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Lieberman: There Is No Civil War In Iraq (But Even If There Is, We Should Stay)

Speaking on the Senate floor today, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) said his answer is “no, no, no” to the question of whether there should be a redeployment from Iraq.

Lieberman offered a discombobulated explanation for his opposition, stating on the one hand he believes the U.S. military can and should “police a civil war,” while on the other hand stating Iraq is not in a civil war.

Lieberman claimed the “facts” suggest Iraq is not in a civil war. But seconds before, he said, “Why do proponents of withdrawal from Iraq keep insisting that [our] American troops shouldn’t be policing a civil war?” Watch it:

[flv http://video.thinkprogress.org/2007/03/lieb32707.320.240.flv]

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Lieberman repeatedly said that “proponents of withdrawal” claim Iraq is in civil war to suggest that the mission is “hopeless.” Note to Lieberman: It’s not just “proponents of withdrawal” who recognize Iraq is in a civil war; the Pentagon and the intelligence community have declared Iraq a civil war.

Digg It!UPDATE: More on Lieberman’s dissembling on Iraq from Greg Sargent.

Transcript:

The immediate question before us is direct: Should Congress impose a deadline for the withdrawal of troops from Iraq? To that question, I answer, no, no, no.

[…]

First, proponents of withdrawal keep returning to the proposition that American soldiers shouldn’t be policing a civil war. Surely, my colleagues don’t mean to say that the United States military has never or should never police a civil war.

[…]

Clearly, our military has policed civil wars in the past and will do so and must do so in the future. So why do proponents of withdrawal from Iraq keep insisting that it shouldn’t happen now? The answer I think has to do with the way some people choose to characterize what’s happening in Iraq. When they suggest our soldiers are stuck in a civil war, it suggests that the conflict has become hopeless, a pit of violence where there are no heroes, only villains. And where our military cannot possibly do any good.

Is this really the case? I think the facts suggest not.

[…]

The truth is we are confronted in Iraq today with a deliberated, calculated campaign, murder of civilians often on the basis of religious identity alone by insurgents and terrorists.