There’s something about being an independent politician that must allow these maverick “people’s candidates” to feel free to speak their minds, especially when doing so goes against the grain of not just their supposed “peers,” but most of the country (including their constituents) as well. Sometimes, these kinds of political statements are refreshing, opening what may seem to the common citizen to be a “common sense” approach to a particular problem or issue. Other times though (and especially when coming from the mouth of a politician who only found the ‘calling of independence’ when he lost his party’s primary nomination and his ego couldn’t face the fact that “his base” no longer wanted him to be their voice in Congress) the things that escape from the lips of an elected official are enough to make you shiver. Case in point, Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman’s Sunday declaration that the United States should expand the war in Iraq into neighboring Iran.

“I think we’ve got to be prepared to take aggressive military action
against the Iranians to stop them from killing Americans in Iraq,” Lieberman
told Bob Schieffer. “And to me, that would include a strike into… over the
border into Iran, where we have good evidence that they have a base at which
they are training these people coming back into Iraq to kill our soldiers.”

If the U.S. does not act against Iran, “they’ll take that as a sign of
weakness on our part and we will pay for it in Iraq and throughout the region
and ultimately right here at home,” Lieberman said.

He said that he has seen evidence that the Iranians are supplying
insurgents and foreign fighters in Iraq.

“We can tell them we want them to stop that, but if there’s any hope of
the Iranians living according to the international rule of law and stopping, for
instance, their nuclear weapons development, we can’t just talk to them,”
Lieberman said. “If they don’t play by the rules, we’ve got to use our force,
and to me that would include taking military action to stop them from doing what
they’re doing.”

And Joe wonders why he couldn’t keep the support of the Democratic party in his state. Here’s a clue Joe…America doesn’t want the war to expand. We want it to end. This whole business of attacking nations to stop gangs of terrorists really isn’t the best way to go. More cells and plots have been disrupted through police work Joe. And fewer civiliains die that way too. Oh, and it’s a hell of a lot cheaper.

And to think that if Al Gore had won (I mean been declared the winner) in the 2000 election, America’s Vice-President would still be Dick Cheney, albeit with a different name. If that little realization isn’t a wake-up call to what a complete farce this whole two-party system pretends to be, I don’t know what is. In American politics, there is only one party that rules the roost-the fund-raising party. And whomever gives the most money to help keep the politicians in office (i.e. – power) gets to mold the rules of the game. And make no mistake- the loss of over 3500 US service people is just a part of the game to them. Pieces on the board so to speak. An expected and acceptable cost of imperialism, I mean corporatocracy, I mean exporting democracy, I mean fighting terror.

Hawkish Joe. The People’s Man. The Independent.

It may well be that Iran (or elements within Iran) is training or supplying insurgents who then come across the border into Iraq to fight against American troops there. To pretend though that this is something that the US, nor any ‘civilized’ nation, would undertake to do is ludicrous. In fact, the US is doing just that right now. According to this New York Times article, America is now arming more and more Sunni Arab groups (who also are know to us as insurgents, sectarian rebels, or former Saddam Baathist bastards) to fight against suspected al-Qaeda terror cells in Iraq. Unfortunately, the vast majority of violence in Iraq, aside from the targeting of US troops from both sides of the sectarian clash, is Iraq Sunni fighting Iraq Shia. In that light, the odds of US arms being used against US troops is pretty good. That chance that they will be used by the Sunnis against the Shia (and remember-most of Iran is Shia) may serve to inflame Iranian concerns about this war at their back fence. Hell, by arming the Sunni groups, Iran may well have credible claim that the US ” has a base at which they are training these people coming back into Iran to kill our soldiers.”

Joe has determined that talking just isn’t going to work with the Iranians. After all, “if there’s any hope of the Iranians living according to the international rule of law and stopping, for instance, their nuclear weapons development, we can’t just talk to them,” said Joe on CBS. Again, it’s conceivable that others around the world feel the same way about the American government under George W. Bush. Hell, it’s not only conceivable, it’s the fact Jack! Er, Joe. For all this talk about “living according to internation rule of law” give me about a minute and I can pull up hundreds of reminders of America’s own high standards of the past half decade. Do these words ring a bell? Torture. International kidnappings (arrests/detentions/disappearances) by covert US operatives on foreign sovereign land. Here’s a tip Senator. Don’t preach the talk if you can’t (and demonstrably haven’t) walked the walk. Especially you, Joe “My Ego Is More Important Than The Will Of The People” Lieberman. Especially from you.

But what’s scarier than hearing former Demcorat-turned faux-Independent Joe Lieberman call for the bombing of Iran? The certainty that Joe’s appearance this Sunday morning was not so much the rantings of a man who longs for face time and relevance but rather a carefully pre-planned event from the bowels of the Bush Administration to start spreading the lubricant for sliding into Iran. After at least a year of denial that the US would seek to engage Iran militarily, despite leaks about prepared war plans and increasingly hostile rhetoric between the two countries, Team Bush may finally be letting the cat out of the bag, via good old Joe Lieberman, a man who (if you are a neo-con or party loyalist republican) you can almost trust since he left the Democrats (who are a bunch of wimps), or (if you are a democrat or anti-war American) a man you most certainly despise for his glad-handing with Bush. In either case, the Bushite’s can simply remain silent on Joe’s performance, leaving the general public to mull over what may come next. And seeing how the American people aren’t too supportive of a military showdown with Iran, even over it’s nuclear activities, perhaps the only way Cheney’s former corporate boardroom buddies can get into Iran is by relying on less spectacular half truths and building inuendo to push war to the next level.

I’m not dovish on Iran as a matter of absolute principal. Under certain conditions, I could well see the US engaged in some kind of legitimate military actions in the Middle East. But those conditions do not include conflating situations already out of hand with those that need not become so.

We may not trust Iran enough to hold face to face talks at high levels. They surely don’t trust us. Neither party has given the other any reason to do so. But trust, and therefore a more amicable (or at least non-confrontational) relationship, isn’t likely to sprout out of a bombing campaign either. />
(cross posted at Bring It On!)