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Another senior Republican breaks with Bush on Iraq

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  • Greg Cannon
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070705/pl_nm/iraq_usa_dc_1;_ylt=AvodDDz3UJYGO.mHoPqFZlUUewgF Another senior Republican breaks with Bush on Iraq By Susan Cornwell
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 5 4:14 PM
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      http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070705/pl_nm/iraq_usa_dc_1;_ylt=AvodDDz3UJYGO.mHoPqFZlUUewgF

      Another senior Republican breaks with Bush on Iraq

      By Susan Cornwell 44 minutes ago

      WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President George W. Bush's Iraq
      war policy continued to hemorrhage support in the U.S.
      Senate as another senior Republican called on Thursday
      for a new strategy that would start to bring troops
      home.

      A day after Bush appealed to Americans to be more
      patient with the unpopular war, six-term New Mexico
      Sen. Pete Domenici, who is up for re-election next
      year, urged a new course.

      "I am unwilling to continue our current strategy,"
      Domenici, who serves on the Senate's defense
      appropriations subcommittee, said in a statement.

      "I do not support an immediate withdrawal from Iraq or
      a reduction in funding for our troops. But I do
      support a new strategy that will move our troops out
      of combat operations and on the path to coming home,"
      Domenici said.

      Domenici joined the ranks of influential Republican
      lawmakers who recently have broken with Bush over the
      4-year-old conflict in Iraq, declaring themselves
      unable to keep backing a war that has no end in sight
      after the deaths of 3,590 U.S. troops.

      "I have carefully studied the Iraq situation and
      believe we cannot continue asking our troops to
      sacrifice indefinitely while the Iraqi government is
      not making measurable progress to move its country
      forward," Domenici said.

      Indiana Sen. Richard Lugar, the ranking Republican on
      the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, declared last
      week that Bush's strategy was not working and troops
      should start leaving. Ohio Sen. George Voinovich,
      another Republican, urged "gradual military
      disengagement."

      Bush has shown no public sign of changing course. On
      Wednesday, he asked the country for "more patience,
      more courage and more sacrifice" in Iraq during an
      Independence Day address at a National Guard air base.

      The White House has played down the Republican
      defections while anti-war forces have new hope for a
      coalition in the Senate that would force a change in
      U.S. war strategy.

      Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat
      who voted to authorize the war in 2002 but then soured
      on the conflict, said on Thursday that senators like
      Domenici, Lugar and Voinovich now had to back their
      criticism with votes for withdrawal.

      Reid said they would have a chance beginning with a
      defense policy bill that will be brought to the Senate
      floor next week.

      Domenici said he backed a bipartisan Senate proposal
      that may be debated as part of the defense policy bill
      and would create the conditions for a possible
      drawdown of U.S. troops by March.

      The plan by Sens. Ken Salazar, a Colorado Democrat,
      and Lamar Alexander, a Tennessee Republican, embraces
      recommendations made last December by the Iraq Study
      Group.

      Republican leaders have urged lawmakers to wait until
      September, when the top U.S. commander in Iraq makes
      his progress report, before pushing for change in Iraq
      policy. But Domenici said he could see now that things
      were not improving.
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