murraymugshot.jpg
Murray the dove is looking a bit hawkish.
Back in Oct. 2002, the country was still reeling from the Sept. 11 attacks. With the country

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Patty Murray Breaks With Senate Doves on Afghanistan

murraymugshot.jpg
Murray the dove is looking a bit hawkish.
Back in Oct. 2002, the country was still reeling from the Sept. 11 attacks. With the country high on patriotism, fear and Colin Powell's insistence that weapons of mass destruction were hiding in Iraq, nearly everyone in the United States Senate voted for a resolution giving then-President Bush authority to declare war.

Not Patty Murray. She was one of 23 senators that rolled the political dice and voted "nay." As the war dragged on and the mission continued unaccomplished, Murray and her colleagues have been cast as, at the least, prescient, and at times heroic.

But this time around, that group of Senators is splintering and Murray is one of four that have declared their support for the current President's plan to send thousands more men and women to fight, this time in Afghanistan.

Last night, Barack Obama called for bolstering the forces in Afghanstian by 30,000. Unlike his predecessor, he put those committed forces on a timetable, saying he will begin withdrawing them at the end of the summer and have all combat troops out by the end of 2011.

Following the President's address, Murray said she had concerns about the costs in terms of both dollars and potential lives, but "the President made a compelling and responsible case for redoubling the fight against terrorism in Afghanistan in order to protect the American people and bring our troops home."

She is joined by Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, and Jack Reed, D-R.I.

It would, of course, be impossible to hold the coalition together completely. Eight of those 23 Senators have vacated their seats through retirement or death. Of those that remain, another four didn't issue a statement.

Of the remaining seven who didn't sign on with immediate support, four remain ambivalent, including Obama's former colleague from Illinois Dick Durbin who said: "President Obama asked for time to make his decision on a new policy in Afghanistan. I am going to take some time to think through the proposal he presented tonight."

Expressing more direct opposition are Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and Russ Feingold, D-Wisc. who wins the "least diplomatic" award in calling Obama's plan "an expensive gamble to undertake armed nation-building on behalf of a corrupt government of questionable legitimacy."

 
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