I had CNN's Situation Room on in the background, when I saw the sight of Senator John McCain and Senator Joseph Lieberman on my TV screen. As you probably know, Lieberman has endorsed Republican McCain for President.
(You also know but for any who have forgotten: Lieberman was a Democrat, then lost his party's 2006 primary to the anti-Iraq-war candidate Ned Lamont, then ran for the Senate anyway as an Independent, and won almost all of the Republican vote and 20% of the Democratic vote. And he's an Independent in the Senate, but is counted as a Democrat.)
On the Situation Room, McCain talked about the surge is working, the surge is working. (Violence is down, and now we can stay there babysitting and shooting and getting shot for the next 10 to 20 years. Yippeee!)
And then Lieberman, asked about his 2006 campaign, said it was important he had defeated the pro-Lamont, antiwar part of the Democratic party because once the 2008 Presidential campaign came around the Lamont part of the party would have trouble with "the American people, who know we're at war with a brutal enemy who attacked us on 9/11."
"We are at war with a brutal enemy who attacked us on 9/11."
Really, Senator Lieberman, and who would that be?
Are we back to looking for Bin Laden in Afghanistan? Have we decided to hell with Musharraf and we've invaded Pakistan to track down Al-Qaeda? Have we deposed the royal family in Saudi Arabia, where most of the hijackers came from, and we've decided to impose democracy on that country?
I'm not in favor of invading Pakistan or deposing the Saudi Arabian royal family, but as ideas they at least CONNECT with 9/11.
But Senator Lieberman didn't mean any of that, did he?
He meant to imply (to mislead, distort, to lie)... that our invading Iraq, a country that did NOT attack us, is connected to the 19 terrorist hijackers who attacked us on 9/11.
And it is not connected, is it, Senator Lieberman, or Senator McCain?
We were not attacked by a country. We were attacked by members of an organization. By 19 individuals who belonged to the terrorist group Al-Qaeda, which had safe haven in Afghanistan (not in Iraq!).
Class, what countries were the individual terrorists from?
Answer: "Fifteen of the attackers were from Saudi Arabia, two from the United Arab Emirates, one from Egypt, and one from Lebanon."
Class, and how many on that list were from Iraq?
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No, Vice President Cheney, that is the wrong answer, please sit down again. What? You're going to gather your own intelligence to analyze this list? Very well. Only spend just a few billion dollars on it, alright?
In the lead up to the war, Cheney and Bush and others spent LOTS of time misleading the American people about the non-existent connection between Saddam Hussein and the 9/11 attacks.
But the administration a couple of years ago let go of trying to push that connection (except for Cheney).
And on TV Bush even once admitted there was no connection, which he said in a mumbled, annoyed voice when asked the question explicitly by some reporter during a press conference. (Asked long after we'd been there, of course).
But here is Senator Lieberman SELLING THAT LIE again. And McCain smiled benignly in the background.
I mean most of the liars in the Republicans party who continue to hawk this war and claim it's for our safety no longer try to tie Iraq with 9/11.
They usually do the song and dance about "the war on terror" and we have to fight it everywhere, and now there IS Al-Qaeda in Iraq, though it wasn't there before we invaded. And if we don't fight them over there, we'll have to fight them here. (That last bellicose bromide is said often by McCain.)
I just found Lieberman intoning "the American people... know we're at war with a brutal enemy who attacked us on 9/11" to be enraging. Enraging. We've gone past that lie.
Japan attacked us at Pearl Harbor. Then we attacked back. We didn't react to Japan's attack by bombing Korea, did we? Or by invading China? Or by attacking Connecticut, who elected the dense and smiling Mr. Lieberman. Elected him over and over again.
Bush and Cheney sold this war first for our self-defense (we were in DANGER from Saddam, and we had to act IN THE NEXT TEN MINUTES OR ELSE). Then when there were no WMD's, the justification changed to we were creating democracy there. Then we were babysitting a civil war (well other people said that, Bush kept saying it wasn't true). Now it's calmer there, but it's hardly safe, and so what is the result of that? Now we're to be there for ever and ever? At billions a week, or is it a billion a minute by now?
I find it appalling and shocking that we are in a war, with men and women dying and being horribly maimed, when it was undertaken under false pretenses. And when as many of us believe, our being there as an occupier makes us less and less safe, and creates more terrorists. It's not a good bargain. You break it, you own it, said ex-Secretary of State Colin Powell, referring to the Pottery Barn Rule. How I wish we had invaded Pottery Barn. Then at least we'd have some nice merchandise, and could use some of it to give as Christmas presents.
And Lieberman just re-brought out that old, biggest lie about the war again, the supposed connection between our Iraq and 9/11. Enough with that lie.
Senator Lieberman is despicable.
Christopher Durang is a playwright and sometime actor.
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