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With Spear And Magic Helmet?

liebermansunglasses.jpgVia Crooks and Liars, this McClatchy article on Sen. Joe Liberman (I-CT) and his recent trip to Baghdad caught my eye. Seems Joe and I have a lot in common, since I, too, always go shopping with a large armed retinue at taxpayer expense, station some hidden snipers along my shopping route, while wearing a large helmet and flak jacket ensemble, don't you?  (And is it me, or are Lieberman and McCain starting to look an awful lot like a Bobbsey Twins redux?)

After looking at this photo of Senator Lieberman, though, a recurring visual kept running through my brain.  Have you ever seen the Bugs Bunny cartoon wherein Bugs and Elmer Fudd spoof on Wagner's Ring opera? The one with Elmer Fudd and his spear and magic helmet? 

Yep, that's the one.  (Via Youtube.  Cue the snickering….now.)

What isn't funny?  The fact that the McClatchy reporter appears to have cared enough to dig out some honest discussion from the soldiers stationed in Baghdad — and that he doesn't know whether or not Joe Lieberman bothered to do the same.  To wit:

Spc. David Williams, 22, of Boston, Mass., had two note cards in his pocket Wednesday afternoon as he waited for Sen. Joseph Lieberman. Williams serves in the 82nd Airborne Division from Fort Bragg, N.C., the first of the five "surge" brigades to arrive in Iraq, and he was chosen to join the Independent from Connecticut for lunch at a U.S. field base in Baghdad.

The night before, 30 other soldiers crowded around him with questions for the senator.

He wrote them all down. At the top of his note card was the question he got from nearly every one of his fellow soldiers:

"When are we going to get out of here?"

The rest was a laundry list. When would they have upgraded Humvees that could withstand the armor-penetrating weapons that U.S. officials claim are from Iran? When could they have body armor that was better in hot weather?

Williams missed six months of his girlfriend's pregnancy when he was given six days' notice to return to Iraq for his second tour. He also missed his baby boy's birth. Three weeks ago, he went home and saw his first child.

"He looks just like me," he said. "I didn't want to come back. . . . We're waiting to get blown up."…

"I don't want him to snap his fingers to get things fixed," Williams said, referring to Lieberman. "But he has influence."…

But as he waited two chairs down from where Lieberman would sit, Hedin said he'd never voice his true feelings to the senator.

"I think I'd be a private if I did," he joked. "It's just more troops, more targets."

In the past two months, the unit has lost two men. In May alone, at least 120 U.S. troops died in Iraq, the bloodiest month in 2007 and the highest number since the battles of Fallujah in 2004.

Spc. Kevin Krasco, 20, of Medford, Mass., and Spc. Kevin Adams, 20, of Moosup, Conn., chimed in with their dismay before turning the conversation to baseball.

"It's like everything else in this war," Adams said, referring to Baghdad. "It hasn't changed."  

Yes, but on whose behalf will Sen. Lieberman use his "influence" — his own ego and reputation and that of his BFFs John McCain and George Bush? Or on behalf of the soldiers and their families from Connecticut and everywhere else across the country. Now that is the question, isn't it? If some journalist with access to Sen. Lieberman could follow-up on this, it would be much appreciated. 

(Via Yahoo, AP Photo/Sgt. Curt Cashour, US Army, HO)

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Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com