This morning on Fox and Friends, Sen. Joe Lieberman declared, “I’m with McCain. I think that we are making progress over there” in Iraq. He went on to blast the majority of his Senate colleagues who have voted to begin a phased withdrawal from Iraq. Lieberman said, “I say to them…you ought to be fighting to cut the funding off instead of entering into a kind of harassment that’s involved now.” He concluded by arguing Bush’s escalation plan ought to go forward “without us back biting from here.” Watch it:
The escalating violence in Iraq this year belies Lieberman and McCain’s arguments that “we’re making progress.” The escalation strategy, which officially began on Feb. 14 and sent 30,000 additional U.S. troops to Iraq, has shown “little sign” of “accomplishing its main purpose.” In the past few months, there have been nine U.S. helicopter downings, at least nine chlorine bomb attacks, an increase in car bombs, and increasing attacks inside the Green Zone.
And on top of that, Will Bunch notes, “So far, according to icasualties.org, 47 American troops and six British soliders have died in the 11 days of April so far — an average of 4.82 coalition deaths every day. And — looking at the month to month statistics — no month has been that high since Baghdad fell on April 9, 2003.”
HOST: Ever since the election we were looking forward to getting him back. Joe Lieberman from the Russell rotunda. Welcome back, Senator.
LIEBERMAN: Great to be back guys, thank you. I hope you are doing well.
HOST: We are. When I want to find out what’s going to Iraq i go to you, Senator McCain and Senator Biden. Now they have a disagreement on where we are going in Iraq. Where are you standing?
LIEBERMAN: I’m with McCain. I think that we are making progress over there with the new general, new troops, new plan. We are at a war. It’s not all going to be good news from Iraq. But the most significant developments are that in Baghdad the capital city, the sectarian violence is down as a result of our new program and al anbar to the west where al Qaeda was beginning to take over an entire province of Iraq, the Sunni tribal leaders and iraqi army and our military working together to knock them down. That’s progress. I always say success is not guaranteed in a war but l can tell you, if we begin to telegraph the day we are going to withdraw our troops that is guaranteed failure and a terrible defeat for america.
HOST: Senator, how do you feel that members from your former party are, in some people’s words, playing politics with a war?
LIEBERMAN: Well, I still am a registered Democrat though I won as an independent. I call myself an independent democrat. I don’t like to question people’s motives. Some people are genuinely against the war. And I say to them if you are genuinely against the war, then you ought to be fighting to cut the funding off instead of entering into a kind of harassment that’s involved now. I mean, I have said that we ought to declare a political — a truce in the political war over the real war in iraq and let general petraeus and our soldiers try to make some progress in that real war. In the summer Petraeus says he is going to come back here and tell us straight talk whether he thinks progress is being made and we can succeed there. we ought to let him have the opportunity to do that without us back biting from here.