David Espo for AP reports: Senate Republicans are growing increasingly nervous defending the war in Iraq, and Democrats more confident in their attempts to end it. (…) "Cut and run," has largely come and gone as an insult to hurl at Democrats, as Republicans themselves contemplate a change in course. (…) "Today's mission is focused on al-Qaida," said Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., reflecting what other administration allies in Congress say privately. (…) But focusing attention on al-Qaida raises familiar questions: Were terrorists present in Iraq before the 2003 invasion and what would happen if U.S. forces departed? According to several officials, Sen. George Voinovich, R-Ohio, and McCain engaged in a brief, impromptu debate touching on that point recently at a private meeting of the rank and file. Voinovich said the Sunni and Shiites in Iraq would together drive al-Qaida from their country if the U.S. were not there. McCain took the opposite view. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity, noting that the meeting was private.
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