Alhurra’s Inside Washington aired an interview with Senator Joseph Lieberman on April 16, 2011. Senator Lieberman discussed the situation in Libya, challenges facing the U.S. and the misconceptions about the United States in the Middle East. Hosted by Robert Satloff, Inside Washington is a weekly program that gives viewers an in-depth look at the political process in Washington.
Lieberman on the multi-national intervention in Libya
The precedent should be that when we believe that a government has stopped protecting its own people; in fact, [it] has turned on its own people and is about to murder a lot of them, then the world community can’t just sit back and let that happen. And, you know, this is the accumulation of experiences that the world has had watching things like that happen or come in too late. So I do feel good that when the United States, working with our allies in the Arab world and in Europe, began this action, a coalition action, that we really did stop Gadhafi from carrying out what I believe would have been a massacre.
Lieberman on the most serious security threats facing the U.S.
In a direct and immediate sense, I’d say the form of extremism, Islamist extremism, represented by al-Qaeda and Iran. It’s also, of course, the greatest threat to the security, as it happens, of the Arab world, in my opinion, because it doesn’t represent anything but a fraction of the Arab world. If you ask me what the greatest longer-term, broader threat to American security is, I would give you perhaps an unexpected answer. And it is America’s debt or our fiscal irresponsibility, the fact that we’re spending so much more money than we’re taking in…and we simply can’t remain a great nation or a safe nation unless we begin to close that gap.
Lieberman on the misconceptions about the United States
I think there are a lot of people in the Arab street who think that America is anti-Arab or anti-Muslim. That’s wrong. It’s profoundly wrong. I mean, we have a growing Arab and Muslim population, Muslims from all over the world. They’re greatly integrated in American society. They’re respected. They’re making great contributions to our country. So, I wish we could convey that. That is a misimpression.