Joseph Lieberman on War & Peace

Democratic Jr Senator (CT, retiring 2012), ran for V.P. with Gore, ran for president 2004


2002 UN report on Iraq: a "12,000-page 100-pound lie"

When the UN deadline arrived on Dec. 7, 2002, Saddam submitted a report. I viewed it as a key test. If he came forward with honest admissions, it would send a signal that he understood the message the world was sending. Instead, he submitted reams of irrelevant paperwork clearly designed to deceive. Hans Blix, who led the UN inspections team, later called it, "rich in volume but poor in information." Joe Lieberman was more succinct. He said the declaration was a "12,000-page, 100-pound lie."
Source: Decision Points, by Pres. George W. Bush, p.242 , Nov 9, 2010

OpEd: Cast aside by his party for supporting the Iraq war

On Jan. 10, 2007, [I made this speech]: "It is clear that we need to change our strategy in Iraq. So I've committed more than 20,000 additional American troops to Iraq. The vast majority of them--five brigades--will be deployed to Baghdad."

Amid the near-universal skepticism, a few brave souls defended the surge. Foremost among them were Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT), a lifelong Democrat who had been cast aside by his party for supporting the war; Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC); and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).

I knew McCain planned to run for president in 2008. The surge gave him a chance to create distance between us, but he didn't take it. He had been a longtime advocate of more troops in Iraq, and he supported the new strategy wholeheartedly. "I cannot guarantee success," he said. "But I can guarantee failure is we don't adopt this new strategy."

Source: Decision Points, by Pres. George W. Bush, p.378-379 , Nov 9, 2010

OpEd: over-support of GWOT is both virtue and vice

[In the 2004 primary] Joe Lieberman had been an impressive vice presidential candidate in 2000 and came across as a thoroughly decent, well-grounded individual. Lieberman would have been a very good candidate for Democrats to have chosen; he was the closest thing they had to a Scoop Jackson Democrat (Jackson was a senator from Washington State who was a hawk on national security but liberal on domestic issues). Lieberman had a reassuring presence, was an outspoken voice against the worst and most degrading elements of our popular culture, and was one of the architects of the "New Democratic" Party that helped lay the centrist policy foundation for Bill Clinton's win in 1992. Lieberman would have considerable appeal to independents and wavering Republicans, I thought, but his virtue was his vice: he has been far too supportive of the Global War on Terror and Bush's national security policies to have a shot at the 2004 Democratic nomination. The party had moved hard left, which Lieberman had not
Source: Courage and Consequence, by Karl Rove, p.368 , Mar 9, 2010

2007: Visited Iraq with McCain; led to endorsement

Over Thanksgiving 2007, McCain made a trip to Iraq, accompanied by Sen. Lieberman.

McCain and Lieberman had developed a close friendship through the years , and the war was a big part of it. Lieberman was inarguably the most hawkish Democrat in the Senate. He & McCain saw eye to eye on almost everything when it came to Iraq, but the bond was deeper than that. It was forged around the antipathy they both had for the bases of their parties, which was reciprocated in spades. Lieberman's foreign policy stances had made him an enemy of the left and especially of the netroots, which had successfully targeted him for the defeat in the 2006 Connecticut Democratic primary. Lieberman now called himself an Independent Democrat. McCain could relate to that.

The day after returning from Iraq, McCain phoned Lieberman to ask: A former Democratic vice-presidential nominee endorsing a Republican? "I don't agree with him on everything, but war and peace is one," Lieberman thought. "Besides, the guy's my friend."

Source: Game Change, by Heilemann & Halpern, p.302-303 , Jan 11, 2010

2008: Unity with McCain on Iraq War and "Country First"

The political case for picking Lieberman as VP was straightforward, if audacious. McCain's lieutenants maintained that it was essential that their candidate distance himself from Bush and reclaim the reformer's mantle. Nothing would do that better than presenting the country with a kind of national unity ticket, a pairing that literally embodied bipartisanship. Lieberman's support for the Iraq War made him reasonably popular among Republicans. His long tenure in Washington would reinforce the campaign' message of experience and drive the perception that McCain had made his choice with governing, not politics, in mind. The pick would fairly shout McCain's slogan: "Country First."

The worst-case scenario was that Lieberman's pro-choice stance would cause a walk-out of social conservatives from the convention, and even that would have its benefits, sending a message of independence. Astonishingly, no one among the senior staff objected to Lieberman on ideological grounds.

Source: Game Change, by Heilemann & Halpern, p.355 , Jan 11, 2010

Withdrawing by July 2007 is retreat & a recipe for disaster

Q: How would failure in Iraq affect US policy?

LIEBERMAN: I have said repeatedly that the Administration has made mistakes in the execution of this war, and I have constantly made suggestions on things to do to help us succeed there-because the costs of failure are enormous. Last month, I offered a 10-point plan for success in Iraq. The top item was a change in the Secretary of Defense - we need new leadership there. Second I offered specific ways for us to better train the Iraqi security forces to take over their own defense so we can bring our troops home. Iím not prepared to give up on Iraq and Iím not prepared to fail. Ned Lamont has embraced a proposal for withdrawal by July 2007. To me, thatís not a plan for success, thatís retreat and a recipe for disaster, and it will deeply hurt the American people.

LAMONT: Joe Lieberman & George Bushís stay-the-course strategy - thatís the recipe for failure.

SCHLESINGER: What we have in Iraq is not a military problem, but political problem.

Source: CT 2006 Debate with George Stephanopoulos , Oct 23, 2006

Wants two-state solution in Middle East without terrorism

Q: How much are you willing to do to win the trust of the Palestinian people?

LIEBERMAN: The only solution is a two-state solution; peaceful, free Israel next to peaceful, independent Palestine. And the first step must be an end to terrorism. Would I negotiate with terrorist groups? Not while theyíre terrorists. But, I believe that people are capable of change.

SHARPTON: Would you meet with the head of the Palestinian Authority?

LIEBERMAN: I did not meet with Arafat. Clinton gave him an offer of Palestinian statehood, along with former Prime Minister Barak, that came that close to being enacted, but he turned against it. I would not hesitate to have the US mediate between Israelis and any Palestinian leader who really had declared war against terrorism. Unfortunately, Arafat has not done that. As long as heís there, thereís not going to be a real chance for peace.

Source: Democratic Presidential 2004 Primary Debate in Detroit , Oct 27, 2003

Leadership means consistency on war views

Q: Please respond to the variety of opinions expressed by your rivals on the Iraq war.

LIEBERMAN: This is a test of leadership. I donít know how John Kerry and John Edwards can say they support the war but oppose funding. Iíve been over Clarkís record. He took six positions on whether going to war was right.

EDWARDS: Leadership is standing up for what you believe in. I believe Saddam was a threat; I voted for the congressional resolution. Then the president says, ďI want $87 billion.Ē I am not willing to give a blank check.

KERRY: I have the experience of being on the front lines when the policy has gone wrong. Our troops are in greater danger because this presidentís been unwilling to share the burden.

CLARK: I want to make it clear that I would not have voted on $87 billion. The best welfare for the troops is a winning strategy. We ought to call on our commander in chief to produce it. He ought to produce it before he gets one additional penny.

Source: Democratic Presidential 2004 Primary Debate in Detroit , Oct 27, 2003

Failure is not an option in War on Terror

Q: Vietnam comparisons are now creeping up in Iraq. Is there a point that you feel itís fair for the US to cut bait and bring the troops home?

LIEBERMAN: What President Bush gave the American people on Sunday night was a price tag, not a plan. And we in Congress must demand a plan. The president, when he took us to war, which I supported, did not have a plan for what to do the day Saddam Hussein fell. We have a right to demand a plan today, how to get international peacekeepers in, how to get our allies in to help in the rebuilding of Iraq. I would be prepared as president to send American troops in there to protect the 140,000 who are there today, because international peacekeepers may not be there for months to come. Bottom line, to answer your question -- this is a battle in the war on terrorism. Failure and defeat is not an option. We can win it if we work together.

Source: Congressional Black Caucus Institute debate , Sep 9, 2003

Pushing Israel out of West Bank is taking sides

Q: You criticized Dr. Dean for just saying that the US shouldnít take sides. Whatís wrong with a new approach, if we are to be, as Dean suggested, impartial and able to act as a force for negotiation and peace?

LIEBERMAN: All of us have quite correctly criticized Bush for breaking our most critical alliances. That is exactly what Howard Deanís comments over the last week about the Middle East have done. We have had a unique relationship with Israel. Based on values of democracy, and based on mutual military strategic interests. We do not gain strength as a negotiator if we compromise our support of Israel. Dean has said he wouldnít take sides, but then he has said Israel ought to get out of the West Bank.

DEAN: My position on Israel is exactly the same as Bill Clintonís. I want to be an honest broker. We desperately need peace in the Middle East. It doesnít help to demagogue this issue.

LIEBERMAN: Deanís statements break a 50-year record of supporting our relationship with Israel.

Source: Congressional Black Caucus Institute debate , Sep 9, 2003

Be tough, but no preventive war

Donít mistake my opposition to this war because of its preventive nature for a lack of toughness. The commander in chief has to be tough. This president is not executing the war on homeland security the way he should be. 98% of the containers that come into this country are uninspected. The president promised billions of dollars to states and local government which have not been delivered. We can be a lot tougher than this president is being on homeland security, and we will be.
Source: Democratic Debate in Columbia SC , May 3, 2003

Iran: Enforce non-proliferation on Russia & others

[We should] use whatever authority we have to deter and prevent Iran from developing the capacity to strike us and our allies. That is the other side of the American effort to protect ourselves from the serious threat to our security from the proliferation of ballistic missile capacity and weapons of mass destruction.

The kinds of weapons that are being developed would allow Iran to threaten friendly Arab states, making it harder for them to cooperate with the US. They would raise the risks to US military forces in the region, and would threaten the free flow of oil in this critical region, which could create crises in places far from the Persian Gulf.

We must act to try to prevent this from happening. [This bill] requires reports on the transfer of certain goods, services, or technologies to Iran. This applies to any entities anywhere in the world, including Russia. It authorizes the President to impose measures against these entities but does not mandate him to do so.

Source: Senate statement, ďIran Nonproliferation ActĒ , Feb 22, 2000

Supported NATO expansion; arms to Israel & Saudis

Lieberman was one of the leaders in the fight for the Gulf war resolution in January 1991. Presciently, he called for ďfinal victoryĒ over Saddam Hussein. He is a strong supporter of Israel but favored F-15 sales to Saudi Arabia in 1992; in spring 1998 he spoke against an American ultimatum to Israel. He favored US ground troops in Bosnia. He backed NATO expansion in Eastern Europe. In 1998 he successfully led a fight for sanctions to stop Russia from exporting missile technology to Iran.
Source: Almanac of American Politics 2000 (Barone & Ujifusa) , Jan 1, 2000

Joseph Lieberman on Iraq

Overthrowing Saddam was right, and we canít abandon Iraq now

Q: The reason we are here tonight is because of the war. Youíre aware that youíve taken an unpopular stand, and you have been asking Democrats all along, from your first ad on, please overlook this, look at my past accomplishments. But how can you ask Democrats to overlook or look past what they consider to be the central issue of the race?

A: My position on Iraq has been clear. And I believe it was the right thing for us to overthrow Saddam Hussein. I have been critical of the things that the administration did after that. But the fact is, weíre there now. And we have a choice. And that choice is between helping the Iraqis achieve a free and independent Iraq or abandoning them and letting the terrorists take over. The latter choice is one we cannot make. And I have leveled with people about it and asked them to respect me for having the guts to take an unpopular political position.

Source: 2006 Connecticut Democratic Senate Primary debate , Jul 6, 2006

Getting out too soon will be a disaster for Iraq and for us

LIEBERMAN [to Lamont]: This piece of paper shows on one day in March you support redeployment of troops. Then you said youíre not willing to set a timetable for withdrawal. Then you said I think itís time for the troops to start heading home. Do you support a specific deadline for getting out of Iraq?

LAMONT: Absolutely. Like Chris Dodd, like the heart of the Democratic Party, I supported both of those amendments [setting a deadline for withdrawal]. Itís time for us to change course. Time for us to start getting our frontline troops out of harmís way, within the next six months, and we get our troops out of Iraq over the course of the next year. That fundamentally is a change of direction. You have an open-ended stay-the-course strategy.

LIEBERMAN: Absolutely untrue. I have said the sooner we get out of Iraq, the better. But if we get out too soon, it will be a disaster for the Iraqis and for us. If you tell your enemy when youíre going to leave, theyíll wait and create disaster.

Source: 2006 Connecticut Democratic Senate Primary debate , Jul 6, 2006

Saddamís overthrow caused Libya & Iran to capitulate

Q: Do you think that Libya would have given up its WMD if the US had not invaded Iraq?

A: I seriously doubt whether Libya would have given up its weapons of mass destruction if we had not overthrown Saddam Hussein, and if the Iranians would have allowed international inspectors come in and looked at their nuclear weapons sites if we had not done that. Iíve worked to keep our military strong and to know that in a dangerous world, sometimes you have to use that power against dangerous people.

Source: Democratic 2004 primary Debate in Greenville SC , Jan 29, 2004

We made the right decision to send soldiers to Iraq

DEAN: We have lost 500 soldiers and 2,200 wounded in Iraq. Those soldiers were sent there by the vote of Senator Lieberman and Senator Kerry and Senator Edwards. I would have voted against that resolution.

LIEBERMAN: We made the right decision. I didnít need George Bush to convince me that Saddam Hussein was a threat to the US. John McCain and I wrote the law that made it national policy to change the regime in Baghdad. This man was a homicidal maniac, killed hundreds of thousands of people, did have weapons of mass destruction in the Ď90s, used them against the Kurdish Iraqis and the Iranians, admitted to the UN he had enough chemical and biological to kill millions of people, supported terrorism, tried to assassinate former President Bush. I repeat: We are safer with Saddam Hussein in prison than in power.

Source: Democratic 2004 Primary Debate at St. Anselm College , Jan 22, 2004

Iraq victory opens door to Israeli-Palestinian peace

Q: Whatís the correct road map now for Israel and the Palestinians?

LIEBERMAN: The overthrow and then capture of Saddam Hussein has made America safer and made the world safer. It has not ended all of our problems or all the threats to our security, but a president has to deal with more than one threat at a time. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict directly related. We have to stay the course in Iraq now and continue to build a stable, modernizing, democratizing country there. That will show the Arab world what happens as a result of American intervention, that you live better, freer lives, and will send a message to terrorists that we mean business.

Between the Israelis and the Palestinians, there is only one good solution, it is a two-state solution. As president, I would devote time, commit my secretary of state to it, appoint a special ambassador to be there to work with both sides to move along the path to peace. The doors are open now, in part because of our victory in Iraq.

Source: Democratic 2004 Presidential Primary Debate in Iowa , Jan 4, 2004

US and world are safer with homicidal maniac Saddam gone

LIEBERMAN: The overthrow and then capture of Saddam Hussein has made America safer and made the world safer.

DEAN: I beg to differ. Saddam is a dreadful person and Iím delighted to see him behind bars. But since Saddam Hussein has been caught, weíve lost 23 additional troops; we now have, for the first time, American fighter jets escorting commercial airliners through American airspace. Saddam Hussein has been a distraction [from fighting Al Qaeda].

LIEBERMAN: We had good faith differences on the war against Saddam. But I donít know how anybody could say that weíre not safer with a homicidal maniac, a brutal dictator, an enemy of the US, a supporter of terrorism, a murderer of hundreds of thousands of his own people in prison instead of in power. To say that we havenít obliterated all terrorism with Saddam in prison is a little bit like saying somehow that we werenít safer after WWII after we defeated Hitler because Stalin and the communists were still in power.

Source: Democratic 2004 Presidential Primary Debate in Iowa , Jan 4, 2004

Stabilize Iraq before pulling out the troops

Q: Does anyone have a time frame for when the US troops can be pulled out?

A: Weíve learned from history, you cannot set a time line in this kind of situation. Youíve got to set a goal line. Because if you set a time line by which youíre going to exit, your enemy will lay back and then strike when you leave. The goal is to stabilize Iraq. When that happens, we can leave.

Source: Democratic 2004 Primary Presidential Debate in Durham NH , Dec 9, 2003

$87B for Iraq was unpopular, but thatís leadership

Q: In our poll, 64% opposed Pres. Bushís request for $87 billion for Iraq & Afghanistan. The opposition was much higher, 85%, among Democrats. Is your support for the Iraq war costing you support among Democratic primary voters?

A: To me leadership is about doing what you believe is right for the country whether it is politically popular or not. That is the way I felt about my vote in support of the $87 billion for Iraq and Afghanistan. It is a lot of money. We could use a lot of it here at home, but we had a choice to make. I didnít duck it and I didnít play politics around it. I did what I thought was right to support the 135,000 American soldiers that are there. To finish the job of helping the Iraqi people to build a new country. I hope people who donít agree with me on this particular vote will decide that they want someone as their president who does what he believes is right, particularly when it is controversial. That is what I mean when I say I will lead America with integrity.

Source: Concord Monitor / WashingtonPost.com on-line Q&A , Nov 3, 2003

$87B to never leave American troops without support

Q: Will you vote yes or no on the presidentís request for $87 billion to continue the effort in Iraq?

LIEBERMAN: Well, Iím going to vote for whatever it takes to protect our troops. But you canít say that you want to protect the troops unless youíre willing to send more American troops to protect the ones that are there.

Q: So if the president says, ďI need $87 billion to protect the troops,Ē youíre ready to say yes to that?

LIEBERMAN: The American people have a right to expect that their president will make tough judgments, and then have the courage to stick with them. I know itís more popular to say you donít want to send more troops. Of course I want international troops in there. But we may have to wait six months until they get there and before then, we may have to send troops to protect the 140,000 Americans who are there now. Iím never, as president, going to leave American troops in harmís way without giving them the support and protection they need.

Source: Congressional Black Caucus Institute debate , Sep 9, 2003

Not an inch of difference from Bush on Iraq

Q: You said in the past that there is not an inch of difference between President Bush and yourself in the war against Iraq. Still?

LIEBERMAN: That statement was made as we were about to go to war. It expressed the best traditions and values of the US, which is when American men and women in uniform go into battle, thereís not an inch of space between any of us on that question.

Look, long before George Bush became president, I reached a conclusion that Saddam Hussein was a threat to the US and to the world, and particularly to his own people who he was brutally suppressing. I believe that the war against Saddam was right, and that the world is safer with him gone. I said last fall and then again a month before the war, ďMr. President, hereís what you have to do to get ready to secure post-Saddam Iraq.Ē No planning was done by this administration. I believe itís because this administration divided within itself, and the president as commander in chief has not brought it together.

Source: Democratic Primary Debate, Albuquerque New Mexico , Sep 4, 2003

Purpose of war is to let Iraqis control Iraq

As president, I would have gone to NATO and the UN and asked them to join us in securing and rebuilding Iraq. I would have brought the Iraqis in, to control of the country. I didnít support the war against Saddam Hussein so we could control Iraq. Quite the contrary. I supported it so we could get rid of Saddam and let the Iraqis control Iraq. So I would negotiate whatever resolution at the UN will draw our allies with us into keeping the peace and rebuilding the country.
Source: Democratic Primary Debate, Albuquerque New Mexico , Sep 4, 2003

Send more US troops to Iraq, with UN force

Q: You would send more troops to Iraq?

LIEBERMAN: I would send more troops, because the troops that are there need that protection. And we need some of the specialized services that will help the Iraqis gain control of their country, and mean that sooner American troops could come home. Obviously, Americans have to control an international force. But a year ago I called for an international force.

Source: Democratic Primary Debate, Albuquerque New Mexico , Sep 4, 2003

Iraq was a heroic struggle against enemies of civilization

You know what I would say to the parents of Americans who are serving in Iraq? Your sons and daughters are serving in a heroic and historic cause. They have thrown over Saddam Hussein, liberated a people and protected America and the rest of the world from a dangerous dictator. They are now involved in a critical battle in the war on terrorism. These are enemies of civilization, and if we donít get together and defeat them now, shame on us.
Source: Democratic Primary Debate, Albuquerque New Mexico , Sep 4, 2003

Saddam was a threat; we did the right thing by invading

Q: Gov. Dean said just today that Saddam was really not much of a threat to the US and had never been one. By getting rid of Saddam, weíve made things more dangerous for America. Do you agree?

LIEBERMAN: Oh, I absolutely disagree. Saddam Hussein was a threat to the US and, most particularly, to his neighbors. Remember, this was a man who said he wanted to rule the Arab world, and he invaded two of his neighbors in pursuit of that goal, using chemical weapons against them. We have evidence also over the last several years that he was cooperating with terrorists and supporting them.

We did the right thing, and we gave him 12 years and tried everything short of war to get him to keep the promises he made to disarm at the end of the Gulf War. We did the right thing in fighting this fight, and the American people will be safer as a result of it. And incidentally, no Democrat will be elected president in 2004 who is not strong on defense, and this war was a test of that strength.

Source: Democratic Debate in Columbia SC , May 3, 2003

Joseph Lieberman on Voting Record

Yes on $87B for Iraq-we must support troops

Q: [Bush has asked for] $87 billion for the ongoing war on terrorism. Your vote, yes or no, and if yes, how do you pay for $87 billion?

LIEBERMAN: [Repealing the top tax cuts] is certainly my first choice as to how we should finance this $87 billion. The fact is that the only Americans sacrificing today for our policy in Iraq are the 140,000 Americans who are there in uniform for us. If George Bush had a better, more multilateral foreign policy, we wouldnít have to finance this alone.

But we have no choice but to finance this program for two reasons. We have those 140,000 American troops there. We need to protect them. We need to protect them and bring them home safe to their families. Secondly, we are involved in a great battle in the war on terrorism. Those terrorists have poured in there. Theyíre attacking Americans. Theyíre attacking the institutions of civilization: the United Nations, Jordanian embassy, Muslim mosques. We cannot afford to lose this fight.

Source: Debate at Pace University in Lower Manhattan , Sep 25, 2003

Voted NO on redeploying non-essential US troops out of Iraq in 9 months.

Vote to transition the missions of US Forces in Iraq to a more limited set of missions as specified by the President on September 13, 2007: S.AMDT.3875 amends S.AMDT.3874 and underlying bill H.R.2764:

Proponents support voting YES because:

Sen. LEVIN: "The amendment requires redeployment be completed within 9 months. At that point, funding for the war would be ended, with four narrow exceptions:"

  1. Security for US Government personnel and infrastructure
  2. Training Iraqi security forces
  3. Equipment to US service men and women to ensure their safety
Targeted operations against members of al-Qaida.

Opponents recommend voting NO because:

Sen. McCAIN: "This year, after nearly 4 years of mismanaged war, our military has made significant gains under the so-called surge. Overall violence in Iraq has fallen to its lowest level since [2003]. Improvised explosive device blasts now occur at a rate lower than at any point since September 2004.

"Al-Qaida's leadership knows which side is winning in Iraq. It may not be known in some parts of America and in this body, but al-Qaida knows. We are succeeding under the new strategy.

"Given these realities, some proponents of precipitous withdrawal from Iraq have shifted their focus. While conceding, finally, that there have been dramatic security gains, they have begun seizing on the lackluster performance of the Iraqi Government to insist that we should abandon the successful strategy and withdraw U.S. forces. This would be a terrible mistake."

Reference: Safe Redeployment Of US Troops From Iraq Amendment; Bill S.AMDT.3875 to H.R.2764 ; vote number 2007-437 on Dec 18, 2007

Voted YES on designating Iran's Revolutionary Guards as terrorists.

Vote on a "Sense of the Senate" amendment, S.Amdt. 3017, to H.R. 1585 (National Defense Authorization Act), that finds:

Proponents support voting YES because:

Sen. LIEBERMAN: Some of our colleagues thought the Sense of the Senate may have opened the door to some kind of military action against Iran [so we removed some text]. That is not our intention. In fact, our intention is to increase the economic pressure on Iran and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps so that we will never have to consider the use of the military to stop them from what they are doing to kill our soldiers.

Opponents recommend voting NO because:

Sen. BIDEN. I will oppose the Kyl-Lieberman amendment for one simple reason: this administration cannot be trusted. I am very concerned about the evidence that suggests that Iran is engaged in destabilizing activities inside Iraq. Arguably, if we had a different President who abided by the meaning and intent of laws we pass, I might support this amendment. I fear, however, that this President might use the designation of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist entity as a pretext to use force against Iran as he sees fit. [The same was done with the Senate resolution on Iraq in 2002]. Given this President's actions and misuse of authority, I cannot support the amendment.

Reference: Sense of the Senate on Iran; Bill S.Amdt. 3017 to H.R. 1585 ; vote number 2007-349 on Sep 26, 2007

Voted NO on redeploying US troops out of Iraq by March 2008.

Begins the phased redeployment of US forces from Iraq within 120 days of enactment of this joint resolution with the goal of redeploying by March 31, 2008, all US combat forces from Iraq, except for a limited number essential for protecting US and coalition personnel and infrastructure, training and equipping Iraqi forces, and conducting targeted counter-terrorism operations. Such redeployment shall be implemented as part of a diplomatic, political, and economic strategy that includes sustained engagement with Iraq's neighbors and the international community in order to bring stability to Iraq.

Proponents recommend voting YES because:

Our troops are caught in the midst of a civil war. The administration has begun to escalate this war with 21,000 more troops. This idea is not a new one. During this war, four previous surges have all failed. It is time for a different direction. It is time for a drawdown of our troops.

Opponents recommend voting NO because:

This resolution calls for imposing an artificial timeline to withdraw our troops from Iraq, regardless of the conditions on the ground or the consequences of defeat; a defeat that will surely be added to what is unfortunately a growing list of American humiliations. This legislation would hobble American commanders in the field and substantially endanger America's strategic objective of a unified federal democratic Iraq that can govern, defend, and sustain itself and be an ally in the war against Islamic fascism. The unintended consequence of this resolution is to bring to reality Osama bin Laden's vision for Iraq; that after 4 years of fighting in Iraq the US Congress loses its will to fight. If we leave Iraq before the job is done, as surely as night follows day, the terrorists will follow us home. Osama bin Laden has openly said: America does not have the stomach to stay in the fight. He is a fanatic. He is an Islamic fascist. He is determined to destroy us and our way of life.

Reference: US Policy in Iraq Resolution; Bill S.J.Res.9 ; vote number 2007-075 on Mar 15, 2007

Voted NO on redeploying troops out of Iraq by July 2007.

Voting YEA on this amendment would establish a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq. Voting NAY would keep the current situation without a timetable. The amendment states:
  1. The President shall redeploy, commencing in 2006, US forces from Iraq by July 1, 2007, leaving only the minimal number of forces that are critical to completing the mission of standing up Iraqi security forces and conducting specialized counterterrorism operations.
  2. The President should maintain an over-the-horizon troop presence to prosecute the war on terror and protect regional security interests.
  3. Within 30 days, the administration shall submit to Congress a report that sets forth the strategy for the redeployment of US forces from Iraq by July 1, 2007.
Reference: Kerry Amendment to National Defense Authorization Act; Bill S.Amdt. 4442 to S. 2766 ; vote number 2006-181 on Jun 22, 2006

Voted YES on investigating contract awards in Iraq & Afghanistan.

To establish a special committee of the Senate to investigate the awarding and carrying out of contracts to conduct activities in Afghanistan and Iraq and to fight the war on terrorism. Voting YES would: create Senate special committee to investigate war contracts, taking into consideration: bidding, methods of contracting, subcontracting, oversight procedures, allegations of wasteful practices, accountability and lessons learned in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Reference: Committee to Investigate War Contracts; Bill S Amdt 2476 to S 1042 ; vote number 2005-316 on Nov 10, 2005

Voted YES on requiring on-budget funding for Iraq, not emergency funding.

Amendment to express the sense of the Senate on future requests for funding for military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. A YES vote would:
Reference: Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act; Bill S.AMDT.464 to H.R.1268 ; vote number 2005-96 on Apr 20, 2005

Voted YES on $86 billion for military operations in Iraq & Afghanistan.

Vote to pass a bill that would appropriate $86.5 billion in supplemental spending for military operations and reconstruction in Iraq and Afghanistan, in Fiscal 2004. The bill would provide $10.3 billion as a grant to rebuild Iraq. This includes:
Reference: FY04 Emergency Supplemental for Iraq and Afghanistan; Bill S1689 ; vote number 2003-400 on Oct 17, 2003

Voted YES on authorizing use of military force against Iraq.

H.J.Res. 114; Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002. The administration would be required to report to Congress that diplomatic options have been exhausted before, or within 48 hours after military action has started. Every 60 days the president would also be required to submit a progress report to Congress.
Reference: Bill H.J.RES.114 ; vote number 2002-237 on Oct 11, 2002

Voted NO on allowing all necessary force in Kosovo.

Majority Leader Trent Lott motioned to kill the resolution that would have authorized the president to "use all necessary forces and other means," in cooperation with U.S. allies to accomplish objectives in Yugoslavia.
Status: Motion to Table Agreed to Y)78; N)22
Reference: Motion to table S. J. Res. 20; Bill S. J. Res. 20 ; vote number 1999-98 on May 4, 1999

Voted YES on authorizing air strikes in Kosovo.

Vote to adopt a resolution to authorize the President to conduct military air operations and missile strikes in cooperation with NATO against Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro).
Reference: Bill S.Con.Res 21 ; vote number 1999-57 on Mar 23, 1999

Voted YES on ending the Bosnian arms embargo.

Ending the Bosnian arms embargo.
Status: Bill Passed Y)69; N)29; NV)2
Reference: Bosnia Herzegovina Self-Defense Act of '95; Bill S. 21 ; vote number 1995-331 on Jul 26, 1995

Condemns anti-Muslim bigotry in name of anti-terrorism.

Lieberman co-sponsored the Resolution on bigotry against Sikh Americans:

Title: Condemning bigotry and violence against Sikh Americans in the wake of terrorist attacks against the United States on September 11, 2001.

Summary: Declares that, in the quest to identify, locate, and bring to justice the perpetrators and sponsors of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, the civil rights and liberties of all Americans, including Sikh-Americans, should be protected.

Source: House Resolution Sponsorship 01-HR255 on Oct 4, 2001

Deploy UN multinational peacekeeping force in Darfur.

Lieberman co-sponsored deploying UN multinational peacekeeping force in Darfur

Calling for the urgent deployment of a robust and effective multinational peacekeeping mission with sufficient size, resources, leadership, and mandate to protect civilians in Darfur.

Legislative Outcome: Agreed to by Senate by Unanimous Consent.

Source: Resolution on Darfur (S.RES 276) 07-SR276 on Jul 19, 2007

Condemn Iranian Pres. Ahmadinejad's anti-Israel statement.

Lieberman co-sponsored condemning Iranian Pres. Ahmadinejad's anti-Israel statement

Source: S.RES.449 08-SR449 on Feb 12, 2008

Iranian nuclear weapons: prevention instead of containment.

Lieberman co-sponsored Resolution on Iran's nuclear program

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives, that Congress--
  1. Reaffirms that the US Government has a vital interest in working together to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability;
  2. warns that time is limited to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability;
  3. urges continued and increasing economic and diplomatic pressure on Iran until a full and sustained suspension of all uranium enrichment-related activities;
  4. expresses that the window for diplomacy is closing;
  5. expresses support for the universal rights and democratic aspirations of the people of Iran;
  6. strongly supports US policy to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability;
  7. rejects any US policy that would rely on containment as an option in response to the Iranian nuclear threat.
Source: HRes568/SR41 12-SJR41 on May 24, 2012

Support the completion of the US mission in Iraq.

Lieberman co-sponsored supporting the completion of the US mission in Iraq

A resolution expressing the sense of the Senate that the Commander of Multinational Forces-Iraq and all United States personnel under his command should receive from Congress the full support necessary to carry out the United States mission in Iraq. Expresses the sense of the Senate that:

  1. Congress should ensure that General David Petraeus have the necessary resources to carry out their mission in Iraq; and
  2. the government of Iraq must make visible progress toward meeting the political, economic, and military benchmarks enumerated in this Resolution.
Source: S.RES.70 & H.RES.150 2007-SR70 on Feb 5, 2007

Sanctions on Iran to end nuclear program.

Lieberman signed Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act

    Expresses the sense of Congress that:
  1. diplomatic efforts to address Iran's illicit nuclear efforts, unconventional and ballistic missile development programs, and support for international terrorism are more likely to be effective if the President is empowered with explicit authority to impose additional sanctions on the government of Iran;
  2. US concerns regarding Iran are strictly the result of that government's actions; and
  3. the people of the United States have feelings of friendship for the people of Iran and regret that developments in recent decades have created impediments to that friendship.
    States that it should be US policy to:
  1. support international diplomatic efforts to end Iran's uranium enrichment program and its nuclear weapons program;
  2. encourage foreign governments to direct state-owned and private entities to cease all investment in, and support of, Iran's energy sector and all exports of refined petroleum products to Iran;
  3. impose sanctions on the Central Bank of Iran and any other Iranian financial institution engaged in proliferation activities or support of terrorist groups; and
  4. work with allies to protect the international financial system from deceptive and illicit practices by Iranian financial institutions involved in proliferation activities or support of terrorist groups.
Source: S.908&HR.2194 2009-S908 on Apr 30, 2009

Move the US Embassy to Jerusalem.

Lieberman co-sponsored the Jerusalem Embassy Act

Corresponding House bill is H.R.1595. Became Public Law No: 104-45.
Source: Bill sponsored by 77 Senators and 78 Reps 95-S1322 on Oct 13, 1995

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