Unlike some in my party who continue to question our use of force in Iraq, I have not wavered in my belief in the justness of the war we fought. In this, I know I am following in the proud tradition of Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy and Clinton, all of whom were ready and willing to apply our military might when necessary to protect our security.
But those great Democratic leaders also recognized that force alone could not keep us safe. The same holds true today. If we are to win the wider war against terrorism, we must do more than throw Saddam Hussein out of power. We must lift up the moderate Muslim majority around the world and give them the tools to take down the radicals who want an endless holy war.
The best way to do that is by demonstrating -- through words and deeds alike -- that we are democracy-builders, not empire-builders; peacekeepers, not profiteers. If the Bush administration continues behaving as though "to the victor go the spoils," to the victor will also go all the responsibility, all the risks, all the wreckage -- and all the blame for what happened in Iraq after Hussein was gone.
Since the future lies ahead, and "we broke it, we bought it," let's bypass the issue of whether Iraq was a just war. (I left that material in because they were important to express Lieberman's views, not because I agree with them.)
I think Lieberman's got the right take in the right words on "democracy-builders, not empire-builders" -- and that the Bush regime is all about empire. It takes courage to use the word "empire" and call Bush on this. And Lieberman's got some reasonable policy proposals too.
So I give Lieberman credit for "standing up" on this issue. Sorta. Thoughts?