On statewide Connecticut television today, Sen. Joe Lieberman criticized those who want to redeploy U.S. troops from Iraq and have them better focused on international terrorist hotspots like Afghanistan. In the process, he insulted thousands of U.S. troops currently serving in combat in Afghanistan by claiming they aren't actually there. Specifically, Lieberman said, "A lot of people want to fight the other war [in Afghanistan], the one we're not involved in."
As a special Sunday Cup of Joe at www.truthaboutjoe.com shows, Lieberman's claim that we're "not involved in" Afghanistan came one day after the AP reported "thousands of American and Afghan troops unleashed a new offensive against Taliban militants in eastern Afghanistan on Saturday in an effort to expand the government's reach into the volatile Pakistani border region. The operation comes as a NATO-led force, including 2,500 U.S. soldiers, is launching heavy attacks on militants in Afghanistan's south." He made his insulting comment the same day newspapers reported that "U.S. and NATO troops are fighting a resurgent Taliban at the highest scale since the government was toppled in November 2001. Bin Laden remains at large, opium production is at a record high, and Afghanistan resembles a feudal hodgepodge of fiefdoms run by warlords instead of a centrally governed nation of 31 million people."
The fact that Lieberman, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, could make such a disparaging statement is troubling because it comes both while U.S. forces are in combat in Afghanistan, and after citizens from Connecticut have been among the U.S. military casualties in Afghanistan. His statement also comes just as new evidence has arisen showing that because of the Iraq War Lieberman pushed so aggressively, U.S. special forces were diverted from the hunt for Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan.
Thanks to Lieberman and his laser-like focus on pushing us into Iraq, our troops in Afghanistan are woefully under-supported. Now, instead of admitting that reality, Lieberman is trying to make the public believe that U.S. troops aren't even in Afghanistan at all. He's using his Senate platform to insult our troops fighting on the frontlines, and make Afghanistan what Time Magazine called "The Forgotten War" - even as our brave men and women head into battle against the terrorist forces that played a major role in 9/11.
There are certain things that should not be acceptable in a political campaign - any political campaign. Going on television as a U.S. Senator and pretending that American troops fighting and dying in combat do not exist is one of them.
(DISCLOSURE: I have long been a volunteer supporter of Ned Lamont's candidacy and written extensively about the race. As of Labor Day, I am officially working with the Lamont for Senate campaign on research. The writing on this blog is my own, and not the official work I do for the Lamont campaign.)