Monday, April 30, 2007

Sam Brownback joins Joe Biden on plan to partition Iraq

From The Hill:
Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) said yesterday that the Bush administration and Republicans are not doing enough politically in Iraq and that he and fellow presidential candidate Sen. Joseph Biden (D-Del.) have been in talks about introducing a bill that would call for partitioning Iraq into three states.

Brownback said he met with Vice President Cheney and others last week to discuss his and Biden’s plan but that the administration is not devoting sufficient attention to a political solution to the problems in Iraq. Instead, he said, it is relying too heavily on force and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

“They have a strategy, and it’s dominated by military and Maliki,” he said.

Brownback and Biden’s idea would split Iraq into Kurdish, Sunni and Shiite states under a weak central government. Asked if the administration was interested in hearing about the idea, Brownback hesitated noticeably before remarking, “They’re interested in hearing some about it.

“I think the Republican Party, in this case, has pushed too much of just a military solution,” Brownback said. “I don’t think the Democrats are much interested in talking now that they see the political advantage of where they are. The solution involves both of these answers.”
Brownback voted with the majority of Republican Senators against the current Iraq war supplemental, which included deadlines for troop withdrawal:
"I believe that announcing a timetable for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq threatens to give a victory to the terrorists," said Brownback. "Congress should not use a binding resolution to mandate the length of our presence in Iraq. Our commitment should be driven by the mission we must complete."
The article also mentions his reversal on the McCain/Kennedy immigration bill which would provide illegal immigrants with a path to citizenship. He had supported it, now opposes it.

The devout Catholic also breaks with his party on the death penalty:
On the death penalty, Brownback said he would not enforce his personal view and move to restrict its use if he becomes president. He calls himself “pro-life, whole-life,” and only believes in capital punishment in cases where society cannot be protected from the perpetrator — someone like Osama bin Laden, he said.

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