Mar 8, 2014
‘President’ Lieberman: A Cautionary Tale
Posted on Jun 12, 2007
What if Al Gore had won the 2000 presidential election but died in office? Would President Joe Lieberman have been worse than George W. Bush? His recent actions suggest that he could have descended even lower in his illogical and immoral responses to the tragedy of 9/11. Although now an independent, Lieberman provides a cautionary tale for folks who talk of backing “any Democrat” who can win.
At a time when even President Bush has recognized the need for negotiations with Iran in order to stabilize Iraq, where disciples of Tehran’s ayatollahs have risen to power, thanks to the U.S. occupation he fervently supports, Lieberman urges war with Iran. “I think we’ve got to be prepared to take aggressive military action against the Iranians to stop them from killing Americans in Iraq,” he told CBS on Sunday, “and to me, that would include a strike over the border into Iran.”
He never learns. This is the joker who bought the Ahmad Chalabi line that invading Iraq would result in a pro-West and pro-Israel democracy with Chalabi (who later failed to get 1 percent of the vote) playing Iraq’s George Washington. For five years before 9/11, Lieberman pushed funding for Chalabi’s exile organization to lead the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. Lieberman was also a principal author of the 1998 Iraq Liberation Act, which threw $100 million in Chalabi’s direction.
Even as late as June 2004, when Chalabi was exposed by the United States as a spy for Iran, Lieberman continued to profess admiration for the architect of a policy that replaced the secular despot of Iraq with Shiite fundamentalists trained in Iran. “I met Dr. Chalabi and others of the Iraqi National Congress,” he said in a speech defending Chalabi after U.S. intelligence uncovered his contacts with Iranian spies. “It’s fair to say I found them to be patriotic Iraqis. Their counsel to us was important.”
Bush seems to grasp this reality, which is why the United States is now negotiating with the Iranian ambassador in Baghdad, leaving Lieberman to play the role of a hawkish critic of an administration he apparently feels has lost its enthusiasm for yet another disastrous invasion. This is a man whom leading Democrats, including Bill Clinton, supported in his primary campaign against an intelligent Democrat who sought to end the Iraq nightmare.
No surprise there, given Lieberman’s previous apologies for this administration’s assault on the rule of law. Indeed, even after the revelations of torture at Abu Ghraib, Lieberman was able to find a bright spot, noting that “those who were responsible for killing 3,000 Americans on Sept. 11, 2001, never apologized.”
Great. So we are now to be comforted by exceeding the standard set by Osama bin Laden. Lieberman also failed to acknowledge in his statement that the perpetrators of 9/11 had nothing whatsoever to do with Iraq before the invasion. The same can be said for Iran—but that does not quiet Lieberman’s cry for wider war.
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