Saturday, November 17, 2007

Lieberman on National Security Politics.

Senator Joe Lieberman recently gave a speech at The Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). Joe Lieberman is a rarity these days, a liberal who is able to rise above politics where our national security is concerned. You may remember he lost the Primary Election in Connecticut because of his support for the Iraq War, and subsequently kept his seat by running as an Independent.

In his speech, he talked about Paul H Nitze and his service to Presidents from Roosevelt to Reagan, and the strength of past Democrats on national security (I disagree with him on Clinton however, but nevertheless), and the dramatic shift that has occurred in the Democratic Party with the rise of the far-left anti-war, anti-Bush movement. This movement, led by the likes of Markos "Screw Them" Moulitsas and his DailyKos blog has exercised an undue influence on the Democrats in Congress. The money quote:

"But there is something profoundly wrong—something that should trouble all
of us—when we have elected Democratic officials who seem more worried about how
the Bush administration might respond to Iran’s murder of our troops, than about
the fact that Iran is murdering our troops."

He's right. National Security should not be subordinate to partisan politics. We are all Americans, regardless of our political stripes, and what our view of the government's role is. Anti-war activists decry those who question their patriotism; well I do question it, because their violent opposition, if brought to fruition, will only lead to defeat and more civilian deaths on our soil in another terrorist attack. I think the reasons for invading Iraq were a little hard to swallow, but I also think the deposing of Saddam Hussein was about 12 years overdue. I also don't think we were fully prepared or fully anticipated the nature of the fight after Saddam's regime was swept away. But I want us to win, and I agreed with critics of how we were conducting the war, and I welcomed the change in strategy. Such criticism is designed to ensure that we win. The radical Left only seems interested in defeat so that they can oust Bush and the Republicans.

This war is not like Vietnam, no matter how much the anti-war crowd wants it to be. We acted decisively in the interest of national security, not inserting ourselves into an already on-going civil war like we did back then. However, if we don't pursue victory, the outcome will almost surely be the same.