Joe Lieberman, Avid Larry King Fan

|

Joe Lieberman is whining again, but good news: He's almost out of steam. Here's what he croaked on the floor of the Senate:

The non-binding resolution before us today… is the first skirmish in an escalating battle that threatens to consume our government over many months ahead, a battle that will neither solve the sprawling challenges we face in Iraq nor strengthen our nation to defeat the enemies of our security throughout the world from Islamist extremists. That is to say, in our war against the terrorists that attacked us.

This is the first time Lieberman's tried to rephrase the "war on terror." Where have we heard that sort of framing? Roll the tape.

LARRY KING: [W]hat led to the decision [to run for president]?

GIULIANI: I think I can make a difference. I believe that the country needs leadership. I think that we're going through a war on terror—or a terrorist war against us, which maybe is a better way to describe it.

Lieberman is such a bold, visionary political thinker that he cops his talking points from Larry King interviews with the guy some schmucks want to be his running mate (clearly none of them have read Why Not Me?). A recall law, Connecticut: At least think about it.

NEXT: Friday Food Link: Chili Peppers

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. BTW, is it a coincidence that after the ratification of the 17th amendment the National Guard became fully federalized? Without Guardsmen to die in Iraq I’d suggest this war would have ended already.

  2. LARRY KING . . . that show is still on? Sorry, it has been so long since I’ve seen CNN, I am a C-SPAN junkie now.

  3. Lieberman is a dope. I hope he does become a Republican.
    (I also hope our two high school history buffs Garry and Rick don’t start spouting off on this thread.)

  4. Sorry, it has been so long since I’ve seen CNN, I am a C-SPAN junkie now.

    On a whim I did a google image search for “C-SPAN junkie.” This is exactly what I envisioned.
    Is that you, Antarctic Penguin?

  5. No, sorry, that is not me LOL!

  6. or this?

    (Search result using quotes around terms)

  7. Not that one either, actually I am not sure my photo has been on the web since I stoped being the Secretary of my local LP (I could not stand the disfuction and use of Roberts Rules as a weapon rather than a tool, also I was in Graduate school and could not afford the time.) Right now I am at work (I work in a library but not a government-run one.) and not able to upload one for you.

  8. If this isn’t you, I give up!

  9. Just a reminder that Lieberman was for non-binding resolutions before he was against them.

    The video references Joint Senate Resolution 44 from December, 1995 –“Concerning the Deployment of United States Armed Forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina.” Some resolution excerpts:

    Section 1) Expresses support for the troops saying “The Congress unequivocally supports the men and women of our Armed Forces who are carrying out their missions in support of peace in Bosnia”
    Section 2) Questions President Clinton’s mission for the troops starting with “…reservations expressed about President Clinton’s decision to deploy United States Armed Forces to Bosnia and Herzegovina.” and further specifies limitations on the deployment ordered by the President including a hard one year timeframe for certain conditions to be>met.
    Sections 3, 4 & 5) Requires the President to regularly report on specific timeframes, starting in 30 days with details on everything from progress in training Bosnia security, to refugees, to costs, to war plan details, and of course an exit strategy.

    One correction to the video, this was actually a binding resolution co-sponsored by John McCain and Joe Lieberman, and 69 Senators of both parties voted for it. It replaced the failed (47-52) non-binding Senate resolution 35 that also declared support for the troops and no-confidence in President Clinton. Nuff said.

  10. Yes,that is me! LOL! I don’t remember being photographed by the BBC! How did they get my photo? I thought the last photo of me on the Internet was taken down when I resigned as Secretary of the Libertarian Party of Antarctica.

  11. There may have been a point to that “Lost in Translation” YouTube video, but I lost it in all the empty-headed Wiegelesque snark scrolling across the screen during it.

  12. Just curious, is there a continuum of “Wiegelesque snark” from full to empty headed, or is it more binary?

  13. See, it’s views like those expressed in this post this which prevent me from going 100% Libertarian. You have to be as ideologically blind as the most sycophantic Bush administration flunkies to think that we aren’t at war with radicalized Islam.

    It never fails to astonish me the way people whose views I am so in line with on most issues fail to see that we have enemies which need to be confronted.

  14. Lee-

    I agree completely. It’s extremely disturbing that a large percentage of people who are “against the war” aren’t people who are just against certain ways the war is carried out; they really are against the war with the Jihadists. They just want us to stop fighting it, and then….what? I don’t know. I have never heard a reasonable “and then what” plan, beyond “and then we will blame whatever happens for the rest of time on Bush”. Ok, fine, do that. But how are we to actually deal with radical Islam’s attempt to take over the world? Yeah, I know, if Bush hadn’t blah blah blah, but what do you want us to do now? Hello? Anybody?

    I made a similar point a while back with regards to Reason posters’ attitude towards anti-meth adverts by the government. Many didn’t seem to just be against the phrasing of the commercials, they seemed to mock the idea that doing meth is a bad idea itself. As someone who is for legalization of drugs, I don’t have a problem saying that taking a lot of them will probably mess up your life. Why is the equivalent to that position so rare with regards to the war? I don’t hear criticisms like “Bush screwed up by stationing those armored battalions in Anbar Provence, we need them to be patrolling the border near Basra where terrorists are infiltrating”. I do hear “Bush is a lying idiot, end war now!”. Great. That’s not a position, it’s a tantrum.
    Anyway. What was the point of the original post, that Lieberman was wrong (if so, how?) or that Gulliani used a similar phrase so therefore….?

  15. Recall Lieberman because of something he saw on Larry King?

    I don’t care about Rudy Giuliani, and I don’t care about Larry King. I don’t care about Joe Lieberman either.

    A lot of people pay a lot of attention to what people like Joe Lieberman say, much to the dismay of the rest of us. Some of the latter may find it comforting to know that no matter what Rudi Guliani says to Larry King or what Joe Lieberman says to anyone else, there are people out there, like me, who just don’t give a shit.

  16. Lee, Dave: going to war against ideas is a dangerous act, because you never kn oiw when you’ve defeated and idea, and thus never know when to end the war.

    Instead, it makes sense to go to war against people who have committed hostile acts. That’s why basically nobody was against going to war in Afghanistan. That’s why we should have left Iraq 5 minutes afetr Saddam was deposed (i.e., when the strategic goal of “regime change” had been accomplished.)

    When Lieberman and his ilk try to position Iraq as part of the war on Islam he is lying. If anything, Saddam was a strong ally against the al Qaeda types, since they posed a larger risk to him than us. The Iraq war has strengtened radical Islam, increased the number of enemies America has, and increased the future number of Americans who will die at the hands of radicalized moslems. Lieberman and Bush have done Osama’s bidding. I only hope it was unwitting.

  17. Belmont Club spots the Weigel impulse as not exactly libertarian

    “The Peace Movement doesn’t want unity. It wants war. War until the world it is fighting for is unconditionally and irreversibly established. That a government for the masses, of the masses and by the masses, should briefly flicker on the face of the earth.”

    http://fallbackbelmont.blogspot.com/2007/02/fire-this-time.html

  18. “See, it’s views like those expressed in this post this which prevent me from going 100% Libertarian. You have to be as ideologically blind as the most sycophantic Bush administration flunkies to think that we aren’t at war with radicalized Islam.”

    I am 100% Libertarian AND I recognize the threat. Also, even though I disagree with Bush II on many, many, many things I agree with him about the need to finish the job in Iraq. To enable the people of Iraq enough stability, for long enough to defend themselves. Libertarians often disagree on matters such as these. I am willing to vote for someone running for mayor, governor state rep. etc. who disagrees with me on these issues such as these. But WILL NOT for any office that can constitutionally impact the war. We are in a fight for our lives. It is too bad so many libertarians do not understand that.

  19. “That’s why we should have left Iraq 5 minutes after Saddam was deposed (i.e., when the strategic goal of “regime change” had been accomplished.)”

    Ah, so it could immediately have been taken over by Iran. THAT would have made sense.

    “Saddam was a strong ally against the al Qaeda types, since they posed a larger risk to him than us.”

    Which is why of course he allowed terrorists to train on his soil.

    As for the so-called “lies” of Bush let me quote from an article by by Norman Podhoretz from Monday, November 14, 2005 called “Who Is Lying About Iraq?”

    “Yet even stipulating–which I do only for the sake of argument–that no weapons of mass destruction existed in Iraq in the period leading up to the invasion, it defies all reason to think that Mr. Bush was lying when he asserted that they did. To lie means to say something one knows to be false. But it is as close to certainty as we can get that Mr. Bush believed in the truth of what he was saying about WMD in Iraq.
    How indeed could it have been otherwise? George Tenet, his own CIA director, assured him that the case was “a slam dunk.” This phrase would later become notorious, but in using it, Mr. Tenet had the backing of all 15 agencies involved in gathering intelligence for the United States. In the National Intelligence Estimate of 2002, where their collective views were summarized, one of the conclusions offered with “high confidence” was that “Iraq is continuing, and in some areas expanding its chemical, biological, nuclear, and missile programs contrary to UN resolutions.”
    The intelligence agencies of Britain, Germany, Russia, China, Israel and–yes–France all agreed with this judgment. And even Hans Blix–who headed the U.N. team of inspectors trying to determine whether Saddam had complied with the demands of the Security Council that he get rid of the weapons of mass destruction he was known to have had in the past–lent further credibility to the case in a report he issued only a few months before the invasion:
    The discovery of a number of 122-mm chemical rocket warheads in a bunker at a storage depot 170 km [105 miles] southwest of Baghdad was much publicized. This was a relatively new bunker, and therefore the rockets must have been moved there in the past few years, at a time when Iraq should not have had such munitions. . . . They could also be the tip of a submerged iceberg. The discovery of a few rockets does not resolve but rather points to the issue of several thousands of chemical rockets that are unaccounted for.
    Mr. Blix now claims that he was only being “cautious” here, but if, as he now also adds, the Bush administration “misled itself” in interpreting the evidence before it, he at the very least lent it a helping hand.”

  20. Normally I agree with most of what I read on H&R, but quite frankly faulting Lieberman for the rather vague similarity between our war against the terrorists that attacked us and a terrorist war against us is just silly. There are only so many ways to say such things, and he was not quoting Giuliani. Even if he got the idea for the putative similarity, so what?

    There are lots of things we can fault Lieberman for, but in this case the fact that he is avoiding one of the most odious and imprecise terms in discourse (What, a war on terror? Guess we need to imprison the producers of Saw III and dig up and behead Hitchcock) is hardly something to fault him for. If we’d used that framing all along we’d have a lot more clarity about what we’re doing, how to do it, and why.

    As a Libertarian, I should think Weigel would at least give him credit for framing the whole thing in finite terms rather than the nebulous terms of Bush that can be used to give carte blanche for almost anything…

  21. “Saddam was a strong ally against the al Qaeda types, since they posed a larger risk to him than us.”

    Which is why of course he allowed terrorists to train on his soil.

    He didn’t. I mean, technically speaking, the Ansar al-Islam training camps were in Iraq, but they were in the part of Iraq controlled by the Kurds, not by Saddam’s government.

    And remember, the Kurds are our friends. The reason the CIA was able to observe the goings-on at the Ansar al-Islam camps is because they were in “friendly” territory.

    Saddam was never any sort of threat to the US. The Constitution lists the justifiable uses of military actions as the repelling of invasion and suppression of rebellion. Those are the only things for which we should sacrifice our wealth and the lives of our soldiers, not optional wars of whimsy waged by a clown who lacked the spine to fight in one himself.

    American military lives and dollars should never be expended simply to remove unpleasant rulers half a world away.

  22. “a battle that will neither solve the sprawling challenges we face in Iraq nor strengthen our nation to defeat the enemies of our security”

    And like Larry King, it’s a waste of time.

  23. “He didn’t. I mean, technically speaking, the Ansar al-Islam training camps were in Iraq, but they were in the part of Iraq controlled by the Kurds, not by Saddam’s government.”

    If you truly believe this was the extent of his relationship to terrorists I encourage you to view this page:
    http://www.husseinandterror.com/

    “The Constitution lists the justifiable uses of military actions as the repelling of invasion and suppression of rebellion. Those are the only things for which we should sacrifice our wealth and the lives of our soldiers, not optional wars of whimsy waged by a clown who lacked the spine to fight in one himself.”

    OK, the ad hominim comments aside, a reasonable person who truly believed that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction and was either unable or unwilling to stop terrorists could see this as preventing an attack by invaders (although the state-funded war model does not apply). We were already attacked more than once.

  24. “You have to be as ideologically blind as the most sycophantic Bush administration flunkies to think that we aren’t at war with radicalized Islam.”

    the 9/11 attacks were a criminal act

    they were not an act of war

    declaring it a war (sorta) and unleashing our military on two broken dick nations was how the Bush league did an end run on any call for governmental accountability for failures

    failures that permitted a raggedy band of arabs (mostly scions of the newly minted, western financed, Saudi middle class) to convert commercial airlines into cruise missiles, on the fly, for less than the price of a NASCAR team’s cheating fines

    modeling it as an open ended war on an abstract noun is so hopelessly flawed that nothing good will result unless/until our foreign policy brain-trust reconciles with reality

    hopefully, not on a battlefield

  25. “the 9/11 attacks were a criminal act / they were not an act of war”

    Not to get partisan here, but just stating facts, one of the problems with the Clinton Administration was that they treated terrorist acts as criminal acts and prosecuted them with traditional court systems. This is one of the (many) reasons 9/11/2001 was able to happen in the way that it did. I’m sorry to break it to you but the Taliban lead Afghanistan government was not willing to hand over the Al Quida leaders. We offered to let them be if they did so. They would not have cooperated with the NY City Prosecutors office or any other prosecutorial authority in the United States.

    “? modeling it as an open ended war ?”

    It was not the United States that modeled it as an open ended war, it was Al Quida. We are not the ones who started this fight.

  26. a reasonable person who truly believed that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction and was either unable or unwilling to stop terrorists could see this as preventing an attack by invaders

    If you’re setting the bar that low, you’re giving the Prez carte blanche to invade any country on earth. I mean, the UK has WMD and are unable to stop terrorists. And are you trying to call Bush “reasonable”? Really? If a mountain of evidence points to A and an iota to B, a reasonable person does not ignore the mountain and accept the iota.

    That’s why the founding fathers required a higher standard for starting a war than “I think there’s a chance they might pose a risk to us at some point in the future.”

    We were already attacked more than once.

    But never by Saddam or Iraq. Bush was never serious about fighting the guys his daddy armed until 9/11.

  27. “If you’re setting the bar that low, you’re giving the Prez carte blanche to invade any country on earth. I mean, the UK has WMD and are unable to stop terrorists.”

    The UK is able to stop terrorists and has done so and is actively doing so.

    “And are you trying to call Bush “reasonable”? Really?”

    I disagree with Bush on a large number of issues but yes, he is reasonable. I know some people think him ignorant and stupid even though he got higher grades at Harvard than John Kerry. Perhaps it is because of his accent or his famous “Bushisms”? Or maybe they just don’t like the way he “swaggers” whatever it is Bush has received a much undeserved reputation as a dolt.

    “If a mountain of evidence points to A and an iota to B, a reasonable person does not ignore the mountain and accept the iota.”

    There is a mountain of evidence that pointed to Iraq’s support of terrorism:
    http://www.husseinandterror.com/

    “That’s why the founding fathers required a higher standard for starting a war than “I think there’s a chance they might pose a risk to us at some point in the future.”

    And Iraq met and meets a higher standard

    “But never by Saddam or Iraq.”

    There is a mountain of evidence he was connected to those who DID attack us:
    http://www.husseinandterror.com/

  28. The internet contains enough mountains of “evidence” to replace the Rockies.

  29. Bush played up for the UN stuff that would produce a UN sanction of an invasion.

    However the next step in the WOT was Iraq in any case.

    The lesson of 9/11, meaning the one that’s no longer grasped apparently, is that modern weapons are too lethal to have available to large groups bent on this or that grudge. Islamists happen to be the first up.

    The deal is, it takes a certain size group to work serious havoc, and that’s large enough to detect and eliminate at the moment. Large groups have informants and bigger trails.

    Small groups can’t work serious damage.

    To track and eliminate seriously large groups, there cannot be state havens for them, or state support. Iraq fits as the perfect place to make unfriendly, at a government level, to such groups.

    Which is what is going on.

    Whether the war is there or somewhere else, it will go on, because it’s against the possibility of large groups, meaning the environments that allow them to grow undetected and uncountered.

    The US will no longer coinhabit the globe with 12th century governments. That’s the Bush policy, or was before poll ratings became a means of counterattack by those who’d rather be in power at any cost.

  30. Ed, if you do not trust the Internet I suggest you check out Hayes’ book, The Connection: How al Qaeda’s Collaboration with Saddam Hussein Has Endangered America from your local library.

  31. Pro-Defense

    Thanks for the reference. I trust some stuff on the internet, but it’s a useful tool for nutbars who look only for evidence that supports their nutbar ideas and never for evidence that doesn’t. Not that I consider your thesis about Saddam nutbar. I will try to find time to look at the book.

  32. Well rephrasing it like Giuliana may be a CYA maneuver or some such, but I actually like the rephrasing because it’s a more accurate portrayal of the situation.

    I assume there’s no argument that there’s a group of nitwits out there who have declared war on us for whatever reason. The argument is how large this group is, the level of overall danger they present to us, and what to do about it.

  33. JF:

    Your idea is a non-starter. Even should a putative repeal of the XVII Amend. get passed, is there any doubt that the state legislatures will simply follow election results ala the electoral college?

  34. Why was it, given the number of people terrorized and liquidated by Saddam, that the Iraqis in exile could not come up with, say, a half dozen young men to train and slip back into Iraq to put a bullet in Saddam’s head?
    Being an evil dictator should be an extreme burden, what with the constant need to be looking over one’s shoulder.

  35. Not even the Bush administration claims that there was a relationship between Al Qaeda and Saddam. Even Douglas Feith, whose office sent a memo to the Sentate Intelligence Committee asserting such a link, is now lying to claim that his Office of Special Plans never asserted such a link.

    This is not an open question any more, and hasn’t been for years.

  36. Creech-

    That seems a fair question, but think of how many dictators over the years have had a hell of a lot more than six people willing to kill them, yet survived far too long. It seems to not be so simple.
    Plus, you put a bullet in Saddam’s head, and then what? 40 years of Qusay and Uday?

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.