Wednesday, February 17, 2010

More thoughts from Costa Rica: Michael Cook

Although I'm not due back in Newburyport until April, 1 my mind is already focusing on the coming job search, the apartment hunt, this year with a precocious, surfing and snorkeling Toy Poodle by the name of Jake in tow, and the sundry other hassles I've gone through every spring since I started this migratory existence more than a decade ago, whether it's been in Newburyport or Provincetown.

But those concerns pale in comparison to my very real fears that the United States I was raised to love and believe in is moving inexorably toward becoming a house so deeply divided that its ability to stand may cease to exist in the not too distant future.

Today, February, 17, was a typical day for this time of year on Costa Rica's Caribbean coast. It's been raining, and I do mean raining.

As a result, I've spent a lot of time on line reading both English and Spanish language news outlets from around the globe.

When I visited the Newburyport Daily News website today and read Richard Astukewicz's bizarre column, I didn't know whether I should burst out laughing at its stupidity, or be enraged at its anti-Americanism.

Mr. Astukewicz's February, 17 column was, in reality, just more of his standard, right wing, boiler plate idiocy.

But when he came out and said publicly he hopes President Obama fails, I knew Mr. Astukewicz really was just as ignorant as his many right wing rants on the pages of the NDN suggested he was.

What truly patriotic American wishes for his/her president to fail?

I was never a fan of GW Bush, as a candidate or a president.

But I, unlike some of my liberal friends, wholeheartedly supported his decision to take on al Qaeda and the Taliban government in Afghanistan after 9-11.

I cheered his successful initiative to make expensive anti-retroviral medications available to millions of poor people in Africa infected with HIV.

I supported his efforts, working jointly with Ted Kennedy and John McCain, to try and intelligently address our broken and dysfunctional immigration system.

In short, although I disagreed with GW on many issues, I was more than willing to give credit to him when credit was due.

Right wing ideologues like Mr. Astukewicz, and his fellow Tea Party faux patriots, seem almost pathologically unable to give President Obama credit for anything.

Just today, virtually every legitimate economic research and analysis firm, from across the political spectrum, acknowledged that the stimulus is, albeit slowly, working and is directly responsible for almost a million and half jobs being created over the last year.

Although I wholeheartedly supported GW Bush's post 9-11 military action in Afghanistan, I never understood his dropping the legitimate anti-terror ball there to pursue his lie based personal vendetta against Saddam Hussein.

The dropping of that Afghan ball allowed both the Taliban and al Qaeda to regroup to such an extent that they threatened not only the US installed government in Afghanistan, but the government of Pakistan - and its nuclear weapons arsenal.

Much to the chagrin of many of his more liberal, peace-nik supporters, Obama decided to take the bull by the horns and clean up the Afghan mess the chicken hawk neo-cons who dominated the Bush administration bequeathed to him.

And, much like with Obama's domestic economic stimulus initiative, his Afghan initiative is having a positive impact, as this week's news of the capture of at least two Taliban leaders and the expulsion of Taliban forces from a former stronghold, show.

So, where are supposed patriots like Mr. Astukewicz?

They are writing crazy columns, letters to the editor, and posting on anonymous blog sites in which they publicly say they hope the president fails.

Not only is that grotesquely unpatriotic in my book, it comes perilously close to bordering on the treasonous.

Michael Cook
PV de Limon
& Nbpt


sds said...

hello Michael,

nice postcard. and certainly you can. i can't find your email on my system, get in touch.


Gillian Swart said...

What's this? Personal messages via my blog?? David, I can give you Mike's email, if he says it's OK ...