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After the final driblet of votes are counted, the electoral college of Ohio is projected to cast its votes into Bush's collecting bin, enabling the incumbent to clinch the hotly contested 2004 U.S. presidential nomination. |
The dramatic finale at the pivotal state has been reached with uncanny predictability since no U.S. president had ever won election without carrying the State of Ohio, which thus serves not only as the communications center of gravity of the United States in its capacity as an air-traffic-and-overnight-mail hub, but also as the political barometer of the presidential election.
The result is a great disappointment to much of the rest of the world which had hoped for a turnaround in the direction of America’s national policy which has been hanging like an albatross around the collective ‘neck’ of all peace-loving peoples for the past two years since the beginning of the unilateralist war on Iraq.
It was not just the pre-emptive strikes that ruffled thinking minds; it was the onus of hubris using fabricated pretexts for such strikes that bothered the world’s collective conscience, including that of almost half of all Americans.
If America did have a change of heart occasioned by the good performance by Senator Kerry in the debates, it was simply not reflected in the present presidential election.
Who knows -- maybe it's just true that Osama bin Laden's unexpected last-minute 'entry' into the race struck a sensitive nerve of the American electorate and reminded the voters of 911, hence returning the issue of terrorism from the back burner to the forefront as a prime topic of pillow talk at a psychologically vulnerable moment.
The frail and pale Osama was not helping Kerry by suggesting that the Massachusetts senator would not be able to destroy al Qaeda either.
Such an ill-conceived statement at such a pivotal juncture must have reverberated through the dining rooms of every household in Middle America, causing them to take another look at their kids playing in front of the fireplace and say, "Hey wait a minute, maybe we shouldn't change horses in the middle of a war against terror. At least there hasn't been a major terrorist attack on the scale of 911 against the homeland in the last three years, and we want to keep it that way."
This simple thought could well have galvanized Middle America to vote for Bush in a solid block from border to border.
They were most probably scared into making such an important decision by default, since Kerry is an unknown quantity on the matter of anti-terrorism, and Bush at least have kept bin Laden away from the bosom of Middle America.
Curiously, if you look at the map of the voting pattern this time around, you will notice that excluding the Southern coastal States which traditionally vote Republican, almost all the states on both the Pacific and Atlantic coasts voted for Kerry.
So does that mean that folks from these northern states on the eastern coast and the entire western seaboard do not care about homeland security?
Of course not.
The folks from these Kerry-leaning states simply have had enough of George W. Bush, and they know that Kerry, having had combat experience in Vietnam, had shown through his deeds that he would take care of their security concerns all the same.
What’s more, his history of combat valor meant that he would not be as trigger-happy as Bush has proven to be, not as ready as Bush was to sacrifice the lives of young Americans after having dodged his own military service as a young man in the 60s.
In addition, the people in these maritime states have more contact with Europeans and Asians, and understand the concerns of the people of these foreign lands over possible wars of mass destruction instigated by their own president and his small coterie of advisors.
They do not want to be the victims of the dangerous designs of an oligarchic government which has been carrying an onus of hubris for the past three years, conducting one pre-emptive strike after another using fabricated excuses or pure disinformation in their misadventures, and in the process incurring the wrath of the rest of the planet excepting one snot of a nation -- Israel.
In a nutshell, if Bush does win this election, as appears to be almost certain at this moment, we can expect the neocons to finish its business in the next four years, and that wars in North Korea, Iran and the Taiwan Strait -- not necessarily in that order – will run their courses.
Judging from his records during the past four years, Bush will not be able to solve any of the economic problems in the home front, and so it stands to reason that he will use his ace card -- the American war machine nurtured by its huge military-industrial complex (a term coined by American ambassador to India John Galbraith in 1958) -- to solve all his problems in one huge throw of the dice.
Since the man has never been to fight a war himself, it stands to reason that he will probably not wince from further military pursuits to direct the attention of Americans away from their economic woes.
After all, even if he incurs a huge national debt as a result of his military spending, if he does win the war, who will be left to collect the debt after the war is over?
What about the Chinese?
The Chinese leadership will most likely continue to use trade as its best weapon to ward off Armageddon.
As in the case of the two Chinese engineers, I hope I am mistaken in this assessment and that Mr. Bush is actually a peacenik and will in fact stamp a big kiss on our cheeks and treat us heartily like long-lost Native American friends from General George Armstrong Custer's days at Black Hills, South Dakota.
However, I am bearing some very bad news for you if you don’t know it already.
The war against us has already started in the Afghan-Pakistan border in the form of the kidnapping of the two Chinese engineers. It was a harbinger of things to come in the near future. The fuse had been lit outside the borders of China and the conflagration was supposed to have led to a tinderbox somewhere inside China’s borders.
The ex-Guantanamo East Turkestan militant Abdullah Mehsud was cunning enough to claim the fire at the Marriott Hotel in Pakistan wounding some Americans as his ‘feat’ when in fact he has nothing to do with it. The Pakistanis have determined that it was due to a short-circuited malfunction in the electrical wiring in the hotel.
Even a child will be able to understand that the Americans would never have released Mehsud from Gizmo and declared him 'harmless' if they thought there was any danger of his harming Americans. Therefore, the more Mehsud claims to be anti-American and responsible for the Marriot Hotel fire in Pakistan, the more suspicious he becomes. It is clear that he was simply trying to establish his anti-American credentials by falsely claiming he had harmed some Americans.
So our competitors are already at the doorstep inciting riots and fanning turmoil inside our borders, and their ultimate aim is to destabilize China so seriously as to affect her booming economy.
The Chinese government of course understands this and that's why recently there were public demonstrations of China's anti-terrorist preparedness in a formal review by our nation's leaders.
An ancient Chinese curse said, "May you live in interesting times."
In view of all the above, it is hardly possible that some joker slipped the wrong note into our fortune cookie saying "The next four years promise to be very interesting times."
Wei Chao, M.D.