Saturday, February 17, 2007
On this day:

Joe Lieberman on the anti-surge resolution

Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman issued the following press release Friday. Follow that link, also, for the full text of his speech on the Senate floor Friday. It's well worth reading.

Lieberman Warns of Potential Constitutional Crisis over Iraq

Urges Unity in War Against Islamist Extremism

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- In a statement on the Senate floor today concerning the non-binding Iraq resolution, Senator Lieberman stated:

"The non-binding resolution before us today, we all know, is only a prologue. That is why the fight over it - procedural and substantive - over these past weeks has been so intense. It is the first skirmish in an escalating battle that threatens to consume our government over many months ahead, a battle that will neither solve the sprawling challenges we face in Iraq nor strengthen our nation to defeat the enemies of our security throughout the world from Islamist extremists. That is to say, in our war against the terrorists that attacked us.

We still have a choice not to go down this path - it's a choice that goes beyond the immediate resolution before the Senate - a chance to step back from the brink and find a better way to express and arbitrate our opinion, and I hope we will seize the moment and take that chance."

Senator Lieberman called for nonpartisan cooperation:

"Whatever our opinion of this war or its conduct, it is in no one's interest to stumble into a debilitating confrontation between our two great branches of government over war powers. The potential for a constitutional crisis here and now is real, with congressional interventions, presidential vetoes, and Supreme Court decisions. If there was ever a moment for nonpartisan cooperation to agree on a process that will respect both our personal opinions about this war and our nation's interests over the long term, this is it.

We need to step back from the brink and reason together, as Scripture urges us to do, about how we will proceed to express our disagreements about this war."

Senator Lieberman argued that the non binding resolution, "proposes nothing. It contains no plan for victory or retreat... It is a strategy of "no," while our soldiers are saying, "yes, sir" to their commanding officers as they go forward into battle."

Senator Lieberman closed with a call for unity, "Whatever our differences here in this chamber, about this war, let us never forget the values of freedom and democracy that unite us and for which our troops have given and today give the last full measure of their devotion. Yes, we should vigorously debate and deliberate. That is not only our right, it is our responsibility. But at this difficult juncture, at this moment when a real battle, a critical battle is being waged in Baghdad, as we face a brutal enemy who attacked us on 9/11 and wants to do it again, let us not just shout at one another, but let us reach out to one another to find that measure of unity that can look beyond today's disagreements and secure the nation's future and the future of all who will follow us as Americans."