Lieberman: Iran Should Be Bombed If It Meddles In Iraq

Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman says the U.S. should consider bombing Iran if it meddles in Iraq, a statement that’s bound to create some controversy.

But is it merely a statement or is it reflecting a likelihood being talked about in administration circles?

Here’s what Lieberman said:

The United States should launch military strikes against Iran if the government in Tehran does not stop supplying anti-American forces in Iraq, Sen. Joe Lieberman said Sunday on Face The Nation.

“I think we’ve got to be prepared to take aggressive military action against the Iranians to stop them from killing Americans in Iraq,” Lieberman told Bob Schieffer. “And to me, that would include a strike into… over the border into Iran, where we have good evidence that they have a base at which they are training these people coming back into Iraq to kill our soldiers.”

The Independent former Democrat from Connecticut said that he was not calling for an invasion of Iran, but he did say the U.S. should target specific training camps.

“I think you could probably do a lot of it from the air, but they can’t believe that they have immunity for training and equipping people to come in and kill Americans,” Lieberman said.

But the question becomes: is this just Lieberman (who is already being lambasted by many on the left for his pro-war and on foreign issues pro-Bush administration stances) giving an opinion off the top of his head? Or is he echoing a viable foreign policy option being discussed in the administration?

There are two reasons to wonder:

(1) Lieberman has strong ties to the administration, particularly to its foreign policy formulators.

(2) The Israel-based website Debka recently reported that Syrian and Iranian generals were talking to each other in preparation for what they believe will be a U.S. attack. Here are parts of the report:

The regime heads in Tehran are basing their common front with Damascus on intelligence reports whereby the US and Israel have drawn up plans for coordinated military action against Iran, Syria and Hizballah in the summer.

According to this hypothesis, Iranian leaders foresee the next UN Security Council in New York at the end of June or early July ending with an American announcement that the sanctions against Tehran are inadequate because Russia and China has toned them down. Therefore, the military option is the only one left on the table. The ayatollahs have concluded that US president George W. Bush is determined to bow out of office on the high note of a glittering military success against Iran to eclipse his failures in Iraq.

They believe he will not risk the lives of more Americans by mounting a ground operation, but rather unleash a broad missile assault that will wipe out Iran’s nuclear facilities and seriously cripple its economic infrastructure.

According to the Iranian scenario, the timeline for hostilities has already been fixed between Washington and Jerusalem – and so has the plan of action. The US will strike Iran first, after which Israel will use the opportunity to go for Syria, targeting its air force, missile bases and deployments, as well as Hizballah’s missile and weapons stocks which Iran replenished this year.

Viewed within this context, Lieberman’s comment may reflect a feeling that some kind of military strike is likely before Bush leaves office.

  • domajot

    “Lieberman’s comment may reflect a feeling that some kind of military strike is likely before Bush leaves office.”

    Only if Bush is determined to completely destroy the US before he leaves office.

  • Lynx

    With pretty much any other administration, including George Bush Sr., I would say that that’s crazy talk and couldn’t possibly be real, but these guys….

    It’s insanity, the only thing glittering in case of a full-scale engagement with Iran will be the shattered remains of our economy and our world reputation. I must refuse to believe that Americans would be so stupid as to happily concede to yet another war with the “just trust us” administration. Bush may be leaving, but the GOP is here to stay, if Bush wants to invade he would face outright rebellion from all but the most suicidal congressfolk.

    It just doesn’t make any sense….but if anyone is capable of it, it’s this crew.

  • SteveK

    Wake up America said,

    …I like Joe Lieberman, not because of his stance on Iraq and I often disagree with many other issues he stands for, but because he did what other Democrats were unwilling and unable to do.

    And what, prey tell, has Joe Lieberman done that “other Democrats were unwilling and unable to do” other than show that his true interests and loyalties don’t lie with the people of Connecticut or the United States of America?

  • Laura

    I completely agree with Lieberman.

  • Pyst

    Well if this scenario takes place be prepared for gas to be $5+ a gallon, and a potential economic upheaval the likes the world hasn’t seen since ’29.

    That and BushCo being possibly impeached because that action wouldn’t go over with congress very well either.

  • wjr

    I don’t think Lieberman’s comments reflect the view of the administration’s foreign policy formulators in any way, shape, or form. The national media runs stories daily on how Rice and Gates have wrested control of foreign policy away from Cheney and company, the evidence of which is becoming plainly obvious by the day. In no scenario, can I see Gates getting behind any military action against Tehran.

    I also think that Tehran is completely misreading the situation in Iraq and Bush’s desire to leave office with a stunning military success. The entire White House, whether they admit it or not, knows that Bush’s legacy is forever associated with the fate of Iraq and nothing, not even a successful missile strike on Iran will alter that reality.

  • SteveK

    Laura said,

    I completely agree with Lieberman.


    You timely comment helps make my point… Thank you.

  • jdledell

    Lieberman’s suggestion that we just bomb a few training bases and missle sites will envitably lead to escalation. Iran will retaliate and we will then have to retaliate the retailiation. Each escaltion will require more damage and force leading to a full scale war between Iran and the US. That means a significant portion of the Iraqi Shia population will start fighting against us with significantly rising US troop deaths, our supply lines from Kuwait will be cut, shipping in the Straits of Hormuz will be drastically curtailed, oil prices will skyrocket, Shia will probably make trouble in the Saudi oil fields, and Bahrain, Turkey will probably invade Kurdistan knowing we are totally tied up. Our troops will have to serve even more war rotations and we are losing our officer corps as it is. This could ruin our army for a generation.

    In short, Iraq is a FUBAR and expanding it to Iran any time soon will result in a MAJOR GOOGLASISH FUBAR. I can easily see us losing 10,000 troops in such a clash.

    As far as Israel’s proposed part in this clash I can see the Palestinians blowing holes in the walls and fences of Gaza and the West Bank and infiltrating Israel proper with hundreds of Israeli casulaties. Hezballah will fire thousands of rockets into Israeli cities with hundreds of deaths, Syria’s army will be decimated but they will pull an Iraq and take off their uniforms and make life miserable for Israeli tanks and troops carriers. Remember, Hezballah and the Syrians have the latest in anti-tank weapons. I can easily see 5000 Israeli deaths and in the end, they will be in the same role as occupiers without enough troops to fully occupy and serious land in Lebanon and Syria. So they will be back to square 1, an angry Muslim neighborhood makeing their lives difficult.

    Does anyone seriously believe that this administration can fight a war against Iran any better than it has in Iraq?

  • Ashen Shard

    I think Lieberman made the comment for only one reason, and that is to draw attention to himself. He has become increasingly irrelevant and only makes these extreme comments to try and make himself relevant again. And anyone who agrees with Lieberman outright has not considered the consequences of such actions. Sure, we should keep all options on the table, but all these nuts talking as if there is no other choice but war are not helping our country.
    Also, I doubt this administration would attack Iran at this point because if they did, you can be sure the Republican party would tank in 2008.

  • CaseyL

    Also, I doubt this administration would attack Iran at this point because if they did, you can be sure the Republican party would tank in 2008.

    You’re starting with the premise that the Bush Administration cares about what happens to the Republican Part. I believe that premise to be false.

    Think about what we know about Bush’s and Cheney’s character. Think about what they’ve already done to this country, and to the world.

    Also, bear in mind that one of Bush’s driving psychoses is the need to outdo Bush I.

    During his last days in office, Bush I sent US troops into Haiti and Somalia as a [censored] present to the incoming Clinton Administration.

    In short, it would be just like Bush and Cheney to start Gotterdammerung as a “Goodbye and [censored]” going away present to the US.

    Editorial Comment: do NOT use swears

  • kritter

    I can hardly think of a more reckless or irresponsible statement to make by this relentless neocon. Should we be engaged in 3 losing wars at the same time with a military that’s on the verge of breaking?

    Its obvious that Lieberman is more concerned about the future of Israel than of our country, as the Israelis have been pushing Bush and Cheney to attack Iran before leaving office. Lieberman should reconsider his loyalty oath to the Constitution of the United States.

  • dj

    Ashen Shard, I hope you’re right. The scenario jdledell outlines is a very likely result if we follow the path Lieberman is suggesting. Our military is already strained after how they’ve been used and abused for the last few years.

  • domajot

    Regardless of whether Leberman is right or wrong about attacking Iran, he should have kept his mouth firmly shut.
    He is undercutting what Rice has been saying recently.
    He is enhancing Iran’s excuse for its beligerence.
    He is single handedly destroying any chance there may be for a peaceful resolution.

    Lieberman is demonstrating the misuse of free speech protections.

  • DLS

    What should the US do instead, try appeasement, while Iran continues to do whatever it wants? *sigh*

    Criticism of Liberman is predictable: Example

  • DLS

    Pyst said:

    Well if this scenario takes place be prepared for gas to be $5+ a gallon, and a potential economic upheaval the likes the world hasn’t seen since ‘29.

    You’re overreacting. But yes, we cannot underestimate Iran and must be prepared for Iranian retaliation (Iraq, Strait of Hormuz, other Gulf oil installations, etc.).

  • DLS

    “He is undercutting what Rice has been saying recently.”

    Hmmm: Nancy Pelosi and criticism of her…

  • Pyst

    DLS, if I’m overrreacting do please tell me what would happen when 25-50% of the oil supply we get from the Persian gulf is cut off even for a week?

    Now think about it being cut off for 6 months or longer. How about a year?

    You are blowing off something without thinking about the ramnifications of our transportation system of this country being brought to a halt. The government would reserve all suppliees for emergency leaving the private sector withount fuel. Got any idea how our food reaches us? Our goods? Even our fuel? We are talking an almost total shutdown of the US as we know it, and this country is not prepared for anything like this scenario.

    You are awful quick to condemn others for not going far enough, but convieniently forget there are always consquences for all actions.