Alan M. Aarons: What’s different this time?
What’s different this time?
Don’t you just love it when the “biggie” elections roll around? There are probably more promises made during this every-fourth-year period than in all the months of all the other years in between combined. People with absolutely no credentials to do so are claiming to solve every problem from global warming to athlete’s foot to assorted wars and dictators as well as an untold array of worldwide problems.
Today, Aug. 27, 2008, there an article appeared in a local newspaper (not this one) that stated that, “John McCain long pressed for more U.S. troops to fight the war …”
and also asserts that “victory is possible and American forces should stay until they achieved it, without any abstract timetable for withdrawal.” An estimate of American youths’ legs, arms and life losses to date, or yet to come as a result of these actions, was not included. The same article stated that “Senator McCain told veterans Tuesday Democrat Barack Obama’s opposition to the Iraq war would create more trouble and aggression in the world.” There was no added inclination or reasoning by the senator of just how or why that may occur.
To what victory then, is the good senator referring? This is a “war” that was created by a megalomaniac with visions of grandeur of himself as some sort of John Pershing or George Patton, a guy with a Napoleonic complex, who likes to dress up and strut around on the deck of aircraft carriers and, sadly, send other people’s children off to war to be maimed and killed without justification or cause. For the umpteenth time: There were no weapons of mass destruction and no threat from Saddam Hussein or the nation of Iraq to our nation or any other nation we can truly name. Of course now the “war” in Iraq has become a war against terrorism, not against Iraq, the nation. So, I guess it’s OK. The question then, might be, how come we could win a war against the might of Nazi Germany, Italy and Japan with all their mighty armies, navies, air forces, industrial complexes, tanks, artilleries, submarines, and in the end, rockets over London, all in a period of approximately four years, but in a time period even greater than that we, along with numerous allies, cannot come even close to an end against a band of homespun street fighters with no more than AK-47s and shoulder-carried rockets? Oops, I forgot the ladies and children with bombs for corsets.
Before the the labels and the name-calling begins, these views and assertions are solely my own. There is no political allegiance, no party line or subversive group philosophies, just the the same heartfelt desire as millions of other Americans to see our nation properly represented and governed, and our service men and women brought home. I have seen good, mediocre and less-than-perfect presidents from both sides of the aisle since the first term of FDR and, arguably, know a disaster when I see one. There is no animosity here for John McCain, but, without rancor, I know that he was not the first or will he likely be the last to endure the horrors of war and captivity. For him and his family, I join millions of others in admiration and respect, but his terrible sufferings are no more or less qualifications for the presidency of the United States than Senator Barack Obama’s assumed lack of time and political experience are disqualifications.
Between now and the final November election we will see and hear a great deal from these two men and their subordinates. Hopefully, brash promises, philosophies, accusations and the “Swift Boat” mentality will be minimized and the issues and differences between these two men will be clearly and honestly defined. Then a decision can be made.
Beyond the presidency, what are we to hope for amid all the lesser, but equally important hopeful candidates for national offices with their current promises to cure our ills and lackings in these elections? Why weren’t the problems and shortcomings that the politicians promised to attend to yesterday, last week, or for the four years past, attended to? And why, if these politicos are so committed and qualified, do the problems still persist? What makes these same people so bright all of a sudden, so filled with new promises that they can no more keep than they are likely to show up at my house or yours for dinner?
What then can we expect from those we choose to represent us? How can we, after four or more years in office without any significant achievements, with a ridiculous war still being waged without any foreseeable outcome, but with promises of more of the same to come, believe John or Jane Dokes, Republican or Democrat, up for election or re-election, or any of the rash and extravagant promises made on the tube, or in the mails? Maybe, just maybe, its time to dump the whole lot and start all over. Wouldn’t that be a hoot? Can we do that? Probably not.
So, what then can we look forward to? In all probability, much more of the same old, same old … at least until it comes time for the next election and a hash house of new promises begin. Is this a great country, or what?
Alan M. Aarons is an Edwards resident. E-mail comments to email@example.com.