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How Lamont is Blowing It

Bill Clinton Rushes to Lieberman’s Rescue

by STANLEY HELLER

How fitting. Joe Lieberman brings in the reinforcements. On July 25 Bill Clinton came to Waterbury, Connecticut. Mr. Iraqi Sanctions. Mr. Bomb Them to Send Saddam a Message. Mr. Eliminate Welfare as We Know it. Mr. NAFTA Will Protect Your Job. Mr.Lie About Camp David. Mr. There is No Gulf War Syndrome. Mr. Bomb Khartoum and They’ll Forget About Monica.

They say Clinton has rock star popularity, testament to the fact that millions of middle class airheads have made the rebellious rock of the ’60′s the bubble gum music of today. Rap rules. But I digress.

Bill came to cheer on his former mentor, Joe "Mr. Morality" Lieberman. The state’s senior senator is behind in the polls to millionaire businessman Ned Lamont. Lamont is tapping into heavy CT sentiment against the Iraq war. Why pick on Joe, Bill says. "No Democrat is responsible for the mistakes that have been made since the fall of Saddam." Really? They vote the money to prolong the war, don’t they? They push for more war by screaming constantly about Iran and Syria, don’t they?

And what about the mistakes before the fall of Saddam, like John Kerry refusing to let Scott Ritter testify at the Foreign Relations Committee, like Bill Clinton’s own "mistake" of killing half a million Iraqi children when he knew Saddam had absolutely nothing in the way of WMD?

Still I think Lamont is blowing it. Lieberman is pressing full steam ahead supporting the Israeli blitzkrieg while Lamont’s position is like ten day old celery. Lieberman is in tune with CNN and Fox and the newly invigorated War Against Terror. The only way to deal with this is with a full scale counterattack. But Lamont? He’s waiting for the Lebanon invasion to blow over.

Lamont won’t say one word of criticism of Israel. Instead his "criticism" is to fault the president for concentrating on Iraq and not dealing with the Israeli-Palestinian situation. That’s it. In his one press statement on the subject after weeks of mad bombing he doesn’t even call for a ceasefire. He lamely talks about the need to reengage "after the fighting stops" And how about this brave statement, "It is not for the United States to dictate to Israel how it defends itself." The Geneva Convention? Never heard of it. Lamont says the "cycle of violence" has to end based on Security Council Resolution #1559 on Lebanon. The 60 or 70 Security Council resolutions Israel defies? Forget about it.

The state’s AFL-CIO was up on the podium with Joe and Bill. It formally calls for "rapid withdrawal" from Iraq and a scattering of its leaders have spoken at anti-war rallies, but the immolation of 2,500 American working class stiffs in Iraq evidently is just one issue among many. You see Joe has delivered for labor. He fought hard to keep the Groton sub base open, so vital to our defense against .wait.waitit will come to me. That Joe went for NAFTA and all the other sell-out bills on trade doesn’t seem to matter. That Joe and Bill never changed the labor laws to improve labor’s ability to organize is swept under the table.

I suppose if only middle class whites go to the polls Lamont might win. I don’t see anything in his campaign to appeal to minorities. He says nothing about immigration even though hundreds of Latino citizens might become active if their relatives weren’t branded "illegal aliens". He says a word or two about support for affirmative action, but not a sentence about the generation of black youth languishing in Bill Clinton’s prisons. [When Clinton took office one in four black men were in some way in the clutches of the criminal justice system, when he left it was up to one in three.] American schools have re-segregated. They’re as ethnically isolated now as they were in 1975. Hartford public schools are all minority despite a ten or 15 year struggle in the courts. But that’s a non-issue.

It is emotionally satisfying to think that Joe Lieberman can be defeated. Vice-presidential candidate in 2000, out the door in 2006Wow. But what do we get if Lamont wins? We once again give new life to the illusion that the Democratic Party can become a peace party or a workers party. How many times are we going to fall for that scam? The Democrats are totally in thrall to corporate interests, hack politicians and fanatic Zionist moneybags. Trade unions pony up tens of millions for the party and are rewarded with an ever smaller return. (In eight years of Clinton-Lieberman they received a parental leave act. Whoopie!)

There is another candidate running for Senate in CT. He’s a truck driver who delivers for a cookie corporation. His name is Ralph Ferrucci and he’s running as a Green. He understands the health insurance issue, because he doesn’t have any. When Israel starts an invasion or blows a family to smithereens Ferrucci is out on the streets with us protesting.

The Greens have to go out and get signatures on petitions to get on the ballot. The deadline is the day after the Democratic primary. They’ve collected 11,000 names so far and are confident of getting on the ballot. Ferrucci vs. Lieberman. Now that’s a contest!

STANLEY HELLER is an activist on Middle East issues. On politics he and Mazin Qumsiyeh moderate the site StoptheWarPolitics.com. For comments write to stan@stopthewarpolitics.com