While the debate rages in Washington, D.C. over troop levels in Iraq, Democrats in the Iowa Senate today passed a resolution opposing the president’s plan to send more American soldiers into Iraq.
Senate President Jack Kibbie, a Democrat from Emmetsburg, says the issue is a topic of discussion in "every coffee shop" in the country. "This resolution is probably one of the more serious and important issues that we’ll vote on in this session," Kibbie said as the debate opened.
Kibbie, who was a tank commander in the Korean War, said the lesson of Vietnam was that a military strategy that’s not working should be abandoned rather than expanded. "The U.S. Congress is kind of bogged down on this issue," Kibbie said. "I would think if half the states in this country would pass a similar resolution as what we have before you today, we would start to see a change."
The Iowa Senate’s resolution passed on a voice vote. Twenty-eight of the 30 Democrats in the Iowa Senate were co-sponsors of the resolution. Four Republicans stood up to chide Democrats for even taking up the measure. Senator Brad Zaun, a Republican from Urbandale, said there was no reason for the Iowa Legislature to debate foreign policy.
Senator James Seymour, a Republican from Woodbine, is a veteran of the Marine Corps. "I’m ashamed of the Senate today," Seymour said. "I’m ashamed that we have this resolution in front of us." Seymour accused Democrats in the Iowa Senate of "turning their backs" on the soldiers who’ve "committed themselves" to service in Iraq because that’s what has been asked of them.
This is the second time the Iowa Legislature has waded into the Iraq war debate. In 2003, when Republicans held a majority of seats in the House and Senate, both chambers passed resolutions supporting the decision to go to war in Iraq.