Mudcat Café message #1175169 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #62901   Message #1175169
Posted By: robomatic
30-Apr-04 - 02:07 PM
Thread Name: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
In Alaska I qualify as a liberal. Why? Because I only have three guns in the house, and one of them is an air rifle. All my friends in Alaska are gung ho for Bush. When I go back East it's the other way around. I'm the gun-loving ANWR desecratin' arch conservative. All my friends here are anti-war.

But I'm more tortured than that.

Herman Wouk wrote a novel "The Caine Mutiny" and a play called "The Caine Mutiny Courtmartial". The two were turned into a good 1954 war flick with Van Johnson, Fred McMurry, and a famous supporting role by Humphrey Bogart as Captain Queeg. The story was about a U.S. Navy minesweeper being captained by a fairly unsteady almost senile type, who impressed his crew as a chickenshit officer, a chickenshit being somebody who is both ineffective and domineering at the same time. During a tropical storm in which the ship is almost lost at sea, some officers take over the ship. In the resulting courtmartial they seem to be about to lose their case (which is potentially a capital one) when their lawyer, a slick one well aware of his own capabilities, puts their captain on the stand and leans on him so hard that some of his nervous traits appear (the famous ball bearings). The judges are swayed by his obvious instability to find the officers innocent.

That night the officers are celebrating their good fortune when their slick lawyer shows up having tied one on and very angry with everyone. He feels guilty as if he'd crucified Queeg. His message, and the author's, is: You guys had a choice. You knew you had a weak leader. But, you could have sucked it in and helped him as best you could, and played a part in the war effort against the real enemy. Instead you let pride and a poor knowledge of psychology lead you to create a dangerous legal mess and a drain on your country's resources. The lawyer felt sorry for the men because there was an additional character who had egged them into it, yet escaped being charged by the court.

George W. has his faults. He doesn't shine in debate, and he has a garbled way of expressing himself in public. I disagree with much of his domestic agenda and the folks he was working it. I personally think he does not have a deep background in foreign affairs.

But he is the leader of the U.S. and the free world at a time when we have a real enemy out there, and he deserves support no matter what we think of him personally. If our European allies out there were a bit less self-centered (and, yes, a bit more gutsy), they could have led us to a more cooperative effort that brought us under U.N. jurisdiction and it would have been better for everyone.

W is not a bad person. He is not a stupid person. He is no coward. He has a moral center. He is someone we can work with. That is the message that is not getting out, although I suspect that that could be Blair's perception of him and the situation, and the PM has been IMHO courageous and brilliant in putting the British into the fray on our side.

I think we will find out that France and Russia had their own more selfish Iraqi agendas. I think we are already finding out about major corruption in that paragon of ethics and upright standards, The United Nations.

The reality of the world is that it isn't just what you stand for but the way you stand. So the U.S. is up for justifiable criticism in how we have gone about what we've gone about. But the U.S. also deserves some help. Accusing W of being a worse menace than Osama or Hitler is just not on.