Wednesday, September 20, 2006

More on McCain

It has been suggested that I lay off of John McCain because of his status as a combat veteran and former POW who endured torture. I’m told that if I just knew someone who had been a POW I would have a different perspective.

My grandfather lost a leg from shell fire and had his lungs badly damaged from poison gas in WWI. My uncle had his chest crushed by a torpedo which fell onto him when his submarine was depth charged. Two of my older cousins were captured by the Japanese while fighting under MacArthur in the South Pacific (they were tortured, when they came home they looked like toothless skeletons and their health remained poor for the rest of their lives). Another cousin was a tail gunner on a B-17 in Europe and was shot down and spent the war in a Nazi POW camp.

I am not insensitive to veterans or former POWs. I also do not “blame” McCain for what happened to him. ANYONE will break under torture if it goes on long enough. If the people who have you know what they are doing and have enough time and are willing to expend the effort they can not only get you to give up information they can brainwash you to the point where you change sides. Again I say NOBODY can hold out forever.

Whatever McCain did for his Vietnamese captors it isn’t his fault. If he had gone home and lived out his life in the private sector I would be the first person to cut him many miles of slack for whatever odd behavior he manifested. After all the man who was mentally damaged by his experiences in war is no different than the man in a wheelchair or with the dark glasses and white cane. All of them were injured serving their nation and deserve our respect and gratitude.

But McCain didn’t return to the private sector. He obtained a place in the United States Senate based, in part, on his war record. Because he holds a place of great political power and seeks even higher office he opens his life to the minutest inspection. If he is mentally ill because of whatever he went through at the hands of the Vietnamese communists that MUST be taken into consideration.

If John McCain wants to go back to Arizona and become a private citizen then I say drop the entire matter and let him be a hero. Let him be the Grand Marshall of every 4th of July parade in Flagstaff and God bless him for it. But he’s not going home willingly.

Also, his attitude in the Geneva Convention debate MAY be explained by his POW experience, but what about his other perfidy? What about his back stabbing and deception in other matters? Even if McCain gets a pass on the “torture debate” what about the fact that he led the effort to gut the First Amendment with his wretched campaign finance reform legislation? What about his betrayal of his party with the “gang of 14” maneuver on judicial confirmation? What about his support for open borders and amnesty for illegal aliens?

Viewed in the context of his other sellouts his attempt to undermine the President in the current controversy looks less like the principled stand of a former POW who endured terrible torture and more like the latest smarmy attempt to polish his reputation as a “GOP maverick” for his true constituency – the leftist Washington media elite.