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Senate Proceeding on Sep 19th, 2007 :: 3:01:16 to 3:14:15
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Robert Menendez

2:59:10 to 3:01:16( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Robert Menendez

Robert Menendez

3:01:04 to 3:01:16( Edit History Discussion )

Robert Menendez: in opposition to the webb amendment, and i guess to kind of pick up where my colleague from new jersey left off, you know, what is the best thing for the congress to do in terms of supporting our

Lindsey Graham

3:01:16 to 3:01:31( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: troops? what are our duty ies? what are our obligations? i would argue the worst thing the congress could do at a time of war is start taking off operational control of ployments. many of us up

Lindsey Graham

3:01:16 to 3:14:15( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Lindsey Graham

Lindsey Graham

3:01:31 to 3:01:45( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: for reelection next year, this iraq war has become one political commercial. there are commercials being run out there -- i don't know if they're on the air right this moment -- but every time there

Lindsey Graham

3:01:45 to 3:02:01( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: is a vote in this body, a republican in a tough state will have an ad run in their state saying "senator so and so has vote ed six times not to withdraw from iraq." there are political commercials

Lindsey Graham

3:02:01 to 3:02:12( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: being run around every policy debate we have regarding this war. this is a political consultants consultant's dream, this war. this war is not about the next election. this war is about generations

Lindsey Graham

3:02:12 to 3:02:22( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: to come. and the commercials will keep coming. every time we have a vote like this everybody is going to take our work product, turn it into a political ad and try and get some political momentum from

Lindsey Graham

3:02:22 to 3:02:32( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: the dialogue we have on the floor. none of us question each other's patriotism. for those who have served in combat, my hat is off to you. but we all have our independent obligation to make our own

Lindsey Graham

3:02:32 to 3:02:52( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: decisions here and those who have never worn the uniform, you're just as capable of understanding this issue as i think everybody else. if you've been to iraq and you understand how hired tired

Lindsey Graham

3:02:52 to 3:03:09( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: people are, they are tired. if you visit the military on a regular basis, you know they are stressed. but let me give you some numbers here. the first cal cal calvary division, re recriewght and retention

Lindsey Graham

3:03:09 to 3:03:20( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: is very good because people who are in the fight now understand the consequences of the fight and they don't want to lose. i was in baghdad on july 4 where we had 680 some people reenlist. they

Lindsey Graham

3:03:20 to 3:03:30( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: understand the war. they understand the enemy because they deal with the enemy face to face, day to day. they realize that if we don't get this right, in spite of the mistakes we've made, we can

Lindsey Graham

3:03:30 to 3:03:41( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: still get it right. if at the end of the day we don't get it right, they are kid kids are going to go bafnlg the number-one comment i get from the troops having after having been there many times

Lindsey Graham

3:03:41 to 3:03:53( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: is i want to do it, senator graham, so that my children do not have to k08 over come over here and fight this war. let's get it right right nowvment well, let's help them get it right. i think we're

Lindsey Graham

3:03:53 to 3:04:06( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: not helping them if the congress mandates troop rotations that will undercut the ability of the surge to continue continue. everyone cares about the troops, but the politics of this amendment are such

Lindsey Graham

3:04:06 to 3:04:21( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: that it would get -- the bill would be vetoed. the president has said that if this amendment gets to be part of the underlying defense authorization bill, he would veto it. i think any president would

Lindsey Graham

3:04:21 to 3:04:34( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: veto this bill. the secretary of defense's letter to me is a chilling rendition of what would happen to the force if this amendment was adopted. so we know the defense authorization bill would get vetoed

Lindsey Graham

3:04:34 to 3:04:47( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: and all the good things in it that we do agree on -- about mrap's, support for the troops, better health care -- all that gets lost. now, why are we doing this? some people have a very serious concern

Lindsey Graham

3:04:47 to 3:04:55( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: that the forces force is stress stressed and they want to take pressure off the force by giving them as much time at home as they have in the theater. some people want to use this amendment amendment

Lindsey Graham

3:04:55 to 3:05:15( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: to make sure that the surge cannot go forward, because that would be effect of it. femme are all across the board. the consequence to the defense authorization bill it would get vetoed over this

Lindsey Graham

3:05:15 to 3:05:31( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: provisio. now, if that's what you want to happen, this is the way to make sure it happens. the idea of telling the department of defense how long someone can stay in combat once they're trained and ready

Lindsey Graham

3:05:31 to 3:05:51( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: taking to go to the fight is probably the most ill-advised thing any ngress could do in any war. the congress is a political body that is driven appropriately by the moment, by the next election

Lindsey Graham

3:05:51 to 3:06:13( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: election, voices of constituents constituents, concerns of the public. wars are not fought that way. decisions in wars are not poll- poll-driven, i hope. decisions of politicians a appropriately incorporate political

Lindsey Graham

3:06:13 to 3:06:27( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: consequences to the member. let's not make military policy based on the political consequence to the member of congress. and that's what you would be opening a can of worms up to. if we take on this

Lindsey Graham

3:06:27 to 3:06:42( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: responsibility of manage ing troops from a congressional point of view, setting their rotation schedules, how many can go and how long they can go, then their presence in whatever battlefield or

Lindsey Graham

3:06:42 to 3:07:03( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: theater we're talking about in the future is very much tied to the political moment back home. think about that. if we begin to adopt this way of manage ing a war, where the congress takes this bold,

Lindsey Graham

3:07:03 to 3:07:21( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: un unknown step of saying, you can only go in theater this long and you can't do "a," and you can't do "b" ," but you can do "c" ," what happens in the next war? is it wise for political people

Lindsey Graham

3:07:21 to 3:07:37( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: who worry about their own re reelection, which is an a appropriate, rightful thing to be worried about if you're in politics, to have this much power? is it good for the military, for the congress

Lindsey Graham

3:07:37 to 3:07:53( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: -- 535 people -- to have this much power over military deployments? our constitution gives them a political commander in chief, a single person, who has to answer to the public at the ballot box. the congress

Lindsey Graham

3:07:53 to 3:08:09( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: can, as part of our constitutional responsibilities, terminate any war because our constitutional role allows us to fund wars. so, to my colleagues on the other side and those on this side who want

Lindsey Graham

3:08:09 to 3:08:25( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: to support this amendment, you would be doing the country a service and eventually, i think, the troops a service by trying to stop this war by cutting off funding, if that's your goal. if you think

Lindsey Graham

3:08:25 to 3:08:39( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: the war is lost and you believe it's the biggest foreign policy mistake in a generation and that it is a hope hopeless endeavor and that iraq will never get any better, then just come to the floor

Lindsey Graham

3:08:39 to 3:08:50( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: and offer an amendment on the appropriations bill to say, we will not continue to fund this war. and create an orderly withdrawal withdrawal. if you do that, i will disagree with you, but you will

Lindsey Graham

3:08:50 to 3:09:08( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: follow the constitutional path that's well-charted. and if you believe all the things i've just said, you'll be doing the troops a great service because you will not create a precedent in the future where

Lindsey Graham

3:09:08 to 3:09:22( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: some other politician may take up your model and use it in a way you never enviltion envisioned. once we legitimate ize politicians being able to make deployment/ deployment schedule decisions, once

Lindsey Graham

3:09:22 to 3:09:37( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: we go down to road, we open up a pandora's box where the politics could dramatically affect the ability to operate on the battlefield? if we limit funding, that will be a sustainable way for congress

Lindsey Graham

3:09:37 to 3:09:47( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: to engage in terms of twhars they believe have been lost -- in terms of wars that they believe have been lost. majority leader harry reid said the war was lost and the surge has failed. if you really

Lindsey Graham

3:09:47 to 3:09:58( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: believe that let's have a debate not about micro micromanaging troops' schedules and dough ployment schedules, let's have a debate -- and deployment schedules, let's have a debate that would be worthy of

Lindsey Graham

3:09:58 to 3:10:11( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: this congress and this nation. let's come back onto the floor, put an amendment on the desk to be considered that would end the war by stopping funding for the war. that's not going t happen. the

Lindsey Graham

3:10:11 to 3:10:32( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: reason that's not going to happen is because the surge has been sewhat successful and the politics of ending this war, everybody is trying to hedge their bet a little bit now. and the politics

Lindsey Graham

3:10:32 to 3:10:51( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: of the next election are affecting the politics of this body when it comes to war policy in a very un unhealthy way. we have a side-by-side alternative to senator webb that puts congressional voice behind

Lindsey Graham

3:10:51 to 3:11:06( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: the idea that we would like the policy of secretary gates to be implemented, to have the amount of home time to be consist consistent with the amount of time you were in theater. it is a voice that

Lindsey Graham

3:11:06 to 3:11:21( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: gives -- without intrude ing into the commander in chief's functions, without getting into out off our constitutional lane. senator i can talk about it later on. it is a sense of the congress where

Lindsey Graham

3:11:21 to 3:11:36( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: we all agree that it would be a great policy to have if the conditions on the ground would warrant it, to give our troops a little bit of rest. but what our troops need more than anything else is a command

Lindsey Graham

3:11:36 to 3:11:47( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: commander who knows what he's doing, that can carry out his mission unimpeded by a bunch of politicians who are scrambling to get an advantage over each other. this whole debate is unseemly. it is

Lindsey Graham

3:11:47 to 3:12:01( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: destructive to our constitutional system. it brings out the worst in american politics. you've got an ad being run against the very general of our troops that's sickening and dis disgusting and we're

Lindsey Graham

3:12:01 to 3:12:15( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: just absolutely going to a new low as a nation over this war. so if you think it's all the things i said before -- lost, hopeless, stupid, worst decision ever made in terms of u.s. foreign policy

Lindsey Graham

3:12:15 to 3:12:29( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: -- end the thing. end it. cut off funding. don't play this game of having 5 535 people become generals who have no clue of what they're talking about. i respect everybody in this body and those

Lindsey Graham

3:12:29 to 3:12:40( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: who have served. i respect you. but there's not one person in here that i think has anywhere close to the knowledge of general petraeus on how to fight a wamplt you could dig up arty murphy and he could

Lindsey Graham

3:12:40 to 3:12:54( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: tell me how to vote for this amendment. i would disrespectfully agree. for those of you who have been in battle, god bless you. you are deserve all the honor and credit that comes your way. this

Lindsey Graham

3:12:54 to 3:13:09( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: is about winning a war that we can't afford to lose. this is about who should run this war? -- a group of politicians who are scared to death of the electorate, who will almost embrace anything to

Lindsey Graham

3:13:09 to 3:13:22( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: get an advantage over the other, who's at 14% approval rate ing in the eyes of their fellow citizens. you want to scare the military? you want to give them something to be afraid of? let let them read

Lindsey Graham

3:13:22 to 3:13:37( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: in the paper, congress takes ow over operational control of iraq. we'd have some retention problems then. anybody in their right mind would get out. there are a lot of choices to be made in our constitutional

Lindsey Graham

3:13:37 to 3:13:47( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: democracy about war and peace. the one choice we've never made before is to allow the congress to set rotation schedules, deployment schedules. and if we do it now, not only will we hurt this war effort, you'll

Lindsey Graham

3:13:47 to 3:14:02( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: make it impossible for future commanders and future presidents to protect us -- the presiding officer: will the senator yield for a a question -- mr. mccain: will the senator yield for a question?

John McCain

3:14:02 to 3:14:15( Edit History Discussion )

John McCain: yes. it is my understanding that senator graham, the senior senator from South Carolina, is a member of the air force reserve and the jag corps. is that correct? mr. graham:

John McCain

3:14:15 to 3:14:35( Edit History Discussion )

John McCain: yes, sir. mr. mccain: and i understand you just spent a couple of weeks in iraq during -- serving active duty n.a.s. that capacity as an air force colonel? mr. graham: yes, sir. mr. mccain: and despite

John McCain

3:14:15 to 3:15:48( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: John McCain

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