Tuesday, November 04, 2008
Mary Treadwell and the 2008 US Presidential Election
I know he's not a 'socialist', as Simon Heffer ludicrously claims. I know that his plans for extending health care are not as comprehensive as they should be. And I know that he's not the Messiah.
But nevertheless, it has to be Obama.
And the reason why? Well, as American divorcee Mary Treadwell (played so memorably by the late Vivien Leigh) says in the clip above from that wonderful, wonderful, film Ship of Fools, "in life if you can't get what you want, you'd better damn well settle for what you can get".
I'd like to see an unequivocally and unapologetically socialist, anti-war US President, someone who would give Americans the same universal state health care system that we enjoy here in Britain. A President who would pull US troops out of both Iraq and Afghanistan and announce that the US would henceforth only act in full accordance with international law.
But we can't get that at present so we need to settle for what we can get.
And that's Barack Obama. And what is Barack Obama's main attraction? Simply that he isn't John McCain. Make no mistake, a McCain presidency would be a nightmare.
Scott McConnell, the leading US paleo-conservative, explains why:
John McCain wants to bring them(the neocons) back, in triumph, on horseback.
Unlike Bush, McCain is a neocon true believer; Wilsonian bellicosity has visceral appeal for him. A McCain victory would mean, in short order, an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities. Joshua Muravchik, a candid and well-connected neoconservative whom I’ve known for 25 years, affirmed this unequivocally at a Nixon Center debate last month. Iran is now the principal neoconservative obsession—as it is for Israel’s hawks, who ludicrously paint Tehran as Nazi Berlin. McCain jokes about bombing Iran, but the consequences would not be amusing. Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the joint chiefs, has warned that an Israeli strike would put American forces in Iraq at grave risk. If America bombs, the consequences would be worse. As Secretary of Defense Gates warned a group of senators recently, “We’ll create generations of jihadists, and our grandchildren will be battling our enemies here in America.”
That’s not all. Top McCain advisers like Robert Kagan seek to reignite a Cold War with Russia: Kagan recently told a Washington audience he wouldn’t want to live in a world in which Russia had a preponderance of influence over Georgia. Elliott Abrams, son-in-law of Norman “World War IV” Podhoretz, is reportedly in line to head McCain’s National Security Council. As a Bush appointee, he’s worked at stymieing the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians. Expect a McCain administration to back the Netanyahu policy of turning the West Bank into isolated bantustans instead of a Palestinian state.
For these reasons, I’m voting for Obama. While he doesn’t inspire me, he does impress. His two-year campaign has been disciplined and intelligent…..If elected, he will inherit an office burdened with massive financial and foreign-policy problems. Unlike John McCain, he won’t try to bomb his way out of the mess.
Well, we don't know for sure that Obama won't 'try to bomb his way out of the mess'.
But he's certainly less likely to do so than John 'Bomb, Bomb, Bomb, Bomb Bomb Iran' McCain and for that reason alone he has to get the nod.