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« Morning Newspaper, Coffee... and a Bible? (Sujatha) | Main | Art, People, Beer and Matt »

May 18, 2008


Joe, I saw the article this morning. Thanks for posting it.

Although I have never heard McCain explain what he means by "when Americans soldiers stop dying" in defining "victory" in Iraq, I suspect what he means is that when the soldiers stop dying, American voters will stop complaining about the war. So the occupation can go on for 5, 10 or 100 years and no one will care about the morality of the action as long as no American dies.

Here is the most interesting theory about McCain's bi-polar "Pollyanna-hawk" outlook on war and peace:

... some of them have pointed out that McCain, who was shot down and captured in 1967, spent the worst and most costly years of the war sealed away, both from the rice paddies of Indochina and from the outside world. During those years, McCain did not share the disillusioning and morally jarring experiences of soldiers like Kerry, Webb and Hagel, who found themselves unable to recognize their enemy in the confusion of the jungle; he never underwent the conversion that caused Kerry, for one, to toss away some of his war decorations during a protest at the Capitol. Whatever anger McCain felt remained focused on his captors, not on his own superiors back in Washington.

I do not know if this psychological theory holds up. But the man is nuts - all those blows to the head and face during captivity, as his own Republican critics have slyly alleged?

Since we have been so pre-occupied with the quibble between Hillary and Obama, many McCain "gems" are going unnoticed. Even when he reads woodenly from a prepared speech on the tele-prompter he utters some truly baffling (and sometimes contradictory) statements. I heard him say during a speech on healthcare something to the effect that rather than expect the government to intervene on behalf of citizens' health and well being, we should all "eat well and exercise (take long walks)" to reduce costs of health care! Which is all fine and dandy as common sense advice, but has the man never heard of accidents, emergencies, cancer, genetic defects and propensity for disease?

I can't wait to see Obama (or in case the impossible happens, Clinton) stand side by side and debate McCain. Either Democrat, especially Obama, will for sure need a running mate with military credentials, preferably a Vietnam vet. So we can forget about gender balance on the ticket (Obama/ Hillary or Hillary/ Obama is out of the question). The choice will have to be an older white man with war or foreign policy experience ... unless Obama decides to really go out on a limb and run with Colin Powell!

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