I apologise for time-wasting. Rather than “put distasteful words in your mouth” I was trying to practise the time-honoured tradition of using logic, rhetoric and irony in the cut and thrust of a lively debate to draw out certain conclusions inherent in your statements and expose their flaws.
I deeply appreciated the wisdom of your earlier gems like “Democracy is the wrong form of government for Afghanistan” and “These people [the Afghans] need a king”. From these and similar I concluded that, unlike moi, you’d enjoyed a classical education and unlike Bayani et al you understood Afghan history and their character. I fully agreed.
Since Solomon1 understood the language of even birds and ants, as an accomplished debater I thought that you’d follow and respond in like manner, without taking it personally. I’m sorry if my rhetorical was lost on you. I thought you’d be equal to having your views questioned and regret it caused offence. My bad.
So, back to the chase: “I choose to vote not because I like him or her, but because I think they're the right person for the job.” Now it’s you who’s playing with words, splitting hairs. Was I over-generous in assuming US voters would LIKE their candidate BECAUSE he/she was the right person for the job? I assumed, if one judges a candidate right for the job, one ‘likes’ him/her, and vote accordingly. Wrong, apparently!
You imply you’d vote for McCain as the right person, even though you don’t like him. How very noble. Well if this be so then at least I can say that I half-agree with you - I don’t like him either; but that’s my bad too: I’ll try to like him more. After all he’s human and we have the same basic feelings and other attributes. I guess the problem is his conditioning. As an ex-POW his credentials are impeccable. Anyone who’s been a POW must be of excellent character, yes? Is that not so? Does that also apply to the enemy and his POWs? Only if God is on his side? But that includes Gitmo! Oh, shit ... it can’t be right. Please, can you kindly clarify this point for us, sir. I guess it’s all down to a question of subjectivity. Like, good guys/bad guys and primitive Neocon stuff like that.
“The period of fairly unified foreign and defense policy ... lasted from 9/11 to August 2002, when division over the issue of the war to oust Saddam developed.” Thanks for the correction. We never knew opposition to the war in Iraq went so far back, and in addition, we wrongly thought it was prosecuted because of WMD and Saddam’s role in 9/11, as well, like Colin Powell was unforgettably made to tell the UN. Well, I’m glad to know opposition went back to 2002, even before the invasion. We thought America was fully united and anyone disagreeing was a traitor until around 2006 when the press timidly started to question what the hell was actually going on. The Democrats have risen in my estimation.
“It was a genuine commercial ... but whoever created [it] embedded a partisan pitch for the candidate ... I've never heard of combining commercials this way before, and I found it intensely distasteful.” That’s very sensitive of you. I assumed this kind of thing was totally legal and fair. I read the US government spends billions of dollars on “perception management” [“propaganda” to us], and personally I find this somewhat distasteful. Whereas if a supermarket owner uses his freedom of speech and expression to spend his personal funds to support his candidate, as a donation to his campaign, in such a hotly-fought contest, I’d strongly support his freedom to spend his money in whichever legal way he wants. Unless, of course he was supporting McCain – then I admit, I’d totally agree with you: I’d find it intensely distasteful.
I’m glad to see that we’re in full agreement now on almost everything; that feels really good, oh wise one. I look forward to your clarifications on any outstanding divergences.
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