Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mothers' Day Musings

Just a quick post today – it is Mothers’ Day and all…

I want to touch briefly on three subjects that have been brought to my attention since yesterday.

First, I caught the very end of this morning’s edition of Meet the Press (MTP). MTP had Senator John McCain in the studio for the full hour. And I hate to say it, but he is losing my support. Let me be the first to say that I have harked nothing but positive sentiment for the man since I have first become interested in politics. But now he is just scaring me. Host Russert, in the small portion of the show that I caught, drilled the Senator on his flip-flopping on the issue of Ethanol. And, to my great dismay, Senator McCain played politics.

I will always be an ally of Senator McCain based on the military experience that he brings to the table. Furthermore, I felt that he could represent conservative ideals while still reaching across party divisions. Now I am starting to see that his ability to reach across the aisle may only reflect his desire to play politics to better his own political prospects. I guess that’s exactly what all candidates must do. However, I thought Senator McCain was different. And I definitely never expected him to flip-flop on an issue. This is my man of integrity and honor. Now he seems to be just another politician.

It’s unfortunate but McCain’s noble background simply disallows him the option of just being another politician. His followers (or I, at least) love him for not being just that. Now that he is looking more and more similar to his opponents in that regard, he is losing the luster that was gleaned from his background of heroics.

With Giuliani’s anti-gun stance, he is simply out of the running for my vote. And I simply can’t trust any politician from Massachusetts (see Romney), so it really looks like I am going to have to continue on my path to educate myself towards Fred Thompson’s platform and really begin to hope that he runs.

To my second issue… Last night, I watched a Special Investigative Unit report from CNN called “Month of Mayhem,” focusing on one reporter’s month-long stay in Iraq. I am trying to gather my thoughts as to what I thought about this special. First, I want to repeat the host’s sentiments that the deaths occurring in Iraq are occurring to people. These are not simply numbers. He was saying that in reference to the Iraqi deaths. While this is true, I also want to remind everyone the same about our troops. Troop activity, and unfortunately their deaths, should be story number one on every major news source whenever something should develop. Let Paris Hilton’s escapades slip to the back page. American activity in Iraq should be headline news until otherwise noted (i.e. we leave or things stabilize). While I hate anti-war sentiment from certain groups, I hate worse the option that everyday Americans may simply lose interest in the war. When the common citizen loses support is when the Democrat-controlled Congress will be able to push their agendas over our heads. We can not allow that. Stay focused, people. These are your children and your brothers fighting on your behalf over there.

And, finally, I have to link to another blog that I just checked out for the first time last night.

While I have not been able to watch all of their footage yet, I have to commend these Iraqi men on, at least, having nerve. I can tell you first hand that carrying a camera in Iraq (especially around American troops) can have dire consequences. I support their quest to get everyday life in the country out for others to see. Some of these educated young fellows even express- GET READY FOR IT- support for American presence.

However, I have to mention all this with a disclaimer. There is a reason that carrying a camera around American troops is dangerous. It’s because the one carrying the camera can be dangerous to Americans. Troops simply do not have the time to consider whether an average citizen is filming for documentary reasons or for much more damaging surveillance reasons. I enjoy that these Iraqis are telling their story. But I truly implore them to pull their cameras from taping troops. You are only adding another angle to a crazy dynamic that every troop on the ground needs to consider.

Get your word out, Gentlemen. Tell your story. But do so tactfully. Filming American troops isn’t a game. And now that this website is getting so much attention, there are many option for these Iraqi men to utilize to tape Americans if they so choose. I encourage them to use their outside contacts to get a hold of American military Public Affairs officers. The soldiers aren’t afraid to be put on tape because they know their actions are noble. They simply can’t trust every average Iraqi “Joe” to tape them.

My fear is that our troops will one day be put in an awkward situation because of these men and their cameras. One of these guys will get arrested or worse. And then, of course, American troops will be looked upon negatively once again. If such an unfortunate circumstance should occur, please remember my words today and by sympathetic to why troops have to react to such voyeurs. It’s a matter of security.

Thanks – and so much for being a short post.