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2 Sep, 2008 05:05

Gustav rains on McCain’s parade

As Hurricane Gustav slammed into the U.S. Gulf Coast, it also brought a change of weather for the Republican National Convention with it. Instead of a triumphant opening night, the Republicans opened their National Conve

U.S. First Lady Laura Bush stepped in for her husband who cancelled his appearance, as did Vice President Dick Cheney.

Nearly all the speeches at the convention were rescheduled as Gustav dominated the media and demanded all the attention.

“Our first priority for today and in the coming days is to ensure the safety and well-being of those living in the Gulf Coast region,” said Laura Bush.

With little going on at the convention in Minnesota, the spotlight instead fell on the thousands of protestors rallying outside.

They were saying McCain is not the man to take over the United States as this military man is sure to keep America at war for years to come. And Iraq war veteran Edwin Pagan said the U.S. is displaying double standards when it comes to the Russia-Georgia conflict.

“Our generals already tell us we're completely spread thin. So we can't go into another theatre of war right now, and it's hypocritical for us to criticise Russia for doing things we did ourselves,” he said.

Another protester Clay Dafoe pointed to U.S. plans to deploy parts of an anti-missile defence shield in Eastern Europe.

“It's a big mistake we're making. It's going to make Europe a lot more dangerous. It's going to make us a lot more dangerous,” Dafoe said.

Dafoe believes a McCain administration will increase anti-American sentiment abroad:

“Saakashvili, they say, is democratically elected, but we know the guy is a dictator who started this war, and McCain wants to use that as an excuse to plunge us into a war with Russia!”

Despite the rhetoric, the convention accepted a manifesto that described the U.S. and Russia’s common ground in the fight against terrorism and the spread of nuclear arms in the world.

Meanwhile, almost unnoticed, drowned out by the anti-war demonstration, a much smaller group of Republicans gathered to support their nominee and soldiers overseas.