Purging Pro-Iraq War Democrats


The Los Angeles Times ran a lead editorial yesterday:


even though the substance of the piece was about progressive Dems supporting Connecticut Senate challenger Ned Lamont against Joe Lieberman.
First of all, editorialists should stop referring to everyone who OPPOSES THE IRAQ WAR as “anti-war”.
This is not a battle between pacifists and hawks within progressive circles.
This is a battle between the appropriate times to deploy force and go to war and when not. Going after bin Laden and toppling the al Qaeda-harboring Taliban made sense and could have furthered American interests. Expanding this legitimate fight into the invasion of Iraq and a broader crusade in the Middle East has punctured the mystique of American power in the world and harmed America’s security.
Joe Lieberman is unapologetic in his support for the Iraq War — which I agree with former National Security Agency Director William Odom may be “America’s greatest strategic blunder of all time”.
While I have respected Lieberman’s work and advocacy for a serious national technology policy and for progressive work on gay rights and civil rights, his support for the expansion of a significant challenge from Osama bin Laden into a crusade in the Middle East and war against Iraq calls for serious electoral consequences.
Lieberman has helped empower the course that we took and has not stepped back from his support of Bush on the Iraq War — which has threatened America’s global standing as well as moral and military credibility. Our security has now become more complex and our options in the future more limited.
Opposing Lieberman has nothing to do with being “anti-war”, it has everything to do with being “anti-Iraq War” and trying to prevent the same kind of dangerous calculus from being followed in the future. If Lieberman helps empower thinking so potentially dangerous to American national security interests, he should be purged from the party.
The Los Angeles Times needs to rework its headline.
— Steve Clemons
Ed Note: I will be on Air America’s “Al Franken Show” with guest host Sam Seder at 1:30 p.m. today. I see from the link that Ned Lamont will be on during the show as well — as well as the super-cool and super-smart Joe Conason.
Update: This discussion between Robert Wright and Mickey Kaus on Bloggingheads.tv highlights some parts of the same debate about Democrats, war, and purges. Some of the exchange is just friend to friend banter — but be patient. This blog post is briefly mentioned.
— Steve Clemons


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