August 21st, 2007

Lieberman Offers Wise New Course in Mideast: Put Iraq Differences Aside, In Order to Bungle Additional Shit in Syria

by Philip Baruth

You worry, with the loss of Karl Rove, about the capacity of the pro-Surge forces to supply the debate with enough jingoistic rhetoric to continue to fuel the entire Left-wing blogosphere. Well, maybe you don’t. But we do.

big joe

Because let’s face facts: if everyone joins hands and begins crooning “If I Had a Hammer,” VDB and every other wild-eyed anti-Bush blog in America is past history.

But not to worry: Big Joe is shooting the gap.

Case in point: this morning’s incendiary op-ed in the Wall Street Journal.

Lieberman, like all Bushies post-2004, would like us to “put aside our differences on Iraq.” Usually this putting aside is urged in the service of continuing to pursue the same failed policies in Iraq, a logical null circuit that VDB has always loved: let’s put aside our differences on Iraq in order us to unify around the least likely path forward in Iraq.

But today Big Joe has bigger, more extensive geographical fish to fry: he wants to expand the conflict to Syria, if at all possible.

After explaining that the most serious threats in Iraq originate not in Iran, but in Syria, Lieberman proposes the following:

“We in the U.S. government should also begin developing a range of options to consider taking against Damascus International [Airport], unless the Syrian government takes appropriate action, and soon.

“Responsible air carriers should be asked to stop flights into Damascus International, as long as it remains the main terminal of international terror. Despite its use by al Qaeda and Hezbollah terrorists, the airport continues to be serviced by many major non-U.S. carriers, including Alitalia, Air France, and British Airways.”


Now, let’s do the math on our fingers for a moment: asking the world to isolate Damascus by stopping international air travel amounts to — okay, let’s see here — one option.

So what could Joe possibly mean by “a range of options” earlier in the piece? You guessed it: nothing is off the table.

Big Joe doesn’t want to drop a Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator on the Alitalia check-in counter at the Damascas Airport, in other words, but he is only human, after all, and his patience, though godlike in kind, is limited in quantity.

This “Get Syria” strategy was, of course, the plan all along, post-Iraq. After toppling Saddam, sniffing the flowers and gobbling the sweets handed us by those we’d liberated, we were to gin up a quick case against Damascus, and then knock over the al-Asad regime on our way out the door.

What we’re seeing from Big Joe now, then, is the same deranged neo-con fantasy, but without the sustaining myth of limitless American power behind it.

Now it justs sounds sad and baleful and cranky, like a sixteen-year-old pitbull, gray in the muzzle, joints too shot to rise, functionally incontinent and more or less indifferent to life itself — except for that one moment each noon when the mailman dares to mount the steps and drop yet another collection notice through the slot onto the stained shag carpeting.