The Senator from the Independent Lieberman's Party of Connecticut dished a few stinkers today at the American Enterprise Institute (suprising, eh?).
I'm sure his briefers shook their heads in collective disbelief as they listened in on this one . . .
Highlights via the Washington Post.
"The enemy we are fighting is an axis of evil. It is totalitarian. It is inhumane. It has a violent ideology and a goal of expansionism and totalitarianism," Lieberman said. "It threatens our security, our values, our way of life as seriously, in my opinion, as fascism and communism did in the last century."
No he didn't. No he didn't!
"The enemy we are fighting is an axis of evil".
Wow, try to build a war strategy around that one.
Actually we did in 2003 and it was a disaster.
No one needs to be reminded that there are some vicious players out there in the world. No one needs to be reminded that the murder of civilians is flat out wrong.
I understand that Lieberman is trying to play the emotional argument. Here he is invoking things that we already known complete with the inevitable nod to the Cold War and the Nazis.
But from a policy perspective, the moralistic framework is just flat out useless.
This type of muddle-headed, impractical thinking leads to the following type of conclusions.
"Getting out . . . will lead to Iranian expansionism, the creation of an al-Qaeda base in Iraq, and, even more significantly, the intimidation of the moderate forces throughout the region and a drop in confidence in the credibility and strength of the United States of America not just in the Middle East, but throughout the world."
Wait a minute. Wait a minute!
Let's get some baseline facts correct here.
Al-Qaeda in Iraq is involved with the Sunni based insurgency.
Iranian expansionism involves elements of the Shiite based majority government.
My understanding is that these two sides are currently fighting against each other in Iraq.
Ergo, when we withdraw, these two sides will not all of a sudden become friends. The Iranian-backed Shiite government will not welcome an al-Qaeda backed Sunni base of operations in Iraq anymore than the al-Qaeda backed Sunnis will accept an Iranian-backed Shiite government.
But in the mind of Lieberman "it" being the Iranian backed Shia and the al-Qaeda backed Sunnis are one in the same. Hence his confusion.
What a disaster.
A few weeks ago Rep. Silvestri took some real heat for misidentifying the al-Qaeda's Sunni affiliation. In my view that was a serious issue.
Lieberman's conflation of two distinct and diametrically opposed groups is no less serious. This is no different than a doctor performing brain surgery on a heart patient because the ailment exists in the same body.
If we are going to get our Iraq policy right, we need to make sure that we understand baseline facts first.
By not making distinctions, and understanding the baselines facts, our leadership miscalculated the risks, and blundered the post-invasion planning.
And here were are, at the same place once again. Four years later. This is absolutely inexcusable.
In my view there are compelling reasons for NOT withdrawing immediately from Iraq, but please don't dish out tired moralistic arguments or muddle-headed analyses of the situation in country Senator Joe-Mentum.
Our soldiers deserve better. And the American people deserve better.
Enough said. Here endeth the sermon.