Lieberman Frustrated By Allies' Reluctance To Back Iraq Strike
By John Bisney/CNN
WASHINGTON (Feb. 13) -- A member of the Senate Armed Services Committee says he is puzzled and frustrated about the lack of support from allies and Iraq's Arab neighbors for a U.S. military strike against Saddam Hussein.
Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.) argues Iraq is breaking promises made to the world community, including Russia, through the United Nations. "It's not just the United States that's threatened by chemical and biological weapons in Iraq; in fact, it's not first the United States . It's the moderate Arab countries, it's Israel, it's even more closely our allies in Europe."
Lieberman also calls Thursday's dressing-down of Defense Secretary William Cohen by his Russian counterpart "outrageous, uncalled for, and unnecessarily provocative."
Thursday, Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev publicly rebuked Cohen for what he called Washington's "tough and uncompromising" stance. He said bilateral defense ties could suffer if there was a U.S. strike on Iraq, although Friday the two defense chiefs concentrated on areas of cooperation, including nuclear security and arms control.
Lieberman also expressed confidence the Senate will approve a resolution of support for military action when lawmakers return next week. Disagreements among members over the appropriate level of force has stalled that statement.