AMERICA: A NATION AT RISK

If Senator Barack Obama selects Senator Hillary Clinton for vice-president, his credibility as an agent of change dies on the spot. I believe most Americans are beginning to realize our democracy is at risk.

The bow of America’s ship must turn towards the democracy fought for by the founding fathers. America’s bow must turn towards a democracy that my grandfather fought for in World War I and my father fought for in World War II. With Clinton or McCain anywhere near the helm, this will not happen.

At this moment in our history, Senator Barack Obama is our country’s best and only hope in the presidential race. More than once I have listened to him and found myself daring to believe I may be witnessing greatness. The kind of greatness rooted in what America is supposed to be. The kind of greatness that is not rooted in any political party. If should not select Senator Clinton as his vice-presidential running mate. She has waged a campaign riddled with incidents of dishonesty and dishonor. Raise your hands if you’ve ever mistaken an eight-year-old girl reading poetry for sniper fire. She has twice raised the specter of Robert F. Kennedy’s assassinaton in June 1968 as a reason for her to stay in the race.

I believe Senator Obama may possess the depth of vision and capacity for change along with the ability to bring people together that this country, a country I love, so desperately needs and deserves. But, if he selects Senator Clinton for the VP post, I will stand corrected, heartbroken and nearly convinced that our days as a democracy are numbered. After all, George Bush and Dick Cheney are dictators in mind and, increasingly, in action.

Bush and Cheney have approved torture, tossed aside the legal system that served humanity perfectly well in prosecuting the Nazis. Have we all forgotten the 1945 Nuremberg trials?

Moreover, there are stains on the hands of many from both sides of the aisle for enabling the Bush and Cheney agenda.

If you think saying Bush and Cheney behave like dictators is a stretch, consider the following. They have approved torture, ignored the country’s constitution, knowingly sent young men and women to die based on falsehoods they helped design, rigged the system so their oil company buddies receive record profits, andirect their staff and the Department of Justice to ignore congressional supeonas. How are these actions any different from actions taken by past and present dictators?

The American people are sick to death of both the Republicans and the Democrats. Why? Because by and large the American people are Americans first, which is something they rightfully expect from there leaders. The American people are angry over the deep wounds Bush and Cheney have inflicted on all that is great about America. Bush and Cheney should ponder the words some have attributed to Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto after the attack on Pearl Harbor, “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.”

I hope and pray the ever increasing support for Senator Obama that comes from Americans of all political persuasions reflects a giant that is, thankfully, wide-awake.

HILLARY CLINTON DID NOT MISSPEAK

When Hillary Clinton said, “I remember landing under sniper fire (in Bosnia). There was supposed to be some kind of a greeting ceremony at the airport, but instead we just ran with our heads down to get into the vehicles to get to our base,” she did not misspeak. She lied. She also insulted anyone who has lived through the blistering terror of being shot at.

News clips of the day Mrs. Clinton landed in Bosnia show her strolling calmly across the tarmac with her daughter Chelsea. Moments later, she is standing on the tarmac with her daughter listening to a lovely eight-year-old Bosnian girl read a poem.

Now take what you have just read and align it with Clinton spokesperson Howard Wolfson’s assertion today that Mrs. Clinton knew she was landing in “a potential combat zone and (it)was hazardous.” Really? Should we conclude that Mrs. Clinton knowingly put her daughter and the little Bosnian girl in danger of being killed? I will give Mr. Wolfson the credit he deserves. He represents Mrs. Clinton with honesty. He lies too.

One last thing. I have been shot at and I have been shot. Going through either experience is not the kind of thing you forget. It is not the kind of thing you misspeak about. Moreover, it is not the kind of thing you lie about.