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Democrats pledge to put restraints on Bush's war policy
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09:16, July 11, 2007

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U.S. Senate Democrats said on Tuesday that they would push forward with legislation to impose restraints on the Bush's administration's policy on the Iraq war, arguing that the president's military buildup this year "has done absolutely nothing to lessen the violence in Iraq."

Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader, told reporters that since the military "surge" ordered by President George W. Bush early this year, more than 600 soldiers had been killed in Iraq and over 60 billion U.S. dollars had been spent on the war.

"The escalation has done nothing to bring the Iraqi government together. It's done absolutely nothing to lessen the violence in Iraq," he said.

He vowed that the Senate would push forward with legislation " that has some teeth in it, that means something to the American people."

"The American people are outraged. They're demanding a change of policy in Iraq. We're going to do that," he said.

Reid said Democrats would introduce two "extremely important" amendments, with one requiring the administration allow U.S. troops to stay inside the United States for 15 months after a 15- month deployment aboard. The other amendment would set a 120-day redeployment guideline and a deadline of May 1 next year that all American troops need to be out of Iraq except for counterterrorism, force protection, and training the Iraqis.

In Cleveland, Ohio, Bush launched a campaign to defend his Iraq war policy, following a number of Senate Republicans broke with him over Iraq.

"Failure in Iraq would have serious consequences for the security of your children and your grandchildren," Bush warned in a speech to the Greater Cleveland Partnership.

On his military buildup in Iraq, Bush said it was in the country's interests to give the top U.S. commander in Iraq a change to fully implement his operations, and "Congress ought to wait for General Petraeus to come back and give his assessment of the strategy that he's putting in place before they make any decisions."

After Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, reports back whether the strategy was working, "then we can work together on a way forward," he said.

Meanwhile, the U.S. public's opposition to the Iraq war has reached a record high, a new poll published on Tuesday found.

Sixty-two percent of Americans now said it was a mistake for the United States to send troops to Iraq, the first time that number has topped 60 percent, according to a USA Today/Gallup poll published on Tuesday.

More than seven in 10 people favor removing nearly all U.S. troops from Iraq by April next year, and one in five Americans said the increase in U.S. forces in Iraq since January has made the situation there better, while half said it has not made a difference.

Source: Xinhua

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