Monday, February 12, 2007

Lieberman Is Undermining The War Effort

Joe Klein, generally drum major in the "suckin' up to Lieberman" parade, takes a new look at Joe in his column in this week's edition of Time (sorry, no link - Klein's column is not online yet).

Lieberman steered Petraeus toward his objective--a clear statement from the general that such a resolution would hurt the morale of our troops in Iraq and give the enemy "encouragement." Petraeus, clearly uncomfortable with this line of questioning, refused to give a direct answer: "A commander in such an endeavor would obviously like the enemy to feel there was no hope."

In the initial debate on Iraq war resolutions last week, Lieberman was at it again. The notably mild Warner-Levin resolution of disapproval would "discourage our troops and hearten our enemies," he said.

"You have to ask who is really undermining this mission?" says Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island, a West Point graduate. "Didn't the Bush Administration undermine it from the start by going to war without sufficient cause, without sufficient planning, without sufficient equipment for our troops? Even now, I would argue that the Bush Administration is undermining this surge by focusing merely on the military part of the mission, ignoring the need to reform the Iraqi government, to find a regional diplomatic solution and, of course, ignoring the real facts on the ground."

"We're on the brink of a decisive battle for Baghdad," Lieberman said on the Senate floor. But that was wrong too: the counterinsurgency tactics General Petraeus will use are gradual, not "decisive" in the traditional military sense. We are not on the brink of anything except a long hard slog. I suspect Lieberman understands this but is hyping the mission for dramatic effect. If so, he is raising unfair expectations for the troops and the nation. I'd say that comes pretty damn close to undermining the mission.
I would take Klein's analysis a step further and argue that Lieberman has been undermining the war effort for years by offering rosy assessments of conditions in Iraq that the public couldn't reconcile with the ever increasing carnage. Americans have gradually come to realize they are being fed bullshit, and they understand Lieberman (and Cheney, et al) wouldn't be feeding them bullshit unless things were really bad in Iraq. As each "turning point" has come and gone without any improvement in Iraq, as "last throes" have become death throes, the confidence and trust of the public in our pro-war leaders has eroded, and their repeated disappointments have congealed into a sullen and increasingly angry rejection of the war and the warmongers in our government. That is how war efforts are undermined. That's what destroyed public support for the Vietnam war, and it's what has destroyed support for the Iraq war.

And we have Joe Lieberman to thank for it. Keep the lies comin', Joe. Hell, if you get Gerstein on the job 24/7 we may have the troop home by September.

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