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Senate Proceeding on Sep 20th, 2007 :: 7:12:39 to 7:44:12
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John McCain

6:57:56 to 7:12:39( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: John McCain

John McCain

7:12:22 to 7:12:39( Edit History Discussion )

John McCain: america, the region, and also we must never forget that if we fail, if we fail, americans will be called back sooner rather than later and called upon to make greater service and sacrifice. i yield the

Carl Levin

7:12:39 to 7:12:53( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: floor. the presiding officer: the senator from michigan is om recognize ed. mr. levin: madam president, first, i would ask unanimous consent that the biden amendment identified in a previous consent agreement

Carl Levin

7:12:39 to 7:44:12( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Carl Levin

Carl Levin

7:12:53 to 7:13:07( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: be sfowbt a 60-vote threshold and that if the amendment does not receive 60 votes, it be withdrawn. the presiding officer: without objection. so ordered. mr. levin: madam president, this isn't there

Carl Levin

7:13:07 to 7:13:19( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: isn't really any dispute about whether a stable and independent iraq is in our national interest. some of us disagreed with the way that we went to war with iraq four and a half years ago. we've

Carl Levin

7:13:19 to 7:13:33( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: disagreed, many of us, with many of the bush administration's policy ies in iraq since then, including ignoring the advice of senior military leaders such as general shinseki in planning the invasion,

Carl Levin

7:13:33 to 7:13:44( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: failing to properly plan for the occupation and its aftermath, disbanding the iraqi army, banning low-level baath party members from post-saddam government employment, failing to pssure the iraqi leaders to melt

Carl Levin

7:13:44 to 7:13:58( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: the benchmarks and the time that i believe they set for themselves and most recently increasing the u.s. military presence in iraq in the so so-called surge. and we should be reducing our military

Carl Levin

7:13:58 to 7:14:16( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: presence. but the challenge face ing us now, given where we are today, is what is the best way to promote a stable and independent iraq? is the course that we're on succeeding? so while the opponents

Carl Levin

7:14:16 to 7:14:32( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: of change changing course argue that those of us who want to change course see the -- don't see the importance of a stable and independent iraq, they are exactly wrong. we see the importance of it, but we

Carl Levin

7:14:32 to 7:14:52( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: see that the current policy is failing to move us in the direction of a stable and independent iraq. it is the status quo, staying the course, that jeopardizes the goal of a stable and independent

Carl Levin

7:14:52 to 7:15:06( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: iraq.| so while there is disagreement on whether or not the current course is leading to a stable and independent iraq, there is agreement, broad consensus on the thedesireability of that goal. there's also

Carl Levin

7:15:06 to 7:15:21( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: been a consensus for some time that there's no military solution to the sectarian violence in iraq and that the key to ending the violence lies in bringing about a political settlement among the

Carl Levin

7:15:21 to 7:15:36( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: various factions in iraq today. even prime minister maliki recognized that fact a few months ago. and this is what maliki said. he says, "the crisis is political. and the ones who can stop the cycle of

Carl Levin

7:15:36 to 7:15:49( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: bloodletting of innocent are the iraqi politicians." that's the prime minister of iraq pointing out that it's the failure of the iraqi politicians politicians which is resulting in the ongoing

Carl Levin

7:15:49 to 7:16:06( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: violence. president bush said this just a few days ago -- excuse me -- last january. when president bush said that the purpose of the surge, the explicit purpose, the stated purpose of the surge

Carl Levin

7:16:06 to 7:16:20( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: was to give iraqi politicians -- quote -- "breathing space to work out a political settlement." it's also pretty much undisputed that the stated purpose of the surge, that explicitly stated purpose

Carl Levin

7:16:20 to 7:16:34( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: about giving the iraqi politicians breathing space to work out their political settlement, that stated purpose has not been achieved. now there's going to be arguments back and forth about how much

Carl Levin

7:16:34 to 7:16:51( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: military progress there's been on the ground, and there are statistics both ways. i accept general petraeus' assessment and i've been there recently, that there has been some military progress on the ground.

Carl Levin

7:16:51 to 7:17:06( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: but the purpose of the surge, the goal of the surge was to provide breathing space to the iraqi politicians. and the more the surge has succeeded, the less excuse there is for the iraqi politicians

Carl Levin

7:17:06 to 7:17:22( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: to work out their political misunderstanding. so it works exactly the opposite way from what the opponents of this amendment say. to the extent that the surge has succeeded militarily, it makes

Carl Levin

7:17:22 to 7:17:38( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: it less understandable, less excusable, less acceptable for the iraqi politicians to continue to dawdle. and by the way, the president has kind of shifted ground in terms of the purpose for the surge

Carl Levin

7:17:38 to 7:17:56( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: any way. now the goal of the surge is to provide security and help iraqi forces to maintain it. so having failed in its purpose, which was to give the iraqi politicians room to work out their political

Carl Levin

7:17:56 to 7:18:09( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: misunderstandings, now you've got a much more open-ended goal: provide security and help the iraqi forces to maintain it. mr. stevens: i ask the senator to yield just one second. madam president, on

Carl Levin

7:18:09 to 7:18:31( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: roll call 343, i voted "aye." i intended to vote "nay." therefore, i ask unanimous consent i be permitted to change my vote. this will not affect the outcome. i thank the senator. the presiding officer:

Carl Levin

7:18:31 to 7:18:46( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: is there objection? without objection, so ordered mr. levin: madam president, i would ask that that interruption not be placed in the middle of my remarks. the presiding officer: without objection,

Carl Levin

7:18:46 to 7:18:59( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: so ordered. the senator from michigan will continue. mr. levin: madam president, general petraeus agreed in his testimony last week that the purpose of the surge, to provide breathing space to work

Carl Levin

7:18:59 to 7:19:14( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: out a political settlement, has not been achieved. he was asked the direct question, and he gave that answer. he acknowledged it. that the political settlement has not been achieved and that that

Carl Levin

7:19:14 to 7:19:27( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: was the stated purpose of the surge. so whether -- i mean, there's been a lot of debate on whether the current situation on the ground in iraq shows significant progress in terms of security -- and,

Carl Levin

7:19:27 to 7:19:42( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: by the way, even though as i said this can be argued back and forth, there's been a public opinion poll taken in iraq. the iraqi people have been asked that question. not by supporters or opponents of

Carl Levin

7:19:42 to 7:20:01( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: the policy, but by abc news. and here's what the poll results were now, this is the iraqi citizens being asked whether or not they feel more secure or less secure as a result of the surge. and here

Carl Levin

7:20:01 to 7:20:15( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: is the analysis. quote -- abc news -- "a surge broadly is seen to have done more harm than good. with 65% to 70% of iraqis saying it's worsened rather than improved security in surge areas, security

Carl Levin

7:20:15 to 7:20:29( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: in other areas, conditions for political dialogue, the ability of the iraqi government to do its work, the pace of reconstruction and the pace of economic development development." so the result

Carl Levin

7:20:29 to 7:20:42( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: of the surge or, more accurately, the lack of political results, underscores the reality that there's going to be no end to the violence until iraqis' national leaders work out their political differences.

Carl Levin

7:20:42 to 7:20:58( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: as the independent commission on the security forces of iraq under the leadership of retired marine general jim jones reported last week, "political reconciliation is the key to ending sectarian violence

Carl Levin

7:20:58 to 7:21:13( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: in iraq. the iraqi politicians surely haven't done that. they haven't kept the commitments that they made to achieve political reconciliation by adopting legislation setting the dates for provincial elections,

Carl Levin

7:21:13 to 7:21:27( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: approving a hydrocarbon law and a de-baathification law and smith constitution amendments to a referendum. i want to emphasize that the iraqis commitments to work out their key differences and the

Carl Levin

7:21:27 to 7:21:54( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: timetable to do so were their commitments and their timetable. so when prime minister maliki complains that outsiders aren't going to dictate to the iraqi government, what he's trying to do is obscure

Carl Levin

7:21:54 to 7:22:06( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: the fact that his own government set the benchmarks and the timetable for themselves. january, madam president, when president bush proposed a surge, this is what he said about the benchmarks and the need

Carl Levin

7:22:06 to 7:22:18( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: for the iraqis to meet their own benchmarks. he said -- quote -- "america will hold the iraqi government to the benchmarks it has announced. last thursday we heard the same old song from the president.

Carl Levin

7:22:18 to 7:22:32( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: the president said that the iraqi government has not met its own legislative benchmarks, and i made it clear to them that they must. eight months after saying that we're going to hold the iraqi government

Carl Levin

7:22:32 to 7:22:47( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: to the benchmarks that it has announced, the president's words ring hollow. we aren't insisting that the iraqi leaders keep their commitments. and there's been absolutely no consequences for the iraqi political

Carl Levin

7:22:47 to 7:23:03( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: leader's failure to do so. james baker, lee hamilton, and the rest of the iraq study group recommended the following: quote -- "if the iraqi government does not make substantial progress toward the

Carl Levin

7:23:03 to 7:23:17( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: achievement of milestone on national reconciliation, security in governing, the united states should reduce its political military or economic support to the iraqi government. now, those were the

Carl Levin

7:23:17 to 7:23:34( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: wds of the iraq study group, and that's exactly what is needed. consequences, clear, direct, and understandable consequences that the only response to the iraqi politicians continued dawdling has

Carl Levin

7:23:34 to 7:23:59( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: been the repeated calls by the president for patience. and i just want to make reference to a letter from the secretary of state, condoleezza rice, to me dated january 30, 2007. the question has

Carl Levin

7:23:59 to 7:24:19( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: been raised whether or not the time lines that were set by the iraqi government were in fact their time lines or ours. and this is what secretary rice said about the time lines. the iraq policy committee

Carl Levin

7:24:19 to 7:24:38( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: on national security agreed upon a set of political, security and economic benchmarks and an associated time line in september 2006. they were reaffirmed by the presidency council on october 16, 2006,

Carl Levin

7:24:38 to 7:24:52( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: and referenced by the iraq study group. the relevant document enclosed was posted at that time on the president of iraq's web site. now, madam president, we've been told by the, at least the public has

Carl Levin

7:24:52 to 7:25:11( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: been told by, i believe, the prime minister of iraq that they're not going to accept america's time line. we're not going to impose a time line on the iraqis. and what secretary rice's letter to me

Carl Levin

7:25:11 to 7:25:29( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: confirmed very, very precisely is that the presidency council of iraq, on october 16, 2006, adopted, reaffirmed, in her words, the iraq policy committee on national security's agreement upon a set

Carl Levin

7:25:29 to 7:25:47( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: of time lines. and i would ask -- and the dates are here. here's the time lines: september 2006, approve law to form regions. agree on a political timetable. october 2006, approve a hydrocarbon law.

Carl Levin

7:25:47 to 7:26:02( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: approve provincial laws. set dates for provincial laws. november 2006, approve a de-baathification law, approve provincial council law. december 2006, approve amnesty, tphreurb shahs and oth arm

Carl Levin

7:26:02 to 7:26:17( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: forges law. january 2007, commission completes its work. february 2007, form independent commissions in conformance with the constitution. march 2007, constitutional amendments referendum if required. and

Carl Levin

7:26:17 to 7:26:26( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: i would ask, madam president, that the letter from secretary rice to me, dated january 30, 2007, which makes the very clear statement, number one, the time lines that i've traoefrd and that are attached

Carl Levin

7:26:26 to 7:26:42( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: to letter are the iraqi government time line and that they formally adopted those time lines that they be inserted in the record at this point. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered.

Carl Levin

7:26:42 to 7:26:54( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: it's inserted in the record. mr. levin: i also would ask unanimous consent, madam president, that another letter that i'm going to read a part of be inserted in the record at this point as well.

Carl Levin

7:26:54 to 7:27:13( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. levin: and that's the june 13, 2007, letter to me. and here's what secretary rice said. now, the setting for this, before i read this paragraph,

Carl Levin

7:27:13 to 7:27:29( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: is that iraq said, oh, we never adopted those time lines. we never adopted those benchmarks. they contested what secretary rice said to me in the letter which has now been made part of the record,

Carl Levin

7:27:29 to 7:27:44( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: the letter dated january 30. so i asked secretary rice about that. i said, look the iraqis are sayingou're wrong, that they didn't adopt the benchmarks. they say secretary rice, you're wrong. what

Carl Levin

7:27:44 to 7:27:59( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: do you have to say about that? so, show wrote me back in a june -- so she wrote me back in a june 13 letter. "i sent to you a letter in january --" let me go back. "thank you for your letter inquiring

Carl Levin

7:27:59 to 7:28:12( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: about the benchmarks that the government of iraq set for itself last fall." i emphasize the words, by the way, "set for itself last fall." addressing me, as you mentioned, i -- secretary rice -- "sent

Carl Levin

7:28:12 to 7:28:29( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: to you a letter in january, which i noted that iraq's political committee on national security agreed upon a set of benchmarks and an associated time line which will reaffirmed by the iraqi presidency

Carl Levin

7:28:29 to 7:28:44( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: council in october 2006." and she continues, "we have confirmed with iraqi president talabani's chief of staff that the benchmarks were formally approved last fall by the iraqi political committee

Carl Levin

7:28:44 to 7:29:01( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: on national security. this committee includes the presidency council, the president and two vice presents as well as the leaders of all major political blocs in iraq, the iraqi presidency council then

Carl Levin

7:29:01 to 7:29:14( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: posted the benchmark on its web site for several months." so, i've already made this part of the record, and so we would hope that that letter -- and the letter -- and my letter to the secretary

Carl Levin

7:29:14 to 7:29:30( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: which precipitated it, this response of june 13 also be made part of the record. the presiding officer: senator, they are both part of the record. mr. levin: i thank the presiding officer. success

Carl Levin

7:29:30 to 7:29:44( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: in iraq, creating a stable, independent iraq, depends upon iraqi leaders finally seeing the end of the open-ended u.s. commitment. the iraq study group correctly pointed out almost a year ago that

Carl Levin

7:29:44 to 7:30:03( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: -- quote -- "an open-ended commitment of american forces would not provide the iraqi government with the incentive that it needs to take the political action to give iraq the best chance of quelling

Carl Levin

7:30:03 to 7:30:20( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: sectarian violence." in the absence of such incentive the iraq government might continue to delay taking those acts. the president's current strategy is nothing less than stag net because it is open ended

Carl Levin

7:30:20 to 7:30:32( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: and lacks the key ingreedent aimed at getting the iraqi leaders to resolve their political differences. what is the mechanism? what is the mcf that will -- mechanism that will force the iraqi leaders

Carl Levin

7:30:32 to 7:30:44( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: to get on with the job of negotiating their political different frepses? well, it's action on our part, not just rhetoric, that clearly demonstrates to the iraqi government that our open-ended

Carl Levin

7:30:44 to 7:30:59( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: commitment of american troops in the middle of their civil war is over and that while we will provide support to their army, that we have decided, as did the british, to transfer principle responsibility

Carl Levin

7:30:59 to 7:31:19( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: for security to iraqi forces. it's not good enough to do what the president did a few days ago and say we're going do take another look next march. that maintains open-ended commitment. that doesn't

Carl Levin

7:31:19 to 7:31:40( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: have a timetable for the reduction of our troops to the level which are necessary to carry on the missions which are identified. the jones commission reported that -- quote -- "the iraqi armed forces

Carl Levin

7:31:40 to 7:31:51( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: are increasingly effective and are capable of assuming greater responsibility for the internal security of iraq." the commission went on to say that "a number of iraqi army ba tall armybatallions capable of taking

Carl Levin

7:31:51 to 7:32:08( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: the lead are not," which was acknowledged by general petraeus in our hearings a week ago. the commission did one other thing, the jones commission also recommended that -- these are the key words

Carl Levin

7:32:08 to 7:32:26( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: -- quote -- "the size of our national footprint in iraq be reconsidered and that significant reductions appear to be possible and prudent." that's general jones and his commission's words that "significant

Carl Levin

7:32:26 to 7:32:42( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: reductions in our presence appears to be prudent." this is a group of retired generals and police officers. i asked general petraeus about that. whether or not there are these units of iraqi army that

Carl Levin

7:32:42 to 7:32:56( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: are capable of assuming greater responsibility, as general jones' commission said but they have not done so. general petraeus acknowledged that there were such iraqi units. i asked him how many. he said

Carl Levin

7:32:56 to 7:33:10( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: that he would supply that number for the record. well, as the johns commission emphasized, -- quote -- "there's a fine line between assistance and dependence." when i was in iraq last month i asked

Carl Levin

7:33:10 to 7:33:25( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: a young american soldier who was on his third deployment to iraq, what his ideas were about transferring greater responsibility to the iraqis. his answer was "the iraqi soldiers will let u.s. soldiers

Carl Levin

7:33:25 to 7:33:39( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: do the job that they're supposed to be doing forever. we need to let them do it on their own." i couldn't agree more. in addition to getting our troops out of the middle of a civil war, success

Carl Levin

7:33:39 to 7:33:54( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: also depends on a transition of missions. according to the iraq study group -- quote -- "by the first quarter of 2008 subject to unexpected developments in the security situation on the ground,

Carl Levin

7:33:54 to 7:34:11( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: all combat brigades not necessary for force protection could be out of iraq." that commission proposed a far smaller u.s. military presence to remain only for limited missions to include force protection,

Carl Levin

7:34:11 to 7:34:28( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: counterterrorism and training for the iraqi security forces. i believe it is essential that that transition to the limited missions be announced now as a way of ending this open-ended commitment which

Carl Levin

7:34:28 to 7:34:43( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: the iraqi political leaders have taken to be such a security blanket. and have taken them off the hook from doing something that only theyan do -- work out the political differences that divide them

Carl Levin

7:34:43 to 7:34:56( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: which in the words of their own prime minister, the failure to do has resulted in the continuation of violence. everybody agrees, mr. president. everyone seems to agree that there's no military

Carl Levin

7:34:56 to 7:35:07( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: solution. and yet when it comes to telling the iraqi political leaders that the open-ended commitment is over, we're not only going to begin to reduce troops but trantion their mission and we will complete

Carl Levin

7:35:07 to 7:35:21( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: that transition in a reasonable period of time -- not precipitous -- but in a reasonable period of time and our amendment provides nine months after enactment of this law, it is the only way, the

Carl Levin

7:35:21 to 7:35:39( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: only way that this open-ended commitment can finally be brought to an end. and so we not only have to dransings to the limited missions and announce it now -- transition to the limited missions and announce

Carl Levin

7:35:39 to 7:35:55( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: it now but we need a timetable for completion of the mission. that is the -- those are the key provisions of the amendment before us. it's the key to ending the open-endedness and it's long, long overdue.

Carl Levin

7:35:55 to 7:36:10( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: presenting iraq's political leaders with a timetable to begin withdrawing our forces and transitioning those that remain, from mainly combat to mainly support roles is the only hope that iraqi leaders will

Carl Levin

7:36:10 to 7:36:23( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: realize that their future is in their hands not in the hands of our brave men and women who proudly wear the uniform of our country. taking this step will also recognize another fact of life: that

Carl Levin

7:36:23 to 7:36:38( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: the stress on our forces, especially the wear and tear on the army and marines, must be reduced. we cannot continue to deploy our forces at the country level without seriously weakening our ability to

Carl Levin

7:36:38 to 7:36:56( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: respond to other challenges that might confront us. so, how can congress bring about a change of course in iraq when president bush delays and delays and delays making any change? well, a clear majority

Carl Levin

7:36:56 to 7:37:09( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: of the senate indicated support for levin-reed last july when we voted 53-46 to cut off the february filibuster of the republican leadership against the levin-reed amendment. 53-46 was the vote.

Carl Levin

7:37:09 to 7:37:24( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: the levin-reed amendment required the secretary of defense to begin a reduction in the number of u.s. forces in iraq not later than 120 days after the date of enactment. it would have also required

Carl Levin

7:37:24 to 7:37:41( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: a transition to a limited presence only to carry out the motions of protecting u.s. and coalition personnel and infrastructure, training, quipping and providing logistic support -- those are important words

Carl Levin

7:37:41 to 7:37:56( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: -- to the iraqi security forces, and ingauge in targeted -- engage in targeted counterterrorism operations against al qaeda, wreckback-affiliated groups and other international terrorist organizations. and, the

Carl Levin

7:37:56 to 7:38:10( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: transition to the limited presence and mission would have had to have been completed by april 30, 2008. this reduction would have been implemented along with a comprehensive diplomatic, political,

Carl Levin

7:38:10 to 7:38:25( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: and economic strategy that includes sustained engagement with iraq's neighbors and the international community. the continued inability of the iraqi government to make any progress toward a political

Carl Levin

7:38:25 to 7:38:42( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: settlement and the refusal of the bush administration to change course reinforces the need for the levin-reed amendment. so, that amendment is now before us. there are -- it is essentially the same

Carl Levin

7:38:42 to 7:38:55( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: as the amendment we voted on last july. the changes in the timetable are slight to accommodate the fact that we are voting at a particular time, essentially. we would begin, now, require -- require the reduction

Carl Levin

7:38:55 to 7:39:17( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: to begin no later than 90 days after the date of enactment and to be completed within nine months of the date of enactment in order to adjust the timetable to be both clear and to respond to the fact

Carl Levin

7:39:17 to 7:39:33( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: that we will be voting on this months later than the last vote in july. the challenge before us is to get to the 60 votes. 60 votes is the goal that i guess almost all of our iraq legislation has

Carl Levin

7:39:33 to 7:39:46( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: to meet because of the filibuster that is already taking place against the last time that we offered levin-reed and because the threat of that filibuster exists again. so the reality is that we're going

Carl Levin

7:39:46 to 7:40:02( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: to continue to lug away to get to those 60 votes. we hope we can get it on this version of levin-reed. it is a version which finally -- if we can get to the 60 and defeat this filibuster -- would change

Carl Levin

7:40:02 to 7:40:13( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: course in iraq. the majority of us in this senate have voted to change course in iraq. in effect, when there were 53 of us that voted to end the filibuster last july. the majority of the american

Carl Levin

7:40:13 to 7:40:28( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: people clearly want a change of course in iraq. they don't want precipitous withdrawal. they understand we're going to need some troops there for force recollection and for training of the iraqi

Carl Levin

7:40:28 to 7:40:43( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: army and for providing logistics to the iraqi army and for some targeted counterterrorism efforts against al qaeda, their affiliates and other terrorism groups. the american people understand that.

Carl Levin

7:40:43 to 7:41:00( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: they want something which is planned in terms of the reduction of our forces. and they want a timable. and what they want more than anything else is to get the iraqi leaders to end their dawdling

Carl Levin

7:41:00 to 7:41:15( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: so our troops can come home. everybody wants that stable, independent iraq. the course we are on now, the course of status quo, the course of open-ended course, the course of whether we want to go below

Carl Levin

7:41:15 to 7:41:26( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: presurge, that stag net course is exactly the wrong signal to the iraqi leaders. thcourse that the president is on keeps that open-ended commitment of american forces. it does not do what we must do and

Carl Levin

7:41:26 to 7:41:42( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: because the president will not do it, congress must do it, which is to tell the iraqis that the future of their country is inquire hands and we will continue to be helpful. we've given them an opportunity.

Carl Levin

7:41:42 to 7:41:56( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: they have not seized the opportunity. 4 1/2 years later, almost 4,000 american troops killed, seven times that many wounded, $600 billion now spent, $10 billion more every month that has to come

Carl Levin

7:41:56 to 7:42:18( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: to an end. we want to bring it to a successful end. but we cannot do it militarily. every military leader says that. there is no military solution. there is only a political solution. and only the iraqi

Carl Levin

7:42:18 to 7:42:58( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: political leaders can achieve it. that's what this amendment would help to bring about. that final statement to the iraqi leaders, we cannot save you from yourselves. mr. president, i note the absence

Carl Levin

7:43:14 to 7:43:22( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call: the presiding officer: the senator from michigan. mr. levin: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent the call of the quorum

Carl Levin

7:43:22 to 7:43:33( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: be dispensed. .the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. levin: i send a series of 24 amendments to the desk which have been cleared on both sides and i ask consent the senate consider

Carl Levin

7:43:33 to 7:44:00( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: those amendments en bloc, the amendments be agreed to and the motions to reconsider be laid on the table and i ask any statements related to any of these individual amendments appear at this point in the

Carl Levin

7:44:00 to 7:44:12( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: record. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. levin: i move to reconsider. mr. levin: the presiding officer, i know, looks forward to continuation of the session with his good

Lindsey Graham

7:44:12 to 7:44:23( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: nature and we note the absence of a quorum. a senator: while we are wait willing for other senators to arrive i would like to speak against my good friend's amendment. the presiding officer: does

Lindsey Graham

7:44:12 to 7:57:59( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Lindsey Graham

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