"Many of you know that the Senate is debating Iraq funding right now as part of a supplemental spending bill. The last time we really debated the Iraq issue, back in November, we got 40 senators to vote for a flexible timetable to redeploy troops out of Iraq. While that amendment didn't pass, it was a strong show of support by Democrats for an Iraq policy, and national security policy, that make sense. The online community had a lot to do with that vote. Members of Congress heard from people around the country who stood up together and demanded a new course in Iraq - one that makes our country stronger.
Now, six months later, without any kind of timetable or strategy, things in Iraq are only getting worse. There is no end in sight for U.S. troops who have been asked to sacrifice so much in the name of a deeply flawed policy. That is why today I introduced an amendment to redeploy U.S. forces from Iraq by December 31, 2006.
Our country desperately needs a new vision for strengthening our national security, and it starts by redeploying U.S. forces from Iraq. Our military has performed heroically in Iraq, but the continued, indefinite presence of large numbers of U.S. forces there is preventing us from focusing on the global terrorist networks that threaten us today.
Last August I suggested December 31, 2006, as a target date for withdrawal. Since then, the situation in Iraq has only deteriorated, and the administration has done nothing to change course. Congress needs to step up and set a deadline ourselves. We have waited too long for the President to give us a vision and a plan for when our troops will come home. Congress cannot simply sit by and put ideas in the White House's suggestion box. The Administration refused to listen to those who questioned the rush to war, and now they refuse to listen to anyone who calls for a policy that makes sense for our troops, or for our national security.
We can't keep waiting for the President to finally figure out what we already know - that the U.S. policy in Iraq is failing. We need to focus our resources on defeating terrorist networks around the world that threaten our country. The debate happening in the Senate now is an opportunity to demand a deadline for the redeployment of U.S. forces by the end of this year."-Russ Feingold on Booman Tribune, cross-posted at MyDD.