Joe Lieberman Calls for Arming the Syrian Opposition

Last month I wrote about “The Incredible Push for Intervention in Syria,” especially from very influential neoconservative Washington-insider groups like the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Foreign Policy Initiative (successor to New American Century), Foundation for the Defence of Democracies, etc. All of these groups have a significant revolving door aspect to them in which their members have been in and out of high government positions for many years. They’re very influential.

I noted there as well that it was back in June that I had first written about the increasingly real potential for a U.S. intervention in Syria, and also that a notable recognition of that in the mainstream had shown up with Josh Rogin’s piece in Foreign Policy explaining that the Obama administration instructed the National Security Council to begin considering options for U.S. intervention in Syria, including what they called the “unlikely” option of setting up a no-fly zone. Although it can’t yet be substantiated, its possible that the Obama administration has already covertly aided the opposition in Syria, but anyways that was really the first notice in officialdom that an intervention in Syria was being considered.

The calls for intervention are getting even more explicit. Unsurprisingly, Senator Joe Lieberman has beaten nearly everybody to the punch on this. On Sunday he said the U.S. should start supporting the Syrian Free Army soon:

“So we should begin thinking about what we can do, particularly with the Arab League,” he said. “I think it begins with support for the Syrian Free Army.”

The hawkish senator said a “range of support” could be given to the rebels, from medical supplies to intelligence and reconnaissance surveillance.

“And then ultimately it is providing them with weapons,” he said during a panel discussion on the Middle East.

Even though Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Saturday that military action in Syria “has been absolutely ruled out,” the behind-the-scenes push for intervention needs to be watched very closely. As I’ve noted, the U.S. and its Arab allies in the Gulf States who have been pushing for a UN resolution for Syria, would welcome the chance to remove Assad from power and perhaps replace the regime with a more Sunni-oriented, pro-Western dictatorship, especially since it would eliminate Iran’s primary ally in the region, thus isolating the regime in Tehran even more.

I talked here with Scott Horton about how disastrous a significant U.S. intervention would be.

Update: Charles Krauthammer in the Washington Post writes that the fall of the Assad regime is a strategic imperative for the U.S., primarily because it would undercut Iran. The West should get rid of Assad, he argues:

How? First, a total boycott of Syria, beyond just oil and including a full arms embargo. Second, a flood of aid to the resistance (through Turkey, which harbors both rebel militias and the political opposition, or directly and clandestinely into Syria). Third, a Security Council resolution calling for the removal of the Assad regime.

 

  • john

    Joe Lieberman should always be referred to as "Al Gore's pick for Vice-President" to remind every Democrat that things would not have been better/different if Gore won in 2000. He's pure dirt.

    • MvGuy

      Am I wrong that Joe (Americans should B afraid of their government) LIEberman had not cum out as a Neocon in 2000??

  • john

    Chucky K should volunteer himself to go fight in all the wars he promotes. The definition of a chicken-hawk keyboard warrior.

    • tomofsnj

      It would not be a bad idea after all he voted himself a good pension and great medical insurance. If he got bumped off we would save a lot of money.

    • Chris Mallory

      About the only thing Chucky K is qualified for now is to be a doorstop.

      • pendulum

        too light

  • PEACE EVER AFTER

    For a while now I did not know who to support in Syria. I thank Krauthamer and Lieberman to make it clear to me that Assad is the one to support. The Christians in Syria overwhelmingly support Assad. No doubbt the hand of the mossad and CIA are pushing this civil war.

    • john

      Wrong response. In all cases, the *people* should be supported, not the government/regimes in power. It is an indisputable fact that the Assad regime is brutal – the lesson however should be that foreign military intervention is never the answer.

    • Independent

      Why on earth would the Mossad be pushing this war? Syria will be their enemy regardless of who is in power there. Has Iraq recognized Israel yet? Have they even talked about it? You see things only through your narrow view of the world. Intervention is not the right response, Syria is the same as Iraq and if the President doesn't see that then the Tea party Libertarians and Antiwar Democrats will. Congress doesn't like being ignored by the President. When President Truman ordered troops into Korea he didn't consult congress at all even though the Congress was completely dominated by supposedly anticommunist Republicans. Not surprisingly the Republican members of congress flipped out on him and they nearly ended the Korean war simply because they were not asked beforehand. If we had not responded in Libya Benghazi then Misrata and Torbuk would have all looked like either Budapest in 1956 (best case) or Hama in 1982 (worst case). Lieberman is a mouthpiece for AIPAC who in turn is the public relations committee for the Likud party. Yet its not even clear whether Israel or the Likud party actually supports any of this. If nothing else they can rely on Assad to keep the peace, they cannot be so sure about his successor. The United States is not all powerful, if it was then Iran would not exist, and Castro would have been dead a long time ago. United States foreign policy is opportunistic and cynical if nothing else. In 2006 a map was uncovered that was allegedly drawn by Pentagon official and there is substantial evidence to conclude that is in fact from the United States Government. The blogosphere went crazy and declared the radically altered map of the Middle east to be proof of a gigantic conspiracy led by the United States to control all of the oil there. &lt ;http://www.oilempire.us/oil-jpg/afj.peters_map_after.JPG> I would bet a million dollars that this map was drawn up by some incredibly overworked state department official who just wanted all of the problems to go away so he could get some time off (notice under Israel it says "1967 borders"),

      • MvGuy

        Independent…… Thank you for the ** http://www.oilempire.us ** website…… Certainly helpful in drawing distinctions like…

        "Most projections of future carbon levels ignore the fact that fossil fuels are peaking in extraction rates. Focusing solely on climate change ignores the most important question facing humanity — whether to "spend" the remaining oil on solar panels or battleships (a simplified version of the choice"

        "Framing the energy crisis as a decision about how to use the remaining oil can shift the debate toward more productive discussions: solar panels or battleships, relocalizing production or globalization, high speed trains or NAFTA Superhighways, boosting local businesses or subsidizing Wal-Mart big boxes. Each of these decisions is a choice whether to address the end of cheap oil and the start of climate change through accelerated business as usual or whether we will shift toward more sustainable behaviors. Unfortunately, these decisions are made by small elites that became wealthy and powerful through the destructive practices, and shifting course would be an admission that they screwed up."

        Found the site ** http://www.oilempire.us **
        I found the maps here: http://www.oilempire.us/new-map.html

        Thank You very much Independent…!!

  • Steve

    Joe Lieberman is an Israeli dual citizen … we all know where his loyalties lie.

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  • Raleb

    After reading the comments I am not sure who you guys think is worst Assad or Joe ?
    You can argue that giving weapon to people that needs to defend themselves can actually kill their attackers but Should we care ? I think that is the question.
    Should we care and if we should what we should or should not do about it.
    Steve, peace lovers John and all of you out there .

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