Vermont Progressives Morph Into Pro-War Party

Article by Thomas Naylor.

As evidence of Vermont’s strong anti-war stance, back in 2003 the entire Vermont Congressional Delegation voted against the resolution authorizing the war in Iraq. Nearly eight years later, it’s hard to believe that Senator Bernie Sanders, the darling of the Left, Senator Patrick Leahy, Congressman Peter Welch, and Progressive Party Burlington Mayor Bob Kiss are all palling around with Lockheed Martin, the world’s largest defense contractor.

Sanders, Kiss, and University of Vermont President Daniel Fogel are actively encouraging the U.S. government-owned Sandia National Laboratories to open a satellite laboratory in Vermont. Sandia, whose historical origins can be traced back to the Manhattan Project in World War II, designs, builds, and tests weapons of mass destruction. The Vermont laboratory envisaged by Sanders and Fogel would not be involved with nuclear weapons but rather would be engaged in projects related to energy efficiency, renewable energy, and electric grids. Sandia, interestingly enough, is operated under contract by Lockheed Martin. UVM has already been awarded a $1 million contract by the U.S. Energy Department as a down payment towards the “research partnership” between the University and Sandia.

Without any sense of irony whatsoever, Sanders now refers to himself as “the most progressive member of the U.S. Senate.” If that is actually true, then we are all in dire straits. Sanders’s Vermont constituents have shown little or no concern for the hypocrisy underlying his support for the Sandia project. It’s all about jobs.

Although Sanders, Leahy, and Welch pretend to be political liberals, they are, in fact, mindless pawns of the military-industrial-Congressional complex marching to the beat of the war drums of Wall Street, Corporate America, the Pentagon, and the Israeli military machine. They support: (1) all funding for the illegal wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, (2) the highly racist war on terror, (3) military aid for Israeli genocide against the Palestinians, (4) the deployment of Vermont National Guard troops abroad, and (5) the replacement of the Vermont Air National Guard’s F-16 fighter jets with Lockheed Martin F-35s which cost $115 million a pop.

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