Five days after Dean told supporters in New Mexico that "it's not our place to take sides" in the conflict, Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (Conn.) accused him of advocating a "major break" from the United States' long-standing policy of explicitly siding with Israel in the Middle East.
"If this is a well-thought-out position, it's a mistake, and a major break from a half a century of American foreign policy," Lieberman said in a statement. "If it's not, it's very important for Howard Dean, as a candidate for president, to think before he talks."
Sen. John F. Kerry (Mass.) said: "It is either because he lacks the foreign policy experience or simply because he is wrong that governor Dean has proposed a radical shift in United States policy towards the Middle East. If the president were to make a remark such as this it would throw an already volatile region into even more turmoil."
In an interview, Dean sought to clarify his statement but did not back down from his belief that the United State cannot negotiate peace unless it is seen as a neutral party in the region. "Israel has always been a longtime ally with a special relationship with the United States, but if we are going to bargain by being in the middle of the negotiations then we are going to have to take an evenhanded role," he said.
Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean has asked retired Army Gen. Wesley Clark to join his campaign, if the former NATO commander does not jump into the race himself next week, and the two men discussed the vice presidency at a weekend meeting in California, sources familiar with the discussions said.
Clark, in a telephone interview yesterday, said he did not want to comment about the private meeting. Asked about reports that the two men had discussed a wide range of issues, including endorsing Dean, joining the campaign, possible roles in a Dean administration and the vice presidency, he said only, "It was a complete tour of the horizon."
Best New Blog finalist - 2003 Koufax Awards
A non-violent, counter-dominant, left-liberal, possibly charismatic, quasi anarcho-libertarian Quaker's take on politics, volleyball, and other esoterica.
Lo alecha ha-m'lacha ligmor, v'lo atah ben chorin l'hibateyl mimenah.