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     Image by the amazing DarkBlack.

Yesterday, the Democratic leadership in the House and Senate issued a joint letter to President George Bush, saying he needs to get our troops out of Iraq — and stop the whole "rose colored glasses" act.  No one but the idiotic drunk-on-kool-aid set is buying the Bush Administration’s "things look swell, things look great, gonna have the whole Middle East on a plate" song and dance any longer.

Hillary Clinton even issued a press release stating her support for the Democratic leadership’s reasoned position yesterday.  So where in the world is Joe Lieberman?

The Bush Administration’s approach to foreign policy these days can best be described as "Oh crap.  What now?!?"  Iraq is disintegrating into more and more sectarian violence (see Froomkin from yesterday, Reuters, Mercury News,  the AP, Juan Cole, Laura Rozen, and Swopa’s Joe Klein smackdown, for more).  The conflict between Lebanon and Israel grows more and more violent and tense by the day, and even stauch Republican foreign policy wonks are voicing criticisms of the Bush Administration’s lack of any coherent foreign policy or diplomatic initiative

"The arrows are all pointing in the wrong direction," said Richard N. Haass, who was President Bush’s first-term State Department policy planning director. "The biggest danger in the short run is it just increases frustration and alienation from the United States in the Arab world. Not just the Arab world, but in Europe and around the world. People will get a daily drumbeat of suffering in Lebanon and this will just drive up anti-Americanism to new heights."…

"What the conflict has exposed in a really clear way is how linked all these issues in the region are to each other," said Mara Rudman, a deputy national security adviser in the Clinton White House now at the liberal Center for American Progress. "The worst-case scenario . . . is a much more radicalized Islamic fundamentalist Middle East and much more isolated Israel and a much more isolated United States and fewer people to talk with."

Haass, the former Bush aide who leads the Council on Foreign Relations, laughed at the president’s public optimism. "An opportunity?" Haass said with an incredulous tone. "Lord, spare me. I don’t laugh a lot. That’s the funniest thing I’ve heard in a long time. If this is an opportunity, what’s Iraq? A once-in-a-lifetime chance?"

In the long run, he and others warn, the situation could cement the perception that the United States is so pro-Israel that a new generation of Arab youth will grow up perceiving Americans as enemies. The internal pressure on friendly governments in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere could force them to distance themselves from Washington or crack down on domestic dissidents to keep power. In either case, Bush may have little leverage to press for democratic reforms.

Is it me or does that sound like the Bush Administration is actually making the United States, Israel, our other allies in Europe and South Asia and the Middle East less safe?  So where in the world is Joe Lieberman?

Does anyone else see the sheer idiocy of the Lieberman finger-wagging "no criticizing the President" malarky in the face of former members of the Administration’s diplomatic staff openly laughing at the lunacy of the President’s continued "see no mistakes, admit no mistakes" policy process?

Bob Geiger raises some issues today that is well worth discussing:

And how can the cost of Bush and his crew of miscreants making us the most despised nation in the world, and the effect that will have for the next generation of Americans, be quantified and measured? Certainly we’re far less secure now that you can fit the worldwide credibility of our intelligence services into a thimble and the diplomatic word of the United States isn’t worth squat anywhere in the world.

Looking at the media’s current big story — at the exclusion of the tragedy of Iraq — how much more could we be doing to broker peace in the Middle East if we hadn’t started a bogus war there ourselves and if our government had a sliver of credibility left with any other world leaders?

And how can the Corporate Media continue to ignore something this huge, obvious and devastating, while allowing those responsible to escape any accountability whatsoever?

Wouldn’t we all like to see some accountability from everyone who continues to pursue policies and actions which are making all of us less safe? Especially from those politicians and pundits who keep giving the Bush Administration cover and solace, enabling them to keep racking up failure after failure after failure.

And, if you were an enterprising reporter wouldn’t you be asking, every single chance that you got — where in the world is Joe Lieberman on all of this?

Just because Joe Lieberman told the rest of us to suck it up and keep our mouths shut, doesn’t mean he has to do the same. And a real reporter wouldn’t let him keep getting away with this game of dodgeball on so many important questions.