Stark Division In Iraq Debate
Sen. Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.)
"To suggest . . . that somehow we're going to sort this out in a way that moves us toward a political settlement in this country is, I believe, frankly beyond reason. I don't think it has any viability. I think it contributes to a further escalation of the conflict in the country, and that delays further what everybody agrees has to happen, which is some sort of political accommodation between Sunnis and Shias and Kurds, between Shias and Shias, for that matter."
Sen. Christopher S. Bond (R-Mo.)
"[T]he Levin-Warner resolution -- the only one that at this point the majority would let us vote on -- [sends] the wrong message to the insurgents, the militia, and also obviously to our troops. . . . By capping troop strength, the resolution limits the very leaders this body has confirmed as fit to lead and determine strategies and levels of troops. The proponents of the resolution to limit troop strength must now believe, 8,000 miles away, that this body is more equipped than our military leaders to say what our force structure should be in Iraq. I think that's unacceptable."
Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.)
"The bottom line is that people who, on Sunday shows and in hearings, stand up and say they oppose the escalation were . . . unwilling to vote on that. They were unwilling to have a vote of conscience on the question of the direction of this war. And so rather than protect the troops, those troops who are about to be sent . . . are not protected by the United States making its best effort."
Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Tex.)
"I don't agree with everything the president has done. . . . But I will tell you this: No one, no one, can ever say this president isn't committed to one thing paramount to all of his responsibilities, and that is to protect the people of the United States. He is doing what he thinks is best to protect our children and freedom for our way of life. . . . The debate we ought to be having today is, what should we be doing to have a success in Iraq? Because success in Iraq and Afghanistan is a part of the war on terror."
-- From Staff Reports