[Everyone is focusing on surveillance part of this interview, but this is important, too.]
I’d say that someone should tell Joe Lieberman that Iran is a country of Shi’ites and that al-Qaeda is a radical Sunni organization, but he knows that. He just doesn’t care one tiny little bit about being honest. At all. From Stephanopoulos:
STEPHANOPOULOS: Are you open to taking action in September if he [Gen. Petraeus] reports that progress is not being made?
LIEBERMAN: Depends on what he says. I mean, look, to me, George, you’ve got to view Iraq in a larger context. I had an Arab diplomat say to me two weeks ago that what is happening in the Middle
East today reminds him of what happened in Europe during the 1930s, when Nazi Germany began to make moves and the rest of Europe and the
United States did not act quick enough to stop the Second World War.
He was talking about Iran. Iran is on the move in Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine and Afghanistan. And if we pull out of Iraq, Iran and Al Qaida are the victors. So my answer is, as long as we have a
reasonable chance of success in Iraq, then I’m going to say it’s worth it for us to stay.
Because if Iran and Al Qaida take over Iraq, they will destabilize the entire Middle East, and they will strike at us here at home…
STEPHANOPOULOS: Let me…
LIEBERMAN: … with more frequency and ferocity.
Since Lieberman is intent on lying to you, I’ll tell you the truth.
Organizations like al-Qaeda are openly hostile to BOTH Iran and the current Iraqi government. They don’t just hate the Iraqi government because they cooperate with Americans. They hate it because it is dominated by Shi’ites and is too friendly with Iran.
If Iran’s influence is the primary concern for this country and our Arab allies, then we should join al-Qaeda in opposing the current government in Baghdad. But Iran’s influence in not our primary concern. We decided, quite willingly, to give Shi’ites more power and influence when we agreed to let Iraqis have elections. If that was a mistake, then Lieberman should say so.
There is no prospect of both Iran and al-Qaeda taking over Iraq. It’s one or the other or neither, but not both. And one more point…
The Sunni Arabs of Iraq do not like al-Qaeda even though al-Qaeda is a Sunni Arab organization. Why? Well, al-Qaeda isn’t very likeable, frankly. They’re no fun. They have screwed up religious beliefs, they terrorize and murder people, and they get upset if you have a beer. Iraqis are fairly secular when it comes to people getting all up in their grill about their morals. So, once America leaves Iraq, the Iraqis will kill every al-Qaeda member they can locate. If we wan’t to destroy al-Qaeda in Iraq we should leave it to the Sunni Arabs to do it.
But Lieberman doesn’t want you to know that.