Monday, September 25, 2006

Lieberman Slams Lamont on Iraq

Take Two

Joe Lieberman's big speech on Iraq today had a lot of the same attacks on Ned Lamont that we've seen before, with a few sort-of new proposals thrown in. Some excerpts from the AP:
"The clear choice before Connecticut's voters in this campaign is Ned Lamont's plan for giving up on Iraq and my plan for getting the job done there," Lieberman said in a speech at a Veterans of Foreign Wars post.
"The Lamont plan for immediate withdrawal and an arbitrary deadline is doomed to fail and weaken our security," Lieberman said. "It will leave our troops more vulnerable to attack while they remain, and will leave Iraq to become a failed state and a terrorist breeding ground when were gone."
In his speech, Lieberman proposed replacing Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, doubling or tripling the number of American soldiers embedded in Iraqi units and increasing the size of the Army and Marines to better prepare for global conflicts.
Lieberman warned against withdrawing troops too soon, saying such a move would embolden terrorists and spark an all-out civil war in Iraq. But he also says he does not support an open-ended deployment of U.S. forces in Iraq.
"We have to realize that reasonable people can disagree on this difficult question, and that does not make you a terrorist sympathizer, on the one hand, or a warmonger, on the other," the senator said.

A few things:

1. If American troops are embedded with Iraqi troops, won't that leave a lot of holes? How will those be covered? We can't reasonably expect Iraqi troops to cover them right away, especially given their past performance.

2. How does he expect to expand the size of the military, given current recruitment? It isn't as they're lining up around the block at recruitment centers. If they were, we wouldn't need stop-loss.

3. Putting those things together... is this a call for a draft?

4. There are a few shades of meaning between what Lieberman says not to do in the last quote, and what he actually does in the first and second ones. He's not outright calling Lamont a terrorist sympathizer. He's implying that Lamont is more of a terrorist emboldener. But how far is that, really, from that guy who dresses up as a terrorist and holds up a "We Support Lamont" sign?

But otherwise, there wasn't much that I saw that was terribly new or different from what Lieberman has said before. He is still against timelines and leaving too soon. He still thinks Lamont's plans are reckless. He's already stated that he wants Rumsfeld gone, and that he wants to strengthen the Iraqi military.

"Lieberman says troop pullout timelines 'doomed to fail'." Associated Press 25 September, 2006.


Anonymous said...


Not to split hairs here but when you say How does he expect to expand the size of the military, given current recruitment? you aren't exactly correct in the assumption the numbers are still down. Now I fully realize this is one month and certainly doesn't show any trend but in the August report from the armed forces they showed the following:

10,492 recruits out of a goal of 10,050
Recruited 4,090 out of a goal of 4,090
Recruited 4,320 out of a goal of 4,053
Air Force
3,167 recruited out of a goal of 3,156

Active duty retention: All services are projected to meet their retention goals for the current fiscal year.

This is up a fair amount from previous months as is shown in these U.S. Military Recruiting Statistics.

Genghis Conn said...


A good point. But those kinds of recruiting numbers aren't expanding the military--they're keeping it where it is numbers-wise. Expanding the military would require recruitment to go way up.

Anonymous said...

Lieberman's speech seems outdated, given Andrew F. Krepinevich, Jr. article in Foreign Affairs.

As a major policy speech, he could have offered some original thought.

bluecoat said...

Lieberfool is a useless windbag looking to keep his job anyway he cam; for the latest prognosis on the missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, check out what the guy in charge said in a face to face interview last week with Jim Leher U.S. General Says Iraq Will Move Stability and here for what the politicians have to say about the NIE put together by 16 spy agencies have said on the Iraq impact on terror proliferation
and some sparring by the US and EU on the terror subject

Anonymous said...

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Way to go bluecoat.

Anonymous said...

The problem with Lieberman's plan, and the Bush plan, is that they're both "Cut-and-Run" — but on a city by city basis. The strategy of "clear-hold-and-build" is actually "clear-hold-and-build-then-leave-and- watchitblowupagain."

We tried the same thing in Vietnam. The problem is we're not fighting an enemy you can identify. The bad guys don't go around wearing shirts that say "Bad Guy". The bad guys are in government, in the military, on the police force.

Unless Lieberman comes up with a solution for those problems, he's just whistling dixie.

joejoejoe said...

Gen. John Abizaid who is running the show in Iraq said, "Given unlimited time and unlimited support, we're winning the war."

That unlimited time and support doesn't happen in the abstract - the resources of the US are finite. If you think the US should devote unlimited time and support to Iraq then vote for Lieberman. If you think that cost is too high then vote Lamont.

It's pretty simple.

bluecoat said...

corrections form the above about Lieberfool, the windbag, and Ned, the clueless, who are running for US Senate in CT neck and neck as Democrats because the CT GOP Central has no clue about national affairs except to work to keep their US House incumbents in place some how or other:U.S. General Says Iraq Will Move Toward Stabilityand

U.S., EU spar in private on terrorism
Mon Sep 25, 2006 12:52pm ET

Pentagon moves to buttress U.S. troop levels in Iraq Reuters
Mon Sep 25, 2006 2:40pm ET

and why not a little from doctor doom and death and divide himself to round things out on this threadCheney says Democrats soft on national security
Mon Sep 25, 2006 2:21pm ET

bluecoat said...

like lamont, joejoejoe is quoting the military commanders, in this case Abizaid, out of context to suit his political point. both Joe and ned are playing games while the military is doing their job, placing their lives at risk evry minute of the day in the Middle East.

Anonymous said...

I heard that as things get worse and worse in Iraq, Matt Lieberman is seriously considering an enlistment. How else to restore the Lieberman's family honor?

Plus Senator Lieberman is still adamant about taking on Iran, which we should have invaded first. Ouch.

David in NY said...

"He's implying that Lamont is more of a terrorist emboldener." That's Joe -- taking the high road again. Glad to see he's doing his part to make our political discourse more civil.

spree said...

Well, if you read what the Director of National Intelligence says about the report.... Joe isn't all that far off.

Statement by the Director of National Intelligence
SEPTEMBER 24, 2006

Statement by the Director of National Intelligence, John D. Negroponte, in response to news reports about the National Intelligence Estimate on Trends in Global Terrorism

"A National Intelligence Estimate is a comprehensive assessment comprised of a series of judgments which are based on the best intelligence our government develops. Characterizing only a small handful of those judgments distorts the broad strategic framework the NIE is assessing . in this case, trends in global terrorism.

"Although the NIE on Global Terrorism is still a classified document, I and other senior intelligence officials have spoken publicly, and in a way consistent with the NIE’s comprehensive assessment, about the challenges and successes we have had in the Global War on Terror. What we have said, time and again, is that while there is much that remains to be done in the war on terror, we have achieved some notable successes against the global jihadist threat.

"We have eliminated much of the leadership that presided over al Qaeda -- our top global terror concern . in 2001, and U.S.-led counterterrorism efforts continued to disrupt its operations, remove its leaders and deplete its cadre. The Estimate highlights the importance of the outcome in Iraq on the future of global jihadism, judging that should the Iraqi people prevail in establishing a stable political
and security environment, the jihadists will be perceived to have failed and fewer jihadists will leave Iraq determined to carry on the fight elsewhere.

"Those statements do nothing to undermine the assessment that we have an enormous and constantly mutating struggle before us in the long war on terror. They simply demonstrate that the conclusions of the Intelligence Community are designed to be comprehensive and viewing them through the narrow prism of a fraction of judgments distorts the broad framework they create."

Seems to me that the Times recieved leaked information, then twisted it a bit, then added a few lies, then shared it with everyone and they might actaully believe their own lies.
I dont.

joejoejoe said...

bluecoat - Here's the entire context from the initial report of Gen. Abizaid's comments.

Washington Post 9/20/06, A1: ""This level will probably have to be sustained through the spring" amid aggressive operations to stabilize Baghdad, said Army Gen. John P. Abizaid, chief of the U.S. Central Command. "I do believe that the secular tensions, if left unchecked, could be fatal to Iraq . . . and the center of the problem is Baghdad. It's the main effort," he told defense reporters.

n a sober assessment, Abizaid, who has overseen the U.S. military strategy in Iraq since July 2003, said he had hoped six months ago for the withdrawal of several thousand U.S. troops from Iraq by now. "We clearly did not achieve the force levels that we had hoped to," he said, citing sectarian unrest, ongoing weaknesses in the capabilities of Iraqi security forces -- in particular the police -- and the five-month political void in the country after the December 2005 national elections.

Asked point-blank whether the United States is winning in Iraq, Abizaid replied: "Given unlimited time and unlimited support, we're winning the war."

The general's comments effectively ended hopes for a big troop withdrawal from Iraq this year, which had long been the military's target for reducing forces."

That is the full context of Gen. Abizaid's remarks as reported by the Post.

AP 9/25/06: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - Senior U.S. commanders have hailed the performance of Iraqi troops. But some U.S. soldiers say the Iraqis serving alongside them are among the worst they've ever seen - seeming more loyal to militias than the government.

That raises doubts whether the Iraqis can maintain order once the security operation is over and the Americans have left. It also raises questions about the training, reliability and loyalty of Iraqi troops."

Is that enought context for you?