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CT Senate: Lieberman, Iraq and the Price of Principle

It's not been a good week for Sen. Joe Lieberman.

On Monday the Connecticut Democrat told reporters that "under no circumstances" would he run as anything other than a Democrat in the state's Aug. 8 primary. But he again refused to rule out running as an independent in the general election should he lose the party's nod to businessman Ned Lamont.

Sen. Joe Lieberman
Sen. Lieberman, standing, stumps for votes earlier this month at Carmine's Italian Grill in Bristol, Conn. (AP Photo/The Bristol Press)

"If the unexpected happens, do I want to keep open the option of taking my case as an independent Democrat to all the voters of Connecticut so that they can have the last word in November," said Lieberman. "That's a question I haven't decided."

The Fix continues to be baffled by Lieberman's willingness to speak openly about his contemplation of an independent bid at a time when still can make a case to Democratic voters to stick with him. After all, Lamont's entire campaign is based on the idea that Lieberman is not a real Democrat; the more Lieberman waffles, the more rhetorical ammunition he provides to Lamont's insurgent campaign.

Speaking of rhetorical ammunition, the Hartford Courant notes that Lieberman became the first Democrat to announce his plans to oppose both Iraq war amendments being offered in the Senate today. (Sens. John Kerry and Russ Feingold have put forward a binding proposal to withdraw all American troops by July 31, 2007; Sens. Carl Levin and Jack Reed are offering a non-binding resolution that urges America "begin the phased redeployment of United States forces from Iraq this year.")

As the Courant's David Lightman writes, not one Democratic colleague was in the chamber for Lieberman's speech. He was introduced by Sen. John Warner (R-Va.), the chairman of the Armed Services Committee; Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) -- perhaps the top target of Democrats in this year's elections -- praised Lieberman's remarks as "incredibly articulate."

It's telling that not a single Democrat stood by Lieberman, especially since his colleagues have largely lined up behind him in recent weeks. Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) recently predicted that Lieberman would win the Senate primary in Connecticut, saying that a competitive gubernatorial primary in the state would turn out "a lot of mainstream Democrats" who would also vote for Lieberman

Even Sen. Barbara Boxer (Calif.), one of the most outspoken critics of the war in Iraq, told reporters at the Yearly Kos convention in Las Vegas that she backs Lieberman. "This is an election on whether the war is the only issue," Boxer said, adding: "I disagree with [Lieberman] on the war and he knows it."

The Connecticut political establishment has been less willing to unite behind Lieberman. Former state party chairman George Jepsen endorsed Lamont, and two teachers unions -- the Connecticut branch of the American Federation of Teachers and the Connecticut Education Association -- are also with Lamont. (Neither group has endorsed Lieberman in his three past Senate campaigns.)

Former Sen. Lowell Weicker -- a Republican-turned-independent -- has also put his support behind Lamont, a move that the Lieberman camp immediately sought to exploit with a Web ad that hearkens back to the Lieberman vs. Weicker campaign in 1988, in which Lieberman depicted his opponent as a sleeping bear.

"Remember Lowell Weicker?" asks the ad's narrator. "Well, bears never forget. He's never gotten over losing his Senate race to Joe Lieberman. But instead of coming out of hibernation, he's sent his bear cub instead. Ned Lamont."

Lieberman's attempt to link Lamont to Weicker is a sound strategy. Since leaving the governor's office in 1994, Weicker's public image has fallen significantly. Independent polling has repeatedly shown Weicker is viewed unfavorably by most of the state's voters. He flirted with challenging Lieberman earlier this year but backed off.

The events of this week point to the fundamental challenge before Lieberman. He has made his political name on being a principled leader who follows his beliefs and isn't swayed by the political winds. Typically, voters have swallowed their doubts about any one of Lieberman's positions, believing that on most issues he was with them. The war in Iraq has severely damaged that trust, and now that Lieberman has cast himself as a man of principle he cannot switch positions on the war without severe political consequences.

Lieberman's plans to vote against both of the Iraq war resolutions today seem to be a recognition that he has chosen his course and must stick to it whatever the fallout. It's a choice that has the potential to cost him his party's nomination this year, if not his political career overall.

By Chris Cillizza  |  June 22, 2006; 12:30 PM ET
Categories:  Senate  
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Comments

any independents THat win will be voted in by deFAUT Right "wingers' who can not vote left.

Posted by: agoodbigbadwolf | June 29, 2006 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Bootlickers, Sandy? Like the Republican Party who is in lockstep with every Bush failed foreign and domestic policy? Who believe everything that comes out of his mouth? Who support his "signing statements" that allow him to virtually ignore every bill he signs into law? Who continually vote to keep tax cuts for the richest Americans while we slip deeper and deeper into debt? Who allow the radical religious extremists to set policies that discriminate against gays and who want to tell people who can marry who, who has children and what people legally do in their personal lives? Perhaps if some of you could actually think for yourselves, have legitimate debates about issues without fear and hate mongering, and stop trying to turn this country into a dictatorship, we could take you seriously. You're no different than Rush ranting against drug users when he was one, Bill Bennett railing about morality while losing millions in gambling, and other Republicans who lament the destruction of the "sanctity of marriage" (no such thing exists) while marrying their latest mistress. Extremism is destructive in every form and your party has written the book on that.

Posted by: KAS | June 27, 2006 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Sandy,

I know this will upset you, butthere is no way Leiberman runs as an independent unless he starts now. The independent/minor party filing deadline for CT is the day after the Dem primary or 8/9/06. Leiberman would have to run both a signature drive to get on the ballot as an independent AND his Dem primary race simultaneously. If he doesn't start collecting signatures soon, he's not going to have time to collect them.

Posted by: Rob Millette | June 27, 2006 4:43 AM | Report abuse

Joe will win again. Either as a Dem or an independent (which I hope he becomes, as well as more senators. Be good to have some more politicos that aren't boot lickers).

SandyK

Posted by: SandyK | June 27, 2006 12:55 AM | Report abuse

Joe Liberman lost his way within the Democratic Party a few years back and now he continues to try to push his way into the Pentagon as the new Secretary. As a life long Democrat I was sorry to see Joe lose his way and his true convictions. I remember him as AG of Connecticut and he was a true liberal. I remember him as a Senator, and in his first few years and he was a true liberal. As the VP candidates in 2000 he continued that liberal view as well. Where did he lose it. I think during the 2004 election when he was so negative to both Kerry and Dean but it was likely prior to that when Gore announced his support for Howard Dean. Joe likley felt betrayed and decided at that point to leave his views behind and start down this bitter path.

Joe, you could have been a contender. You could have been someone. Goodbye Joe.

Posted by: Joseph Turtle | June 25, 2006 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Good points on Lieberman, but don't forget all the high tech bribes he received as well.

Posted by: Will in Seattle | June 24, 2006 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Andy R -

Sorry but I did not see your request until today. Ask and you shall receive:

1) Lieberman voted yes on the enery bill that conatained billions of dollars in subsidies for huge oil companies at times of record profits, and was one of the few Dems to do so.

2) Lieberman sided with the religious wackos in his opinion that private hospitals should not be required to offer contraception to rape victims.

3) Lieberman sided yet again with the fundies in Congress over the Terri Schiavo case and even hinted that those who disagreed with him do not value human life.

4)Liberman regularly goes on Sean hannity's show on Fox News and ridicules other Democrats who disagree with him even as they represent the mainstream Democratic party and he does not.

5) Liberman prevented an inquiry into the Abu Ghraib torture scandal even as the Republicasn who sat on the same panel were ready to authorize an investigation, and he emerged as the premier Democratic apologist on torture.

6) Lieberman voted to confirm Alberto Gonzales, the only Dem from a blue state to do so, and since then we have found out that Gonzales blatantly lied to the Senate during his confirmation about the illegal NSA wiretapping program. Lieberman remains a Gonzales supporter.

7) Lieberman was the absolute last Democrat to get on board in the effort to stop Bush from privatizing Social Security.

8) Lieberman unflinchingly continues the idiotic "stay-the-course" non-strategy in Iraq. His stubborn (some Washington insiders would call it "principle", lol) refusal to see that Iraq needs a new plan not only hurts democrats but leads to the continued deaths of our men and women in uniform. On top of this, he ridicules any Democrat even military veterans such as Murtha and Kerry who put forth a new plan.

9) Lieberman voted Yes on Alito cloture.

10)Lieberman is a pharmacuetical lobby special interest addict. Lieberman took $400,000 in big drug money and then voted against a bipartisan plan to force drug companies to offer drugs (drugs developed with the use of taxpayers' money) at " a fair and reasonable" price.

Hopefully this PARTIAL list of the reasons why Lieberman faces a primary challenger will dispel the myth that Lamont is a single issue candidate. I'm sure it won't convince the wingnut screamers like SandyK though.

Posted by: Ohio guy | June 23, 2006 9:25 PM | Report abuse

SandyK -- I understand having distaste for the current political climate; most definitely a plague on both your houses mentality is understandable right now. But where on earth have you gotten the idea that today's Democratic party is far-left let alone Maoist?

Mainstream Democrats - and by that I mean an overwhelming majority of the party's caucus in Congress - are moderate politicians who completely support free markets and balanced budgets. They're certainly more fiscally responsible than the purported party of fiscal discipline. So if you're going to repeatedly accuse the party of being wacko lefties, could you please provide atleast one example? If you stop to think about it, I think that may prove more difficult than you think.

Posted by: Colin | June 23, 2006 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Anon:

"There is not one core Democratic principle on which he [Lieberman] is a leader."

Actually, as much as I despise Lieberman because of his 15th-century stand on most issues, he does have a good voting record on the environment, per the League of Women Voters. Or at least he did as of 2000. Everything else is straight GOP party-line.

Posted by: B2O | June 23, 2006 5:07 PM | Report abuse

FH-

"First, of course the Iranian elections were rigged, they did not even let some moderate candidates run."

When given a decision between a "moderate" Mohammad Khatami (who won in 2001 and 1997 because women and young people voted for him as a progressive) and a not-so-moderate Ahmadinejad, the people chose the less moderate of the two candidates. Your points about the fairness of the election are legitimate, but I think you are assuming too much about the Iranian electorate. If moderates were on the ballot do you have any guarantee they would vote for them? Why, then, did they choose the least moderate of the available candidates?

"You have no plan other than what was...support our bad guys against their bad guys."

I've already explained my plan. Which is do not support Democratic Islamofascist candidates, even if they are elected. I would support a Kurdish state at this point by redeploying all American troops to the northern part of the country and defending them against Terrorists. If the Shiite and Sunnis self-detonators follow, we redeploy elsewhere.

I don't consider the Kurds "bad guys", rather I consider them a calculating and industrious group of people who survived with relative autonomy under an extremely hostile Saddam. And they have proven a willingness to adopt Secular Government and thus I feel can be trusted in the long run. I do not trust SCIRI or Islamist Dawa party, much like Rumsfeld did not trust them in 1979 and thus supported Saddam against them in the Iranian Revolution.

I do not want to fight the same Radical Islamofascists once every 20 years because of "Democracy" or some other ideal that is meaningless without providing context.

I've raised the possibility that Saddam was the kind of bad guy we had supported in the past, the kind of bad guy who acted reasonably, and the type of bad guy who happened to be in a fight with other very bad guys. In fact, many of the bad guys he fought were Islamofascists. Our enemy's enemy...

"That strategy has been shown to be ineffective by 9/11."

Why? If so, why haven't we invaded Saudi Arabia and Pakistan yet? You have a very simplistic view of this conflict. We have to participate, by necessity, with people we don't agree with. Our enemy will not change; it will persist in being Islamofascists. Saddam was not an Islamofascist.

Our current strategy, of legitimizing our opposition by giving them the vote, is utterly disastrous. We'll be battling the SCIRI and Islamist Dawas for the next 30 years. One more Secular domino falls amongst a flurry of Sectarian governments.

Iraq was first, then came Iran (which was never that secular, but it was closer then than it is now) then Egypt then Palestine. Pakistan will be next.

"You seem to think that bringing down Saddam is the entire reason that this supposed "furor" against the U.S. has risen. That belief ignores the very history you seem to find so important."

It's certainly not the only cause, but a major contributer. I have only to look at the world in 2002 and compare it to the world in 2006. Ahmadinejad goes from mayor of Tehran to President of Iran to Kingmaker of Iraq in the course of four years. And he took the seals off nuclear power plants. We blinked and suddenly one of the largest Islamic countries in the world has taken a huge dive towards state sponsored jihadism.

In 2002 Hamas was a political nobody. In 2005 they take the government largely under the promise to fight infidels.

In 2002 the Muslim Brotherhood was completely banned from participation in Mubarak's Egypt. In 2005, though still banned, they take 88 seats in Parliament making them the largest opposition party in Egypt.

In 2002 Iraq was run by a secular dictator who was constantly fighting Islamofascism. He remained committed against the 1979 Iranian revolution (that we were also against). In Dec. 2005 the Iraqi people elect, suprise, the SCIRI and Islamic Dawa Party to a majority of the parliamentary seats. Suddenly the people we had fought against 27 years ago in Iran are running our new government in Iraq. For this we've bled.

If you think Iraq has *nothing* to do with these developments then fine. We can agree to disagree. The Iraq war has alienated us to people throughout the region INCLUDING the Iraqis we are allegedly there to help. Ahmadinejad ran against a moderate by preaching anti-American imperialism and a return to strict Islamic rule. The Brotherhood continually preached anti-Americanism and Islamic rule in an Islamic country that was finally receptive to it. Hamas continued to spout hatred towards Israel/US and it paid off... in ballots.

And what has happened in S. America?

"You open the door to free elections and what was forbidden is always going to explode to the surface. I just believe that those forces will settle down given time."

Why? Your assurances of "just believing" something to be true are not convincing enough for me to accept them. I've identified a demonstrable voting trend in the Middle East and you've simplified it to "well it's just a phase." Iran has been a "democracy" for years and just recently elected Ahdmadinejad. Likewise with Palestine and Hamas. Do you really think SCIRI and Dawa are just "phases" for the Iraqi people or is it more likely that *gasp* the Iraqi people actually SUPPORT SCIRI and Dawa?

"My plan for Iraq is the path we are taking. Stay there until the govt. is able to secure the country."

What do you mean secure? Didn't they have a successful election in December?

My point is we don't want these types of people to be secure. If there was a secular social revolution in Iran tomorrow that'd be great news. If Dawa and SCIRI ultimately lose power to Kurdish Secularists, that'd be awesome by me.

Why do you want to "secure" the majority rule of the UIA? Do you agree with their foreign policy? Do you agree with their Domestic Islamification of Iraq policy? Why are you so keen on Islamofascists?

"Make sure the democratic process continues."

It's imperative we not allow this to happen.

"Try and convince the Sunni's that the insurgency is counter-productive given that unless they get their act together they will allow the Shiites to dominate the government. Kill the terrorists. There is no magic bullet in this process. It will be long and hard and expensive...but retreating now would be worse.(of course, I know you disagree)"

You say there is no magic bullet yet you have magic bullet solutions: Kill the terrorists. Well, the vast majority of the insurgency are (voting) Iraqis who hate us. The government is currently debating ways to grant Amnesty to people who have killed American soldiers (the kurds are our only hope in deflating this plan).

The Sunnis and the Shiites are killing each other now. They are going to continue killing each other after we leave Iraq no matter when that is. In 2092, the Shiites and Sunnis will be killing each other. If you plan on staying in the country until they stop, you will never leave.

The Shiites already have a majority government in Iraq and do not need the Sunnis. This majority is held together by a group of religious fanatics who will ultimately promote Islamofascism. Our inability to recognize our historic failures during the 1979 Iranian Islamic Revolution, manifested by our policy of literally handing the Revolutionaries the government of Iraq in 2005, will prove to be a detriment to American foreign policy that will cost us billions and human lives.

I cannot support this foreign policy. I appreciate that you've debated the issue with respect but I fear that we have reached as much common ground as is possible. At this point we are just agreeing to disagree. I recognize that you have the country's best interests in mind and I respect your view comes from an altruistic position. Still, I think you are misguided in some of your assumptions, particularly your idealogical attachment to "Democracy" in the face of recent demonstrable failures of that approach in the Middle East.

If you have anything else to add I'd be more than happy to comment. Have a great day.

Posted by: Will in Texas | June 23, 2006 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Sandy the problem is Joe is working for Washington bosses and party bigwigs. He is incensed that he even has to deal with a primary. He feels this Senate seat is his birthright. He has become merely an operative of the inside-the-beltway DC consultant class. His friends and advisers are calling this a "jihad" against him. How incredible is that?

I also love how you claim every Democrat is a "Maoist". Yea, being for the 1st Amendment, against government intrusion into personal, private choices, and against huge tax breaks and giveaways to monolithic oil companies is being just like Chairman Mao. And Joe isn't trying to get onto just any TV. It's his constant presence on Fox cowtowing to his right-wing masters that makes him so unappealing.

You did not answer one of my points about Lieberman's positions and what makes him an effective representative of the people of CT. Yet you say that my response is illogical. A response with no substance, just to repeat media talking point about how he is so "principled" and a "centrist" is illogical.

I have no problem with people being conservative Democrats. You don't see people calling for the ouster of Ben or Bill Nelson, do you? They are at least as conservative, if not more conservative than Joe Lieberman. But you know what they don't do? They don't go on with Sean Hannity and bash the other members of their party. They don't open up the REPUBLICAN debate on the Iraq War. They don't always agree with some on the left, but they don't go out of their way to endear themselves to Republicans. THAT is principle, that is being a good representative. Sanctimonious Joe is no better than any other right-wing blowhard on Fox. After he loses in August, hopefully he'll get his own show.

Sandy, please tell me what makes Joe this model of centrism? And why shouldn't the voters in CT decide if he represents them and the Democratic Party anymore?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 23, 2006 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Whoever it is wrote:
===========================================
"SandyK I cannot agree. Lieberman is a sanctimonious politician that will do anything to get himself noticed on TV(usually Fox)."
===========================================

Are you Mike? As it's the same illogical reply..."I agree" to everything but what I stated ploy.

And no other politician is as TV saavy? If you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you. So you can drop that put down as it's just mud slinging.

Lieberman gets Republican support because of 2 things:

1. He's an orthodox Jew (and the Religious Right needs to ensure 144,000 Jews remain in Israel for Judgement Day -- each needs each other to make their scriptures "true").

2. He's not a Hollyweird ultra leftist, and one they want so much to convert. Meanwhile use him as a front to show not every Dem is a Maoist.

Being principled, Lieberman can't renege on his religious upbringing, nor could he kowtow to the Maoists. So he has no choice but plow ahead as a conservative Democrat (even though his stances on abortion and such aren't very conservative, which is why social conservatives don't like Lieberman [they like him since they were once Democrats themselves -- nature is calling -- but religion trumps party politics]).

Lieberman, IMO, is a good bridge candidate (much like McCain is for the Republicans). One that sure to displease each side of the aisle, but voters get more than just a rubber stamp, they get someone who thinks out every vote. He's suppose to work for his voters (i.e., bring home the pork), not for some Washington bigwigs or party bosses who add little to communities anyway.

SandyK

Posted by: SandyK | June 23, 2006 3:55 PM | Report abuse

I live in CT by the way...and this guy is not representing the majority of us anymore (in essence he didn't do that to a great extent, but he was business connected) I was luke-warm to him over the last 6 years until the blinding issues of 9/11 began to dim and the underbelly was exposed.

Term limits....let's discuss

Posted by: Mike | June 23, 2006 3:41 PM | Report abuse

SandyK I cannot agree. Lieberman is a sanctimonious politician that will do anything to get himself noticed on TV(usually Fox). I'll always remember the moment that I began to have a distaste for Joe. It was in the days after Columbine when he got up in the Senate and declared that Marilyn Manson helped cause this tragedy and he went on and on about how music and video games led to this event. Now I don't like MM, never listented to his music. But to say that music and video games caused Columbine was just too much for me to handle. A prominent Democratic senator standing up against the First Amendment made me sick to my stomach. That issue alone almost made me abstain from the 2000 presidential election.

I've always wanted to ask supporters of Lieberman this. If he would have won the presidential primary, what would have been his platform? He has carried Bush's water from day one. What would he say or do to distinguish himself from Bush? There is not one core Democratic principle on which he is a leader. Supports right-wing energy policy, supports their anti-privacy platform, and favors allowing hospitals to only treat the patients whose treatment they agree with. He is the leader of sucking up to Republicans in order to bash the people who helped him get elected.

This is not about principle, it is about knowing and doing what is right. Does Joe have principles? Yes, but what does that matter if they are ALWAYS wrong? When you're the Democratic senator from CT and you have endorsements from Dick Cheney, Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, and Ann Coulter, you are doing something wrong.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 23, 2006 3:34 PM | Report abuse

I agree with SandyK for once. Things are getting so damn heated that we may actually be snapped back into line on how to use our creativity to get things done rather than rattle sabers all day long.

Lieberman should be tossed on his head for contributing to the business as usual of this administration and Congress. The sell out of our future as a country for some immediate gratification is inexcusable and it sickens most red blooded Americans. It's drastically more important than the bogus social issues that are dividing us. Lieberman should be considered part of the old guard in this regard.

The current course of the war is making progress, but honestly it's just not enough to justify the costs. It also is casting a looming shadow of a potentially unfriendly theocracy (WFT hit this one right on the head). With the HAMMER being disgraced out of Congress maybe progressives and conservatives can actually carry out legitimate debates again. Both ends of the spectrum have legitimate concerns and by combining ideals we may have viable solutions.

TERM LIMITATIONS FOR CONGRESS! Keep the power mongers on the political fringe to bring the country back on track....

*passes the olive branch*

Posted by: Mike | June 23, 2006 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Will in Texas: First, of course the Iranian elections were rigged, they did not even let some moderate candidates run. You have no plan other than what was...support our bad guys against their bad guys. That strategy has been shown to be ineffective by 9/11. You seem to think that bringing down Saddam is the entire reason that this supposed "furor" against the U.S. has risen. That belief ignores the very history you seem to find so important.

Look at Prohibition in this country...you outlaw something, and it becomes the forbidden fruit that everyone must have. You open the door to free elections and what was forbidden is always going to explode to the surface. I just believe that those forces will settle down given time.

My plan for Iraq is the path we are taking. Stay there until the govt. is able to secure the country. Make sure the democratic process continues. Try and convince the Sunni's that the insurgency is counter-productive given that unless they get their act together they will allow the Shiites to dominate the government. Kill the terrorists. There is no magic bullet in this process. It will be long and hard and expensive...but retreating now would be worse.(of course, I know you disagree)

I've enjoyed our discussion and you obviously have some well-founded concerns and you voice them with clarity and detail.

Posted by: FH | June 23, 2006 3:04 PM | Report abuse

TheIrishCurse wrote:
===========================================
"I for one bought in to Bush's "compassionate conservatism" first time around, and gawd did he prove me wrong. Seems strange the far left is vilifying Joe Lieberman for doing what i consider the most honorable thing a politico can do--following and voting his conscience...."
===========================================

I don't see eye-to-eye with Lieberman on some issues, but he's principled, and in a day where voting on polls and ultra agendas in a party is the mainstay, it's refreshing to see a politician stand his/her ground even to sacrifice his or her career. That, to me, gives Joe (and anyone else who'll stand before the lions) the higher ground.

We need more principled statesmen who'd buck their own party if needed to stay true to their principles (I have much more respect for Joe than Zig Zag Miller, for no one questions Joe's convictions [he has a lot to lose to not bow to the ultras], where Miller did it for pure face saving politics to gain some mediocre after politics job). It offers voters more choices to vote anything but another Twiddle Dee or Twiddle Dum.

Hope Lieberman wins, if for anything, he kicked the status quo right in the kisser (and ultra-Left Dems will get a repeat of history of not alienating the majority -- the moderate and independent voters who tire of ultras hijacking their parties).

SandyK
A non party TR conservative, who would vote for Democrat candidates, who are qualified for the job that aren't Maoists

Posted by: SandyK | June 23, 2006 3:02 PM | Report abuse

FH-

"These groups may have been brought together in Afghanistan, but they were alive and well living in oppressive regimes long before that war got going."

Zawahiri is an Egyptian and former (current?) member of the Muslim Brotherhood which, in case you didn't notice, picked up 88 seats (nearly 20% of parliament) in 2005. They are now the strongest opposition party in Egypt.

Egypt is a quintessential example of when Democracy goes bad. The autocratic Mubarak shockingly proclaimed in 2005 that he would allow a multi-party election so that, surprisingly for the Egyptian people, they'd actually have a chance to vote for people they support.

And what happened?

Instanenously the super conservative yet BANNED Muslim Brotherhood picks up seats signaling a change. A democratic change. A terrifying change.

Zawahiri is from the Muslim Brotherhood and his team is winning seats in the most representative election Egypt has seen under Mubarak. Do you consider this shift towards "Democracy" a victory? Giving the keys of Egypt to the likes of Zawahiri and his ilk?

"In my mind the only difference in Iran now as opposed to before the Iraq war is they are showing their true nature. If Irans elections were legitimate, maybe that country would be more moderate than it is now, which is where our continued presence in Iraq will be beneficial...keeping elections on the up-and-up. Hamas may be in power now, but if real elections are held again...maybe not. Your opinion is that the status quo was not all that bad...I disagree."

This is dangerously naive. Less than a year ago elections WERE held in Iran, and a radical anti-American/Israeli pro-Islamic statehood candidate won the election over the "moderate" choice (who was anti-America/Israel but more secular and not supported by the Ayatollahs).

What makes you think Iran's elections were illegitimate? Because of the results?

Isn't it possible that the people of Iran hate America? That they wish ill things upon us?

As for your substantively shallow hope that Hamas will lose power... 4 years ago they did not control the Government. Today they do. That's an observable trend that needs to be addressed; why is the Islamic world electing radical governments and/or radical leaders? Why have we continued to facilitate this shift when Radical Muslims are who we are at war with?

Is your official position "Maybe tomorrow Hamas and Iran will become more moderate."???? Because that's insane. We have demonstrable evidence that they are becoming more radical, not less, and it has to do with our foreign policy. We need to do something about that immediately before it is too late.

"I'm only dealing with what is, not with what might have been."

Even if we ignore that the war itself is unjustified, resource wasteful, counter intuitive, etc. my point still stands for leaving Iraq NOW. I'm as much for looking forward as you are. We've now facilitated the Democratic takeover of Iraq by Sectarian Religious Zealots. The likes of al-Sadr will be running this country (just like Zawahiri will continue to gain power in Egypt and elsewhere, and as Ahmadinejad solidifies his political power in Iraq, Afghanistan, and throughout the region...) and we will be fighting them for the next 4 decades.

Democracy has failed us in the Middle East repeatedly. In Iran, in Palestine, in Egypt, and now in Iraq. How many more anti-American Pro-Islamofascist democratically elected officials will we suffer before you realize that?

By the way, what's your plan for Iraq? Hang out until...? What are we waiting for? They've already had elections, they already have a Government in place. Why do we still need to be there?

Posted by: Will in Texas | June 23, 2006 1:42 PM | Report abuse

"I know I'm taking a position that is not popular within the party," Lieberman told Broder, "but that is a challenge for the party -- whether it will accept diversity of opinion or is on a kind of crusade or jihad of its own to have everybody toe the line"

----------------------------------

The issue here is not about "diversity of opinion", but is instead about Lieberman simply failing to do the job that he is being paid to do, which is to faithfully represent the sentiments and will of the CT voters regarding iraq -

I was extremely disappointed to see this particular Broder column, which was little more than an uncritical platform for Lieberman to speak his nonsense unchecked.

Did it occur to Broder that back in the good ol' days of party bosses that was so prominently discussed in the Broder piece, that such party bosses would never have allowed Lieberman to support & side with the opposition so openly?

And what is this Broderspeak about Lieberman being "forced" to run as an independent?

Nobody is forcing Lieberman to do anything; if Lieberman loses the primary, what is wrong with Lieberman just accepting that as the democratically expressed will of the CT Democrats and simply bowing out? Isn't that how primaries usually work? If Lieberman loses the August primary, why should Lieberman have a second shot in November?

Posted by: charlie_hartford | June 23, 2006 1:42 PM | Report abuse

One more thing I wanted to clarify...I did not support the initial invasion of Iraq. I'm only dealing with what is, not with what might have been. I just wanted to make that clear.

Posted by: FH | June 23, 2006 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Will in Texas: Your history lesson is too short. Zawahiri's group shot Sudat for making peace with Isreal before Afghanistan. These groups may have been brought together in Afghanistan, but they were alive and well living in oppressive regimes long before that war got going.

In my mind the only difference in Iran now as opposed to before the Iraq war is they are showing their true nature. If Irans elections were legitimate, maybe that country would be more moderate than it is now, which is where our continued presence in Iraq will be beneficial...keeping elections on the up-and-up. Hamas may be in power now, but if real elections are held again...maybe not. Your opinion is that the status quo was not all that bad...I disagree.

Posted by: FH | June 23, 2006 12:48 PM | Report abuse

FH-

"Oppressive regimes in general...regimes that seek to quell religious fanatics...as you say."

I support oppressive secularists over oppressive Islamic republics. You operate under the assumption that "Democracies" can never be oppressive.

I pick and choose which "oppressive regimes" I support or don't because we are at war with a very specific class of people: Islamic Radicalists. Saddam Hussein is not and was not an Islamic fundamentalist. Ahmadinejad is. SCIRI and the Islamist Dawa party are.

Would I prefer an American loving democracy in Iraq over an American loving dictatorship? Sure. But I'll support a Secular dictatorship over an American hating Islamic democracy any day of the week.

What pisses me off is while Ann Coulter goes on the air complaining about Democrats' "sacred cows" such as Murtha, the Jersey Girls, etc. I raise MERELY THE POSSIBILITY that democracy is hurting us in the middle east and people say "But democracy is absolutely valuable!" So I'm left defending saddam or arguing against Democracy which are two sacred cows that are virtually impossible to overcome.

However there is nothing unreasonable about questioning the views of those popularly elected individuals in "successful" elections. When the President says "We've made progress... We had elections in December" I just want to scream right back at him "Do you support the views of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq or the Islamist Dawa Party"

Why shouldn't we demand bang for our buck. If the Democracy isn't going the way we want then we should back out and hope for turmoil.

"Strong-men who keep the populace from expressing themselves in the way that they want, all the while fomenting resentment in the population."

That's the whole point.

People forget that things were going relatively well prior to the War in Iraq. Iran was considerably more moderate, S. America wasn't nearly as leftist, we were generating a more positive military relationship with Pervez and the House of Saud, and fanatical Islam was restricted to a few pockets of clear anti-population terrorists.

There was no "occupation" in Afghanistan because there was a perception of legitimacy.

And then that all came crashing down because we went after the one guy who was fighting our battles against radical Islam daily for us. And the Islamic world hates us for it.

2005- Ahmadinejad gains control of Iran. He quickly solidifies his power in Iraq. Full page ad in the New York Times from the Iraqi government saying they've been compromised by the Iranians (who are now pursuing those treacherous exiles who went to Iraq during the 1979 revolution. I wonder if they passed the Iranian exiles we were fighting at the time but later handed the Iraqi government to?)

"The question is...over the long run...will people keep electing a govt. that beheads, mothers, daughters and sons...tortures and takes freedoms away from its people. I think not, but only time will tell."

It's not a question, it's a foregone conclusion. Why do you think Hamas seized power? The entire region is becoming MORE Islamic as a result of the Iraqi war because our occupation enables firebrand Muslim Fanatics to preach anti-American hate and Religious solidarity all the way to the ballots.

Will they continue to elect beheaders and torturers and murderers? They sure will! And when all is said and done it won't have mattered one wit what you "thought".

Posted by: Will in Texas | June 23, 2006 11:24 AM | Report abuse

A quick history lesson is in order.

Al Quaeda was the product of the Maktab al-Khadamat (MAK) which was a militant organization formed by Bin Ladin and Palestinian Abdullah Yusuf Azzam in the 80s. Their main purpose was to train holy warriors (Mujahadin) to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan. So al-Quaeda would train terrorists around the world and transplant them to Afghanistan. Who knew 30 years later they'd be doing the same thing... against the United States and Coalition forces with the same chain of command in place.

But I get ahead of myself. It was against (godless, infidel) Soviet Communists that MAK-al-Quaeda fought with the support of the United States and wealthy fundamentalist Muslims. Communism made for strange bedfellows.

Our failure at the time was not recognizing our "ally" and why they fought. We viewed al-Quaeda as a means to an end vs. Communism without recognizing 1300 years of Muslims-Infidel conflict. It never crossed our minds that al-Quaeda would find the United States infidels just as despicable as those godless Commis. And, as a matter of fact, they did.

Fast forward to the first Gulf War. This is when al-Quaeda developed a historic beef with the United States that ultimately played itself out on national television on September 11th, 2001.

Iraqi expansionism threatened the House of Saud because the Saudis, though well funded, were outnumbered by Iraqi forces. Two (former allied) factions offer their assistance; the United States and Osama Bin Ladin's MAK. The Saudis opted for the United States approach. Can't blaim them really, we represented significant military hegemony and the best solution to Iraqi expansionism.

Bin Ladin felt differently. He thought that infidel boots, no matter how useful those boots had been combatting the Soviets, in the land of Mecca and Medina was a grave insult to Islam. He alienated the Saudi government by inciting the point among the population (who were receptive to it, which is why we are happy that they don't vote) who exiled him to Sudan and revokes his citizenship.

Bin Ladin, furious at this embarrasment and the House of Saud's pandering to "infidels" creates al-Quaeda and later attacks America.

Iraq is tangentially responsible for al-Quaeda in the sense that Iraqi expansion set in motion the events that followed. The more directly player is the House of Saud, the United States, and most directly (obviously) Bin Ladin.

To answer your snide question: No, I do not support the House of Saud, the King of Saud, or Saudi Arabia who consistently undermines our national interests while we pay him to do so with oil money. But make no mistake about the people of Saudi Arabia; they are Wahhabists and fanatical Muslims. It is one of the most restrictive and oppressive countries in the world. And should the people vote they would quickly elect the likes of Bin Ladin.

Posted by: Will in Texas | June 23, 2006 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Oppressive regimes in general...regimes that seek to quell religious fanatics...as you say. Your plan is only a stop-gap, it has no long-term solution...its basically the status quo. Strong-men who keep the populace from expressing themselves in the way that they want, all the while fomenting resentment in the population.

The question is...over the long run...will people keep electing a govt. that beheads, mothers, daughters and sons...tortures and takes freedoms away from its people. I think not, but only time will tell.

Posted by: FH | June 23, 2006 11:12 AM | Report abuse

FH-

Which oppressive regime is that?

Posted by: Will in Texas | June 23, 2006 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Sounds like you support oppressive regimes who trounce religious freedom and create groups like Al Qeada...and so we go around...and around. No easy answer my friend!!!

Posted by: FH | June 23, 2006 10:50 AM | Report abuse

FH-

"You have no long-term answers. Saying "we really pissed them off now" is to miss the point."

That has not been my point.

"Iraq has 3 distinct groups: Sunni, Kurds, Shiite. The Fundamentalist govt. you seem to think is coming in Iraq would have to unite at least two factions. I just don't see that happening."

They already did this. The United Iraqi Alliance controls the majority of Parliament and key positions in the admin which essentially means that an Iranian puppet government is operating with more power in Iraq than either the Kurds or the Sunnis.

An analogous scenario is here in the United States. The Republican party, if united, would not need to "negotiate" with the Democratic party since they control the Executive and Legislative (and possibly SCOTUS) branches.

As for whether or not you "see that happening" well... if you don't open your eyes it isn't my fault. The one thing the Sunnis and the Shiites agree on is that Americans are infidels and women should cover themselves. Even the Kurds are reluctant secularists willing to play ball only because we represented the quickest way to rid them of a hostile Saddam.

At some point in the future one thing they will all be united for is a fundamentally Islamic Iraq, which is already happening. This is why the UIA gained ground in December and Secularists lost ground.

Not that we should view the "Democracy" without question or apprehension; the Muslim Brotherhood doesn't control Egypt. Yet. Every seat they gain is contrary to our national interests though. Just as Hamas gradually took power over the course of a series of elections so to will the SCIRI and Islamist Dawa party in Iraq. Or the Brotherhood in Egypt. Or the Alliance of Builders of Islamic Iran seized power in Iran nearly a year ago to this day. Or the future Islamist state in Pakistan the day after Pervez takes a bullet to the head because he aided us in the War on Terror (which is contrary the wishes to his, er, "constituents")

"You seem to be so hung-up on the short-term that you can't see the long-term advantages of our mission."

There is no long term advantage. In fact this is long term deconstruction; we've gone backwards 2 decades by taking out Saddam (who we funded to fight against the Iranian 1979 Islamic Revolution) so we could replace him with... the Iranian Islamic Revolutionaries from 1979. How is this progress?

"One of the primary reasons Muslims have hated the U.S. is our support for repressive regimes."

You're absolutely right. Osama Bin Ladin's main claim against us was that the King of Saud supported us and allowed infidels to march on the holy lands in Saudi Arabia. So, in reaction to that, we invade the only SECULAR country in the entire region to oust a guy who was in the same life and death battle with Islamic fundamentalism; Saddam.

And what do we do about the ACTUAL country that Muslims ACTUALLY hated us because we ACTUALLY supported the ACTUAL oppressive regime in Saudi Arabia. And how do they repay us? The King of Saud throws his constituencies a bone by supporting an ultra conservative archaic form of Wahhabism and funds anti-American Islamic Universities throughout the world (INCLUDING IN THE UNITED STATES).

Friends like these, eh?

You seem to want to have it both ways. We need people like the King of Saud and Pervez Musharref to successfully engage in the war on terror. Yet now you claim that our engagement with the likes of them (and Saddam? Hah!) is what causes the war on terror.

This is an all or nothing proposal. We either support oppressive regimes or we don't. The absolute WORST thing we can do is support the oppressive regimes that actually generate American hating terrorists (in Saudi Arabia) and combat the oppressive regimes that daily suppress Islamic terrorists (Saddam). Bin Ladin hated Saddam nearly as much as he hated us! So did Ahmadinejad.

"In the long run, a stable Iraq, representative of its people, can only help our image."

You are absolutely wrong. A stable Iran, representative of its people, has consistently embarrassed us on the national scale. Why do you keep insisting that "stable democracies in the middle east makes America look good"???? Has Hamas improved our relations with the Palestinians? Do you think the Brotherhood of Muslims in Egypt is pro-American? Do you think SCIRI and the Islamist Dawa party will quickly forget that we funded Saddam so he could kidnap, kill, and exile their senior leadership (even if we did forget, apparently)?

What fantasy world do you live in where Democracy has worked in our favor in the middle east?

"Remember this is a group of people who seem to be O.K. with beheadings and torture and killing of innocents by the terrorists...something tells me they will get over Gitmo."

That's my whole point! Why do you want to give elective power to people who BEHEAD "infidels"? Why do you want to elect a country that will make apostasy an executable offense? Who do you think you are empowering in Iraq when you hold elections? Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq. Islamist Dawa Party. Iran. Ahmadinejad. Fanatic Islamists. These people are getting the vote for the first time and they are going to vote for their radical interests.

Why do you want that?

"To say that maybe if we did this or that, we might be able to make a few more friends in the Middle East is just wrong...in my opinion."

I don't want to make friends, I want to incite a civil war or, at worst, a political standoff whereas the Religious fanatics cannot gain ground. You support full and free elections in Iraq just so they can nominate and elect our enemies. I do not support handing the keys to Iraq over to a Fanatical Islamic Regime that we will be fighting for the next 3 decades.

We lost because Democracy won in the Islamic Iranian revolution. 30 years later we are licking our wounds and feeling the consequences of that failure. You are ignoring that an Islamic revolution is EXACTLY what we are facilitating in Iraq RIGHT NOW. And Iran is the power broker.

From the New York Times this morning, I'm paraphrasing because I don't have the article. Jan. 5th 2006 quote from Ahmadinejad:

"The occupations in our neighboring countries [Iraq and Afghanistan] has placed the governments of those two countries into the lap of Iran."

What does he know that you don't?

Posted by: Will in Texas | June 23, 2006 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Will in Texas: You have no long-term answers. Saying "we really pissed them off now" is to miss the point. The status quo produced 9/11. We have no where to go but up. By the time 9/11 took place, Al Qaeda was out of the box...killing Bin Laden would have had little effect in stopping Islamo-Fascism. Sometimes you need to take a few steps back, to go forward.

Iraq has 3 distinct groups: Sunni, Kurds, Shiite. The Fundamentalist govt. you seem to think is coming in Iraq would have to unite at least two factions. I just don't see that happening. Or else you believe that the Shiite's will use force to create this govt., which could only happen if the U.S. leaves. You seem to be so hung-up on the short-term that you can't see the long-term advantages of our mission. One of the primary reasons Muslims have hated the U.S. is our support for repressive regimes. In the long run, a stable Iraq, representative of its people, can only help our image. Abu Garab and the rest will fade in time. Remember this is a group of people who seem to be O.K. with beheadings and torture and killing of innocents by the terrorists...something tells me they will get over Gitmo. In the short-term we added a few more to the active fight...they hated us anyway, it was only a matter of time till they jumped in. This war requires a long term vision, not a short-term reaction. To say that maybe if we did this or that, we might be able to make a few more friends in the Middle East is just wrong...in my opinion.

No easy answers...every opinion here is correct in one way or another.

Posted by: FH | June 23, 2006 10:16 AM | Report abuse

First of all, let me agree that the discourse between will and acarriedo has been very enlightening and interesting. I work as a congressional staffer, and one of the constituent letters that came across my desk a few days ago actually had an intriguing approach to the dilemma. What this constituent advocated was holding some sort of "special election" in which the only question on the ballot would be "should the United States withdraw its troops from Iraq?" Then abide by the decision. The US will be able to claim a successful democracy, and either they will be told to go home (in which case they can still declare a political victory while giving power to the Iraqis to choose their own path) or they will be asked to stay (in which case they will be able to say with certainty that a majority of the Iraqis are actually supportive of the American mission). Either way, it would seem that the US wins, the largest victory being a divergence from the "occupation" label.

Posted by: Jake | June 23, 2006 9:46 AM | Report abuse

SandyK:: thank you..i completely agree..people become moderates/independants cause they don't care for the extreme sides of either party. I for one bought in to Bush's "compassionate conservatism" first time around, and gawd did he prove me wrong. Seems strange the far left is vilifying Joe Lieberman for doing what i consider the most honorable thing a politico can do--following and voting his conscience....

Posted by: TheIrishCurse | June 23, 2006 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Has anyone considered the possibility that the Democrats could make five net gains from the GOP, but with Chafee and Lieberman both re-elected as independents. This would (technically) leave three independents, but Sanders (who will presumably win Vermont) can be classified as a Democrat. Lieberman and Chafee holding the balance? Which way would they jump while having no obligations to a party? My guess is Chafee would vote for Reid as Majority Leader. Lieberman probably the same.

Quentin Langley
editor of http://www.quentinlangley.net

Posted by: Quentin Langley | June 23, 2006 3:11 AM | Report abuse

acarriedo-

I appreciate that you've engaged me respectfully.

With that said:

"I guess we'll just have to wait and see how things play out."

I think this is a devestating and terrifying attitude. We are not resigned to one particular foreign policy agenda; we can react to circumstances in the region. "waiting and seeing" is exactly what we've been doing for 3 years and it has resulted in disaster after disaster after disaster.

Now is the time for decisive action.

Posted by: Will in Texas | June 23, 2006 2:02 AM | Report abuse

Thank you drindl.

Will in Texas,
Thank you for your insight. Like I said, I don't know much about the region. I just know a lot of general theory. So, your posts have been educational. I guess we'll just have to wait and see how things play out.

Posted by: acarriedo | June 23, 2006 1:40 AM | Report abuse

[Checks the article title again...yep, it's about Lieberman not Iraq]

One thing that's repeating, is the ultra Left shooting themselves in the foot again. They did the revolt thingee with Carter, they were trying to do the same with Clinton (and doing it to Hilary today), and now going after Joe -- all because they're MAINSTREAM politicians. They're more centerists.

What the Democrats need IS more centrists to gain the seats they want, otherwise the mainstream voter is going to bypass the Dem candidates. If they could gain another Sam Nunn they could carry the South and the Midwest. But nooooooooooooooo, they want to repeat history a la Carter and elected another Reaganite type president (and fellow travellers).

No one's to blame other than the Democrat party's own leadership which ISN'T looking at reality (and it's outside San Francisco and New York city!). They're fired up so badly they're looking like Maoists before the "Cultural Revolution", which will repel mainstream voters to more conservative politicians.

SandyK

Posted by: SandyK | June 23, 2006 1:37 AM | Report abuse

What about Akaka/Case in Hawaii?

Last week Ed Case rubberstamped Bush's war, and today Akaka voted to withdrawl troops from Iraq. It's a reverse Lieberman situation, and Akaka is being challenged by a D-in-name-only...

Posted by: Schultzy | June 23, 2006 12:33 AM | Report abuse

accareido and will in texas, thank you both for your thoughtfulness and patience and for trying to reach across the aisle, whatever it is. you both have a lot of say that is worth hearing.

Posted by: Drindl | June 22, 2006 11:53 PM | Report abuse

acarriedo-

"However, I do think that IF both Afghanistan and Iraq became legitimate Democracies that would be incredibly beneficial and help stabilize the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent."

You are welcome to think whatever you'd like. The problem is that there is voluminous evidence that you are wrong. Ahmadinejad's election in 2005 has been catastrophic for stability in the region.

The Palestinian election of Hamas has set the Israeli-Palestinian peace process back decades, further destabilizing the region.

In my opinion, the absolute most catastrophic event of this milennium will be the popular overthrow of Pervez Musharref in Pakistan. An incredibly conservative electorate will free itself from a semi-secular dictator and vote for Islamic Statehood. And they have nuclear weapons capable of launch throughout the region. And they have a historic beef with their immediate secular neighbor, India. This scenario is terrifying.

Lest we forget that true Democracies throughout South America are repeatedly electing popular anti-American leftists: in Brazil, Chile (not anti american so much as leftist), Venezuela, Argentina and, most recently, Bolivia's Evo Morales who has pledged to join the "Axis of Good" with Castro and Chavez.

Ignoring South America for a moment, "democracy" in the middle east has been an unmitigated disaster. We've sacrificed Saddam for the likes of al-Sadr who will be a perpetual thorn in our side. We've created an Islamic Republic that is going to be equally opposed to the ideas of America, Religious Freedom, Women, and liberty as Iran.

"I think I made my stance clear, but if I didn't I'll try to condense it. Democracy is good and worth fighting for just as long it promotes freedom and not bigotry."

And as soon as we recognize that a Democracy is forming that is contrarian to those views do we have a responsibility to oppose it? Then the Iraqis will truly see how naked our emperor is. Make absolutely no mistake about it: SCIRI and the Islamist Dawa party vehemently support religious bigotry and the elimination of social freedoms. This is who we are electing in Iraq. This is why our soldiers are dieing, so that a Conservative Islamic Republic can realize its anti-Americanism on a national scale.

"However, since we are in Iraq we need to do everything that we can to help their fledgling Democracy not succumb to the problems that have plagued Democracies in that region. That includes providing guidance, but also allowing them room to grow on their own."

How can you "guide" a Democracy without interfering with the Democratic process? The fact is, the people of Iraq HATE America and they believe in an Islamic state. The only thing preventing the Iraqi people from realizing an Islamic state was Saddam Hussein, who we quickly ousted. The entire ruling class of Iraq were IRANIAN EXILES. Who do you think we were fighting in Iran in 1979 to prevent the Iranian Islamic Revolution? It was Chalabi, al-Sadr's Uncle, the Ayatollahs (who are slowly gaining command over Iraq) and others. We supported SADDAM AND IRAQ against the mullahs in 1979 just so we could replace him with their successors in 2005. How retarded is that? In 2025 we will be supporting a Secular leader against SCIRI and Dawa while they try and turn the Iraqi "Republic" into an Islamic caliphate.

"Aside from refraining from a pre-emptive invasion of Iraq (it already happened and nothing we can do now will ever change that), what would you have the US government do to improve its foreign policy in the Middle East and Indian subcontinent?"

First thing would be to meet the total and complete demands of the Iraqi people; by slowly removing troops from the area. We could hope for a civil war whereas the Shiites and Suunies would occupy themselves in vicious bloodshed for years and years. They deserve each other.

The one group that we should play ball with are the Kurds who have consistently proven open to secularism and independence and are relatively pro-American. The absolute ideal situation, from a purely realpolitik stance IN MY OPINION would be a tri-state where the Kurds control northern Iraq, the Suunis take the dumpy middle, and the Shiites gain the ports. We can facilitate this by removing our troops and letting the chips fall where they may; either the Shiite will dominate the Suunis with their superior numbers or the Suunis will dominate the Shiites with their bravery and will. The Kurds would stay out.

Tri-state Iraq has a number of advantages. It weakens the largely sectarian Suunis and Shiites because they lose the valuable oil reserves in the north, which would be controlled by the Kurds. The Suunis would become largely irrelevant because the middle and western portions of Iraq are wastelands. Without access to water the Suunis will have to negotiate with the Shiites (the Kurds can buy access with oil), weakening their stance further.

The Shiites will appreciate that we've freed them from Saddam and the Baathists. They might turn into an Islamic republic, but we can buy them off when we've separated them from the Sunnis and Kurds. More importantly they will hate us less because the driving force behind anti-American sentiment in the region is the presence of "occupiers".

This also weakens Iran's position because, rather than having control over all of Iraq, they will only influence the Shiite portion of the country. The Kurds will be ours. The Sunnis will be on their own (and quickly approaching irrelevance).

So, to sum up: I think we should begin abandoning portions of Iraq immediately. If this ignites a Civil War, so be it. They need to solve their own problems. The Kurds will survive, as they did with relative autonomy under a hostile Saddam. The anti-Americanism in the region will quickly subside without a constant American presence to hate and loathe.

I think that is a legitimate approach. Whatever it is we are doing now, or have been doing for 3 years, has been a complete disaster. Every corner of the world despises and loathes us more each day that we continue to occupy a country that doesn't want us or DESERVE us. Europeans consider America a greater threat to global security than Iran. S. America continues to elect leftist anti-American populists. Iran continues to move towards radicalization, electing Ahmadinejad last year over his more moderate predecessor. Hamas somehow wins Palestine. The brotherhood picks up seats in Egypt. Iraqis go from secularism to following SCIRI and Dawa. Pakistan is one bullet away from utter disaster.

We enable anti-American islamists because our foreign policy has made us the persistently successful pinata for ambitious politicos throughout the world. If you hate America enough right now, you will get elected.

Let's put a stop to that.

Posted by: Will in Texas | June 22, 2006 10:05 PM | Report abuse

Will in Texas,
You are clearly much better informed on the happenings of the general area of the Middle East. As you probably noticed by now, I don't know much of anything about regional happenings in Iraq, the West Bank and Egypt. I won't pretend that I do. All I know is what I selectively read on the New York Times and Washington Post's web sites.

That said, I firmly believe that regional lords, secular dictators, various forms of oligarcies and otherwise authoritarian rulers produce inferior conditions than legitimate Democracies. The "Be careful what you wish for" calls do carry legitimate weight. So, don't think that I'm one to brush them off without careful consideration.

Hopefully this doesn't paint me in the wrong light, but I actually have attending a Palestinian rally here in the US. It was during an all day series of rallies for peace in the immediate aftermath of the congressional vote to approve the use of force in Iraq. I was part of the protest against the use of force. We were hopscotching different rallies prior to the main march on the capital building and wound up in a HUGE Free Palestine rally.

I know that anti-semitism aside, many Palestinians have legitimate beefs with the Israeli state. I don't want people to think I'm pro-annihilation of the Israeli state, but I found the speeches intriguing. So, I stayed for about two hours and caught up with my friends later.

In part because of what I witnessed that day, I'm not ignorant enough to think that the US military could just go into any country and impose a full functioning Democracy that represents "Western" interpretations of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. However, I do think that IF both Afghanistan and Iraq became legitimate Democracies that would be incredibly beneficial and help stabilize the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent.

In no way shape or form do I think our soldiers should be dying in order to create an American hating government. During the Mexican Revolution the indigenous and Mestizos alike died for eight years just to create that joke of a Democratic government we had for the next 80+ years.

I think I made my stance clear, but if I didn't I'll try to condense it. Democracy is good and worth fighting for just as long it promotes freedom and not bigotry. I didn't support the use of force and still think it was a bad idea (mostly because I think we left Karzai out on a desolate island). However, since we are in Iraq we need to do everything that we can to help their fledgling Democracy not succumb to the problems that have plagued Democracies in that region. That includes providing guidance, but also allowing them room to grow on their own.

Now, I'm sure that there is something that I said that you disagree with. However, seeing as how I've obliged an answered you contentions honestly and in earnest, I'd like to pose one overarching and open ended question to you. Aside from refraining from a pre-emptive invasion of Iraq (it already happened and nothing we can do now will ever change that), what would you have the US government do to improve its foreign policy in the Middle East and Indian subcontinent?

Posted by: acarriedo | June 22, 2006 9:19 PM | Report abuse

said the cold war is over the age of islamic fantassists is on us...

that's right:

WE ARE IN A GREATER DANGER FROM TERRORIST ACTIONS AGAINST US THAN WE WERE FIVE YEARS AGO

because there's money to be made

in perpetuating the cycle of engaging an "enemy"

so they manufactured and then created one...

by inciting a bunch of primitive tribemen to focus on America as their enemy.

.

Posted by: the king of lebanese sheep poop on his nose | June 22, 2006 8:19 PM | Report abuse

acarriedo-

"I'm not at all an advocate of that "Democracy." It's not Democracy when people vote for you because they fear reprecussions such as death, imprisonment, fines, etc. if they vote against you."

That's not what happened in Palestine. The people simply made an informed democratic choice... and decided that terrorists better represented their views. You seem incorrigible on this point. I'd love to hear why, specifically addressing the Palestinian issue.

"Creating the type of Democracy that truly represents the will of common people is almost impossible to create in an environment of fear."

You don't know the people in these regions. They HATE Christianity, and unclothed women, and America. And they will vote their feelings and elect people they view as anti-American, anti-Secularism, and pro-Islamic statehood.

You can rant against "Democracy" or preech your "true" idealistic Democracy, but you don't get to choose the elected officials in the democracies you stand up. As it were, the democratically elected leaders in these regions are CONSISTENTLY anti-American and work against our sovereign interests.

"I don't respect leaders like Ahmedinejad and al-Sadr. They represent their own bigoted pinciples and care nothing for true Democratic values."

But you aren't an Iranian, so it doesn't matter who you respect. The Iranian voters wanted Ahmadinejad and voted for him; because he preached hate against the United States and Israel and promoted Islamic statehood when such sentiments were at an all time high in the country.

You seem to operate under the assumption that "When they elect the people I don't like, that isn't true 'democracy'". The fact is, these people don't want to elect American loving, freedom respecting, peaceful leaders. They want revolutionary Islamists who are in a perpetual war with women and non-Muslims. And that's why they consistently elect them throughout the region!

As for al-Sadr, let him be the definitive example of our failures in Iraq. Our short memories forget that al-Sadr was a member of the INSURGENCY who fought and killed American forces in August of 2004. How did we reward this murderer?

Well he holds unofficial control over Sadr city and enormous political clout. Many of his followers backed the UIA (United Iraqi Alliance) which ultimately won over 50% of the Iraqi parliamentary seats in the election last december. Sadr has considerable influence in the Government has a result.

Let's discuss the UIA coalition (which now holds legitimate majority rule over Iraq):

Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI). Love the name right? It just shouts "moderate Muslims" doesn't it?

Well, not exactly. Abdul Aziz al-Hakim runs the show. He and his brother, the late Ayatollah Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim, brokered power in Iraq after a long exile in IRAN. Saddam didn't take kindly to their brand of religious extremism and expelled them from his country. Like many members of the UIA, the SCIRI is made up largely of Iranian chickens come home to roost. This largely supports my narrative that Iran has benefitted more from this war than any other country in the world.

SCIRI's political platform is that they support Khomeini. They think Iraq should be run by the ulema or, in more palpable terms, Islamists. They support a Muslim state (and will get what they want).

Islamic Dawa party is another member of the UIA coalition. The founder of the Islamic Dawa party was Muhammad Baqr al-Sadr who is, incidentally, Muqtad al-Sadr's uncle. You think they are still close?

Their resume reads like one long Islamofascist fight. They hate secularism. They supported the 1979 Iranian Islamic Revolution.

They do split hairs with SCIRI in that they do not think the ulema should run the country. They support Ummah rule which is a little more inclusive than the ulema. The distinction is hard to explain but it essentially means that SCIRI supports Islamic Cleric rule whereas Dawa supports Islamic populist rule. Still, no jews, christians, buddhists, hindus, or atheists allowed. Oh well.

The four pillars of the Dawa party are as follows:

1. Absolute sovereignty belongs to God (guess which one).
2. Islamic injunctions are the basis of legislation. The legislative authority may enact any law not repugnant to Islam.
3. The people, as vice-regents of Allah, are entrusted with legislative and executive powers.
And my favorite:
4. The jurist holding religious authority represents Islam. By confirming legislative and executive actions, he gives them legality.

In other words, they are a radical Islamic group that supports Religious State rule.

Is this the kind of "Democracy" you think is worth fighting for? Just so we can establish an American-hating Islamic regime?

We are at war with Fanatic, Radical Islam. I ask again how any country can win a war when they hand the enemies the key to the city. Democracy or not, what is happening in Iraq will be disastrous for the United States for years and years to come. We've sacrificed Saddam for the likes of al-Sadr, the Islamic Dawa Party, and the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq. Iraqi "democracy", like the Palestinian elections, Egyptian elections, and last year's Iranian election, is turning out to be an unmitigatable disaster.

This is why I object to your parroting of "democracy".

Posted by: Will in Texas | June 22, 2006 8:03 PM | Report abuse

a democracy?

when we can't trust our electoral process?

Blackwell is investigating himself in Ohio, following el Presidentes' hate full lead...

yes we have a democracy like mehico.

.

Posted by: and is the United States | June 22, 2006 7:52 PM | Report abuse

read "Giles Goat Boy," by john barth

Posted by: so you've | June 22, 2006 7:47 PM | Report abuse

"Bush et al ... diverted critically needed assets, esp special forces and special opps troops out of the real central front to a unnesssary war of choice. As a result, both fronts had been starved of the resources needed to win and we have two quagmires for the price of one."

Given how much this Administration has obviously studied the tactics used in 1930s Germany to stifle dissent and gain domestic support for wars of aggression, you would think they also would have learned from Hitler's "fighting on two fronts" mistake. Guess they didn't make it to that part of the history book in time.

And of course, "The Pet Goat" doesn't cover any of this in much detail.

Posted by: B2O | June 22, 2006 7:37 PM | Report abuse

have a democracy or an oligarchy...

and Mexico has a plutocracy, there is no democracy in Mexico, that's why they all want to move to L.A. and San Diego.

.

Posted by: does the United States | June 22, 2006 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Will in Texas,
I want to choose my words carefully, but I don't want you to misinterpret that as me sidestepping the issue.

Democracy is more than merely an election. In Mexico we've had "Democracy" for nearly 100 years. We had "globally recognized elections." The PRI government was also corrupt beyond belief and notorious for doing whatever the hell they wanted and killing anyone who dared to oppose them.

I'm not at all an advocate of that "Democracy." It's not Democracy when people vote for you because they fear reprecussions such as death, imprisonment, fines, etc. if they vote against you. That is not the Democracy we are fighting for. Creating the type of Democracy that truly represents the will of common people is almost impossible to create in an environment of fear. Like I said, it took Mexico 100 years, but then again Mexico didn't have any help.

I don't respect leaders like Ahmedinejad and al-Sadr. They represent their own bigoted pinciples and care nothing for true Democratic values.

If you want to make the argument that we've spread ourself to thin by trying to fight for Democracy on multiple fronts I'll agree with you. It's a tough fight that needs our full attention. But I will never agree that Democracy leads to oppression and bigotry. Lack of adequate social/economic/political infrustructure, competing forces and terror have led to that situation throughout the Arab world.

Our military isn't going around bombing sacred Mosques. Iraqi government officials aren't bombing market places. The forces that are causing that to happen were already in place before we got there. The invasion probably created the power vacuum that helped some of those terror cells become more active.

Blame the invasion itself, but don't blame Democracy.

Posted by: acarriedo | June 22, 2006 6:58 PM | Report abuse

"
Three years ago Iraq was controlled by a self serving dictator.
"

and where is the United States?

in the same place apparently with most of it's population asleep at the wheel...


as two jobs in retail passes for being middle class.

.

Posted by: acarriedo sayz: | June 22, 2006 6:34 PM | Report abuse

acarriedo-

Palestine is not a true democracy? WHY?

The list is daunting.

Democratic elections in Egypt leads to a pickup of seats by the Muslim Brotherhood, a conservative religious fanatical group.

Palestine elects Hamas, in an internationally recognized legitimate election, even though Hamas is a terrorist organization.

Iran elected Ahmadinejad nearly exactly one year ago just so he could quickly take the UN seals off his nuclear plants and preach hate to the willing masses... hatred towards the US, Europe, and Israel. We indirectly helped elect him by stationing troops in Iraq and Abu Ghraib's stain, which incited the local population and aided his Anti-American message vs. his moderate predecessor.

Do you want "democracy" in Pakistan? What about Wahhabist Saudi Arabia?

What concerns me is that you people don't understand this region. You are exporting this American ideal of "Democracy" to these people. A noble idea, sure, but it has unintended consequences. Why have we taken Iraq from one dictator just to hand it to Islamofascism? What country can win a war if it consistently empowers the enemy?

Posted by: Will in Texas | June 22, 2006 6:33 PM | Report abuse

acarriedo-

"Three years ago Iraq was controlled by a self serving dictator. Now it is a fledgling Democracy, which IMHO is light years better."

Why don't you explain the metric you use to measure "progress". If it is "how the people perceive their situation" then we have not made progress. If it is the amount of electricity, water, or infrastructure then we have not made progress.

We keep touting this line about "Democracy as an absolute good" but why? Would you fight so that Palestinians could elect Hamas? Should we invade Pakistan to free them from Pervez Musharef? Why? So they can elect a Talibanesque ultra conservative radical Islamofascist government?

There are a few troubling developments in Iraq. Many were mentioned in the Diplomatic cable published by the Washington Post. During Saddam's reign women were generally free to where whatever they felt like. Iraq was considered one of the more "western" countries in the middle east largely because Saddam was a secularist who did not tolerate radical religious groups (they threatened his power).

Fast-forward to 2005. Iraq went from a dictatorship to a series of fractured "democracies" where sectarian Shiites war with Suunis for dominance. Conservative religious leaders, both Shiite and Suuni, were all too happy to fill the power vacuum left by Saddam (such as al-Sadr). As a result, women who were free to walk the streets without their hijabs or abaya coverings in the Saddam era are now forced to cover themselves... or fear retributional acid attacks and kidnappings.

http://www.peacewomen.org/news/Iraq/July05/Acidattack.htm

Be careful what you wish for. Democracy in Iraq is a euphemism for disaster. We are at war with Islamic extremists; trading Saddam Hussein for the likes of al-Sadr will prove to be a Faustian bargain.

Posted by: Will in Texas | June 22, 2006 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Jake,
Palestine is not a true Democracy and you know it. Iraq is not a Democracy yet and it's much more democratic that Palestine is on its best day.

Posted by: acarriedo | June 22, 2006 6:15 PM | Report abuse

jeff... a quisling is a traitor... the name comes from the prime minister of norway that was imposed on that country by the nazis in WW2 following their invasion. The term is now used for political puppets imposed by invaders.

A false flag attack is when a country attacks a second country while claiming to be a third country, the term comes from the old practice of pirates flying the flag of their intended victims to get close enough to launch an attack

Note to all, Dems, GOPers or independents...go to "Frontline" and catch the special "The Dark Side", then go to the web site and read the interviews.

Bush replaced the regular policy making process with an agenda implementation process... with the Vice Prz at the helm with a virtual veto power.

Bush et al completely misunderstood the nature of the threat, a "war of ideas", totally effed up the intervention in Afganistan, and diverted critically needed assets, esp special forces and special opps troops out of the real central front to a unnesssary war of choice. As a result, both fronts had been starved of the resources needed to win and we have two quagmires for the price of one.

Final point... American are not so dumb after all. A recent poll indicates that a majority of american now consider Geo W Bush the worst pez in history! The best... Bill "lets play hide the cigar" Clinton

Poll conducted by (spelling) Quinnipeack

Posted by: nate from appleton wi | June 22, 2006 6:12 PM | Report abuse

drindl,
If you are advocating what Karzai said then I am with you. I truly respect Karzai and I completely respect his assessment.

What I don't agree with is the "we're not making any progress" statements similar to the one Murtha made a few days ago. We certainly are making some progress. Three years ago Iraq was controlled by a self serving dictator. Now it is a fledgling Democracy, which IMHO is light years better.

The cost that we've paid for that does trouble me and I agree that some time in the near future we do need to change our approach.

Posted by: acarriedo | June 22, 2006 6:11 PM | Report abuse

"Democracy in...the Middle East would ultimately serve as its own deterrent to terrorism"? How about the election of Hamas in Palestine? If a country is full of terrorists and they have a democracy, terrorists will win the elections. Democracy itself is actually less likely to cure terrorism than a dictatorship, because a dictator is able to crack down easily on terrorists. With a democracy, extreme views will be represented at least in part by the government, making it hard to take the necessary decisive action.

Posted by: Jake | June 22, 2006 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Accariedo,
I don't think ANYONE is advocating a full-scale immediate withdrawal from Iraq. That has always been a rightwing distortion of what Democrats are saying--Jack Murtha never said that, nor anyone else that I have heard. What people talk about is a change in direction in the way we are pursuing terrorists. You read what Karzai said -- and he knows. What we are doing now is counter-productive.

Yes, democracy anywhere is a good idea which I fully support. However, why are US kids fighting for Iraqi democracy? Why aren't Iraqis? Isn't democracy something you should fight for yourself? We did it in this country.

Now, as inn the first Gulf War, we find our own kids being used as pawns when the people we are supposed to be helping are doing nothing, or actually attacking us. Why, for instance, didn't Kuwaitis repel Saddam's invasion? Because they wouldn't fight. Didn't want to get killed, and they knew their old oil buddy George Bush would be happy to use his own countrymen for cannon fodder.

I, for one, think the rest of the world should fight their own battles for a change. How many more billions of dollars and thousands of lives can we afford?

Posted by: Drindl | June 22, 2006 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Ohio Guy and Drindl, I am genuinly asking what are these issues? I just don't know and if you guys can give me three other issues that Lamont differs with Liebermann that would be great.

Also either way I don't see how attacking a fellow democrat is going to help Liebermann. If he keeps this up Lamont might beat him even if he runs as an independent.

Posted by: Andy R | June 22, 2006 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Chris writes:

"The events of this week point to the fundamental challenge before Lieberman. He has made his political name on being a principled leader who follows his beliefs and isn't swayed by the political winds. ... The war in Iraq has severely damaged that trust, and now that Lieberman has cast himself as a man of principle he cannot switch positions on the war without severe political consequences.

Lieberman's plans to vote against both of the Iraq war resolutions today seem to be a recognition that he has chosen his course and must stick to it whatever the fallout. It's a choice that has the potential to cost him his party's nomination this year, if not his political career overall."

To summarize: Lieberman is adhering to principle only because to do otherwise would be bad politics. That is not the price of principle, it is the price of politics.

Posted by: MC | June 22, 2006 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Mike,
I'm not sure why you think granting a path to citizenship to illegals who are in this country represent the worst of the Democratic agenda, but completely disagree with you. Willing to debate.

Posted by: acarriedo | June 22, 2006 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Jackson Landers and B20,
Thank you for your insight. However, I do watch the military channel from time to time and granted its only going to show the positives. I have an uncle who served in Afghanistan all of 2004 and part of 2005. I have a brother in law who served in Iraq during the invasion and the first six months of the occupation.

We do track weapons and munitions in both Iraq and Afghanistan. I've seen it on tv and I've heard about it from first hand sources. Are we doing a perfect job of doing so? I doubt it. Are we effectively fighting terrorism? I don't think so, but does an immediate fullscale withdrawal from Iraq solve those problems? That's the answer I'm looking for from our country's leadership.

Also, don't get me wrong, unlike my uncle and brother-in-law, I cannot stand Bush or much of his foreign policy team. I do, however, believe in my heart of hearts that true Democracy in Iraq and other parts of the Middle East would ultimately serve as its own deterrent to terrorism. Why? Democracies don't go to war with each other.

Posted by: acarriedo | June 22, 2006 5:32 PM | Report abuse

post is not being immediately picked up, even though you've hit "submit," it's usually because the WaPo server is getting a lot of requests for service/"hits" and your send device has submitted your post, but your screen software has not received the acknowledgement from the server yet, so it doesn't show your post "having left,"

hit "submit" once

.

not that it's a big deal.

.

Posted by: when your | June 22, 2006 5:23 PM | Report abuse

mustard gas is not a WMD

that's BS, it's about as dangerous as any other reactive chemical reagent

next thing you'll be saying cyanide gas is WMD,

I'm sure it's more leathal per pound than chlorine gas

being trapped with zouk on an elevator would be worse, I'm sure.

.

Posted by: don't pee on my leg and tell me it's raining.. | June 22, 2006 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Sorry about the triple post. i have no idea why that happened.

Posted by: Drindl | June 22, 2006 5:18 PM | Report abuse

The wingnut screamers aren't interested in facts, Ohio guy. You know, because reality has a liberal bias.

They're so desperate to believe that they haven't been duped that they will grasp any straw to reinforce their fragile belief system. It's tragic.

If anyone is really interested in why we are in Iraq, I suggest you read Kevin Phillip's 'American Theocracy.' Philips is a former republican strategist who, with great authority, detail and meticulous sourcing, lays out the history of how we got to where we are now in this country. It's huge and not light reading, but incredibly enlightening. I respect him a great deal.

Posted by: Drindl | June 22, 2006 5:14 PM | Report abuse

The wingnut screamers aren't interested in facts, Ohio guy. You know, because reality has a liberal bias.

They're so desperate to believe that they haven't been duped that they will grasp any straw to reinforce their fragile belief system. It's tragic.

If anyone is really interested in why we are in Iraq, I suggest you read Kevin Phillip's 'American Theocracy.' Philips is a former republican strategist who, with great authority, detail and meticulous sourcing, lays out the history of how we got to where we are now in this country. It's huge and not light reading, but incredibly enlightening. I respect him a great deal.

Posted by: Drindl | June 22, 2006 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Specter:

"the recently declassified document shows that there were WMDs in Iraq in 2002. That's what mustard gas is - a WMD. Same for Sarin - a nerve agent. Get over it."

There are WMDs in North Korea right now. Ergo we should go to war with them. What?

Reread my post: I said that the idea that Saddam had a WMD program that was a threat to the United States has been soundly rebuked. Nothing in the declassified documents changes that. Sarin and Mustard Gas existed in Iraq in 2002... ok? And? Why does this necessitate warfare?

Posted by: Will in Texas | June 22, 2006 5:12 PM | Report abuse

The wingnut screamers aren't interested in facts, Ohio guy. You know, because reality has a liberal bias.

They're so desperate to believe that they haven't been duped that they will grasp any straw to reinforce their fragile belief system. It's tragic.

If anyone is really interested in why we are in Iraq, I suggest you read Kevin Phillip's 'American Theocracy.' Philips is a former republican strategist who, with great authority, detail and meticulous sourcing, lays out the history of how we got to where we are now in this country. It's huge and not light reading, but incredibly enlightening. I respect him a great deal.

Posted by: Drindl | June 22, 2006 5:11 PM | Report abuse

KOZ -- I've asked you this a number of times in the past and you never answer: What do you define as "success" in Iraq? If you want to advocate staying in Iraq long-term, then that's fine. I'm likely to disagree with you, but I can respect that position IF you explain to me both: (1) What you would consider a successful conclusion of our presence there; and (2) How it is that you/those that agree with you plan on getting from where we are today - which is a mess - to that end result.

KOZ -- I've asked you this a number of times in the past and you never answer: What do you define as "success" in Iraq? If you want to advocate staying in Iraq long-term, then that's fine. I'm likely to disagree with you, but I can respect that position IF you explain to me both: (1) What you would consider a successful conclusion of our presence there; and (2) How it is that you/those that agree with you plan on getting from where we are today - which is a mess - to that end result.

Contrary to the beliefs of many Republicans, simply screaming "cut and run" and "stay the course" 5 million times doesn't constitute a strategy. Neither does saying "trust our Generals" because what we're talking about here isn't - fundamentally - a military issue. Rather, wisely or not we've decided to engage in National Building here - which is a task that is solely the responsibility of our Civilian leaders to oversee. If you expect me or the rest of the MAJORITY in this country that currently thinks we should pull out of Iraq to listen to your ideas, I think it is incumbent upon you to explain to me exactly what your plan is.

Posted by: Colin | June 22, 2006 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Chris

I have to disagree with your assessment of Lieberman as one who "made his political name on being a principled leader who follows his beliefs and isn't swayed by the political winds."
As a Connecticut resident in 1988, I thought his candidacy against Weicker was a mistake - I asked "Why replace a senior Senator with significant power on committees, just to put a Democratic nameplate on the door?" In fact, Weicker was a moderate Republican (whose views then would make him a moderate democrat now)

Lieberman has consistently been among the last to cast his vote in the Senate on many issues; issues where an early vote cast on the basis of principle could have made a real statement. (e.g., Clinton's impeachment).

I have for years characterized Lieberman as a "finger-in-the-wind" politician, choosing stances on the basis of their political impact and rarely on principle.

Posted by: schlicht | June 22, 2006 4:45 PM | Report abuse

"That is what Ned Lamont's single-issue campaign is all about. No other issues but the war." - specter

Spoken like a true wingnut screamer. Is it just me, or the more and more you hear the rightwing screamers proclaim their loive for Joe Lieberman and disgust of Ned Lamont, don't you just become oven MORE convinced that Connecticut Democrats are doing the right thing by ousting Lieberman?? After all, if the only people still supporting Joe are the likes of specter and KOZ, dosen't that mean Joe has completely lost touch with the Democratic party?

As for specter's claim that Lamont is a single-issue candidate, I have never read anything more ignorant on this blog. Anyone who spent five minutes reading about Ned Lamont and why he is running would know that the Iraq War is one issue out of many, many issues in which he differs from Lieberman. Just another example of idiotic wingnuts not being bothered by things like the facts, just start yelling complete nonsense b/c the facts don't support your argument. Keep it up specter, you are on your way to becoming as much of a laughing stock as KOZ.

Posted by: Ohio guy | June 22, 2006 4:43 PM | Report abuse

said the cold war is over the age of islamic fantassists is on us...

that's right:

WE ARE IN A GREATER DANGER FROM TERRORIST ACTIONS AGAINST US THAN WE WERE FIVE YEARS AGO

because there's money to be made

in perpetuating the cycle of engaging an "enemy"

so they manufactured and then created one...

Posted by: the king of lebanese sheep poop on his nose | June 22, 2006 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Jackson Landers: You make so many good points, but I wonder if you don't think that all these new recruits would have been going to Afghanistan now instead of Iraq. I believe they are in Iraq because of proximity as much as any furor over that invasion. Either way, by invading a Muslim country we caused a great many sitting on the fence to join in the active fight. But then the question remains...what is the proper course of action other than inaction, which I believe is no longer an option post 9/11. I believe Afghanistan would be much worse right now if it were not for Iraq because it would be the central theme in the war. The question then becomes one of tactics, which are always debatable.

By the way, critisism is spelled criticism from my last post.

Posted by: FH | June 22, 2006 4:32 PM | Report abuse

the balance of power. things change. the cold war is now over. the war on Islamic extremism is now upon us.

Posted by: king of zouk | June 22, 2006 4:31 PM | Report abuse

"when the Military first got to Iraq they had been told that the United States had been attacked by Iraq...a few months ago 80% of the troops still believed that."

Actually, the figure is 85%. What does it say about an operation when the very people fighting it had to be brainwashed with this garbage to get them fired up? Sadly, the troops are only marginally more misled than the FauxNews viewers. What a sad state our democracy is in. Needless to say, the domestic(ated) media wouldn't go near this story. Wouldn't make their masters on Pennsylvania Ave. very happy.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article12104.htm

Nearly nine of every 10 - 85% - said the U.S. mission is "to retaliate for Saddam's role in the 9-11 attacks," while 77% said they believe the main or a major reason for the war was "to stop Saddam from protecting al Qaeda in Iraq."

Posted by: B2O | June 22, 2006 4:31 PM | Report abuse

KOZ,

I don't dispute the point about France and Russia, but we provided him with significant weapons in the 80's as well.

Posted by: appalled | June 22, 2006 4:29 PM | Report abuse

the French and the Russians sold him those weapons. It was not only the money but the culpability.

Posted by: king of zouk | June 22, 2006 4:25 PM | Report abuse

over 50% of the monies allocated by congress go to Defense Spending


Halliburton managed to "come up missing" for 9 Billion...

Halliburton, has been given money, 9 Billion of which has been spent on something

but they don't know what

.

since that's Cheyneys' old company, no ones looking for it

why is that

Posted by: ps. | June 22, 2006 4:25 PM | Report abuse

I listened to Charles Duelfer today, the guy who did weapons inspections after teh invasion to try to find WMD. He said that the 500 missiles Santorum spoke of were, indeed, old, left-overs from the pre-Gulf war days. They may have still been dangerous, but let's say they weren't. He went on to say that Saddam got rid of his WMD - destroyed and/or transferred them - to get out from under the UN sanctions regime. But he also said that Saddam never lost the intent and capability to restart his programs, certainly chem and bio. His techincal-industrial base, as teh Soviets used to say, was robust enough to recreate WMD in fairly short order after the sanctions were gone. So instead of Saddam with WMD in 2003, Saddam has WMD in 2005 or 2006. We know that our good friends the French and Russians opposed the invasion, not because they didn't think Saddam had WMD, but because Saddam owed them billions, and they wanted him to pay them. So, invade him now, or invade him later. It all works out the same.

Posted by: wbb | June 22, 2006 4:21 PM | Report abuse

WE ARE IN A GREATER DANGER FROM TERRORIST ACTIONS AGAINST US THAN WE WERE FIVE YEARS AGO

because there's money to be made

in perpetuating the cycle of engaging an "enemy"

so they manufactured and then created one...


the one that they are pointing at, Al Quaeda, was trained by the United States Military and CIA


that is a friggin fact.

.

probably, knee deep in operatives


need a tape from Osama? let me call Miami...

Posted by: or more simply | June 22, 2006 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Jackson Landers - you make some interesting points but they all seem to be specualtion. there is just no way that you can claim to know these things you profess. It could just as easily be exactly opposite of what you say.

Posted by: king of zouk | June 22, 2006 4:19 PM | Report abuse

accariedo asked:

"Exactly how is Iraq undermining the War on Terror. I hear and read this many places, but I've yet to hear how. Are we not fighting terrorists in Iraq? All of the news reports I read tell me that we're fighting terrorist who have inculcated themselves within segment of the Iraqi society that make them difficult to effectively target. But aren't they still the terrorists we set out to fight?"

What's sad is that you sound like a perfectly intelligent person (judging from your facility to form very intelligible sentences) - yet you and so many others like you are completely snowed by the continued misleading White House rhetoric on this, and the AWOL media that never bothers to put the verbal garbage into the known factual context.

According to numerous independent analyses, the "insurgency" in Iraq consists of about 5-10% foreign fighters that fit the Al Qaida profile (*). So, like most of what Bush has said since 9/11, it's not entirely, 100% a lie, but it is mostly a lie.

Most of the insurgency is a homegrown civil war with Sunnis (who resent no longer being dominant and fear Shia rule) trying to kill Shiites, and the latter retaliating. That the media steadfastly refuses (and I have written them countless times on this matter) to make this known to their readers every time the president chants "we are fighting the terrorists in Iraq" is one of the many pathetically cowardly abdications of their professional ethics they are guilty of since 9/11.

If you asked one of these worthless squirmy scurrying ground-dwelling mammals (mainstream pseudojournalists, I mean), they would probably reach for the following as an excuse for their not doing their job. The fact is that IN this civil war, many of the Sunnis are using terrorists tactics in killing Shiites, and to some extent the same happens in reverse. But they are NOT "the terrorists we came there to get" (PEOPLE: THE TERRORIST GROUP WHO ATTACKED US DID NOT HAVE PEOPLE IN IRAQ BEFORE WE INVADED! THEY WERE IN AFGHANISTAN, WHICH WE LARGELY ABANDONED!).

Additionally, some of these civil war participants are using terrorist tactics against the army that has invaded their homeland (from a place called the USA), and props up the Shiite government that they oppose. Whether or not YOU would use any means at your disposal to fight off foreign invaders in your home town, I will leave as an exercise to any honest pro-war readers here. But in any case, they are using these tactics against our Holy Troops, so therefore they are "attacking Americans" (duh, you would too if Arab troops invaded Hagerstown), and since our pus-ridden media are terrified of appearing not to support the troops, they sacrifice the truth to create a little shield for them to hide their sorry little posteriors behind.

That's largely how Iraq is "part of the war on terror". It's about terrorized journalists here in the domestic(ated) media.

(*) Here's just one such analysis, from the Center for Strategic International Studies:

http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/0923/dailyUpdate.html

Posted by: B2O | June 22, 2006 4:18 PM | Report abuse

a disingenious point...

as Arkin at the Washington Post blogsite, EarlyWarning, pointed out in the "Understanding the Revolving Door," article

about 1/2 of the companies that engage in working for the government employ ex-government officials, primarily military or former intelligence agents at the officer level, that are looking for ways


to sell the government something and get paid for it...


( government contractors, beltway bandits )


IF all of the worlds military problems are solved, these people and companies are _out_ of a job...


Lockheed, Martin-Marietta, Halliburton, Singer, to name a few of the smaller ones


that's why they (this administration, and complicit congress), first invented, and then created a "terrorist threat,"


let me say that again slowly:


tha tis why they first invented,


and then created, by angering and mistreating people, a terrorist threat...


WE ARE IN A GREATER DANGER FROM TERRORIST ACTIONS AGAINST US THAN WE WERE FIVE YEARS AGO

thanks to the current administration and a complicit congress...

Posted by: a little education for the American people... | June 22, 2006 4:10 PM | Report abuse

B20:

What they are actually saying is:

"principled" and showing "steely resolve"
to "stay the course" in Iraq DESPITE the FACT that the majority of the american citizens disagree with them about supporting the War in Iraq.

Posted by: Cassini | June 22, 2006 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Acarriedo,

Many people believe that the war in Iraq undermines the war against terrorists because it has become a powerful recruitment, training and fundraising tool for al Queda. Look at the situation before and after the invasion of Iraq. Al Queda was on the run, pushed out of Afghanistan, losing membership right and left as we snatched up their guys and they had few facilities with which to train new terrorists or soldiers. Support from Islamic governments was drying up as the horror of the 9/11 attacks became a unifying way around the world of looking at the struggle between radical Islam and the West. The Bush administration's approach to fighting terrorists was actually working pretty well.

Then we invaded Iraq and toppled the government there. Few terrorist groups had ever been able to operate in Iraq for very long because Saddam saw radical Islam as a threat to his power. Suddenly, you had a huge power vaccum which still has not been filled. As we learned from Afganistan, terrorist groups florish in lawless places. Al Queda and other terrorist groups suddenly had a vast, out-of-control country within which to set up training camps. The Bush administration left vast stockpiles of Iraqi weapons, ammunition and explosives completely unguarded for months and in some cases years. Al Queda has looted enough of these supplies to maintain a low-intensity guerilla war for DECADES. Bear in mind that they had free run over the resources of what was once the world's 3rd largest army.

Once we started seeing high civilian casualties, things got even worse. Because you had a whole country of people who previously had no real cause to hate the west, but then we started killing them. Sure, you break eggs to make an omelet, etc. We have good reasons for what we do. But every time we shell somebody's house and kill a woman or man inside, those people's children and siblings and parents curse the day that America ever came to Iraq and they decide to join al Queda or a local militia or any group that will give them an opportunity for vengence.

What was al Queda's membership prior to invading Iraq? How many people were we really fighting? A few thousand. Maybe 5 or 6 thousand. We kill that many of the enemy every few months in Iraq according to the Pentagon's own figures. So on the basis of enemy casualties alone we're clearly seeing the creation of more terrorists and enemies of the US at a far, far higher rate than prior to the Iraq war.

What al Queda is doing now is having new recruits spend a few months or a year fighting in Iraq to train them into real veterans and then deploying them on assignments around the world. Iraq has become the best thing that ever happened to al Queda. They have more weapons, more recruits, better training and more positive publicity then ever before. We're not 'stopping them in Iraq instead of at home.' It's sort of like taking antibiotics intermittantly and in small doses; you aren't wiping out the infection, you're just inadvertantly breeding antibiotic resistant bacteria that will spread out through your body and become even harder to eliminate.

Had we focused even a fraction of those resources in Iraq on securing Afghanistan, that war would be over now. We would have far greater international cooperation in hunting down international terror groups if the world didn't largely despise us over the Iraq debacle. The real shame of it is that the Bush administration actually had it right for a year or so after 9/11. We could have won the war on terrorists by now. Instead, we got stuck in a quagmire that is breeding terrorists and dispersing them faster than we can ever hope to kill them.

Does this explain the position adaquately?

Posted by: Jackson Landers | June 22, 2006 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Anyone else reading The One Percent Doctrine? I just started yesterday. Figures to be a good read as Suskind is a quality investigative journalist who writes compelling narratives. I think the book will have an impact on debates like this one in the near future.

Posted by: acarriedo | June 22, 2006 4:00 PM | Report abuse

"Butcher of Bagdhad," to Hussein?

George Bush Sr.?


then why did he invite Saddam to attack Kuwiatt?


why did the Saudi's and UAE fly the planes into the WTC


who were we trying to sell the ports to?


what is a false flag attack?

.

Posted by: who gave the name | June 22, 2006 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Isn't it sad how the domesticated corporate media routinely describes politicians who stand obstinately in favor of war in the face of all logic and truth as "principled" or "having steely resolve" -- yet when a politician or citizen opposes a war based on logic and reality, they are simply called "anti-war"? One never reads overtly positive adjectives ascribed to the latter. I challenge anyone here to find a case that contradicts this.

War = "categorically good"
Peace = "unpatriotic"

Simple equations for simple minds. That's how we got here today, America. Remember that next time.

Posted by: B2O | June 22, 2006 3:55 PM | Report abuse

WMD

is a phrase coined by the terroristas...


bush and company to terrorize the Untied States people into giving him whatever he wanted

if he would take care of it.

and you are obviously part of his cadre...

my posts are always signed the same way, the posted by comment is my first line...

no one else posts like that, get over it...


and since these deeply dangerous articles of dismay have been discovered, then the ones that will be handling them would be wearing masks and protective covering...

I would think that to the unknowledgable handling them would be "not a good idea,"

the IED's are constructed from munitions shells and the other things are more dangerous, right now to civilians than to military...

and mustard gas is not a WMD


bush's rhetoric is, anyone within a twenty mile radius immediately becomes more stupid any time anyone from the Executive branch speaks and

drops a disinformation bomb...pure un adulterated Bull**** yah did?
..

Posted by: dear lying sack o f dog poop | June 22, 2006 3:51 PM | Report abuse

KOZ,

You were close on that one, but just had to let that "don't you have any ideas for the future line?" in. Just leave the snide comments at the door and have a reasoned discussion like FH or for the most part Specter do.

There were other reasons given for the war, but the theme that was constantly given was WMD. Colin Powell's entire speech at the UN was devoted to that topic. And in his biggest speech to build up for the war, Bush made the "mushroom cloud" statement. You can make the argument that we were helping to free a people from a tyrannical dictator, which is true. However, in reality that played no part in our decision. If that were the case we would have intervened militarily in a whole bunch of places, including N. Korea and Iran.

Pre-emptive strike means that we attacked without prior provocation. Saddam was a general pain-in-the-rear, but I don't think those amounted to the provocation necessary to invade. I'll accept your point that he fired at our planes, even though I don't see a source that you always demand of those who oppose you. He never shot one down, or for that matter even came close.

This is all irrelevant to the point at hand, which is Sen. Lieberman's jeopardized status as a Senator from CT. His staunch support is a big reason, but far from the only reason for his troubles. His crusade against the 1st Amendment(video games and music), his support for the R's in Schiavo incident, his support for the eradication of SS, and his willingness to suck-up to Hannity and his ilk are my main problems with him as a Senator. And I imagine that a great number of people in the great state of CT feel the same way and that is why he is in trouble.

PS - It doesn't really matter what my ideas are for the future since I am not now, nor ever plan to run for office. And I do wish the D's would offer a better long-term solution. But that has nothing to do with the lack of WMD in Iraq and Lieberman's troubles in CT.

Posted by: appalled | June 22, 2006 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Whats really funny is that everytime you ask a Republican or Bush backer on Iraq:

"What did Iraq/Hussien have to do with the events of 9-11-01"?

They will go into a tirade about how ignorant the questioner is about the GWOT,
spreading democracy to the middle east, no wmd's found in Iraq is "irrevelant, the removal of a brutal dictator makes the U.S.
"safer" etc...on and on without answering the question above.

Then ask them this question:

"How will anything with regards to the results of President Bush's War with Iraq
prevent another domestic terrorist attack on the U.S.?"

and you will be subject to a ballistic ad
hominen attack, again without answering the question.

That's why it amuses me when Republicans such as Sen.Frist label totally justified calls from Democrats to start setting timetables/goals for the U.S. military exit from Iraq as "cut & run" as if it is
their mission to "stay the course forever until we WIN" (which not a single one of them can define.

Then finally ask them this question:

Even if the U.S. WINS in Iraq, whatever that means, Exactly WHAT do you think is going to happen there when U.S. forces are re-deployed and Iraq is responsible for its OWN security?

I would love to hear the answer to that one.

Posted by: Cassini | June 22, 2006 3:48 PM | Report abuse

uhhhh...Will,

the recently declassified document shows that there were WMDs in Iraq in 2002. That's what mustard gas is - a WMD. Same for Sarin - a nerve agent. Get over it.

Posted by: Specter | June 22, 2006 3:42 PM | Report abuse

What's a quisling?

Posted by: Jeff | June 22, 2006 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Thank God for men of principle like Joe Lieberman. There are far, far too few of them in Washington today. He is the only Democrat that I could even remotely consider supporting for President. I really do wish that he'd run as an independent, because he has absolutely nothing at all in common with the pathetic pack of petty, ankle-biting whiners that is today's Democratic Party.

Posted by: Dan | June 22, 2006 3:39 PM | Report abuse

KOZ,

That is what Ned Lamont's single-issue campaign is all about. No other issues but the war. He talks a good game, but just like Kerry the whole campaign is "Vote for Me because Joe is for the war and Bush if for the war that means that Joe must be for Bush." Period.

Posted by: Specter | June 22, 2006 3:38 PM | Report abuse

To Drindl above, Chris grew up in Connecticut so I am not sure you can accuse him of not knowing anything about the Connecticut electorate.

Posted by: Alexandria VA | June 22, 2006 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Specter-

Appalled is making a refutation of a general claim made prior to the war in Iraq that Saddam both had a WMD program in 2002 and that the WMD program was a threat to the United States. This claim has been soundly rebuked, is specifically rebuked in the articles mentioned by Apalled, and is a fairly unagressive claim.

You are trying to pingeon hold him into saying that "he should sniff Sarin to prove his point" which is retarded. That he/she/anyone would not sniff a dangerous chemical is not evidence that a WMD program existed in Iraq in 2002.

KOZ-

There's no point marrying yourself to WMDs. It's a non-starter. If you think there was a multitude of good reasons to take Saddam out, please present them (as you have in earlier posts) so that we can challenge their plausibility.

To both of you-

I would seriously question the assumption that "Democracy" in the middle east is beneficial to our interests. It was not in our interests in Palestine recently and is certainly not in our interests in Iran. It would be utterly devastating in Pakistan as well.

The Cold War was not about fighting for Democracy, it was a fight against Communism. As often as not we chose to battle democratically elected leaders in our national interest. Whatever opinion you may have about the Cold War, or this war, or war in general, Democracy is not an absolute and unqualified good. The presumption that Democracy in the Middle East plays a stabilizing factor has been disproven as often as not and is thus a terrible objective to pursue at blood and financial costs.

The Democratically elected government of Iraq is definitely going to be more sectarian than Saddam's government was and likely will be very anti-American... because Democracies reflect the views of their people and the people hate Americans.

Posted by: Will in Texas | June 22, 2006 3:38 PM | Report abuse

President Bush was very careful NOT to say that an attack was imminent but that it would be too late at that point. also WMD s were just one of many reasons to attack this menace. Again - you can look it up.
Pre-emptive strike - more dissembling. We were still at war with Iraq from a cease-fire treaty. they disobeyed the agreement in multiple ways including firing missiles at our jets, Kicking out inspectors, hiding weapons, etc. do you really want to argue over whether it was a good thing to depose Saddam? Is that because you have no ideas for the future?

Posted by: king of zouk | June 22, 2006 3:36 PM | Report abuse

dear spector (why don't you just stick with one name - it's obvious that quite a few of the posts are from you),

You obviously have no concept of gases and nerve agents. What...do innocent civilians like the Kurds that Hussein gassed go around wearing gas masks and ABC suits? If terrorists, or even insurgents got hold of some of this stuff do you think they are going to go around looking for people already wearing gas masks or suits to attack? What kind of logic is that? Don't be ridiculous.

Posted by: Specter | June 22, 2006 3:32 PM | Report abuse

FH,

A very good post on why terrorists hate us. Spot on. Nothing we do or say will make them like us, so we have to use all our capability to prevent attacks and to kill/capture them where they are. A more even-handed approach would decrease the intensity of anti-US feeling in the Arab world, but it can never go away. On the troops in SA point, I thought I read that we were going to start reducing our troop numbers there. Am I right on that? Anyway, a thorough and good analysis.

However, I can't support your idea of Lieberman being a good independent. I have never liked Lieberman since he blamed Columbine on Marilyn Manson, but overall he is just so sanctimonious. He seems to be in it for the glorification of Joe Lieberman. What else could explain his constant presence of Fox News to bash Democrats?

Posted by: appalled | June 22, 2006 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Well....I suspect that the chemicals are, and were, quite usable. Open the warhead, put the sarin in a glass bottle, seal it, hook it to an M-80, throw it in a subway car, crowded market, restaurant, disco, etc. and lots of people die. The other point you have to remember is that WMDs were one point of the war but not the only reason.

Posted by: Specter | June 22, 2006 3:28 PM | Report abuse

I grew up in Connecticut, my next door neigbhbor was the late Gov. John Dempsey(a protege of John Bailey). Both of the fine men would be aghast that Connecticut Democrats would see fit to turn out an outstanding Democrat. Many Connecticut Democrats, like Democrats nation-wide(I'm a registered Democrat)fail to realise that Freedom is Not Free. The media lies, and President Bush survives despite all the lies. As a Marine I simply don't know what's happening to this country. So many citizens have their heads buried in the sand. Strange we don't hear these folks complain about Afghanistan, nor did they complain about Bill Clinton's efforts in the Balkans(and I voted for Clinton twice).So many of these folks are simply Chamberlains or, better yet, cowards(don't feed me the crap that many veterans and present day members of the Armed Forces want out). We are in a war. Saddam was a major player even if the left-wing doesn't want to admit it. And Europeans forget that we had to help them get out of two major wars, because they couldn't hack it. The French(I'm a French-Canadian)are, and always have been cowards. They only joined us in the Revolutionary War because they hated the English(and I love Tony Blair). If Joe is defeated in the primary, he's got to run as an independent. He is an honorable man. And Lowell Weicker? What a fraud, always was and always will be. I love the ad. Cheers.

Posted by: Dr. R.D.B.(Ben)Laime | June 22, 2006 3:26 PM | Report abuse

would you be willing to breathe the fumes from a bleach bottle?

is something so dangerous that a gas mask and body suit won't handle it?


Posted by: dear spector | June 22, 2006 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Specter,

I appreciate your civilized tone, even though I disagree with your assessment. It is more refreshing than reading KoZ's rants. I can guarantee you that no matter what state it was in, there is no way I'd sniff sarin. I agree with you on that point. However, you are claiming these are WEAPONS of mass destruction. That cannot be true if the weapons are unusable. Furthermore, the report says these weapons were pre-Gulf War I. The whole rationale for this war was that Saddam had stockpiles of WMD that were an IMMINENT threat to the USA. You have to agree that unusable cannisters of this gas does not rise to the level of a weapon of mass destruction. A long forgotten reminder of how bad Saddam was? Sure, but not an imminent threat that justified a pre-emptive strike. Don't forget that the US wasn't so particular about these weapons when he was using them on Iran. I don't deny that Saddam was a bad man who had WMD in the past, but that can't be our rationale for pre-emptive invasion.

This is a side point, but if this was the smoking gun to prove WMD in Iraq, why was it announced by Sen. Man-on-Dog and some other low-level congressman and not the President in the Rose Garden? Just curious.

Posted by: appalled | June 22, 2006 3:23 PM | Report abuse

What's the point of having a political parties at all if their nominees don't feel any obligation to actually represent the views of the party rank and file? We're not talking about occasional departures here; we're talking about wholesale abandonment of the interests of the party's base.

Posted by: BZ | June 22, 2006 3:19 PM | Report abuse

FH,
I'm with you. I don't think it would hurt anyone but the two party system if Leiberman and Chafee won reelection as Independants in 2006.

Posted by: acarriedo | June 22, 2006 3:19 PM | Report abuse

FH, "Joe would make a great Independent"? I'm an Independent nd Joe Leibermann represents the worst of the Repblican & Demnocratic agrendas. I mean, he's FOR staying the course with this miserable failing foreign policy by the ganster and his cronies whostaged an unarmed coup and stole the elction from Allan Gore. ANd, this mindless twit supports the utterly insane idea of granting amnesty to all 12 ot 20 million illegals here. Worse, he wants to increase outsourcing and guest workers, the single largest security breach we have and THE primary means by which terrorists infiltrate this country and enemy states steal ur military secrets. All of this would be embarrasing, if it weren't so serious. Leibermann and Bush and the rest of them need to go to prison. Not out on the lecture circuit. Not hobnobbing with rich friends on a golf course, but serve the rest of their miserable lives in a prison cell. These are the worst sort of monsters, traitors, and human garbage this country has ever produced.

Posted by: Mike | June 22, 2006 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Negroponte the Director of Intelligence for all of the United States


is that so he can be held in the pocket of one family?

and work for them? and control all of the intelligence and cherry-pick it like dubya did for the invasion of a soveriegn nation?


is Jeb the next President of the Untied and drifting out to sea, States of America?

Posted by: answer this one small question | June 22, 2006 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Playing semantics won't work Appalled.

What the DOD official said was the "weapons" were unusable. You choose that to mean that the chemicals were so degraded that they would not harm anyone. I think it means they did not have the abitilty to shoot the projectile itself. Different interpretations. But from your answer I would assume that you would be willing then to take a sniff of whatever is in the capsules? Is that right?

Posted by: Specter | June 22, 2006 3:13 PM | Report abuse

I would not pretend to know exactly how many troops are needed somewhere to conduct operations. If you know this better than the generals over there I would be impressed. the numbers are down from the all-time high and the area patrolled by Iraq only is up. this is progress and is in accord with the plan.
did you want to end this war in a year? where did you get that timetable from? Patience is a virtue. We fought the British for our independence for 8 years. it took us 12 years to ratify our Constitution. Are you in a rush, do you have somewhere to go? how about focusing less on the timetable and more on the mission? Or does that take away your ability to demogogue?
Incidentally, the House and Senate continue to reject timetables.

"defense official, who spoke on condition of anonymity" - always a way to get a political point out. I did work on WMD for several years and I will tell you that there is no safe Sarin gas. you will not find anyone who knows what they are talking about that will claim it degenerates to a safe level, perhaps less deadly. this is more of the press jumping to conclusions before the facts are in. Remember the 10,000 dead bodies in NO? the Jenin massacre?

but the real point is that the Dems have hung their hat on "NO WMDs" without qualification and now they are backtracking. they will try to find talking heads to eliminate this development. this is simply dishonest. the fact is Saddam either had WMDs or wanted them and certainly lied about them. but this was just one of many reasons to eliminate him. What is the big deal? Just to spite Bush and have some bumper sticker slogan.

Posted by: king of zouk | June 22, 2006 3:13 PM | Report abuse

the reason the "terrorists" hate us

is because they're not.

sure there are always some unhappy people, witness the NSA's investigation of those extremely dangerous people:

QUAKERS


and Animal Rights Activists


spewer of phantom fear juice, shut up.

you're a childe of unreason.

.

Posted by: dear ranto FH | June 22, 2006 3:11 PM | Report abuse

The US isn't "nation-building" in Iraq. The US Embassy in Iraq describes in detail how the occupation continues to make life worse every day (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/opinions/graphics/iraqdocs_061606.pdf) . The majority of projects to build hospitals and other infrastructure have been abandoned. The Sunnis think the US handed power to the Shiites and the Shiites think the US is giving too much to the Sunnis and Kurds, and the Kurds are really annoyed that they are now just lumped together as Iraqis when they used to have a functioning autonomous authority. Everyone is making everyone else's life hard, everyone wants a scapegoat, and everyone's scapegoat is the US occupation force. Nation-building is not possible without the consent of the governed, and the fact that the occupation began as an unprovoked aggression undermines the legitimacy of any action the coalition may take there. Iraq's wounds can't heal while we are still a bayonet in their side.

We need to get the army out, and we need to stop Dubya and Condi and Rummy and whoever from flying over to micromanage every damn twitch of their little hothouse talking-shop. Iraq won't form a real government until we give them space to do so. The army and police act like militia and death squads because they don't have the responsibility of protecting their country's future. Our presence prevents them from building their country.

Posted by: lart from above | June 22, 2006 3:10 PM | Report abuse

KOZ,

Where did I cower? I provided sources to prove your point was completely wrong and then you just continued with the name-calling. And then you said that China, Russia, and France are holding Saddam's WMD. Can you please cite your source for that information? Saddam was a bad guy and most definitely killed people, even with WMD. However, he was not an imminent threat to the US and the invasion of Iraq was an impediment to the overall GWOT. KOZ, I'd like to have a constructive conversation on serious issues, but you're name-calling is making that difficult.

Specter,

The munitions were not usable and all were dumped prior to the 1st Gulf War. I think that says all there is about there danger and the ability of Saddam to threaten our country. Saddam was a bad guy and the world is better off without him. However, we went about it in the wrong way and at the wrong time. Claiming he did have these STOCKPILES of WMD due to scattered, 25 year old, useless weapons does not make our country's prior claims true. Of course Saddam had chemical weapons in the 80s, he used them to gas his own people. But that doesn't mean he had stockpiles that were a threat to our community.

Posted by: appalled | June 22, 2006 3:10 PM | Report abuse

"
The third reason can't be changed, but if it was changed Saddam would now be in charge of a great percentage of the world's oil supply and would probably be real close to nukes by now.

"

by FH

he was in embargo...


ps. I DON'T REMEMBER THE PRESIDENT RUNNING HIS ELECTION BASED UPON A PRE EMPTIVE STRIKE ON IRAQ!!!


I THOUGHT WE WERE ATTACKED, WAS IT A FALSE FLAG ATTACK?

THANKS...answer the friggin questions

.

Posted by: you're a liar...FH | June 22, 2006 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Negroponte the Director of Intelligence for all of the United States


is that so he can be held in the pocket of one family?

and work for them?


is Jeb the next President of the Untied and drifting out to sea, States of America?


could life be much uglier than to return to the times of King George?

syphilltic King George?

.

Posted by: so why is | June 22, 2006 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Joe would make a great Independent...something this country needs in the Senate to get rid of the partisan gridlock to which we have become accustomed.

As for creating more terrorists by invading Iraq...that may be true in the short-run, but my be less true in the future.

Top four reasons they hate us: 1. support of Isreal. 2. support of repressive regimes. 3. presence of U.S. troops on Saudi soil during the gulf war. 4. general influence we use throughout the mid-east.

Now the first reason we may be able to minimize by being a more even hand in the Isreali - Palestine conflict. It will be difficult, though, because it's just real hard to deal with the Palestinians and the fact is most Middle East countries really don't want to help because they really want Isreal to be vanquished.

The second reason we may be able to minimize in the long run if we have success in Iraq...a big IF, but that is a possibility.

The third reason can't be changed, but if it was changed Saddam would now be in charge of a great percentage of the world's oil supply and would probably be real close to nukes by now.

The fourth reason will hopefully diminish as alternative fuel sources come online. (yes, I believe Republicans bear the brunt of the critisism here for the lack of these resources)

Finally, let me just say that the bulk of the critisism for why they hate us lies with the terrorists themselves. These are people no less reprehensible than the Nazis. They have little to no respect for human life or the dignity of women. To say that we could take actions that would make them hate us less is a fools errand, because to say that is to believe that they react in a rational manner that can be anticipated or controlled...an argument I believe is false.

Posted by: FH | June 22, 2006 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Appalled,

I'm quoting from the same source you are. Figure it out for yourself.

Posted by: Specter | June 22, 2006 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Specter,

I'm flattered, but if you'd look at the official DoD response to Santorum's re-election ploy, you'd see why I'm right and you're wrong. The DoD says these were not usable and I believe them before I believe Rick "man-on-dog" Santorum. Especially since he's counting the days he has left in office. Hard to inflict mass destruction if it can't be used. Look at my comments above for the quotes and sources.

Posted by: appalled | June 22, 2006 2:59 PM | Report abuse

you seem to look away,

I was just wrong about sarin,

don't you want to point that out?

come on....let's dance...pedopatter...

.

Posted by: hey zouk, are you afraid of me? | June 22, 2006 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Appalled,

Nice try at slanting it. But the same official also said:

The official said the findings did raise questions about the years of weapons inspections that had not resulted in locating the fairly sizeable stash of chemical weapons. And he noted that it may say something about Hussein's intent and desire. The report does suggest that some of the weapons were likely put on the black market and may have been used outside Iraq.

He also said that the Defense Department statement shortly after the March 2003 invasion saying that "we had all known weapons facilities secured," has proven itself to be untrue.

"It turned out the whole country was an ammo dump," he said, adding that on more than one occasion, a conventional weapons site has been uncovered and chemical weapons have been discovered mixed within them.

Posted by: Specter | June 22, 2006 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Sarin - you manage to somehow completely miss the point. The point is that Saddam did not even have these weapons they were pre- Gulf War and were buried and forgotten, and no one had any intent to use them. But those inconcneient facts don't stop wingnut screamers like yourself and KOZ from acting like we found a nuclear warhead that could hit Manhattan.

Posted by: Ohio guy | June 22, 2006 2:54 PM | Report abuse

appalled - you can dish but you cower when forcefully responded to - same as most Dems.
why is this information just being declassified despite being found over a year ago? There is very conclusive evidence that Russia, France and China helped evacuate the weapons they sold to Iraq before the war. this would create an embarrassing and fruitless situation if developed by the administration. do you deny that there is any possibility that WMDs were ever in Iraq and that more will never be found? Is that really your stance? could you possibly be wrong? what if you are? why is this so significant? Are you just out to get Bush? We aren't looking backwards to win elections, we are trying to solve existing problems. you Dems are always five years behind. 2010 talking points - why did the 2008 election get stolen from us?

Posted by: king of zouk | June 22, 2006 2:54 PM | Report abuse

is heavier than air, and has a yellowish tinge...

it is visible and burns the skin and eyes...


dear exaggerating personality:

gasoline has more explosive power per pound that dynamite...are you afraid of it?

if you have a gas mask, and your skin protected

with chlorine gas, you're safe.

wanta talk some more sweetness, I haven't had lunch yet and you seem bitesize.

.

Posted by: elemental chlorine | June 22, 2006 2:54 PM | Report abuse

dpr,

from Wiki:

Sarin, also known by its NATO designation of GB (O-Isopropyl methylphosphonofluoridate) is an extremely toxic substance whose sole application is as a nerve agent. As a chemical weapon, it is classified as a weapon of mass destruction by the United Nations according to UN Resolution 687, and its production and stockpiling was outlawed by the Chemical Weapons Convention of 1993.

Posted by: Specter | June 22, 2006 2:53 PM | Report abuse

KOZ,

Again with the name-calling. I'm just saying it's not productive. And hear is a quote from a story on the Santorum-Hoekstra side-show you are using as the rock-solid evidence of WMD:

"But a defense official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the weapons were not considered likely to be dangerous because of their age. Also, Democrats said a lengthy 2005 report from the top U.S. weapons inspector contemplated that such munitions would be found."

The Fox News article on the story even quoted a DoD official as saying that the munitions were not usable. Now, my understanding is that to be a weapon, let alone a WMD, the thing has to be usable.

I have just provided two cited examples, one from the official press arm of the RNC (Fox News), that your claim is utterly ridiculous.

Furthermore, you paint a rosy picture of the situation in Iraq. If it is that good, what are US soldiers still doing there? I mean they obviously have a stable government and a huge army to protect the country. So why do we need 150,000 American troops there?

KOZ, it would be really nice if you confronted the sources I provided to refute the Santorum-desperate-to-save-my-career story. I would also like a response to my questions about the presence of US troops. And if you could do it w/o name-calling that would be a cherry on top.

Posted by: appalled | June 22, 2006 2:52 PM | Report abuse

appalled,
Thank you. I knew I wasn't a complete idiot. I agree its going to be tough to figure this out and eventually we're going to have to stop getting our hands quite so dirty in all of Iraq's many problems.

I just think that since we are there we might as well give our best effort to do what we can to clean up the mess. Half ass doesn't sit well with me. And yes I do think that a change of strategy might be necessary.

Posted by: acarriedo | June 22, 2006 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Appalled,

I gave you a non-honorary mention in my new article.

http://ctpoliticswatch.blogspot.com

Posted by: Specter | June 22, 2006 2:51 PM | Report abuse

sarin gas ='s chlorine gas

elemental chlorine...you know like what is in bleach....


very dangerous, don't use clorox it could kill you.

.

Posted by: dear pedophilic rantor | June 22, 2006 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Imagine that - sarin gas was used to kill people in the Japan. And yes, mustard gas is old, but it is lethal, no matter what you say. So Ohio Guy and appalled - if these weapons are so "not dangerous" I challenge you to answer whether or not you would be willing to take a little sniff of the contents of any of these shells? Would you? If not, we then know what you really think.

Posted by: Sarin | June 22, 2006 2:47 PM | Report abuse

were in cahoots.

that's why they didn't go to Bagdhad the first time....they wanted to pick it when it was ripe....

Saddam is being attacked in Bagdhad...sayz, "why is he doing this to me?" and he disappears with 1 BILLION in cash, while he's surrounded.


Noriega in Panama as the US is landing, "Why is he doing this to me?" regarding Bush Sr.


Bush Sr. started working with the CIA and Mafia in Florida in the EARLY 50's

and hasn't stopped since


Negroponte was working with him in Honduras as an ambassadour when he was heading the CIA


when your family background is royal, working to achieve what you want by orchestrating events is part of family history...


stupid people talk about "events"


people that can see what is going on talk about relatedness, threads, "how we got here,"

grow the eff up and pay some fricking attention....

flush zouk

.

Posted by: saddam and Bush Sr. | June 22, 2006 2:46 PM | Report abuse

fact: at least 500 artillery shells filled with deadly gas are found in Iraq over a year ago. The news is released.
Dem response - what weapons?

Is that the kind of fact you are talking about or is there a more nuanced version Mr Kerry?

Fact :Iraq votes three times, forms democratic government, lead terrorist is killed, Army reaches 250,000

Dem conclusion: we are losing, we have no plan

Please inform me as to the logic and reasoning behind these conclusions, I fail to see the cause and effect you are positing.

why not respond to David Broder's idea? He is actually a paid and experienced columnist with a national following, unlike you dwebes who fancy yourselves literary prodigies. He does research and cites sources, can you live up to that standard? you response will be ultimately telling.

Posted by: king of zouk | June 22, 2006 2:44 PM | Report abuse

KOZ,

A statement from Big Brother:

"The chief weapons inspector, Charles Duelfer, has now issued a comprehensive report that confirms the earlier conclusion of David Kay that Iraq did not have the weapons that our intelligence believed were there."

Are you going to disagree with the President and say there were the WMD we claimed were there? Remember "we can't wait for the mushroom cloud"? Those were the statements of the President and so gullibly accepted by the press, most Democrats (most notably Mr. Lieberman), and sadly, most of the American public that led us into this war. They just aren't true, even if there is degraded shells half buried in the desert, left there from the mid-80's Iran-Iraq War.

Also, KOZ, I know you don't agree with most of what is said here, but there is no need for the name calling. You can vigorously defend your points, but the incessant name-calling you engage in is childish and makes it difficult for one to take your points seriously.

Posted by: appalled | June 22, 2006 2:38 PM | Report abuse

drindl,
You prove your point well enough by quoting Karzai (who I believe Americans should have a lot of respect for). Don't go off the deep end. You have a lot to contribute to this discussion without being so confrontational with those with whom you disagree. Not that we're going to solve anything on this discussion board, but soundbite banter doesn't get us anywhere.

Posted by: acarriedo | June 22, 2006 2:35 PM | Report abuse

I guess KofZ if you can't win an argument on the basis of facts, experience, reason and logic you resort to personal attacks. Why is that not surprising? I suggest an alternative KofZ, stop the personal attacks and start exploring the possibility that you may be incorrect.

Posted by: Jason | June 22, 2006 2:34 PM | Report abuse

all you tin-foil hats will reply to any assertions with name calling and more opinion. you never face the music and respond to the facts. David Broder is a shill so he can be ignored - right? Just ignore what he said. No need to dispute facts when opinion is so much easier.
Drindl ands appaled you have absolutely no claim on reality - all you ever do is pull out your shrill partisan claws and make your grade-school insults. You have never offered anything of substance to any debate and yet you think you are soooo clever. you are not. dig up one fact and start from there, if you can.

Posted by: king of zouk | June 22, 2006 2:34 PM | Report abuse

what you're calling WMD...

canisters of mustard gas, chlorine gas was used in WWI

it is primitive and ineffectual, but the results of it were so horrific...blindness, burns, blah blah that it was outlawed

we're not talking _real_ WMD


what they found was WWI WMD, so please don't exaggerate

a suitcase nuke or manpac would surpass anything that Iraq had...and yet, NYC has had funds reduced for terrorist protection efforts...

probably the NO. 1 most important city in the United States economically and most densely populated as well as a port-of-entry...

ps. I have friends that are Kurds, the way we treated them after Desert Storms speaks volumes about our concern

for democracy and humanitarianism

we care not a jot

.

Posted by: regarding | June 22, 2006 2:34 PM | Report abuse

To Greg-G -

Actually, they had mustard gas way back in WWI even...mustard gas is ancient.

But that fact and the fact that these so-called "wmd's" were made pre-Gulf War and were long ago abandoned won't stop the wingnut screamers like KOZ from acting like we just uncovered a nuclear warhead with the capability of hitting Manhattan that was made yesterday in downtown Baghdad by Sadddam's henchmen.

The wingnut screamers and Faux News are so desperate for good news for their boy Bush that they will make up any lie to make things seem better.

Posted by: Ohio guy | June 22, 2006 2:29 PM | Report abuse

accariedo,

I think you make some good points about the importance of a democratic Iraq and how that could change things in the Middle East. I think one of the problems we will have in Iraq is not one created by us, but rather the British after WWI. The fact is that Iraq is a country drawn on lines that put 3 nations (in the most basic description of the word) that hate each other in the same institution. The sectarian strife that we see today is a direct result of that problem.

The question then becomes, what do we do about it? I am not that smart and have absolutely no idea. I'm not sure that having 3 separate countries is a good idea, just letting them figure it out for themselves will probably lead to a cycle of violence, and we can't impose an agreement on the people. Regardless of what happens, the current situation must be decided by the Iraqis and not the US govt.

I will always believe that this war created more terrorists and was an overall impediment on the GWOT, but there is nothing we can do about that now. Our elected officials need to seriously contemplate and figure out the best solution. I'm just glad to know that you don't fall into the "stay-the-course" nonsense endorsed by W, Santorum, and the so-called democrat Lieberman.

Posted by: appalled | June 22, 2006 2:29 PM | Report abuse

i have asked you before koz, and you always hide from the question. You are military age [btw the enlistment age has just been raised again this year. It's now 42, for all you middle-aged war enthusiasts] and you say the US faces grave danger.

Why aren't you in the military? Or are you just another bedwetter who like to talk big?

Posted by: Drindl | June 22, 2006 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Tell me what you experts on WMD know about Sarin gas? nothing? that's what I thought. didn't stop you from spouting off all sorts of nonsense, as usual. Losers! Saddam lied, people died. Kerry lied, Kennedy lied, etc.

WMDs - yes or no? not qualifiers to suit your prejudiced point of view. I suppose when one of these things lands in your subway you will blame it on a conspiracy from the Bush Administration to steal an election. so predictable and loony.

As if WMDs were the one and only reason to go to war. Read your pal Frank Rich in the exalted NYT pre-war comlaining about ALL the reasons to go to war. too many reasons. Waaahhhh!
It is long past time to expose these anti-American traitors for exactly what they are - defeatists and quislings.
I can't wait to gloat over another election lost by you prevaricators.

Posted by: king of zouk | June 22, 2006 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Oh by the way, war hawks, here's a news flash for ya:

KABUL, Afghanistan Jun 22, 2006 (AP)-- Afghan President Hamid Karzai urged the international community to reassess its approach to the war on terror Thursday, saying the deaths of hundreds of Afghans in fighting with U.S.-led forces was "not acceptable."

A clearly frustrated Karzai said the approach being taken by coalition forces to hunt down militants does not focus on the roots of terrorism itself.

"I strongly believe ... that we must engage strategically in disarming terrorism by stopping their sources of supply of money, training, equipment and motivation," Kabul said during a press conference.

The leader of Afghanistan [who is, btw, an oil company exec and a US puppet] says the so-called gwot is failing. Got that?
And he also says:

"It is not acceptable for us that in all this fighting, Afghans are dying. In the last three to four weeks, 500 to 600 Afghans were killed. (Even) if they are Taliban, they are sons of this land," he said.

He says Afghani deaths [even Taliban] are 'unacceptable'. But I guess US deaths are. And you expect american kids to die for THIS?

Posted by: Drindl | June 22, 2006 2:20 PM | Report abuse

KOZ,

See above for facts that even Administration acknowledges the lack of WMD. Talk about uncreative thought, regurgitating the talking points of your Fox News masters like Hannity and O'Reilly is pretty lame.

Posted by: appalled | June 22, 2006 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Oh by the way, David Broder proves himself once again to be an out-of-touch beltway hack. I kinda wonder why all these corporate press types love lieberman so much?

Which corporation is it again that owns the Post?

Posted by: Drindl | June 22, 2006 2:13 PM | Report abuse

KAS,
My point is this. Al Qaeda was the most powerful terrorist organization prior to 9/11 and had the means to attack a number of countries before 9/11 in the same way that the US was the dominant hegemon prior to 9/11 and continues to be well after 9/11. To act as though one fell swoop could knock either the US or Al Qaeda off that pedestal is foolish.

While I don't agree with an indefinate stay in Iraq and favor a phased withdrawal from Iraq to indiscriminately bash those who believe that nation building is a viable solution is foolish as well.

Unlike you, I'm not playing politics by pretending to be an expert. A functioning Democracy in the Middle East could very well be a stabilizing factor. We just don't know how plausible it is. There is a certain level of uncertainty...the EXPERTS really DON'T KNOW for sure either.

While unabashedly contending that killing Osama is the key to winning the war is equivalent to making the claim that creating a friendly government in Iraq would do the same thing. First, how do we even know that we'd be able to get to Osama now? Second, even if we did get to Osama, do we know for a fact that that would win us the War on Terror?

Now, finally, do we want to fight this War on Terror? If so, what do we want to put at stake? I choose not to politicize my opinions on these questions. You clearly do. I don't pretend to be an expert. You clearly do.

I just read and think and I think I'm with Sens. Levin, Clinton and Bayh. So, don't try to paint me as some right wing looney just because I think Democracy in Iraq just might work.

Posted by: acarriedo | June 22, 2006 2:12 PM | Report abuse

anonymous -- you, like many fox viewers, are delusional. The defense department itself declared that the so-called wmds are ancient--pre-Gulf War. I guess you don't actually read the news, just listen to the propaganda.

You ask for proof that these shells don't exist. You have it. No viable wmds exist. You just don't want to believe it. You want to continue to exist in your fantasy world. Why aren't you in the military anyway, if you believe you US is facing such serious danger? Coward.

Posted by: Drindl | June 22, 2006 2:10 PM | Report abuse

is that "creating" a terrorist threat is part of the validation of their war on terror...


that the United States Military's actions when they first landed in Iraq created hatred in the Iraqi's


sort of like the North American Indigenous were treated made them out to be "dangerous," when what they were was PO.ed, lied to, mistreated and taken advantage of....


when you've got someone attacking you, then your "theory," that there are dangerous people out there becomes more true...


when the Military first got to Iraq they had been told that the United States had been attacked by Iraq...a few months ago 80% of the troops still believed that.

The General in charge of the first phase of the occupation was using very forceful methods when interfacing with Iraqi's, brutal....that has been toned down some.

When soldiers think that they are fighting an enemy that is all Iraqis, they act that way....


Al Quaeda, is Saudi and trained by the CIA

there are some that say that 9/11 was false flag

.

Posted by: what none of you are saying | June 22, 2006 2:10 PM | Report abuse

I am a resident of CT and will be voting in the democratic primary for Ned Lamont. My decision to vote for any candidate other than Leiberman goes back to the 2000 presidential campaign, during which Sen. Leiberman could have done the right thing and resigned from his senate seat in order to accept the nomination for VP but he chose not to do so. I guess he wanted a job to go back to just in case the election didn't go his way. So where were the morals of this principled man then??

Posted by: Anonymous | June 22, 2006 2:10 PM | Report abuse

anonymous,

Just wanted to post this nugget for your information and this comes from the report of the group that the BUSH Administration sent over to investigate Iraqi WMD:

"While a small number of old, abandoned chemical munitions have been discovered, ISG judges that Iraq unilaterally destroyed its undeclared chemical weapons stockpile in 1991. There are no credible Indications that Baghdad resumed production of chemical munitions thereafter, a policy ISG attributes to Baghdad's desire to see sanctions lifted, or rendered ineffectual, or its fear of force against it should WMD be discovered."

Posted by: Appalled | June 22, 2006 2:09 PM | Report abuse

The "WMDs", according to Santorum, are mustard gas and some other type of gas...

Umm, didn't they have mustard gas in World War I!?! Not exactly an imminent threat unless we were afraid of a long trench warfare with Iraq.

Posted by: Greg-G | June 22, 2006 2:09 PM | Report abuse

From David Broder today:
"the blogs I have scanned are heavier on vituperation of President Bush and other targets than on creative thought." and
"That kind of intellectual discipline is sorely needed in Democratic debates. "

the point I have been making for some time here. all opinion and bluster - no facts. Yesterday all you geniuses declared that there were no WMDs in Iraq, either present or future. and the war is already lost. Seems like everyday another stupid talking point is demolished. I know you will find some weasly way to justify your ignorance, but a single instance of "I was wrong and have changed my mind" would indeed be earthshaking.

Just the facts, Maam. June you are so right about this blog. so thin on reality and so phat on opinion.
Pelosi for speaker - Murtha for leader. Rah! another election down the drain for the leftie traitors.

Posted by: king of zouk | June 22, 2006 2:08 PM | Report abuse

anonymous,

Even the Fox News website says they were degraded weapons that were there prior to the 1st Gulf War. This information has been reported before in other news organizations and it has roundly been dismissed b/c of their age and the fact that they were scattered with no stockpiles. Guess that's what Fox News is for, so you conservatives can just make things up as you go along. Remember 2002-2003? We were told STOCKPILES of WMD, NUCLEAR program, IMMINENT threat. Santorum's election year publicity stunt cannot change the fact that none of these were true. I cannot wait until November to see him go down in flames and if there is any justice in the world his friend from Connecticut will join him on the lecture circuit.

Posted by: Appalled | June 22, 2006 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Al-Queda has grown and attacked several countries since 9/11. The Taliban is coming back stronger having had time to regroup. Iraq has become terrorist central. I'm saying that getting OBL and wiping out him and the Taliban would have gone a lot farther in reducing terrorism than Bush's occupation. Perhaps others would have thought twice before trying another 9/11.

Its ok to accept Bush's claim to "stay the course" despite not having a clue what that means, or "we'll leave when we win" despite "winning" never having been defined but you want proof that we're faring poorly in the GWOT?

All you need for proof is to pay attention.

Posted by: KAS | June 22, 2006 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Apalled,

So you have proof that Santorum was lying? Let's see it. Too bad. You have proof that these shells, 15 of which could wipe out 5,000 people, don't exist? Let's see it. Nice of you to spout rhetoric, but where's the beef of your argument? All words and not substance.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 22, 2006 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Specter,

Hard to take you seriously when your blog pastes a Fox News article and trumpets it as the evidence that makes the Iraq War worth it. Gradually accumulating 500 pieces of 1980s chemical weapons that were not organized in any way to be used for a strike does not an imminent threat make. The fact that you support Lieberman is the exact reason why he is wrong for Connecticut. A Fox News (so-called) Democrat willing to sell out those who have supported him to be in the good graces of Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, Dick Cheney, et al.

Posted by: appalled | June 22, 2006 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Gee, Chris, I have to say your analysis of the Lieberman attack ad seems to be completely at odds with, well, everyone else... anywhere.

You call it effective strategy, while every single other analysis I've read - in the papers, on the web - and seen/heard on television, roundly rejected the ad. Many called it childish and off-the-mark.

The ad is available online; you might want to watch it again.

Posted by: corbett | June 22, 2006 1:48 PM | Report abuse

"The Fix continues to be baffled by Lieberman's willingness to speak openly about his contemplation of an independent bid."

Really?

Hasn't it occurred to the Fix that Lieberman is a DINO?

From Crooks and Liars:
http://www.crooksandliars.com/2006/06/22.html#a8811

"The GOP opening remarks against the Democrats amendments to get out of Iraq were given by Joe Lieberman. It's no longer a matter of just not voting with the party, but he publicly opened the debate for the GOP.

John Warner:
"I'd like to now offer the first fifteen minutes [of my time] to the Senator from Connecticut"

Holy Joe:
"Mr. President, I rise to oppose the amendments introduced by the Senator from Michigan and others and the other amendment introduced by the Senators from Massachusetts and Wisconsin--I remember in that debate quoting the biblical wisdom in warning that 'if the sound of the trumpet is uncertain-who will follow into battle.' I suppose in our time we might amend that to say 'if the sound of the trumpet is uncertain-who will stay in battle"

Rick Santorum:
"...and if I could also associate myself with the remarks made by the Senator from Connecticut. I agree with them wholeheartedly. I thought they were incredibly articulately made and hits on all the relevant points as to why these two amendments should be defeated."

He's made a new friend today, Rick Santorum. Will he pitch in for Holy Joe's campaign?"

A shameless warmonger, uniter of church and state, protector of high drug costs and government spying in citizens, Leiberman is a Republican shill, CT's own Zell Miller.

Joe: skip being an Independent and join the party that loves you--you're sure to win that way.


Posted by: Dr. Kurt Heidinger | June 22, 2006 1:44 PM | Report abuse

For another point of view check:

http://ctpoliticswatch.blogspot.com

Posted by: Specter | June 22, 2006 1:41 PM | Report abuse

I agree with 'this reader' ... the web ad is one of the worst I have ever seen. Pathetic, in fact, old-fashioned and creaky.

And Chris, this is the most tone-deaf column you have written yet. Have you ever met anyone from Connecticut? Have you any idea how much voters here have come to loathe Lieberman?

'He has made his political name on being a principled leader who follows his beliefs and isn't swayed by the political winds.' Sorry, no. What he has become is a sold-out lackey of the republican party and corporate interests -- and a traitor of the worst possible sort. He will eagerly go on Fox or Limbaugh and attack any and every Democrat, while giving a free pass to every republican. The wingers adore him.

It isn't just his love for the permanent occupation of Iraq that's a problem.. he also has shifted his views so far to the right on almost every issue that he represents almost no one in this state.

He has only contempt for anyone who disagrees with him and recently called democratic primary voters 'jihadists'. Yes, Mr. Lieberman calls we citizens in the Democratic party of the state he wants to reporesent terrorists -- and we're supposed to vote for this slime bag?

Posted by: Drindl | June 22, 2006 1:35 PM | Report abuse

KAS,
With all due respect, you still need to prove that that point of view is actually fact based. It's not enough to say "We should have killed Osama and this War on Terror would be over." How do we know that is true? The other side of the debate is saying "We've got Osama isolated he's more symbolic than anything else and his appeal is diming."

Which side of the argument do we believe? Prove it. That's all I'm saying. It's not good enough to just say "By fighting the War on Terror in Iraq we're weakening our leverage in other places." How do you know that?

Do you know for a fact that nation building in Iraq is going to encourage enough Arabs to join terrorist organizations that we'll have effectively lost the War on Terror? Until you and others can prove that all arguments on either side of the debate are nothing more than educated SPECULATION.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 22, 2006 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Chris, why are you "baffled" by Lieberman's willingness to speak on a potential independent run? He is smart to let everyone know he would run as an independent if he lost the primary. An informed Democratic voter does not want two Democrats running in a general election...he/she is better off voting for Lieberman (even with serious reservations) in the primary than risk having a Republican win the general election against a split ticket (or just as likely have Lieberman win as an independent). If Lieberman swears off running as an independent then liberal Democrats have no reason to fear voting against him in the primary...

Posted by: St. Pete Mike | June 22, 2006 1:26 PM | Report abuse

This Reader is baffled as to why The Fix thinks "Lieberman's attempt to link Lamont to Weicker is a sound strategy."

It's a jaw-droppingly bad ad. Weicker is depicted as a bear with a broken leg. The guy is 74 years old and just had knee-replacement surgery last year.

Really low, even for Joe.

Why is it sound strategy for Lieberman to remind voters how he got into the Senate--by running to the right of Weicker? Weicker was elected Governor two years after Lieberman ran to the right and won his Senate seat, so it's not like the sleeping bear ads hurt Weicker in the long run.

The Fix needs to do research.

Posted by: This reader | June 22, 2006 1:18 PM | Report abuse

The invasion of Iraq undermines the GWOT because it has created more terrorists, not gotten rid of more terrorists. Had Bush gone after and rid the world of Osama Bin Forgotten and the Taliban we wouldn't have the mess we have now. Bush's cry to "Bring it on" was a terrorist's dream and their continued failed policies are only incentivizing more to join the jihad. Had OBL and the Taliban been wiped from the Earth, it would have sent a clear message that attacking the US brings only death. The message Bush has sent is that the US doesn't have a clue what to do and has created a mess it doesn't know how to clean up. It also undermines the GWOT because the unnecessary invasion of Iraq is sucking us dry financially which makes it harder to provide true security for this nation. Not to mention we owe billions to Communist China. Get it? Got it? Good!

Posted by: KAS | June 22, 2006 1:18 PM | Report abuse

I'm a bit confused. Exactly how is Iraq undermining the War on Terror. I hear and read this many places, but I've yet to hear how. Are we not fighting terrorists in Iraq? All of the news reports I read tell me that we're fighting terrorist who have inculcated themselves within segment of the Iraqi society that make them difficult to effectively target. But aren't they still the terrorists we set out to fight?

Please advise.

Posted by: acarriedo | June 22, 2006 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Maybe it's because I'm young by political standards (37), but doesn't the shelf-life on Lowell Weiker seem a little past due? I can understand why Leiberman would want to run against someone with an attackable record (i.e. not Ned Lamont) but I find it difficult to believe that this kinda thing is likely to move votes...

Posted by: keith mccrea | June 22, 2006 1:07 PM | Report abuse

The term "standing on principle" can also meam "continuing to be dead wrong in the face of all facts", depending on...well...facts on the ground or one's perspective.

Centuries ago, I'm certain that there were people who clinged to the notion that the Earth was flat, irrespective of facts, and continued to believe so until their dying day.

I guess these people should be held in high esteem because they had principle.

Great.

Posted by: Gaithersburg, MD | June 22, 2006 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Principle is all well and good but elected officials need to have sound judgment too. Lieberman is singulary responsible for creating the debacle known as the Department of Homeland Security. And he stubbornly refuses to recognize that Iraq is undermining the war on terror. His poor judgment makes him unfit to be a Senator.

http://intrepidliberaljournal.blogspot.com

Posted by: Intrepid Liberal Journal | June 22, 2006 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Chris,

As I understand it, Lieberman would have to gather his signatures and file to be on the ballot as an independant *before* the Democratic party's primary occurs. That takes some effort and organization. One would think that anyone contemplating a run as an independant would have to get started on those signatures pretty soon. Have you seen any signs of this work actually getting done?

Posted by: Jackson Landers | June 22, 2006 12:41 PM | Report abuse

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