Monday, December 31, 2012

What Obama can learn from the death of Peter Parker

Taking a page from his fellow superheroes

Posted by Chris Haire on Mon, Dec 31, 2012 at 3:15 PM

click to enlarge Looks like Spidey has let himself go. - FLICKR USER NCARANTI
  • Flickr user ncaranti
  • Looks like Spidey has let himself go.

The annals of comic book history are littered with the beaten and battered corpses of fallen titans.

Bucky, Captain America's valiant sidekick.

Jean Grey, the one-time Marvel Girl turned Phoenix.

Robin, Batman's crime-fighting comrade.

Professor X, the leader of the X-men.

The Human Torch, one-fourth of the mighty Fantastic Four.

And the biggest superhero of them all, the Man of Steel.

Now, you can add Peter Parker, a.k.a. Spider-Man, to the list.

In the final issue of Amazing Spider-Man, Parker dies at the hands of his most dangerous adversary, Doctor Octopus. The details of Parker's demise are laughably absurd even by comic book standards — in this case, Doc Ock places his mind in Parker's body and then moves Spider-Man's to the doc's own cancer-ridden body — which only has hours of life left in it. However, in Parker's dying moments our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man forces his enemy to relive every single moment in his life — from the death of Uncle Ben, a tragedy that Parker himself could have prevented, to the death of our favorite web slinger's girlfiend Gwen Stacy, who was inadvertently killed by Spider-Man as he battled the Green Goblin.

After "living" through these moments — and experiencing all of Parker's guilt and his unwavering resolve to protect the men and women of New York City, even his own enemies — Doctor Octopus sees the error of his own wicked ways. He finally comes to realize the one truth that Parker himself realized many, many years ago: With great power comes great responsibility. And with that in mind, Doc Ock vows to continue Peter Parker's mission and to be an even better Spider-Man than Spider-Man himself.

Now, we all know that Peter Parker isn't really dead. He'll be back just like Jean Grey, the Human Torch, Robin, and Superman. Nobody stays dead forever in comic books, not even Bucky, who returned to comics in 2005 after being MIA from the Marvel Comics world since 1968.

Of course, the resurrections aren't as prevalent in the real world. Which is why I hope that President Barack Obama finds the time to read the last issue of Amazing Spider-Man and reflect upon his own life — and the lives of those he has ended in this seemingly never-ending War on Terror.

See, our president professes to be a loving man, a family man, a godly man, but his actions on the international stage are those of a man who is none of these things. Like his most recent predecessors, Obama shows an utter disregard for human life — and the anguish that our military actions have caused.

Yes, the president shed a tear when he spoke of the 20 children killed in the Newtown, Conn., massacre, but have we ever seen him shed a tear for the estimated 155 innocent men, women, and children who have died at the hands of the United State's drone strikes in Pakistan? No, we haven't. In fact, President Obama has never even offered a kind word to the families of those who have lost their lives. He has never publicly expressed remorse about the death of these 155 innocents.

Unfortunately, this sort of callous disregard for the sanctity of life is a common trait among our presidents. From Bush 1 to Clinton to Bush 2 to Obama, each commander in chief of the last quarter century has ordered military actions which have directly brought about the deaths of innocents. In Iraq alone, that number may very well be in the hundreds of thousands.

Clearly, the actions of Obama, Clinton, and the two Bushes are not the actions of kind and caring men. These are the actions of cold and calculating killers. They are the actions of the vilest of supervillains.

If only there was a way to make President Obama live through the suffering his actions have caused in Pakistan, not to mention Iraq and Afghanistan. If only there was a way to make him feel the same emotions that the families of these murdered innocent men and women have felt. Perhaps if he could, he would finally come to realize that with great power comes great responsibility.

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