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by Alan Simpson

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A Can of Worms

When I saw the election commercial claiming John Kerry was no hero, and that his story of his wartime exploits 30 years ago were faked, my immediate reaction was "Don't open that can of worms!"

The whole Vietnam War was based of false statements, and The Gulf of Tonkin Incident should be taught in all schools, as how leaders can lie to get their agendas into play.

This week the proof of the pudding was in the statements that Senator Bob Dole, Mr. Viagra, did not in fact storm a German machine gun but forgot how many he had counted whilst throwing a hand grenade. His injuries were self inflicted!

So we have moved from 30 year old stories to 50 year old stories.

There was a sketch by the Monty Python team featuring Yorkshire Businessmen. They kept raising the stories of their ill fortune when young till they became totally absurd.

The election is being fought along lines Monty Python would have appreciated, if the stakes for the world weren't so high.

The response to Kerry in Vietnam was an attack on george Bush, that his daddy got him everything.

OK, what's your point!

And what has that to do with crippling health care costs, devastating losses of well paying jobs, and generally the USA looking at a serious recession if oil prices climb any higher.

Will John Kerry lock and load, and blast the Federal Reserve Building from the Potomac River?

Will George Bush fall off his chair, nearly choke on a Pretzel and call his Dad?

These are the questions that should be the subject of commercials from concerned citizens, even rich Texas Real Estate Barons.

There are very few things in the fog of war that can be easily explained to those who were not there. But would I make my days half a world, and a third of a century ago the cornerstone for election, or re-election to the most powerful position in the world.

We do crazy things in those younger days of military service which in the cool light of maturity seem illogical, often downright stupid.


I learned great leadership skills in those days of military madness. I learned even more in the years following in management of national, and international companies. Yes the lessons taught by facing danger were important.

But hardly relevant to the vast number of mundane tasks that were required in later life to run successful companies.

As it was put when I first entered the world of television. "What have you done this week that will impress me!"

Now if my Dad was rich, powerful and famous and could have arranged for me to sit at the bar instead of being in some of the Hell holes around the world I suffered for Queen and country, would I have said no?

I never had that opportunity, but human nature being what it is............

Did I ever tell you about that day I was in the Malayan Jungle, it was sheer hell, the enemy were all over the place....hmmmm! I suppose the enemy were really there, we didn't hang about to find out. Or there was that time when we were off Murmansk in the dead of winter... I can't remember the exact date but it sounds good!

But then again I aren't running for President.