The International Writers Magazine: US ELection Watch '04 October
IT GONNA BE, JOHN or GEORGE?
hopped into a cab the other day and the first thing the guy said
to me was, I hope they get rid of that cowboy Bush so that
we can all go back to living in peace!
Most Spanish taxi
drivers are staunch conservatives and generally support right
of centre ideas, yet the general mood throughout Spain reflects
his instantaneous outburst. In fact, the majority of the Western world,
barring the USA is hoping that John Kerry will win the forthcoming elections
and reign in the aggressive and bellicose attitude of the present housekeeper.
This is understandable for two reasons. The first is that nobody outside
US borders understands America and the second is that, at least in Europe
the general populous is living in a sort of false delusion of pacifism.
To tackle both assumptions there is no better example than the opposite
ends of a political magnet reflected in the outcome of the recent Spanish
elections. Spain, under the right wing leadership of Jose María
Aznar was firm and somewhat authoritarian. Spaniards felt they were
being bullied and did not like it. In the eyes of Americans, this spelt
out firm leadership no different to that exerted by George
Bush. The newcomer, Jose Rodriguez Zapatero is completely the opposite
and the electorate love him. So far he is proving to be a real pussycat.
Yet across the Atlantic, he is viewed as a future European disaster,
specially in the fight against terrorism. America respects strong leadership,
Europe prefers the softly softly touch. Hence the enigmatic
difference in opinion on the choice of the future leader of America
and the world.
But back to the forthcoming US elections, how about a quick look in
on the Republican campaign.
These figures coming in from Iraq are frightening. Weve
passed the thousand mark on casualties and now these decapitations.
None of this is good news, said one of the aides during the morning
session think tank.
Sure, yet Allawi has come across just fine in Congress and the
UN. This should boost our image on the positive side. You know, recovering
democracy, a free world and all that jazz.
OK, but how about health care and more jobs for the unemployed,
muttered another as he poured over the updated polls, the budget
deficit is climbing and God only knows what Greenspan will come up with
The key issue is, butted in yet another supporter, security.
This is what we have to keep on hammering into the minds of all those
jerks who still think otherwise. We must make America safe even if it
takes blowing up the world. Thats whats going to win votes!
There were smiles all round.
The Democrats meanwhile:
That was a good punch. Yes Sir! Hitting Bush where it hurts, and
its hurting real bad. One of the Democratic presidential
party speech writers was referring to the recent, yet desperate
poisoned dart from John Kerry that accused the President of getting
it all wrong in Iraq. Thanks Bill, it may get us a few more
votes but we still dont have the answer to clean up the mess out
there. Ive got to convince America that the worlds safety
is also our safety. Thats the real challenge to win us the Presidency!
John Kerry raised his hands with fingers pointed in the usual fashion.
Get me an answer, gentlemen, get me an answer.
Both the above simpleton dialogues could sum up the tension and uncertainty
building up in the brawling camps as they each fight for sufficient
votes to take over the White House. Yet neither address the overall
problem facing America in the future. Isolationism!
America was hit hard and below the belt on September 11th 2001. There
is no doubt in any civilised human beings mind that the most notorious
terrorist attack in modern history convulsed the world. Millions and
millions of people the world over mourned and many sympathised with
the anger and thirst for vengeance that eventually led the Bush administration
to go after Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Sadam Hussein in Iraq. But a
year on, events have gone dramatically wrong and the situation in the
Middle East, championed by the set up in Iraq are far from the ideal
built up by the Pentagon when the 7th cavalry first invaded the place.
The international community has turned against America as increasing
television images and media coverage of human carnage, specially of
Iraqis, continues to plague every household across the globe. Every
time pieces of human flesh are strewn across a Baghdad avenue or a hostage
is beheaded before our eyes by some human animal from the dark ages
dressed up as Genghis Kan, the gulf between the USA and the rest of
the world deepens. Uncle Sam grows angrier whilst Little Bo Peep points
a never ending I told you so finger at George Bush. Will
the bursting point hinge on the forthcoming US elections? If George
wins, will he soften his international aggressiveness? If John takes
over will he produce a miracle and slow down the hurricane to a mild
But hold on! We are referring to one of the most important and influential
political events in the world. We are staring at THE single
event that may transform the future destiny of humanity and civilisation.
We are talking about the presidential elections of the United States
Lets start with George Bush. When the Texan burst into Iraq, apart from
the obvious, he did accomplish one thing. He drove a lot of other rats
back into their holes to rethink their nastiness towards America. Libya
went all soft, Iran reviewed its antagonistic policy towards the Atomic
Energy Agency. Most Arab states closed their eyes. North Korea subdued
and reverted to a nobody is listening to me mode. Nevertheless,
except for Russia, who has a very similar security problem, the rest
of the freedom loving democratic world was outraged. But so what, America
proved a point: Dont mess with America. If George
and his team win again, that same message will be driven even further
into the pacifist households. On the other hand, if a second term international
policy does not open a true dialogue, specially with the United Nations,
the underlined prospect will be less rather than greater security in
On the other hand, if John Kerry takes over the Oval Office, despite
being an unknown factor, his international policy will have to continue
down the same lines as that of the Bush administration. He has no choice.
Although he has accused his opponent of blundering the invasion of Iraq,
it does not mean that under his leadership America would have done the
opposite and left Saddam Hussein to continue with his murderous regime.
It is not a message to the rest of the world that the USA would have
stayed at home playing pinochle. However, Kerry has no yet come up with
an answer to solve the problem. Thus, from a domestic viewpoint, that
is, the US electorate, the choice between Bush and Kerry lies in the
perception of who can offer greater security and thus economic stability.
From an international dimension, the outside world is hoping, erroneously,
that John Kerry will offer more appeasement and detante a thus rid the
world of a warmonger in order to bring peace and security to a troubled
Effectively fighting Islamic terrorism is the answer. It may sound obvious
but the main obstructing factor in this war is the discrepancies between
US international policies and those from other countries, mainly Europe.
These are hidden somewhere in the bowls of the US election campaign
and are overshadowed by the overall search for homeland security with
political rhetoric from both sides claiming to have the answer. Europe,
on the other hand, specially the politicians and media, must appreciate
that the American people are genuinely scared stiff of an attack and
that the election result will reflect this fear. Those accusing America
of creating the problem and thus inciting the populous to raise against
them are wrong. It only feeds more fuel to all the fundementalist thugs.
I have gone on record on this web-site time and time again stating that
the democratic world should unite and support America in their search
for a solution to rid us of Islamic terrorism. They should not consider
the US elections as a McDonalds outing and view the result, regardless
of its colour, as being the most important event that will have an impact
on world stability. Americans, on the other hand should appreciate that
through their choice of leader, the key to international peace will
emerge. Their homeland security will automatically follow!
© James Skinner. October 2004.
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