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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 01:44 PM
Original message
Reid announces Senate filibuster; speech here:
http://thinkprogress.org/reid-speech-iraq /

Reid Announces Senate Filibuster

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid
Floor Remarks on Levin/Reed Amendment to Defense Authorization
As Prepared for Delivery
Monday, July 16, 2007

After 52 months, America finds itself mired in one of the most tragic foreign policy blunders in our nations history, with no end in sight.

In my view, it will take years and, I fear perhaps decades, to finally close the book on the damage this war has caused our troops, our economy and our moral standing in the world.

On May 24th, President Bush said quote

We are there at the invitation of the Iraqi government. This is a sovereign nation. Twelve million people went to the polls to approve a constitution. Its their governments choice. If they were to say leave, we would leave.

This weekend, Iraqi Prime Minister al-Maliki for whom President Bush has expressed consistent support and confidence said that Iraqi forces could take control of their security at any time American troops want to leave.

A recent poll of the Iraqi people showed that 21% think the American presence makes their country safer, while 69% say it puts them at greater risk.

The Iraqi people and their leader say they are ready for us to end our combat operation. Its time we listen to them.

In the wars four-plus years, our troops have accomplished everything they have been asked to do.

They took down the Iraqi dictator. They secured the country for not one, not two, but three elections. And they have provided the security needed for Iraqi factions to come together to negotiate peaceful settlement of their differences.

But Iraqi leaders have not done their part.

After 52 months more than 3,600 Americans killed and another 20,000 wounded and after nearly $500 billion of American taxpayer dollars spent

After all this sacrifice its long past time for the Iraqi leaders and the Iraqi people to put their words into action by taking responsibility for their own future.

After 52 months more than 3,600 Americans killed and another 20,000 wounded and after nearly $500 billion of American taxpayer dollars spent

President Bush continues to tell our troops and all Americans that we should wait it out just stay the course, in hopes that he will eventually change his mind.

Our troops and our security cannot afford the Presidents run out the clock strategy.

We have an opportunity and an obligation to change course in Iraq right now.

We can remove our brave troops from the front lines of another countrys civil war a conflict we have no business policing and little chance to diffuse.

We can conduct the kind of tough and strong diplomacy required to stabilize Iraq and the region, which even the Presidents own military experts plea with him to revive.

We can refocus our resources and fight a real war on terrorism that drives the terrorists back to the darkest caves and corners of the earth.

And we can choose that new path right now.

We dont have to mark time, waiting for the President to wake up one morning with a revelation.

We dont have to wait two more months for an arbitrary September deadline when it is so clear that a course change is required now.

With our courage and our votes, we can rise above this tragic failure to deliver the new course that our brave troops and all Americans demand and deserve.

We can do that today, by voting for the Levin/Reed amendment to the Defense Authorization bill.

The Levin/Reed amendment

Sets a firm start and end date to transition the mission and begin the reduction of U.S. forces beginning 120 days after enactment and completed by April 30th, 2008.

Limits the U.S. military mission after April 30th to counter-terror, training of Iraqi security forces, and protection of U.S. personnel and assets; and

Requires that the reduction in forces be part of a comprehensive diplomatic, regional, political and economic effort and appoints an international mediator to bring together the warring factions.

To those who say this language is binding on the President, I say yes it is.

It is binding because the President has resisted every effort we have made to work with him to change the direction of his failed Iraq policy. The record will show that binding language was not our first choice.

We passed legislation requiring that 2006 be a year of transition. Instead, the President ignored this language and dug us in even deeper.

We gave the President the chance to develop his own new course as commander in chief.

Instead, he chose to extend deployments and ask even more of our brave men and women in uniform.

Earlier this year, we passed legislation that would have begun the phased redeployment while leaving significant discretion to the President about how and when to execute that redeployment.

Instead, the President vetoed this bill and asserted that only he had the power to set war policy.

So the record here is clear. The Presidents decision to stubbornly cling to the current course leaves this body no choice but to enact binding language.

He has failed to lead us out of Iraq. We are ready to show him the way.

M. President, my worst fears on this bill have been realized. We have just seen the Republican leadership again resort to technical maneuver to block progress on this crucial amendment.

It would be one thing for Republicans to vote against this bill. If they honestly believe that stay the course is the right strategy they have the right to vote no.

But now, Republicans are using a filibuster to block us from even voting on an amendment that could bring the war to a responsible end.

They are protecting the President rather than protecting our troops.

They are denying us an up or down yes or no vote on the most important issue our country faces.

I would like to inform the Republican leadership and all my colleagues that we have no intention of backing down.

If Republicans do not allow a vote on Levin/Reed today or tomorrow, we will work straight through the night on Tuesday.

The American people deserve an open and honest debate on this war, and they deserve an up or down vote on this amendment to end it.

Given the Republican leaderships decision to block the amendment, we have no choice but to do everything we can in the coming days to highlight Republican obstruction.

We do this in hopes of ultimately getting a simple up or down vote on this and other important amendments that could change the direction of the war.

All Senators will be welcome to speak their mind. Those of us who are ready to end the war will make our case to the American people. Those who support the status quo are welcome to equal floor time to make their case.

Let the American people hear the arguments. Let them see their elected representatives engaging in a full, open and honest debate.

Let them hear why Republicans are obstructing us on this amendment.

Whenever Republicans are ready to allow a vote on this most crucial legislation, we stand ready to deliver the new course that has been so long in coming.
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Blue_In_AK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 01:48 PM
Response to Original message
1. Whoa!!
Are they actually going to DO something?? This is an excellent sign.
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TwilightGardener Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 01:48 PM
Response to Original message
2. Yay, Harry!
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jimshoes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 01:50 PM
Response to Original message
3. I must stock up on cheese
cuz the repig whining is going to be something to behold. Can they whine in 4 part harmony? We'll see.
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deepthought42 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 01:52 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. More like atonal or spreechstimme (sp?)
Where's Arnold Schoenberg when you need him? :rofl:


:freak:
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OnceUponTimeOnTheNet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 01:55 PM
Response to Original message
5. k&r Give em Hell, Harry.
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wiggs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 01:59 PM
Response to Original message
6. Republicans will allow the vote, congress will pass it, GWB will
announce that recent successes of the surge can allow some reployment, and everyone will be happy. Oh, and we'll leave 120,000 troops there to "maintain security...and protect US personnel and assets."
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ayeshahaqqiqa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 02:08 PM
Response to Reply #6
10. Wonder what will happen if GWB issues a signing statement about this?
Or refuses to obey the law in some other way? That's a straight ticket to impeachment, imho.
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Tierra_y_Libertad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 02:00 PM
Response to Original message
7. Never thought I'd say it. "Bravo for Harry!"
Just hope he doesn't come back (again) and tell us he set the bar too high.
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ayeshahaqqiqa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 02:06 PM
Response to Original message
8. this is what I've been waiting for
Hold their feet to the fire. DO NOT ADJOURN!!!!! Surely enough of the Senate went home over the 4th and realized what the people want. Let's see how long it takes for a vote to happen. And let us know what we can do to help that vote along.
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Jim__ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 02:07 PM
Response to Original message
9. Finally!!!
Force the pukes to publicily stand agaisnt the interest of our troops and our country. Yes!
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rsmith6621 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 02:14 PM
Response to Original message
11. Finally Harry Finds His.....
Edited on Mon Jul-16-07 02:15 PM by rsmith6621

.........BALLS.......I knew he had some....Congratulations to all of us who keep holding their collective A$$es to the fire..I wonder if Nancy will find _ _ _ _hers???
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wiggs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 04:49 PM
Response to Reply #11
15. Reminder: Reid shut down congress over phase II WMD commission report
which I though was great at the time.
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bdamomma Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 02:20 PM
Response to Original message
12. oh Harry, I love this comment!!
"We dont have to mark time, waiting for the President to wake up one morning with a revelation".

tough words there Harry, now back it up with some action please!!!
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DeSwiss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 02:23 PM
Response to Original message
13. Supergirl, I knew you could do it!!!


:D
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endarkenment Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 02:42 PM
Response to Original message
14. April 30th, 2008 is bullshit. nt.
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mzmolly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 10:03 PM
Response to Original message
16. This is a great speech/step!
WTG Harry!
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