More headlines: Joseph Lieberman on War & Peace

(Following are older quotations. Click here for main quotations.)

US helped depose Milosevic and should continue to help Serbs

Q: If Milosevic prevails, would you support his overthrow?

LIEBERMAN: The encouraging news is that the state news agency is reporting that Mr. Kostunica is the president-elect and there are reports that Milosevic has actually left Belgrade. That is a very happy ending to a terrible story. If that does not happen, then I think the United States, with its European allies, ought to everything we can to encourage the people of Serbia to do exactly what they’ve been doing over the last few days. I’m very proud on this night of the leadership role the United States played in the effort to stop his aggression and genocide in Bosnia and Kosovo. It was a matter of principle and America’s national interests and values. Vice President Gore played a critical role in leading the administration to do the right thing in the Balkans. Hopefully tonight we are seeing the final results of that bold effort.

Source: Vice-Presidential debate Oct 5, 2000

Co-sponsored breaking the UN embargo on Bosnia

The one time Lieberman challenged the Clinton administration on a major foreign policy matter was in 1995, when he and Bob Dole cosponsored legislation requiring the president to break the United Nations embargo on sending arms to Bosnia.
Source: David E. Rosenbaum, NY Times, p. A19 Aug 8, 2000

In US vital interest to support NATO and use of force

Citing the vital interests at stake in Kosovo, Lieberman cosponsored a bipartisan resolution in the Senate authorizing the President to use “all necessary force and other means” to achieve victory, possibly including the deployment of ground troops. On the Senate floor, Liberman said:
I hope and pray that NATO ground forces are not needed, I hope common sense, sanity, will prevail in government in Belgrade. But it would be irresponsible not to prepare NATO’s forces now for their potential deployment.

While we all pray for peace in the Balkans, I think it is important that the peace be a principled peace. NATO has clearly stated objectives here, and we can settle for nothing less than the attainment of those objectives, which are reasonable -- that the Serbian invaders be withdrawn from Kosovo; that the Kosovars be allowed to return; and that there be an international peacekeeping force, to monitor that peace that we will have achieved.

Source: Press Release, “All Necessary Force” Apr 20, 1999

Send uncompromising message to Milosevic

I am proud to propose the Kosova Self Defense Act of 1999, legislation that would provide funding to help arm and train the Kosovars to repel further aggression by the Yugoslav forces. I hope this plan never needs to be implemented. I hope we never need to appropriate the money we would authorize with this bill. Indeed, I hope Slobodan Milosevic soon realizes that it would be in his and the Serbian people’s best interests to accept the Rambouillet Agreement and end the violence in Serbia. All the people in Serbia deserve the promise of peace and a chance to rebuild their lives and their communities.

However, if, after extended air strikes, it becomes clear that Milosevic intends to continue his war of aggression against the Kosovar people, we must have an answer to the question of what next. The bill sends an uncompromising message to Milosevic: we will not stand idly by and allow Milosevic to brutalize the people of Kosovo any longer.

Source: Senate statement, “Kosova Self Defense” Mar 25, 1999

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