I watched the debate last Friday and I think John McCain was most honest when he was talking about bringing our troops home from Iraq with honour, unlike what happened in Vietnam. (I’m too lazy to look up the clip on youtube right now. ) Seeing the effect Vietnam had on the United States and how we were viewed around the world must have had a profound effect on him. Vietnam was the only foreign war the US was involved in where we “lost” and, sorry to be cliche, had a profound effect on the psyche of Americans, and on how we view ourselves in the world at large. What kind of power did the US want to be in the world. It’s what I think helped bring Jimmy Carter (one of the few former Presidents I actually have respect for. I like Bill, but I’m not sure how much I respect him) to the White House. He tried to pull the country in a different direction but Ronald Regan pulled us back in the direction of the past where America was a military power to be reckoned with. Panama, Grenada, Nicaragua, the Iran/Iraq War . . .
Maybe, in a way it made Americans feel good about being Americans again (even though imho we were going in and kicking the shit out of 3rd world countries). Britain had Old Ironsides, aka Margaret Thatcher, and I wonder if she did something similar for the British psyche. They after all had the Falklands War and she did change some things within the social system in Britain. I’m not a British Historian so I cant say how much.
Getting back to McCain though, I think his Vietnam era experience, and his feelings about not coming home with honour definitely colour his thinking on the Iraq War. (Nothing like stating the obvious right?) He’s willing to keep our kids there (because lets face it a lot of the people over there fighting are under 30) until there is some decisive victory. Some decisive battle to prove this was not all a folly. Some decisive victory however that happens to manifest itself to prove this was not some long strange misadventure that ended up being for nothing.
That’s my take on the situation anway.
I’m trying something new this month. I read on Bellswebsite that October is Blogtoberfest and the challenge is to post something every day. We’ll see. Although I for one cannot wait to see tomorrow night’s debate between Joe Biden and Sarah Palin. I think he will eat her for breakfast. Hopefully she doesnt get soggy with milk.