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The Passion of McCain

by MISSY COMLEY BEATTIE

 

John McCain tells us he’s better qualified than either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama to take that portentous, middle-of-the-night phone call.

And that he’s going to follow Osama bin Laden to the gates of hell.

Certainly, both notions are outlandish. But the latter deems absolutely any and everything out of McCain’s mouth the verbiage of a lunatic. It is proof positive that the GOP nominee for president has a distorted perception of his physical prowess and needs to take a good look at himself in a full-length mirror.

Enough of John McCain’s bushwa. The truth is he couldn’t capture a one-legged tortoise.  Only war worshippers and those hand-picked spectators applaud when McCain makes such a preposterous statement. To the rest of the globe, he’s as silly and as dim-witted as George Bush whose ‘wanted dead or alive’ absurdity secured for him the title of Idiot in Chief.

The image of McCain, chasing bin Laden across the rugged terrain of Pakistan, searching through cave after cave, could be slapstick. But the reality of McCain’s message is no laughing matter.  Blustering to out-Rambo Rambo, McCain’s intention is to send our children and grandchildren, not just to the gates of hell but, into the hell of war. When McCain says “I will,” he really means that the youth and young adults of this country will shoulder the responsibility.

Another war, years ago, gave John McCain his identity.  And, now, he wants more — a thousand years of war, because he believes war will give meaning to the lives of our young.  McCain is a man whose hero status was bestowed after his years of captivity in Viet Nam and, today, he is stunted, still imprisoned.  The war heroes I know are those who, in an act of courage, put down their weapons, denounced war, and became peace advocates. In committing to peace, they liberated themselves.

John McCain says we are hated because of our values and our modernity. He’s correct about the values part. And those values aren’t freedom and human rights. Those we elect at the highest levels of government continue an imperialistic foreign policy that is perilous to our security and to the safety of others. Instead of the beacon-of-hope image we used to project, the U.S. is now perceived by a substantial portion of the planet as a rogue state, the aggressor, fixated on controlling the resources of other nations.  We invade, torture, kill, and occupy. Under the pretext of spreading democracy, we have become terrorists.  Our hand and footprints are oppressive. And, about our modernity — what is modern about destroying a civilization?  The devastation we have inflicted and continue to wreak is barbaric.

We should all feel revulsion that the passion of John McCain is war and that his understanding of serving one’s country is a call to battle, to conquest, and occupation. It’s repugnant that he is unable to comprehend the reverence for life that gives meaning to our journey through life. And it’s a catastrophe for us and for the world that John McCain may be the next president of our country.

MISSY COMLEY 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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Missy Beattie has written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. She was an instructor of memoirs writing at Johns Hopkins’ Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in BaltimoreEmail: missybeat@gmail.com

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