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Senate Proceeding on Sep 4th, 2007 :: 1:21:01 to 1:29:20
Total video length: 7 hours 19 minutes Stream Tools: Stream Overview | Edit Time

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Arlen Specter

1:03:30 to 1:21:01( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Arlen Specter

Arlen Specter

1:20:47 to 1:21:01( Edit History Discussion )

Arlen Specter: absence of a quorum. i withdraw that request, mr. president. i hadn't noted the presence of the senator from tennessee. mr. corker: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from tennessee. mr.

Bob Corker

1:21:01 to 1:21:14( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: corker: i rise today during morning business to talk about a trip that i just made to iraq. i think you made a similar trip like that during the august recess. and i just wanted to make a few points

Bob Corker

1:21:01 to 1:29:20( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Bob Corker

Bob Corker

1:21:14 to 1:21:25( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: regarding that trip. i know that a lot of people talk about these trips and they talk about the fact that they're choreographed and they're of short term. i do want to say that my comments are in

Bob Corker

1:21:25 to 1:21:38( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: the context of many, many hours of committee hearings that youhe and i both have sat through in foreign relations and armed services and many other ways of developing a background prior to being in

Bob Corker

1:21:38 to 1:21:55( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: iraq. i know that, again, much is said of these trips. i will say that i don't think there's anything -- and you probably would attest the same -- there's nothing like being there on the ground yourself

Bob Corker

1:21:55 to 1:22:09( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: and saying firsthand our troops, seeing our military leaders, seeing leaders of the iraqi government and also seeing many of the tribal leaders, the sheikhs that actually lead in these various areas throughout

Bob Corker

1:22:09 to 1:22:23( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: the country. i'd like to make three points, and then i'd like to urge something in conclusion. number one, i think you would agree with me that the professionalism and the commitment of our men and

Bob Corker

1:22:23 to 1:22:34( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: women in uniform are absolutely, is absolutely overwhelming. the way they conduct themselves on our behalf would almost lead you to emotion just in seeing the way that they do what they do on our

Bob Corker

1:22:34 to 1:22:48( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: behalf. i've notice that had both in state, as i've traveled the state, as our men and women prepare, but certainly even more so on the ground there in iraq. and my, i am indebted to them. i know

Bob Corker

1:22:48 to 1:23:03( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: that you and many, all americans are indebted to the way they conduct themselves regardless of how we may feel about the conflict that is underway. secondly, i don't think there's any question that we

Bob Corker

1:23:03 to 1:23:15( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: have had military gains on the ground. i realize that that is uneven. but i think that's no question that what general petraeus and others have done on the ground and beginning to work in a bottoms-up approach

Bob Corker

1:23:15 to 1:23:34( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: where we work with tribal leaders there on the ground to secure their own areas is the right approach. d i don't think there's any question that we are seeing the results of that approach. it seems

Bob Corker

1:23:34 to 1:23:48( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: as if a light has gone off where, number one, the tribal leaders, the sheikhs and others there on the ground are realizing that we are there not as occupiers, but we are there as enablers. we want

Bob Corker

1:23:48 to 1:24:00( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: to enable them to be able to secure their own destiny. we want to leave that country other than providing the basic support they may need on an ongoing basis. i think secondly the terror, if you will,

Bob Corker

1:24:00 to 1:24:13( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: that al qaeda and some of the other militant groups have reaped on these villages has caused them to want to band together with us and, again, try to make sure that they do everything they can

Bob Corker

1:24:13 to 1:24:28( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: to cause their villages to be peaceful. for that reason, we no doubt are seeing gains on the ground as it relates to security. i think the third thing that we would all agree with is that the central

Bob Corker

1:24:28 to 1:24:43( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: government itself has not made the gains that we would have hoped that more security on the ground would have enabled them to do. i think that most delegations that went, met with various iraqi

Bob Corker

1:24:43 to 1:24:55( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: officials. i know that i met with both a shia and a sunni deputy president there on the ground and talked with them about the lack of benchmarks that we had hoped they would all meet. obviously we

Bob Corker

1:24:55 to 1:25:09( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: also are aware that the prime minister is meeting with the president and two deputy presidents on a daily basis to try to reach some type of reconciliation so that they can move forward on these important

Bob Corker

1:25:09 to 1:25:23( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: issues. but the fact of the matter is that those benchmarks have not been made in a way that we here in the government would like to have seen them approached and progress made. so our soldiers

Bob Corker

1:25:23 to 1:25:37( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: have been outstanding. there's no doubt that military gains on the ground that occurred. and the central government itself has not conducted itself in a way that we would have liked to have seen

Bob Corker

1:25:37 to 1:25:52( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: happen. in the next week or so we're going to see a number of reports put forth, but the most important obviously to me any way, is a report that general petraeus and that ambassador crocker will put

Bob Corker

1:25:52 to 1:26:06( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: forth. and i'd just like to urge my fellow senators here on the floor to listen to what is going to be said. i think that obviously there are people here that have a lot invested in various amendments

Bob Corker

1:26:06 to 1:26:20( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: or proposals, and there's that human trait that we want to see our own proposal, if you will, be the one that people here in the senate and in our country adopt. let me just state that i don't think there

Bob Corker

1:26:20 to 1:26:34( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: is any question that the petraeus plan is going to discuss redeployments. it's going to discuss bringing men and women home from iraq based on the successes that we've had on the groundn recent months. and

Bob Corker

1:26:34 to 1:26:45( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: i don't think there's any question that we've seen a change in mission take place on a providence-by-providence basis. in other words, one of the things that we debated heavily in previous debates this

Bob Corker

1:26:45 to 1:26:59( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: year on iraq is changing the mission of our men and women in uniform. and yet we're seeing in province by province this occur as tribal leaders are able, working with our military leaders, to take the

Bob Corker

1:26:59 to 1:27:13( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: lead in their own security. so we're seeing that change in mission. so what i would say to my fellow senators is let's listen. i think that we have an opportunity in the senate for democrats and republicans

Bob Corker

1:27:13 to 1:27:28( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: to come together around a plan that would unify our country in such a way as it were able to bring our country together around what has happened in iraq. i don't know what the details of the petraeus

Bob Corker

1:27:28 to 1:27:41( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: plan will be. i do look forward, my guess is that he and others today are actually calibrating what the exact redeployment ought to be and what the timing of that ought to be to actually make sure

Bob Corker

1:27:41 to 1:27:59( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: that we don't lose the successes that we've had on the ground. but my guess is there will be redeployments, and i think those will be gradual, again, to build on the successes that we've had. and,

Bob Corker

1:27:59 to 1:28:11( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: again, a continual and gradual change in a mission that we're uerway with there in iraq. so i'm of hope, of great hope -- and maybe it's my newness of the senate here that gives me this optimism still

Bob Corker

1:28:11 to 1:28:23( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: -- but i really have great hopes that if we will all listen to the reports that are being given and not to those people that wish to see us divided, i think we have an opportunity here in the senate

Bob Corker

1:28:23 to 1:28:40( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: to come together around a proposal in iraq that gives us the opportunity to build on the successes that we've had and to really change the mission of our men and women so that over time what we're doing

Bob Corker

1:28:40 to 1:29:20( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: is basically supporting the operations of the iraqis as they continue their move ahead, hopefully, towards a mo secure iraq. thank you, mr. president, and i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding

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