Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Because Nobody Wants To End The War More Than Joe

[Cross-posted at Firedoglake.]

 Wow. Holy Joe now sees Americans’ continuing disagreement with him and the White House over their intransigence on ending the war as comparable to the violent extremism that’s currently awash in Iraq.

That was the message today in his testimony before the Petraeus/Crocker hearing, when he told us that Iraq has made more political progress since the surge than Americans have:
What I’m about to say, with respect to my colleagues who have consistently opposed our presence in Iraq, as I hear the questions and the statements today, it seems to me that there’s a kind of hear no progress in Iraq, see no progress in Iraq, and most of all, speak of no progress in Iraq.

The fact is, there has been progress in Iraq, thanks to extraordinary effort by the two of you and all those who serve under you on our behalf.

I wish we could come to a point where we could have an agreement on the facts that you are presenting to us, the charts you’ve shown, the military progress, the extraordinary drop in ethno-sectarian violence, the drop in civilian deaths, the drop in American deaths, and the very impressive political progress in Iraq since last September.

Hey, let’s be honest about this: The Iraqi political leadership has achieved a lot more political reconciliation and progress since September than the American political leadership has. So we’ve got to give credit for that.
Yep, the violent extremism in Washington these days is just intolerable. Quoth Scarecrow: "Lieberman is correct. Petraeus should take 30,000 troops and liberate Washington from the threat of extremists. And they shouldn’t leave until we have victory. The consequences of losing America to extremists would be catastrophic."

As Josh Marshall observes, Lieberman obviously "sees no harm in overstating the progress in Iraq."
Matt Yglesias says what needs saying:
To state the obvious, America has a heated political debate, but liberals and conservatives aren’t shooting mortars at each other and we don’t have pitched battles in the streets. To compare the situation in Iraq to the persistence of strong partisan disagreement in the United States is idiotic.
But that’s only half the idiocy. While Joe is busy accusing his fellow Democrats of refusing to face reality, he and his fellow Surge Sycophants refuse to even acknowledge, let alone confront, the hard realities on the ground in Iraq. As Scarecrow observed yesterday:
Even if we credit the surge with temporarily neutralizing Sunni forces (while creating further risks of civil war) that only set the stage for competing Shia factions to fight each other for control of Badghdad and Southern Iraq — with Bush using the fighting as an excuse to keep US forces bogged down in Iraq indefinitely. Fighting one side’s grab for power by laying siege to Sadr City’s million people risks hundreds of civilian deaths.
Of course, Joe also insists we have to "win" before we leave. And like Cokie Roberts, Lieberman has a, um, flexible definition of "victory" in Iraq — so flexible, it’s now entirely ass-backwards. Up is down. War is peace. Quagmire is victory.

In the real world, today’s appearance at the hearing was just all about Lieberman’s continuing Zell Millerization, using his "bipartisan" credentials to bash Democrats. We all know when he gets in front of the mikes that he’s going to attack liberal critics of the war with whatever Bizarro World version of reality he’s adopted that day.

Yet in spite of that, Harry Reid says Lieberman is going to be keeping all his committee assignments next year, including his chairmanship of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

The Courant story includes the usual attempt by Lieberman to relegate his critics to the fringes:
In a telephone interview from Washington, Lieberman said he went on the air expecting to discuss Iraq or the presidential campaign, not his place in politics.

Lieberman said his critique against the "small group on the left" was directed at the online advocacy group MoveOn.org and liberal bloggers like Daily Kos, not any colleagues.

He said he was struck by how the leading Democratic presidential candidates attended the Yearly Kos convention of liberal bloggers, skipping the annual meeting of the moderate and once influential Democratic Leadership Council.
Hmmm. I don’t suppose it could be that the candidates appeared at YearlyKos because poll after poll has shown that Americans, by substantial majorities, agree with those dirty fucking hippies and not Joe (and his fellow war apologists in the DLC) about ending the war, could it? In the old days, we used to call that "democracy."

Ah well. We’ve become accustomed to such gum-flapping from Lieberman. As the story notes:
[W]hen he raises alarms over hyper-partisanship, a term he used in a foreign-policy speech last year, Lieberman focuses on Democrats.
But wait! Joe says that there have been Republican hyper-partisans — but only back in the ’90s:
"I will certify to the fact that the hyper-partisanship has been on both sides," Lieberman said. "There were a lot of Republicans who had a similarly hyper-partisan reaction to anything — literally, anything — that Bill Clinton did during the ’90s."
And of course, back then, Lieberman made sure pandered to them, too. It’s what he’s always done.

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