Joe Lieberman - US needs to finish what we started in Iraq
I received an e-mail this morning from the ConservaMom regarding Senator Joseph Lieberman's recent comments in support of our troops, the war, and our continuing to fight there until we're done. As you can imagine, I almost fell out of my chair. A Democrat? With cajones? No way.
Yes, way, apparently:
To: Friends and Supporters
From: Gary L. Bauer, Chairman
Campaign for Working Families
Date: Tuesday, November 29, 2005
A Democrat Defends Bush?
Today’s Wall Street Journal features an editorial by Democrat Senator Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut defending President Bush’s stand in the Iraq war. Senator Lieberman spent Thanksgiving with our troops, and the visit was his fourth in the past 17 months. Here are some excerpts:
“Progress is visible and practical. In the Kurdish North, there is continuing security and growing prosperity. The primarily Shiite South remains largely free of terrorism, receives much more electric power and other public services than it did under Saddam, and is experiencing greater economic activity. …
“None of these remarkable changes would have happened without the coalition forces led by the U.S. And, I am convinced, almost all of the progress in Iraq and throughout the Middle East will be lost if those forces are withdrawn faster than the Iraqi military is capable of securing the country.
“The leaders of Iraq's duly elected government understand this, and they asked me for reassurance about America's commitment. The question is whether the American people and enough of their representatives in Congress from both parties understand this. I am disappointed by Democrats who are more focused on how President Bush took America into the war in Iraq almost three years ago, and by Republicans who are more worried about whether the war will bring them down in next November's elections, than they are concerned about how we continue the progress in Iraq in the months and years ahead.
“Here is an ironic finding I brought back from Iraq. While U.S. public opinion polls show serious declines in support for the war and increasing pessimism about how it will end, polls conducted by Iraqis for Iraqi universities show increasing optimism. Two-thirds say they are better off than they were under Saddam, and a resounding 82% are confident their lives in Iraq will be better a year from now than they are today. What a colossal mistake it would be for America's bipartisan political leadership to choose this moment in history to lose its will and, in the famous phrase, to seize defeat from the jaws of the coming victory.”
Well, after a bit of Googling and reading and whatnot, I found that it is, indeed true. And has been true for years. Apparently Joe's been called a "Republicrat" for his stance on the war since around 2003. Shall we lump him in with Zell or is it a bit premature for that?
Perhaps you know all about this and this isn't news. But it's news to me and therefore I need to share it with you. Mostly because it shocked the holy heck out of me.
First, from Iraq, Lieberman supports what we're doing over there:
"We cannot let extremists and terrorists, a small number, here in Iraq deprive the 27 million Iraqis of what they want which is a better freer life, safer life for themselves and their children" Lieberman said after his meeting with Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari.Okay, then. Moving on to his Senate floor statement from November 15th...
It is no surprise to my colleagues that I strongly supported the war in Iraq. I was privileged to be the Democratic cosponsor, with the Senator from Virginia, of the authorizing resolution which received overwhelming bipartisan support. As I look back on it and as I follow the debates about prewar intelligence, I have no regrets about having sponsored and supported that resolution because of all the other reasons we had in our national security interest to remove Saddam Hussein from power – a brutal, murdering dictator, an aggressive invader of his neighbors, a supporter of terrorism, a hater of the United States of America. He was, for us, a ticking time bomb that, if we did not remove him, I am convinced would have blown up, metaphorically speaking, in America's face.
I am grateful to the American military for the extraordinary bravery and brilliance of their campaign to remove Saddam Hussein. I know we are safer as a nation, and to say the obvious that the Iraqi people are freer as a people, and the Middle East has a chance for a new day and stability with Saddam Hussein gone.
We will come to another day to debate the past of prewar intelligence. But let me say briefly the questions raised in our time are important. The international intelligence community believed Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. Probably most significant, and I guess historically puzzling, is that Saddam Hussein acted in a way to send a message that he had a program of weapons of mass destruction. He would not, in response to one of the 17 U.N. Security Council resolutions that he violated, declare he had eliminated the inventory of weapons of mass destruction that he reported to the U.N. after the end of the gulf war in 1991.
The President himself actually singled out Mr. Lieberman for praise at a press conference on November 20th.
Among other things, he said "the progress in Iraq is amazing" and rejected Murtha's complaint about Vice President Cheney, who received five deferments during the Vietnam war, questioning the "backbone" of Iraq war critics who had served in battle. "I don't think the Vice President's service is relevant in this debate," Bush said.
He also hailed "fine Democrats like Senator Joe Lieberman share the view that we must prevail in Iraq."
As to be expected, out there on Google and Blogger and other search sites, there are venomous "open letters" and such to good ol' Joe, blasting him for daring to support what we're doing over there. I'm suprised he hasn't been smeared from here to Timbuktu yet. I'm sure his Democrat colleagues will find a way soon enough.
Oh, and this is relatively unrelated, but I found this from Right Wing News that I think ya'll will find worth reading and keeping for future reference.