Papa John Explains it All: McCain to Obama on Iraq

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Papa John Explains it All to the Prodigal Son: McCain to Obama on Iraq
by Jack Random
Like the overwrought parent who needs an afternoon nap, Papa John McCain, the would be president, commander and emperor of a new Middle East christened in the blood of soldiers, wants to take poor little Barrack Obama under his expansive, hawk-like wing in order to explain it all:  

Why the Iraq War is a grand and glorious mission, why it is worth hundreds or thousands more American lives, why billions and trillions of American dollars are better spent in Baghdad than New Orleans, on munitions rather than infrastructure, on mercenaries rather than teachers and nurses, on apartheid barriers rather than health care, clean energy, emergency preparedness, mass transit or a myriad of other pressing needs.
  • "It's been 871 days since he was there and I'm confident that when he goes he will then change his position on the conflict in Iraq."
- John McCain in Nevada, May 29, 2008


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Papa John could explain to his naïve and precocious son how a walk in a Baghdad neighborhood with half a regiment guarding your flanks (risking their lives and neglecting their duties for a political stunt) will open your eyes to the beauty and wisdom of aggressive war.

But Papa John is up against the wrong candidate.  Hillary Clinton would be tempted to take the bait and join Papa on his neighborly stroll (a reenactment of her Bosnian sniper fire experience perhaps) but Obama will have no part of it.

As a counter proposal (a lesson in adversarial diplomacy), Obama could invite the elder senator to jointly convene a council of experts on Middle East affairs to explain the ancient conflict between Sunni and Shiite, to retrace the steps of the British Mandate, to absorb the lessons of the Soviets in Afghanistan and America-Britain-France in Vietnam.

Surely, if Papa John would just lower his ideological blinders for just a few minutes, he might understand why the war he urged on and supported wholeheartedly and without reservation long before its inception was in fact a universally accepted colossal strategic blunder – if not the greatest in history then at least since Vietnam.  Of course, Papa John thinks that war was glorious as well – if only we had stayed the course.  

Surely a lengthy session with wise councils would convince even Papa that there is no honor in fighting or dying for a grievously mistaken war of aggression.  Surely he would understand that there is likewise no dishonor in withdrawing from a war that should never have been waged, in ending an occupation that can only maintain a holding pattern while innocents die needlessly and precious resources are squandered.

Maybe someone with bars on his shoulders (like Colin Powell) could explain it to him so that he could finally understand:  Al Qaeda in Iraq is only a marginal movement with a nominal relationship to the Al Qaeda of bin Laden that is still in the mountains of Afghanistan and Pakistan and that it would be crushed by internal forces the moment the occupiers departed.  Maybe Powell could explain that there is no greater danger that they will follow us home if we withdraw; in fact, the danger is greater the longer we stay.  

Maybe it would take more than a council of elders to uncover the deep-seated fears and insecurities that live within Papa and drive him as he clings to failed strategies and ideologies like a tattered teddy bear.  

Maybe there is no wisdom great enough to penetrate the smile in Papa John’s eyes when he pledges to fight on no matter how long, how hard, no matter what the cost until “victory” is finally in his hands.

Maybe it will require a much higher wisdom to comprehend what victory is in the eyes of Papa:  A working democracy independent of its neighbors (though one presumes, not independent of its occupiers or the oil companies that have contracted its oil production)?  It could be argued that no nation on earth has achieved that lofty goal – certainly not ours.

One senses that Papa John will not be content until the world bows down to his glory and greatness:  Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba, Europe, Africa, Russia and China.  

From all appearances, Papa John may be suffering from delusions of grandeur.  Papa John may be harboring the same shadows and ghosts that haunt our current president.

Like Boy George, Papa John may be stricken with an inferiority complex born of tragic events in the days of impressionable youth.

Like Boy George, he squandered much of his privilege in the kind of rebellion that drinks too much, crashes planes or cars and counts on daddy to set things right.  

Like Boy George, he neglected his education, ranking near the bottom of his class at the Naval Academy.  (One wonders how family felt about that.)   

Papa John is the son of Admirals.  Shot down over Vietnam, captured and brutalized until he broke (his own confession), he is driven to prove his mettle at war – no other test will suffice.

Like Boy George, it is a dark and tragic tale, one that evokes great sympathy, but the consequences of that pathology should be confined to ones home, not played out on the world stage.

Jazz.
 


JACK RANDOM IS THE AUTHOR OF THE JAZZMAN CHRONICLES (CROW DOG PRESS) AND GHOST DANCE INSURRECTION (DRY BONES PRESS).  THE CHRONICLES HAVE BEEN POSTED ON NUMEROUS CITES OF THE WORLDWIDE WEB, INCLUDING THE ALBION MONITOR, BELLACIAO, BUZZLE, COUNTERPUNCH, THE DAILY SCARE, DISSIDENT VOICE, THE NATIONAL FREE PRESS AND PACIFIC FREE PRESS.  SEE WWW.JAZZMANCHRONICLES.BLOGSPOT.COM

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