The Moose praises Senator Lieberman's moral clarity.
In a little over two weeks, Iraqis will go to the polls and exercise their democratic rights. That is a moment to celebrate. It is also a time to stand with Iraqi democrats who are risking their lives to create a better life for themselves and future generations. It is a liberal moment that should have the support of all progressives.
Yet, at this critical juncture, some Democrats are calling for immediate withdrawal or the euphemistic "redeployment". And the Administration is capitulating to political pressure by sending ambiguous signals of their own about future American support.
Fortunately, today there was a welcome moment of clarity from a Democratic Senator. Joe Lieberman writes in today's Wall Street Journal,
"It is a war between 27 million and 10,000; 27 million Iraqis who want to live lives of freedom, opportunity and prosperity and roughly 10,000 terrorists who are either Saddam revanchists, Iraqi Islamic extremists or al Qaeda foreign fighters who know their wretched causes will be set back if Iraq becomes free and modern... We are fighting on the side of the 27 million because the outcome of this war is critically important to the security and freedom of America. If the terrorists win, they will be emboldened to strike us directly again and to further undermine the growing stability and progress in the Middle East, which has long been a major American national and economic security priority."
It is not necessary to agree with the Administrations's prosecution of this war to believe that abandoning the Iraqis would be a moral travesty. Yet, Iraqi democrats cannot be confident that American political class will maintain its resolve.
Senator Lieberman continues,
"The leaders of Iraq's duly elected government understand this, and they asked me for reassurance about America's commitment. The question is whether the American people and enough of their representatives in Congress from both parties understand this. 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."
Joe Lieberman is not alone in his focus on a successful outcome in Iraq. Governor Mark Warner stated yesterday,
"This Democrat doesn't think we need to re-fight how we got into (the Iraq war). I think we need to focus more on how to finish it," Warner said. "To set an arbitrary deadline or specific date is not appropriate," he said. "... It is incumbent on the president to set milestones for what he believes will be the conclusion."
Lieberman and Warner are charter members of the bi-partisan Coalition of the Adults that realizes that an American defeat in Iraq would be both morally and strategically disastrous. And by refusing to abandon democrats, they are taking the progressive position! --