Sunday, August 06, 2006

Lieberman Loss Would Be Loss For America

Democrat liberal activists have waged a war to defeat the re-election of moderate Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-CN) in his re-election battle against a relative unknown, Ned Lamont. They base their opposition to Lieberman primarily on his support of the Bush administration's decision to invade Iraq as part of its war on terrorism. Leftist-leaning bloggers have been largely responsible for the groundswell of support Lamont is enjoying in his campaign to defeat Lieberman. What's at stake in this race is something very big. As the Washington Post describes it:


The passion and energy fueling the antiwar challenge to Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman in Connecticut's Senate primary signal a power shift inside the Democratic Party that could reshape the politics of national security and dramatically alter the battle for the party's 2008 presidential nomination, according to strategists in both political
parties.

A victory by businessman Ned Lamont on Tuesday would confirm the growing strength of the grass-roots and Internet activists who first emerged in Howard Dean's presidential campaign. Driven by intense anger at President Bush and fierce opposition to the Iraq war, they are on the brink of claiming their most significant political triumph, one that will reverberate far beyond the borders here if Lieberman loses.

Lieberman, who is Jewish, is a strong supporter of Israel as is President Bush. Hezbullah, the Muslim terrorist group Israel is currently fighting in Lebanon, along with Iran's radical Muslim president, have vowed to erase Israel from the map. The Democrat Party has traditionally been a strong supporter of Israel, and most American Jews have up to now identified themselves with the Democrat Party by at least a two-to-one margin.

It is now beginning to appear likely that Lieberman will lose the Democrat nomination to his anti-war opponent Lamont. Lieberman has vowed to run as an independent if he loses his bid for re-nomination. While it is easy to stand up and say you are against the war, it is tougher to think of the consequences of doing nothing. Lieberman understands that the very survival of Israel is at stake, as well as our country. Radical Muslims are devoted not only to rubbing out Isreal, but also America.

I don't like the war in Iraq. I don't like Israel's war against Hezbullah. But when I look at the consequences of doing nothing in the face of an opposition that is committed to the annihalation of everything I treasure, I choose the lesser of the two evils. If Joe Lieberman loses because Democrats don't think he's anti-war enough, then all of America loses in our battle against our real enemy. Democrat activists need to wake up and accept the reality of who our real enemy is. Any freedom-loving person should have no problem comprehending this reality.

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's not just about his support of the war... Naturally, though, that's the theme that is repeated ad nauseum throughout the media.

Jay said...

Gary, thank you for writing what I've been thinking. I can respect any well-thought political position, but when someone can not see the damage radical Islam is doing to the world, they are, in my opinion, in denial.

What troubles me most are the gay apologists for radical Islam. The same radical Islam that right now continues hanging gay teenagers in Iran, beheading gays in Saudi Arabia, and shoving brick walls onto gays throughout the Middle East.

Advance Indiana said...

Jay--you raise a good point. These radical Islamists are 10 times as extreme as our own Christian right. They won't even give us the "hate the sin, but love the sinner." It's "off with their heads."

Anonymous said...

Hold on here. We have been meddling in the Middle East for forever. WE created Saddam. Really, we created the mess in Iran too. Oh, and the taliban too. Those were all attempts to side with the lesser of two evils to keep from getting our own hands dirty.

It would be different if we actually were doing this for a good reason, but we really are just throwing around our weight to get control of the flow of oil.

Maybe if the entire country weren't being run by oilmen, we would find a way to break our addiction. I doubt that will happen when a $7B/qtr industry holds the nation hostage.

The real answer here is to find alternative energy sources. Without oil, the radicals have no funding to carry out their madness.

Bil Browning said...

I think that this is a very disingenuous post. You're connecting a few things that aren't connected.

First, Lieberman's religion has nothing to do with "leftist-leaning" bloggers' distaste for him. The fact that he is Jewish and a supporter of Israel simply doesn't matter. Israel and the current battle with Hezbollah doesn't figure into the Lieberman race - just as Afghanistan/Taliban doesn't. To paraphrase Bill Clinton, "It's Iraq stupid!"

To imply that American Jews will not support democrats if Lieberman loses is silly. That's like saying "If David Orentlicher loses in the Indiana General Assembly race because of his vote on Major Moves, Indiana Jews will flee the democratic party since Hoosiers obviously don't support Israel's war against Hezbollah." The two simply aren't connected.

And, you know, I agree that Lieberman should lose his seat. My issue isn't that he supported the war to start with - plenty of other democrats were hornswaggled by claims of weapons of mass destruction and links to Al-Queda. It's that he has steadfastly continued to cheer-lead for this administration on behalf of the war. We all know now that the claims made by BushCo were false, but Lieberman is still stuck in Candy Land - in fact, Bush kissed Lieberman after one State of the Union address they're so close.

It's time America opened it's eyes about what the Bush administration has done to our country. And it's time to throw the bastards out on their ear. If Lieberman chooses to throw his lot in with BushCo, knowing that he represents a left-leaning area, then he has to take his lumps.

Maybe he's just not representing his constituents the way they want to be represented. If not, they have every right to replace him with someone who will.

Doug said...

Lieberman's opposition to radical Islam has nothing to do with this; rather it's his support for the war in Iraq and his support for an administration who insists on prosecuting that war incompetently, thereby doing more damage to this country than Saddam and radical Islam combined.

Saddam had nothing to do with radical Islam. He was a secular tyrant and, if anything, limited the power of radical Islamists in the region. After all, they were a threat to his power.

Even so, if the Bush administration had run the war successfully and Lieberman supported the war and the administration, that would probably be defensible. But the administration has run the war badly, and Lieberman still supports them. I think Sen. Lugar has been more critical of the administration's prosecution of the war than Lieberman has.

So, Lieberman is siding with bad policy *and* bad execution which strikes me as an excellent reason for a Connecticut Democrat to be shown the door, quite aside from him being a champion of the sorts of loose accounting rules that allowed Enron; voting for cloture to allow Alito onto the Supreme Court; opposing the morning after pill; his attempts to censor movies and music; his tendency to criticize Democrats with more vigor than he can ever seem to muster for Republicans; and generally being Fox News's favorite "Democrat."

Jay said...

Clinton believed there were WMDs in Iraq, too. In fact, you can find several speeches by Clinton where he raises these fears.

I agree that Bush has mishandled things in many ways. However, I don't see many Democrats voicing genuine concerns over what radical Islam is doing to the world. I only hear how Bush is doing it wrong, and nothing on how to do it right, nor how to combat an enemy that says repeatedly it will destroy the West no matter what the cost.

One can only blame Bush for so many things, but at the end of the day it was radical Islam that murdered on 9/11; radical Islam that killed in Bali, London, Madrid; and radical Islam that continues enslaving women and killing gays to this day.

Advance Indiana said...

Bil,

There is no implication in what I wrote that Jews would not support Democrats if Lieberman is defeated so I don't know where you draw that conclusion. American liberals are completely discarding the American tradition of a bipartisan foreign policy. The fact is that American liberals don't want to fight radical Islam, even though they are committed to our destruction. Liberals are very quick to criticize anything Israel does, while completely ignoring the decades of terrorism they have been subjected to and their need to confront it for the very own survival. Once upon a time, Republicans and Democrats were united in their support of Israel. That is not the case anymore. It is a fact that Jewish-Americans have supported Democrats over Republicans by better than a 2-1 margin. I think Jewish-Americans will rethink their support of the Democrat Party if extremists continue to condemn everything America does to fight terrorism under some absurd belief that if we do absolutely nothing, they will just go away and leave us alone.

stAllio! said...

"It is time for Democrats who distrust President Bush to acknowledge that he will be Commander-in-Chief for three more critical years, and that in matters of war, we undermine Presidential credibility at our nation's peril." -Joe Lieberman, December 6, 2005

that kind of blather doesn't surprise me coming out of republicans anymore, but from a democrat? lieberman isn't just a war supporter; he's a key bush enabler. radical islam doesn't have a thing to do with it.

Jerame Davis said...

OK...Radical Islam may have brought down the towers, created the conflagration in Lebanon, and many other evils of the world, but Iraq did NOT start about radical Islam and anyone who thinks so is an utter fool.

Iraq was a secular state controlled by a practically non-religious dictator. Islam had nothing to do with Saddam's hatred of the US. Saddam despised the US because our government consisently meddled in Middle East affairs, supporting Saddam in his 10 year war with Iran. It was only once Saddam wasn't useful to US interests that he became the enemy. It wasn't until we threw him out of power, disbanded the army, and banned all Baathists from pretty much anything but crime that this became a war with Islam by stirring age-old ethnic tensions between Shi'ites and Sunnis (not to mention forcing the Kurds back into the mix.)

Joe Lieberman is getting handed his ass for being a fool too. While the criticism that he cannot see beyond his blind support for Israel that is based on HIS own religious beliefs is true; it has little to do with his current predicament. Iraq, not support for Israel, is the real reason Lieberman is being thrown out. Sucking up to a corrupt and morally bankrupt administration is what has Joe Lieberman in a pickle, not his support of the Holy Land.

To try to connect Iraq with Lebanon as solely a problem of radical islam is crazy. The US destabilized the region by attacking Iraq. The US gave Iran the ability to stop looking at it's mortal enemy in Iraq and to start causing trouble elsewhere in the Middle East. So, now, you have Hezbollah being funded and armed by an emboldened Iran and attacking Israel because Iran needs cover to distract the rest of the world from the fact that they are building their first nuke as fast as they can.

Radical Islam is a problem, but so is the US response to it. Just as we've been taught time and again, killing people just creates more radicals that hate the West.

We'll never solve this problem if we don't understand the root of it. Saying it's "radical islam" and then thinking we can just bomb it out of existence is absurd. We have to understand our own role in all of this too. It's simplistic and narrow to point fingers over there without looking in the mirror and taking stock of our own shortcomings.

If we hadn't fought our proxy war with Iran by arming Saddam and looking the other way, we wouldn't be in the mess we're in in Iraq today. If we hadn't fought our proxy war with the USSR by arming Osama bin Laden and the Afghan warlords, we wouldn't be in the mess we're in in Afghanistan today. And there are plenty of examples across the globe that haven't quite come home to roost (though parts of South America are certainly starting to boil).

Joe Lieberman is getting nothing more than what he deserves for supporting a disastrous foreign policy that has brought much grief and despair upon the world. It's Lieberman's hawkish and conservative brand of being a "Democrat" that's put his position in jeopardy. The man who should have been Vice President should certainly know better.

Advance Indiana said...

Get your facts straight. Iraq was paying bounties to the families of suicide bombers who attacked Israel and otherwise aiding and abetting terrorists. Iran didn't start exporting terrorism after we went into Iraq. It has been funding and arming groups like Hezbullah for many years.

I know the two of you, Bil & Jerame, reject any concept of a bipartisan foreign policy. The two of you also despise Sen. Evan Bayh for this very reason.

Did the U.S. error in its past support of Iraq's Hussein? Did the U.S. err in its past support of the Shah prior to his overthrow in Iran? The case can be made that we erred badly in both instances, but what's done is done. You can't simply bury your head in the sand and pretend these problems will go away.

My problem with people like you, is that you can only see the bad in what America does. You never can see the good we do. In so doing, you give comfort to our enemies.

It's pretty easy from where the two of you sit to criticize our military's actions. I thank God for the men and women in uniform who have fought to preserve freedom here and elsewhere. You think you can negotiate with terrorists; you cannot.

Jay said...

"It's simplistic and narrow to point fingers over there without looking in the mirror and taking stock of our own shortcomings."

You're right. We certainly have short-comings. The US has made decisions that in hindsight didn't help present conflicts. Democrats and Republicans alike share the blame. But I'll say it again and again: Westerners are not the ones strapping bombs to themselves and walking into pizza places filled with Jewish teenagers and blowing themselves up.

Modern Iraq, by the way, wasn't created by the US to fight Iran back in the day. It was a British construct.

The Middle East has been in an uproar since 1948 when the UN -- the world -- created Israel. There hasn't been a day of peace in that region since then, and that's not the US's fault. Israel has been under some kind of attack on a daily basis since it's creation. This issue was boiling over way before any Bush sat in the Oval Office. Or, do I suppose the Israeli athletes killed at the 1972 Olympics were Bush's fault, too?

Jerame Davis said...

As usual, Gary, you paint with a broad brush that fits your worldview, but doesn't really capture the essence of truth.

You have no possible ability to divine what I believe is good and proper US foreign policy. And your naivete shows clearly when you lump me in with Bil. We disagree quite frequently on many issues, and this is indeed one of them we disagree on quite a bit.

I despise Evan Bayh for a great number of reasons, few of which have anything to do with his foreign policy position. I take exception to his vanilla, don't-take-a-stand-unless-I-have-to brand of politics. I've written scores of letters to the senator over the years and I've always been disappointed at how little the senator says. I think Richard Lugar is a fine statesman and a proper senator. Evan Bayh pales in comparison to Lugar...I'm not so partisan as you would lead your readers to believe.

As well, my point about Hezbollah and Iran was that this new outbreak was instigated by Iran...The US and UN have been pressuring Iran over their nukes for months now. It's very likely that Iran provided some extra funding and resources for this latest outbreak. What better diversion than a little war in the Holy Land to get the conversation off your nuclear program?

You're also VERY wrong about where I stand on the military. Indeed, I was a supporter of the war in Afghanistan, if for no other reason than it was our mess to clean up to begin with. However, Iraq was, is, and forever shall be a fools errand and a war of choice. In fact, we practically abandoned Afghanistan to go into Iraq. All these years later, Afghan rule doesn't really extend outside of Kandahar. Afghanistan IS a cesspool of radical Islam...So are Pakistan and Saudi Arabia....But we call them allies.

I'm proud of our troops for the service they provide. I'm NOT proud of the position they've been put in. They deserve better leadership and should never be called to make the ultimate sacrifice for a war based on lies, deceit, and fabrication.

I believe America does a lot of good in the world, but we squander the goodwill that good could bring by perpetrating the grandest blunders the world has known. When we screw up, we do it big...

My point is very simple. Labelling everyone who hates us as the enemy and calling them "radical islamists" is no less convenient than the warped visions you attributed to me. I'm saying, we will NEVER solve this problem of radical islam by just going out and killing everyone who speaks arabic and carries a Quran.

We're not dealing with the TRUE roots of the problem. We support and give succor to the Saudi Royal family - going so far as to call one of the royal family members Bandar Bush - and yet they give more money to radical Islam and anti-Israel and anti-American teaching that practically any other country.

So what if Saddam paid suicide bomber's families a bounty when their children performed those senseless acts? It was a paltry sum and he only did it to stir tensions with Israel as a means to irritate the US. Not because he was a true believer. It was a PR stunt to gain Arab support (which he sorely lacked) for removing sanctions and getting rid of US-British air patrols.

I don't belive we can negotiate with terrorists...But I also don't think that we'll ever bomb it out of existence because every time you kill on radical islamist, you create at least one new one. Are we just going to wipe out Islam completely?

I don't claim to have the answers, but I know that guzzling up Saudi oil and keeping the al Saud family in power does more to promote radical islam than Saddam Hussein ever could. And what kind of "ally" is Pakistan when it's pretty well certain that Osama himself is hiding out there or in Afghanistan (yeah the same Afghanistan that we "liberated.)

stAllio! said...

My problem with people like you, is that you can only see the bad in what America does. You never can see the good we do. In so doing, you give comfort to our enemies.

gary, this kind of talk is beneath you. for shame.

Advance Indiana said...

"I think Richard Lugar is a fine statesman and a proper senator. Evan Bayh pales in comparison to Lugar...I'm not so partisan as you would lead your readers to believe."

Lugar' and Bayh's voting records on matters of foreign policy are very similar. And Lugar votes with Bush more than just about any other Senator. The current policy has also largely been supported by the Clintons. Do you lump them in with Lieberman?

"So what if Saddam paid suicide bomber's families a bounty when their children performed those senseless acts? It was a paltry sum and he only did it to stir tensions with Israel as a means to irritate the US."

It's easy to be dismissive of this form of terrorism when you weren't living it every day as the Israelis were.

I don't disagree with you on the oil consumption matter. It is our biggest failing as a country that we have done so little since the oil embargo of the 1970s to free ourselves of independence on Middle East oil. We could have just as easily shifted to alternative forms of energy by this time, but we did not. We need to do more than we are doing now.

And none of the Arab countries can be trusted as allies because of the influence of Islam in their countries.

As you admit, you don't have answers. And that is a big part of my problem with the liberals who attack our current policies. They don't offer alternative policies for dealing with these matters.

Steph Mineart said...

"The fact is that American liberals don't want to fight radical Islam, even though they are committed to our destruction."

In what bizarro world is that the case? It's certainly not true in America. Radical Islam is the exact opposite of American liberalism, (unlike American conservativism, which resembles RI more and more every day) and we can and are confronting religious fundamentalism everywhere we can, even here in America.

It's the Bush administration and American big oil business funding the right wing that are the apologists and enablers for radical Islam. The fact that we have an alliance with the Saudis and with Syria -- who are quite clearly funding and supporting radical Islamists -- speaks to that.

The middle east has always been a delicate balancing act, that Bush & Co. knocked off balance by invading Iraq, which despite it's reprehensible leader, kept things pretty stable.

"It is our biggest failing as a country that we have done so little since the oil embargo of the 1970s to free ourselves of independence on Middle East oil. We could have just as easily shifted to alternative forms of energy by this time, but we did not. We need to do more than we are doing now."

Who is this "we" you speak of? Last time I checked, it was American liberals working hard to free us from foreign oil dependence, and American conservatives and big business killing off electric cars and alternative fuel sources to keep us hooked on the money and power flowing out of the middle east.

Doug said...

"They don't offer alternative policies for dealing with these matters."

The policies don't really matter much when the execution of those policies is performed incompetently.

Say it's your policy to invade Iraq and take out Hussein in an effort to (take your pick) defuse an imminent threat, remove a substantial nuclear program, prevent use of Weapons of Mass Destruction, and/or liberate and bring Democracy to the suffering people of Iraq who are being tortured by the tyrant in charge of their country.

O.k., fine.

But your policy goals don't matter if you ignore generals who give you accurate information about the troop levels or expenditures that are going to be necessary to perform the mission with a reasonable possibility of success. Nor do they matter if you don't take proper precautions to make sure your contractors do their jobs without ripping off the country.

So, it's not just Lieberman's support of the Iraq War that makes him vulnerable as a Connecticut Democrat; it's also his support of an administration that is prosecuting that war badly. (And, of course, everything else - his pro-censorship tendencies; his support of that terrible bankruptcy act; his eagerness to attack fellow Democrats; etc.)

Advance Indiana said...

Doug--criticizing the execution of the war is perfectly legitimate. I have done so myself. But these people opposed the war from the beginning. They wanted to leave Hussein in power. And they immediately jump all over Israel's ass went it tries to defend itself.

Steph--Again--I'm in total agreement with you on the need for alternative energy sources. Remeber, though, that Democrats controlled the White House during 16 of those years since the oil embargo, and they controlled Congress up through 1994 for the most part. I recall Carter asking us to conserve energy, but he didn't have any grand plan to free us from oil dependence. And Clinton-Gore talked a lot about global warming, but their policies differed very little from the current administration's.

Advance Indiana said...

In Lieberman's own words:

“In the Democratic Party, there’s no room for strong-on-security Dems.” He said that would be disastrous for the Democrats. “You can’t win in this country,” he said, “unless you assure people" that you aren’t going to compromise on national security. He said he has backed the war on terror because he never forgets about the “radical Islamic terrorists who attacked us on 9/11 and want to do it again.”

Bruce Parker said...

This conversation has left me thinking alot about our frameworks for understanding global issues and the ways propaganda and rhetoric factor into public perceptions. Initially, I weighed in on this over on Bilerico but, decided to cross post it over here, as well. Admittedly, international issues are not my speciality and will most likely never will be. However, some things seem to not be as compicated as we make them out to be.

AI says, "They base their opposition to Lieberman primarily on his support of the Bush administration's decision to invade Iraq as part of its war on terrorism."

I would guess that Lieberman's socially conservative voting record and ardent support of the Bush administration may be the deciding factors in the rising support for his democratic primary opponent. Perhaps his struggling campaign is his own fault not the fault of the terrible liberal bloggers. Blaming the "liberal bloggers" has seemed to replace the tired old tradition of conservatives blaming the "liberal media" when their public approval declines. If bloggers are responsible, I would think we would all be celebrating that as a victory for grassroots organizing and media.

AI quotes: "The passion and energy fueling the antiwar challenge to Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman in Connecticut's Senate primary signal a power shift inside the Democratic Party that could reshape the politics of national security and dramatically alter the battle for the party's 2008 presidential nomination, according to strategists in both political parties."

We can only hope that we are at the beginning of a policy shift in regards to national security and that it is a central issue in the next presidential election. Through the comment thread on AI's post, we are told that Clinton also feared Iraq was capable of producing weapons of mass destruction. It is worthwhile to note that despite this fear the Clinton administration did not begin an active campaign against all Arab nations or a "War on Terror." Diplomatic approaches were certainly the order of the day.

The framing that we only have two choices - invite terrorists to lunch or to blow up all Arab people - is very problematic and seems to avoid nuances of of foreign policy that marked the Clinton administration. It seems like too many people have bought into the propaganda around "fighting evil" and the rhetoric of absolutes that are hallmarks of the Bush Administration.

I worry if we all start to think in frames like - - - "I don't like the war in Iraq. I don't like Israel's war against Hezbullah. But when I look at the consequences of doing nothing in the face of an opposition that is committed to the annihalation of everything I treasure, I choose the lesser of the two evils. If Joe Lieberman loses because Democrats don't think he's anti-war enough, then all of America loses in our battle against our real enemy. " That we have failed as a society.

It seems like AI is saying to us that if Lieberman loses the terrorists win. Do we really think that militant Islamic radicals will celebrate if Joe has to find another job?

Perhaps, our conversations around national security and global issues needs to be framed by thoughtful dedication to human rights instead of the cries of fear and anti-arab analysis?

Advance Indiana said...

Oh my Bruce, where to begin?

You say of Clinton: "It is worthwhile to note that despite this fear the Clinton administration did not begin an active campaign against all Arab nations or a "War on Terror." Diplomatic approaches were certainly the order of the day."

Clinton chose inaction after Osama carried out several terrorist strikes against our embassies and military compound in Saudi Arabia, except to bomb something that turned out to be an aspirin factory in Africa. I know you don't like hearing it, but 911 changed all of that. Post-911, both Bill and Hillary have largely supported the foreign policy of Bush, including both the war in Afghanistan and the war in Iraq.

You say: "Perhaps, our conversations around national security and global issues needs to be framed by thoughtful dedication to human rights instead of the cries of fear and anti-arab analysis?"

Hello Bruce--what world are you living in. Do you think these Arab nations adhere to any human rights conventions? Does it matter to you that gays are executed daily in these countries because of their sexual orientation? Does it matter to you that women are treated as second-class citizens in these countries? Does it matter to you that the practice of Christianity or any religion other than Islam is outlawed in these countries. Does it matter to you that these countries fund terrorist activities around the world. Get a clue!

Bruce Parker said...

I will choose to disregard questions about my world of residence and suggestions to get a clue and instead engage with the substantive content of your response.

I fear when we use blanket terms like Arab nations, we are again failing to consider the individuality of nations. Many arab nations that the United States has considered friends for a long time. When do we begin to question the European colonial impulse that still drives our foreign policy at times and look for the ways that it breeds hate? Have our actions not sowed the oats that are leading to much of the conflict across the globe?

In regards to your condemnation of Arab nations cultural issues - I am left wondering if the description you give doesn't sound alot like America would look if Bush and the Christian Right wing of the Republican party were left unchecked?

Yes, it matters to me that gays are executed daily. I will point out that with over a 1500 dead gay and gender queer American's last year as a result of hate crimes (I will not talk about the number of blacks who suffer death by hate in America) that perhaps your vigilance around this issue could begin at home.

In America, a woman is beaten, raped, or abused often in her own home every two minutes. Arab countries certainly do not have the market on women being second class citizens. I could be mistaken but I believe in our neighbor state of Ohio women who are married cannot report a rape against their husband no matter how violent his assault on her. This makes sense because, of course, in the good christian white state of Ohio that wife is her husbands property. Did I miss when an Arab was elected governer of Ohio?

Honestly, we need to be more cautious and intentional in throwing around the word terrorist. As a country, we sell guns to lots of folks who don't always do such nice things to each other. Also, I would argure that women are suffering terrorism in America daily. I also wonder if their is any comparison of terrorism if we think into our history as a nation and how we have treated non-white non-male non-straight non-middle class Americans?

Anonymous said...

I had to pinch myself--thought I was living in Conn.

I've read the position papers of both these candidates, because I've been a big admirer of Sen. Lieberman.

On balance, after careful review, I'd vote for Joe, but he's got a long record which is starting to haunt him. I doubt this defection is entirely because of the war.

Let's get one thing straight (pun intended) regarding our own senators. Only one senator has the position and power to solidly influence this administration. He is the chair of the Committee on Foreign Relations, once the bully pulpit of foreign policy.

And Sen. Lugar has decided that instead of trying to change this administration's mind (I know it's tough), he'd do better by continuing to wax milquetoast. Eighteen-paragraph boring academic condemnations. And for those still awake at the end of his protestations, there isn't really a condemnation of Bush that's a deep cut to the bone.

This White House knows Lugar will continue to speak Professorish on Iraq and anything else worldly. They've known it from day one. Say what you want about Jesse Helms--they'd never have treated him this way. They feared the old goat. They know the American public has the collective attention span of a gnat. So they push forward, ignoring the Indiana senior senator.

Because they can. And because Lugar does nothing substantive to penalize them for ignoring him.

So much for a bully pulpit.

Whatever Sen. Bayh says about the Middle East pales in comparison to the singularly huge podium Lugar has. He wastes it. Bush knows he can ignore Lugar. That is not unique to the Iraq issue. They've known it from day one.

Game, set match for this White House on intellegent foreign policy.

So sad. So very sad. Because underneath the 18-paragraph Lugarism, is some strong, well-founded opinion. Which could be expressed in a few words:

"Mr. President, you have lost the moral authority to lead on this issue. Get out of the way. Get our boys home. Repair our tattered diplomatic image. Now."

Advance Indiana said...

Bruce--you confirm my earlier conclusion about liberals like yourself. You equate human rights in this country to human rights in these Middle Eastern countries? Unbelievable!

Bruce Parker said...

Gary,

I am saddened by you resulting to blanket statements that attempt to end conversation.

In my responses I did not attempt to use your conservative ideology to shut down dialogue. I suppose speaking dissent and expressing the realities of the human rights issues that we have within our own boundaries makes me an ally of the "terrorists."

The recent report released by the United Nations in regards to America's human rights issues includes at lengthy discussions of our countries failure in regards to women, queers, transfolk, poor and people of color. It gets old for the answer to these issues to be well at least in America you are free.

Annette44 said...

I can't believe I'm jumping into this. Not deeply, but still jumping.

First, I would like to point out that the reason Hezbollah is attaching Israel is because they want to extinguish that nation and the Jewish people. No matter what you say, this is all based on anti-semitism. There is no land at stake - just hatred, pure and simple. Having visited Israel, I can tell you that I admire these people who live daily with terror hanging over their heads. On a visit to Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem, I saw first-hand the pieces of metal removed from bombing victim's bodies. I met victims of terror - a 19-year-old girl who had a huge scar running down the side of her face; the father of 8 who was lucky to be alive. I saw the soldiers, girls and boys, younger than my son, who walk in the streets with their rifles strapped to their backs. Israel did not ask for this war - they were attacked.

As far as Lieberman goes, as a Jew and a Democrat, I could not vote for someone who supports this war (yes, I do pick and choose the wars I support). It seems to me that this administration is forcing people to choose sides. And as a Democrat, believe me, I would not leave the Democratic party just because of Lieberman.

I do believe that radical Islam is a threat. But on a daily basis we are living with an administration that wants to abolish abortion, turn gays and lesbians into second-class citizens, force evangelical Christianity on us, and force us to teach Creationism and who-knows-what-else in our schools. I may not be able to directly affect what is going on with the war on terror, but I'll tell you what - we have our own "war on terror" here and I am fighting it all that I can!

Advance Indiana said...

Annette--thank you for your insight. It's not looking real good for Lieberman right now. Fortunately, Cynthia McKinney is getting trounced in her re-election. She and her family are very anti-Semitic. I don't know if you saw Lanny Davis' column today, but he writes about the anti-Semitism that crept into Lieberman's race and his concern that Lamont was feeding on it without any attempt to distance himself from these people.