Sunday, June 10, 2007

How serious is Senator Lieberman about attacking Iran?

Superficially, the article in The New York Times by Brian Knowlton entitled "Lieberman Backs Limited U.S. Attacks on Iran" makes it sound as if Lieberman has gone off the deep end and is encouraging the U.S. to attack Iran, but in fact, he is mostly arguing for a very limited strike for a very specific and limited purpose. He is quoted in an article from The Associated Press entitled "Lieberman: U.S. Should Weigh Iran Attack" as saying that "the Iranians have a base in Iran at which they are training Iraqis who are coming in and killing Americans. By some estimates, they have killed as many as 200 American soldiers." A lot of us are opposed to anything even remotely resembling a general invasion of Iran, but I think that most people would at least tolerate a very limited strike for a very limited and specific purpose, such as this, provided that it is based on "actionable" intelligence. So far, only Lieberman has talked about this so-called "base" in Iran, but if even the senior Democrats in Congress who have intelligence oversight concur, than a limited strike is quite plausible. That said, I am very dubious that the quality of Lieberman's intelligence is any better than that which got us into the whole Iraq mess to begin with.

I also question Lieberman's motives. He was a prime mover in getting us into the whole Iraq "liberation" thing, including being an honorary co-chair of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq even before 9/11. He has a huge political investment in Iraq, so he is very motivated to look elsewhere for excuses as to why his pet project has been failing.

He is also a key player in the so-called Pro-Israel Lobby. I am very skeptical when he suggests that he wants to put pressure on Iran to prevent attacks against American soldiers. I sincerely doubt that the lives of American soldiers or even Americans here in the continental U.S. are even remotely close to his core interests.

-- Jack Krupansky


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