The big news on the Sunday circuit this week was Joe Lieberman's declaration on Face the Nation that "we've got to be prepared to take aggressive military action against the Iranians to stop them from killing Americans in Iraq.'' You can watch the video http://www.cbsnews.com/sections/i_video/main500251.shtml?id=2908515n target=_blank>here, and here's an excerpt of Lieberman's statement:
SCHIEFFER: Well, let me just act--ask you about Iran. You brought up Iran. What should we do? Because we continue to hear more and more of just what you're saying. What should the United States do at this point about Iran?
LIEBERMAN: It's very important, Bob, because I didn't just go to Iraq, I went visited throughout the Arab world and Israel. And what you see throughout the Middle East is Iran in battle basically with us and the moderates, supplying the extremists in Iraq, Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas fighting the Fatah faction, our allies among the Palestinians, and, of course, committing terrorists acts against the Israelis. I'm not one to say we shouldn't sit down with the Iranians. I'm glad we did that in Baghdad a while ago. What we did was present them with evidence that we have that I've seen that I believe is incontrovertible that the Iranians are training and equipping the Iraqi extremists to come into Iraq, and they're killing American soldiers and Iraqis. And I think this is a very important moment. If we're going to sit and talk about the Iranians, tell them what we want them to do, which is to stop doing that, because it's killing Americans, we can't leave it at that. I think we've got to be prepared to take aggressive military action against the Iranians to stop them from killing Americans in Iraq. And to me that would include a strike into--over the border into Iran where I--we have good evidence that they have a base at which they are training these people coming back into Iraq to kill our soldiers.
SCHIEFFER: Well, let's just stop right there, because I think you've probably made some news here, Senator Lieberman. You're saying that, if the--if the Iranians don't let up, that the United States should take military action against them.
LIEBERMAN: I am, and I want to make clear I'm not talking about a massive ground invasion of Iran or--but it--we have good evidence. We've told them, we've said so publicly that the Iranians have a base in Iran at which they are training Iraqis who are coming in and killing Americans. By some estimates they have killed as many as 200 American soldiers. Well, we can tell them we want them to stop that, but if there's any hope of the Iranians living according to the international rule of law and stopping for instance their nuclear weapons development, we can't just talk to them. If they don't play by the rules, we've got to use our force and, to me, that would include taking military action to stop them from doing what they're doing now.
It will be interesting to see how the Democratic presidential candidates, who say they want out of Iraq but want to be tough on Iran, respond to this statement from Lieberman. Of course, toughness isn't exactly what their base is looking for judging from the flawless logic of this reaction at http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2007/6/10/121237/836 target=_blank>The Daily Kos:
If Lieberman really wanted to stop what he believes are Iranian-sponsored attacks on our troops, well, then, he should be demanding that we bring our troops home.
But it's not just Lieberman who 'believes' the Iranians are sponsoring attacks on American troops. In addition to the substantial and persuasive--dare we say incontrovertible--evidence of Iranian involvement in attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq, Iran was recently caught "red-handed" supplying arms to the al Qaeda-affiliated Taliban in Afghanistan. We wonder if the Kos community would also demand we bring our troops home from that country in order to stop Iranian-sponsored attacks?
In other news, Tony Snow also appeared on Face the Nation to explain the president's rationale for not pushing harder for General Pace to stay on as chairman of the Joint Chiefs:
"What he was doing is frankly acknowledging an unpleasant fact about politics, that there were going to be contentious backward looking hearings. He would have loved to renominate Pete Pace. That was his intent, as well as Admiral Giambastiani. But rather than getting mired in kind of a backward-looking debate about what's gone on in the last six years, Secretary Gates made the recommendation and the president approved of it to go ahead, move on, bring in Admiral Mullen, and proceed with trying to do the business of having success on the ground in Iraq."
On Fox News Sunday, William Kristol explained just why the immigration reform bill favored by President Bush and Senator Ted Kennedy failed:
"The more this bill was debated, the less able people were to defend it substantively. And I say this as someone who was sort of well disposed in principle to this bill; every time you read a serious exchange between a criticism of the bill and a defense of it, the critics almost every time had the better of it. â€¦ There were so many weaknesses in the way the bill was drafted; they cobbled it together and then they said take it or leave it. And the idea that we're going to have a temporary worker program, people come for two years, and are expected to leave for another year before they can come back for two more years-they're not going to leave. So you're just recreating the problem of illegal immigrants through this bill."
And on This Week, Jay Carney discussed New York mayor Michael Bloomberg's seemingly quixotic bid at the White House, noting
"Bloomberg, I would say unlike Ross Perot, is not a romantic. He would do this in order to win it. It is highly unlikely in our system that, I mean, Ross Perot did phenomenally well in 1992 and got 20 percent of the vote â€¦ he can't run in either party, he has to run as an independent, and he won't win the election."
Also mentioned at the roundtable was Bloomberg's nearly inexhaustible ability to self fund--spending $500 million is not out of the question for a man worth in excess of $5 billion.
Finally, Meet the Press saw Tim Russert interview the authors of Her Way: The Hopes and Ambitions of Hillary Rodham Clinton about the qualifications and ambitions of the junior senator from New York. Said Jeff Gerth,
"Well, I think, you know, we, we spent a lot of time looking at her record as a senator, as a political leader. She's now running for president, and we felt that people needed to understand how, how she acts in the political arena and, and use that as a basis for deciding whether she's qualified to be president or not. And, you know, in essence, we sort of found that there're two Hillarys. In, in one case, there's the well-informed, the battle-tested, the diligent senator who does her homework. And then we found another Hillary. When it comes to a bump in the road--whether it's on Iraq or on energy policy or on the environment--where she has a problem, that she plays fast and loose with the facts, she won't admit a mistake, and she sort of, you know, retreats into a shell. And, you know, voters will have to decide which, which Hillary is the Hillary that might become president and is that what they want as--for their next commander in chief."