Mark Karlin
March 22, 2008

In case you’ve been so caught up in the battle royale of the Democratic primaries, Joe Lieberman has been escorting John McCain around Iraq and Israel, acting as his assisted living caretaker.

Not only has Lieberman once or twice bailed McCain out of his confusion between Sunnis and Shiites, he most recently saved McCain from his equating the Jewish Holiday of Purim with Halloween while jaunting around Israel.

In my younger days, I played the role of Mordechai in a youthful Synagogue Purim play. Mordechai helps save the Jews from the evil plot of Haman to have them destroyed by the Persians of ancient times. The key heroine is Queen Esther who persuades her husband, King Ahasuerus, to assist in keeping the Jews from being annihilated by Haman’s forces. As a result, the Jews survive a potential Holocaust and Purim is celebrated with the reading of the Book of Esther, or as it has come to be called in the vernacular, “the whole Megillah.”

Yes, costumes are worn to recreate the festive celebration of escaping annihilation and re-enacting the drama, but it is not Halloween.

But McCain’s ongoing confusion about Purim, who the enemy is in Iraq, the role of Iran, and in general the realities of the U.S. presence in the Middle East is altogether fitting for the Lieberman and McCain “Bomb Iran and Stay in Iraq for 100 Years Tour.”

Joe, John’s caretaker and potential vice-presidential candidate, bails McCain out of his chronic misstatements about foreign policy details. McCain is like Cheney in that his attitude is who cares about the specifics, we’re America and we’re going to beat “their” butts into the ground.

When Barack Obama says that McCain in the White House would be the third Bush term, he’s certainly right on foreign policy. Except that McCain would be Bush and Cheney on steroids. McCain is determined to achieve “victory” over “them” (whoever “they” might be), because that is how he — in large part — defines his patriotism: the success of the extension of the American military empire is a basic assumption of the Pledge of Allegiance to hair-trigger John.

Long ago the Iraq and Afghansitan wars — and the possible pending bombing of Iran — basically stopped being accepted as being about defeating terrorism (that’s why the difference between Shiites and Sunnis and their relationship to Iran don’t really matter to McCain.) They are about the expansion of empire, and the “victory” over “them,” third world wannabees who need to be crushed because they are in the way of the great and mighty American military machine.

Of course this myth of the omnipotence of military might combined with flag lapel pin nationalism leaves us even more vulnerable to terrorism, because terrorism is not the real target of this vast multi-trillion dollar military enterprise.

No McCain and Lieberman are not in Purim costumes — but ironically Lieberman is hot to bomb Iran because the right wing Likudnicks in Israel fear that Iran will succeed in the annihilation of the Jews that Haman planned — but they are ready to light a match and explode the Middle East powder keg, from “day one” if elected.

Joe and John remind us of the old Greek riddle: What has one leg in the morning, two legs in the day, and three legs at night? A baby, an adult, and an elderly person with a cane.

Except that McCain and Lieberman would have four legs at midnight as they would lead us into a nuclear Armageddon from which we might not awake, were they to be elected as the GOP “Dream Team.”

That’s if Cheney and Bush don’t set the world on fire first.

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