Senator Rambo

Sen. John McCain has said he will be Hamas’ worst nightmare. It’s a juvenile thing to say. The line sounded more convincing when Sly Stallone said it in one of his Rambo movies.

What does the senator propose to do to Hamas? Refuse to recognize the Hamas members who are the legitimately elected representatives of the Palestinians? It’s already been done. Assassinate Hamas’ leadership? The Israelis do that every chance they get. Put Hamas’ elected officeholders in prison? Done that. Seal off the Gaza Strip and impose collective punishment on a million innocent people? The Israelis have done that. Set up roadblocks? Done. Periodically attack the Palestinians with advanced weapons? Done.

What Sen. McCain is much more likely to do as president is become America’s worst nightmare by continuing the failed policies of the Bush administration. Here is a man who has publicly admitted that he knows nothing about economics and who confuses Sunnis and Shi’ites. What are the two major problems facing America? Economic troubles and a war in the Middle East involving Shi’ites and Sunnis. Sen. McCain finished near the bottom of his class at Annapolis and launched his political career by dumping the wife who stood by him during his imprisonment and marrying big money. Excuse me if I’m not overwhelmed with his resume.

Decades ago, he got shot down and became a hero, along with all the other men who were prisoners of war. Enduring imprisonment and torture, however, is not the skill set necessary to be president. Nobody will lock him up in the White House. He will need to act in a wise manner to get the U.S. out of the hole George W. Bush and his howling tribe of neocons dug. I don’t know how he will do that while embracing Bush and his howling neocons.

Sen. McCain was a hero in the past. In the present, he’s a politician. Americans would do well to remember that and to assess him on his qualifications and not on his history. He’s also 71 years old and will be 72 if and when he takes office.

There are a billion Muslims in the world. There are a billion Chinese and a billion people in India. There are two nuclear powers we should be concerned about – Russia and China. Instead, you hear our politicians make threats against Iran, which is a non-nuclear power and not much of power at that. If you think there is something in the water in Washington that makes people lose their marbles, it’s understandable.

However, the source of all the so-called anxiety about Iran is Israel and its lobby. There is a simple solution. That is to tell the Israelis that if they are afraid of Iran, they are free to go to war with Iran. Israel already has nuclear weapons. We should tell the Israelis that we won’t help them, but we won’t hinder them, either. After all, Israel is a sovereign nation and can do what it pleases. In the meantime, we have other fish to fry.

Iraq and Afghanistan can bankrupt us if we don’t get out of there. Sen. McCain said it is OK with him if we stay in Iraq 100 years. Well, I hope that’s not OK with the American people. Iraq is never going to settle down so that we can peacefully occupy it for the next century. Anybody who believes that doesn’t know much about the Iraqi people.

All Sen. McCain is promising is more of the same, which is precisely what the American people don’t need. We need to repair our economy and to mend fences abroad. Macho talk borrowed from make-believe macho movie characters should have no place in our diplomacy. Hollywood heroes have scriptwriters to make sure the bad guys miss. American presidents and the American people don’t.

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Author: Charley Reese

Charley Reese is a journalist.