Is it just me or has Lieberman got even worse since his general election victory? Take for example his op-ed in today’s Post, called Why We Need More Troops in Iraq. After trying to paint himself as anti-war candidate during the later days of the election, Lieberman is back as one of the war’s biggest cheerleaders. But since “stay the course” is no longer politically viable, he’s taking the most intellectually dishonest position possible.
Take this paragraph for example:
This bloodshed, moreover, is not the inevitable product of ancient hatreds. It is the predictable consequence of a failure to ensure basic security and, equally important, of a conscious strategy by al-Qaeda and Iran, which have systematically aimed to undermine Iraq’s fragile political center. By ruthlessly attacking the Shiites in particular over the past three years, al-Qaeda has sought to provoke precisely the dynamic of reciprocal violence that threatens to consume the country.
The implication that the civil strife in Iraq is just part of some master plot by Iran and al-Qaeda is completely absurd. Al-Qaeda, as he mentions in the op-ed, is Sunni, but Iran is overwhelmingly Shi’ite. But subtle distinctions like that are irrelevant to Lieberman, since they’re both, you know, evil, and therefore must be working together.
Besides, we’re talking about a country with several warring and ideologically disparate factions forced to coalesce into one country by the British Empire’s completely aribitrary partitioning. Under Hussein, the Sunni minority were given status while the Shi’ites were marginalized and Kurds persecuted. How are those not the perfect conditions for a civil war to erupt once the government collapses? Lieberman would have us believe, however, that civil war would not even be a possibility without some evil Dr. Doom-esque puppet masters pulling the strings.
And I just love this sentence (emphasis mine):
On this point, let there be no doubt: If Iraq descends into full-scale civil war, it will be a tremendous battlefield victory for al-Qaeda and Iran.
What the hell would you call what it’s in right now? I thought were past the point of pretending that this is anything but a full-scale civil war.
What really gets to me about this is that Lieberman isn’t an idiot. I’m a high school student and he’s a prominent voice on national security in the United States Senate – I don’t think he’s so detached from reality that he lacks a basic understanding of what’s going on in Iraq. So this is something else. It’s not a call for an actual solution – it’s Lieberman once again positioning himself where he thinks the center lies, regardless of whether or not that aligns with reality.
Senator Lieberman, your seat isn’t up for grabs again until 2012, and if you run for president in 2008, you’re going to lose again. So in the meantime, please try to find the basic human decency to try looking for actual solutions instead of cheap political points.