We have talked a lot lately about Dick Cheney's delusional behavior and his childlike strategic foreign policy vision. It seems as if even the dunderhead Bush seems less threatening and freakishly out to lunch than Cheney. In fact, it's hard to find any Republicans wearing the fogged-up, rose colored glasses that Cheney sports these days. But there is one guy who equals Cheney for sheer magical thinking and schoolboy worldview; it's Holy Joe Lieberman, the Supreme Allied Commander of the War against Islamofascism.
From this week's New Yorker:
Three days after the hearing, I went to see Lieberman in his office. He was cheerful and easygoing and more convinced than usual of the essential rightness of his vision. I asked him if he thought that Democrats who voted for the resolution would truly be giving encouragement to the enemy. “The enemy believes—Ahmadinejad has said this repeatedly—that we don’t have the will anymore for a long battle,” he said, referring to the President of Iran.
Excuse me? I didn't know we were actually at war with Iran. But in Joe Lieberman's fevered imagination, this isn't even Cheney's silly formulation where withdrawing from Iraq will give al Qaeda reason to believe the US has no balls. In Lieberman's mind, we must not only prove to bin Laden that we have balls, we must prove it to all of our "enemies," especially Iran. (Man, I sure hope the Chinese don't start trash talking about our manhood or it really will be WWIII.)
Actually, I doubt this was an accident. Lieberman is just taking the neocon line as he always has. Nothing new. It's just that he is out there all alone now with the nuttiest of GOP nuts, so it's even more remarkable:
In another conversation, he told me that he was reading “America Alone,” a book by the conservative commentator Mark Steyn, which argues that Europe is succumbing, demographically and culturally, to an onslaught by Islam, leaving America friendless in its confrontation with Islamic extremism.
“The thing I quote most from it is the power of demographics, in Europe particularly,” Lieberman said. “That’s what struck me the most. But the other part is a kind of confirmation of what I know and what I’ve read elsewhere, which is that Islamist extremism has an ideology, and it’s expansionist, it’s an aggressive ideology. And the title I took to mean that we Americans will have ultimate responsibility for stopping this expansionism.”
That is crackpot Bell Curve nonsense straight out of the hard wingnuttosphere --- Powerline or LGF. This guy has truly gone down the rabbit hole.
I watched a movie called "Jarhead" the other night, a film many of you have probably seen. It featured a scene where a bunch of young, stoked marines on the verge of being sent to the first Gulf War watch "Apocalypse Now." They jump up, pumping their fists at the scene in which the helicopters strafe the village, shouting at the screen, "kill that fucker!" It was a bizarre and uncomfortable scene for a civilian like me, but the story required that you recognize these young men were trained warriors who were being revved up to go to battle. These rituals have been played out in armies for millenia.
I couldn't help but think of that scene when I read this:
Lieberman likes expressions of American power. A few years ago, I was in a movie theatre in Washington when I noticed Lieberman and his wife, Hadassah, a few seats down. The film was “Behind Enemy Lines,” in which Owen Wilson plays a U.S. pilot shot down in Bosnia. Whenever the American military scored an onscreen hit, Lieberman pumped his fist and said, “Yeah!” and “All right!”
That is a 60ish US Senator from New England, not a 21 year old marine preparing to go to war. There's something very disturbing about that picture.
In case anyone is wondering whether he's prepared to leave the Democratic Party,
Lieberman drew the line:
In the campaign, Lieberman said that he would join the Democratic caucus if elected, and his victory was the deciding one that gave the Democrats control of the Senate. But he told me recently that his attachment to the Party is based in some measure on sentiment, and should not necessarily be thought of as eternal.
“A lot of Democrats are essentially pacifists and somewhat isolationist,” he told me. He had particular problems with Senator Edward Kennedy’s proposal to deny the President funding for a troop surge, and with an idea recently raised by the senior senator from Connecticut, Christopher Dodd, to cap the number of American soldiers in Iraq. Lieberman was not willing to say whether he would remain a Democrat if the Party cut off funding for the war. “That would be stunning to me,” he said. “And very hurtful. And I’d be deeply affected by it. Let’s put it that way.”
There you have it. We're pacifist and isolationist ("unhinged," too, perhaps?) and if we even try to cut funding for the surge --- he's jumping.
H/T tp rp