Saturday, March 29, 2008

An irresponsible McCain topped only by Cheney.

I find it incredible that many Americans do not understand that our financial capacity is limited. No matter how productive we are, we will have to eventually balance our books. If your family overspends and is irresponsible about money, you are going to going to bankrupt yourself. We are blindly far along on the way.

Social Security and Medicare will soon run out of money. We have no practical health insurance systems, and millions of our citizens who deserve care, don't get it. Our infrastructure is a mess, with rotting roads and bridges. The air in many of our cities is dangerous. Rural parts of some states resemble a third world country, and nothing has changed there in 50 years. Our educational and health care system are far from the best in the world.

This dismal financial state derives in large part from the incredible past and ongoing cost of the misguided Iraq war. Our best SECURITY is a strong economy. No army can achieve this. The fortune our citizens have been led to waste could have transformed America. Instead many are losing their homes. Why is there not rioting in the streets?

Vice President Cheney his good reason for his insane smirk. He and his cronies successfully lied, created a war, and sold it to our modestly intellectually gifted, incurious and poorly educated President. The poor fellow doesn’t realize he’s been duped as badly as the rest of us. History is going to be astonished at what the American citizenry permitted in the first years of the new millennium.

Certain corporate fat cats have become astronomically richer -- while you suffer. Amazingly, people's finances may have been ruined and yet those same folks would still vote for the policies that have ruined them. Dicky and Donny lied when they said the war “would pay for itself.” It has only enriched a VAST army of “private contractors” and mercenaries with connections to the highest places in our government. Just the cost of repatriating our wounded for the next 30 or more years, would break a lesser country. No one counts the individual cost of the many thousands of emotionally damaged men returning to their families with virtually incurable PTSD.

Numerous documentaries on the lead up to the war, with video bites, appear now on television. FRONTLINE has presented a two hour PBS special which is overwhelming and heartbreaking. There's no arguing with its unbearable logic, because a history of blind stupidity flows from the mouths of those who perpetrated it. Every voting American should see it -- and then they did they might think ten times before voting for John McCain.

The tragedy is that while every single error was performed in public, in full view of cameras, and recorded for all time, no one paid attention. In a hundred years people will watch our arrogantly smiling president arrive on an aircraft carrier in full combat flight regalia to announce the end of a "war we had won” – and wonder if we had all lost our minds.

When recently confronted with the fact that 70% of Americans believe “Bush's war” is and was a mistake, Vice President Cheney’s response was, "So?" Many video clips are available in which he said with ABSOLUTE certainty that Iraq has, or soon will have nuclear capacity and that they are a haven for terror. What kind of psychopath could condemn this nation, in cold blood, to a ruined economy and 4 thousand useless deaths?

One wants to dress the cowardly, chubby fellow in body armor and shove him into the middle of a firefight. How far have we sunk that our second most important leader is so disdainful of the people he has been elected to represent? The man's hands are soiled with blood from our children who have died in his phony war, and he neither notices the red stain, or smells it.

Do we really intend our government to be run as Bush and Cheney tell us it is? Is it democracy that once we make a decision, we are in for four years of having our input ignored? Remember what happened in Germany when the citizens elected a group who cleverly disguised their purpose by naming their party "buddies." That's the Bavarian slang translation of Nazi.

An immense propaganda machine kept the truth from the German people until nearly the end of the war. Germany was finished, but when the aristocrat, Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg failed to assassinate Hitler, a substantial majority of Germans were relieved. It is that easy to fool people! Bombs were destroying everything – yet they still believed they would prevail, because their insane and perverse leaders told them so.

Von Stauffenberg failed because he didn't have the courage to become a suicide bomber. He pushed his lethal briefcase as close to der Fuhrer, as he dared, then left the room. Hitler moved, unknowingly shielding himself with the heavy oak table. He survived and Von Stauffenberg and his fellow plotters were torn to pieces.

It is our job as citizens to make sure we are not again fooled, as Bush and Cheney’s government fooled us. To that end it is instructive to watch Senator McCain in action. Lost in acting out some ancient, tragic war between himself, his father and grandfather, he cares NOTHING for what his fellow Americans think. In a performance, seeking votes, he is cleverly beginning to shift his rhetoric towards the center. Consistency of his beliefs matter for nothing. He will shift again as is suits him. How can we believe such a man?

I believe justice is acting itself out in Cheney's lifetime. The man must live in a nightmare. Unlovable, remote and unloving -- frigid and unapproachable. The blank, self-satisfied smirk tells us everything. Just ask his wife and children. I had a father who was pathologically driven by money. He sits alone at 99, spending all of his still substantial mental energy creating denial around his ruthless crimes. My guess is that within days of being out of office Bush will be back on the bottle.

I received an e-mail a few days ago saying that Senator McCain's latest spending report, filed by his own campaign, shows he has spent in excess of $58 million -- a public admission by his own managers that he has broken the law. The senders of the e-mail say they have filed a formal complaint with the Federal Election Commission, and wanted me to sign-on for a second delivery of signatures.

But we have a far greater problem than the theft by McCain of four million dollars. The bedrock that has made this country strong is absolute separation of church and state. The terrific HBO series on John Adams reminds once again of the fortuitous coming together of brilliant, dedicated men, who wanted to create a new kind of country. Do we have today anyone in government approaching the love of freedom that Thomas Jefferson had? Had had a man of that quality appeared recently, he would have been torn to pieces by sociopaths like Karl Rove.

During the last 50 years the influence of the religious right has grown all out of proportion to common sense. We do not vote our financial self-interest, our social conscience, our environment or anything logical. We vote out of superstition and fear. This is exactly what got Germany in trouble in the 30s. The Nazis made a clever pact with the Vatican, which drew the substantial Catholic vote, and they also evoked Germany's mystical, spiritual heritage.

The Bush fiasco can be directly related to the votes of right wing religious fanatics. There is no middle ground with these people. They are not "Americans" -- using the term the way our founding fathers might have. If you're not with them you're against them. And God help you if you're a Jew. Who's God might that be?

At heart Senator McCain is one of these unthinking fanatics. He has repeatedly said he’d support the overturning of Roe v. Wade. Do the majority of Americans want such a man choosing our next Supreme Court Justice? We must not elect our leaders because of their superstitious beliefs. I don't believe President Bush who, no doubt, longs for a shot every day, is a religious person. It is not religious to have your hands reddened with the blood of 4000 young men. The "god" who tells him what to do has been leading him astray. I see no sign on his or Cheney's face of remorse. And, of course, we don't see Donald Rumsfeld anymore.

Since 1983 Senator McCain has cast 125 anti-choice votes out of 130 opportunities. Do you want your daughter having a ratty, backstreet abortion? It doesn't matter to these guys, they have money. If one of their daughters gets pregnant, they will ship her to where it's legal to get a safe abortion. Not so for the poor inner-city kid.

It gets worse. Senator McCain has never cosponsored or supported legislation that would prevent unintended pregnancy to reduce the need for abortion. We can’t allow John McCain become our next president if we value women's reproductive freedom!

Senator McCain is only "your friend" if you permit him to ship your kid overseas to be blown apart in an unwinnable war. He is only "your friend" if you agree, should your daughter make a common mistake and become pregnant, that she has to have an illegal abortion or carry the child to term. The psychological consequences for our country, and its effect this man could have on our young women, are beyond imagination. We don't have time or energy for another disastrous four years.

During a quarter century in Congress, that jovial looking fellow, hugging President Bush, and asking for your vote, has shown nothing but contempt for women's reproductive freedoms. We must stop him from taking his contempt for choice to the next level!

Then there is his ability, when called upon, perhaps under pressure, to make the correct decision. He is no doubt the most experienced candidate in foreign affairs. But that experience has led to a series of dangerous mistakes. Experience is only valuable if it is accompanied by good judgement.

In an article on March 23, 2008, in the LA Times, Bob Drogin analyzes John McCain's errors around the Iraq war. The Senator publicly predicted a quick and easy victory, supporting those who set up the mess we are in. This experienced warrior, a product of our finest military training, was clueless about what many knew would become a vicious insurgency.

Senator McCain joined those issuing warnings about Saddam Hussein's supposed weapons of mass destruction. But this powerful member of the leadership of the free world didn't bother reading the full 2002 National Intelligence Estimate that showed serious gaps in the intelligence. Neither, incidentally, did Hillary Clinton.

These folks were elected to protect us. Before aiding and abetting a decision to go to war, don't you think they might have done due diligence? You would certainly read the full contract before buying a home.

Though Senator McCain eventually criticized the Bush administration's management in Iraq and clashed repeatedly with Rumsfeld, he backed many of their same policies. He repeatedly urged backing Iraqi √©migr√© groups, internal dissidents and other forces to overthrow Hussein. As a senior member of the Senate armed Services committee, which oversees the Pentagon, the old soldier’s views carried power. They would carry much more as president.

The LA Times article runs down a series of miscalculations and misjudgments by Senator McCain in the period leading up to the war. He told MSNBC that it is "possible, if not probable, that internal opposition forces can prevail over time." When asked if it wouldn't require 100,000 US soldiers as occupational troops, this highly trained military man demurred. "Oh, no," he said. "I don't think so at all." Sadam had a huge army keeping a lid on his divided country. We were somehow going to accomplish the same thing with a handful of troops.

Senator McCain was instrumental in supporting the administration’s decision to ignore the search for Al Qaeda’s chief to focus on Hussein. We now know that was a crucial error. Senator McCain supported the Bush administration in the lead up to the war. In September 2002 he told CNN that he expected "an overwhelming victory in a very short period of time." Yeah.

In October 2002 Senator McCain backed the administration when it sought congressional approval for a resolution to use force to disarm Iraq. He repeatedly warned his colleagues that Hussein was "a clear and present danger" to US security.

In the Congressional record, McCain is quoted as saying, "Sadam has developed stocks of germs and toxins in sufficient quantities to kill the entire population of the earth multiple times. He has placed weapons laden with these poisons on alert to fire at his neighbors within minutes, not hours, and has devolved authority to fire them to subordinates. He develops nuclear weapons with which he would hold his neighbors and us hostage"

What absolute, criminal garbage. These absurd notions are part of what railroaded us into an obscene war. In fact, none of these weapons existed and a Senator is powerful and knowledgeable as McCain should have taken the trouble to be certain, before he influenced a nation. After the invasion it became obvious that Hussein had abandoned or destroyed all of his weapons of mass destruction programs a dozen years before.

After the invasion Senator McCain told MSNBC that he had "no doubt" US forces "will be welcomed as liberators" in Baghdad. Naturally he changed his views after the insurgency began. After returning from an August, 2003 visit Senator McCain began calling for the deployment of thousands more troops. This set him at odds with the White House, his party and military commanders. So, he did something right when it was too late.

Recently Senator McCain's claim to expertise came under attack after he completed a two-day visit to Iraq, his eighth tour of the war zone. On at least two occasions he publicly charged that he Iran was training Al Qaeda operatives in Iraq. Totally wrong. He apologized after he was advised that Iran supports militant Shiite groups, not the rival Sunnis who make up Al Qaeda.

The man keeps talking about “no surrender.” He apparently believes that's a powerful buzzword for most Americans. I am more concerned than we will surrender our sovereignty through bankruptcy. There is nothing like blindness in a president. "I am confident about our current strategy," he declared. "I will stick with it under any circumstances, but I don't know if the American people will stick with it." I hope we are not so foolish to follow that path to our own self destruction.

Remember, this is the stubborn war hero who flew his bomber directly into a Sam missile rather than abort his run.

Here is what retired Four-Star General Wesley Clark, a genuinely knowledgeable and successful soldier believes --We must end the Bush Administration's reckless and irresponsible policies on Iraq, the economy, health care and education. And we must move America in the New Direction that our country so urgently needs.

100 more years in Iraq might be the Republicans' plan, but it should not be America's. Voters, consider -- this issue might bring us down.

No comments: