Senator Lieberman calls for ‘preemptive’ attack on Yemen

By Stephen C. Webster
Sunday, December 27, 2009 20:24 EDT
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Speaking on Fox News Sunday, Senator Joseph Lieberman (I-CT), who leads the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, shared his vision of “tomorrow’s war.”

“Somebody in our government said to me in Sana’a, the capital of Yemen, Iraq was yesterday’s war,” Lieberman explained. “Afghanistan is today’s war. If we don’t act preemptively, Yemen will be tomorrow’s war. That’s the danger we face.”

Senator Arlen Specter (D-PA), also appearing on the program, seemed to agree, calling an attack against Yemen “something we should consider.”

“Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan — the Army officer who killed 13 people in a shooting rampage at Fort Hood in November — was linked to Anwar al-Awlaki, a radical Muslim cleric now based in Yemen,” The Hill noted.

Unnamed administration officials told US media in the aftermath of the thwarted attack that their suspect had confessed to traveling to Yemen and receiving training by Al-Qaeda.

Lieberman’s saber rattling against Yemen is “likely to be echoed in the days ahead as a growing number of neoconservative and conservative foreign policy voices have used the attempted airline attack to call into question the tactics Obama has applied to curb terrorism,” Sam Stein added.

In a borderline-livid post, Firedoglake writer Spencer Ackerman assailed Lieberman’s hawkish stance. “Is it a mistake to respond to this with more than ridicule? Maybe, but if not: it’s a ludicrously blithe and cost-free assertion to say that we need to take preemptive action in Yemen. What the fuck does Joe Lieberman know about Yemen? What does anyone in the Washington policy community know about Yemen? Fucking nothing except that (a) there is an apparently growing al-Qaeda presence there; Abdulmutallab told investigators that he got hooked up with his botched explosive there; the USS Cole was bombed there; there’s an important port there; and… that’s it.”

“The good news is that while progressives basically need Joe Lieberman’s vote in the Senate to pass domestic legislation, thus giving him a ton of leverage over what happens, nobody needs to listen to him about Yemen,” blogger Matt Yglesias opined.

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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