommending a ficticious book! What sort of people respect a woman who puts her face and ever changing body shape on the front cover of a magazine every month? I find that very self-aggrandizing and very re pulsive. Why didn't Oprah help children in her own backyard by starting a private school? I resent the fact that she went to Africa to do it. That proves that she must feel the children of the USA are a lost cause. She and her gal pal Gail should buy a one way ticket to Africa!

    July 19, 2007 03:34 am at 3:34 am |
  4. Mike, Corpus Christi Texas

    DS, I completely agree with your comment about "handing the Democrats a filibuster proof Congress in 2008." I stayed up all night and watched this debate on C-Span, and found it both fascinating but also frustrating. I may sound like a broken record, but I'm still amazed at how the 'Senior GOP Senators,' continue to support the Bush 'stay the course' policy. These senators are obviously 'riding shotgun' for Bush, and appear as if they will provide 'political cover' for him at any cost. Well, you're right, that kind of loyalty will cost them dearly in the 08 elections. I have no doubt that it will also cost the GOP the Presidency!

    July 19, 2007 05:26 am at 5:26 am |
  5. Mike, Corpus Christi Texas

    Mike from Hawaii:

    Excellent Point! I agree with you completely!

    July 19, 2007 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  6. Mike, HI

    CMS, California:

    I was saying the same thing as you a year ago, but today I honestly don't think it could get much worse. First, let's remember that no one truly knows what will happen, all we can do is guess. I do think that there will be chaos, but there already is chaos. I do think there will be bloodshed, but I think the first target of Iraqi militias will be al Qaeda. I don't think we will see another Taliban situation, primarily because Iraq has three distinct groups all vying for power (I also disagree that Afghanistan 'ultimately facilitated 9/11'). I think that, eventually, the Iraqis will be forced to come together and work out a deal, even if that means splitting the land up into three states. I don't know how Iran and other neighbors will influence the process, as I simply am not that knowledgable.

    I'll admit to being a Ron Paul man, but I am quoting him because I honestly think his logic is reasonable:

    This wait-and-see attitude in Washington, and the promised reassessment of events in Iraq later on, strongly motivates the insurgents to accelerate the killing of Americans in order to influence the decision coming in three months. In contrast, a clear decision to leave would prompt a wait and see attitude in Iraq, a de facto cease fire, in anticipation of our leaving, the perfect time for the Iraqi factions to hold their fire on each other and on our troops and just possibly begin talking with each other.

    If the insurgents-not the terrorists, but the Iraqis-really want us out, they will just work harder to kill our men to weaken our resolve. If they see us preparing to leave, however, the only reason an Iraqi would engage us is out of revenge.

    Again, we don't know what will happen, and so I think our duty is to our own people. If we see the worst case scenario unfolding, we can appeal to the international community and go back in (with forces from countries who all have a stake in the region) to help the Iraqi government. But we shouldn't be paying to patrol the streets of Baghdad.

    July 19, 2007 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  7. CMS, California

    Hawaii Mike,
    First, thanks for keeping the conversation civil and not flying off the handle like I see with a lot of other people on these blogs.
    Check this story out, it explores two or three options – http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1644877-1,00.html
    A few things – A Taliban controlled Afghanistan did facilitate the training of Al Qaeda for 9/11. Again, "facilitated" not "caused." To that extent, there would be no doubt that Iraq would erupt into a (deeper) civil war with ethnic cleansing and be a suitable place for terrorists to train as the Bakka valley was/is in Lebanon and Afghanistan was/is.
    As far as how Iran would react, I think it is already clear they have intentions on running Iraq as a puppet state in the same manner they have done with Lebanon and Palestine. We are already finding Iranian agents training the Shiite insurgents with Iranian weapons.
    My amateur opinion is that the US went in Iraq in hopes to pressure Iran into destabilizing as democracies were formed in their neighbors, Afghanistan and Iraq. Iran is the real supporter of terrorism and would be the main target for an anti-terrorism war. (I’m sure I am giving the administration way too much credit for this type of strategic view.) Unfortunately, we mismanaged getting Iraq back on its feet and now Iran and other groups are trying everything to see that we leave with our tails between our legs. They (unfortunately) are doing a great job on assuring this happens based on the US public opinion polls!
    Since you mentioned that you might need some help understanding Iran, check out "Looming Tower" by Lawrence Wright, any of former CIA agent Robert Baer's books, and any of Whalid Phares' books. They gave me quite an education on what we face for the next generation or so in our battle with terrorism. Baer in particular shows Iran as the heart of the beast particularly as we were struggling with terrorism in the 80s. Looming Tower will really help you understand that we facilitated terrorism by acting like a paper tiger for 20+ years in our response to terrorism and world events; Marines leaving Beirut after their barracks were bombed, Army leaving Somalia after the “Black Hawk” down incident, our lack of response to our Kenyan and Tanzanian embassies’ bombings and the Cole attack. Leaving now only completes the circle for Al Qaeda and their supporters. We will be viewed as incredibly weak willed and fickle. As those books demonstrate, that is exactly the type of reaction they want and have publicly declared.
    I wish we could just leave, I really do. It sucks in every possible scenario. Many of my Marine brothers and sisters are fighting over there right now and I have lost several friends and acquaintances; most recently Maj Doug Zembiec who was an incredible Marine. It’s a nasty situation with volatile people and not a lot of ways to come out looking like a winner. However, backbone is the only thing that will ultimately achieve victory and protect Americans in the long term.
    Dog pile on me if you wish please, just keep it civil and realize I’m just as frustrated as everyone with the situation and this administration and Congress. I welcome any opinion or solution that ultimately provides for a stable Iraq and even safer US.

    July 19, 2007 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  8. CMS, California

    Opps, apparently the ticker takes awhile to update. Sorry for my rant about censorship. Funny how my post from 4 hours earlier showed up after I ranted on its exclusion though....hummm.

    July 19, 2007 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
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