Home Page

carol gould

Join our email list for updates.




We hope that you'll feel our website is worthy enough to contribute a few pounds to the bandwidth bills.



Perhaps America Needs a Parliament
Last uploaded : Saturday 6th Mar 2004 at 16:02
Contributed by : The Editor



Those of us who are on the conservative (pro Iraq War, we like Rumsfeld etc) side of the Democrat or Independent American electorate have become increasingly alarmed of late at the polarisation inside the United States. I like to say we call ourselves the ?former Lieberman-McCain? faction.

When it comes to the crunch this publication will endorse a Democrat, at this point likely to be John Kerry. I am old enough to remember what a hero he became for teenagers like myself who had seen thousands of boys go off to die in the disgraceful Vietnam debacle. He brought a dignity to the anti-war movement that added a new dimension: the loyal serving man who dared to challenge his leaders about this immoral and unnecessary killing field.

Unlike my relatives and fellow students, however, (here come those conservative genes emerging in puberty!) I wore a POW/MIA bracelet (Peter Sherman, whose remains were only recently, and thankfully for his family, found by the Pentagon) and I hated it when demonstrators trashed our serving men and women. Who can forget the stories (so sensitively portrayed by Richard Gere in ?An Officer and a Gentleman?) of uniformed servicemen being spat on and verbally tormented when trying to get a drink in a bar during the height of Vietnam?

Likewise, I felt a tremendous compassion for Robert McNamara when I saw ?The Fog of War.? Anyone who has ever held a position of immense responsibility, whether in the corporate world or in government, understands the agony of making world-changing decisions that can backfire on oneself, on one?s company or on one?s government with decades-long consequences. McNamara?s tears when the name John F Kennedy was mentioned in the film indicated that the former Defence Secretary has a modicum of humanity. Few on the Left have noted that he acknowledged he would have been prosecuted as a war criminal had the United States lost World War II for the incendiary bombing Gen Curtis LeMay -- with the aid of loyal associate McNamara -- had unleashed upon wood-built, heavily civilian Japanese city centres.

I was relieved and pleased that at this year?s Oscar ceremony the director of ?The Fog of War? (my choice for best documentary in my capacity as a BAFTA member) Errol Morris thanked McNamara, without whose lengthy and self-deprecating participation the project would not have come to fruition. What I am trying to say here is that I want my Democrat colleagues to step back from the divisive rhetoric about the Bush team and realise that however evil they may seem, they are not cutting out our tongues or boiling the mayors of New Paltz and Frisco in oil. I can hear my friends saying ?Not YET!? but perhaps my perspective on the neo-cons comes from my having spent extended periods of time in Israel, where a democracy is surrounded by dictatorships dying to invade, annihilate its Jewish inhabitants and bring in Saddam-style rule.

Recently I have had visits from various American friends and colleagues to my home in London. What distresses me is the anger they feel towards the Bush Administration and towards government in general, even Democrat senators and Mayors under whom they pay local taxes. They feel helpless, frightened and under the cudgel of a near-Nazi-style dictatorship.

Ironically, I meet Israelis who hate Ariel Sharon but who are delighted to point out that support for him is waning and that he will surely be thrown out at the next election if he is not the victim of a vote of no confidence in the Knesset sooner than the next election. In this regard I think our British Parliamentary system is admirable in its daily pummelling of its leaders: our Prime Minister and our Opposition Leader receive the brutal barbs from the three main parties of the House on an almost daily basis. Sharon must face this daily, but Bush does not. Little wonder my American visitors feel helpless. Every time I have written to the President or Vice President in the past three years I have received not so much as an acknowledgement. (Full marks to the Defence Department, whose leaders and personnel always send thoughtful replies..)

The other night I commented to an English friend that if Presidents had to face an ordeal like Prime Minister?s Question Time the American people would feel less disenfranchised. I truly believe Ben Franklin would have cried tears of despair during the Florida recount and during the formulation of the Patriot Act.

I hope John Kerry has the grit to face what I fear will be an ugly campaign, and if elected will have the inner strength to deal with the monumental problems facing the American people in the difficult years ahead and pray that he selects a running mate who will be his equal in strength. Although Joe Lieberman more closely mirrored my range of views I have to say I deeply lament the political demise of Howard Dean (unlike me, he was anti-war but I admired his work as Governor of Vermont, and his in-your-face directness -- a kind of Left-wing Rummy) and beseech the candidates to unite a bitter and angry America.

It is an America angrier at its leaders than at bin Laden. Think about that.


Read more Editorials    go >>



Web Design - Web Designers
© current viewpoint .com

All Rights reserved.
No copying of any text or images allowed in any form digitally or otherwise,
without the prior written consent of the copyright holders.