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Joe Lieberman: Democrats and our Enemies


Henry

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As many of you may have noticed, a lot about Barack Obama the candidate appeals to me. I defend him against what I consider cheap attacks a lot around here. However, I'm not planning on voting for him.

Here is an Op-Ed by Sen. Lieberman from the WSJ which gives one of the big reasons why. I am posting this in the faint hope that we can discuss what I consider constructive criticism like adults. Like many of you, I see such potential in Obama, and he has displayed such qualities in leadership that I desperately want him to succeed in that respect. My hope is that as Obama continues to move forward with his campaign, he will flesh out his foreign policy objectives in such a way as to recognize what Lieberman is saying here. If he does that, he may yet win my vote. But he doesn't have it yet.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121132806884008847.html?mod=opinion_main_commentaries

Democrats and Our Enemies

By JOSEPH LIEBERMAN

May 21, 2008; Page A19

How did the Democratic Party get here? How did the party of Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman and John F. Kennedy drift so far from the foreign policy and national security principles and policies that were at the core of its identity and its purpose?

Beginning in the 1940s, the Democratic Party was forced to confront two of the most dangerous enemies our nation has ever faced: Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. In response, Democrats under Roosevelt, Truman and Kennedy forged and conducted a foreign policy that was principled, internationalist, strong and successful.

This was the Democratic Party that I grew up in – a party that was unhesitatingly and proudly pro-American, a party that was unafraid to make moral judgments about the world beyond our borders. It was a party that understood that either the American people stood united with free nations and freedom fighters against the forces of totalitarianism, or that we would fall divided.

This was the Democratic Party of Harry Truman, who pledged that "it must be the policy of the United States to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures."

And this was the Democratic Party of John F. Kennedy, who promised in his inaugural address that the United States would "pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and the success of freedom."

This worldview began to come apart in the late 1960s, around the war in Vietnam. In its place, a very different view of the world took root in the Democratic Party. Rather than seeing the Cold War as an ideological contest between the free nations of the West and the repressive regimes of the communist world, this rival political philosophy saw America as the aggressor – a morally bankrupt, imperialist power whose militarism and "inordinate fear of communism" represented the real threat to world peace.

It argued that the Soviets and their allies were our enemies not because they were inspired by a totalitarian ideology fundamentally hostile to our way of life, or because they nursed ambitions of global conquest. Rather, the Soviets were our enemy because we had provoked them, because we threatened them, and because we failed to sit down and accord them the respect they deserved. In other words, the Cold War was mostly America's fault.

Of course that leftward lurch by the Democrats did not go unchallenged. Democratic Cold Warriors like Scoop Jackson fought against the tide. But despite their principled efforts, the Democratic Party through the 1970s and 1980s became prisoner to a foreign policy philosophy that was, in most respects, the antithesis of what Democrats had stood for under Roosevelt, Truman and Kennedy.

Then, beginning in the 1980s, a new effort began on the part of some of us in the Democratic Party to reverse these developments, and reclaim our party's lost tradition of principle and strength in the world. Our band of so-called New Democrats was successful sooner than we imagined possible when, in 1992, Bill Clinton and Al Gore were elected. In the Balkans, for example, as President Clinton and his advisers slowly but surely came to recognize that American intervention, and only American intervention, could stop Slobodan Milosevic and his campaign of ethnic slaughter, Democratic attitudes about the use of military force in pursuit of our values and our security began to change.

This happy development continued into the 2000 campaign, when the Democratic candidate – Vice President Gore – championed a freedom-focused foreign policy, confident of America's moral responsibilities in the world, and unafraid to use our military power. He pledged to increase the defense budget by $50 billion more than his Republican opponent – and, to the dismay of the Democratic left, made sure that the party's platform endorsed a national missile defense.

Click on the link for the rest.

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This is from the part of the article not quoted:

"That unfortunately includes Barack Obama, who, contrary to his rhetorical invocations of bipartisan change, has not been willing to stand up to his party's left wing on a single significant national security or international economic issue in this campaign."

Forget national security and international economic issues, on what issue period has he stood up to the party's left wing?

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Sorry Henry, but there is no way I can look at Liebermann with a straight face any more. Does he make some points? Well, somewhat, but not really. FDR and JFK never would have invaded Iraq. he has it wrong, and it is nothing more that what JLG said, just a neo-con boilerplate speech. It is all about transformation and "opposing tyranny" when in fact, it is about imperialism and exporting tyranny.

I am by no means an isolationist, but this speech is a psudo attempt to justify invading Iraq to "free the Iraqi people" from an oppressor. Invading was never what our county stood for, we would HELP people change their lives, but not FORCE them to do things the way we think is best. Change comes best from within, you can't make someone want freedom, it is something they have to want and earn themselves.

Liebermann is a neo-con lite, and his support of Bush, the Military Industrial Complex, the Iraq war, and turning his back on his own party for money for his state is what politics should NOT be about.

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Bills sponsored by Obama:

Sponsor: Sen Obama, Barack [iL] (introduced 11/16/2006)

Hasnt introduced a bill in 18 months... thats some might good pay there lou....

Oh please Bear, are you going to play this game again? That gave us Bush for 4 more years, don't you have some new material?

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I didn't see it that way, Chom. He's not talking about Iraq. I'm not talking about Iraq. He's talking about dealing with Iran, and I agree with him. "Bush screwed up in Iraq" is not an excuse to ignore any criticism of Obama's platform.

I'm not against talking with nations like Iran. However, I am wary of, "talking without preconditions."

Taken at face value, that appears exceedingly naive. In my opinion.

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Cuba is much closer

And what a success that was.

But something else is Lieberman's assumes that because these names are revered, their actions were justified. But their actions did lead us to Cuba and Vietnam. That mentality led us to send the CIA around the world replacing regimes we didn't like.

Are we better for that?

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Could the change be the result of communist sympathizers in colleges in the 60 in doctranating kids with the idea that America was evil for their way of doing things then those students growing up to teach others the same thing?

If it is university or college educated people voting for Obama and his leftist leanings in greater numbers than they are Clinton then what you could be seeing is fallout from 40 years ago which could be fallout from the era of MacCartheism, some people never forgive

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I can make a couple arguments, but some are directed at the author's credibility.

First off, he's an on the record McCain supporter. So, I'm not shocked that he doesn't think Obama is great. Second, he has motive to attack the democratic party, which basically pushed him aside. Third, he talks about the 60's being the time period where Democrats started getting it wrong (Vietnam), but he was a member of the party until 2006? Sounds like he should look himself in the mirror if he doesn't agree with the party in the time period from Vietnam until now.

Next, I'm gonna say it, Lieberman is Jewish, and he has a PERSONAL interest in protecting Israel in ways that probably are not always best for the country. That is really what this article is about. America should NOT be the protector of Israel. Not anymore than we should be the protector of the "free people" of Palestine - the ones who are law abiding good people.

Next, his argument about the Soviet's completely misses the point. We did stand up to communism, but we did it WITHOUT going to all out war with them. And that was a Republican leading foreign policy. That is what he is missing. The thought that we have to go to WAR with every country that we have a foreign policy dispute with is uneducated, irresponsible, and lacks any foundation in the history of this country. The thing JFK did that was GREAT was keep us OUT of war with a nuclear power when they threatened us.

Finally, the idea that democrats are not "pro-american" or "proud to be American," anymore is BS. Patriots, and proud Americans, stand up for their government because they believe it can be better. If you believe that proud citizens of this country are those that do only what their government tells them they should do, then you don't don't understand patriotism at all. (using "you" to refer to Lieberman throughout).

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And what a success that was.

At least thousands of Americans weren't killed and we didn't spend the 1960's equivalent of a trillion dollars failing there. I would argue that as far as the welfare of the US goes, Cuba was a much greater success than Iraq has been.

I love Leiberman's revisionist history on FDR though. Does he not know that WWII was underway LONG before the US got involved, and even then, only because a member of the Axis nations bombed one of our naval bases?

EDIT (Contrast this with Iraq, who posed no real threat to us and never attacked us.)

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At least American's weren't killed and we didn't spend the 1960's equivalent of a trillion dollars failing there.

It was an ass-kicking of epic proportions. Pretty embarassing, partisanship aside.

Probably will always be remembered as one of the largest blunders in Presidential History. I often wonder what JFK's legacy would have been had he not been so tragically assasinated.

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I can make a couple arguments, but some are directed at the author's credibility.

First off, he's an on the record McCain supporter. So, I'm not shocked that he doesn't think Obama is great. Second, he has motive to attack the democratic party, which basically pushed him aside. Third, he talks about the 60's being the time period where Democrats started getting it wrong (Vietnam), but he was a member of the party until 2006? Sounds like he should look himself in the mirror if he doesn't agree with the party in the time period from Vietnam until now.

Next, I'm gonna say it, Lieberman is Jewish, and he has a PERSONAL interest in protecting Israel in ways that probably are not always best for the country. That is really what this article is about. America should NOT be the protector of Israel. Not anymore than we should be the protector of the "free people" of Palestine - the ones who are law abiding good people.

Next, his argument about the Soviet's completely misses the point. We did stand up to communism, but we did it WITHOUT going to all out war with them. And that was a Republican leading foreign policy. That is what he is missing. The thought that we have to go to WAR with every country that we have a foreign policy dispute with is uneducated, irresponsible, and lacks any foundation in the history of this country. The thing JFK did that was GREAT was keep us OUT of war with a nuclear power when they threatened us.

Finally, the idea that democrats are not "pro-american" or "proud to be American," anymore is BS. Patriots, and proud Americans, stand up for their government because they believe it can be better. If you believe that proud citizens of this country are those that do only what their government tells them they should do, then you don't don't understand patriotism at all. (using "you" to refer to Lieberman throughout).

The wars with Russia were fought using other countries ie Vietnam Afghanistan and South American countries as well as Iran and Iraq. Russia never attacked America directly as the terrorists did

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The wars with Russia were fought using other countries ie Vietnam Afghanistan and South American countries as well as Iran and Iraq. Russia never attacked America directly as the terrorists did

All the while maintaining dialogue with the Soviet Union. The way Lieberman tells it in this article is that America must go to war with every country that threatens us. And I find that dishonest.

I also find it a little convenient to claim that wars with Russia were in other countries, then to acknowledge that we never went to war with them because they didn't directly attack us. It seems if the wars with Russia were in Vietnam, Afghanistan, etc. (as you claim), then they did attack us, and our foreign policy was not to attack them back. Don't you think you are having it both ways a little bit there?

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It was an ass-kicking of epic proportions. Pretty embarassing, partisanship aside.

Probably will always be remembered as one of the largest blunders in Presidential History. I often wonder what JFK's legacy would have been had he not been so tragically assasinated.

Oh, I absolutely agree that it was embarassing. But as far as our own national well-being is concerned (both in terms of US soldiers killed and tax dollars spent), I would argue that we're getting our asses more thoroughly kicked now.

And I would guess that JFK's blunder in the Bay of Pigs in '61 would have been overshadowed by his success in avoiding a worldwide conflict during the Cuban Missile Crisis in '62. I'd consider those two to cancel each other out, and then he also gets credit for the creation of the Peace Corp and the progression of the Civil Rights movement and the groundwork for the 1964 Civil Rights Act that his successor gets most of the credit for.

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Lieberman is nothing more than a traitor to his own party. Not interested in anything he says.

I'm not much of a Lieberman fan, but I think his departure from his party was one of the greatest things to happen in American politics for a long time.

I'd like to see some Republicans follow suit. You can't tell me that every Republican member of Congress personally believes in the Republican platform.

So what that says is that there are dozens (if not more) of Congressman in Washington who put their allegiance to their party above their allegiance to their own ideals. Which is sad.

Like him or not, calling Lieberman a traitor is incredibly bad form.

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Rather, the Soviets were our enemy because we had provoked them, because we threatened them, and because we failed to sit down and accord them the respect they deserved. In other words, the Cold War was mostly America's fault.

Really?

He is claiming that this is a central principal of the Democratic Party?

In reality it is Lieberman's friend GW Bush that has endorsed and enabled Putin's new Russian dictatorship because Bush could see into Putin's soul that he is a good man. Right. :doh:

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Oh please Bear, are you going to play this game again? That gave us Bush for 4 more years, don't you have some new material?

Me posting that Kerry hadn't done anything in 2 years got 'us' Bush for 4 more. :) yeah, sure. It had nothing to do with Kerry being an idiot.

I personally will vote for the libertarian, but i see Obama losing by 10-15million popular votes and he will win 15 of 50 states.

I'd love to see 10-15 of both parties create the common sense party.

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All the while maintaining dialogue with the Soviet Union. The way Lieberman tells it in this article is that America must go to war with every country that threatens us. And I find that dishonest.

I also find it a little convenient to claim that wars with Russia were in other countries, then to acknowledge that we never went to war with them because they didn't directly attack us. It seems if the wars with Russia were in Vietnam, Afghanistan, etc. (as you claim), then they did attack us, and our foreign policy was not to attack them back. Don't you think you are having it both ways a little bit there?

Russia had nukes two countries armed to teeth forced diplomacy, there was conditions always being set by both sides as talks went on, America fought the war also through economic pressure using it wealth to bankrupt Russia fighting wars it could not afford to fight

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Honestly, to me personally, this demonstrates that Lieberman has a more black-white, categorical, and naive view of foreign policy, than those - one example being Obama - who believe war is a last resort, and that America's place in the world must be constantly evaluated, and its actions taken cautiously and deliberately.

:2cents:

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I love Leiberman's revisionist history on FDR though. Does he not know that WWII was underway LONG before the US got involved, and even then, only because a member of the Axis nations bombed one of our naval bases?

I think he knows that, but that isn't the point. What did FDR want? or even why did Japan bomb us?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Sino-Japanese_War#Foreign_involvement

"By mid-1941, the United States organized the American Volunteer Group, or Flying Tigers. Their early combat success of 300 kills against a loss of 12 of their shark painted P-40 fighters earned them wide recognition at the time when Allies were suffering heavy losses. Entering soon after the U.S. and Japan were at war, their dogfighting tactics would be adopted by US forces. They would also transmit the appreciative Chinese thumbs-up gesture for number one into military culture. In addition, the United States, Britain and the Netherlands East Indies began oil and/or steel embargos. The loss of oil imports made it impossible for Japan to continue operations in China. This set the stage for Japan to launch a series of military attack against the western Allies, when the Imperial Navy raided Pearl Harbor on December 8, 1941 (December 7 in U.S. time zones)."

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I can make a couple arguments, but some are directed at the author's credibility.

First off, he's an on the record McCain supporter. So, I'm not shocked that he doesn't think Obama is great. Second, he has motive to attack the democratic party, which basically pushed him aside.

He also has a motive for playing nice with the Democrats, as he caucuses with them and shares Dem views on lots of other things.

Third, he talks about the 60's being the time period where Democrats started getting it wrong (Vietnam), but he was a member of the party until 2006? Sounds like he should look himself in the mirror if he doesn't agree with the party in the time period from Vietnam until now.

Well, he wasn't a Senator until 89. If you read the article, he talks about how the Democrats started reversing that trend in the 80s. I don't see this as a slam piece against the Democrats. If I did, I wouldn't have posted it.

Next, I'm gonna say it, Lieberman is Jewish, and he has a PERSONAL interest in protecting Israel in ways that probably are not always best for the country. That is really what this article is about. America should NOT be the protector of Israel. Not anymore than we should be the protector of the "free people" of Palestine - the ones who are law abiding good people.

As a Jew, the only response I can muster to this is "ouch."

This rings about as hollow as claiming Obama believes exactly what Rev. Wright's been saying for the past 20 years.

Next, his argument about the Soviet's completely misses the point. We did stand up to communism, but we did it WITHOUT going to all out war with them. And that was a Republican leading foreign policy. That is what he is missing. The thought that we have to go to WAR with every country that we have a foreign policy dispute with is uneducated, irresponsible, and lacks any foundation in the history of this country. The thing JFK did that was GREAT was keep us OUT of war with a nuclear power when they threatened us.

We don't have to go to war with every country, but every country has to know we are willing and capable of using force if necessary. That's the difference. Talking with other nations doesn't bug me. Talking with them 'unconditionally' does. I'm not yet convinced Obama has made a proper distinction between the former and the latter. If he has, please feel free to enlighten me. That's why I brought this up.

Finally, the idea that democrats are not "pro-american" or "proud to be American," anymore is BS. Patriots, and proud Americans, stand up for their government because they believe it can be better. If you believe that proud citizens of this country are those that do only what their government tells them they should do, then you don't don't understand patriotism at all. (using "you" to refer to Lieberman throughout).

I'm not sure Lieberman claimed Democrats are anti-American or ashamed to be American. Maybe I missed that.

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