Senate Sticks Head in Sand: Some Turn Over in Graves


Senate Foreign Relations Committee Joe Biden called out Mitch McConnell, John McCain, Joe Lieberman and all those stopping debate and a vote on a pending Iraq War resolution.
Biden said to them, “Iraq dominates our national life. It is on the minds of tens of millions of Americans. It shapes the lives of hundreds of thousands of our men and women in uniform and their families.”
Biden is right — but it’s going to be a close call securing the 60 votes needed to shut down an effort to preempt ANY debate (written before the vote).
From Biden’s statement (click here to watch video clip):

This bill, like the Biden-Hagel-Levin-Snowe bill makes three things clear. First, Iraq needs a political settlement to end the sectarian violence. Second, the United States must work with other nations to develop a “regional, internationally-sponsored peace and reconciliation process for Iraq.” Third, the mission of US armed forces should be confined to counter-terrorism, training, and maintaining the territorial integrity of Iraq. The mission should not include policing a sectarian civil war. That will require significantly fewer troops than we have in Iraq now.
As I said at the outset, this is a first step. But it can set the foundation for everything that follows. If the President does not listen to the majority of Congress and the majority of the American people, we will look at other ways to turn the surge around.
Even if we succeed in that effort, we still need to turn our overall Iraq policy around. We need a strategy that can produce a political settlement in Iraq. That’s the only way to stop Shiites and Sunnis from killing each other and to allow our troops to leave Iraq without trading a dictator for chaos.

Watching C-Span now. The vote seems close.
Damn. . .not close at all. The effort to move to the Warner-Levin Iraq War Resolution was stopped 49 to 47.
This may hurt right now, but it’s getting easier and easier to figure out which Members of Congress to support and which to purge.
— Steve Clemons


24 comments on “Senate Sticks Head in Sand: Some Turn Over in Graves

  1. ... says:

    pretty sick isn’t it poa? makes one proud to be anything but american.


  2. Pissed Off American says:

    Now golly, if THIS don’t make ya proud to be an American, then I don’t know what will. Hey, SOMEONE has to make a stand for torture and rendition, by God!
    U.S. doesn’t sign ban on disappearances
    Wednesday, February 07, 2007 02:28:41 AM
    Nearly 60 countries signed a treaty on Tuesday that bans governments from holding people in secret detention, but the United States and some of its key European allies were not among them.
    The signing capped a quarter-century of efforts by families of people who have vanished at the hands of governments.
    “Our American friends were naturally invited to this ceremony; unfortunately, they weren’t able to join us,” French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy told reporters after 57 nations signed the treaty at his ministry in Paris.
    continues at……..


  3. Carroll says:

    BTW…the purge needs more members:
    Ten protesters arrested in McCain’s office
    WASHINGTON (CNN) — U.S. Capitol Police arrested 10 anti-war protestors in Sen. John McCain’s Capitol Hill office Monday, police spokeswoman Sgt. Kimberly Schneider tells CNN.
    The protestors, members of the anti-war organization “Code Pink,” said the demonstration was one of more than two dozen similar protests held across the country on Monday. The group said more protests were planned targeting congressional offices in the coming months.
    The demonstrations were held Monday to coincide with the fourth anniversary of the U.N. speech delivered by former Secretary of State Colin Powell outlining the threat Iraq posed to the world because of its weapons of mass destruction programs, according to a press release issued by the organization.
    The demonstration in McCain’s office was peaceful and no one was injured.
    Last week six members from the group were arrested outside Sen. Hillary Clinton’s, D- New York, Capitol Hill office.
    Now if 10 thousand or hundreds of thousands of citizens stormed capitol hill we might get somewhere…..there are more of us than there are DC police. Gathering on the “mall” in peaceful protest doesn’t get it…overwhelming numbers flooding their offices would. I am not willing to be arrested for showing up with only six people…I would be willing to be arrested as one of thousands…that would be worthwhile. I admire these ladies for at least doing something but if you want to have an impact you gotta start a bigger shit storm.


  4. susan says:

    Here’s what Kos has to say about Hagel:
    NE-Sen, pres: Chuck Hagel — weak
    by kos
    Mon Feb 05, 2007 at 05:55:48 PM PST
    Chuck Hagel, two weeks ago:
    This is a very real, responsible addressing of the most divisive issue in this country since Vietnam. Yes, sure, it’s tough. Absolutely. And I think all 100 senators ought to be on the line on this.
    What do you believe? What are you willing to support? What do you think? Why were you elected?
    If you wanted a safe job, go sell shoes. This is a tough business. But is it any tougher, us having to take a tough vote, express ourselves and have the courage to step up on what we’re asking our young men and women to do?
    I don’t think so.
    When I hear, on both sides of this argument, impugning motives and patriotism to our country, not only is it offensive and disgusting but it debases the whole system of our country and who we are.
    My goodness. Can’t we debate the most critical issue of our time, out front, in front of the American people?
    The expect it. Are we so weak, we can’t do that?
    Let’s try this “logic” thing out:
    Hagel says refusing to debate Iraq is “weak”.
    Hagel voted to refuse debate on Iraq.
    Therefore, Hagel is “weak”.
    Time for him to go sell shoes.
    Republicans refuse to debate Iraq surge
    by kos
    Mon Feb 05, 2007 at 04:37:36 PM PST
    Let’s see which if the Republicans up for re-election in 2008 voted against debating the Iraq surge:
    Lamar Alexander (R-TN)
    Saxby Chambliss (R-GA)
    Thad Cochran (R-MS)
    John Cornyn (R-TX)
    Larry Craig (R-ID)
    Elizabeth Dole (R-NC)
    Pete Domenici (R-NM)
    Mike Enzi (R-WY)
    Lindsey Graham (R-SC)
    Chuck Hagel (R-NE)
    Jim Inhofe (R-OK)
    Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
    Pat Roberts (R-KS)
    Jeff Sessions (R-AL)
    Gordon Smith (R-OR)
    Ted Stevens (R-AK)
    John Sununu (R-NH)
    John Warner (R-VA)
    Lookit here — Chuck Hagel once again proves he’s all talk, but when it comes time for action, he buckles.


  5. Pissed Off American says:

    “And to be honest, why is Joe Lieberman even sitting in DC???”
    Posted by liz
    Because thats where Israel has told him to sit.


  6. liz says:

    I reckon these cowardly Americans who will not even talk about the war and the mishandling and all the problems surrounding the intelligence etc, will now be responsible for World War III or IV… whichever it really is. Republicans are war mongers and Dems are enablers. And to be honest, why is Joe Lieberman even sitting in DC???


  7. Nat says:

    Subject Philip Ruddock, worst lawyer..EVER
    Visit Time 6/02/2007 7:04 AM
    Remark In the last week we’ve heard Philip Ruddock:
    1). Erode the legal right of defendants to legal council and impeached a lawyer’s credibility merely because he doesn’t like his clients.
    2). Backflip on retrospective laws.
    3). Use the lamest argument to claim that new charges against Hicks weren’t retrospective, I mean what is the difference between retrospective and “mere codification”.
    4). And all the while championing terrorism, oops I mean torture and hearsay “evidence”to convict someone before they’ve even been before a “court”.
    In the past Philip Ruddock has been responsible for:
    1). Detaining unaccompanied minors.
    2). Shooting at and endangering the lives of refugees seeking protection, even sinking vessels full of people.
    3). Locking up Australian citizens.
    4). Deporting Australian citizens.
    5). Sending recognised refugees insane.
    6). Defending terrorist groups (that conveniently donate to Liberal party coffers) oh, but they are Saudis so that is ok.
    Not only is he the worst lawyers in this country, he is the worst and most dangerous Attorney General this country has ever had from memory.
    If it weren’t for the fact that we would require the Attorney General’s permission to do so (ironically Philip Ruddock), he would have been charged with crimes against humanity and sent to the Hague years ago.
    Why do we allow this criminal to continue with his crime spree?


  8. STS says:

    “the Dems need to use a big stick in addition to the power of the pen i.e. start cutting Bush’s 2.9 trillion budget.”
    Why not attach a surtax on top incomes to the Iraq Supplemental? Make a direct link between the SACRIFICE being asked of troops packed off to Iraq for the Nth time and the way Bush’s “have and have mores” base is coddled.
    The R’s will filibuster the surtax too, but it would demonstrate that his friends’ money is more important to Bush than the troops’ lives.


  9. Jerome Gaskins says:

    Sorry, but the Democrats are not going to do anything to stop the Iraq war. There’s a better chance of Steve’s dogs appearing on Washington Journal to explain King George’s budget.


  10. km4 says:

    When will the Dems realize that you cannot bargain or play civil with these feckless GOP asshats ?
    When will the Dems take the gloves off and start pounding these feckless GOP asshats ? I know Jim Webb who was born fighting is there and probably John Tester.
    Yes I know the means to this end is to pick up another 20 House seats and 5 – 10 Senate seats in 2008 along with winning back the Executive branch.
    But in the interim the Dems need to use a big stick in addition to the power of the pen i.e. start cutting Bush’s 2.9 trillion budget.


  11. Dennis says:

    Nobody expects better of those who voted against cloture (Including no one expecting better from my own senator, Saxby Chamblis). But then, this has been a piss-ant Congress for the past six years anyway.
    Congressional politics (especially from the Republican party) not Saddam Hussein, not terrorists, not a “mushroom cloud” has been the cause of over 3,000 American soldiers to die (and more to come) and 1,000 persons to die last week due to internal violence in Iraq.
    You don’t have to be a blind conservative not to see it, just an ignorant one to deny it.


  12. Pissed Off American says:

    Sorry, I neglected to include the link for my post, above…


  13. Pissed Off American says:

    Heres a report that I GUARANTEE will not be available online in the near future. It will dissappear. Particularly if the next terrorist attack involves a nuclear device, or a dirty bomb.
    BTW, how do you think the media, and the Bush Administration, would be reacting if this “hot spot” was detected in an Arab Embassy, or a Mosque?
    Feds surveyed NYC for radiation, found tainted park, Embassy
    An excerpt…….
    WASHINGTON — Anti-terrorism officials conducted a helicopter survey of
    New York City’s radiation sources in preparation for a so-called “dirty
    bomb” attack – and discovered a Staten Island park with dangerously high
    levels of radium, a new report found.
    Federal authorities found 80 unexpected “hot spots” around New York
    City, according to the Government Accountability Office, the
    investigative arm of Congress.
    The GAO report released Thursday details a previously undisclosed aerial
    anti-terrorism program in New York City, one which may be extended to
    other cities worried about the possible release of radioactive material
    by terrorists.
    Another excerpt…….
    One alleged radiation hot spot on Manhattan’s east side has the
    potential for becoming a political hot spot: A strong radiation spike
    from the area of the Israeli Embassy. Officials would not comment on why
    they thought that particular area allegedly showed such a stunning peak
    in radiation.


  14. QRED says:

    All I know is I have not heard anywhere enough outrage that the Republicans are filibustering already, so soon after the Dems took control. Outrage at the R’s for all their talk of ‘nuclear options’ to convince the D’s to forebear. And outrage at the D’s for believing their forebearance would set some tone of civility that would be returned. Oh, yeah, and wasn’t a lot of that rhetoric straight from Lieberman, who is now voting against cloture?


  15. Pissed Off American says:

    Gosh, you mean a minority party CAN block the majority from passing a resolution? Damn, that must be news to these fucking cowards that sniveled and moaned for six years that they couldn’t block Bush’s criminal acts because they were in the minority, eh?


  16. gq says:

    Something tells me there won’t be a call to purge Hagel. I’m sure he has some great reason why he’s filibustering a bill that he says he supports.


  17. Marky says:

    Have you given up on the Republicans, Steve?
    It’s about time, if so.


  18. semper fubar says:

    Yes Steve,, it IS easy to figure out which members of Congress to support and which to purge.
    The ones with (R) or (I-CFL) next to their names must be purged.
    The rest are on probation.
    It’s hard to believe you even think this is a question at this point.


  19. BeyondDespair says:

    Try calling Congress and telling them you’re going to tape the call — I dare you.
    It appears that it’s illegal to tape a call to Congress — so much for “quality control” — the government thinks it’s OK to tape our calls to our grandmas, vets, old school friends, exterminators, etc., but it is ILLEGAL for us to tape them as their staff treat us as if we were the slaves and peons that we are.
    Call Nadler, Lantos, Hoyer, Waxman, Ackerman, Engel, Ros-Lehtinen,Israel, Emanuel, Schumer, Pelosi, Clinton, Feinstein, Boxer, McCain, etc. and ask them how much money they get from AIPAC.
    See how fast you hear a click or a threat from their staff to call the Capitol Police just for asking.
    Again, I dare you- call the Capitol –any congressmember and tell them you’re going to tape the call. If you get that far mention AIPAC and see how fast you get a call from the Capitol police.
    This is no longer our country. We have been hijacked by fools, thieves, miscreants and AGENTS OF A FOREIGN COUNTRY.
    And there is jack -sh*T we can do about it. Except w*nk on websites like this.


  20. erichwwk says:

    “This may hurt right now, but it’s getting easier and easier to figure out which Members of Congress to support and which to purge.”
    My sentiments also. Moveon has started a campaign to prevent Congressfolk from escaping down stairwells with statements such as “You know my position on Iraq-I’m forming it.” We will indeed flush these “all talk and no show” spineless ossified fossils out in the open in a year around openhunting season.


  21. Arun says:

    Well, Hagel and Warner are now in the discard pile along with McCain and Lieberman.
    Off-topic, but an Indian opinion I respect believes an Israeli attack on Israel is coming soon.


  22. gq says:

    Chuck Kring,
    I can’t on good conscience every support Hagel because his views on almost everything run exactly opposite to what I think the country needs. I should point out that Hagel aligns with Bush more than just about every other member of COngress. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that he supported the bill but didn’t allow it to come to a floor debate. He enabled the BUsh admin once again.
    I’m curious if Steve will comment on Hagel (and Warner, who is filibustering his own resolution). I don’t see courage on this move.


  23. Caitlyn says:

    How did Hagel vote? After his lecture about senators needing to take a stand or give up and sell shoes, I hope we don’t need to send him a job application for ShoeTown.


  24. Chuck Kring says:

    I wrote Hagel a thank you note based upon Steven’s recommendation and his statements about the Iraq war. I regret doing that.
    This is more that the Senate sticking their head in the sand. It’s a party that is will to to drive the Unites States into the ground in order not not have to admit a mistake.


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