Senate didn’t vote on objection to troop buildup

Senate Democrats failed to garner the 60 votes they needed to consider a nonbinding resolution opposing President Bush’s plan to send more troops to Iraq.

The vote was 56-34, with seven Republicans crossing the aisle to vote with senators who oppose the troop surge in Iraq.

The Democrats have a razor thin 51-49 majority in the Senate so mustering 60 votes will require at least 9 Republicans to cross the floor, that is if all the Democrats turn up to vote.

Some quotes from the debate (CNN)

“We are policing a civil war in Iraq,” Sen. Charles Schumer, D-New York, said before the vote. “American troops should not be in the middle of that war.

“This nonbinding resolution, as a practical matter, doesn’t do anything, but was designed to try to disapprove of the new mission,” Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, said after the vote. “Our view is you cannot discuss the new mission in Iraq without discussing funding for the troops.”

House passes resolution opposing Bush’s Iraq policy 246-182

The Democratic-controlled House issued a symbolic rejection of President Bush’s decision to deploy more troops to Iraq on Friday, opening an an epic confrontation between Congress and commander in chief over an unpopular war that has taken the lives of more than 3,100 U.S. troops.

The vote on the nonbinding measure was 246-182.

Resolution criticized President Bush for his decision to send more troops to Iraq is a rare admonishment of a wartime commander-in-chief.

“The passage of this legislation signal a change in direction that will end the fighting and bring our troops home,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said before the vote when she endorsed the measure that takes issue with Bush’s decision to send an additional 21,500 U.S. troops into battle.

Full Story (CNN)

I’m delighted! An I hope Rep. John Murtha, D-Pennsylvania, gets his legislation through that will limit spending and include a rest period between combat tours.

A survey in the US shows growing opposition to the War in Iraq. More than half of those surveyed say the Iraq war is a hopeless cause. A total of 38 percent wants to cut money for the additional troops that Bush is sending to Iraq, and 29 percent want to cut off all funding for the war.

Morning Briefing, 16th February

Dia Duit

An nuacht ar an maidin seo.

The row over the cost of the Mahon Tribunal continues today (Breakingnews) with Judge Mahon saying the tribunal will only cost €300m, maybe less. Also Labour are getting in on the act (RTÉ) saying that the government are trying to delay the tribunal. Well d’uh

Russian President Vladimir Putin has appointed a former rebel as President of Chechnya (France 24) Pity he wasn’t elected.

Serbia has rejected the UN plan for Kosovo (CNN). Surprise surprise. I can’t see any Serbian parliament accepting independence, virtual or not, for Kosovo.

North Koreans are celebrating Kim Jong-Il 65th birthday (France 24). Though state media in north korea seam to warning about a military threat from the US. I don’t see how they can invade as the armed forces are stretched to the limit Iraq and Afghanistan.

The US House of Representatives is due to vote on a resolution against the troop surge in Iraq today. (CNN)Also House speaker Nancy Pelosi has stated that “Bush lacks authority to invade Iran”

The European Parliament has adopted a report which implicates 13 member states in cooperating with CIA rendition flights (France 24) The national governments specifically criticised for their unwillingness to cooperate with Parliament’s investigations were those of Austria, Italy, Poland, Portugal and the UK. The report also gives detailed evidence of investigations of illegal rendition or CIA flight cases involving Germany, Sweden, Spain, Ireland, Greece, Cyprus, Denmark, Turkey, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Bosnia and Romania (EU Parliament Website)

Thats it for now!

Slán!