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LETTER: U.S. politics as good as any comedy series

It’s foolish to believe all we hear from the mouths of those who think of themselves as leaders…

To the Editor,

It’s foolish to believe all we hear from the mouths of those who think of themselves as leaders; be they preachermen, politicians, or whatever.

For example, take the leader of what became the Seventh-Day Adventist Church: Baptist Minister William Miller worked on mathematical predictions from his interpretation of scriptures, telling everyone that the world would end on Oct. 22, 1844 when Jesus Christ returned to Earth. His followers remarkably kept following, calling his monumental blunder “The Great Disappointment”. Thankfully there’s now a totally different connotation given to “Miller Time,” usually associated with great enjoyment.

We are surrounded by clownish politicians with that remarkable ability of tickling their tonsils with their toenails—some are renowned for having both feet in their mouth at the same time. Rather than being physical contortionists, they bend the truth to unrecognizable limits.

Donald H. Rumsfeld, US Defense Secretary for President George W. Bush, was a master contortionist. In late 2002 Donald informed the world that any planned attack on Iraq would be over in “five days, five weeks or five months, certainly no longer than that”. This week another Washington politician named Donald informed the world that he would reduce troops in Iraq to about 2,500 by the end of this year, almost 18 years after Rumsfeld’s attacks on Baghdad. Also similar withdrawals of troops from Afghanistan, where U.S. Military has spent about a trillion dollars since 2001.

An American watchdog agency reckons over US$ 15.5-billion has been lost in waste, fraud and abuse in just the last 11 years, with an extra US$ 9-billion going into anti-narcotics efforts. Opium poppy cultivation breaks records annually, always reaching a new “high”, so to speak. Death tolls and human suffering in both Iraq and Afghanistan have been tremendous, of course.

However, all that comes out of leaders’ mouths should not be considered gloom and doom. Rather than watch endless talking heads discussing the US Presidential Election impasse on various news channels, I have been watching reruns of the political satire Veep on HBO. The antics of fictional President Selina Meyer and her staff send me off to bed laughing every night. These White House characters can cuss as well as any sailorman encountered during my long career on the ocean, with one-liners coming thick and fast. Glancing at the antics in the real Washington, it certainly resembles life imitating art.

Bernie Smith,


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