November 30, 2005

Passage of the Day: Lieberman on the Iraq War

Filed under: MSM Biz/Other Bias,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 1:35 pm

These excerpts are brought to you only because the networks and the rest of the WORMs (Worn-Out Reactionary Media) have oh-so-predictably virtually ignored Lieberman’s Tuesday OpinionJournal.com piece (may require registration), and because some day when the rancor disappears, this may be seen as a case study in how to revitalize a devastated economy:

….. the Iraqi people are in reach of a watershed transformation from the primitive, killing tyranny of Saddam to modern, self-governing, self-securing nationhood–unless the great American military that has given them and us this unexpected opportunity is prematurely withdrawn.

….. There are many more cars on the streets, satellite television dishes on the roofs, and literally millions more cell phones in Iraqi hands than before. All of that says the Iraqi economy is growing. And Sunni candidates are actively campaigning for seats in the National Assembly. People are working their way toward a functioning society and economy in the midst of a very brutal, inhumane, sustained terrorist war against the civilian population and the Iraqi and American military there to protect it.

It is a war between 27 million and 10,000; 27 million Iraqis who want to live lives of freedom, opportunity and prosperity and roughly 10,000 terrorists who are either Saddam revanchists, Iraqi Islamic extremists or al Qaeda foreign fighters who know their wretched causes will be set back if Iraq becomes free and modern.

….. Israel has been the only genuine democracy in the region, but it is now getting some welcome company from the Iraqis and Palestinians who are in the midst of robust national legislative election campaigns, the Lebanese who have risen up in proud self-determination after the Hariri assassination to eject their Syrian occupiers (the Syrian- and Iranian-backed Hezbollah militias should be next), and the Kuwaitis, Egyptians and Saudis who have taken steps to open up their governments more broadly to their people. In my meeting with the thoughtful prime minister of Iraq, Ibrahim al-Jaafari, he declared with justifiable pride that his country now has the most open, democratic political system in the Arab world. He is right.

….. None of these remarkable changes would have happened without the coalition forces led by the U.S. And, I am convinced, almost all of the progress in Iraq and throughout the Middle East will be lost if those forces are withdrawn faster than the Iraqi military is capable of securing the country.

….. I am disappointed by Democrats who are more focused on how President Bush took America into the war in Iraq almost three years ago, and by Republicans who are more worried about whether the war will bring them down in next November’s elections, than they are concerned about how we continue the progress in Iraq in the months and years ahead.

Here is an ironic finding I brought back from Iraq. While U.S. public opinion polls show serious declines in support for the war and increasing pessimism about how it will end, polls conducted by Iraqis for Iraqi universities show increasing optimism. Two-thirds say they are better off than they were under Saddam, and a resounding 82% are confident their lives in Iraq will be better a year from now than they are today. What a colossal mistake it would be for America’s bipartisan political leadership to choose this moment in history to lose its will and, in the famous phrase, to seize defeat from the jaws of the coming victory.

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UPDATE, Dec. 1: Media Research Center noticed that Brit Hume of Fox commented on the lack of interest in Lieberman’s column and news conference:

On the November 30 Special Report with Brit Hume on FNC, during the “Grapevine” segment, Hume relayed:
“Connecticut Democrat Joe Lieberman, who just returned from Iraq, defended U.S. efforts there in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal and in a subsequent news conference on Capitol Hill, saying the military has a quote, ‘a good plan’ for victory in Iraq, and that progress is quote, ‘visible and practical’ and he warned that such progress could be turned back by a premature withdrawal. But the major media that played up Democratic Representative John Murtha’s call for withdrawing U.S. troops largely ignored Lieberman’s remarks. Neither ABC or CBS mentioned the Senator in their nightly newscasts while NBC aired a short soundbite. And the Washington Post, New York Times and USA Today, for example, ran not a word.”

UPDATE 2, Dec. 3: Here’s another Lieberman statement I expect will be ignored by the WORMs (Worn-Out Reactionary Media, known to most as The Mainstream Media):

Following up on his Wall Street Journal article Tuesday defending the Iraq war, Sen. Joseph Lieberman is reminding Bush administration critics that it’s wrong to claim that Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction when the U.S. attacked in 2003.

“The so-called Duelfer Report, which a lot of people read to say there were no weapons of mass destruction – concluded that Saddam continued to have very low level of chemical and biological programs,” Lieberman told ABC Radio host Sean Hannity on Wednesday.

“[Saddam] was trying to break out of the U.N. sanctions by going back into rapid redevelopment of chemical and biological and probably nuclear [weapons],” Lieberman said, calling the Iraqi dictator “a ticking time bomb.”

“I have no regrets” that the U.S. toppled Saddam, the former vice presidential candidate explained. “I think we can finish our job there, and as part of it – really transform the Arab-Islamic world.”

Lieberman said that his fellow Democrats haven’t taken kindly to his decision to buck his party on Iraq.

“There’s been some grumbling,” he told Hannity. “In Connecticut there’s a ‘Dump Joe’ web site that has cropped up.”

But Lieberman added, “I’ve been here long enough where, at this stage in my career, I’m going to do what I think is right.”

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