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When Obama says he wants change, just what does he mean, exactly?

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Posted: Wednesday, May 14, 2008 10:00 pm

During World War II, General George Patton once stood before a group of proud American soldiers and said: "America loves a winner and will not tolerate a loser."

After that speech, he led his Third Army to some of the greatest victories in military history.

Fast-forwarding 64 years later, Barack Obama today, says he wants "change." Does that mean America now loves a loser and will not tolerate a winner?

Let's face it. Things have not gone so well since the big one. First of all, there was Korea. We were doing pretty well until President Truman fired General MacArthur and the Chinese scared us out of the place. What did we get for all that effort and sacrific - some Japanese knockoff cars and a few spare computer parts.

Next stop to the league cellar was the Bay of Pigs. This was such a disaster, that most kids today don't even know what it was. Not exactly a major point in any high school history lesson.

Then there was Vietnam. After spending billions and losing 58,000 American lives, we had these guys on the ropes. Even General Giap admitted it was over for them. What happened? A few pot-smoking, crybaby college kids put up a fuss, and America turned tail and ran. The result? Millions were killed in Cambodia by a nut called Pol Pot. Now we trade technology with these guys for fish. Not exactly Super Bowl strategy, if you ask me.

Oh yes. There was our great victory in Granada in the 1970's. The U.S. Military actually beat an Army less than the size of the Cincinnati police force. Oh well, I guess we take the victories where we can get them.

Kuwait had possibilities. We were really doing fantastically well until our great leaders decided that the slaughter was not good PR on the evening news. What happened? We left Saddam Hussein to fight another day.

Don't forget Bosnia in the 1990's. Why we were there was a mystery, and today we still don't have a clue.

And of course, there was Mogadishu. A few brave American heroes got whacked on a humanitarian mission, and we ran like chicken soup in a cheap restaurant.

That brings us to the present day in Iraq. It sounds like the great General would have been disappointed again. Once more, the old hippies from the sixties have dusted off their anti-war placards, taken a handful of Centrum Silver, and are marching for defeat one more time.

It doesn't seem to matter whether a Republican or Democrat is in charge at the White House. Both parties, since 1945, have had their share of defeats, although the Democrats might have a slight edge on this one.

While Obama is not specific when he says he wants "change," does that mean he wants a real victory for America, or does he simply want us to continue our competition with France to see who can lose the most number of wars since Napoleon?

Only time will tell.

Steve Hansen is a Lodi satirist.

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