Dear Alex's Mom:

I saw you and your cute son on the TV this morning as I was getting ready for work with your message to John McCain about his wanting to be in Iraq for 100 years and how he "can't have" Alex if that's the case. While I understand a parent's inate desire to protect her child at all costs, I do have to take issue with what you've said.

To begin with, you might want to contextualize McCain's 100 year statement a bit beyond what the folks at MoveOn.org told you. Regardless of what's happening in Iraq now, remaining there for an extended period of time doesn't necessarily mean it will be as a hostile or occupying force. We've been in both Japan and Germany for the better part of a century following World War II. If it really bugs you, you might want to write your congressperson and ask that we close our bases there.

Second, Alex is, what, six, seven months old? You might want to refrain from helping him with his homework once he starts school, because it's apparent you're unaware of a little thing called term limits. Even if McCain is elected President, and even if he wins re-election at the end of his term, not even his successor would be in office by the time Alex is eligible to serve in the military. It would probably be more prudent to appeal to someone who's likely to be serving in office then. You might want to start formulating your message to Chelsea Clinton now.

Finally, should we still be in Iraq by the time Alex is 18, unless some radical changes are made to how things are done around here, it would be Alex's choice as to whether or not he joins the military. If you really don't want President Chelsea to "have him," spend the next (nearly) two decades rearing a child that might share in your beliefs. But don't be disappointed in him if he chooses to serve his country as a member of our armed forces.

Just a friendly note on some things you may wish to keep in mind the next time some group comes along offering to show off your cute kid.

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