December 31, 2006

bumped - Matt

Many of you know that the Senate is debating Iraq funding right now as part of a supplemental spending bill.  The last time we really debated the Iraq issue, back in November, we got 40 senators to vote for a flexible timetable to redeploy troops out of Iraq.  While that amendment didn't pass, it was a strong show of support by Democrats for an Iraq policy, and national security policy, that make sense. The online community had a lot to do with that vote.  Members of Congress heard from people around the country who stood up together and demanded a new course in Iraq - one that makes our country stronger.  

Now, six months later, without any kind of timetable or strategy, things in Iraq are only getting worse.  There is no end in sight for U.S. troops who have been asked to sacrifice so much in the name of a deeply flawed policy.  That is why today I introduced an amendment to redeploy U.S. forces from Iraq by December 31, 2006.

Our country desperately needs a new vision for strengthening our national security, and it starts by redeploying U.S. forces from Iraq.  Our military has performed heroically in Iraq, but the continued, indefinite presence of large numbers of U.S. forces there is preventing us from focusing on the global terrorist networks that threaten us today.

Last August I suggested December 31, 2006, as a target date for withdrawal.   Since then, the situation in Iraq has only deteriorated, and the administration has done nothing to change course.  Congress needs to step up and set a deadline ourselves.  We have waited too long for the President to give us a vision and a plan for when our troops will come home.  Congress cannot simply sit by and put ideas in the White House's suggestion box.  The Administration refused to listen to those who questioned the rush to war, and now they refuse to listen to anyone who calls for a policy that makes sense for our troops, or for our national security.

We can't keep waiting for the President to finally figure out what we already know - that the U.S. policy in Iraq is failing.  We need to focus our resources on defeating terrorist networks around the world that threaten our country.  The debate happening in the Senate now is an opportunity to demand a deadline for the redeployment of U.S. forces by the end of this year.  

Tags: Iraq, Senator Russ Feingold (all tags)

Comments

23 Comments

Re: December 31, 2006

When 72% of the troops want to end the war in 2006 (Zogby) I say we should support the troops!

Thank you sir.

by misscee 2006-04-27 07:24AM | 0 recs
Re: December 31, 2006

Thank you for being a leader on this issue and so many others, Senator.

by Steve M 2006-04-27 08:12AM | 0 recs
wish it could be sooner...

...or that we never went in the first place.

But thank you, Senator, for continuing to be a sane voice in this insane time.

by Heather in SFBay 2006-04-27 09:22AM | 0 recs
Re: December 31, 2006

What's the strategy to get other Democrats to come along with this?

by Matt Stoller 2006-04-27 09:52AM | 0 recs
Existing International Law

I wholeheartedly agree with your decision to reinforce the mandates of the United Nations Security Council:

Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,

      1. Notes that the presence of the multinational force in Iraq is at the request of the Government of Iraq and, having regard to the letters annexed to this resolution, reaffirms the authorization for the multinational force as set forth in resolution 1546 (2004) and decides to extend the mandate of the multinational force as set forth in that resolution until 31 December 2006;

      2. Decides further that the mandate for the multinational force shall be reviewed at the request of the Government of Iraq or no later than 15 June 2006, and declares that it will terminate this mandate earlier if requested by the Government of Iraq; [UNSCR 1637 [pdf]

Noted that the review of the mandate is scheduled for next month, and Iraqi public opinion seems to favor your approach.  Might be helpful to publicize that fact every now and again.

by rba 2006-04-27 11:17AM | 0 recs
Re: December 31, 2006

Urge to vote for Feingold in '08...RISING. ;)

Atleast people in the Senate are actually trying to get us out of that quagmire called Iraq.

Actually, at this point, Feingold could propose replacing the eagle with a pie as our national symbol, and I would still vote for him.

by Jason R 2006-04-27 12:36PM | 0 recs
Re: December 31, 2006

I must say, I love hidden Simpsons references. Kudos.

Urge to impeach Bush... Rising

by 8th District Dem 2006-04-27 03:02PM | 0 recs
Re: December 31, 2006

Thank you Sen. Feingold for continuing to be one of the few leaders in the Democratic Party. At this time, I look forward to supporting you should you decide to seek the Democratic nomination in 2008.

by Sitkah 2006-04-27 12:45PM | 0 recs
Re: December 31, 2006

Pie > All

Feingold > Pie

Thank you for being the one senator who actually "Supports the Troops" by giving them a clear and finite mission.

All missions must end at some point, whether successfully or not. Should it be necessary, the commander(-in-chief) will develop new missions to follow the first. But under no circumstances should a situation simply be left to rot, in the vain hope that it will suddenly get better.

by Geogriffith 2006-04-27 12:48PM | 0 recs
Re: December 31, 2006

Thanks for taking a strong stance for our nation and its troops.  I hope that if no progress is made on the situation this year, that you help lead a strong effort to end the war by whatever rational and acceptable means, such as blocking funding for the war.  Keep fighting the good fight over here, so we don't have to...nevermind, just keep fighting =)

by John Nicosia 2006-04-27 01:13PM | 0 recs
Re: December 31, 2006

Thank you Senator Feingold for being a beacon of hope.

by petercjack 2006-04-27 01:21PM | 0 recs
Re: December 31, 2006

Which I suppose is better than being a bacon of hope.

Hope bacon.

(Sorry, couldn't resist :P)

by Jason R 2006-04-27 01:40PM | 0 recs
Re: December 31, 2006

I wonder if there was any discussion about whether December 24, or 22, or 18, might be a better date.  "Have the troops home by Christmas" and all... or would that be too political?  Curious.

Tim

by Tim Tagaris 2006-04-27 01:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Christmas

That's funny - good one.  If you're serious, you've been hanging out in D.C. too much.  :-)

by rba 2006-04-27 02:47PM | 0 recs
Re: December 31, 2006

or Hannukah, as the case may be.  

by Winston Smith 2006-04-28 07:33AM | 0 recs
A question for Feingold?

There are some places in Iraq where our troops are succeeding and have the support of local Iraqi leaders.  While these bright spots are unfortunately few, I'd like for any redeployment to leave open the possibility of continuing to lend military support (and a local presence) to local Iraqi leaders where the local population requests it.  In addition we should funnel reconstruction resources to those places, where in many cases basic security has been established by major reconstruction hasn't followed.

Have you considered this?

P.S. You were inspiring during the initial debate on the Iraq force resolution in 2003.  I listened for hours to the debate on the Senate floor, and I want to thank you (and Robert Byrd, and Ted Kennedy, and a few others) for what you said then, even though you did not prevail.  I also thank you for trying to organize a filibuster, and getting half the Senate's Democrats to support you, in opposition to your own party's Senate leadership.

by cos 2006-04-27 03:16PM | 0 recs
Re: December 31, 2006

that can be the same day you announce your candidacy for the Presidency, coming on the heels of Democratic sweeps of both Houses.

by Max Friedman 2006-04-27 04:34PM | 0 recs
Senator Feingold

I hope you are reading these comments.

I have a counterproposal.

Begin to step away from the Democratic Party NOW, while you still have time.

Tell them this:

Support my drive to end this war by Dec. 31, 2006 or else I will start a third party.

I am telling you, sir...the powers that control the party and the media are NOT going to allow you to run for President on the Democratic ticket. The same sort of thing that happened to Howard Dean...no slouch in the politics department, as I am sure you understand...will happen to you as well. And they will run some lame sonofabitch like Small K kerry instead.

Continue to talk plainly and clearly about the issues, and bypass the party entirely. There is an electorate out there that can elect you president and begin to REALLY change things here. Cobble together the minorities, the working class and the young along with the real liberals and you have a fighting chance. IF you organize in "minority" neighborhoods with the same optimism and diligence that I see from Democratic organizers working in up-scale suburban and urban areas.

I wanted to see Howard Dean do the same thing when he ran, and he did not.

I wanted to see him do it AFTER the election, after kerry's shameful concession "for the good of the country". And once again he did not.

Did you look around the room when you made your proposal regarding the war in the Senate floor? Did you read the reactions of your so-called "allies" as they scurried into their self-protective little ratholes?

That is what you are going to get right on down the line.

It is time for some REAL change.

The one party/two names system is simply not working.

You could be the man to do it.

Or..."I coulda been a contender" could be your political epitaph.

Your choice.

Either way...I'm with you.

But there is only ONE way you are going to win.

The New Party In '08!!!

VAYA!!!

Arthur Gilroy

by Arthur Gilroy 2006-04-28 06:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Senator Feingold

I am a big admirer of Sen. Feingold, the sort of principled legislator who comes along once in a generation.  I am not in favor of him throwing away whatever political viability he possesses as a protest candidate.

The idea that the Democratic Party will do the same thing to Sen. Feingold that they did to Howard Dean is a bit odd, considering Howard Dean is in charge of the party these days.

by Steve M 2006-04-28 07:13AM | 0 recs
Re: Senator Feingold

Dean is NOT "in charge".

They kicked him upstairs and he made the best of it.

If he was truly in charge...do you think that the various DINO senators would have been free to run screaming away from any public HINT being aligned with Feingold's stance?

As usual...the NY Times and Washington Post are "in charge", if ANYTHING is.

And the people who dictate policy to  them are still heavily involved in maintaining the economic imperialist status quo as it presently stands.

Militarily, which is the only way such a system CAN be maintained.

So it goes, Steve.

Sorry to be the bringer of bad news.

AG

by Arthur Gilroy 2006-04-28 07:28AM | 0 recs
Re: Senator Feingold

Dean doesn't get to set policy, but he surely has power over the electoral machinery.

I don't see why you think Feingold would be subject to the whims of the NYT and WaPo as a Democratic candidate, but would somehow be able to go over their heads as a third-party candidate.

I think you are chasing rainbows, friend.  Ross Perot was the only viable third-party candidate in recent memory, and he only got as far as he did because he had billions of dollars.  Russ Feingold barely has two nickels to rub together.  There is no way he can run a national campaign without a major party's backing.

by Steve M 2006-04-28 09:11AM | 0 recs
Re: Senator Feingold

Yes, Steve, there IS a way.

#1-Be so outrageously honest, correct and directly spoken that the media can neither ignore you nor make you look the fool. Anyone with the courage and outrageous vision to to stand up and read the Declaration of Independence into a Senate that is almost entirely comprised of four-flushers (as is this one, of course) has the political talent and charisma to do this.

2-Take the Dean financing model and make it larger.

Huge.

It CAN be done.

But worse...if it is NOT done then we are once again going to be faced with choosing between Plan A and Plan A Lite.

Both of which are going to end up frying our asses in our own greed and stupidity.

Not only is it possible to float a third party in this information age...it is the ONLY possibility that has a chance of saving us from total defeat over the next 12 years or so.

Bet on it.

AG

by Arthur Gilroy 2006-04-28 11:25AM | 0 recs
P.S.

What is the name of this blog, again?

My D. D., right?

My Direct Democracy.

Says it all.

Oughta try it instead of just bullshitting about it.

AG

by Arthur Gilroy 2006-04-28 11:38AM | 0 recs

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