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Lieberman Doesn't Think the Middle East is Messy Enough

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Here we go again.

Some Americans are beating the tattered war drums. This time, the well-worn tom-toms are being pounded by Senator Joseph Lieberman, who stridently argues for an attack on Iran. Apparently, the distinguished Senator from Connecticut doesn't think the Middle East is messy enough, so he'd like to make it just a wee bit messier.

Currently, there are battles in Lebanon at refugee camps, between Lebanon and Israel, Israel and the Palestinians, the Palestinians and the Palestinians, the Turks vs. the Kurds, the Islamists vs. Islam, the Jews vs. Islam, etc. Oh, and let's not forget the continuing chaos in Iraq. I'm probably leaving someone out of this mix, but you get the point.

The United States has "got to be prepared to take aggressive military action against the Iranians," says Lieberman. He says Iranians are killing Americans in Iraq, a claim even the president has back peddled on.

Lieberman has "found" that the Iranians are training and equipping extremists to fight in Iraq. He discovered this during his trip to Iraq, and claims that extremists are being trained right across the border in Iran.

I find this interesting. How does one "find" a training camp across the border without seeing it firsthand? Is it with binoculars or Superman vision? Maybe it's his "Spidey Sense."

Seriously, isn't it difficult to determine what's happening in another country if you're surrounded by a military entourage, limited to traveling in only certain parts of a neighboring country, and listening to only one side of the story?

I'm not saying that Mr. Lieberman didn't hear these rumors. He probably did. But did he really see any training bases? Why should we Americans, the ones lied to about Saddam Hussein's WMD, believe any of this?

The U.S. and many other countries claim that Iran is a sponsor of terrorist activities in many places in the world. They also say that Iran is sending weapons to Afghanistan, Iraq and Lebanon. The world is also worried about Iran's nuclear program.

Yet the U.S. and others continue to arm the world -- cash on the barrel, no questions asked. The U.S. armed the Fatah party in Gaza so they would unseat Hamas. What followed was a civil war. Now they are talking about arming the Sunnis in Iraq -- the very people killing American soldiers with leftover U.S. weapons supplied to Saddam! They're arming them based on what - a promise?

It's starting to get confusing -- more confusing than usual. So many people are holding weapons that it's getting tough to tell the "good guys" from the "bad guys."

"If they don't play by the rules, we've got to use our force," says Lieberman.

Dear Senator Lieberman, "Whose rules?"

The rules of the CIA -- the organization that removed Iran's only democratically elected leader, Mohammad Mossadegh, in 1953? This was kept secret for as long as possible, because (technically) it violated the "rules" America was supposed to play by.

Dear Senator Lieberman, "What you mean by "'Our force.'"?

When you consider that the American military is already tied up in Iraq, this leaves little leeway for an attack on Iran -- one of any consequence. Or did the Senator plan to paint his face green and black, and then run screaming into Iran with an assault rifle blazing -- a la Rambo? I'd like to see that ... really!

As Frederick Kagan pointed out in the July/August 2006 issue of Foreign Affairs (The U.S. Military's Manpower Crisis):

"In its five years in office, the Bush administration has avoided improving the human capabilities of the military - and the crisis has grown steadily worse. The long-term deployment of U.S. soldiers to Iraq and Afghanistan has taken a severe toll on the ground forces. Combat tours, which lasted six months in the 1990s, have been extended to a full year for most army troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Many soldiers in the active force (and in the National Guard and the Reserves) have already been deployed twice and are now facing their third tour. Although reenlistment rates have remained high, recruitment rates have fallen dangerously, morale has dropped in some units, and some experts, such as retired General Barry McCaffrey, warn that "the wheels are coming off" the army as it struggles to sustain a large deployment with insufficient personnel."

In other words, maybe this isn't the best time to be placing another country in our gun sites. Stirring up the Iranians may make things even worse for our soldiers.

Sometimes I wonder what our leaders are thinking. Are they rational or insane? I understand that the current presidential candidates feel a need to pander to their respective bases, but what's Senator Lieberman's problem? (I'd vote for the insanity defense.)

One definition of insanity is lack of reason or good sense. This great country and its children are already reaping an immense harvest of stupidity and incompetence that embroiled us in Iraq. Attacking Iran will merely push us all to the breaking point.

Misery doesn't need insanity it already has enough company, thanks to a lack of rational thinking.

Just ask our returning Iraqi veterans.