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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    McCain: Reformer or transformer?

    As the seven-year anniversary of 9/11 passed last week, it occurred to me that it could become just like any other unfortunate event that one tries to push out of his memory – whether it’s a sloshed grandmother who had too much to drink and slid out onto the dance floor to the Bee Gees, or an awful horror movie that you wish you hadn’t even paid for at the cheap theater.

    Like many Americans, I can recall in vivid detail how the events unfolded on that awful day. I had the unique perspective of being enlisted in the military at the time, pledging to protect the United States “”against all enemies, foreign and domestic”” just a little over a year before the biggest terrorist attack in our nation’s history.

    If there is a God, it was as if He (or She) decided to start the apocalypse early. A voice boomed various threat levels through the loudspeaker on base. Traffic moved at a snail’s pace. There was a chill in the air as if the whole world were slowly dying. Any particular thrill for living or the day-to-day routine began to dissipate as a result of the nearly 3,000 that died.

    That was the day Osama bin Laden entered our collective conscious, and from a military-strategic perspective, it naturally made sense to go into Afghanistan, catch bin Laden, the Taliban and other “”extremists”” and smoke them out of their respective holes. The rest of the story has been recounted so many times it has become cliché. Yet for some reason, the lessons of 9/11 have not been learned and the strategic blunders made by the Bush administration have been magically transformed into the beanstalk known as the John McCain campaign.

    Followers of Sen. McCain are quick to leave Bush behind – which is ironic, since it really wasn’t that long ago that everyone was wearing an American flag pin and praising Bush as the messiah. For those of us who were in the military, like Sen. McCain, it became the headache of the century when it was decided to veer off-course into a place called Iraq in March 2003.

    Sen. McCain promises it will be different this time. As president, he assures us that he’ll whip an unjust war and a corrupt administration into a howdy-doody victory. My friends, I love my country, but I’m not soft in the head. There are differences between proudly serving in the armed forces, being patriotic and blindly continuing a war that has no rhyme or reason. More than 4,000 American servicemen and women have lost their lives in Iraq, a figure that is just as senseless as that of those who died on 9/11.

    Campaigning in St. Clair, Mich. on Monday (which boasts the highest level of unemployment in the U.S.), Obama’s running mate, Sen. Joe Biden, commented on Sen. McCain’s service by saying, “”America needs more than a brave soldier. They need a wise leader.”” The senator from Delaware continued with an appropriate movie analogy: “”As everyone knows, the sequel is always worse than the original,”” Biden said. “”If we forget history, we’re doomed to repeat it, with four more years just like the last eight, or worse.””

    During a time of weighty political invective, it’s sometimes necessary to look at the cold hard facts. So where exactly does Sen. John “”Reformer”” McCain stand? What will he do that is so different and reform-y from Bush? In a “”Meet the Candidates”” series on “”Meet the Press”” from January of this year, the Maverick wanted to “”improve our human intelligence”” in order to catch Osama bin Laden. This doesn’t sound any more promising than the I.N.T.E.L.L.I.G.E.N.C.E used in “”Team America: World Police.”” In the same interview, Sen. McCain blathered on about how “”we’re going to recruit, and send people in who can blend into the culture, into the tribal communities. I didn’t say it was going to be easy. But I will get him.””

    In another stroke of genius regarding missed chances to catch bin Laden, Sen. McCain asserted in a recent “”ABC News”” interview that “”I have the knowledge and the background and the experience to make the right judgments. Sen. Obama does not. He was wrong on Iraq. He underestimated Iran. He has no knowledge or experience or judgment. That’s – he doesn’t know how – how the world works nor how the military works. I do and I can lead and I’ll secure the peace.””

    No knowledge or experience or judgment? None at all? My friends, I think it’s time for a changing of the stale Republican guard.

    – Matt Wavrin is a media arts senior. He can be reached at

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