Observations on the world today.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Metaphors Metaphors Metaphors 

Letters to the editor: 10/15/04
During this week of the 512th anniversary of Columbus' discovery of the West Indies and America, I find it interesting that the story of that voyage is analogous to the current situation in Iraq.

Before the coast of Portugal disappeared from the horizon, many of his crew believed they were going to sail off the edge of the Earth. Columbus stayed the westerly course, and as the days turned into weeks, the weeks into months, he began to doubt himself. Then from the lookouts came the word "land," and all believed.

As President Bush leads us through the Iraq war, the course may not be clear to us; however, the direction is correct. I am sure that when we arrive at that point, all the current critics will be silenced. Just as Christopher Columbus is regarded as the greatest explorer of his time, so too will George W. Bush be lauded for staying the difficult course, doing what everyone said could not be done and freeing Iraq. As the captain of a Swift boat and a highly decorated veteran, John Kerry should be aware of the tough command decisions necessary to lead, and unfortunately, he does not seem adept in that arena.

The preceding letter appeared in yesterday's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

First, allow me to dispel a few myths about Columbus and his crew. They did not think the earth was flat. They knew that it was round, but they had grossly underestimated the girth of the planet and assumed that they would find India and that they would find it much sooner.

Once they did find land, they mistakenly thought they were in India. In fact, they had accidentally proven themselves wrong and refused to acknowledge the error, calling the people they met Indians. Unquestionably, their accident was not good for the indigenous people of the land they had come to, although the sponsors of Columbus' expedition did reap the rewards for generations. Unfortunately, they had to deal with insurrection from the "Indians" for many many years; finally suppressing it after a near genocide.

So, yeah, I guess it's a pretty good metaphor after all.


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