Monday, August 14, 2006

Two Takes on Lieberman and Foreign Policy

Two interesting editorials today on Lieberman and his foreign policy views:

First, Spencer Ackerman of (the normally Lieberman-supporting) The New Republic, writing in the American Prospect, takes Senator Lieberman's reputation as a foreign policy expert to task:

Leave aside Lieberman's unseemly eagerness to paint his opponent as a jihadist cat's-paw. There's a bigger problem with his pitch: Lieberman isn't strong on defense at all.
But belligerence isn't the same thing as wisdom -- and hawkishness does not always lead to a safer America. Lieberman has, of course, been the most vigorous Democratic defender of the Iraq quagmire, which has laid waste to U.S. defense capabilities in a way that not even Vietnam was able to. Many have asked why Lieberman has been the lone Democratic hawk to face a vigorous liberal primary challenge, and the answer is surely complex. But part of it may be that while other Democratic hawks emphasize the risks of withdrawal, Lieberman is unique among Democrats in defending the wisdom of the invasion itself, a position so inexplicable as to be nearly insane. Indeed, Lieberman's judgment on defense questions is like that of a stopped clock: the hawkish position, applied consistently, has to be right sooner or later. What Lieberman is asking Connecticut -- and the Democratic Party, and the country -- to accept is that the only secure America is a bellicose America. And that position is a guarantee of future Iraqs.

Also, the Courant has an editorial from Frank Harris, III, the chairman of the Journalism Department at Southern Connecticut State University, who wonders why Senator Lieberman is comfortable condemning the lies of Presidents about sex but not about war:

Eight years ago, the senator righteously called out Clinton for his moral indiscretion and his lies regarding Monica Lewinsky - the sex lies; yet since the Iraq war, the senator has remained silent regarding the lies of George W. -the war lies.

For those who may have forgotten, amid the troops coming home in body bags and bandages, not to mention the thousands of civilian casualties and the further destabilization of the Middle East - George W. and his administration have, in effect, looked into the eyes of the American people and lied about the reasons for going to war in Iraq.

Remember the weapons of mass destruction and the assertion that Iraq was complicit in the terrorism of Sept. 11, 2001, and that there was indisputable proof?

If Lieberman were consistent in applying moral outrage to immoral, disgraceful behavior that damages the country - as he did with Bill about Monica - he would find gaping holes in the Bush administration's war in Iraq.


Anonymous said...

I like the election maps. Very nice touch. Looking forward to reading your stuff through the election.


Don Pesci said...

On the slender chance that anyone would like to generate a real debate on issues presented by Gabe, here are three pieces touching on similar subjects:

Jonah Goldberg on the Nedheads

Joel C. Rosenberg, a one-time aide to former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Deputy Prime Minister Natan Sharanskyon Mike Wallace’s missed opportunities

And David Hanson, professor emeritus of classics at CSU-Fresno, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, and the author most recently of A War Like No Other, on the challenge in the Middle East

FatGuyinMiddleSeat said...

These editorials are fine articulations of points made here and elsewhere.

Scott Rasmussen was on with Hannity & Other- said his internals demonstrated that over 50% of Lamont voters support impeachment of the President, presumably over the war.

A great idea, guys! Let's overreach and try to impeach a President in wartime. Why can't you just let a sinking ship sink? Jeepers. That's the kind of stuff that makes unaffils nervous.

FatGuyinMiddleSeat said...

This 'delete the "Sharpton-Jackson" sidenote' is interesting. I don't know what anon's motivations / insinuations are- but Ned deliberately availed himself of Sharpton, Jackson and Waters solely for an appeal to the urban, African-American vote. Both campaigns went aggressively after this pocket- I don't know what the cross-tabs are, but I don't think this vote broke decisively. Could be wrong. (My gut tells me Ned thought he would do better...)

Ned made a choice to avail himself of the support / efforts of these three individuals. (They did not, to my knowledge campaign in Cornwall, Trumbull or New Canaan.) What concerns me is the trio's ideology. (If Dennis Kucinich, Noam Chomsky or Ramsey Clark campaigned for Ned, I'd be equally concerned.) I mean, Jesse Jackson has been irrelevant for years, so just skip him. He's acheived relic status. Sharpton's infamous history is well-known, but he's practically a centrist compared with Maxine Waters.

There is an important tactical issue here- and we can't ignore it. I am interested to see if Ned continues to keep the crowd from the podium on 8/8 with him on the podia he uses through the rest of the campaign. My guess is that he will attempt to use the 8/9 podium, but do you really think Dodd and Blumenthal will actively campaign for Ned? Sheesh.

But, I do think that just repeating this Sharpton-Jackson thing over and over again (in a total vacuum) is tiresome and perhaps less than wholesome in motivation.

Anonymous said...

Ah yes, the big tent. Lieberman supporters complain that the tent isn't big enough for them, but then they suggest that people like Sharpton and Jackson shouldn't be in the tent.

Ned is gaining support from across the spectrum, from Sharpton to Reid. That is sure a larger tent than Lieberman's party of one.

sharpton-jackson guy said...

Funny how Joe's support of George Bush and the war can be said a thousand times a day by the anti-Joe crowd for the past 4 months and nobody complains. But the discussion of Ned aligning himself with the two most divisive people in America, Sharpton & Jackson has become tiresome.

I know I will continue to exercise my right to free speech and let everyone know that the Connecticut Democratic Party has gone in the wrong direction and people like Sharpton & Jackson have become their leaders and head cheerleaders for Ned Lamont. Since their has been no discussion of African American Maxine Waters also on the same stage, the attempts by the anti-Joe crowd to turn this into a racial issue is exactly what Democratic leaders Jesse Jackson & Al Sharpton are most famous for so you are free to follow your leaders.

Authentic Connecticut Republican said...

It's hardly Lieberman's fault that Harris isn't in contact with reality.

Anonymous said...

There are a lot of good African American leaders in both partys but no tent is ever big enough for race baitors like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. Connecticut Democrats should hang their heads in shame for associating themselves with them.

Authentic Connecticut Republican said...

Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. Connecticut Democrats should hang their heads in shame for associating themselves with them.

They're both rather colorful characters and Jackson might well be the finest orator of our time.

It's not my habit to defend Dems however.

Chris MC said...

OK Fat Guy, impeaching a President in wartime is probably overreaching, but that isn't the real problem with it.

The REAL problem? President CHENEY.

So, here's my plan. Let's take the House, impeach CHENEY, and begin the full-blown forensics on everybody else.

Anonymous said...

i think it would be interesting to know if sharpton or jackson received any money for their appearances (either directly or to their charities)...

The True Gentleman said...

DP, I'll take a quick shot at this debate (as it concerns foreign policy issues related to Iran) and mention what my concerns are with Mr. Lamont. On Iran, Mr. Lamont has stated: "We should work diplomatically and aggressively to give them reasons why they don't need to build a bomb, to give them incentives. . . . I'd like to use carrots as well as sticks to see if we can change the nature of the debate."

Unless I am mistaken (and I am not), our allies (England, France, etc.) have been using the "carrot" approach for the past three years to no avail. In fact, the Iranians have increased their efforts to enrich uranium during that time period. If you recall, Iran is the same country that has publicly called for the destruction of Israel. I personally do not believe that a "carrot" approach should be taken with a nation that has made such comments.