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Extend a hand, not a fist 


While driving down the 101 Highway the other day, I saw a car with a Vietnam Service Ribbon bumper sticker and a “McCain/Palin” sticker. As a fellow Vietnam veteran, I have some feeling for this shared sense of duty. However, I am firmly convinced that we should stop invading countries based on the word of a B-S-in’ Texan, whether it’s L.B.J. or W. (This is a bipartisan appeal.)

It is mystifying that those supporting a more efficient government would miss the fact that another government bureau was created after Sept. 11, 2001 rather than making the existing ones work better. What is the job of the Department of Defense if not homeland security?

Like President Johnson did in Vietnam, President Bush—with staunch McCain support—asks Americans to kill and die in Iraq, but does not have the political courage to ask all Americans to pay more in taxes to support the effort. Instead, both Bush and McCain brag about not wanting to raise taxes.

Men and women in uniform should be insulted by the disparity in the levels of sacrifice being requested. Might Americans more readily pause to consider the value of war if the monetary cost was not put on our country’s credit card?

Maybe the Blackwater and Halliburton executives and some of the other mercenaries sucking up our tax dollars in Iraq can see some value in the McCain ticket’s approach to the war on terror, but this old ’Nam vet will acknowledge Sen. McCain’s service and vote for Barack Obama. The senator from Illinois is younger, but clearly wiser in understanding the limits of guns and bombs in achieving positive public policy.

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