Perhaps John Nichols of the Nation said it best:
Here's an interesting political position: Keep U.S. troops in Iraq and signal to the Iraqi government that its O.K. to pardon insurgents who kill Americans.
Nineteen senators, war supporters all, did just that on Tuesday when they voted against this amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007, proposed by Florida Senator Bill Nelson, which sought
To express the sense of Congress that the Government of Iraq should not grant amnesty to persons known to have attacked, killed, or wounded members of the Armed Forces of the United States.
Considering that the mutilated bodies of two of our soldiers had just been recovered, one might have expected such an amendment to pass unanimously.
Not only did it not pass unanimously, but the amendment was watered down by Republicans before it passed:
Nelson's anti-amnesty amendment, before it passed, was watered down by Senate Republicans to make it clear that no interference with Iraqi sovereignty was intended and the Iraqis should be allowed to proceed "with their own wisdom." Nelson said he could not find any wisdom in amnesty for the killing of U.S. troops.
Sen. John Warner, R-Va., was handed a late report from the State Department with assurances from Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in Baghdad that a new reconciliation plan had just been worked out. Apparently, any amnesty in Iraq will make no distinction between Iraqi and American troops.
The nineteen REPUBLICAN senators who voted against this amendment:
- Wayne Allard of Colorado
- Kit Bond of Missouri
- Jim Bunning of Kentucky
- Conrad Burns of Montana
- Tom Coburn of Oklahoma
- Thad Cochran of Mississippi
- John Cornyn of Texas
- Jim DeMint of South Carolina
- Mike Enzi of Wyoming
- Lindsey Graham of South Carolina
- Chuck Hagel of Nebraska
- Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma
- Jon Kyl of Arizona
- Trent Lott of Mississippi
- John McCain of Arizona
- Jeff Sessions of Alabama
- Ted Stevens of Alaska
- Craig Thomas of Wyoming
- John Warner of Virginia
I think these guys need some phone calls and e-mails, don't you?
As Digby says, imagine if nineteen Democrats had voted this way on a GOP-sponsored amendment! Cries of treason would be thick in the air, and the media would be relentless in quoting indignant Republicans on traitorous Dems. And speaking of Digby, go and read the piece linked to. It contains the outraged words of a soldier who writes about his take on this proposed amnesty.
Really, what can one say? We've heard all the crap about "cut and run," "support the troops," etc. ad nauseum, and now these super-patriots think it's okay to call an amnesty for insurgents who killed our troops? I can see an amnesty after we've gotten the hell out of there, but certainly not before. Our troops are not just numbers, contrary to the thoughts of warbloggers, Don Rumsfeld, and the screeching jingoists who pushed and continue to push this so-called war (now an occupation).
Jesus H. Christ on a popsicle stick.
It is clear that some in the Iraqi government regard assaults on American troops as an act of homeland defense and wanted it to be part of a national reconciliation plan.
"The Senate needs to go on record and tell the Iraqis that their plan is unacceptable," Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid said.
It did not quite do that. (link)
Yet even the watered-down version, so careful of Iraqi sovereignty (as I recall, not much of a concern before the US invaded the country), offended the sensibilities of the Nineteen.
Pardon me while I locate my throw-up pot.