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Sunday, June 18, 2006

Joe Lieberman: Lets get Iran

In case you need any more proof that Joe Lieberman is bad for Connecticut (and the nation).
On Friday, the Senate rejected a bill proposed by Rick Santorum to take a harder line against Iran by, among other things, funding Iranian groups devoted to regime change, significantly increasing punishments for companies which do business in Iran, and requiring the President to determine if such companies should be banned altogether from U.S. markets. The Bush administration opposed this legislation (likely because it committed the sin of Congressional "interference" in presidential foreign policy decision-making). And all but four Democrats voted against the hard-line Santorum bill. Joe Lieberman was one of the four Democrats to vote in favor of it.

This effort by Santorum (and Lieberman) to push the administration into a more aggressive posture against Iran preceded by one day this story in The Washington Post, which revealed that in 2003, Iran attempted to engage the U.S. in comprehensive negotiations to resolve all significant disputes between the two countries, including Iran's nuclear activities and its position on Israel. The Bush administration flatly refused the offer to negotiate, and even attacked Switzerland for agreeing to pass along the Iranian offer and vouch for its authenticity.

Just as was true with Iraq, most hard-line Iran war agitators are completely uninterested in inducing Iran to disarm. What they really crave is a change of government as soon as possible, something which is attainable most effectively by war. They don't want to pursue diplomatic measures that could result in a cessation of Iran's nuclear activities because a non-nuclear Iran with no regime change does not even remotely satisfy their goals. Anything less than forcible regime change will be perceived by them as dangerous "appeasement." Exactly as they viewed the first Gulf War, achieving concrete goals while failing to use our military to get rid of governments we dislike is weak and misguided. Government-changing war is the only solution that works.

Does anyone doubt on which side of this Iran debate Joe Lieberman will fall? He did not become one of the most vigorous supporters of the Iraq war because he has unique views about Iraq. He supported that war -- and still does -- because he subscribes almost completely to the neoconservative world-view that the Middle East must be re-made and re-created in our image, using as much military force as necessary, in order to rid that region of anti-Israeli and/or anti-U.S. governments and replaced with more compliant ones. Here is what Lieberman told then FOX News analyst Tony Snow back in 2003:

SNOW: Do you believe Iran is ripe for a regime change?

LIEBERMAN: Well, yes. I mean, I think it would be in the interest of the world, and most particularly of the Iranian people, to have a regime change in Iran.

I'm not suggesting military action by us, but Tom Friedman of The New York Times, I believe, said recently -- or a while ago that there's no nation in the world where the government is more anti- American and the people are more pro-American than Iran, and that's the equation we have to flip.

Lieberman's foreign policy views compel support for war in Iran every bit as much as they compelled support for the Iraq invasion. That's because, as much as any other national politician in either party, Lieberman embraces neoconservatism at its core, and is one of the leading advocates of its principles.
It's simple. Joe Lieberman is a neoconservative masking as a Democrat and it's time to hold him accountable. The people of Connecticut deserve sound judgement from their senator which is clearly not what we're receiving from Lieberman.