Lieberman is a step in the right direction, but is the step big enough?

[photopress:160px_Joelieb.jpg,full,alignleft]Senator Joe Lieberman said recently that if Iran continues to arm groups fighting Americans in Iraq, we should bomb them. Although I think their ideological and financial support of terrorism should have made them a primary target from the start, it’s nice to see the heat pointed in the right direction for once.

Lieberman said on “Face The Nation”:

I think we’ve got to be prepared to take aggressive military action against the Iranians to stop them from killing Americans in Iraq…And to me, that would include a strike into… over the border into Iran, where we have good evidence that they have a base at which they are training these people coming back into Iraq to kill our soldiers.

So, pretty good, right?

It should be noted, however, that Lieberman has been a huge supporter of Bush’s war in Iraq, which has had as its goal to “sacrifice for the liberty of strangers”. Bush’s policies have lead to the unnecessary deaths of American soldiers fighting not for our nation’s security, but for Iraq’s right to establish its own Islamic theocracy.

The Senator in a speech to the Republican Jewish Coalition recalled a conversation he had with a colonel in Iraq, who told him that “we believe in why we are fighting here, we want to finish this fight. And we know we can win it.” Lieberman argued throughout the speech that US presence in Iraq was essential to winning the war, and that pulling out would be a victory for Al Qaeda.

But what exactly does “winning” mean, according to the goals of this war?

To achieve victory means to accomplish some objective. What is the objective of the war in Iraq? To “sacrifice for the liberty of strangers”, to put our soldiers in harm’s way for the benefit of Iraqis. The question is, how does this make us safer, and at what point will we have “won”?

I will give Sen Lieberman some credit for strong words. He seems committed to fighting and defeating Islamic terrorism, and his rhetoric is not burdened with the altruistic baggage that Bush’s is. In other words, his implicit goal is just. However because he does not distinguish between a war to defeat an enemy and a war to “spread democracy”, he supports Bush and so supports the immoral principles upon which Bush’s war is based.

I am both encouraged by Lieberman’s committment to defend our freedoms, and cautious about what this means to him. He may be a step in the right direction, though.

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One thought on “Lieberman is a step in the right direction, but is the step big enough?

  1. Pingback: Rationality » Blog Archive » Lieberman leads the charge, however weak.

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