Yesterday on the Senate floor, Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and John Warner (R-VA) had a testy exchange over their Iraq resolutions, during which Lieberman claimed that the difference between his pro-escalation resolution and Warner’s anti-escalation resolution is that “ours is a statement of support to our troops.”
Warner responded, “I forcefully argue that ours is in support of the troops, and there is no suggestion that one is less patriotic than the other.” But Lieberman insisted, “One is not less patriotic than the other, but actions have consequences, as I said during my remarks. For the Senate to take this unprecedented action on a nonbinding resolution to disavow, disapprove a mission that our troops are being asked to carry out right now cannot help their morale.”
Warner served in the Navy and as a Marine officer during World War II and the Korean War, respectively, and was later Secretary of the Navy. Lieberman has no military experience.
WARNER: I thank the presiding officer. My question to my good friend and colleague is as follows: this debate is well underway. The plans are being discussed. I just inquired at the desk, and the McCain resolution is not filed. Yet, I understood you to say it had been filed. Could you help clarify for the Senate the position on that.
LIEBERMAN: I’d be happy to very briefly. The resolution Senator McCain and I and others have has been prepared, and I gather it has been the subject of negotiation between Senator Reid and Senator McConnell.
WARNER: But it’s not part of the record, so —
LIEBERMAN: No, no, that’s right. The debate going on now is obviously on the —
WARNER: I’ve always been very carefully, I feel very strongly that the Senate should work its will on facts that are out in the open, and I have filed my resolutions one after another at the desk, so all senators can have the benefit. Is that a possibility that we could have the benefit of this resolution?
LIEBERMAN: My dear friend, it’s more than a possibility. It’s a promise.
WARNER: At what time might the promise be executed?
LIEBERMAN: Well, there are copies of it around now, and we’ll get you one. They were publicly distributed on Thursday of last week.
WARNER: I’d be glad to give you my copy, but I’d feel presumptuous for me to address it unless it is properly before the senate.
LIEBERMAN: I thank my friend. The difference, of course, is that ours is as nonbinding as yours, but ours is a statement of support to our troops and benchmarks to the Iraqis.
WARNER: Madam president, I’m clearly — what I’ve read is correct. But I assure you that I forcefully argue that ours is in support of the troops, and there is no suggestion that one is less patriotic than the other, if i may say to my dear friend.
LIEBERMAN: One is not less patriotic than the other, but actions have consequences, as I said during my remarks. For the Senate to take this unprecedented action on a nonbinding resolution to disavow, disapprove a mission that our troops are being asked to carry out right now cannot help their morale.