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Ike Skelton, who actually sponsored a withdrawal bill:

This is the fundamental dilemma we face in Iraq-our soldiers fight hard and they are showing some results, and we should take every opportunity we get to thank them for their sacrifices and work on behalf of our nation.  But their efforts do not seem to be matched by the government of Iraq.  When the President announced the surge, it was intended to improve security to create space for political progress.

By some measures, the heroic efforts of our troops have created some space.  But there has not been any great political progress.  We are left asking ourselves why we should expect this record to be different in the future and whether further American efforts will be of any effect.  It is not clear to me why we should continue to move ahead with this strategy at the cost of American lives and dollars if the Iraqis are not stepping forward.

Claire McCaskill (via PubDef):

But unfortunately, I don’t think there has been enough conversation yet about something other than the two extremes. I don’t think any of us in Washington want an expeditious drawdown of all our troops in Iraq. And on the other hand, I don’t think most people in American want us to continue to stand in the middle of a civil war. I think there is something in between. I will look forward in the hearing tomorrow, I will look forward to questioning General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker, as I know many other senators will, about what would be in between.

I’m really freaking curious as to what sort of answers Senator McCaskill is going to get regarding this triangulation enlightened Middle Way she’s searching for. I’m even more curious to hear her answer Representative Skelton’s question – Why should we expect further American efforts to be effective? Why should we “continue to move ahead with this strategy at the cost of American lives and dollars if the Iraqis are not stepping forward[?]”

UPDATE: This isn’t about liberal vs. conservative. Note that Skelton is a conservative Democrat. Even conservative Republican Walter “Freedom Fries” Jones voted for withdrawal in March. 

Make sure you call McCaskill’s office and give her a piece of your mind (respectfully but firmly.) And call Skelton’s office and thank him for his representation.  Check below the fold for contact info.


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