Joe Lieberman’s Feb. 5th speech on the Senate floor

Re: The type of message the Senate is sending to our troops – and to the enemy – with their various attempts at ‘non-binding’ resolutions stating opposition to the President’s surge plan and urging withdrawal. Excerpts:

Senator Joe Lieberman - picture courtesy of REUTERS/Larry Downing (UNITED STATES)We heard from General Petraeus during his confirmation hearing that war is a battle of wills. Our enemies believe that they are winning in Iraq today. They believe that they can outlast us; that, sooner or later, we will tire of this grinding conflict and go home. That is the lesson that Osama bin Laden took from our retreats from Lebanon and Somalia in the 1980s and 1990s. It is a belief at the core of the insurgency in Iraq, and at the core of radical Islam worldwide. And this resolution—by codifying our disunity, by disavowing the mission our troops are about to undertake—confirms our enemies’ belief in American weakness.

This resolution also sends a terrible message to our allies. I agree that we must hold the Iraqi government to account. That is exactly what the resolution Senator McCain and I have offered would do. But I ask you: Imagine for a moment that you are a Sunni or Shia politician in Baghdad who wants the violence to end—and ask yourself how the Warner-Levin resolution will affect your thinking, your calculations of risk, your willingness to stand against the forces of extremism. Every day, you are threatened by enemies who want nothing but to inflict the most brutal imaginable horrors on you and your loved ones. Will this resolution empower you, or will it undermine you? Will it make you feel safer, or will it make you feel you should hedge your bets, or go over to the extremists, or leave the country?

And finally, what is the message this resolution sends to our soldiers? I know that everyone here supports our troops—but actions have consequences, often unintended. When we send a message of irresolution, it does not support our troops. When we renounce their mission, it does not support our troops.

We heard recently in the Senate Armed Services Committee from General Jack Keane, who said of this resolution. “It’s just not helpful… What the enemy sees is an erosion of the political and moral will of the American people… Our soldiers are Americans first. They clearly understand there’s a political process in this country that they clearly support… But at the end of the day, they are going to go out and do a tough mission, and I certainly would like to see them supported in that mission as opposed to declaring non-support….”

Please read it all. No wonder the anti-war left can’t stand him – because he stands for something they don’t: victory!

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