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Senate GOP blocks vote on Iraq resolution


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The Republicans outmaneuvered the Democrats again in blocking a Senate debate on a mildly worded non-binding resolution criticizing George W. Bush's Iraq War escalation.


At issue is a resolution crafted by the top two members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Democrat Carl Levin and Republican John Warner, that "disagrees" with the president's plan to send 21,500 more combat troops to Iraq. Senator Warner voted against his own plan. The White House got to him.


America has spoken .. Get us out of Iraq .. No one believes the Bush/Cheney/Rice Admin. No one trusts them. It is clear now that they have lied their way into this. They cannot blame the Iraqis for failing, the whole blame belongs to them.


Here is copy of the Resolution. You decide for yourself.




To express the sense of Congress on Iraq.


Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled




Congress makes the following findings


(1) We respect the constitutional authorities given a President in Article II, Section 2, which states that "The President shall be commander inchief of the Army and Navy of the United States;"it is not the intent of this Act to question or con-travene such authority, but to accept the offer toCongress made by the President on January10, that, "if members have improvements that canbe made, we will make them. If circumstanceschange, we will adjust".


(2) The United States' strategy and operationsin Iraq can only be sustained and achieved with sup-port from the American people and with a level ofbipartisanship.


(3) Over 137,000 American military personnelare currently serving in Iraq, like thousands of oth-ers since March 2003, with the bravery and profes-sionalism consistent with the finest traditions of theUnited States armed forces, and are deserving of thesupport of all Americans, which they have strongly.


(4) Many American service personnel have losttheir lives, and many more have been wounded, inIraq, and the American people will always honortheir sacrifices and honor their families.


(5) The U.S. Army and Marine Corps, includ-ing their Reserve and National Guard organizations,together with components of the other branches ofthe military, are under enormous strain from mul-tiple, extended deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.


(6) These deployments, and those that will fol-low, will have lasting impacts on the future recruiting, retention and readiness of our nation's all vol-unteer force.


(7) In the National Defense Authorization Actfor Fiscal Year 2006, the Congress stated that "cal-endar year 2006 should be a period of significanttransition to full sovereignty, with Iraqi securityforces taking the lead for the security of a free andsovereign Iraq".


(8) United Nations Security Council Resolution1723, approved November 28, 2006, "determin[ed]that the situation in Iraq continues to constitute athreat to international peace and security".


(9) Iraq is experiencing a deterioratingandever-widening problem of sectarian and intra-sec-tarian violence based upon political distrust and cul-tural differences between some Sunni and Shia Mus-lims.


(10) Iraqis must reach political settlements inorder to achieve reconciliation, and the failure of theIraqis to reach such settlements to support a trulyunified government greatly contributes to the in-creasing violence in Iraq.


(11) The responsibility for Iraq's internal secu-rity and halting sectarian violence must rest primarily with the Government of Iraq and Iraqi Secu-rity Forces.


(12) U.S. Central Command Commander Gen-eral John Abizaid testified to Congress on November15, 2006, "I met with every divisional commander,General Casey, the Corps Commander, [and] Gen-eral Dempsey. We all talked together. And I said, inyour professional opinion, if we were to bring inmore American troops now, does it add considerablyto our ability to achieve success in Iraq? And theyall said no. And the reason is, because we want theIraqis to do more. It's easy for the Iraqis to relyupon us to do this work. I believe that more Amer-ican forces prevent the Iraqis from doing more, fromtaking more responsibility for their own future".


(13) Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki stat-ed on November 27, 2006, that "The crisis is polit-ical, and the ones who can stop the cycle of aggrava-tion and bloodletting of innocents are the politi-cians".


(14) There is growing evidence that Iraqi publicsentiment opposes the continued U.S. troop presencein Iraq, much less increasing the troop level.


(15) In the fall of 2006, leaders in the Adminis-tration and Congress, as well as recognized experts inthe private sector, began to express concern thatthe situation in Iraq was deteriorating and requireda change in strategy; and, as a consequence, the Ad-ministration began an intensive, comprehensive re-view by all components of the Executive branch todevise a new strategy.


(16) In December 2006, the bipartisan IraqStudy Group issued a valuable report, suggesting acomprehensive strategy that includes "new and en-hanced diplomatic and political efforts in Iraq andthe region, and a change in the primary mission ofU.S. forces in Iraq that will enable the UnitedStates to begin to move its combat forces out of Iraqresponsibly".


(17) On January 10, 2007, following consulta-tions with the Iraqi Prime Minister, the Presidentannounced a new strategy (hereinafter referred to asthe "plan"), which consists of three basic elements:diplomatic, economic, and military; the central com-ponent of the military element is an augmentation ofthe present level of U.S. military forces through ad-ditional deployments of approximately 21,500 U.S.military troops to Iraq.


(18) On January 10, 2007, the President saidthat the "Iraqi government will appoint a military commander and two deputy military commanders fortheir capital" and that U.S. forces will "be embed-ded in their formations;" and in subsequent testi-mony before the Armed Services Committee on J an-uary 25, 2007, by the retired former Vice Chief ofthe Army, it was learned that there will also be acomparable U.S. command in Baghdad, and thatthis dual chain of command may be problematic be-cause "the Iraqis are going to be able to move theirforces around at times where we will disagree withthat movement," and called for clarification.


(19) This proposed level of troop augmentationfar exceeds the expectations of many of us as to thereinforcements that would be necessary to implementthe various options for a new strategy, and led manymembers of Congress to express outright oppositionto augmenting our troops by 21,500.


(20) The Government of Iraq has promised re-peatedly to assume a greater share of security re-sponsibilities, disband militias, consider Constitu-tional amendments and enact laws to reconcile sec-tarian differences, and improve the quality of essen-tial services for the Iraqi people; yet, despite thosepromises, little has been achieved.


(21) The President said on January 10, 2007,that "I've made it clear to the Prime Minister andIraq's other leaders that America's commitment isnot open-ended" so as to dispel the contrary impres-sion that exists.


(22) The recommendations in this Act shouldnot be interpreted as precipitating any immediate re-duction in, or withdrawal of, the present level offorces.


(B) SENSE OF CONGRESS.-It is the sense of Con-11 gress that-



(1) the Senate disagrees with the "plan" toaugment our forces by 21,500, and urges the Presi-dent instead to consider all options and alternativesfor achieving the strategic goals set forth below;


(2) the Senate believes that the United Statesshould continue vigorous operations in Anbar prov-ince, specifically for the purpose of combating an in-surgency, including elements associated with the AIQaeda movement, and denying terroristsa safehaven;


(3) the Senate believes a failed state in Iraqwould present a threat to regional and world peace,and the long-term security interests of the UnitedStates are best served by an Iraq that can sustain, govern, and defend itself, and serve as an ally in thewar against extremists;


(4) the Congress should not take any actionthat will endanger United States military forces inthe field, including the elimination or reduction offunds for troops in the field, as such action with re-spect to funding would undermine their safety orharm their effectiveness in pursuing their assignedmIssIOns;


(5) the primary objective of the overall U.S.strategy in Iraq should be to encourage Iraqi leadersto make political compromises that will foster rec-onciliation and strengthen the unity government, ul-timately leading to improvements in the security sit-uation;


(6) the military part of this strategy shouldfocus on maintaining the territorial integrity of Iraq,denying international terrorists a safe haven, con-ducting counterterrorismoperations, promoting re-gional stability, supporting Iraqi efforts to bringgreatersecurity to Baghdad,and trainingandequipping Iraqi forces to take full responsibility fortheir own security;


(7) United States military operations should, asmuch as possible, be confined to these goals, and should charge the Iraqi military with the prImarymission of combating sectarian violence;


(8) the military Rules of Engagement for thisplan should reflect this delineation of responsibil-ities, and the Secretary of Defense and the Chair-man of the Joint Chiefs of Staff should clarify thecommand and control arrangements in Baghdad;


(9) the United States Government should trans-fer to the Iraqi military, in an expeditious manner,such equipment as is necessary;


(10) the United States Government should en-gage selected nations in the Middle East to developa regional, internationally sponsored peace-and-rec-onciliation process for Iraq;


(11) the Administration should provide regularupdates to the Congress, produced by the Com-mander of United States Central Command and hissubordinate commanders, about the progress or lackof progress the Iraqis are making toward this end;and


(12) our overall military, diplomatic and eco-nomic strategy should not be regarded as an "open-ended" or unconditional commitment, but rather asa new strategy that hereafter should be conditionedupon the Iraqi government's meeting benchmarks that must be delineated in writing and agreed to bythe Iraqi Prime Minister and the Administration.Such benchmarks should include, but not be limitedto, the deployment of that number of additionalIraqi security forces as specified in the plan inBaghdad, ensuring equitable distribution of the re-sources of the Government of Iraq without regard tothe sect or ethnicity of recipients, enacting and im-plementing legislation to ensure that the oil re-sources of Iraq benefit Sunni Arabs, Shia Arabs,Kurds, and other Iraqi citizens in an equitable man-ner, and the authority of Iraqi commanders to maketactical and operational decisions without politicalintervention.


© FREQUENCY OF REPORTS ON CERTAIN ASPECTS16 OF POLICY AND OPERATIONS.-TheUnited States Policy17 in Iraq Act (section 1227 of Public Law 109-163;11918 Stat. 3465; 50 D.S.C. 1541 note) is amended by adding 19 at the end the following new subsection: 20"


(d) FREQUENCY OF REPORTS ON CERTAIN As-21 PECTS OF UNITED STATES POLICY AND MILITARY QpER-22 ATIONSIN IRAQ.-Not later than 30 days after the date23 of the enactment of this subsection, and every 30 days24 thereafter until all United States combat brigades have25 redeployed from Iraq, the President shall submit to Congress a report on the matters set forth in paragraphs2 (I)(A), (1)(B), and (2) of subsection ©. To the maximum3 extent practicable each report shall be unclassified, with4 a classified annex if necessary."

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