|"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast"
|"The liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that watereth, shall be watered also himself."
-- Proverbs 11:25
On Wednesday, Durbin portrayed the Shiite-led government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki as falling apart and said Iraq's political landscape was in a state of disintegration. He said at least one U.S. officer on the ground told him that the current 15-month deployments are taking a toll.
In the debate in Washington, the White House reportedly will ask Congress for an additional $50 billion to expand funding for the war in Iraq, a request that seems likely to prolong troop levels at their current elevated number into the spring of 2008, Durbin said.
Even opponents of the war, as Durbin calls himself, find themselves likely to vote for the extra money, he said. "When it comes to the budget, I face a dilemma that some of my colleagues do," he said.
He voted against the war "but felt that I should always provide the resources for the troops in the field," Durbin said. "But it's now reached a point where we have got to change the way we appropriate this money."
Though he said he is likely to approve the increased request -- it would accompany a pending request for an additional $147 billion in war funding -- Durbin said he would work to attach conditions to it that would require troops to begin coming home in the spring.