George Graham

It’s a Beautiful Day but Storm Clouds Gather

The sun shines bright on our old Lakeland home (to borrow a line from that misleading song about Kentucky)… and I have to admit that things don’t look so bad in the old USA today. The rich, at least, are getting richer and the Dow reflects it, breaching the 14,000 mark for the first time in five years, so it’s possible the rest of us might find a few crumbs under their table… Scott Brown has chickened out of the race for the Senate seat left vacant by John Kerry’s appointment as Secretary of State… And the Republicans are mauling each other over various issues ranging from immigration reform to hurricane relief…

Furthermore, I’m completely flu-free at last (Sandra is still a little wonky but she seems to be in better spirits today).

It’s enough to make me whistle a happy tune on this beautiful Florida morning … If only…

If only Israel hadn’t dropped that bomb on Syria, ignoring Iran’s threat to retalliate…

 I know Syria is a long way from America, and Israel has been dropping bombs with impunity for a while… I know the Mideast is always in turmoil  so what’s new about that? But…

But the cranks in Congress who hassled Chuck Hagel for remarking when he was a senator that some of his fellow-senators were intimidated by “the Jewish lobby” … those fire-breathing Zionists … they could very well nudge America into another Mideast conflict, and, oh brother, would that be dire!

I have no idea how anyone could solve the stand-off in the Mideast. The Israelis and their neighbors have been at odds for thousands of years. You will recall the Biblical stories in which Philistines, Amalakites and other non-Jews were smitten hip and thigh… And I wonder whether it made sense for the Allies to reclaim part of the Promised Land for displaced Jews after World War II. But what’s done is done, and there’s no going back. So President Obama will have to deal with the situation as it is today.

I don’t envy him. It’s enough to make him regret being re-elected.

Even with the Republicans in disarray, he faces a miserable second term. He has a Republican dominated House for at least two years. He has those disloyal Blue Dog Democrats to deal with, Heide Heitkamp, for example, who broke ranks on gun control. He has those patsies in the Senate who didn’t have the guts to reform the filibuster rule…

The military-industrial complex and its neocon allies are constantly prodding America into another boots-on-the-ground misadventure, and with all hell breaking loose in Mali, plus those persistent embassy attacks by terrorists, there’s a tinder box out ther just waiting to be ignited.

And now Israel has to make things worse by dropping a bomb on Syria.

It’s an awful lot to pile on those narrow shoulders. But Obama’s a fighter. He’ll steer the ship of state with a steady hand. And whether I agree or disagree with his decisions, he will do what he thinks is best for his beloved America.

Thank God, we don’t have Mitt Romney at the helm in times like these!

About the author


I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for