Thursday, October 2, 2008

Sane conversation from Paso Robles

I play catch for a Letters@ Letters to the Editor email handle for an important niche newsweekly that reports on and to the Democratic base in the largest urban center in a swing state, and it's roughly a month before we are going to pick the next president.

Barack Obama is battling inch by inch to win this state, with the dramatic buy-in and push-through of our niche demographic (that would be black folks), while John McCain mostly looks the other way and distributes typical talking points via his media functionaries (which is a rational strategy on limited resources, to be fair to McCain and his camp).

So my inbox often looks like two shouting matches pointed in the opposite directions. Or, rather, a conversation pointed away from a shouting match pointed away from a conversation.

But this one this morning seems almost sane and conversational. Maybe that's just my wishful thinking talking though.


A Win-Win Situation

By Ken Ramey

McCain’s analogy of a ship [of State] in distress compared to a sailing vessel is clever, but a bit of a stretch.

A sea-captain would not call “all hands on deck” to save a vessel if it is not truly in distress, and only then if all hands are capable of lending a helping hand. A political ploy is anything but a helping hand if it contributes only to the one, not the ship, who needs help. I give John McCain credit though, he takes direction well, proving only that his thespian-sincerity makes him a better actor than he is a politician.

I fully expected McCain’s next lines to be, “I’d rather lose the election than fail in my duty to my country,“ an imaginary and non-essential duty, as it turned out, when prior to the vote he ridiculed Barack Obama roundly while coming close to fulfilling my prophecy. His leadership notwithstanding, the bailout was defeated by Republicans.

If McCain really wants to help, he should encourage America’s withdrawal from Iraq so the billions spent there could be used to help our economy. Both Bush and McCain have said “if Iraq asks us to leave, we would leave.” but that doesn’t square with McCain’s insistence that, as President, he “would not leave before the war in Iraq is won.” But his definition of “winning” is a distortion of the truth; Iraq is not an enemy, so why is the concept of “winning” so important? The answer may surprise you.

John McCain waxes militarily-patriotic [old soldiers never die] as he criticizes Obama who, he says, would disgrace the U.S. by withdrawing from Iraq without first “winning the war.” The devil is in the details of a long-term Security Agreement the U.S. and Iraq have been negotiating for months without arriving at an amicable conclusion.

Iraq feels confident it is able to govern itself, and has asked the U.S. to leave, so why not leave? The answer is, neither Bush or McCain meant what they said, and Secretary of Defense Gates confirms it by saying, “the U.S. must accept the fact it will be in Iraq for years, if not decades to come,” here’s why.

The Security Agreement really is a rubric, an extra-legal document; a set of rules accented in favor of the U.S., that will deny Iraq its sovereign-control over U.S. military-activity within its borders, a condition unacceptable to Iraq, that Americans could live without as well. Unless Iraq submits to Bush’s rubric-demands, however, winning will be impossible, and withdrawal considered the equivalent of defeat. So, Bush won’t budge, although his successor could change the rules, but John McCain says he won’t!

Barack Obama might [leaving a Diplomatic Embassy in place], allowing Iraq to solve its internal problems in its own way, and to rebuild its country as it wishes. The U.S. would save billions of dollars that could then be used toward the rescue of our economy. For, as all thinking Americans know, “Charity ought to begin at Home.”

Freeing Iraq might also be the beginning of a movement toward an era of peace and prosperity among nations [Iran, North Korea, Russia, etc., perceived enemies] via friendship and respectful negotiation, negating the need and expense, for defensive anti-ballistic-missile-systems anywhere in the world.

A win-win situation if ever there was one.

Ken Ramey
Paso Robles, CA
darken1 [@]


Paso Robles II landscape painting by J. Clarke from a site where you can buy prints.

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