By Eddie Griffin
Friday, May 16, 2008
If loose lips sink ships, then the prospects of peace is sinking faster than the Titanic, the more President George Bush and Senator John McCain open their mouths. And, if it appears that there is a hole in our soul and our hopes are taking in water, it’s only because these two political prophets have torpedoed our optimism of a brighter tomorrow.
The prophecy, according to John, assures us that, once he’s in office, there will be at least five more years of war in Iraq. Nonetheless, at least, this is a much rosier picture than his previous predictions of a 100-year war.
Not to be outdone, however, in doomsday prophecy, King George II offered hopes to Jerusalem on its 60th anniversary, predicting that by the time Israel celebrated its 120th birthday there will be peace in the Middle East.
“From Cairo to Riyadh to Baghdad and Beirut”, the President declared. “People will live in free and independent societies, where a desire for peace is reinforced by ties of diplomacy and tourism and trade.” (Hooray! Standing ovation!)
By then, according to the President’s predictions, “Iran and Syria would be peaceful nations and that the Islamic militant groups al Qaeda, Hezbollah and Hamas would be defeated.” (Source: “Bush speech gently urges peace”, Star-Telegram, May 16, 2008)
COMMENTARY by Eddie Griffin
I have a problem with the Future Tense verb “would be” because it suggests an unconditional assertion, as uncontestable as a biblical prophet. (Notice how many times George Bush invokes the name of God in his speech). But, on the other hand, I have a bigger problem with John McCain’s use of the Past Tense where he should have used the Future Perfect Tense, as used in this statement below from his “Straight Talk Express” issued in Columbus, Ohio:
“By January 2013, America has welcomed home most of the servicemen and women who have sacrificed terribly so that America might be secure in her freedom. The Iraq War has been won.”
It takes a good reporter like Associate Press writer Glen Johnson to put McCain’s words in proper delusional prophetic perspective:
“The Republican presidential contender, in a mystical speech that also envisioned Osama bin Laden dead or captured, and Americans with the choice of paying a simple flat tax or following their standard 1040 form, said only a small number of troops would remain in Iraq by the end of a prospective first term because al-Qaida will have been defeated and Iraq's government will be functioning on its own,” quotes Johnson.
John McCain would lead us to believe that the war is as good as over, that it’s a done deal under his future administration, albeit some five years down the line. But the AP writer makes McCain’s words clear, that al-Qaeda “will have been defeated”. But we have to “keep hope alive” to get there.
The report goes on: “McCain peered through a crystal ball to 2013 and envisioned an era of bipartisanship driven by weekly news conferences and British-style question periods with joint meetings of Congress… The senator conceded he cannot make the changes alone, but said he wanted to outline a specific governing style to show the accomplishments it can achieve.”
In other words, in order to make his doomsday crystal ball scenario come true by 2013, McCain needs help, and that his campaign promise was just an “outline” to show his “governing style” of “accomplishments”.
But where’s the beef? Clearly, it is in the promise itself… a politician’s promise.
This is what a war-weary nation can expect: More war and no peace. Even the talk of peace is ludicrous to Bush-McCain.
In his speech to the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, George Bush criticized peace optimists: “Some seem to believe that we should negotiate with the terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along.”
On the other hand, John McCain scuffs at peace talks with neighboring Syria and Iran, as originally recommended by the 9-11 Commission. He characterizes Barack Obama as naïve and uninformed. Yet, on his visit to Jerusalem a few months earlier, it was McCain who openly declared the existence of al-Qaeda in Iran, before someone pulled his coat to his politically incorrect gaffe. It makes me and the whole world wonder exactly who is naïve.
Surely, al-Qaeda is not everywhere, and the sky is not falling. However, we can be certain that the ship is sinking. America’s prestige is going down, down, down, to the bottom of the Atlantic.
But, let the pundits tell it, we can raise the Titanic like George Bush raised the dead. Just look at the new life he gave to Adolph Hitler and Nazi Germany… (My kids are probably asking, “Adolph, who?”).
And if that is not a miracle, John McCain does one better:
“It's not a timetable; it's victory. It's victory, which I have always predicted. I didn't know when we were going to win World War II; I just knew we were going to win,” McCain said… “The increase in actionable intelligence that the counterinsurgency produced led to the capture or death of Osama bin Laden, and his chief lieutenants.” (Past Tense)
Welcome to the Future Past and the Orwellian Age of Doublespeak.