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What John McCain Should Know

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Posted on Mar 3, 2008
McCain
AP photo / Gerald Herbert

By Aaron Glantz

John McCain should know. More than any other candidate for president, John McCain should know that peace talks can be stronger and smarter than bombs, that withdrawing American soldiers can be the best way to achieve stability, and that the best way to protect American troops is to bring them home from the war zone.

John McCain should know, because he has lived this experience. After being held for nearly six years and tortured in a North Vietnamese prison, Lt. Cmdr. John McCain was freed—not by a daring commando raid on an enemy compound but by a negotiated settlement arrived at in peace talks in Paris. President Richard Nixon agreed to remove U.S. troops from Vietnam within 60 days, and the North Vietnamese government agreed to release American POWs like McCain as those troops were withdrawn.

John McCain should know that no one wins in the destruction of war. Even before he was shot down during a bombing run over Hanoi, the admiral’s son had questioned the human costs of armed conflict. In 1967, after McCain nearly died following a massive weapons malfunction and fire in the Gulf of Tonkin, the young Navy man told New York Times reporter R.W. Apple: “It’s a difficult thing to say. But now that I’ve seen what the bombs and the napalm did to the people on our ship, I’m not so sure that I want to drop any more of that stuff on North Vietnam.”

John McCain should know that yesterday’s enemy can be tomorrow’s ally and that alliances can be struck even after the United States is defeated on the field of battle. During the 1980s, McCain was one of the strongest advocates of establishing diplomatic relations with Communist Vietnam at a time when leaders of both political parties feared an angry backlash for simply talking to the other side.

In 1985, John McCain traveled to Hanoi to see Communist Vietnam for himself. He understood the value of putting the past behind him.

“When I arrived in Hanoi, I was excited to learn that my hosts had arranged for me a night’s rest at Ho [Chi Minh]‘s villa in exotic Ha Long Bay,” McCain wrote in his 2002 memoir, “Worth Fighting For.” “As I ... laid my head on the pillow in the bed, in the house where Ho had slept, I knew I had received all the recompense I was likely to get for the nights in Vietnam I had spent in less comfortable circumstances many years ago. There was nothing more I could gain revisiting the war with my former enemies. Better to enjoy the evening and in the morning see to more promising pursuits, among which was helping to build a relationship with Vietnam that would serve both our peoples better than the old one had.”

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The John McCain of the 1980s and ‘90s was a true warrior for peace. Working together with another Vietnam vet, Democrat John Kerry of Massachusetts, he helped disprove the saber rattlers’ contention that Hanoi still kept thousands of American POWs in secret camps. He did this by bridging the gap between high-ranking Pentagon and Communist officials, people who had been shooting at each other just a few years before.

In 1994 the Senate passed a resolution, sponsored by Sens. Kerry and McCain, that called for an end to a U.S. trade embargo against Vietnam. “The vote will give the president the kind of political cover he needs to lift the embargo, and I expect that relatively soon,” McCain told The New York Times. “I think it’s a seminal event in U.S.-Vietnamese relations.”

In 1995, when President Bill Clinton normalized diplomatic relations with Vietnam, John McCain was in the room.

Where is that John McCain today? He now talks about keeping the U.S. in Iraq for 100 years and seems to have no conception of the hardship and pain American bombing raids have on the Iraqi people. Where is the maverick’s spirit of truth-telling when it comes to the lies the Bush administration told to get us into this war?

Today, McCain angrily calls out his Democratic rivals, arguing that they advocate an “arbitrary timetable” for withdrawal from Iraq “which recklessly ignores the profound human calamity and dire threats to our security that would ensue.”

John McCain should know better, because the history of the Vietnam War (and his involvement in it) shows that while peace takes time, it starts with the withdrawal of the U.S. military.

When the U.S. left Vietnam in 1975, the situation was indeed tragic; more than 400,000 people were rounded up by the victorious Communists and thrown into “re-education camps.” More than a million didn’t await that fate and fled by boat as refugees. The country’s economy remained a shambles and was isolated from the outside world. The same seems in store for Iraq when we leave.
 
But those setbacks were temporary and could not have been prevented by additional bombing runs or a “surge” of American troops. Indeed, the main thing that brought progress in Southeast Asia was the courage of people like John McCain—those who understood that America can achieve more through trade than it can through war and that tough diplomacy can achieve what a thousand bombing runs cannot.

Independent journalist Aaron Glantz has reported from both Iraq and Vietnam. He is author of the book “How America Lost Iraq” and runs the Web site www.warcomeshome.org.


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By Ed Silha, March 11, 2008 at 4:14 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I don’t know if Bush is stupid, lacks integrity, is confused by his born again experience (God told him to invade Iraq), or a combination of all. I also disagree with most of the policies that McCain has proposed. However, both he and John Kerry are hero soldiers and we should honor them for that. McCain’s honor was attacked in 2000 (by none other than the Bush buddies) and so was Kerry’s honor in 2004 (by the same Bush buddies). The attack on McCain occurred while Bush was nearby and he did nothing to refute them. The attacks on McCain and Kerry are also attacks on all decorated veterans in that the attacks question whether any of the awards for military service are valid or should be honored. McCain is an honorable man. Attack his policies (which are flawed), but not his integrity. On the other hand, attacking the integrity of the country club reserve Air Force officer that ducked service in Vietnam would appear to be justified.

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By Bill, March 8, 2008 at 3:15 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Joan, why don’t you read the article you yourself cite? The Cambodian genocide was not caused by US withdrawal from Vietnam. It was caused by US military activity before withdrawal.

Prince Sihanouk had managed to maintain a tenuous neutrality until his ouster (following from your own article) “...due to a U.S.-backed right-wing military coup. An embittered Sihanouk retaliated by joining with Pol Pot, his former enemy, in opposing Cambodia’s new military government. That same year, the U.S. invaded Cambodia to expel the North Vietnamese from their border encampments, but instead drove them deeper into Cambodia where they allied themselves with the Khmer Rouge.

“From 1969 until 1973, the U.S. intermittently bombed North Vietnamese sanctuaries in eastern Cambodia, killing up to 150,000 Cambodian peasants. As a result, peasants fled the countryside by the hundreds of thousands and settled in Cambodia’s capital city, Phnom Penh.

“All of these events resulted in economic and military destabilization in Cambodia and a surge of popular support for Pol Pot.

...

“On December 25, 1978, Vietnam launched a full-scale invasion of Cambodia seeking to end Khmer Rouge border attacks. On January 7, 1979, Phnom Penh fell and Pol Pot was deposed. The Vietnamese then installed a puppet government consisting of Khmer Rouge defectors.”

Ben Kiernan’s historical research demonstrated that areas of strongest Khmer Rouge support were generally those areas that had been most heavily bombed by the US. The Khmer Rouge never would have come to power if the US had not widened the war to Cambodia.

Interestingly, the US supported the remnants of the Pol Pot regime diplomatically after the Vietnamese invaded and stopped the genocide. I wouldn’t expect you to know that, as it isn’t in the article you cited.

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By Dan, March 8, 2008 at 11:58 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I am not anti-American but, george bush and his administration along with many other goverment officials are WAR CRIMINALS and TRAITORS. There was and is plenty of evidence before the invasion, that Iraq was not responsible for 9-11 much less a threat to America. Until this government is brought to justice and OUR freedoms are secure, I see little reason discuss our commitments to other countries. We have to save ourselves before we have any hope of saving others. Seems to me you want to start cleaning up the scene of the crime while the criminals are still working the room.

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By alfonso mosco, March 8, 2008 at 9:29 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Unless mccain takes some of Ron Pauls’s planks, I will vote democratic. Lies and left wing repubs like mccain has caused our problems today.

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By IP Khalifah, March 8, 2008 at 8:43 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What McCain already knows: Israel wants US soldiers to stay in ME forever(new 12 states of USaramco).

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By Stoicist, March 8, 2008 at 8:04 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The silly Bushit dictatorship of the richest idiots together with it’s israeli leading star has placed us all in a situation with no good solutions.

If the western World had real leaders, they would long ago have cut loose from the disastrous and racist policies of the israeli theocratic colonialism. If they did so, that would immidiatly change the whole situation in the Middle East.

Only thing there is to do is: hold a peace conference involving all leading powers, led by the UN. Let a UN strong military force take control in Iraq and Afghanistan and over the palestinian territory outside the israeli pre 1967-borders - which should be a new palestinian state. And let the UN root out terrorism by policing these areas and build democracy within them, with the support of the leading powers.

But to do this, of course you need to root out the control of the weapons mafias in the US, Russia, China, EU etc. It’s only them who are running terrorism and wars, with their own profits as goal.

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By George, March 8, 2008 at 5:03 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

McCRazy—Was NOT TORTURED.Rumours are out that while he was a prisoner—he lived in a hotel and slept with the Vet-con’s daughter and had two sons with her. I suggest Glantz read up on the many stories told by other service men about McCrazy—begging not to be tortured.
GLantz—Please read-up on McCain’s father who liad about the USS Liberty Bombings—to protect Israel.
Feeding us baloney. You got No-Shame Glantz!

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By Dennis Moss, March 6, 2008 at 9:22 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I love John McCain as a fellow Viet Nam Vet.But he is still fighting the Viet Nam war, where he believes we failed him as a nation at war. he sees this current conflict as a way to regain our national pride. Once again he fails to understand that the majority of the American people will never support armed incursions and occupation of sovereign lands.

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By 1twenty1, March 6, 2008 at 8:40 am Link to this comment

No neeed to apologize.  I was just making light.

Cheers

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By Joan, March 6, 2008 at 8:33 am Link to this comment

RickinSF,

The US cut and ran from Vietnam and the Cambodians were slaugthered. The US cut and ran in a weak Afghanistan and the Taliban took root. ...The US left the Shia in southern Iraq to be slaughtered after the First Gulf War. All I am saying is that the US has a moral obligation to protect the people it has put in harm’s way, no matter the bungling that has occurred. The Kurds, for instance, for all the US betrayals, are counting on US support for their freedom quest. No one wants our soldiers there, I would think least of all a former prisoner of war. But what Pandora’s Box will the US open once again if it cuts and runs prematurely, namely, before the Iraqis can defend themselves. Being fed up with the war is not grounds for pulling out…

And the entire mess isn’t the fault of the US alone..people here talk as if the answers were so obvious and as if there were no other agent provocateurs, as if the rest of the nations involved were in habiteed by a sea of innocents, excepting for the US…the anti-Americanism here is unsettling to say the least…I see little balance or even- handedness in the the comments ...

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By RickinSF, March 6, 2008 at 6:14 am Link to this comment

I don’t know what you’re ragging about but I was responding to Joan.

Perhaps you should re-read the thread.

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By Douglas Chalmers, March 6, 2008 at 3:38 am Link to this comment

Maybe, Maani, but they recently re-hired Wolfowitz too, duh…..

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By Expat, March 6, 2008 at 2:56 am Link to this comment

^ and you’re correct.  That term is more accurate at this time.  I’ve heard the term used regarding Russia, but never really knew the definition.  Thanks, now I have a new word in my vocabulary.  I would submit there are elements of fascism present in our government at this time.  Oligarchs and Fascists should get along fine I think.

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By cyrena, March 6, 2008 at 2:01 am Link to this comment

But Joan…I’m all for human rights, and it seems to me that the US has already killed more Iraqi citizens and caused far more genocide than they could ever manage on their own.

Let’s be really clear here…the Iraqis weren’t genociding themselves BEFORE we attacked and occupied, and they weren’t involved in any civil wars either.

Can we also remember that in Vietnam, we were supposedly ‘saving’ them from a Communist government, which they STILL have, and have recovered quite nicely from? (at least the ones that weren’t slaughtered)

I think maybe the way to avoid these concerns about civil war would be to avoid setting them up to begin with. The same could be said of genocide.

For instance, maybe the US could figure out WHEN it should AVOID ‘interfering” and when it SHOULD interfere.

Faulty cause and effect after the fact is generally harmful.

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By Marshall, March 6, 2008 at 1:39 am Link to this comment

No problem - many of us are here discussing these things so we can better understand them.

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By Leefeller, March 5, 2008 at 10:43 pm Link to this comment

All this time I thought the taliban was sponsored by the CIA,  truth so very evasive. 

Marshall I may have been wrong.

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By cyrena, March 5, 2008 at 10:39 pm Link to this comment

RickinSF,

Are you speaking directly of those US ‘service people’ other than the troops?

I’m not sure you get what it would mean for ‘us’ to leave Iraq.

What it means is for ‘us’ ALL OF US, to flippin’ LEAVE IRAQ! You don’t know that there will be a civil war there, because the only reason there is civil strife now, is because the US has CREATED IT!

Regardless, there is no reason for our ‘service people’ to be hostages to any civil war, it they LEAVE. That’s what it means to LEAVE!

How complicated is that? We just LEAVE! So far, the only quasi-salvation for Iraqi civilians has been it’s neighbors, and while it’s not the best, it’s at least allowed for a few million of them to continue to remain above ground and breathing. THEY can continue to help each other out.

It’s pretty impossible for me to imagine that any possible ‘civil war’ could be even close to what the US has done to them.

So, our ‘service people’ wouldn’t be ‘held hostage’. Again…they would LEAVE. EVERY SINGLE SOLITARY AMERICAN THERE, should LEAVE.

Now, if you’re talking about the Iraqis that have assisted the US in their own assault against the Iraqis, then they need to have a place to go as well. I can’t imagine why any of them would want to come HERE, but apparently many of them do. If so, then they need to leave with the rest of the US.

I can’t even believe you said that..what would ensue if we leave? How about what has ensued since we GOT there, and have REFUSED to leave, a full 5 years later?

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By Leefeller, March 5, 2008 at 10:26 pm Link to this comment

The US set up the Talaban to help drive Russia out of Afghanistan,  then the Talaban invited Al Qaeda into Afghanistan,  You forgot part of the story.

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By Maani, March 5, 2008 at 10:09 pm Link to this comment

“what John McCain Should Know…”

...is that he is going to lose, even if the Dems run Bozo the Clown against him.

Peace.

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By RickinSF, March 5, 2008 at 8:56 pm Link to this comment

So, shall we tell our service people that they are hostages to the inevitable civil war that will ensue when/if we should leave Iraq.

Makes wonderful sense to me.

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, March 5, 2008 at 8:44 pm Link to this comment

Sorry, 1twenty1, I didn’t mean I believe he was gay.
Just that maybe it’s their asses conservatives are trying to save since I can’t point to anything else.

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By Mike Mathiesen, March 5, 2008 at 8:33 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I like the comment by Gloria Allred who said, “So, he was a prisoner of war.  That makes him qualified to be President?” 

It’s ludicrous, really everyone calling him a hero.  All he did was lose a perfectly good 30 Million Dollar Jet plane, get it shot to pieces and then parachutes to safety on the ground where they kept him safe and warm until the war ended.  Why does that make him a hero?

Why does that make him qualified to be President?  Once in office as a Senator, he did nothing to help the country.  Instead of trying to find the real mastermind of 9/11, Osama Bin Laden, McCain buys George Bush’s comic book story that Osama Bin Laden didn’t do it, Saddam Hussein did.  Then, he orders even more US Troops to their deaths defending this insane theory.

The only great thing about this all is that NO REPUBLICAN has a chance to be President since Bush Freaked up the country so bad, we’re ready to put a Beaver into office, anything over another Republican.

MORON, McCain what have you been smoking?

NEVER LET THIS HAPPEN AGAIN - SEMPER FI

http://www.realdemocracyinamerica.com

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By 1twenty1, March 5, 2008 at 8:17 pm Link to this comment

Liked your comments.  Damn, I didn’t know Buckley was gay.

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, March 5, 2008 at 7:36 pm Link to this comment

Just what is it that conservatives are trying to save?  We know it isn’t the treasury surplus.  We know it’s not our constitutional rights.  We know it’s not our country’s place in the world as a beacon of hope or a model for democracy.  We know it’s not the ability of citizens to remain self-supporting and productive in meaningful jobs.  It’s not family or health or education.  We know it’s not, contrary to their mantra, small government.  Just what the hell is a conservative trying to save???? 

I know Buckley was trying to save his own ass from AIDS by tattooing those infected. As a conservative, he was a real piece of work.  He sure made the world a far better place. 

Can someone enlighten me?

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By prosefights, March 5, 2008 at 5:53 pm Link to this comment

Let’s hope McCain has the smarts to see the merits of settlement.

The feds are still fighting.

http://www.prosefights.org/nmlegal/lucero/lucero.htm#mandatory1

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By Joan, March 5, 2008 at 5:34 pm Link to this comment

RickinSF

Precisely…thank you for making my point…I am saying as a nation that the US has a responsiblity to people we put in harm’s way whether we like it or not…it is one of those inconvenient truths…

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By RickinSF, March 5, 2008 at 5:25 pm Link to this comment

Are you saying that bombing the shit out of Cambodia and spreading the war into that country had nothing to do with the rise of Khmer Rouge?

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By Joan, March 5, 2008 at 5:23 pm Link to this comment

Seems to me the US withdrawal from Vietnam opened the door for the Cambodian genocide led by Pol Pot

http://www.unitedhumanrights.org/Genocide/pol_pot.htm


What genocide might we see in Iraq if the US leaves a country of unprotected citizens yet again?

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By Eric Allen Bell, March 5, 2008 at 5:11 pm Link to this comment

Quite intentional, yes.

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By Marshall, March 5, 2008 at 5:09 pm Link to this comment

Russia was driven out of Afghanistan, they didn’t walk out.  And their exit was the prime reason for the ascendancy of Al Qaeda.

This is why the U.S. won’t make that same mistake and why we’ll have troops in Iraq permanently.

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By mikeusmc, March 5, 2008 at 4:43 pm Link to this comment

In Mr. Glantz’s article “What John McCain Should Know”, Glantz makes the statement that, “The John McCain of the 1980s and ’90s was a true warrior for peace. Working together with another Vietnam vet, Democrat John Kerry of Massachusetts, he helped disprove the saber rattlers’ contention that Hanoi still kept thousands of American POWs in secret camps.” This is utter nonsense and, in fact, is demonstrably false.
“Saber rattlers” have nothing to do with the issue of American servicemen left in Vietnam after Operation Homecoming. And neither John McCain nor, John Kerry did ANYTHING to “disprove” the mountains of evidence pointing to that very conclusion.
Mr. Glantz is clearly ignorant with respect to this issue and should refrain from spreading disinformation and government propaganda. I recommend Bill Hendon’s book, AN ENORMOUS CRIME for those who are sincerely interested in learning the truth of this despicable episode of American history
And John McCain should hang his head in shame for his willingness to betray his fellow servicemen.
Based on this issue, alone, I’ll never vote for McCain

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By ocjim, March 5, 2008 at 4:33 pm Link to this comment

McCain hurried to Bush’s side to get the self-proclaimed King’s blessing after McCain wrapped up the Republican nomination.

Bush even suggested that McCain doesn’t represent change, saying that it’s something candidates have to run on because it’s what the American people want to hear. Once again, McCain and Bush are both telling the American people what they want to hear, rather than the truth.

That’s how much King Shrub values the opinion of the people or should we say ignores. McCain will be a good successor if we let him be…

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By Can 'O Whoopass, March 5, 2008 at 12:52 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

How many of these guys were killed by McCain’s bombs?

http://members.aol.com/mraffin/memday69.htm

Don’t worry, Bush and Rove already disrespected McGoof long before me.

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By Marshall, March 5, 2008 at 12:09 pm Link to this comment

You’re mistaken to think that the military is always eager to do battle.  The US military is under civilian control, and if anyone has a realistic view of when not to fight, it’s the military.

But if you accept that military solutions DO exist, as in the examples I gave (and many others I did not), then you have to “make peace” with the idea that war is sometimes the correct answer.  I realize that this view contradicts those ubiquitous simple-minded bumper stickers that claim the contrary.  This author’s article essentially boils down to one of those bumper stickers.

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By Blackspeare, March 5, 2008 at 9:21 am Link to this comment

Expat…

You said, “fascism has truly taken us”

The US is not quite there yet.  The US has become more of an oligarchy which it always was though it’s more apparent now.  A true fascist state requires a permanent party and a dictator of sorts.  The US still has,  more or less, free elections that can change regimes, except the industry elites have enough clout to maintain control.  But I should say there are enough elections irregularities that a close election is probably always stolen by the party with the best tricks!

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, March 5, 2008 at 9:16 am Link to this comment

So, what does this Boogie Man look like?  What form does he take?

1.  He’s a deranged, radical, fascist muslim, with a unkempt facial hair and wearing something like a white sheet, carrying an Uzi in one hand and a suitcase with either a dirty bomb or a real, honest-to-god atom bomb he plans to carry on board a 737 and fly it to NY to set off in Times Square, or

2. it’s BIG GOVERNMENT.  Yes, REAL BIG GOVERNMENT, REAL BIG, DANGEROUS, EXPENSIVE GOVERNMENT.  Never mind that the present administration has submitted a 2009 budget with a 3/4 trillion Department of War budget and is upping Condi’s replacement’s (we know she’s irreplaceable) payroll by several thousand employees (while cutting education.)  Of course, none of this counts.  We need this.  It’s necessary and SMALL government, not BIG GOVERNMENT.  The two are in no way comparable. 

BIG EXPENSIVE GOVERNMENT is a boogie man.  little expensive government is not.  Conservative expensive government is not a boogie man, either.  LIBERAL EXPENSIVE GOVERNMENT is, and perhaps, one of the biggest boogie men of all times and to be greatly feared.

3.  Which brings us to a third form.  The Liberal.  Watch out for these ordinary looking Boogie people.  They’ll get you and take your money.  Worst of all, they’ll take from the war effort (meant to keep you secure) and pump it into domestic programs.  Imagine that! Domestic programs.  LOeffingL! 

Boogie Man 3 coming soon.

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By Expat, March 5, 2008 at 8:17 am Link to this comment

^ Yes, Michelle spoke truly, but we are truly in insane times.  This is why I fear we are finished.  ^ One cannot say anything truly; we must tow the line; fascism has truly taken us.  History has shown that patriotism in its distorted mask is the tool of the professionals and Hillary and Bill will do anything to win.  These guys know the game.  Bush will leave and an appropriate surrogate will take his place.  Republican or Democrat will not matter……….  Hahahahaha, the spice must flow!  Remember that?  This is the bottom line.  Time to find your life and live the best you can.  The darkness is upon us.

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By richard montgomery, March 5, 2008 at 7:31 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Mr. Glantz’s statement that John McCain “helped disprove the saber rattlers’ contention that Hanoi still kept thousands of American POWs in secret
camps” is demonstrably false. If anything can be said, with absolute certainty, it’s that Americans were left behind and our government knew it…so did John McCain.
I suggest reading Bill Hendon’s Book, AN ENORMOUS CRIME. There can be little doubt that the United States has a long history of abandoning it’s servicemen. The evidence is overwhelming.

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, March 5, 2008 at 6:45 am Link to this comment

The candidates know that the American people are, more than anything else, really concerned about getting caught by the Boogie Man, whatever or whomever that is.

DEMAGOUGERY!

Americans are scared s**tless, but about the wrong things.

THE RED PHONE!????  Whatta bunch of BS. 

The truest thing uttered in this campaign was Michelle admitting that, up until BO won a couple of primaries, she wasn’t really proud to be an
American.  Blasphemous!!!  So, what the hell is there to be proud of???

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By Me, March 5, 2008 at 3:36 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Didn’t the Vietnamese Boat people rather flee hunger and starvation than “re-education”? The post-war sanctions imposed on Vietnam “helped” a great deal and gave the West a powerful propaganda tool. The most basic right anyone cares about is to live and prosper, and fuck ideology. Just like in the US of A.

McCain knows what he knows, but the majority of you don’t seem to grasp the realities of politics. Without support from the power brokers, neither candidate will get elected - that’s why they all mouth the right-wingers’ slogans and try to appease the public. The true (leftist!) radicals are sorted out long before the final race.

From what I read about McCain, I`‘d probably feel safer (as a non-American) with him than Clinton and/or Obama. People don’t really change their character or moral views. Clinton is an opportunist and a fighter, trying to prove she can be “tough” , and such a person can be extremely dangerous. Obama is an inexperienced newcomer. What speaks against McCain is the devastating signal another Republican victory would send to the world. But all of them will inherit the established power structures and constraints, and to the outside world will make very little difference. The US would need a Chavez for that to change, someone who is willing and capable to shake up bureaucracy and “free” the government from corporate control as much as possible. And the media campaign against him would undoubtedly as vicious as in Venezuela.

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By Douglas Chalmers, March 5, 2008 at 3:13 am Link to this comment

Texas win gives Clinton three out of four http://www.politico.com/

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By Douglas Chalmers, March 5, 2008 at 3:11 am Link to this comment

Delusional double-speak, Eric - and intentionally so, uhh

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By cyrena, March 5, 2008 at 2:24 am Link to this comment

Expat,

There’s no doubt in my mind that Hillary is as much a Hawk as McCain. And, if she is willing to do absolutely anything to win, considering the gutter tactics she’s already indulged in, then I don’t see a single solitary difference between her and JohnnyMc.

But then, I never really HAVE seen any difference between them, and that was before she really started showing her ass in the gutter. Now of course lots of people disagree, and they see serious and major difference between them, but I just never have. Hillary is as much a repuglican as any other repug, and a neoconner at that. She started out that way,and we should ALL know by now, that just changing an affiliation on paper, and putting on a democratic costume instead of a repuglican one, doesn’t mean anything. It just means that you changed your sign, or got new packaging. Hillary has been a repug from day one. 

And you’re right, at least by my own memory. I can’t remember things ever being this bad before either. At least not with a candidate attacking somebody from the same party, the way that Hillary has done the number on Barack. She’s actually managed to fine-tune the Karl Rove tactics. So, THAT part IS a little bit of a surprise. But, not so surprising that she did it, just that she’s indulged in the tactics this soon. Because of the fact that she thought the nomination was hers to begin with, she hadn’t got her knives sharpened in time for Barack. She obviously didn’t think she’d need them.

Then, she was got by surprise, when the American people started talking. Not that we haven’t been for several years now, but she just wasn’t listening, because she’s not the type to much care. (not much different than GW in that respect).

Once that became known to her though..(the 9 and then 10 wins in a row for Obama was probably a hint) she had to get those knives to pin point sharpness, and start using them. Desperate people do desperate things.

So, here we are. Her ‘wins’ in Texas and Ohio, (and even RI, wouldn’t have been particularly ‘suspect’ if they had been closer, since that’s what the numbers have been saying they would be. But now, it’s obvious that she’s hauled out the same cheating apparatus as we saw in Florida in 2000, and Ohio in 2004. (at least for TX and OH, the win in RI may have been legit..but at this point, she’s not taking any chances on a legit vote).

So yeah…it’s really bad, because either way..McCain or Hillary, we wind up with another repug regime. I don’t know if McCain can be said to be any MORE corrupt than Hillary though, and at least there WAS A TIME, when the guy apparently wasn’t demented. (the article pretty much makes that clear).

But let’s face it, Hillary has NEVER had a core of conscience or morality, so it’s not like we should be surprised. We can blame John’s on maybe the Alzheimer’s because it DOES cause behavioral changes along with the dementia, and it’s easy enough to hide…at least for a while. (Remember Regan?) But, that’s not Hillary’s excuse.

So, it’s hard to say at this point, which one would be worse. We don’t stand a chance with either one of them, especially since Hillary’s stance on the war is no different from his. She only changed it recently…like when she allegedly changed from Repug to democrat. Hillary has no intention of getting out of Iraq, and every intention of expanding the action further against Iran. The only thing that might save us on that end, is time. If Cheney hasn’t been able to hit them yet, it will be more difficult for Hillary or McCain to do it.

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By Eric Allen Bell, March 5, 2008 at 2:10 am Link to this comment

John McCain is clearly focused on one thing and one thing only - WAR. He lives for it, he loves it, he’s obsessed by it, it is his entire identity. He is a Post Traumatic Stress hot-headed and unstable lunatic who cares nothing about the will of the American people. He is loyal to his backers and his backers make a killing off of war, war and more war. It just so happens those are all of John McCain’s personal interests as well. He’s no sell out. He is a man of passion. And if elected, he will deliver.

In his own words, “Friends, I want to give you some straight talk. Friends, there are going to be more wars. I’m sorry to tell you, but there are going to be more wars…”. Wow. Interesting Foriegn Policy approach there, John.

After 2004 it became apparent to me what I had been trying to forget after the 2000 election, that much of America has bad judgment. It would be foolish to under-estimate America’s bad judgment this time around. McCain, like Bush before him, can win. We cannot let that happen.

Unfortunately Hilary Clinton represents the exact same special interests that McCain does. They should run on the same ticket.

There is only one serious contender who is sane and that is Barack Obama. If you measure who the best candidate is by body count, consider that over 1.1 million people have died as the result of the Iraqi invasion. Consider also that Hilary and McCain pushed this forward every step of the way and remember that only Barack had the decency and good common sense to oppose this needless invasion from the very start, even when it was unpopular.

Someone who speaks in straight talk doesn’t have to keep reminding you that it’s straight talk. They just speak the truth. And that is why my vote is enthusiastically for Barack Obama this election season.

http://www.WeCanStopMcCain.org

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By Douglas Chalmers, March 5, 2008 at 2:00 am Link to this comment

It will be a fight all the way and Hillary CAN win. 50% of the Dems is more than 50% of the Rpg’s in this election, Expat….. add a few more or lose altogehter, uhh.

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By Douglas Chalmers, March 5, 2008 at 1:54 am Link to this comment

Now you know the difference between “hawks” and “doves”.......

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By Expat, March 5, 2008 at 12:01 am Link to this comment

^ worse; McCain or watching Hillary do a hatchet job on another Dem.  I guess she’ll do anything to get her entitlement.  Now watch the gutter tactics to get herself the delegates from Mich and Florida.  I don’t remember things getting this bad before.  If she’s trying to show she’s a down and dirty fighter; I’m convinced already!  My greatest fear is she would lose the election to McCain.

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By 911truthdotorg, March 4, 2008 at 9:55 pm Link to this comment

and Joe Scarborough/MSNBC wants to taze and imprison anyone who questions the official 9/11 LIE!!

This country is plummeting to hell!

http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/march2008/030408_puppy_video.htm

http://rawstory.com/news/2008/MSNBC_hopes_secret_prison_for_911_0304.html

9/11 was an inside job!

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, March 4, 2008 at 8:47 pm Link to this comment

One day I watched a Red Tail hawk fly down to the ground and snag a chipmunk, hold it down wriggling between the hawk’s talons while the hawk tore the chipmunk to shreds.

That chipmunk can thank it’s lucky stars he was caught by a Red Tail and not John McCain. In his speech tonight, JohnnyMc gave new meaning to the word, HAWK. When this idiot says he’ll stay in Iraq for a hundred years, you’d better believe him!

Even worse, his supporters cheered him. My god, we’re in even more trouble than I thought.

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By KYJurisDoctor, March 4, 2008 at 8:24 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

And someone needs to remind John McCain to be true to himself, and NOT pander to the right “wing nuts”, if he wants to win in November, with the support of Independents and moderate Republicans—the REAL Conservatives!!

http://OsiSpeaks.com or http://RealConservativesSpeak.com

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By samosamo, March 4, 2008 at 7:41 pm Link to this comment

What do the corporations say? They are the ones running this american show now. And as big and powerful that the arms industries are that would make it seem that we are in for the long long haul, meaning decades worth of budget busting appropriations for boeing, lockheed martin and all. After all dick the cheney still needs his dam burst of money inflow AND his control over the pentagon.
I just don’t know. With all the lobbyists(criminal bribery of elected officals) still needing those war dollars that are flowing thicker and faster with everyday, I just don’t see anyone being elected that can stop it. Didn’t old johnny say just not too long ago that he is all for staying the course, the one course he is hand in hand with with little w?
And for just a side bar, just what in the hell is going to be done with all those steroid monkeys from blackwater, kbr and other private contractors?

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By Douglas Chalmers, March 4, 2008 at 7:40 pm Link to this comment

You’ve just defined the “boys’ club” in a nutshell, KC

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By Douglas Chalmers, March 4, 2008 at 7:37 pm Link to this comment

Stars are something shining up in the night skies, Gold Star Father. They are NOT bits of metal or medals - which are so often used to buy your silence and complicity, uhh…....

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By Douglas Chalmers, March 4, 2008 at 7:27 pm Link to this comment

Quote Aaron Glantz: “McCain angrily calls out his Democratic rivals, arguing that they advocate an “arbitrary timetable” for withdrawal from Iraq “which recklessly ignores the profound human calamity and dire threats to our security that would ensue…. John McCain should know better…”

And about Afghanistan, the country’s economy remains a shambles and it is isolated from the outside world….. and the real reason lies with the support of the Musharraf dictatorship in Pakistan, the military/judicial boys’ club there and the imperatives of having to have a perceived enemy to fight for both the Pakistani military and the USA’s “war on terror”.

That fact that Pakistan aways has India to fight (their own fault, perhaps?) is not only made to be irrelevant but must be ignored because Pakistan is the supposed “ally” of the USA in this fake war. That the Pakistani secret service finances Al Qaeda and the Taleban and that they are run out of Karachi and Islamabad (Benazir Bhutto’s words, not mine) is also avidly ignored.

That all sounds rather much like the imperatives of Israel which is also deliriously funded by the USA to continue its wanton land-grab and murder of Arab Palestinian and Lebanese civilians. A true democracy is not wanted in either Israel (with Palestinian voters) or in Pakistan for obvious reasons. Big oil and the $US it is traded with are significant factors…... the USA’s military-industrial complex is another…...

There are no signs of the Taliban and Al-Qaeda insurgency abating along the Afghan-Pakistani border. If anything, the run-up to Pakistan’s parliamentary vote has seen rising violence in the tribal regions, with scores killed in attacks in the last week alone…....

Larry Robinson, a former U.S. diplomat in Islamabad, is a Washington-based South Asia analyst. He tells RFE/RL’s Radio Free Afghanistan a democratically elected Pakistani government could deal a major blow to the insurgency plaguing both Islamabad and neighboring Afghanistan…. http://jawedan.com/en/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=181&Itemid=81

Ahmad Shah Massoud .....known as the “Lion of Panjsher”, a name given to him for his successes as a military commander during the war against the Soviet occupation. In fact, his fight against the Soviets was so well known that the Wall Street Journal labeled him as the “Afghan who won the cold war”......

After the Communists were defeated, Massoud’s troops were the first Mujahideen group to enter Kabul, and help establish a Mujahideen government. He served as President Burhanuddin Rabbani’s Defense Minister, and engaged in numerous battles to prevent Rabbani’s rivals such as Gulbuddin Hekmatyar from taking over….. Eventually, Rabbani’s government fell, and the Taliban with secret financial and military help from the Pakistanis , took over the capital…... two days before the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States, Masood was killed. He was the victim of an Al Qaeda suicide attack… http://jawedan.com/en/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogcategory&id=7&Itemid=38

And something to THINK ABOUT - The result of wars!!!  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tm5Vx_jh7PQ&feature;=related

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By RickinSF, March 4, 2008 at 7:02 pm Link to this comment

He blew his chance to follow his dad and grandpa into high rank and this is his last chance to show everyone he’s not a total fuckup.

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By kath cantarella, March 4, 2008 at 6:16 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

i take the opposite point of view. i think it is the military’s simple-minded belief that there is rarely a better solution than a military one, that is unrealistic.

Take this quote from Blackspeare, for instance:

‘Military people know there is never a good alternative to victory and there is no greater morale booster than total and absolute victory over the “enemy.”’

Talk about idealism.

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By Can 'O Whoopass, March 4, 2008 at 5:36 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Every President since WWII knew to stay out of the Muslim middle east, but Bush.
Nuff said.

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By Gold Star Father, March 4, 2008 at 5:08 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Blackspeare: “only” becoming a Captain in the US Navy is very strange statement. The man has proved himself many times over. He need not be measured by his father and grandfather.
  That said, I can only feel very sorry for what John McCain has become. As this article states, John McCain was, no longer so, in a very important place historically—a gift that he has totally blown.  With his stature, he could have risen to the cause of universal peace through just plain diplomatic efforts.  Just plain talking to our country’s adversaries and working through solutions. A man with his background of knowledge of what military action can not accomplish could have promoted peace and understanding and leadership. Yes, we had to go after those responsible for 9/11/2001. But that way was not, and has never been, and is not today, through Iraq.
  Instead, we are locked in armed conflict between cultures compounded by very diametrically opposed religious dogmas, wrapped around the American way of politics—chest beating. Wave the damn bloody shirt.
John McCain could have risen above that all and led America away from very stupid knee jerk reactions that have only deepened our problems, and that of the world, for the last 6+ years.
  I come from a military background, I admired McCain for his strengths, and I was a delegate for him in 2000 in my congressional district. I lost faith in him after gwb trashed his name in the 2000 South Carolina primary, followed my McCain kissing bush’s ass.
  I came to regret to have ever supported the man when rumors of war with Iraq surfaced and then were fulfilled. McCain supported all that, as he still does that today.
  I claim not too much overall geopolitical knowledge being a junior officer in the USMC when I was younger, but I surely knew enough to know that striking Iraq as we did, based on the faultly knowledge we had, even at the time (I dare say that there were a lot of people like me who viewed those events of the bush Administration machinations of late 2002-early 2003 as utter BS) was absolute insanity.  American troops going into the heart of Islam, guns blazing? Why did we so accept hitting that hornet’s nest with a bat?  How could we have been so stupid?
  I lost my only son to a gun fight in a dirty little village on the banks of the Euphrates in 2005. I also lost my faith in America.
  Maybe no one will listen to me thinking I am slanted with being a Gold Star Father. I can only witness a personal pain with the loss of my child.
  However, America must realize that full impact of what our war with Iraq has done. Not only 4000 American dead, but years of fighting in urban Iraq cities. No one knows how many innocents have died there. Loss of American prestige and basic good name and action will haunt us for generations. When the hell will we ever learn?
  Funny thing about America’s wars. We seem to make good friends with those we fight not too many years after the last bullet fired. Why don’t we just skip all that combat shit and make economic, cultural,and religious peace from day one?

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By Kathryn Chatters, March 4, 2008 at 2:35 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The problem I have with all of this is GW Bush said sometime ago mission accomplished, the war is over.  What going on now is not a war but an occupation.  There is no dishonor in withdrawing from an occupation.

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By Marshall, March 4, 2008 at 12:42 pm Link to this comment

It’s not clear to me whether the author is making a point about Iraq, or arguing for pacifism in general.

Clearly, war CAN accomplish good things.  It ended Hitler’s tyranny and turned Japan from an Imperialistic empire into a peaceful ally.  This author tows the left’s party line of distorting McCain’s “100 year” comment when no candidate supports a complete withdrawal from Iraq - nor should they.

It’s not McCain that’s changed course - it’s the author’s simple-minded belief that there’s no such thing as a military solution.  McCain is a realist, the author is an idealist.  Unfortunately for the author, the world is real, not ideal.

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By felicity, March 4, 2008 at 12:29 pm Link to this comment

that ‘Peace’ in Iraq will come when the Shias are prepared to share power or that the Sunnis are prepared to live as a minority under Shia majoritarian rule, where do we fit in?  Sounds like a matter of various factions making concessions.

What’s the appropriate role for a foreign military to play in such a situation?  Is there even one?

We’ll probably just walk out one day like Russia walked out of Afghanistan after nine years of accomplishing nothing other than getting thousands of people killed.

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By Pacrat, March 4, 2008 at 11:18 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

McCain (Yes I am a genuine war hero) has been kissing so many butts lately to get support for his campaign that he has lost all perspective.

In the process he has become a racist, a sexist, an anti-religous nutter, and a general overall fruitcake.

We know that it is all for the sake of his campaign, but the reality of McCain is even worse - a true clone of Bush! He seems to have no morals at all!

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Blackspeare's avatar

By Blackspeare, March 4, 2008 at 10:38 am Link to this comment

John McCain comes from a long standing military family——both his father and grandfather were admirals——still standards as the only father/son to make admiral.  McCain only got to captain.

Military people know there is never a good alternative to victory and there is no greater morale booster than total and absolute victory over the “enemy.”

McCain’s knows that victory over North Vietnam was at hand except for the weak politicians in Congress at the time.  A few more weeks of intensive carpet bombing in the North would have had the North Vietnamese seeking a truce. And should the US have then succeeded in Nam, then we would have had a military presence in the South Vietnam, vis-a-vis South Korea, for long time.  As an aspiring empire, the US needs military outposts and 100 years in Iraq is nothing.  Also, both Clinton and Obama have indicated a small, but potent contingent of troops will be kept in Iraq even after a symbolic withdrawal.

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By chuck, March 4, 2008 at 10:14 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

mccain is just another bush. he ia a warmonger (iran will be next) he knows nothing about the economy, national Debt, balance of trade, etc

Things will remain as is now if mccain is voted in to office. what a mistake. (mccain=mistake)

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