Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Understanding Joe Lieberman

Last post, I risked being thought racist. This time, I'll risk being thought anti-Semitic. It's probably a good thing that nobody actually reads this blog.

I'm not at all surprised that the Democratic caucus voted to keep Lieberman today, and let him keep the chair of the Homeland Security Committee. With Lieberman on board, there's a slim chance the Democrats can grab a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate. Without him, there's no chance at all.

Anyway, Joe Lieberman really is a Democrat. Look at his voting record, and there's absolutely no doubt. If Lieberman really was McCain's first choice for running mate, McCain's judgment -- politically, at least -- is even worse than indicated by the Sarah Palin choice. Lieberman diverges from the Democratic line in just one area -- foreign policy. You see, there's one group that claims greater loyalty from Lieberman than the Democratic Party -- and it's not the voters of Connecticut. That group is AIPAC -- the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

Iraq never presented a threat to the United States. Even if somebody actually believed the hype about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and associated delivery systems, there was no threat to the United States. There might have been a threat, however, to Israel. Threat or no threat, the idea of a U.S. puppet government in Iraq must have looked pretty good to a lot of Israelis. The real threat, of course, is Iran -- and permanent U.S. bases next door in Iraq could not help but improve Israeli security.

Fiasco notwithstanding, the U.S. staying in Iraq for however long it takes to achieve "victory" is a policy that works for AIPAC, and, hence, for Lieberman. Given decades of indoctrination by AIPAC and his Orthodox rabbis -- not to mention Connecticut defense contractors -- Lieberman had to side with Bush, McCain, and Exxon-Mobil rather than Obama and the Democrats in the recent election.

The hell of it is that AIPAC isn't a particularly good representative of Israel. AIPAC is a much better representative of Likud, and its leader Benjamin "Bibi" Netanyahu, than of Israel's current Kadima government. Rightist Likud naturally tends to allign itself with the rightist religious parties, and Lieberman is an Orthodox jew. Go figure.

It might be helpful if somebody could arrange a meeting between Joe Lieberman and Tzipi Livni, Israel's new Prime Minister. Maybe she could convey to Lieberman that support for AIPAC is not necessarily support for Israel.

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