Saying that the United States cannot "continue to put our troops at continuous risk of loss of life and limb without beginning to take some decisive action," one of the Senate's most influential Republicans today called on President Bush to begin withdrawing troops from Iraq.
Virginia Sen. John Warner said the president, not Congress, should set a timetable for withdrawing at least some of the U.S. troops now serving in Iraq. But he said that a timetable does need to be set, and that the first troops -- perhaps 5,000 of them -- should begin arriving home by Christmas.
Warner said that the government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has "let our troops down," and that beginning the process of bringing some of them home is the only way to show the Iraqis that America's commitment to them is "not open-ended."
Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.