Hawaii senators vote to withdraw troops from Iraq
Vote fell short of number needed to advance the measure
Hawaii Democratic Sens. Daniel Inouye and Daniel Akaka were on the losing side today as Senate Republicans turned back legislation to force the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.
The 52-47 vote fell short of the 60 needed to advance the legislation.
The Democratic proposal would have required President Bush to start bringing home troops within 120 days and to complete the pullout by April 30.
Inouye said in a news release issued by his Washington office that the president has never made the case for war.
"The war in Iraq, which was supposed to be a pre-emptive strike against our foes in the global war on terrorism, has devolved into a civil war, and it has become a recruitment tool for al-Qaeda," Inouye said.
"With the situation getting worse in Iraq, the administration continues to turn a deaf ear to the American public, and insists that we continue to follow its failed course in Iraq. Instead, we need a new direction," he said.
Inouye called again for a redeployment of troops from Iraq with the U.S. "leaving the battlefield with honor."
He said Iraq must assume responsibility for its own destiny.
"It must decide if it wants to stop internecine warfare," he said. "We cannot do that for them."
Akaka spoke in favor of the legislation during an all-night session.
"Already, too many lives have been lost, too many men and women have been wounded and permanently injured, and too many spouses, parents and children have suffered the pain of separation and, too often, permanent loss of a loved one," Akaka said.
"Yet, according to the new National Intelligence Estimate, al-Qaeda is growing stronger and we are no closer to achieving a sustainable security in Iraq," he said. "We must make it clear to the Iraqi political leaders: the future of Iraq is in their hands, and they must learn to reach the political compromises necessary for a functioning democracy."