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nytemare's Journal - Archives
Posted by nytemare in The DU Lounge
Tue Jan 06th 2009, 01:09 AM
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Posted by nytemare in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Sun Sep 28th 2008, 12:17 AM
Several times in Friday night's debate, John McCain, as if Barack Obama wasn't even present, condescendingly said that "Senator Obama just doesn't seem to understand _______." As if, in his infinite codgy wisdom, he was the only one blessed with the capacity to understand such complex issues. Clearly, his VP candidate is not.

It seemed, though, not only condescending to Obama, but to the American people. He seemed to show that he was the elitist he so pegged Obama to be.

That not only does Obama not understand, neither do we.

Neither do I.

I don't understand.

I don't understand how someone who presents himself as being the expert of foreign affairs does not understand that Spain is not in Latin America, and are our allies.

I don't understand how someone who voted with Bush 95% of the time, by his own admission, thinks he is the only person dedicated enough to get us out of the mess that he got us into.

I don't understand how somebody who stated he puts country before politics wouldn't be a VP candidate under Kerry, allowing the country to fester for four more years under Bush, then, as a Presidential candidate, choose a VP who believes that proximity to Russia should count as foreign policy experience. /

I don't understand how a victim of torture, can be against torture, then for it, and against it again when it is politically expedient.

I don't understand how a disabled war veteran can vote against benefits for other disabled war veterans, while collecting veterans benefits.

I don't understand how a person who would call a man who has holes in his shoes an elitist when he gets $5000 makeup jobs, and his wife wears a $300,000 outfit to a convention.

I don't understand, when as a nation, we are arguably at one of our most challenging times, McCain would pick a VP candidate who has to hide from interviews due to ineptitude at answering serious questions, showing she is more of a poodle with lip gloss than a pit bull with lipstick.

I don't understand how someone who puts such a high price on integrity would put out an ad against Obama's Freddie Mac/Fannie Mae connections when his campaign manager accepted payment from Freddie Mac as recently as last month. Even Karl Rove has stated his ads have gone too far. / /

I really just don't understand. And, I don't think I am the only one. I don't think Senator Obama understands these things, either. And, when that phrase, "Senator Obama just doesn't seem to understand" comes up in the next debate, which it is sure to do, he needs to forcefully explain the things he does, and doesn't understand. Because, how can anyone truly understand John McCain.

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Posted by nytemare in General Discussion (01/01/06 through 01/22/2007)
Sun May 28th 2006, 01:49 PM
I have previously posted this. I feel it is good to post for Memorial Day. Brainshrub was kind enough to post it in his blog in November. Hope you folks enjoy.

From April to July of 1991, I was a Military Police Officer deployed to Zachu, Iraq for a humanitarian mission, "Operation Provide Comfort". Basically, the mission was to keep the peace very shortly after the first Gulf war ended, and to insure the safety of the Kurds who lived in that part of Iraq from Saddam, who had previously gassed them. We kept watch over food shipments for the Kurds, which was in short supply. We also patrolled the town. I alternated from driving to being the M-60 gunner in the turret of our Humvee.

I was a very naive 19 years old. I did not understand the way of the world, and why it was so unfair. My experience in Iraq would do much to teach me about the way of things.

Seeing the results of war in a country very different from the US came as quite a shock to me. The sight of young children with bloated bellies was never something I grew accustomed to, nor did I want to. Still, I recall their smiling faces chasing after the Hummer. They would tap the inside of their forearm with the side of the opposite hand and say "Mister, chocklata, Mister, chocklata!" The arm tapping was their way of begging. Though I was female, they called me "mister" just like all the other troops. It was explained to some of the children by my boyfriend at the time, along with the prop of his nightstick, the difference between a "mister" and a "miss". I can still remember the expressions on the children’s faces when they grasped what he was saying.

Many times we would hand out water and M&M's from our MRE's to the children. I was struck by how often we were offered bread and food by the people, even in the poorest areas of Zachu. The generosity of these people, who were devastated by war, poor sewage, and a lack of food amazed me.

One day, while returning from the Turkish border with two fellow soldiers, a young girl was struck by a truck. The driver fled. The girl was badly hurt. A man offered to take her to the makeshift hospital in his car, and we followed in our Humvee. We carried the girl up the steps into the hospital, which was really more along the lines of a field clinic for the local Kurds. The mother of the girl was praying, and yelling to Allah. After a short time, which seemed forever, the doctor told us that the girl probably passed as we were carrying her up the stairs. She was eight years old. As they told her mother, she screamed hysterically. I could only imagine the pain of this woman. I gave her a cross I had in my pocket, and told her that my God mourned for her daughter too. I have no idea if she understood me.

We returned to our base, and I was yelled at by my Sergeant who said he heard that I ran over the girl and killed her, and that I should have told him we were leaving. I wasn't even driving the Humvee, and I notified my Lieutenant before we left. My sadness over this girl's death was compounded with anger over being blamed for it.

Fifteen years later, my mind still wonders back to Zachu. The mother, and the children chasing, begging and smiling. I wonder if the children that I gave M&m's to are parents now. I wonder if the lady who removed her veil to cheer me, a woman MP with an M60, voted, and if her candidate won. I wonder if the mother had any more children, and if she remembers me.

I think often of these people, because they taught me about life, in all its unfairness and complexities. I am worldly now. I know through this experience, that the good guys weren't always good, and the bad guys aren't all bad. I learned of all the colors and shady areas between black and white. These people, who had so little, gave me so much.

I no longer believe in God the way I did then. I do believe in the resilience of people to overcome insurmountable odds. I believe in the human capacity to give when there is nothing to give but hope, memories, and a smile. I hope that these people who so changed my life still have that hope. Maybe I gave them some hope, caused them to smile. Maybe, that mother holds that cross and knows that someone far away still thinks of her, and her daughter. Maybe, hopefully, I gave something back to the people of Zachu. That is my wish.
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