December 25, 2004

McGovern and Santa Claus.

Former Democratic presidential candidate George McGovern has a letter in today's NYT:
I'm for keeping Donald H. Rumsfeld as secretary of defense because he is against increasing the number of American soldiers in Iraq. Sending more soldiers only means more targets for those Iraqis who don't want our army occupying their country.

I did not want any Americans to risk their lives in Iraq. We should bring home those who are there. So better Mr. Rumsfeld than some eager beaver who wants to double our army in the desert as we repeatedly did in the jungle to no avail in the 1960's and 70's. We toppled Saddam Hussein; as George Aiken, that wonderful old Republican senator, said of an earlier time of troubles, Declare victory and come home.

Once we left Vietnam and quit bombing its people, they became friends and trading partners. Iraq has been nestled along the Tigris and Euphrates for 6,000 years. It will be there 6,000 more whether we stay or leave, as earlier conquerors learned.

I tried to persuade Santa Claus to bring our troops home for Christmas, but he said, "No, Rumsfeld sees light at the end of the tunnel if we hang in there and don't listen to old veterans like McGovern."

Is there really a Santa Claus, Virginia? If so, why were 14 soldiers killed at lunch after a hard night searching for that light at the end of the tunnel?

I don't remember Santa Claus having the function of bringing us peace. But here we have McGovern talking with Santa, getting an answer, and then questioning his existence because he failed to give him what he asked for.

Even assuming McGovern was really praying to Jesus or God, since when have believers questioned their faith because soldiers have died fighting for a cause? How could any religious faith be left in the world if that is the way we think it works?

In the poem "Twas the Night Before Christmas," "The children were nestled all snug in their beds," and, according to McGovern, "Iraq has been nestled along the Tigris and Euphrates for 6,000 years." Oh, yes, it was having a sweet old time dreaming visions of sugar-plums before we came along. We should just stop fighting (for what those soldiers have already died for) and leave, McGovern tells us, and the Iraqis can go back to being the happy friends they've been for thousands of years. They've got those rivers to nestle alongside of, after all.

Aw, come on, George, admit it. You really do believe in Santa Claus.

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