Lieberman Questions Obama’s Judgment On Iran and Israel

By
Wednesday, June 04, 2008 at 11:52 am

Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), a McCain supporter, challenged Sen. Barack Obama’s judgment and experience on Israel and national security issues, following the Illinois senator’s speech this morning at the influential pro-Israel lobbying group American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, conference in Washington. Lieberman said there was "a disconnect between some of the things [Obama] said today" and some of his past statements.

"To be specific, I was troubled earlier in the campaign season when Sen. Obama compared Iran and other rogue and terrorist states to the Soviet Union, and minimized the threat represented by Iran. I think that’s wrong. Today he said he thought Iran represented a grave threat. I think the statement he made today was right."

Lieberman brought up Obama’s opposition to the Kyl-Lieberman amendment that labeled the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organization, pointing out it was supported by 29 Democratic senators. The amendment passed 76-22.  

"That measure was supported by three-fourths of the Senate, including Sens. Reid, Schumer, Durbin and Clinton. Sen. Obama opposed it, saying it was saber-rattling referring to the threat of military force. If you look at the Kyl-Lieberman amendment as it was passed, it has none of that in it regarding military action. I still hope he will say that vote was a mistake and he will support that resolution."

Lieberman also challenged Obama’s assertions that U.S. policies have had a negative impact on Israel’s security.

"Sen. Obama today argued American foreign policy in recent years has essentially strengthened Iran. At one point he almost seemed to suggest it helped to elect (Iranian President Mahmoud) Ahmadinejad and has made Israel less safe. I just disagree with that.  Iran(ians) elected Ahmadinejad for their own reasons.  If Israel is in danger today, it’s not because of American foreign policy, which has been strongly supportive of Israel in every way. It’s not because of what we’ve done in Iraq, it’s because Iran is a fanatical terrorist expansionist state. Iran has a leader — and leadershipsthat constantly threatens to extinguish the state of Israel."

Lieberman, who was close to Obama when the Illinois senator first came to Washington, opened by congratulating him on apparently securing the Democratic nomination. While they remain friendly, Obama, like many Democrats, supported Lieberman’s 2006 Democratic challenger Ned Lamont, which Lieberman certainly hasn’t forgotten. It could be one reason for Lieberman’s decision to campaign with the GOP candidate. Obviously, with McCain stepping up his rhetoric against the regime in Iran, the issue could figure prominently in the coming campaign.

Categories & Tags: Obama| Politics|

Comments

20 Comments

johnlewismealer
Comment posted June 29, 2008 @ 11:42 pm

JOHN McCAIN


betz55
Comment posted June 19, 2008 @ 7:48 pm

Joe Lie-berman is an Israel firster and a scumbag of the first order.

Go back to Israel Joe, your ilk are not wanted here anymore.

If Israelis ever want peace, they need to get rid of AIPAC.

If Americans ever want peace in the Mideast they need to get rid of AIPAC.

I will be proud of the day when Obama will put the interest of America before the interest of Israel and not be crucified for it. It’s a shame that American politicians are selected, not on their commitment to the best interests of America, but by vowing to put the interests of a foreign nation, Israel, first. The oath of allegiance that I said everyday in school was not to Israel, or any country but America.

Why are we still unconditionally, unquestioningly, unendingly still financing Israel ? My tax dollars are still funding the illegal settlements in the West Bank and the apartheid oppression of the Palestinian people. Cutting their aid would make the Israel’s do something, finally, after 60 years. I’m sick and tired of my tax money giving every Israel $1500.00 per capita while our own go without.

Why are we still letting AIPAC define Middle East foreign policy ? Iran nuclear transparency, means Israel better be transparent too. It’s time for the US to stop the hypocritical, double standard of protecting Israel while demonizing a member of the NNPT and who allows IAEA inspections. Israel does not.

Israel warmongering through AIPAC has killed 4000+ US people in Iraq and now they want us to do their dirty work in Iran.

Those AIPAC members who demand that Israel’s war crimes never be mentioned, that the Nakba is somehow anti-Semitic, and that Israel should not have to adhere to the same international nuclear regulation that is being demanded of Iran only demonstrate their ignorance and fascist tendencies when it comes to any type of open discussion of Israel. Israel refused to allow 7 Palestinian Fullbright scholarship recipients to take advantage of this incredible opportunity. Israel has violated international law and countless U.N. resolutions for decades. The Cold War is over and Israel does not offer the U.S. anything other than hampering any positive steps toward a Middle East peace and a viable Palestinian State. Israel receives one fifth of all U.S. foreign aid and yet the country is the size of Rhode Island. That money needs to be spent on America’s infrastructure. It is time for the U.S. to stop the blind support of a rogue nation and cease all financial assistance to a country that continues to refuse to abide by the E.U. and U.S. ‘road map”.

The goal of the Israeli lobby in America,AIPAC,is to falsify, manipulate,stifle, and color discussion,debate,and our beliefs and perceptions of who is our “enemy” and who is our “friend” by deliberate obstructionism and McCarthyism.Israel and fifth-columnists in America have largely controlled our “free press” to limit the truth about the occupation and the Palestinian struggle to end the repression,apartheid,occupation,illegal colonization (settlements),collective punishment and abuse of ALL Palestinians by Israeli forces and “settlers”.There will be no peace with AIPAC in existence.

The ever growing power of this group of extremist fifth-columnists to subvert OUR foreign policy in their supposed interest, at the expense of OUR real interests, is a clear and present danger to the United States. AIPAC and the other numerous pro-Israel groups like JINSA, AEI, & PNAC also subvert our electoral process to such an extent that if a candidate does not kowtow to this group of war-mongers, they will be attacked in the most extreme vitriolic manner, witness their vicious attacks on Pres Jimmy Carter and professors Walt and Mearsheimer. ANY criticism of Israel or its racist policies & occupation/colonization (theft) of Palestinian land is met with howls of outrage & the worn out charge of “anti-Semitism”. The ugliness of their attacks is representative of their mistreatment of the Palestinians under the brutal occupation and policies of collective apartheid.

It is time for the U.S. to stop the blind support of a rogue nation and cease all financial assistance to a country that continues to refuse to abide by the E.U. and Quartet ‘road map”, UN sanctions, Geneva conventions, IAEA and NNPT rules, and continues the inhuman, apartheid treatment of the Palestinians.

Good news? There will be when the Israel recognize a two-state solution, a separation between their country and this one, the United States.


polisigh
Comment posted June 11, 2008 @ 9:25 pm

Coming from a man who stands with someone who actually said God sent Hitler to move the Jews to Israel, what can you expect. Of course, what the moron forgot was did God actually direct Hitler to torture and murder 6 million of them first.

This country has lost all decency and intelligence – otherwise why would we continually elect these sleazy morons to represent us every where in the world and do our business.

Such men reflect more on us than they do on themselves. You are indeed known by the company you keep.


visitor
Comment posted June 5, 2008 @ 10:25 am

It’s not silly to avoid support from groups whose interests are not primarily for the interests of the US! Getting support from AIPAC or any other group comes with a price. If the price of AIPAC approval is agreeing with the neocon fantasy of a revamped middle-east then Obama and any other anti-neocon should not only avoid but should condemn them.

It sickens me that our military men and women have been abused by such groups (AIPAC) and people (neocon politicians and pundits). I am positive that a poll of US servicemen and women would show that more than 99% of them did not volunteer to fight for Israel’s security.


jarideh
Comment posted June 4, 2008 @ 7:39 pm

I did not vote for AL Gore because anyone who chooses such a hawk and religious fanatic is not fit to be vice president.

I will not vote for Obama because he went overboard in appeasing AIPAC, a group that is more interested in the interests of Israel than in what is good for the USA.

And, no, they are not the same!

I am ashamed of our politicians who will sell their grandmothers and trade on their so-called memories to get elected.

I am now looking for a third-party candidate. Bye, bye, Obama. You can have the Jewish vote, but you have just lost mine.


postroad
Comment posted June 4, 2008 @ 5:20 pm

Hw silly to say Obama or any one else ought not seek AIPAC support! It is not Israel. It is not the Jews in America. It is a group that has influence and can help get a person elected. any politician worth his or her salt goes after any and all possible groups that can gain votes…Obama would like Latino vote, Jewish votes, white votes, black votes–so he goes where he can to get those votes; and McCain does the same thing.


bgtgwazi
Comment posted June 4, 2008 @ 4:26 pm

To Wakeup -

Obama endorsed Lieberman in the primary, yes. But once Lamont won the nomination Obama, like most other democrats, switched his support to the Democratic nominee, Lamont. Most of the Democratic establishment did support the incumbent in the primary (Lieberman), but supported the Democrat (Lamont) in the actual statewide election.


wakeup
Comment posted June 4, 2008 @ 4:08 pm

Um Matthew, check your facts.

Obama endorsed Lieberman in 2006, not Lamont.

And this is how Lieberman rewards him.

http://www.boston.com/news/local/connecticut/articles/2006/03/31/obama_rallies_state_democrats_throws_support_behind_lieberman/

Obama rallies state Democrats, throws support behind Lieberman

By Stephanie Reitz, Associated Press Writer | March 31, 2006

HARTFORD, Conn. –U.S. Sen. Barack Obama rallied Connecticut Democrats at their annual dinner Thursday night, throwing his support behind mentor and Senate colleague Joe Lieberman.

Obama, an Illinois Democrat who is considered a rising star in the party, was the keynote speaker at the annual Jefferson Jackson Bailey Dinner.

Lieberman, Connecticut’s junior senator, is under fire from some liberal Democrats for his support of the Iraq War. He was key in booking Obama, who routinely receives more than 200 speaking invitations each week.

Some at Thursday’s dinner said that while they were pleased with Lieberman’s success in bringing Obama to Connecticut, they still consider Lieberman uncomfortably tolerant of the Bush administration.

Obama wasted little time getting to that point, calling it the “elephant in the room” but praising Lieberman’s intellect, character and qualifications.

“The fact of the matter is, I know some in the party have differences with Joe. I’m going to go ahead and say it,” Obama told the 1,700-plus party members who gathered in a ballroom at the Connecticut Convention Center for the $175-per-head fundraiser.

“I am absolutely certain Connecticut is going to have the good sense to send Joe Lieberman back to the U.S. Senate so he can continue to serve on our behalf,” he said.

Obama received widespread attention for his keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, delivered while he was still a state senator.

Lieberman became Obama’s mentor when Obama was sworn into the Senate in 2005. They stayed close at Thursday night’s event, too, entering the room together and working the crowd in tandem.

Despite the camaraderie between the two, the crowd was clearly more receptive to Obama’s remarks than Lieberman’s speech about party unity and the potential for Democratic victories at the ballot box this fall.

In fact, scattered boos greeted Lieberman when he took the podium, and he had to stop three times during his remarks to shush the crowd so he could deliver key points.

Ned Lamont, a Democratic activist and anti-war candidate from Greenwich, is challenging Lieberman for the party’s nomination this year. Legions of supporters of Lieberman and Lamont both attended the dinner.

Lieberman, who is seeking a fourth term, also faces an Election Day challenge from Paul Streitz of Darien, who is trying to win the Republican nomination.

Some Democrats at Thursday’s event said Lieberman’s support of the Iraq War is still a sore point with them. In fact, the Democratic town committees in Windsor and Manchester both recently passed resolutions condemning Lieberman’s stance.

“Those of us who’ve been on the shooting end of the war gallery aren’t happy at all about what’s going on,” said Warren Packer, a Manchester Democratic Town Committee member and military veteran. “I think he’s done some good things for the state, but he has to answer for the war.”

But that view was not shared throughout the ballroom.

Former Connecticut Democratic U.S. Rep. Jim Maloney, who voted against the launch of the war while he served in the House, said he thinks Lieberman’s other accomplishments will overshadow the concerns about his stance on the Iraq War.

“I’m still confident my position was correct, but I just as strongly believe that Sen. Lieberman voted his conscience,” Maloney said. “Even those of us who don’t agree with him on that one issue have to credit him for doing what he thinks is the right thing.”


garysgary
Comment posted June 4, 2008 @ 3:36 pm

I agree with gilmanc…I’m ashamed of that our public officials have to get AIPAC’s approval. Our American president takes an oath to proect and defend our constitution, the oath does not mention Israel! An American president can be a great president and not protect Israel. It is not part of the “job description.” An attack on Israel IS NOT an attack on the U.S. An attack on Nebraska IS. What’s good for America comes first and everybody else, including Israel, comes next. I think Joe Lieberman borders on being a traitor…he gets up every morning thinking…”what’s good for Israel”…not what’s good for The U.S. A trillion dollar war and a trillion dollar increase in gas prices, because of the trillion dollar war, is our reward for protecting Israel!


gilmanc
Comment posted June 4, 2008 @ 12:45 pm

How demeaning is it to Americans that “what’s good for Israel” is even a campaign issue?


gilmanc
Comment posted June 4, 2008 @ 7:45 am

How demeaning is it to Americans that “what's good for Israel” is even a campaign issue?


garysgary
Comment posted June 4, 2008 @ 10:36 am

I agree with gilmanc…I'm ashamed of that our public officials have to get AIPAC's approval. Our American president takes an oath to proect and defend our constitution, the oath does not mention Israel! An American president can be a great president and not protect Israel. It is not part of the “job description.” An attack on Israel IS NOT an attack on the U.S. An attack on Nebraska IS. What's good for America comes first and everybody else, including Israel, comes next. I think Joe Lieberman borders on being a traitor…he gets up every morning thinking…”what's good for Israel”…not what's good for The U.S. A trillion dollar war and a trillion dollar increase in gas prices, because of the trillion dollar war, is our reward for protecting Israel!


wakeup
Comment posted June 4, 2008 @ 11:08 am

Um Matthew, check your facts.

Obama endorsed Lieberman in 2006, not Lamont.

And this is how Lieberman rewards him.

http://www.boston.com/news/local/connecticut/ar…

Obama rallies state Democrats, throws support behind Lieberman

By Stephanie Reitz, Associated Press Writer | March 31, 2006

HARTFORD, Conn. –U.S. Sen. Barack Obama rallied Connecticut Democrats at their annual dinner Thursday night, throwing his support behind mentor and Senate colleague Joe Lieberman.

Obama, an Illinois Democrat who is considered a rising star in the party, was the keynote speaker at the annual Jefferson Jackson Bailey Dinner.

Lieberman, Connecticut's junior senator, is under fire from some liberal Democrats for his support of the Iraq War. He was key in booking Obama, who routinely receives more than 200 speaking invitations each week.

Some at Thursday's dinner said that while they were pleased with Lieberman's success in bringing Obama to Connecticut, they still consider Lieberman uncomfortably tolerant of the Bush administration.

Obama wasted little time getting to that point, calling it the “elephant in the room” but praising Lieberman's intellect, character and qualifications.

“The fact of the matter is, I know some in the party have differences with Joe. I'm going to go ahead and say it,” Obama told the 1,700-plus party members who gathered in a ballroom at the Connecticut Convention Center for the $175-per-head fundraiser.

“I am absolutely certain Connecticut is going to have the good sense to send Joe Lieberman back to the U.S. Senate so he can continue to serve on our behalf,” he said.

Obama received widespread attention for his keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, delivered while he was still a state senator.

Lieberman became Obama's mentor when Obama was sworn into the Senate in 2005. They stayed close at Thursday night's event, too, entering the room together and working the crowd in tandem.

Despite the camaraderie between the two, the crowd was clearly more receptive to Obama's remarks than Lieberman's speech about party unity and the potential for Democratic victories at the ballot box this fall.

In fact, scattered boos greeted Lieberman when he took the podium, and he had to stop three times during his remarks to shush the crowd so he could deliver key points.

Ned Lamont, a Democratic activist and anti-war candidate from Greenwich, is challenging Lieberman for the party's nomination this year. Legions of supporters of Lieberman and Lamont both attended the dinner.

Lieberman, who is seeking a fourth term, also faces an Election Day challenge from Paul Streitz of Darien, who is trying to win the Republican nomination.

Some Democrats at Thursday's event said Lieberman's support of the Iraq War is still a sore point with them. In fact, the Democratic town committees in Windsor and Manchester both recently passed resolutions condemning Lieberman's stance.

“Those of us who've been on the shooting end of the war gallery aren't happy at all about what's going on,” said Warren Packer, a Manchester Democratic Town Committee member and military veteran. “I think he's done some good things for the state, but he has to answer for the war.”

But that view was not shared throughout the ballroom.

Former Connecticut Democratic U.S. Rep. Jim Maloney, who voted against the launch of the war while he served in the House, said he thinks Lieberman's other accomplishments will overshadow the concerns about his stance on the Iraq War.

“I'm still confident my position was correct, but I just as strongly believe that Sen. Lieberman voted his conscience,” Maloney said. “Even those of us who don't agree with him on that one issue have to credit him for doing what he thinks is the right thing.”


bgtgwazi
Comment posted June 4, 2008 @ 11:26 am

To Wakeup -

Obama endorsed Lieberman in the primary, yes. But once Lamont won the nomination Obama, like most other democrats, switched his support to the Democratic nominee, Lamont. Most of the Democratic establishment did support the incumbent in the primary (Lieberman), but supported the Democrat (Lamont) in the actual statewide election.


postroad
Comment posted June 4, 2008 @ 12:20 pm

Hw silly to say Obama or any one else ought not seek AIPAC support! It is not Israel. It is not the Jews in America. It is a group that has influence and can help get a person elected. any politician worth his or her salt goes after any and all possible groups that can gain votes…Obama would like Latino vote, Jewish votes, white votes, black votes–so he goes where he can to get those votes; and McCain does the same thing.


jarideh
Comment posted June 4, 2008 @ 2:39 pm

I did not vote for AL Gore because anyone who chooses such a hawk and religious fanatic is not fit to be vice president.

I will not vote for Obama because he went overboard in appeasing AIPAC, a group that is more interested in the interests of Israel than in what is good for the USA.

And, no, they are not the same!

I am ashamed of our politicians who will sell their grandmothers and trade on their so-called memories to get elected.

I am now looking for a third-party candidate. Bye, bye, Obama. You can have the Jewish vote, but you have just lost mine.


visitor
Comment posted June 5, 2008 @ 5:25 am

It's not silly to avoid support from groups whose interests are not primarily for the interests of the US! Getting support from AIPAC or any other group comes with a price. If the price of AIPAC approval is agreeing with the neocon fantasy of a revamped middle-east then Obama and any other anti-neocon should not only avoid but should condemn them.

It sickens me that our military men and women have been abused by such groups (AIPAC) and people (neocon politicians and pundits). I am positive that a poll of US servicemen and women would show that more than 99% of them did not volunteer to fight for Israel's security.


polisigh
Comment posted June 11, 2008 @ 4:25 pm

Coming from a man who stands with someone who actually said God sent Hitler to move the Jews to Israel, what can you expect. Of course, what the moron forgot was did God actually direct Hitler to torture and murder 6 million of them first.

This country has lost all decency and intelligence – otherwise why would we continually elect these sleazy morons to represent us every where in the world and do our business.

Such men reflect more on us than they do on themselves. You are indeed known by the company you keep.


betz55
Comment posted June 19, 2008 @ 2:48 pm

Joe Lie-berman is an Israel firster and a scumbag of the first order.

Go back to Israel Joe, your ilk are not wanted here anymore.

If Israelis ever want peace, they need to get rid of AIPAC.

If Americans ever want peace in the Mideast they need to get rid of AIPAC.

I will be proud of the day when Obama will put the interest of America before the interest of Israel and not be crucified for it. It's a shame that American politicians are selected, not on their commitment to the best interests of America, but by vowing to put the interests of a foreign nation, Israel, first. The oath of allegiance that I said everyday in school was not to Israel, or any country but America.

Why are we still unconditionally, unquestioningly, unendingly still financing Israel ? My tax dollars are still funding the illegal settlements in the West Bank and the apartheid oppression of the Palestinian people. Cutting their aid would make the Israel's do something, finally, after 60 years. I'm sick and tired of my tax money giving every Israel $1500.00 per capita while our own go without.

Why are we still letting AIPAC define Middle East foreign policy ? Iran nuclear transparency, means Israel better be transparent too. It's time for the US to stop the hypocritical, double standard of protecting Israel while demonizing a member of the NNPT and who allows IAEA inspections. Israel does not.

Israel warmongering through AIPAC has killed 4000+ US people in Iraq and now they want us to do their dirty work in Iran.

Those AIPAC members who demand that Israel's war crimes never be mentioned, that the Nakba is somehow anti-Semitic, and that Israel should not have to adhere to the same international nuclear regulation that is being demanded of Iran only demonstrate their ignorance and fascist tendencies when it comes to any type of open discussion of Israel. Israel refused to allow 7 Palestinian Fullbright scholarship recipients to take advantage of this incredible opportunity. Israel has violated international law and countless U.N. resolutions for decades. The Cold War is over and Israel does not offer the U.S. anything other than hampering any positive steps toward a Middle East peace and a viable Palestinian State. Israel receives one fifth of all U.S. foreign aid and yet the country is the size of Rhode Island. That money needs to be spent on America's infrastructure. It is time for the U.S. to stop the blind support of a rogue nation and cease all financial assistance to a country that continues to refuse to abide by the E.U. and U.S. 'road map”.

The goal of the Israeli lobby in America,AIPAC,is to falsify, manipulate,stifle, and color discussion,debate,and our beliefs and perceptions of who is our “enemy” and who is our “friend” by deliberate obstructionism and McCarthyism.Israel and fifth-columnists in America have largely controlled our “free press” to limit the truth about the occupation and the Palestinian struggle to end the repression,apartheid,occupation,illegal colonization (settlements),collective punishment and abuse of ALL Palestinians by Israeli forces and “settlers”.There will be no peace with AIPAC in existence.

The ever growing power of this group of extremist fifth-columnists to subvert OUR foreign policy in their supposed interest, at the expense of OUR real interests, is a clear and present danger to the United States. AIPAC and the other numerous pro-Israel groups like JINSA, AEI, & PNAC also subvert our electoral process to such an extent that if a candidate does not kowtow to this group of war-mongers, they will be attacked in the most extreme vitriolic manner, witness their vicious attacks on Pres Jimmy Carter and professors Walt and Mearsheimer. ANY criticism of Israel or its racist policies & occupation/colonization (theft) of Palestinian land is met with howls of outrage & the worn out charge of “anti-Semitism”. The ugliness of their attacks is representative of their mistreatment of the Palestinians under the brutal occupation and policies of collective apartheid.

It is time for the U.S. to stop the blind support of a rogue nation and cease all financial assistance to a country that continues to refuse to abide by the E.U. and Quartet 'road map”, UN sanctions, Geneva conventions, IAEA and NNPT rules, and continues the inhuman, apartheid treatment of the Palestinians.

Good news? There will be when the Israel recognize a two-state solution, a separation between their country and this one, the United States.


johnlewismealer
Comment posted June 29, 2008 @ 6:42 pm

JOHN McCAIN


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