I had planned to lace into President Obama this morning. As I waited for Vivien to fall asleep in her pop-up castle my mother gave her for her birthday, I composed the blog in my head. I would start out saying, “Look, you all know I was a Hillary supporter during the primary, but when that went south I threw my support (like I’m Al Gore and being sought for my backing) to Obama.” I never thought he was the transformative figure others saw. I’m old enough to have been jumping up and down for Bill Clinton and though I love me some Bill, his flaws are well documented. So, I feel like I had been through this before.
I really liked Obama’s personal biography. Single mom, abandoned by dad, involved grandparents who sent him to the best high school while living in an apartment. And throw in first president of color and I’m in. Not to mention, I cried in 2000 and 2004 with Bush/Cheney. I was going door to door in Florida for Kerry, so unlike the “Yes I can” people, I didn’t need a cult of personality to know that Bush was not smart enough to be president and that Bush/Cheney are the kind of military industrial complex hacks that Eisenhower warned us about. And one of the big shovels Obama used to bury Hillary was his opposition to the Iraq war (which I never supported) and her vote to authorize forces. I used to argue, “But he was in the Illnois Senate at the time. He might have voted differently had he been in DC at the time.” No, the Obama mamas and others were so forceful at Vivien’s ballet class, I started talking about the weather.
So, now President Change is authorizing 30 thousand troops to Afghanistan. A war we have lost lives and spent billions on for 9 years. In a place that has no victory. I spoke yesterday to a former Marine officer who works in my building. He had tours of duty in Afghanistan and Iraq. I always say, “Thank you for your service, and I’m sure I’m talking out of my ass, but here is what I think; I really want to know what you think.” In short, he said unless we bomb the place to smithereens there is no victory in Afghanistan. They have home field advantage. They shoot from high up the mountains. And the “bad guys” mingle with the civilians so the enemy is not always clear (Vietnam anyone?). And they move into different countries when the heat is on and come back when they can. And in Iraq they are told not to shoot at mosques, but the insurgents (during Faloujah) went into the mosques and shot at them. And then there was the story of during a siege when they ran out of ammo.
Me: “You must have been so terrified.”
“Anyone who says they weren’t are lying,” the vet said. Finally they airlifted ammo and ordered air strikes on the mosque where they were being shot from.
We know the soldiers will do what is asked of them. We knew Bush wasn’t a student of history. But Obama seemed to be. So, we are still in Iraq, escalating Afghanistan, and the GOP is using this as an excuse to not fund health care, which is something that we all need. Americans do die, become sick, and go bankrupt because they aren’t covered. I support the war tax because I think unless there is a draft the cost of war will not come home to Americans and thus no political pressure will be applied.
So, except that Sarah Palin doesn’t get to fly in Air Force 2, what’s been the advantage to electing Obama over McCain, in regards to foreign policy?
Anyway, look, that’s the rant I had planned. I don’t want anymore of our soliders to die, and I don’t want to leave my children with a debt for a folly. But instead, my friend called early this morning and said she had $100 tickets for free to a special screening of The Princess and the Frog. The princesses would be there. Would Vivien want to go? Would she! So, I’m scrambling to get showered and people fed and out the door. But later I’m really going to speak my mind.