Lieberman: In Iraq, the U.S. has Joe-mentum

Published November 29, 2005 6:42PM (EST)

While some Democrats in Congress are struggling to explain why they voted in favor of the war in Iraq in 2002 and how the United States should go about getting out now, Sen. Joe Lieberman feels no need for the Hamlet routine. The Connecticut Democrat was crazy about the war in 2002, and he's crazy about the war right now.

Writing in today's Wall Street Journal, Lieberman offers a view of Iraq that's hard to find outside the inner circles of the Bush administration. "Real progress" is being made there, Lieberman says. There's "continuing security and growing prosperity" in the Kurdish north, "more electric power and other public services" in the Shiite south, and terrorist attacks but "progress" in the Sunni triangle.

The war in Iraq is "critically important to the security and freedom of America," Lieberman says, and the United States has a "good plan" in place for winning it. If the United States withdraws its troops too soon, all progress will be lost. And if you don't understand that, Lieberman suggests, it just means that you're too wrapped up in politics to see the truth in front of you.

"The question is whether the American people and enough of their representatives in Congress from both parties understand" the risks of leaving Iraq prematurely, Lieberman says. "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."

What about those of us who are concerned about the 2,110 U.S. troops that have been killed in Iraq, the thousands upon thousands who have been wounded, the untold numbers of Iraqis who have lost their lives, the 155,000 U.S. troops still serving in Iraq, the 11 foreigners who have been taken hostage over the last few days, the $222 billion the war has cost, the creation of a new terrorist training ground in Iraq, and the damage to the United States' reputation for honesty, diplomacy and humanity?

Lieberman didn't say, but we're betting he's disappointed in us, too. If he is, the feeling is mutual.

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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Iraq Iraq War Joe Lieberman Middle East War Room