McCain’s Heroism, peeling the onion

July 1, 2008

We have all heard the story of John McCain’s military service during the Vietnam War. His valor is evidenced by trying to rescue a trapped pilot on the USS Forrestal during a fire on deck that killed 134 sailors. His streak of 23 bombing missions was terminated when he was shot down and captured by North Vietnamese civilians. Not exactly an accomplishment on the level of Sgt York, so we turn to his refusal to provide propaganda despite long beatings, torture and deprivation. He finally did make a “confession” after years when he reached the breaking point. Human beings each have a individual tolerance for physical torture. I do not think any less of him for breaking. He demonstrated superlative tenacity to hold out for as long as he did. But perhaps there is more to why he could endure the unspeakable than just his military training and family history. Does John McCain have a force of will power that is rooted in stubbornness? The stubbornness that once fixed on a path will not be deterred. A stubbornness of the current administration that has brought our nation into disrepute in much of the world. To be sure McCain has made numerous changes in policy positions over in a long career, but these were mostly out of political expediency and not a reversal of a core value. In a multi power centered world where much of the world population does not agree with American hegemony a U.S. President who sees a hundred years struggle focused on projecting military might will be at a severe disadvantage in spreading Americas values and no amount of bluster and bullheadedness will improve the performance. The heroism of withstanding prolonged torture does not in itself imply wisdom.


7 Responses to “McCain’s Heroism, peeling the onion”

  1. Sukay Says:

    You’re on my feed now — you better publish more often, Bubba.

    I started the Obama book you loaned me. I am not going to read anymore of it until I finish Chi Walking though.

    McCain has a bad temper … but Obama can be cold and curt. Sometimes I prefer the former over the later because you know what to expect.

  2. cowanl Says:

    The MSM has reported that McCain’s nickname in high school was “McNasty” but on a more recent note I have a second-hand report. An intern for McCain after the 2000 election reported than McCain is the arrogant bully he now tries to hide. McCain did not know the name or any personal detail of anyone on his staff except a couple of his most intimate associates, (chief of staff, political director). His attitude towards everyone else is you are peons. After eight years of the reckless cowboy a McCain administration would be years of reckless Cheneyism.

  3. Sukay Says:

    He is neither the first nor the last man/woman seeking the presidency that displays this arrogance.

    Besides, both of these men are elitist … cream always rises, so speaks Adams. Why pretend to deny it? Or should I, too, be called a monarchist?

    Pragmatism should rule the day once again. A blank check for the repubs – what Bush essentially had after 9/11 – wasn’t good for the country. Would such a thing be good for the demos?

    McCain is a Bush Sr. moderate, not a Cheney. Look at Arizona. Most of his older constituents don’t like him because he isn’t conservative enough, while the other half doesn’t like him because he isn’t liberal enough.

    You say: “The heroism of withstanding prolonged torture does not in itself imply wisdom.” But it does imply the ability to sustain (even thrive) through long suffering, and the next president will need to have this ability.

  4. cowanl Says:

    Cream always rises and so does pond scum. Being one of the elite does not necessarily make one an elitist.

    There is no way Obama will get a “blank check’ even with a Dem Congress. The repugs and their stooges in the mass media will be on him from day one like they were on Clinton.

    Bush Sr ran the Contras thru his CIA contacts. As for AZ constituents, McCain may not be conservative enough for them, but they are fascists. He has repudiated every moderate position he favored in order to win the nomination. My problem with McBush is that he is mentally unstable. His temper make him wholly unsuitable to deal with a complex world.

    The next president will NOT endure any suffering, except of his ego. The rich do not suffer. That is not wisdom. Stick to the point.

  5. Sukay Says:

    What was the point I was suppose to stick to? I thought this was about how I don’t feel Obama is necessarily a better choice over McCain. Frankly, I don’t know if McCain is all that hot a choice of Obama either. But, in Texas, does it really matter?

    McBush = Interesting. Have you forgotten the animosity these two share for each other? That, up until recently, the press regularly reported that McCain was a thorn in Bush’s side … a thorn that could be counted on to not always agree with him or pledge his undying loyalty?

  6. Dee Says:

    I think we should go to the election and say we don’t want either of them. We want blah. If “McBush” get elected, our country will be in a serious hurt for 4 more years or until he drops dead from his temper tantrums. Obama at this point is the lesser of the two evils.

    Should we vote for someone who is 72 years old with a bad temper or someone who is younger and inexperience? That will be a difficult choice. However, with most of the country being an idiot, McBush will win.

  7. cowanl Says:




    It is always a choice between two imperfects, The choice is obvious. Obama and Hope or McBush and collapse.

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