Senate votes show waning support for Iraq War

On November 15, 2005, the U.S. Senate cast its first votes on the war in Iraq since authorizing the use of force in October 2002. While the two amendments did not cut off funds or force a timetable for bringing U.S. troops home, they marked a clear repudiation of President Bush’s “stay the course” policy.

There were two votes Tuesday.

An amendment offered by Sens. John Warner (R-VA) and Bill Frist (R-TN) was adopted 79 – 19. The amendment called for:

• A “phased redeployment of United States forces from Iraq,” although without providing a specific timetable.

• The Administration to tell Iraqis that they must make the compromises necessary for a sustainable political settlement.

• The Iraqis to be told that the U.S. will eventually depart.

A second amendment offered by Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) and other Democrats was defeated 40 – 58. The Levin amendment went further by demanding from the Administration “a campaign plan with estimated dates for the phased redeployment of the United States Armed Forces from Iraq.”

While the House of Representatives has had votes on Iraq, until now the Senate has been reluctant to deal with the issue.

Thus these votes reflect vigorous public opposition indicated by all public opinion polls, as well as concern over more than 2,000 American war dead, over 15,000 wounded, many more Iraqis killed or wounded, plus $357 billion allocated for the war.

The two votes have sent an unmistakable bipartisan signal that the United States will not stay in Iraq indefinitely, either to control oil, maintain military bases or impose democracy.

There is similar legislation in the House of Representatives: the Abercrombie-Jones resolution calling for the United States to withdraw from Iraq.


This story was supplied by the Council for a Livable World,