Ned Lamont on War & Peace
LIEBERMAN: I’m not prepared to give up on Iraq and I’m not prepared to fail. Ned Lamont has embraced a proposal for withdrawal by July 2007. To me, that’s not a plan for success, that’s retreat and a recipe for disaster, and it will deeply hurt the American people.
LAMONT: During George Bush’s rush to war in Iraq, we needed checks & balances, and tough questions asked. But every step of the way, there was Senator Lieberman saying “stay the course,” and I think that was wrong. And here we are, years later, with our troops stuck in the middle of a bloody civil war. It’s time for us to challenge the old thinking. We got ourselves into this mess not because we asked too many questions, but because we asked too few. With this election, we’re going to start asking the tough questions again. Question #1 is How can we get our troops home safely? Joe Lieberman & George Bush’s stay-the-course strategy - that’s the recipe for failure.
LAMONT: Senator, you’re the only person in Connecticut who is confused about my position on the war in Iraq. President Bush rushed us into this war. He told us it would be easy. We would be welcomed as liberators. Weapons of mass destruction. And Sen. Lieberman cheered on the president every step of the way, when we should have been asking the tough questions. And this war is not a single issue, Senator. It says so much about what type of a country we are. The tens of thousands of people who have died and been wounded, the hundreds of billions of dollars that have been spent and wasted and the values, the values about this country and our moral authority, and what it says about who we are. It’s destabilized the Middle East, it was a mistake, and we should admit it.
LAMONT: Absolutely. Like Chris Dodd, like the heart of the Democratic Party, I supported both of those amendments [setting a deadline for withdrawal]. It’s time for us to change course. Time for us to start getting our frontline troops out of harm’s way, within the next six months, and we get our troops out of Iraq over the course of the next year. That fundamentally is a change of direction. You have an open-ended stay-the-course strategy.
LIEBERMAN: Absolutely untrue. I have said the sooner we get out of Iraq, the better. But if we get out too soon, it will be a disaster for the Iraqis and for us. If you tell your enemy when you’re going to leave, they’ll wait and create disaster.
Lamont said people wonder why America can afford $250 million a day to fight in Iraq but can’t afford universal health-care coverage, or “to give our kids a running head start,” he said.
Today, America is no safer, Israel is no safer, Iran is more dangerous, Osama bin Laden is still at large, & our brave troops are stuck in the middle of a bloody civil war. I believe that those leaders who got us into this mess should be held accountable