Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Sen. Joseph Lieberman: I'd Support Iran Attack

Carl Limbacher,
Sen. Joseph Lieberman said Tuesday that he would back a U.S. airstrike on Iran's nuclear facilities if diplomatic options fail, becoming the first Democrat to announce his support for such a move.

"I think the only justifiable use of military power would be an attempt to deter the development of their nuclear program if we felt there was no other way to do it," the former vice presidential candidate tells the Jerusalem Post.

Lieberman said he uses the word "deter" because it's doubtful that even an extensive air assault could eliminate all of Iran's nuclear facilities, many of which are buried underground.

The goal of such an attack, he explained, would be to "delay" Iran's nuclear program, hoping that "by the time they catch up back to where they were, there's been a change in the government. That's the limited objective that I would see."

The use of military force against Iran was "probably the last choice," Lieberman said, before adding: "But it has to be there." READ MORE

The Connecticut Democrat compared the rhetoric coming from Iranian President Mamoud Ahmadinejad, who threatened just last week to "annihilate" Israel, to declarations from both Osama bin Laden and Adolf Hitler, noting:

"Sometimes when people say really extreme things, which at some level a lot of people don't want to even believe . . . they may actually mean it. They may intend to do it. So I do think that the statements of Ahmadinejad are taken very seriously, both with regard to [speaking of a world without] the US and with regard to Israel."

Lieberman told the Post that any U.S. strike against Iran would not involve ground troops, explaining: "I don't think anyone is thinking of this as a massive ground invasion, as in Iraq, to topple the government."