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Election news

I normally shy away from politics in public forums, such as my column in the Daily and this blog, but the election which will take place on Nov. 2 is important enough to break this simple rule. I wrote about the broken initiative process last week, and since I had the good luck to have a column running on Election Day, I decided to pitch my two cents into an already bloated political commentary arena. I don’t expect to make a difference; I state as much within the first paragraph. But I do feel obligated to raise my voice when the stakes are so high, even if it means angering my entire extended family (which I probably will). I probably won’t get another opportunity like this in my editorial career. Check back Tuesday for the article itself.

I got this article via email from my dad, and many of you have probably seen it somewhere on the web. The main thrust of it is as follows:

If we, in a spasm of frustration, turn out the current occupant of the White House, the message to the world and ourselves will be twofold. First, we will reject the notion that America can do big things. Once a nation that tamed a frontier, stood down the Nazis and stood upon the moon, we will announce to the world that bringing democracy to the Middle East is too big of a task for us. But more significantly, we will signal to future presidents that as voters, we are unwilling to tackle difficult challenges, preferring caution to boldness, embracing the mediocrity that has characterized other civilizations.

I have a more simplified opinion of the results of the election. If we re-elect Bush, we do send a very clear message to the rest of the world: that a majority of Americans approve our country’s actions over the last four years. This is simply unconscionable. We all want America to take a strong role in the world and to do the great things he mentions, but the author, a political science professor at Central Washington University, bases his argument upon the premise that war in Iraq was a necessary step for our great nation to take. It wasn’t. All of the administration’s reasons for committing troops – WMDs, support to Al Qaida, making the world safer – have been thoroughly debunked. There were no WMDs; Hussein never gave substantial support to Al Qaida; terrorists have flooded over the borders in Iraq, killing civilians and our troops and plunging an already troubled region into even greater turmoil. Meanwhile, nations that are real and imminent threats – Iran and Saudi Arabia, who publicly support terrorism; Afghanistan, Osama’s alma mater; and North Korea, who is practically waving their nukes around to get attention – go unmolested. To say that Kerry is unqualified to resolve the crisis in Iraq merely because he opposes the war’s fallacious premises is, well, fallacious. We entered the war (ostensibly) for reasons which have now been shown to be red herrings – isn’t it time to wrap up the job and pack out? I don’t know about you, but I want someone in the Oval Office who faces the mistakes made over the last four years with an honest and direct gaze, not someone who invents a new reason for occupation when the previous lie is exposed. I don’t want someone who contends that, “now that we’re there, we need to follow through.” We never should have been there. I want someone who is committed to bringing those troops home.

Iraq is a huge dilemma. Because of the rushed, poorly planned offensive by Bush and his cronies, it’s now almost inevitable that the US will be drawn into conflicts in Syria, Iran, or both. Bush made a mess, and someone has to clean it up, granted, but I don’t buy the premise that since he spilled the fondue he’s the only one qualified to wield the mop. Of justice. Or whatever. The very real, very imminent prospect of a draft frightens me more than I have words for – not for my own sake, since I’m old enough to be in the second round, but for my little brother’s, and for my friends’ little brothers. Bush’s “All-volunteer Armies of Compassion” (“Hey, could you pass me another magazine of Compassion Bullets?” “Here, just use this Compassion Grenade”) are completely untenable in the event of a large-scale, long-term occupation of the Middle East which, I fear, is already going to happen regardless of who wins this election. Bush has made a mess, and now we have to clean it up at the expense of young men’s lives. We need to get out of that war, and we need to do it now. If that precludes us from doing those “great things” the author mentions, then I would encourage him to enlist, pick up a rifle and some discount body armor, and join the fight, rather than criticizing the policies of liberal weenies from his stuffed office chair. Those nations never asked us for democracy, and trying to cram it down their throats is both arrogant and dangerous.

If Bush wins this election, we are in for some dark days. And I don’t think it’s melodramatic to say that there will be blood in the streets.

When even Ronald Reagan’s son decries Bush, you know something is rotten on Capitol Hill. The article is a little long, but worth reading every word.

Thankfully, the current election forecast looks good. I’m praying that it holds.

On a slightly more paranoid note, Nathan sent me this video about the flight that hit the Pentagon on 9-11, the upshot of which is that there probably was no plane at all. Part of me wants to immediately cry “bullshit”, but keep in mind: FDR knew about Pearl Harbor weeks in advance, but said nothing because he needed American support for the war and knew that a Japanese attack would engender it. The evidence is just now, fifty years after the fact, beginning to creep into textbooks. I don’t know exactly what happened on 9-11, but I’m absolutely positive that we don’t know the whole story.

And on a lighter note: Mega Man v. Metroid!

Posted in Musings.

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