Monday, July 09, 2007

Graham & McCain: The couple that plays together, stays together

Let's face it: long-term relationships can be tough. Even the happiest couples will tell you that it's important to make that extra effort to spend time together, away from the demands of work or kids, or...uh... Immigration Reform legislation?

But Sens. Lindsey Graham and John McCain weren't in your garden-variety rut. A dinner & a movie just weren't enough to silence the din of right-wing xenophobes ("Graham-nesty!" "John McCave!"). No, sir. These gents needed some good, solid, quality time.

So, it was thus that the gentlemembers headed East. Way, waaaaaay out East.

The Senators went back to Baghdad.

Now, now...I know what you're thinking: Lindsey "five rugs for five bucks" Graham was just looking for an excuse to scout some more bargains. Tut, tut, can you be so cynical?

No. The good Senators were fulfilling their obligation to check-up on the progress of "Surge '07: Taste it Again, For the First Time(TM)." Here is an excerpt from Graham's Surge '07 postcard:
"The military part of the surge is working beyond my expectations," Graham said. "We literally have the enemy on the run. The Sunni part of Iraq has really rejected al Qaida all over the country. We're getting more information about al Qaida operations than we've ever received."
But don't let the platitudes and oversimplifications stop there, Sen. Graham. Why don't you tell us about your day-trips? You know...something akin to your peaceful trip to the Baghdad market, back in April? Something to quell the nattering nabobs of negativism?
Graham and McCain ate lunch in Ramadi, a former terrorist stronghold 100 miles west of Baghdad that two U.S. senators couldn't have visited six months ago, Graham said.
A-HA! I knew it. Better file that last review for use in the next "Let's Go Iraq!" travel guide. You see, dear? I don't know why we keep thinking "Niagara-on-the-Lake," when Ramadi's just staring us in the face, clear as day. Shaw Festival, Schmaw Festival.

But...even the most prudent couple can't plan for every contingency. No, I'm not talking about the hundreds of exploding bodies (what? You don't have those where you live?); I'm talking about John McCain's imploding presidential campaign. You see, while Lindsey & John were clinking glasses in Ramadi, Congressman Ron Paul was inching into 3rd place among GOP candidates, in terms of cash-on-hand.

It was under this particular cloud of bad news, that we received our second dispatch from the happy couple. Before they packed their bags for the return trip home, John & Lindsey were invited to deliver the keynote speeches at a massive 4th of July re-enlistment ceremony, held at Camp Victory (near Baghdad airport). Over 500 servicemembers re-enlisted that day. 160 became US citizens.
“We have incurred a debt today that we can never repay in full,” McCain said. “What you have done for us, we can never do for you.”
The war “has divided the American people,” but it has not diminished “America’s admiration for you,” he said.
*sniff* I'm sorry...I always cry at re-enlistment ceremonies. I just fall to pieces, y'know? If only President Bush could be here. He loves a good ceremony...
A videotaped message from Bush called the day “a defining event” for those soldiers who’d just become U.S. citizens. “Today,” Bush noted, “the United States is not only your home; it is your country.”

Bush’s message was followed by country singer Lee Greenwood’s classic song “Proud to be an American,” which became famous in 1991, during the first Iraq war.
Oh noes! Not Greenwood. Don't lay that on me, babydoll: you know that's our song. Don't you remember, just after 911 when we were wondering what we'd do, and how we ached for a guy who'd never worn the uniform to fuckin' tell us what to do? No, no, not that guy...this guy:
And I’m proud to be an American,
where at least I know I’m free.
And I wont forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.
And I surely stand UP!
Next to you and defend her still today....

I'm sorry, it's just too much to take...the President who never sacrificed, won't even give the soldiers the steam off his piss, sends a videotaped message which concludes with schlocky jingoism sung by another guy who trucks in empty patriotism. All whilst Sen. John McCain--the fucking VETERAN stands by and watches his remaining credibility float away like so much dandelion snow. I just can't take it. It's too much.

And what of the re-upped soldiers?
When Sgts. Jason Mawhorr and Yelixa Mawhorr first deployed to Iraq in March, they didn’t think they would be seeing much of each other.
So when the opportunity came for husband and wife, both soldiers with the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division, to re-enlist together, they jumped at the chance.
The couple, who have two children at home with Yelixa’s mother, both re-enlisted for six more years in the Army; it was another milestone, they said, in what they both hope will be long and successful careers in uniform.
The fact that the ceremony took place on July 4, exactly 4½ years to the date when they met at Fort Hood, Texas, also made the day a special one, said Yelixa, 25, of Brooklyn, N.Y.
“We believe that the family who re-enlists together stays together,” she said.
It's enough to break your heart, it is.


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