Sunday, June 27, 2004

Joe Lieberman?

I meant to pass this link along a while back, like last week or so, but it got lost in the daily press. Thanks to South Knox Bubba for first posting about it.

This is Senator and former Vice-Presidential candidate Joe Lieberman speaking:
Today I want to discuss the war we are waging against Islamic terrorists in Iraq and around the world, and to argue that it is fundamentally a war of ideas and a war of values, a war of conflicting visions of humans and history, of faith and country. The war on terrorism we are fighting goes to the very heart of America's national purpose and national security. Our core principles of freedom and opportunity are at stake.

In the flurry of news bombarding us each day of the ups and downs from all fronts in the war on terrorism, it is easy to forget the larger ideals that it is all about. Car bombings in Baghdad… pipeline attacks in Riyadh… assassination attempts in Islamabad… foiled terrorist plots in Thailand… victories in Afghanistan… arrests in Columbus, Ohio… may cause people to lose sight of the values we are fighting for in this war – and the values we are fighting against.

We cannot let that happen. A democracy such as ours can only go to war and win with the informed support of the people.

The terrorists can never defeat us militarily. But they can divide us and defeat us politically if the American people become disappointed and disengaged, because they don't appreciate and support the overriding principles that require us to take military action. The same, of course, is true for our allies in Europe, Asia and throughout the Muslim world. They need to better understand and embrace our purpose and what it means for them.

What we are fighting for in Iraq and around the world is freedom. What we are fighting against is an Islamic terrorist totalitarian movement which is as dire a threat to individual liberty as the fascist and communist totalitarian threats we faced and defeated were in the last century.
Holy crap! No wonder you didn't hear a peep from the news media about this speech. It's the wrong message for Democrats to be sending right now. Read the whole damn thing.

It's clear-eyed, eloquent, realistic and hopeful. It's unquestionably Wilsonian. Lieberman reminds us of our history and purpose, the history of Islamic terrorism, paints the war on terror in large clear terms, and calls for a Middle Eastern Marshall Plan. From the mouth of any Republican or neocon, it wouldn't seem at all odd, but from a Democrat in the current atmosphere it's a surprising call to action.

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