Thursday, July 12, 2007

House voted to redeploy troops out of Iraq

You can read the legislation at The Gavel, where the following graf was written earlier today:

The House is currently debating HR 2956, the Responsible Redeployment from Iraq Act. The legislation, sponsored by Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton, would begin the responsible redeployment of U.S. troops within 120 days and complete redeployment by April 1, 2008. The President would have to report to Congress why troops should remain in Iraq for limited purposes such as to fight terrorism or to train Iraqi forces.
After much debate, the Responsible Redeployment from Iraq Act passed. The yeas were 223 -- 219 Dems and four Repubs. The nays were comprised of 191 Repubs and 10 Dems.

Who the hell were those 10 Dems who opposed the troop withdrawal legislation? DINOs Barrow and Marshall of GA, Dennis Kucinich of OH (who advocated that Congress cut funding for the war entirely), Boren of OK, Taylor of MS, Ellsworth of IN, Matheson of UT, Carney and Holden of PA, and Snyder of AR.

Four Repubs who voted with the majority were: Jones of NC, Duncan of TN, Emerson of MO, and Gilchrest of MD.

While watching C-SPAN, I recorded some remarks spoken on the House floor to give you a flavor of the debate and added a few comments in red below.


Rep. Corrine Brown, D-FL 3D
"We should remember the election of 2000... I opposed the war." There were "flaws in the mission from the beginning." ..."70% of the American people oppose the war." Brown voted in support of the bill.

Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-MD, 5D, Majority Leader
If this war was being conducted by Pres. Clinton, "what would the comments on the other side reflect?" Osama bin Laden is still at large... AQ back at the strength it was before 9/11... "We must change course" ...redeploy so our forces can focus on terrorism... Even Repub Pete Domenici said... "There is no reason to wait... nothing positive happening." Steny affirmed that "this bill is on this floor because there is no reason to wait."

Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-IL 5D
The president says that we are "at the starting line." ...After five years, "so many dead, so much money spent, how much more will it take to get to the finish line?" ..."Our men and women in uniform have done all that we asked them to do. They have won the war" ...but this administration has lost the war. He conceded that a precipitous withdrawal is a valid point, but there are "costs to staying... choices between bad and worse." ...after five years, 3,600 soldiers dead, $485 billion spent... "our military is stretched" ...yet we see AQ getting stronger... we've heard about the "last throes" of the insurgency, and that didn't happen... about the danger of Saddam's "WMDs" and that didn't happen.... "every benchmark this administration has put forth has not happened."

Rep. James Clyburn, D-SC 6D, Majority Whip
We've "lost nearly 600 troops" and spent "$60 billion since the surge" started. He brought up the "recent NIE report on how AQ is stronger than a year ago... possibly as strong as they were before 9/11." He urged passing the bill.

Rep. Joe Baca, D-CA, 43D
"I rise as a veteran... ...this war is a failure and it is time to bring back our troops." Our soldiers are "trapped in the middle of a civil war" and we are "not making our country safer" by being in Iraq. Troops go into combat without proper training or equipment. Our national security is "at risk" due to the degradation of our military. The Iraq War funding could be better spent on more policemen, more firemen, health care.

Rep. Steve Cohen, D-TN, 9D
"Handwriting is on the wall" and he spoke of the needless deaths of our soldiers. Told a story of a constituent, a mother of a solder who said "the war is useless." "How many more must die... before the handwriting is on the wall?"

Rep. Kendrick Meek, D-FL, 17D
This "a responsible redeployment... Why should we reward bad behavior? ...the American people are way ahead of us on this issue." ...They want a "common sense" approach for "new direction."

Rep. Ike Skelton, D-MO, House Armed Services Committee
"We just heard the minority leader [Boehner] ...willfully ignoring the consequences of Iraq... We have a readiness crisis due to our extended operations in Iraq." ...readiness has fallen to a "dangerous level." ..."No one seems to be listening on the other side" over the "stretch and the strain on the ground forces of the U.S." ...Lee Hamilton of Iraq Study Group endorses this legislation as "a responsible bill." Mr. Hunter asked us to wait until September. We have already had four Septembers since the war began. Ike quoted lyrics from a song about September: "We haven't got time for the waiting game." ..."This is the right time... the right measure... right for our ground forces... right for those in uniform, for their families." We've been engaged since March 2003... "we have threats yet unforeseen" ...yet "we continue to strain our ground forces"..."We need to pass this legislation... pass the responsibility back to the Iraqis" get our forces at a "higher state of readiness" keep our "future all the more safer."

Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-CA 8D, Speaker of the House
Gave thanks to Ike Skelton for the legislation. Regarding the progress report on Iraq benchmarks... "not even the WH can conclude there has been progress." Since the surge began, we've "lost nearly 600 American troops." The "present strategy has failed to meet those benchmarks. ... but the American people want a new direction... ...reports about resilience of AQ in Iraq are alarming.... the war is not making Americans safer and hinders a new direction and strategy for greater stability in the ME ...Americans favor a redeployment." We must "reflect the will of the American people... an effective way forward... we will repeat this [legislative action] as often as necessary... until pressure from the American people causes the president to change his mind and policies... After half a trillion dollars and four-and-a-half years... we have waited far too long." We're spending "$329 million everyday in Iraq... a war that's not making our country safer." After five years of a failed policy in Iraq, we have a responsibility to end the war, to bring the troops home.


Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-CA, House Armed Services Committee ranking member, led the opposition. He brought up three Repub congressmen with sons who are serving in the military. "We can't stop this war... we can leave the battlefield" but we can't stop the war. What a ma-roon! Does Hunter think Americans will buy his BS? He said, "This war has been forced on us." The hell it was. The Iraq War was Bush's choice and Hunter conflated the terrorist attacks of 9/11 with Iraq. He likened passage of the bill as if it was "to sound the retreat... Vote against this call to retreat"... We will lose the war against terrorists. Bah! SSDW.

Rep. Todd Akin, R-MO 2D
About the bill, he said that Dems were "playing politics" and offered "no bold plan... ...offers nothing but a bunch of wishes... useless in terms of solving problems."

Rep. Mike Conaway, R-TX 11D
He rambled about doublespeak, something at which the Repubs are expert. He criticized Democrats by saying that they talk about "how wonderful our troops are" and then they say "the implementation [of the war] has failed" but "somehow our [soldiers] have not failed. That's doublespeak."

Rep. Joe Wilson, R-SC 2D
"Sad for American families that the House is considering" a bill for "retreat." In so many words, Wilson called a huge majority of Americans (who favor troop withdrawals) cut-and-run cowards. See also Duncan Hunter.

Rep. Steve Pearce, R-NM 2D
"I see no refocus on the war on terror" in the legislation. He talked about how he flew missions in Vietnam and also referred to Jane Fonda, i.e., Hanoi Jane, and questioned, "How will unilateral withdrawal prevent terrorists from regrouping" and growing? And he wondered how the bill calling for troop withdrawals from Iraq would keep terrorists from following us home. In essence, he floated the specious puppy dog theory.

Rep. John Kline, R-MN 2D
This wingnut quoted George Orwell, "The fastest way to end a war is by losing it." WTF?!

Rep. Thelma Drake, R-VA 2D
"Do we really need a General Pelosi?" This is a bill that has "no chance" of passing. "We are here to appease ...Thus, politics replaces policy." The bill contains no plan for securing the ME region or dealing with terrorism.

Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-GA 11D
The bill provides no new ideas and the majority knows this bill "is DOA." It calls for a date certain for withdrawal but doesn't ask the president for plan until after the redeployment starts... "We cannot capitulate" to the terrorists. Gingrey hails from Marietta, GA, where defense contractor Lockheed Martin resides. Unsurprisingly, Gingrey is a worthless piece of poodle shit Bushie rubber-stamp war hawk.

Rep. John Boehner, R-OH 8D, Minority Leader
He called the bill a "partisan political stunt"... that "showed up" out of the blue on "Tuesday night" ...that "makes our troops pawns in a partisan battle" and "undermines Gen. Petraeus." ...This is "not leadership, it's negligence.... ...Who is our biggest enemy in Iraq today? It's AQ. If we fail in Iraq... ...we will embolden Iranians, allow AQ to be stronger, to recruit more people to kill Americans and allies around the world." He asserted that Gen. Petraeus is making progress, the Iraq government has made some progress, but to "pull the rug out" a "negligent action." He asked, "Why can't we wait until Sept. 15?" This is a "meaningless bill.... giant loophole in the terrorist surveillance program." Boehner wanna a cracker?

As the debate concluded, Congresswoman Heather Wilson (R-NM) contentiously attempted to recommit the bill with an amendment on electronic surveillance without warrants. After some parliamentary wrangling over the germaneness of Wilson's remarks, Ike Skelton moved to table the motion. The vote for Wilson failed, and thereafter, the vote for the Responsible Redeployment from Iraq Act passed.

Now it's up to the Senate. Read Blue Girl's post below calling out Harry Reid.

Amen, sister!

UPDATE: Fixed some punctuation, stylistic stuff. But more importantly, Nicole Belle at Crooks and Liars posted a video a few days ago about Rep. Thelma Drake (R-VA) (mentioned above), who dodged questions on joining John Warner's (R-VA) stand on Iraq. I betcha Thelma will need some swift track shoes after her vote today.