Tuesday, November 02, 2004


For those following the electoral college vote game, check out Electoral-Vote.com, featured in today's New York Times. The man behind the site is Andrew Tanenbaum - reputed professor of computer science, author of standard textbooks on operating systems and computer networks, and U.S. citizen. Although Tanenbaum's political leanings are Democratic, I think the projections can be relied on to be non-partisan.
I think America deserves better. I want America to be respected in the world again, and John Kerry can restore the respect America deserves. 
Don't believe me that the world hates us? The Guardian, one of Britain's most respected newspapers, ran a column by Charlie Brooker last week ending with this paragaph: "On November 2, the entire civilised world will be praying, praying Bush loses. And Sod's law dictates he'll probably win, thereby disproving the existence of God once and for all. The world will endure four more years of idiocy, arrogance and unwarranted bloodshed ..." Then it gets so bad that I refuse to quote it. Maybe Brooker is a nut and maybe it was a joke, but the fact that a serious newspaper would publish this piece shows how deep the hatred of George Bush runs. And this comes from our closest ally. Imagine what people in Spain or Indonesia or the Arab world think. 
But there are some practical matters to consider as well. If you look at British and Canadian publications, such as The BBC, The Guardian, The Economist, and The Globe and Mail, you get a picture not colored by partisan electoral considerations. You sometimes wonder if they are reporting the same war as the U.S. media. The situation in Iraq has deteriorated very badly. Over 100,000 Iraqi civilians have died in the war, mostly women and children. Well over 1000 American soldiers--many of them just kids who signed up for the National Guard and never expected to go to war--have been killed there and thousands more have been maimed for life. Americans are being killed daily in increasing numbers and unless there is a radical change, this will go on for years. Reenlistment rates are way down and manpower needs are way up. With a President Kerry, there is hope that other countries might contribute serious numbers of troops to help stabilize Iraq. With a second Bush administration they will just say: "You broke it, you fix it."
Update : Updated the post a bit.

[Cross-posted to Zoo Station]