Corridors of Power: Lieberman, the Vatican’s Choice, Sarko at NATO and More

Corridors of Power: Lieberman, the Vatican’s Choice, Sarko at NATO and More

TRAVELS WITH JOE -- Sen. Joe Lieberman told Italian guests at a recent American Embassy dinner in Rome that Barack Obama would, in his view, be the Democratic presidential candidate, but that John McCain would win the November presidential election. Embassy staffers speculated to one guest that if McCain does get the White House, Lieberman would be his Secretary of Defense.

Lieberman made a side trip to Rome while traveling with McCain in Europe and the Middle East. He said he had met Vatican officials and discussed Iraq. Pope Benedict XVI is deeply concerned over the plight of Iraq's Christians who are being persecuted by Shiite extremists, and the Vatican has been pressing the Bush admnistration and the Iraqi government to give them more protection.

Half the Christian population of around one million has already fled the country in the face of violent attacks on themselves and willful damage to their churches. Last month, a bishop of the Chaldean rite was kidnapped and later died in captivity, apparently from a heart attack. Last week, a Presbyterian elder was killed in Mosul, an Assyrian Orthodox priest was killed in Baghdad, and a Chaldean priest was abducted.

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