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Senators invoke Confederacy, Mandela to defend amnesty for insurgents

RAW STORY
Published: Thursday June 15, 2006

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Five Republican Senators today took to the chamber floor invoking Nelson Mandela, the Confederacy, and even the Japanese to defend an Iraqi government plan to grant amnesty for insurgents who have attacked United States troops, or civilians, RAW STORY has learned.

Iraqi leadership has proposed amnesty for insurgents as part of the foundation of a new government.

“If they bore arms against our people," said Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska, "What's the difference between those people that bore arms against the Union in the War between the States? What’s the difference between the Germans and Japanese and all the people we’ve forgiven?”

Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) likened the granting of amnesty to former insurgents to efforts that earned Nelson Mandela a Nobel prize. "Forgiveness," he said, "has been a major factor in what has been a political miracle in Africa."

Senator Saxby Chambliss argued that forgiveness had already been at work in Iraq, asking: “Is it not true today that we have Iraqis who are fighting the war against the insurgents, who at one time fought against American troops and other coalition troops as they were marching to Baghdad, who have now come over to our side and are doing one heck of a job of fighting along, side by side, with Americans and coalition forces, attacking and killing insurgents on a daily basis?"

Majority Whip Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and John Cornyn (R-TX) each took to the floor to argue that there should be no argument--that debate over whether or not to condemn the actions of the new government were merely distractions from real debate.

“…Might it not just be as useful an exercise to be trying to pass a resolution commending the Iraqi government for the position that they’ve taken today with regard to this discussion of Amnesty?” asked McConnell.


 

 
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