Why would Saxby Chambliss vote against this?

On the same day that the U.S. Army announced the deaths of three soldiers from Georgia’s Fort Stewart, Georgia’s senior Senator, Saxby Chambliss, along with Johnhy Isakson voted against allowing the Senate to debate an amendment that would allow our soliders to come home to rest & recuperate from their tour of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Virginia Senator Jim Webb sponsored Senate Amendment 2012 to the Defense Dept. Appropriations bill (House Resolution 1585) that states…“No unit or member of the Armed Forces specified in paragraph (3) may be deployed for Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation Enduring Freedom (including participation in the NATO International Security Assistance Force (Afghanistan)) unless the period between the deployment of the unit or member is equal to or longer than the period of such previous deployment.” [Source: Senate Amendment 2012]

The quick summary of this amendment is that “if a unit or member of a regular component of the Armed Forces deploys to Iraq or Afghanistan, they will have the same time at home before they are redeployed. No unit or member of a Reserve component, including the National Guard, could be redeployed to Iraq or Afghanistan within three years of their previous deployment.” [Source: Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) SA2012 summary]

When Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson voted against limiting debate on this amendment by the Senator from Virginia, they voted against limiting debate on what I believe to be a common sense amendment that shows support for our troops.

Why anyone would vote against debating such an amendment is beyond me, but Georgia’s Senators did.

Our soldiers, I believe, need enough time between their deployments over-seas to rest and recuperate from a very mentally taxing situation. Our soldiers deserve time off to spend at home with their families and their friends so that once they’re sent back over to Iraq or Afghanistan, they’re refreshed and rejuvenated enough to continue to do an exemplary job.

It’s unfortunate that Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson would put their Party above our troops.

[NOTE]: This was cross-posted at Georgia Politics Unfiltered.

33 comments

  1. Rogue109 says:

    “[T]hey voted against limiting debate on what I believe to be a common sense amendment that shows support for our troops.”

    Well, you believe wrong. And what does the recent death of three soldiers from the 3ID have to do with this?

    All Webb’s amendment does is limit the Executive Branch’s ability to prosecute this war. Regardless of ones position on the war, you cannot have limitations imposed on the Armed Forces directing when/how/if soldiers can be delployed. It limits strategic flexability to a degree that is unacceptable.

    Listen, no one wants our soldiers, sailors and airmen to have more time at home than me…but this is the wrong way to do it. David Chu, DoD’s Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness is doing the best he can to limit deployments but here is the fact: this is war.

  2. RJL says:

    Ever been to war or read the Constitution or Webb’s amendment, Rogue? The Executive has no such exclusive domain over military matters, and the votes by Shameless and Isakson are nothing more than protecting Bush over the troops and common sense.

  3. CHelf says:

    Rogue,

    This same “limitation” has been used in previous conflicts such as Korea with full support of the military and both parties. Actually our Armed Forces have seen even higher ratios of home service vs. combat service. If there is an issue with having enough troops to not only prosecute the war but to rotate in rested forces, then perhaps we should be discussing more to be recruited. If we have this kind of issue now, what happens if Iran or North Korea step it up one more notch?

  4. becauseimright says:

    Make up your mind. Did Saxby and Johnny vote against limiting debate or did they vote against debating the amendment?

    If you want a good healthy debate on the issue, it sounds like they voted the way you would want them to. By voting against limiting debate, the debate goes on.

    The vote that Andre references is a motion to invoke cloture. In the Senate, the only way to limit debate on an issue and move to either get unanimous support to pass something or to invoke cloture. A motion to invoke cloture requires a 3/5 vote of the Senate (that’s 60 votes). In this case, those wishing to cut off debate and move toward a vote on the amendment were 4 votes short. So the debate goes on…

    From the Senate website…
    cloture – The only procedure by which the Senate can vote to place a time limit on consideration of a bill or other matter, and thereby overcome a filibuster. Under the cloture rule (Rule XXII), the Senate may limit consideration of a pending matter to 30 additional hours, but only by vote of three-fifths of the full Senate, normally 60 votes.

  5. RJL says:

    Oh get serious, becauseimwrong, the Republicans announced a filibuster yesterday on the Webb amendment after a quick head count and pressure from the White House. There is no debate and never was.

  6. Doug Deal says:

    You can tell the worthlessness of this post by the first sentence…

    On the same day that the U.S. Army announced the deaths of three soldiers from Georgia

  7. RJL says:

    One can discern the vacuousness of a comment by its utter failure to pertain to the issue, relying instead on posturing for which there is, apparently, an endless supply.

  8. joe says:

    How long was the recovery period during other wars? Perhaps we ought to consider that as a guideline. Take the average of say Revolutionary, 1812, Civil, WW I, WW II,…Generally, armies are deployed until the conflict is over.

  9. Doug Deal says:

    Joe,

    People’s expectations of the aftermath of war have changed. If the English had one the Revolution, or The War Of 1812, the scaffolds would be running non stop with summary trials to execute the people in opposition to the outcome.

    If Germany had won in WWII, dissent would have been crushed, and the family members of the dissent would have also been executed.

    One reason that wars never seem to be won by “the good guys” with a long term peace is that the more civilized nations are not willing to adopt these tactics. Dictators and such have endless peace because the people causing trouble, their neighbors, friends and family are silenced.

  10. CHelf says:

    Right now it is 15 months in combat theaters and 12 months back home. This was changed a few months back. Is a one to one ratio so bad when it was this already not long ago?

  11. IndyInjun says:

    Rick Day,

    So when we exhaust our troops, who wins?

    I have been reading that the point of utter exhaustion is in the first or second quarter 2008.

    The troops are coming home no matter how many votes Bush and his apologists manage to forestall.

    That is unless Bush, Chambliss, and Cheney want to propose a resumption of the DRAFT to MAN THEIR WAR. Now that would be really something to see!

    After 2008, Bush and Chambliss will be gone, with the later not having much utility as a lobbyist in a veto-proof Dem congress.

    What tiny fragment of America will the GOP manage to hold by continuing to force this war on a rebelling populace?

    Right now, the GOP leaders are looking at death of the party and that is going to make the next few months interesting indeed.

  12. Bull Moose says:

    Saturday Night Live did a funny sketch last year where they had Bush saying that when we exhaust our troops we will just turn to the other men and women in uniform – the US Postal Service, Century 21 Realtors, and all of our prisoners.

  13. TPSoCal says:

    I am tired of people using the phrase “their war, his war, Bush’s war, etc.”. It is our war, America’s war. Whether you agree with it or not, if you are an American citizen, it is your war as well. I have had family and friends fight in this war and they are not fighting for Bush or Cheney, they are fighting for the U.S.A. It may seem trivial to some, but I find it insulting to our service men and women.It trivializes their sacrifices and they are sacrificing a lot. Don’t get me wrong, I am very upset by how this war has been managed, but it is still OUR war, please show some respect.

    Thank you.

  14. Roadkill says:

    I’m a combat vet (Vietnam). We just had to make it 365 days. I can’t imagine being thrown back into combat again and again, year after year, for longer and longer tours with less and less time between tours, until death or (less likely) old age gets you out of it. BushCheney’s war has no end. If we’re bound and determined to grind our soldiers into the dirt, at least give them a decent break between tours. (Maybe if Sax hadn’t had “bad knees” or a weak spine or whatever in the 60’s, he’d have a little more compassion.

  15. RJL says:

    Ditto from another Viet Nam vet.

    The peak of hypocracy is an old draft dodger leading the fight to prevent even a vote on a measure that would provide adequate dwell time (read “readiness”) for volunteer troops that are already over extended.

    Except for the Republican filibuster and the rules on cloture, this amendment would have passed; which underscores just how important it was to Shameless to protect Bush over the needs of the military and our combat troops.

    Disgraceful.

  16. IndyInjun says:

    No, it’s not our war.

    We refuse to PAY for it and we REFUSE to participate in it with the our lives or those of our families.

    There was a glorious period after 9/11 when the PEOPLE came together and would made the SACRIFICES to get to energy independence, to pursue a war against Pakistan, the real enemy, and to make substative change in America. Instead we were given a pass and asked to go out and SPEND.

    This lunacy must never be forgotten, but then the lessons of Vietnam were not going to be forgotten, either.

    It is what happens when we elect fools and thieves to office.

    OK, they are OUR fools and thieves, maybe.

    The $trillions in debt they have run up are certainly ours, but it is their war.

  17. Roadkill says:

    OK, it’s “our” war. A large majority of us now know “we” were duped into it and have been lied to from the beginning and “we” want it to stop. So, since it’s “our” war and “we” want it to stop, why isn’t it stopping? Perhaps because it isn’t really “our” war.

  18. Rogue109 says:

    RJL and CHelf: Interesting comments. Yes, I have read the Webb Amendment. If the DoD is against the Webb Amendment, should that have any sway? Because, with CHelf’s “Korea” example…I *believe* I’ve read in Army Times that the Chiefs are against the proposal.

  19. RJL says:

    Rogue – The views of DoD should always be considered and were in this case, just as DoD has told Congress that, even in the current churn rotation, we begin to exhaust troop supply and readiness in Q1 of ’08. And, if you read the Webb amendment, you are aware of various Presidential certifications that can adjust troop rotations in critical situations.

    Thus, with knowledge that under the current churn we exhaust readiness in Q1, Shameless and others institute a last-minute filibuster of an amendment that the Whip knows will otherwise pass by majority, so as to raise the vote to 60 in clear preference of protecting Bush over any semblance of concern for military readiness and the troops fighting this disaster. And you think this is valid and proper? Competant? Supporting our troops?

    If you want to know the thinking of military officers who are no longer under the pressure of the chain of command, see http://webb.senate.gov/pdf/MOAAletterofsupport.pdf

    Just as in Viet Nam, the political and military leadership of this war knows — knows — that the outcome will not be as planned, projected and voiced. This is a scramble to avoid disaster and save face. And in the interim, young American troops are being treated by Shameless and others as simple cannon fodder until they can find ways to appear less stupid.

    This is not a simple disagreement on policy. This is flat-out cover your ass on the backs of volunteer soldiers.

    It is telling that Republicans who raised hell with Bush and Shameless over immigration stand silent when the same idots foresake our troops.

  20. TPSoCal says:

    Well I guess I am from the old school where we actually support our nation even during hard times. Today, everyone just wants to whine.

    So if we end this war via surrender, what then? They say it will take 1 year to retreat fully if we leave all our equipment and 2 years if we bring all the equipment home.

    Trust me, I would LOVE it if we could “end” the wat, I just think we shouldn’t surrender. The consequences are too much.

  21. IndyInjun says:

    So we reinstate the draft to MAN the war and pay a 15% surtax to PAY for it?

    Printing money out of thin air and abusing the concept of the volunteer army mean that these are the commitments that must be made to ‘win’

    Its the Iraqis’ country. Let them do it.

  22. IndyInjun says:

    Clarification – We have taken the money printing and volunteerism to the point of exhaustion. I am inviting those demanding ‘victory’ to ante up their own flesh and blood and their life savings.

    Oh, y’all aren’t THAT COMMITTED are y’all?

  23. TPSoCal says:

    Indy,

    Honestly, what do you think would happen if we just left? I am not trying to be snotty, I am really interested in what people who want to leave believe will happen if we do. What should we do and how should we do it. I want this war to end, I have family and friends directly involved in this war (yes, they were actually in Iraq), I want them not to have to go back. Give me solution, I am open to any and all ideas.

  24. IndyInjun says:

    The way it is beginning to look, the only way to bring this charade to an end is to vote Indy or Dem.

    Actually the more likely scenario is for Bush to overplay his hand and try to attack Iran, whereupon the generals would mutiny, and the Congress would impeach he and his “other-priorities-than-to-serve” puppetmaster.

    The most immediate way is for all of us duped conservatives to march on Washington and melt the phone lines to our congressional delegation.

    All is needed is to do this in Georgia and shock the GOP into the reality that it is dead as the Dodo if it continues backing this lunacy.

  25. RJL says:

    TPSoCal — Part of the problem you face is a result of what Indy refers to as the “duped” effect of still believing this is a war about 9/11 and protecting America. This is now a civil war, the core emotion driver of which is a dispute over which Caliph correctly transmitted the words and forklore of Muhammed some 1,400 years ago, with a political driver of power and oil revenue combined with years of resentment.

    And for that we’re wasting lives and $10 Billion — that’s Billion – per month. That’s $330 million per day.

    If you need to think in terms of win/lose, try thinking about win/lose in terms of America’s long term national security interests, which are currently bogged down while exhausting the military and layering $750 BB in debt for future generations. Those interests are not to be found in an insurgent conflict within a civil war within a failing state within a hostile region.

    There is no good answer for Iraq. We must now think in terms of the best answer for America.

    Which, again, is why the actions of Shameless on the Webb amendment yesterday are so appalling.

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