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John Kerry and Russ Feingold to Offer Amendment with Deadline to Redeploy U.S. Combat Troops From Iraq

by Pamela Leavey

As various plans from Democrats are being reported in the news today, The Democratic Daily has received word that tomorrow, Senators John Kerry, Russ Feingold and Barbara Boxer will offer an amendment to the Defense Authorization bill that sets a deadline of July 1, 2007, for U.S. troops to be redeployed out of Iraq. The purpose of the amendment is to strengthen U.S. national security and increase the Iraqis’ ability to establish stability throughout their country.

Below is a joint statement from John Kerry and Russ Feingold:

“For three years, Congress has played political games while the war in Iraq has gone on unchecked and unending. With the administration’s failure to offer a coherent or effective strategy in Iraq, it is long past time for Congress to offer a plan to redeploy our troops so we can give Iraq its best chance at stability, and refocus on al Qaeda and the terrorist networks that threaten the security of all Americans.

“We must redeploy to succeed – and we will put this national security imperative to a test in the United States Senate this week. We need a deadline for the redeployment of U.S. forces in Iraq. A deadline gives Iraqis the best chance for stability and self-government, and most importantly, it allows us to begin refocusing on the true threats that face our country.

“Our amendment recognizes the need to keep an over-the-horizon military presence in the Middle East to fight al Qaeda and its affiliates and protect regional security interests. Only troops essential to finishing the job of training Iraqi forces, conducting targeted counter-terrorist operations and protecting U.S. facilities and personnel should remain inside Iraq. The president also must move immediately to work with the Iraqis to convene a summit of Iraq’s neighbors and the international community to forge a lasting political settlement to give all Iraqis a stake in the new Iraq.

“A strong national security policy begins with recognizing that our massive presence in Iraq weakens our security and gives Iraqi politicians a crutch to avoid creating stability in their country. As long as 130,000 U.S. troops remain in Iraq indefinitely, that country will remain what a series of mistakes have made it — a crucible for the recruitment and development of terrorists determined to fight Americans and an obstacle to an Iraqi government capable of governing and securing its country. Our troops have done their job in Iraq. It is time to redeploy – to help increase stability in Iraq, and more importantly, to strengthen the national security of the United States.”

The goal of the Kerry-Feingold plan is to undermine the insurgency by simultaneously pursing a political settlement and the redeployment of American forces. Their plan calls requires:

— The redeployment of U.S. combat troops out of Iraq by July 1, 2007.

— Only U.S. troops essential to completing the mission of standing up Iraqi security forces, conducting targeted counter-terrorist operations and protecting U.S. personnel and facilities would remain. President Bush has repeatedly said that when Iraqis stand up, we will stand down. However, that has not been happening. So far, the Iraqis have trained 265,600 security forces – just 7,000 shy of the Bush administration’s stated goal of 272,566. Yet just a few weeks ago, the Pentagon announced that they are sending 3,500 additional U.S. troops from Kuwait to Iraq.

— The United States to maintain an over-the-horizon military presence to prosecute the war on terror and protect regional security interests.

— The President to work with the new Iraqi government to convene a summit that includes those leaders, the leaders of the governments of each country bordering Iraq, representatives of the Arab League, the Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, representatives of the European Union, and leaders of the governments of each permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, to reach a comprehensive political agreement for Iraq that addresses fundamental issues including federalism, oil revenues, the militias, security guarantees, reconstruction, economic assistance and border security.

— The Secretary of Defense to report to Congress on how U.S. troops will be withdrawn from Iraq by July 1, 2007.

Tony Snowe, White House press puppet said Sunday that “Bush understands there is growing U.S. concern over his handling of the Iraq war” but he will not “rely on polls to determine when to withdraw troops.” The bottomline is well all know it is that Bush, could care less about what the American public think, or the stress the war is having on our troops. Kerry and Feingold have got it right.

RELATED POSTS:
Feinstein and Dodd: Iraq — Time to Change the Mission
John Kerry has “Real Courage in Setting an Iraq Strategy”
Senate Democrats Want Vote on Iraq Withdrawal Plan

UPDATE: For comparison purposes details of the Feinstein, Levin, Reed, Salazar amendment is available here.

16 Responses to “John Kerry and Russ Feingold to Offer Amendment with Deadline to Redeploy U.S. Combat Troops From Iraq”

  1. Nor, as the earlier post on the Environmental Disaster Brewing in Iraq show, does he give a rat’s a$$ about the Iraqis or their environment.

  2. I kinda feel that may not be enough of a committment from us. We move the military out of the country and keep them close. Move them into Afgan and search under every rock in both Afgan and Pakistan for bin Laden.

    We are obligated to repair the infrastructure. How do we do this without being targets? Have Home Depot and Lowes open up stores for Iraqis?
    I hope that if we lower the tension, folks will focus their energies on rebuilding the country. The army and police will have to maintain order and Bush says enough of them were trained.
    I always thought who are we kidding. Their police and military were extremely brutal. What are we going to teach them? Read the Miranda Law first?

    We really should arrange for building supples to be made available for the locals to rebuild. Get foreign contractors to rebuild the environmentals: water, electricity, sewage, etc. Force Haliburton to stop all activity.

  3. Now I am all for that Sen. Kerry. Bring them home!

  4. Kerry, Feingold, and Boxer — a real force to be reckoned with. These are leaders who are not easy to dismiss. I’ll be pulling for them tomorrow. And…I have to say that I especially like the Kerry/Feingold aspect. What a powerhouse ticket they would make in 2008!

  5. I missed where Kerry did mention reconstruction…me bad

  6. Kerry/Feingold 08

    *drools*

  7. KERRY & MURTHA:

    Either get 200,000 MORE soldiers over in IED RITZ CARLTON IRAQ aka “SANDBOX” or get the troops OUT NOW! It is very CLEAR there wasn’t enough boots in the area where these soldiers were! GOD DAM IT – more incompentent GENERALS! Demand an investigation of these generals of their INCOMPENTENT PLANNING – NOW! This is costing LIVES!!!!!! Where is our support for our soldiers? WHERE?

    This is
    C R I M I N A L N E G L E C T!

    Where is the ACCOUNTABILITY ? WHERE ?

    Sincerely,
    Mother of US SPECIAL FORCES SOLDIER
    d-gree
    green
    rangers
    seals

    BUSH more BLOOD is dripping OFF YOUR hands!
    How the hell do you BUSH sleep at night!

    ——————————————
    Group Claims It Kidnapped U.S. Soldiers
    Jun 19 11:11 AM US/Eastern
    Email this story

    By SAMEER N. YACOUB
    Associated Press Writer

    BAGHDAD, Iraq

    An umbrella group linked to al-Qaida in Iraq claimed Monday that it had kidnapped two American soldiers reported missing south of Baghdad, where 8,000 Iraqi and U.S. troops were conducting a massive search.

    The group, called the Mujahedeen Shura Council, also claimed it had kidnapped four Russian diplomats and killed a fifth in Baghdad on June 3.

    The message, which could not be authenticated, appeared on an Islamic Web site known for publishing messages from insurgent groups in Iraq. U.S. officials have said they were trying to confirm whether the two soldiers, who disappeared Friday evening following an insurgent attack that also killed a U.S. soldier, were kidnapped.

    During the search for the missing Americans, U.S. spokesman Maj. Gen. William Caldwell also said the military killed three suspected insurgents and detained 34 others in fighting that wounded seven U.S. servicemen.

    The Web posting said: “Your brothers in the military wing of the Mujahedeen Shura Council kidnapped the two American soldiers near Youssifiya.” It did not identify the soldiers.

    The Defense Department identified the missing men as Pfc. Kristian Menchaca, 23, of Houston, and Pfc. Thomas L. Tucker, 25, of Madras, Ore., and the dead soldier as Spc. David J. Babineau, 25, of Springfield, Mass. They were assigned to the 1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky.

    Gunmen kidnapped the four Russian diplomats near their embassy in Baghdad’s Mansour district after firing on their car and killing an embassy employee.

    “God has enabled the lions of monotheism to arrest four Russian diplomats in Iraq and kill the fifth,” said a statement from the group on the same Web site.

    It condemned Russian actions in Chechnya and criticized its presence in Baghdad, saying: “The Russian government sends its diplomats to Iraq to support the crusaders’ project, led by America, and to provide international backing and legitimacy to the exhausted Iraqi government.”

    The Mujahedeen Shura Council is a grouping of several insurgent forces, including al-Qaida in Iraq. Former insurgent leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi helped create the council in January, apparently to give an Iraqi face to his movement, made up mainly of foreign fighters.

    In the posting, the council taunted U.S. forces for failing to find the Americans.

    “The events reconfirm the weakness of the alleged American intelligence and its going astray in Iraq,” the statement said.

    “The American military has launched a campaign of raids using armor and equipment, in the region around the incident, but the army of ‘the strongest nation in the world’ retreated in defeat and disgrace,” it said.

    Fighter jets, helicopters, unmanned drones, boats and dive teams are being used to find the two men, Caldwell said. He did not comment on whether they had been seized by insurgents, saying only that they were listed as “duty status and whereabouts unknown.”

    Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said the soldiers appeared to have been taken prisoner. “Hopefully, they will be found and released as soon as possible,” he told CNN on Sunday.

    Ahmed Khalaf Falah, a farmer who said he witnessed the abduction, told The Associated Press the two soldiers had been captured by seven masked, heavily armed gunmen during the attack near Youssifiya, about 12 miles south of Baghdad. The town is in the “Triangle of Death,” a predominantly Sunni region where ambushes are frequent.

    Despite the presence of more than 130,000 U.S. troops in Iraq, abductions of American service members have been rare.

    Sgt. Keith M. Maupin of Batavia, Ohio, was captured April 9, 2004, when his fuel convoy was ambushed. A videotape shown on Al-Jazeera TV purported to show a captive U.S. soldier shot, but the Army ruled it was inconclusive whether it was Maupin.

    On March 23, 2003, in the opening days of the war, a maintenance convoy was ambushed, and 11 U.S. troops were killed and six were captured, including Pvt. Jessica Lynch and Spc. Shoshana Johnson. Lynch was rescued April 1, 2003; the others were rescued April 13, 2003.

    Menchaca’s relatives said they were hoping for his safe return.

    “I was 95 percent sure he was one of them,” Menchaca’s brother, Julio Cesar Vasquez, of Houston, told AP late Sunday. “I already had an idea because he was at a checkpoint.”

    Caldwell said seven other U.S. service members had been wounded during the search. He said more than 8,000 U.S. and Iraqi troops were taking part.

    “While searching for our soldiers, we have engaged in a number of significant actions against the anti-Iraqi forces,” he said, adding that three insurgents had been killed and 34 taken into custody.

    Insurgents also continued to defy a security crackdown in Baghdad, although violence appeared to have ebbed somewhat after several bloody attacks in recent days.

    A parked car bomb struck an Iraqi army convoy near a busy Baghdad square Monday, killing five people, including four Iraqi soldiers, and wounding nine passers-by, Lt. Ahmed Muhammad Ali said. A policeman also was gunned down in western Baghdad.

    U.S. and Iraqi troops also pushed into an eastern section of the western insurgent stronghold of Ramadi in a campaign to gradually bolster their presence in city neighborhoods that for months have largely been under insurgent control.

    A U.S. gunship fired on suspected insurgents early in the operation, U.S. commanders said. Six men were thought to have been killed, and sporadic exchanges of gunfire echoed throughout the neighborhood in the morning. No U.S. casualties were initially reported.

    Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, meanwhile, said Iraqi forces will take over security next month in a southern province where Japanese troops are based.

    The decision, announced after al-Maliki met with Japan’s ambassador, does not necessarily mean that any U.S.-led coalition forces will be withdrawn from Muthana province.

    Al-Maliki has said his national unity government plans to gradually take over security for all of Iraq’s 18 provinces within the next 18 months.

    In another development, 500 detainees were released from U.S.-run detention centers in Iraq, the Justice Ministry said, part of al- Maliki’s plan to release 2,500 prisoners to promote national reconciliation.

    The U.S. military also said the Central Criminal Court of Iraq has sentenced 29 insurgents to up to 15 years in prison for offenses ranging from possessing illegal weapons to membership in armed groups. Five were foreigners, including an Iranian who received six years in prison after he was caught entering the country illegally.

    The court has tried 1,229 suspected insurgents and convicted 1,066, it said.

    In other violence Monday:

    _ A former member of Saddam Hussein’s Baath Party was gunned down as he was going to work in downtown Amarah, 180 miles southeast of Baghdad.

    _ Gunmen killed a police colonel heading to work near Karbala, 50 miles south of Baghdad.

    _ Gunmen trying to kill a former army major in the northern city of Mosul killed a civilian and wounded their target.

    _ A sniper killed an Iraqi soldier 25 miles west of Baghdad.

    _ Roadside bombs in Fallujah and Hillah killed four civilians.

    ___

    Associated Press writers Sinan Salaheddin and Kim Gamel in Baghdad, Maamoun Youssef in Cairo, Egypt, and Matt Joyce in Dallas contributed to this report.

  8. Mother of US SPECIAL FORCES SOLDIER

    Link Please? Due to copyright laws, we need links to news stories.

  9. This is on AP, slightly different and credited to another writer. Information seems very close.

    Iraqi Insurgents Claim GI Kidnappings

  10. Andy W,

    Careful about drooling on your keyboard 😆

  11. I don’t want to sound like some kind of guerilla warfare expert due to my whopping three days in DaNang but I have been in the military weapons business for a lot of years and I work with folks who are experts in all kinds of warfare. Most are combat vets. The discussion centers on the night. In order for IEDs to be set and snipers to be in position they have to be mobile to get there. Depending on the population, our military can make moving around pretty rough. Roadblocks, checkpoints, traffic flow restrictions tend to make it difficult to be attacked in the day time. The night is a different story. In VN, our SOPs folks really hurt the VC when they started operating like they operate. They emphasized night ambushes, booby trapping paths, attacking supply caches and leaders. The most important thing was denying night movement. As far as strategy, this is getting inside the enemies head and is the goal of 4GW warfare.
    To these folks, it sounds like the terrorists own the night. Now maybe they do attack in the daytime also but all the set-up is in the night.
    I talked to two returning Marines who say they patrol a section of road and find nothing. The next patrol gets blown up. How did the bomb get there? It had to be during the night because everything was visible during the day. Night vision equipment can be defeated or maybe we lack enough troops or maybe the ones in Iraq have been there too long and just want to get out.
    The Iraq government is releasing prisoners and I am sure they were jailed because they hurt us.
    What the terrorist bombing tells the population is the US cannot provide security. If we can’t protect the population, there is no need for us to stay. We cannot even protect ourselves.
    I think the ground leadership wants to do the correct thing but knows if they complain, someone else will take their place. The revolt of the Generals was done by retirees. Remember what happened to General Shinseki? He disagreed with the war mongers and was ousted.

    The only hope is Congressional leadership forces Bush to give it up because voters threaten to vote out all who disagree. And hopefully the Iraq government will tell us to leave.

    Get our troops out and move them to Afghanistan.

  12. Okay I understand post the link a roo. I aquired same at yahoo news. This lady is to fried to catch the exact link tonight.
    However, I ‘ll make sure all future posts include the link a roos.

    Please forgive thou

    10000 X sorry to you

    too many blocks today

    all the best

    mother of us special forces soldier

    ps……at least i didn’t kill an american UNLIKE BUSH THE KILLER! Or BUSH the ENRON TWIN!

    night night…need zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  13. I see the knives from the GOP and Rove and MSM are at JK’s back full force.

    Why does Levin and others feel their plan is so much better than JK’s? At least Kerry has been talking about his plan. I didn’t think the media whores and MSM could make me any sicker than they already have but I was wrong.

    First read in MSNBC has had snark about JK for the last 2 days.
    Rove and the GOP come out trashing Kerry and where are his fellow dems? Talking about themselves and rather they are running for pres. in 08.

    I hate to say it but it looks like the msm is once again portraying Kerry being attacked by Rove, Cheney and GOP and Kerry’s not fighting back.

    I saw what his spokesperson said but too many who don’t read blogs you would never know that David wade had such a classic smack down on Rove the other day.

    Now instead of hearing of dems plans all we see is dems fawning over Obama, Hillary takes her campaign national, is gore or isn’t he running in 08 and Bush’s so called recovery.

    I wish senate dems (exceptions: Boxer, Kennedy, Kerry) worry about 06 instead of 08.
    Whatever one says about JK at least he’s tried to keep his intensity on 06. and help out the party a hell of a lot more than the party has helped him.

    Phased withdrawal? Just what kind of phases are they talking about? 2 years, 5 years?
    I’d heard that Levin’s resolution is basically non-binding. If that’s the case why the hell even have it come up for a vote. Non-binding doesn’t mean crap to soldiers on the field or the next generation that will have to pay for this freaking war.

    No more symbolism when it comes to Iraq? Set a deadline, start moving troops out, let the Iraqi’s and their Arab neighbors know that they better get their houses in order because we have let our house go for far to long and its about to end.

    Get some troops back into Afghanistan. The Taliban is back in business and karzai still doesn’t govern the whole country.

    By the way I hope Kerry nails McConnell for that stunt he pulled last week. The crooked bastard scratched Kerry’s name from the bill and submitted under his own name so dems would run scared and not sign it. There are to be a reprimand motion Kerry can bring up against McConnell for that.

    Yeah, I really pissed off about how JK has been treated in the last week or so. I knew it was coming but it pisses me off just the same.

  14. pen,

    I am tired of it too. The Dems are just playing right into Rove’s “cut and run” line with the Levin amendment and these are the ones that “voted against the war.”

    The Dems are also playing into the media’s hands by talking about 08 instead of 06. Going through the flavors of each month is only a distraction from the far more serious issues facing the country.

    I too wonder if there is a way the smackdowns can be heard by the non blogsphere. Too many people believe the lies/spin of the media instead of what comes out of a Dem like JK’s mouth.

    And I am mad right now too. 😡

  15. Obama Takes a Kerry-esque Stance on Iraq

    Barack Obama, who claims to be contemplating an ‘08 presidential run called for a “gradual and substantial” reduction of U.S. troops from Iraq, on Monday, that would begin within four to six months.
    Speaking to the Chicago Council …

  16. John Kerry on Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s Plans for a Regional Summit

    Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki called for a regional conference today, to discuss Iraq’s future and quelling the sectarian violence that has torn the country apart. Al-Maliki however, “rejected U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan’s proposa…