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Quotes from the Senate debate on Iraq

Select quotations from the Senate debate Wednesday on whether to set a plan for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq:

_Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich.: "This administration's refrain that we're in Iraq as long as the Iraqis need us is creating a dependency of unlimited duration and gives the Iraqis the impression that their security is more in our hands than in theirs."

_Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb.: "The American people want to see serious debate about serious issues from serious leaders. They deserve more than a political debate. This debate should transcend cynical attempts to turn public frustration with the war in Iraq into an electoral advantage. It should be taken more seriously than simply retreat into focus group-tested buzzwords and phrases like `cut and run,' catchy political slogans that debase the seriousness of war. War is not a partisan issue."

_Sen. John Warner, R-Va.: "There is clear proof that our many sacrifices to date are beginning to produce concrete, visible results that cannot be challenged. And to think at this time we would take any action on this floor to set back that momentum. ... I see this amendment as impeding the progress."

_Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I.: "Today, a majority of Americans would like to see a deadline to withdraw our forces from Iraq. They're not unpatriotic. They're not without grit and determination. They are terribly concerned and they're looking for leadership."

_Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.: ``There is an understandable desire three years after our invasion to seek a quick and easy end to our intervention in Iraq. We face real difficulties there. We've made serious mistakes and the costs have been very high. But these would pale in comparison to what is likely to unfold should we follow the course advocated by this resolution."

_Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y.: "It is time to choose whether or not we believe we have the right road map for success in Iraq. While our troops are serving bravely with our national security in the balance, it is time to choose what is more important: a strategy to win in Iraq or a strategy for Republicans to win elections here at home."


(c) 2006, Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services.