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Lieberman's Loss and the New Labour Democrat PDF Print E-mail
Justice News
Sunday, 13 August 2006 06:14

Lieberman's Loss and the New Labour Democrat

JMC
- Jack Random - Given the radical agenda of George W. Bush, there remains hardly a distinction worth noting between Republicans and Democrats. Brush away the rhetoric and you are left with two parties who defend the mythology of just American wars, who value corporate sponsors over common citizens, who will not commit to a paradigm shift to save future generations from the ravages of a poisoned planet, and who are fully committed to the disastrous policies of global ?free trade.?

www.jazzmanchronicles.blogspot.com

BEWARE THE BLAIR DEMOCRATS:
THE LAMONT-LIEBERMAN DIVIDE

Jack Random

THE JAZZMAN CHRONICLES ? DISSEMINATE FREELY

August 13, 2006



The primary defeat of Joe Lieberman by newcomer Ned Lamont has been cast as a battle between the progressive elements of the Democratic Party and the moderates. Is that a fair and balanced assessment?

Lieberman?s constant whining that he is being held to an unfair standard, a litmus test on the war in Iraq, is reminiscent of the apologists for Lyndon Johnson: If not for Vietnam?

Indeed, divorcing Lieberman from the Bush war machine that has scattered victims from Kabul to Baghdad to Beirut and is still clamoring for Damascus and Tehran, is like granting Johnson and Nixon a pass on 57,000 American lives and literally millions of Vietnamese, Laotians and Cambodians. It is not only intellectually dishonest; it is an insult to the memory of the dead.

The only validity we can grant Lieberman?s argument is that he is only marginally more culpable than his pro-war Democratic colleagues.

Shall we absolve the Democratic leadership ? Clinton, Biden, Feinstein, Reid, et al ? because they have been less forthright than Lieberman? Is it sufficient to criticize the operation of the war machine and scapegoat the Secretary of Defense for the crimes of the commander?

Ned Lamont might be relieved to know that I am not a great fan. What I consider his shortcomings place him securely in the mainstream. For me, his moment arrived when the devastation of Lebanon began in a classic example of disproportionate retribution ? in many ways similar to America?s response to 9-11. It was an opportunity for Lamont to distinguish himself as a singular voice of reason by calling for an immediate ceasefire. He failed.

Joe Lieberman boasts that he has voted with his former party 90% of the time. When you consider the nature of the party and the number of procedural votes, it is not an impressive claim. We can be sure, however, that when it comes to the Israeli lobby, the senator has 100% compliance. Lamont signaled that he would not rock the boat and America will continue to forfeit its credibility in the Arab world.

Ned Lamont is not a beacon of democratic change; he is a modest prod to a party still in search of its opposition voice. To the antiwar movement, he represents the baseline of an acceptable candidate. Should he gain acceptance to the most elite gathering in American politics, he will be welcomed with open arms.

Next to Lieberman and the Democratic leadership, however, Lamont is a giant who will have few peers in opposition to the most reckless, dangerous and incompetent administration in modern American history.

What does that tell us about the Democratic Party? In a political environment where the divergence of the major parties, despite the volatile issues of the times, has been reduced to nuance, it was hardly surprising to see Clinton, Dodd and Schumer rallying to Lieberman?s desperate, last minute cry for help. It was encouraging that Feingold, Kerry and Gore did not join them. It was discouraging that Boxer and Obama did.

Given the radical agenda of George W. Bush, there remains hardly a distinction worth noting between Republicans and Democrats. Brush away the rhetoric and you are left with two parties who defend the mythology of just American wars, who value corporate sponsors over common citizens, who will not commit to a paradigm shift to save future generations from the ravages of a poisoned planet, and who are fully committed to the disastrous policies of global ?free trade.?

As we approach the midterm election, we are once again asked to moderate our expectations.

Even as the death toll mounts and the elected leaders of Baghdad are emboldened to oppose our policies and tactics, we must not demand an immediate withdrawal. We must settle for a conditional redeployment and a hearty debate on a ?date certain.?

Even as American bombs decimate Lebanon, creating a backlash of bitter resentment, we must never question the actions of Israel.

We must never challenge the ?war on terror,? employing the hammer of shock and awe when the scalpel of intelligence, cooperation and targeted action would be infinitely more effective. We must never admit that any of our declared enemies ever have a legitimate grievance.

We must not demand a societal shift away from toxic fuels toward renewable energies, comprehensive mass transit, innovative technologies and intelligent energy design. We must be content with incremental fuel efficiency standards and token tax incentives paired with ?clean coal? and nuclear expansion.

We must not remember New Orleans and demand that the people be enabled to return by employing them in the rebuilding of their own city.

As our president waves the flag of democracy, we must not acknowledge its betrayal in Haiti, Venezuela, Mexico, Palestine, Ohio and Florida. Democracy only counts when it favors corporate interests.

We must never look back at the dysfunctional state we left behind in Afghanistan. We must hold to the belief that invasion and occupation was the proper response to a terrorist attack. We must not call for an alternative approach: international cooperation and intelligence operations in isolating and eliminating terrorist threats without destroying nations or undermining civil liberties, as the British and Pakistanis did in uncovering the recent ?sky bomb? plot.

We must not demand an end to the NAFTA-CAFTA ?free trade? policies that ravage the world?s environment, lock workers everywhere into perpetual poverty, and will inevitably render the American middle class a nostalgic memory. We must accept inevitability and hope that education and technology can somehow compensate for the global extermination of organized labor.

Finding a Democrat to champion the cause is reminiscent of Britain?s Labour Party loyalists holding their noses as they voted once more for the leadership of Tony Blair. It is a shame they did not have the courage to vote Liberal Democrat but the Brits are not unlike their American counterparts. They are subject to political machinations and responsive to fear mongering.

How terribly ironic that the world?s greatest ally in the Bush war on terror should be a tried and true liberal with a sound socialist philosophical upbringing.

The world may never change until we stop placing our faith in politicians that value power over every other consideration, including truth, justice, peace and integrity.

One of my greatest fears (second only to a continuation of neocon reign) is that we will switch parties without changing course. LBJ was a Democrat, Bill Clinton was a neocon enabler, Albert Gore chose Joe Lieberman as his running mate, and Tony Blair was a workingman?s liberal.

Beware.

Jazz.

JACK RANDOM IS THE AUTHOR OF THE JAZZMAN CHRONICLES (CROW DOG PRESS) AND GHOST DANCE INSURRECTION (DRY BONES PRESS). THE CHRONICLES HAVE APPEARED ON DISSIDENT VOICE, THE ALBION MONITOR, BUZZLE, PEACE-EARTH-JUSTICE AND COUNTERPUNCH. SEE RANDOM JACK: WWW.JAZZMANCHRONICLES.BLOGSPOT.COM.

Last Updated on Sunday, 13 August 2006 06:14
 

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