Democrat senators decided to pull an all-nighter at the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to persuade warmongering Republicans to adopt their plan for ending the war in Iraq.
According to an Associated Press news report, Democrats knew going into the great debate they did not have the votes necessary to achieve their objective but were none-the-less undeterred.
Republican Olympia Snowe of Maine supported the Democrat position: withdraw the troops from Iraq in 120 days. Waxing eloquent, she said at a news conference also attended by Republican Sen. Gordon Smith of Oregon, “"We are at the crossroads of hope and reality, and the time has come to address reality." Snowe accused the Iraqi government of "serial intransigence,” in failing to suppress terrorists, many imported from Syria and Iran. According to the AP report, Smith, who is seeking re-election next year, “said that Iraqis appeared focused on ‘revenge, not reconciliation’ and that the administration needed to change its approach. 'The American mission is to make sure that Iraq doesn't fall into the hands of al-Qaida,’ he said, rather than referee a civil war.”
It is not known whether Smith or Snowe believe that the Iraqis focused on revenge will be able to fend off the terrorists supported by Syria and Iran within the time period specified in the legislation they supported once American troops have withdrawn from the country, thus preventing the country from falling into the hands of al-Qaida.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California, according to the report, was expected to attend festivities arranged by MoveOn.org., prominent among them “A candlelight vigil and rally across the street from the Capitol.” The senator from MoveOn.org did not on this occasion express any view concerning what might happen in Iraq should Democrats and the Republicans who joined them be successful in passing the measure for which they voted, nor is it expected she will do so at any of the more than 130 events around the country MoveOn.org has arranged to coincide with the Senate debate.