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August 21, 2007
Levin Demands Maliki's Ouster
Although conceding that military progress has been made in Iraq, Senator Carl Levin (D-MI), Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, has called on the Iraqi parliament to get rid of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and replace him with a "less sectarian and more unifying prime minister and government."
Levin is just back from a trip to Iraq where he said that military progress was noticeable:
Levin was unambiguous. Like other Democrats, he hailed the work of U.S. forces and an increasingly capable Iraqi army. Ten of the Iraqi army's 12 divisions are now trained, Levin said, and by year's end, an 11th will be ready.
Even so, he said, those forces will not take control until U.S. troops stand down. Levin stood by his timeline for beginning troop withdrawals within four months, with most U.S. forces out by the middle of next year
Other Democrats who have returned from Iraq, however, seem to be leaning toward giving General Petreaus more time. Rep. Tim Mahoney (D-Fla.) said that the troop increase ""has really made a difference and really has gotten on their heels." And just recently, Representative Tim Baird (D-WA) said that he would no longer vote for withdrawal timelines.
The President is contemplating the idea of having Genearl Petreaus give his report to Congress on September 11 which has elicted cries of outrage from some Democrats, accusing the President of politicizing 9/11. Whenever Petreaus speaks, it will be interesting to see the reaction by some Democrats who may break from their leadership in voting to give the General more time.