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Playing the War Card


Senator John McCain is an unquestioned war hero. Though the war he fought was morally bankrupt, we owe him a great debt for his sacrifice. On the political battlegrounds, McCain has often distinguished himself by rising above partisan politics. At the Republican National Convention, however, we have learned that he is not always above the fray.

McCain was right when he called upon the president to denounce the deceptive, misleading and scurrilous Swift Boat attack ads. His acceptance of the president’s promise to attack all 527 ads in lieu of a direct denunciation ignores the political reality that the 527 organizations are the only means of leveling the playing field between conventions. The Senator knows this as well as anyone in Washington and, therefore, his appeasement is the very definition of disingenuous.

To further his fall from grace, his very personal attack on Michael Moore was based on a misrepresentation. Fahrenheit 911 does not portray the Iraq of Saddam Hussein as paradise. The Senator did not see the film.

As for the war in Iraq, while we may admire McCain on many issues (campaign finance reform), the fact is he never saw a war he did not like. To ignore the false rationale for the invasion and to pretend that it had anything to do with the war on terrorism is worse than disingenuous. From a man who is supposed to symbolize plain-speaking truth, it is hypocritical.

Mendacity, thy name is Rudy Giuliani. He rose to national prominence by his spirited representation of America’s greatest city on the day of its greatest tragedy. His badge of courage and resilience, however, has since been tarnished by his relentless effort to garnish political dividends. He has now reached the pinnacle on his journey of exploitation: He has played the role of the political hatchet man at the Republican National Convention. (“But this is not a personal attack.”)

The Republicans have disgraced themselves and the party of Abe Lincoln. Their candidate is a War President and they have chosen to become the War Party. They will ignore the fact that this is the wrong war, that it has nothing to do with the war on terrorism, that it has less to do with spreading democracy, that it has made this nation and this world less safe, and that it has cost a thousand young American lives and uncounted tens of thousands of Iraqi lives.

They have played the war card. Let us pray that John Kerry and the Democrats do not up the ante.




Jack Random is the author of Jazzman Chronicles (Crow Dog Press) and Ghost Dance Insurrection (Dry Bones Press.)

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