Monday, February 12, 2007

Big Lie Worked For Phony Joe

Courtesy of
My Left Nutmeg
The Stamford Advocate and Greenwich Time published a lengthy op-ed on Friday titled Senator, no one wants to end this war more than we do and subtitled "False Promise" by Robin Winick and Ann Galloway, dedicated activists from Greenwich and Stamford, respectively.
Winick and Galloway forwarded their op-ed to MLN.


Politician Challenged To Face Constituents In Public Forum


In November Senator Lieberman was swept into office in unusual and questionable circumstances. After losing the Democratic Primary in August and defying the honorable tradition of throwing his support to the winner, he continued to run for the Senate seat as an "Independent Democrat," representing the Connecticut for Lieberman Party, a party of one, quickly disbanded after the election. The party, in short, was a sham, as was his last-minute recorded message to voters the night before the election in which he claimed that no one wanted to end the war in Iraq more than he did. What that short (and devious) message did not convey was his actual intent: To end the war only when victory is achieved, a goal the vast majority of the military and his fellow congressmen think is now out of the question. Having achieved re-election, he remained intent on listening only to the president, instead of to the vast majority of his constituents in Connecticut (Democrats, Republicans, and Independents alike).

It is important to note that the majority of those who voted for Lieberman from both parties as well as those like the signatories to this letter, who did not vote for him, oppose prolonging the war in Iraq by increasing the number of troops. Most informed citizens do not think an increase in troop levels will improve the situation; and in this respect we are in agreement with Colin Powell, General Abizaid, the Iraq Study Group, and the overwhelming majority of Lieberman's Senate colleagues. The 15,000 additional troops sent to Baghdad last summer served only to increase the death toll. As John Murtha said months ago, our troops are now part of the problem, not the solution; and they are increasingly being drawn into the quagmire of civil war and even instances of ethnic cleansing. Seen by over 70 percent of Iraqis as an occupying force, our troops are the intended victims of violence day in and day out.

Our troops have become trapped in chaos in a war-of-choice that was sold to the American people through deception and perpetuated through propaganda directed at our country's own citizens; initiated with no strategic planning; and waged with vast quantities of money squandered on private military contractors, beholden to no one. It also is a war fought on the cheap, with no regard for our troops who went off to battle without proper armor, without adequate hardware for their vehicles, without clean water or proper food rations. The big winners in this outrageous mess are Halliburton and its subsidiaries whose profits have skyrocketed obscenely, and Iran.

George Bush continues to fight, not for the Iraqis, not for those who have died fighting, not for the concepts of democracy and freedom (both of which he does not understand) but for his legacy. He desperately needs a win; but our country needs to be released from this frightful, brutal, costly and embarrassing debacle from which victory can never emerge. It is now time for traditional diplomacy and humanitarian assistance.

Since 2001, Senator Lieberman has supported Bush's misguided, ill-advised and disastrous foreign policy ventures that have inflamed the Middle East, divided Americans at home, and created an overwhelming negative attitude toward Americans around the world. His support for the Military Commissions Act is an especially egregious betrayal of our belief in the supremacy of the Constitution and an almost universal belief that international agreements, such as the Geneva Conventions, are sacrosanct.

Joe Lieberman has touted his ability to compromise with Republicans in the past; yet The New York Times suggested in its editorial endorsing Ned Lamont that his so-called compromises were, in fact, capitulations. He also continually trumpets his independence and claims that he is above partisan wrangling; but he holds over the head of all his constituents and colleagues in the Senate the prospect of becoming a Republican if he doesn't get his way, thereby throwing the Senate to the Republicans after voters throughout the country made their choice very clear in the November election.

We, the signatories, demand that Senator Lieberman put the collective values of the United States of America before his (discredited) neoconservative foreign policy agenda and personal career goals. That would represent true statesmanship. We also call upon him to hold a forum for his constituents, so that, face-to-face, we may challenge his claim that "There should not be any shock about the position I'm taking now," a reference to his complete support for Bush's policy to escalate the war, and his call to constituents to rally behind the president in open defiance of the Iraq Study Group's bi-partisan proposal. And we demand that he represent his constituents and fulfill his hurried election pledge, even though this pledge was made ONLY to ensure re-election and does not represent his views.

Lieberman's last words, blasted via the phone into our homes the night before the election were: "No one wants to end this war more than I do," words that are truly specious and shameful. If he were honest and thought his cause truly just, he would have had the guts to say: "No one wants to win this war more than I do." But then he would have lost the election.

Robin Winick and Ann Galloway are residents of Greenwich and Stamford, respectively. The following constituents have read and endorse this piece: Marianne Schorer, Greenwich; Clifford Schorer, Greenwich; Michael Toto, Redding; Deborah Brault, Danbury; Harriet Scureman, Norwalk; John Orman, Trumbull, Chair, Connecticut for Lieberman Party; Brian Schwartz, Norwalk; Larry Winick, Greenwich; Scott Kimmich, Wilton DTC; Kate Tepper, Wilton; Winthrop R. Adkins, Greenwich, professor emeritus, Columbia University, Teachers College; Caroline M. Adkins, Greenwich, professor emeritus, Hunter College, City University of New York; Jane Milliken, Greenwich; Paul Rudd, Greenwich; Linda Arden, Stamford; Peter E. Berg, Greenwich; John W. Howard, Greenwich; Marke Rubenstein, Stamford; Roy Fuchs, Trumbull; Leslie Weinberg, Stamford; Steven Gottschalk, Wilton.

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