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Riding the War Horse

Introducing President McCain

by MISSY COMLEY BEATTIE

First, allow your brain to conceive of John Sidney McCain as president of the United States.  Then, form in your mouth the proper noun, President John McCain, and let it roll off your tongue into the room and ears of those nearby.  Practice it because it is what you will be saying when George Bush leaves office although you will know that George and John are one and the same. President John McCain.

With President McCain many more troops will die.  And not just in Iraq and Afghanistan.  If the situation, now, is not genocide of the Iraqi people, it will be under President John McCain who will, most likely, spread the disease of war to other countries.    

As our military force is depleted by roadside bombs, suicide bombers, and sniper fire in addition to suicide, which is on the rise among our stretched and multi-deployed troops, the ranks will explode with a different kind of service, one that’s already operational.  These are the people once turned away from recruitment stations—the criminal population.  Also, the private army will increase.  Highly paid, federally funded Blackwater mercenaries, mostly unaccountable to the rule of law, will swell.

Eventually, conscription will be reinstated. 

War will be a way of life.  Future generations will say they don’t remember a time when our country was not at war. 

President John McCain says he hates war but he seems to also despise negotiation.  

Talking about his years as a prisoner in Viet Nam seems to give him pleasure.  He reminds us of it often enough.   

John McCain will ascend not just because ours is a society that praises soldiers who are ordered to destroy but also because the mainstream media salivate over him. He dropped bombs and napalm from high in the sky, never seeing those whose skin he melted, and he became a hero here at home.  He destroyed persons who must have wondered what they’d done to incur his fury, and he was lauded back in the US. A legend was born.  A massive ego was created. He perceives himself as a kaleidoscope of sacrifice and heroism, the candidate who will send more battalions to Iraq and will not leave Iraq until success is achieved.   

Hillary Clinton understands this and is ramping up her alpha female by bullying Iran, proving her loyalty to Israel.  Barack Obama says he has what it takes to protect Israel.  But they are out of their league compared to John McCain who actually livens up a bit, managing to not look like he was just exhumed, when singing about bombing Iran and issuing harsh warnings to North Korea, Syria, and Russia.

Despite the world consensus that the US has lost its moral standing and power, so many Americans refuse to believe that our might doesn’t make us right.  Even some who oppose the war think that John McCain can best handle Iraq. 

And, then, there’s McCain’s latest triumph.  When the North Carolina Republican Party created an ad calling Obama “extreme” because of his association with Rev. Jeremiah Wright and implied that Obama heard Wright’s sermons, McCain condemned the ad.  For this, he should be proclaimed McSaint.  How wily he and his handlers are. The media grabbed this ball, airing the ad, over and over, while extolling the goodness of McCain for his denunciation of the swiftboating of Obama. Gullible voters will say McCain’s a man of great character, adding this to the war-hero status and the maverick image. 

We are so easily fooled. 

The truth is that McCain carries the weight of too many years inside the Capital Beltway and is known to brim with the rage of a tyrant whose demands have been ignored.

But he grins and calls us his friends when he talks about his soul mate, war.

President McCain.  Say it. Get used to it.

Missy Beattie lives in New York City. She’s written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. An outspoken critic of the Bush Administration and the war in Iraq, she’s a member of Gold Star Families for Peace. She completed a novel last year, but since the death of her nephew, Marine Lance Cpl. Chase J. Comley, in Iraq on August 6,’05, she has been writing political articles. She can be reached at: Missybeat@aol.com