Friday, March 14, 2008

McCain fears terrorists prefer Democrats

Republican Senator John McCain, while praising the strategy and results of the so-called “surge” in Iraq, stands ready to point his finger at Democrats, if the level of violence increases and the surge fails.
Republican presidential candidate John McCain said on Friday he fears that al Qaeda or another extremist group might attempt spectacular attacks in Iraq to try to tilt the U.S. election against him.

McCain, at a town hall meeting in this Philadelphia suburb, was asked if he had concerns that anti-American militants in Iraq might ratchet up their activities in Iraq to try to increase casualties in September or October and tip the November election against him...
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So, McCain wants us to believe that al Qaeda, or the militant Shiites, or the militant Sunnis, or some of the other bloodthirsty hoodlums that roam the landscape in Iraq, prefer Hillary Clinton, or Barack Obama over him. They prefer the donkeys so damn much they will blow up whatever has yet to be blown up, in order to make the surge -- perhaps beginning to fizzle -- look like a dud.

In other words, Osama bin Laden and his henchmen would vote Democratic if they could, because they are more like Democrats than Republicans. If that tortured logic sounds warmed over, it’s no wonder.

The same lame argument was used by Republicans during the Cold War. Democrats were frequently characterized as “soft on communism” by the hawkish rightwing of the Republican Party, who wanted voters who feared communists to see liberals as “pink.” Which, of course, meant that liberal Democrats were a watered down version of being “red,” the color that symbolized the godless commies.

So, it wasn’t unusual for flag-waving rightwingers to say that communist leaders were rooting for the Democrats to win elections, since liberals were left-of-center and therefore closer to being commies than they ought to be.

Since the Cold War ended, some Republicans have continued to beat that dead horse in applying the same silliness to any perceived enemy of the USA, any old time. So, now Democrats are cast as being “soft on terror.”

But sometimes there’s a problem with recycling slogans. The religious fanatics of the Middle East, who are killing members of our armed forces in Iraq and Afghanistan are not communists. They are the extreme rightwingers of their part of the world. They aren’t godless. Rather than being anti-capitalists, they are against all of modernity.

The closest counterparts to those cats in our culture are the backward religious cultists who blow up abortion clinics and federal buildings, or stalk funerals, or stockpile exotic weapons and train private armies, etc.

The Middle East has its foaming-at-the-mouth “conservatives,” who claim to get their orders to kill innocent people from their god. America has had its Branch Davidians. Iraq has its blowhard clerics. Virginia still has its Pat Robertson.

As much as I like McCain, and respect his long record of service to his country, when he plays the fear card in the same style as our sitting president, I have to throw a penalty flag. And, when I think that a McCain presidency would play out as an extension of George Bush’s way of doing business with regard to foreign policy, well, it makes me shudder.

America needs its next president to see the world as it is, not as once was, or as he or she wishes it is.

The age of a so-called Super Power’s ability to use occupation to force its will on those occupied has passed. Even the term “Super Power” sounds dated to me. It doesn’t even make sense today. Therefore, America needs a president who knows we do not have the resources to stay in Iraq with a substantial force for 50 years, as McCain has suggested may be in the cards.

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