Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Honorable Joe Liberman

Retired Senator Joseph Lieberman 
Despite all the partisanship and polarization in Congress in all issues, I did not see it with regard to Israel.
There are still shared goals between Israel and America.
The first part of the talk:
a. Israel  Ben Gurion said, "If you don't believe in miracles you are not a realist."
God's hand was in the rebirth of Israel.
People, of course, made it happen, with christian political leaders too. Balfour, Truman etc. 
There is a balance of God empowering and human actions bringing it to a reality. You need both. Faith in God and in ourselves. 
For Israel it is the best of times. Economy, world class military and intelligence culture.
Worst of times-Islamic Republic of Iran that threatens Israel. Lieberman is a realist which makes him a pessimist.
2003 Iran had no stockpiles of enriched uranium. Today it has 6 tons of enriched uranium to 5% purity which could lead to making 5 bombs. Plutonium enrichment plant going. it is not a game changer but a world changer for the US, Europe and Israel.,
Syria: the Iranian regime knows they must prop up Assad. He is their only ally.  Lieberman has met with the Syrian opposition. He thought they were nationalists seeking better economic conditions. Mistake: US stood back and let Assad brutalize the citizens and didn't help the opposition.
The gap we  It's late but not too late to make a difference for US policy.
What can we do about these enormous geopolitical developments?
Lieberman thinks we can still make a difference towards influencing US policy.
a. don't take miracles of Israel's existence for granted.
b. support leaders of both parties who will support Israel and oppose Iran
c. work to create ties between Christians and Jews to support Israel.
d. the freedom of Jews in the US. unprecedented in Jewish history. This is connected to our understanding to working for Israel.
e. find ways to strengthen opposition to Assad.
f. even stronger sanctions against Iran.

Questions to Lieberman and his comments:
the worst choice is to let Assad stay in power.
He believes that most congressional reps want to make a difference and get work done. but what is missing is compromise. It is a value that has been subsumed under ideological fervor.
Trust is missing and the people have lost confidence in the government. He wishes there was third party in the political process of American life.
He is concerned for America's credibility and its ability to help in the world when America appears to turn away from involvement in the Middle East especially in Syria and Egypt.
He thinks that in Egypt the military was acting in the best interest of the country recognizing what the Morsi government was doing to the country. Democracy is about process and its about results too.
Morsi was doing everything to suppress human rights and political rights.
Truthfully Egypt is not at the top of the agenda of most congressional legislators these days.

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