Monday, December 04, 2006

Nonpartisan Nagging and Naysaying

This is a period of flux on Iraq. There are a lot of shifting positions out there, and maybe we'll see some new direction soon. John McCain and George Will think that sending more troops is the right way to go. Others favor a gradual pullout--and there are a lot of different ideas about how to do that, as well.

Fortunately, we have Joe Lieberman to tell us what not to do:
Despite mounting pressure from both parties for a change in direction in Iraq, Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, D-Conn., said Sunday that withdrawing American forces would be a "statement of weakness."

"In the end, there has to be an Iraqi political settlement," Lieberman told CBS' "Face the Nation," "but they can't do it without security. And they can't achieve security if we begin to withdraw." (Lightman)

So... how do we do that, then? How do we give the Iraqis more security? More troops? Help from Iran and Syria?
Despite suggestions from others that the U.S. try to talk to Iran and Syria about ways to calm the Iraq violence, Lieberman said such overtures would "missing the reality."

"Asking Iran and Syria to help us succeed in Iraq is about like your local fire department asking a couple of arsonists to help put out the fire," the senator said. "These people are flaming the ire. They are the extremists. They are supporting terrorists in Iraq, in Lebanon and, of course, in the Palestinian areas." (Lightman)

So, okay. We don't do that. What do we do, then?

C'mon, Joe. You were re-elected because you promised to cut through the partisan clutter and get things done. Now's your chance to do just that. Lead on. What do we do? What course do we take?


Lightman, David. "Lieberman Opposes Iraq Pullout." Hartford Courant 4 December, 2006.

Addendum Also notice that David Lightman seems to have forgotten that Lieberman is now an Independent Democrat, thank you very much.


cgg said...

Bah! He's Senator Lieberman CFL.

Unknown said...

I think getting out of this mess requires us to end our dependence on Mideast oil, preferably through both conservation and moving to alternative fuels. Anyone happen to know what Joe is doing on these two fronts… either thru his words or votes?

Anonymous said...

No, Genghis, he is not an "Independent" because CT already has a party with that name, and CT statute says you can't create a party name using words from an already-registered third party or an existing party because it would confuse voters. So we at least have to do the confusing thing of using a lower-case I, as in "independent Democrat".

For the use of "Democrat", see above. He was not elected on the D ticket, he was elected on CFL. But what's that you say? He never registered as a CFL member? Isn't that a little....confusing?

I see a few flurries outside -- how appropriate - it reminds me of the term "snowjob".

Genghis Conn said...

He at some point wanted to be referred to as "Independent Democrat" instead of just "Independent." Apparently this is where his brainpower is going these days.

Anonymous said...

Like the former Yugoslavia, Iraq is not a functioning state without a dictator. Iraq ultimately will splint into three autonomous regions. No amount of US intervention will stop the split. The real question is what happens to the oil fields. The vast amount are in the south and will likely (and hopefully) come under the influence of the Saudis. This will add to their control of world oil markets. Iran, Syria and the Kurds will fight over control of the remaining oil fields. What is uncertain is whether the Saudis actually have the strength to assert and maintain their influence in the region. They are rich, fat and happy.

Dave Mooney said...

For the purposes of an election, Anon 8:45 is correct. CfL exists solely for ballot placement. For the purposes of which letters appear after his name in the press, it's entirely up to him.

It is worth noting that Sen. Sanders (I-VT) and former Sen. Jeffords (I-VT) are not part of the Independant Party. In CT they would be listed on a ballot as a petitioning candidate. Lieberman could have also done that but chose instead to establish a minor party.

Anonymous said...

This is funny. Lieberman is doing what he has always done - taking care of Lieberman and Isreal. Trust some of you are beginning to feel a little abashed at not voting for Lamont? Wait a while and you will be publically doing mea culpas.

Genghis Conn said...

Don't blame me: I voted for Schlesinger!

disgruntled_republican said...


I actually bet a ton of people are wishing they voted for Schlesinger...remember it was Republicans who elected Lieberman and they weren't voting for chance.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:21 has read his history and has made a prediction I would bet money on. The British created Iraq and spent twenty years trying to keep it together till they left with their tails dragging. Only a brutal dictatorship made it "work". The good news is that when we do get out of the way the "iraqs" will be so busy beating one another over the head, for the next ten years, that major regional isses will be ignored.

disgruntled_republican said...

Don't blame me: I voted for Schlesinger!

So did I.

Gabe said...

I'm with Willow and Anon 9:21- since the end of WWI, we have consistently fought wars directly caused by the settlement that ended that war. In Iraq, the victors, in this case mostly GB I think, chose to draw a border that had never previously existed that included three groups of people that had been fueding, oh, since the beginning of time. Like Yugoslavia, everything held together while a strong dictator was in control and now, absent that dictator, things are falling apart.

Genghis Conn said...

That's exactly true, Gabe. The collapse of the Ottoman Empire after WWI caused an awful lot of the problems we face in the Middle East now. The Saudi monarchy, for one. Countries like Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and, yes, Iraq, didn't exist before then. Someone drew lines on a map. These are not nation-states, but arbitrary geographic groupings--rather like Yugoslavia and almost all of Africa.

The Saudis will try to step into the void in Iraq, if only because they believe that if they don't, Iran will. That's much worse. I have little faith in the Saudis to do much outside their own territory, however.

Gabe said...

Or much outside their own interest. If our goal was to foster democracy (I think that was the third goal advanced), having the Saudis enter the equation will not do much to fulfill that goal.

Anonymous said...

turfy would have a hard time defending LIEberman on this. silence noted.