Thursday, September 30, 2010

Raising Lieberman

Senator Joe Lieberman echoed escalating concern regarding Iran, reinforcing Senator Lindsey Graham and Representative Howard Berman's recent speeches on the topic.  Lieberman spoke to the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), where he said:

It is time to retire our ambiguous mantra about all options remaining on the table. It is time for our message to our friends and enemies in the region to become clearer: namely, that we will prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability -- by peaceful means if we possibly can, but with military force if we absolutely must. A military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities entails risks and costs, but I am convinced that the risks and costs of allowing Iran to obtain a nuclear weapons capability are much greater.

I also believe it would be a failure of U.S. leadership if this situation reaches the point where the Israelis decide to attempt a unilateral strike on Iran. If military action must come, the United States is in the strongest position to confront Iran and manage the regional consequences. This is not a responsibility we should outsource. We can and should coordinate with our many allies who share our interest in stopping a nuclear Iran, but we cannot delegate our global responsibilities to them.

The Reds kicked off bidding with Graham's talk at  the American Enterprise Institute.  The Blues countered with Howard Berman at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.  Independents raised the bar with a Lieberman at CFR.     The future of American power in the Middle East centers on Israel and war.  It's a sadly familiar refrain.