The transcript is available here.
And while the media reports that Republicans are revolting (in more ways than one), they're still supporting Bush's surge by doing things like successfully filibustering the Dems' attempt to have "longer troop rests between combat deployments".
The Senate voted 56-41 to cut off debate on an amendment to the annual defense policy bill by Sen. James Webb (D-Va.) that would have mandated that troops be granted home leave between deployments of at least as long as their previous combat tours. Already stretched National Guard and Reserve units would have been granted three-year breaks between assignments.
Just keep wearing out those soldiers, Republicans. But don't be surprised when they refuse to support you in next year's elections.
And this is the reality about the Dems' weak efforts to end this illegal war:
The Senate's failure to break the filibuster, however, signaled that Democratic efforts to mandate troop withdrawals almost certainly will fail in the face of Republican parliamentary roadblocks.
They might as well spend the summer on the beach for all the good they're doing:
Senate Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin said today that despite growing Republican discontent with the Iraq war, convincing GOP members to support withdrawal legislation remains a daunting challenge that so far has netted few results.
Durbin also conceded that the Democrats, with a bare majority in the Senate, won't be able to placate liberal Democratic calls for a specific end date, including a funding cut off.
"Obviously there are folks who want the war to end today, and all the troops to be home tomorrow. And even though I think that is a worthy goal, it is not a realistic goal," said Durbin. A major redeployment of troops will have to be done gradually and in a responsible manner, he noted. "We also understand that just leaving cold turkey, with everything gone, could have the whole region descend into chaos," Durbin said.
Nice GOP talking point there, Dick.
And then he decided it was a good idea to attack John Edwards while he had a captive audience:
Durbin, an early booster of Sen. Barack Obama's presidential campaign, singled out former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) for helping to fuel unrealistic anti-war expectations for congressional action. Edwards has chastized his fellow Democratic candidates who are currently serving in the Senate, for not pushing hard enough to end the war.
"I recall when John voted for this war. So it's understandable that he feels badly about that decision and wants to see something done to undo the harm that has happened," said Durbin. "But it has to be done in a sensible way."
I'm no fan of Edwards, but that is a very low blow coming from someone with Durbin's position. Apparently Durbin seems to think that Americans are just plain stupid and have all been influenced by Edwards' opposition to this nightmare of a war. I'm sure Edwards will be pleased to hear he has so much power.
Maybe Durbin should just quit his job as majority whip and go out on the campaign trail with Obama full time. This is what happens when politics is electioneering 24/7, 365 days a year. Politicians seem to forget that they actually have important work to do on behalf of the country they're supposed to be serving and which is currently involved in two wars that aren't getting any better.
Blogging for The Guardian, Roy Greenslade notes several questions that US journalists are failing to ask about the situation in Iraq according to author Robert Dreyfuss with this one being key:
Dreyfuss concludes: "The dénouement of America's failed occupation of Iraq could be bloody indeed. But not enough reporters and news analysts are looking at the other possibility: In the wake of an orderly withdrawal over, say, the next year, might not Iraq's nationalists join forces against the separatists and struggle to create a new center in Iraqi politics? As Zbigniew Brzezinski says: 'The only Iraqis who want us to stay are the ones who will have to leave when we leave'."
The Democrats and Republicans need to stop parroting Bush talking points and get down to the nitty gritty of examining the entire situation in Iraq from a new perspective. By refusing to do so, they continue to support the carnage in Iraq while giving their incompetent commander-in-chief free reign over a war he has absolutely no idea how to manage.