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Democrats' Hearing Calls for Bringing Troops Home from Iraq
By Joey Lomicky
Though they congregated in a small, cramped room of the Cannon House Office Building, the issue at hand was far bigger.
Washington, D.C. - Scripps Howard Foundation Wire - infoZine - For more than three hours Thursday, 30 members of Congress participated in an informal hearing, called by Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D-Calif., to support a military exit from Iraq. Frustrated that she could not get Republicans to schedule such a discussion before either the Armed Services or International Relations committees, she said she organized her own discussion to "break the silence on Capitol Hill."
"So we've taken matters into our own hands," she said. "There's been very little appetite among the congressional leadership for open discussion about how we might end the war. ... The administration's rationale for war turned out be based on dubious intelligence at best and outright lies at worst."
Democratic members of Congress drifted in and out, and one Republican put in an appearance as six witnesses, including a former senator, a retired general and a former U.S. diplomat in Iraq, discussed how the country should bring troops home.
"To have victory, you must have an end strategy, maybe not in full detail, but one nonetheless," said Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C., who has been criticized by other Republicans for his stance on Iraq.
Antonia Chayes, a professor of international politics at Tufts University's Fletcher School of Law in Medford, Mass., said American forces in Iraq are responsible for suppressing the counter-insurgency, fighting a war and peacekeeping - something she called an "impossible task."