There must be a reason why I should care where Governor Sanford of South Carolina was missing for a few days. Where, oh where? Supposedly, he was hiking on the Appalachian Trail but alas, he was not. He was actually in Argentina doing what -- eating steak, dancing the tango. Who knows, but I can understand choosing to be in Argentina, (where there are big air conditioned luxury hotels, carefully designed wide and wonderful streets, and gorgeous European-like buildings filled with all manner of continental folk), rather than sweating with mosquitoes and outhouses on some dusty path along a mountain. But that’s me. Why do we really think he left his wife, and of course, staff, and his state, and went anywhere? Did he and the Mrs. have a Knock down of a fight? Was he planning a vacation? Did he suddenly have a yearning to visit Evita’s grave? This is a guy who once brought pigs into the House chamber to protest pork subsidies -- nothing he does is surprising. The thing we always realize when politicians disappear for whatever the reason, is that we don’t miss them. We will probably solve the mystery of the missing Governor, but again, I’m not sure why I should care. Caring is for sissies. OK, sometimes I do it despite myself.
Like I do care about Iran, and the heat our President is taking because some think he has also been ‘missing in action’ in his response to this dreadful Iranian situation. Everyone in the world knows that the election was a fraud. We don’t really know who the winner was. But what we do know is that there is never a winner when any government attacks its' citizens for protesting injustice. So, how should our President have responded? Should he have condemned the Iranian Government for their sham of an election? The real question is, should our government (through the President’s voice), interfere with the politics of another country – even if we don’t like them and don’t agree with the way they conduct business. When I was a diplomat, among other things – like there is a country called Hwambo, I learned that decisions about diplomatic matters are complicated, at the least. We want to have a working ‘relationship’ with all Nations –except the ones who we don’t need, and don’t have nuclear weapons –who’s left? Anyway, we can talk about issues like human rights and energy, but not too loud if they own us or have enormous oil fields, but Iran has nuclear weapons, oil, and a lunatic at it’s helm. So what does the President do?
While the world did see the pictures of the violence and the beatings, these protests were different. We did not see just a few students or even just one standing in front of a tank. Not unlike so many demonstrations we saw thousands of people marching in the streets and hoping their presence would be felt by nations far beyond their borders. But the difference here was that there were thousands of women, in Muslim dress, being pushed and shoved and even shot for taking a stand. Bonnie Erbe, a contributing reporter to Newsweek wrote “The current crisis in Iran profoundly affects women as the differences between Ahmadinejad and Mousavi are stark when it comes to women's rights and women's role in society. Mousavi's outspoken wife, Zahra Rahnavard, has made the status of women a core theme of her President's campaign, while Ahmadinejad, with his barely visible spouse and radical Islamist outlook, has ruled with a certain contempt for women's leadership in the public sphere. If Ahmadinejad's coup succeeds, Iranian women will suffer tremendously.”
If only sexism was still in fashion, President Obama could have a ball. He could be outraged about the treatment of these suffering ‘girls’. Hey wait, he could do that anyway. He doesn’t have to talk about the election at all, he could talk about that old standard –human rights. Actually he has done this, but he was cautious about his timing and that irritated any number of people.
What we all need to remember is that ‘missing in action’ is a term used to describe a situation when someone in the military, usually in a war, cannot be found and is not confirmed dead. It was never meant to describe someone’s lack of response or a hike in the woods. That being said, there really isn’t a better way to describe a circumstance when someone seems to be simply, out of the picture.