Senator Joe Lieberman spoke this morning with reporters at a Christian Science Monitor about the president's decision to withdraw from Iraq. “If I had my druthers, we would have some of our troops staying,” said Lieberman. But, he added trying to remain “cautiously optimistic,” “we’re going to be close by” with troops remaining stationed in the region.

December 31 is the deadline for pulling U.S. troops out of the country.

Lieberman was asked about when Obama called the war in Iraq “dumb” in 2002 and the president’s statement on Monday that “history will judge” whether or not the 2003 invasion was a mistake. “I think the president’s attitude toward the war has changed,” Lieberman said. He went on to defend the war as the “right thing to do” and argued the U.S. is more secure since deposing Saddam Hussein.

Iran is a major problem for Iraq going forward, Lieberman said. The efforts of Tehran to influence its neighbor runs against the interests of both Iraq and the United States, but Lieberman sounded hopeful about the Iraqi resolve against a nefarious Iranian regime. “There is a deep and pervasive hostility to Iran among the Iraqi people,” Lieberman said.

He also spoke briefly on the loss of an American drone in Iran and the president's response. “I wish that we had found a way to at least go in and destroy it,” Lieberman said, after cautioning that he had not been fully briefed on the details of the situation. He also criticized President Obama for “remain[ing] mute” on the 2009 uprisings in Iran and said America “ought to say we’re for regime change” in Tehran.

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