WASHINGTON - Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman, who began openly and aggressively
angling for a war with Iraq just weeks after the September 11, 2001,
terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, is using the thwarted
Christmas Day attack on a Northwest Airlines flight as an excuse to
open a new discussion about a new war.
Lieberman, the neoconservative solon who wanted to be the Secretary
of Defense in the administration of John McCain (his 2008 candidate for
president) and who would gladly play the same role in the
administration of a Sarah Palin or any other saber-rattling Republican,
is proposing the launch of a new preemptive war on Yemen.
Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the 23-year-old Nigerian accused of
attempting to explode a plastic device aboard a flight from Amsterdam
to Detroit on Friday, has told authorities that he traveled to Yemen to
link up with al-Qaida operatives.
Lieberman admitted that in a Fox New interview that he was "not sure" whether the Nigerian succeeded in making contact with the individuals he "reached out to" in Yemen.
But "not sure" is good enough for Lieberman.
So, he says, it is time to start lobbing bombs -- lots of them.
"Iraq was yesterday's war, Afghanistan is today's war," chirped the
senator. "If we don't act preemptively, Yemen will be tomorrow's war."
Lieberman, who never served in the military and whose over-the-top
hawkish views have led his wiser colleagues to keep him off committees
that deal with issues of war and peace, seems to be aware that "acting
preemptively" in the manner he suggests, is an act of war.
What's the alternative? Doing what the Bush-Cheney administration
failed to do. By working with the international community and employing
smart diplomacy and policing strategies, the U.S. might well be able to
address concerns about what is happening in Yemen... and Somalia... and
Nigeria and a host of other countries.
Of course, Lieberman does not have much taste for smart diplomacy or
policing strategies, as is obvious from his hamhanded tenure as chair
of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
Perhaps instead of getting all excited about starting another war,
Lieberman would do better to focus in on the fact that the troubles on
Christmas Day did not exactly reflect positive on the homeland security
operations for which he is supposed to provide oversight and guidance.