Friday, March 31, 2006
Deception of the Day
I've been there four times now. I can tell you that about two-thirds of Iraq is pretty peaceful. —Senator Joe Lieberman in a recent TV interview, as quoted by Walter Shapiro
Since more than three-quarters of Iraq is empty, Sen. Lieberman is telling the truth—for once—while completely misleading the audience.
His remark recalls the admission last week by Army Lt. Gen. Martin Dempsey that the critic who said "turning over large portions of battle space to Iraqi forces is meaningless if most of that land is desert" had a valid point. Lisa Burgess of Stars & Stripes reported that
[General] Chiarelli, who is commanding general of Multi-National Corps-Iraq, said March 17 that the coalition’s goal is to turn over control of 75 percent of the country’s territory to the Iraqi security forces by summer’s end.
But Anthony Cordesman, a national security analyst with the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, believes the hand-over emphasis is “nonsense.”
With almost the entire western half of Iraq virtually empty desert, “the figures vastly overestimate the actual area of influence and are at least as meaningless as the worst reporting on pacification in Vietnam”....
“The Iraqi forces don’t control anything like these areas, ignoring what ‘control’ of empty desert means.”
But Lieberman's egregious effort to dupe the public really should be compared to that of California Republican candidate for Congress and inveterate liar Howard Kaloogian. Almost everyone by now has heard of the photo of Istanbul, Turkey that Kaloogian claimed he had taken in Baghdad to show how peaceful the city was.
Kaloogian has been well flayed in the blogosphere for his duplicity, but Lieberman's deviousness has gone unnoticed.
War candidate Lieberman
Our Lieberman quote appeared in an article in Salon that contrasted Lieberman with his potential challenger in the August primary—"antiwar businessman Ned Lamont." Author Shapiro can't quite puzzle out the dislike of Lieberman by the Left, but does come up with a fascinating poll result—
According to a mid-February Quinnipiac University poll, Lieberman has a higher approval rating among Connecticut Republicans (71 percent) than Democrats (57 percent).
But Shapiro notes that "The national party establishment is expected to rally around Lieberman." And Sen. Barack Obama appeared at a Lieberman fundraiser last night. Though the Democratic establishment would use other rationales to justify their support for Lieberman, I do not believe it can be denied that the national Democratic establishment is pro-war.
Lieberman, then, will benefit doubly. He will receive the official support of the Democratic Party. And if the race begins to tighten, you may expect to see funds pouring in from—yes!—the Republicans. Moneywise, it has been a very, very good war for them, and they won't want to lose such an ardent supporter.
As someone who views the Iraq war as a national disaster and disgrace—in some respects worse than Vietnam—I search constantly for a political strategy that might bring it to an end. Though it may take a miracle to accomplish, the unseating of Senator Joe Lieberman by an antiwar candidate would, I believe, bring the troops home faster than years of demonstrations and protests.
Nothing frightens a politician more than the sight of another politician losing a Congressional election. After all, under normal circumstances the Congress is elected for life. Loss of an election by a seated Congressman smacks of revolution! Let's make it happen!
MyDD has links up for donations to 4 worthy candidates. Ned Lamont is first in the list.