NYT: McCain “sealed away” from the lessons of Vietnam

posted at 6:20 pm on May 14, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

In the New York Times’ upcoming edition of their Sunday magazine, they take a look at John McCain’s divergent views of the Iraq War from those of his fellow Vietnam veterans. In The McCain Doctrines, Matt Bai reports that most of these colleagues (with the noted exception of Bob Kerrey) attribute McCain’s support for Iraq to the fact that he didn’t serve on the ground in Vietnam — and that his years as a POW somehow “sealed” him away from the war’s lessons:

There is a feeling among some of McCain’s fellow veterans that his break with them on Iraq can be traced, at least partly, to his markedly different experience in Vietnam. McCain’s comrades in the Senate will not talk about this publicly. They are wary of seeming to denigrate McCain’s service, marked by his legendary endurance in a Hanoi prison camp, when in fact they remain, to this day, in awe of it. And yet in private discussions with friends and colleagues, some of them have pointed out that McCain, who was shot down and captured in 1967, spent the worst and most costly years of the war sealed away, both from the rice paddies of Indochina and from the outside world. During those years, McCain did not share the disillusioning and morally jarring experiences of soldiers like Kerry, Webb and Hagel, who found themselves unable to recognize their enemy in the confusion of the jungle; he never underwent the conversion that caused Kerry, for one, to toss away some of his war decorations during a protest at the Capitol. Whatever anger McCain felt remained focused on his captors, not on his own superiors back in Washington.

Not all of McCain’s fellow veterans subscribe to the theory that the singularity of his war experience has anything to do with his intransigence on Iraq. (Bob Kerrey, for one, told me that while he was aware of this argument, he has never believed it.) But some suspect that whatever lesson McCain took away from his time in Vietnam, it was not the one that stayed with his colleagues who were “in country” during those years — that some wars simply can’t be won on the battlefield, no matter how long you fight them, no matter how many soldiers you send there to die.

“McCain is my friend and brother, and I love him dearly,” Max Cleland, Georgia’s former Democratic senator, told me when we talked last month. “But I think you learn something fighting on the ground, like me and John Kerry and Chuck Hagel did in Vietnam. This objective of ‘hearts and minds’? Well, hello! You didn’t know which heart and mind was going to blow you up!

“I have seen this movie before, and I know how it ends,” says Cleland, who lost three of his limbs to an errant grenade during the battle of Khe Sanh. “With thousands dead and tens of thousands more injured, and years later you ask yourself what you were doing there. To the extent my friend John McCain signs on to this, he is endangering America’s long-term interests, and probably his own election in the fall.”

This sounds remarkably close to Jay Rockefeller’s accusation that pilots don’t care about the consequences of their actions. Last month, he trotted out that explanation as a way to minimize McCain’s military experience. Unfortunately, it insulted the service of McCain as well as thousands of pilots currently serving in the nation’s military, and Rockefeller eventually apologized.

Now we have unnamed fellow veterans claiming that McCain doesn’t understand war enough because of his captivity for the last five years of the Vietnam War. That is simply absurd. Cleland says that he didn’t know which heart and mind would blow him up, but McCain didn’t have to wonder at all which would torture him. He got a good, close look at the evil that totalitarians produce for over five years “on the ground”. How exactly does being forced into the captivity of the enemy “seal” one away from their tactics and their motivations?

Furthermore, when McCain got out, he got himself an assignment at the National War College to study the war and its lessons in great detail. As far as is known, none of his colleagues bothered to do the same. McCain also served for over twenty years on Senate committees overseeing the armed services and their strategies and tactics after having studied them through the NWC. For almost 40 years, McCain has kept himself not just informed but critically involved in matters of national security and defense.

The men named by Bai served their country well, but which of them have that kind of experience, study and track record? Laughably, Bai never quite asks how Kerry’s three months in-country trumps McCain’s years of imprisonment and study (his first tour was in the blue-water Navy offshore of Vietnam. not “on the ground”). Furthermore, between himself and either Democratic candidate, which one has the most qualifications to serve as Commander in Chief and to develop policies for national security?

If the Times wants to argue that McCain doesn’t understand Vietnam, they’ll have to do better at explaining how all of that experience handicaps his perspective. Once again, we have another non-story, albeit one with more interesting background.

Addendum: One minor point. Cleland did not lose his extremities as a consequence of the battle of Khe Sanh. He lost them thanks to someone else’s mistake in dropping a live grenade near Cleland, and his attempt to pick it up thinking he himself had dropped it. It didn’t happen during the battle at all. That doesn’t lessen the sacrifice Cleland made for his country or his amazing courage in overcoming his severe injuries, but Bai should have done a little more research in writing this piece.

Update: Bai also uses the Basra Narrative here, too, in drawing parallels between Iraq and Vietnam:

Still, in this current conflict there are echoes of Vietnam that have grown too loud to easily ignore. Both conflicts were entered into under pretenses that were later widely discredited. Reports from the front in Iraq depict American soldiers who find it difficult to discern friends from enemies as they try to navigate an unfamiliar culture, language and landscape. American leaders are talking yet again about transferring responsibility for the war to local forces and the police, but Iraqization doesn’t seem to be faring a whole lot better than Vietnamization did; last month, some 1,000 Iraqi troops deserted during a crucial battle in Basra.

Bai fails to mention that the Iraqi Army prevailed in Basra, which his own newspaper finally acknowledged a few days ago. They also forced the Mahdis to surrender Sadr City, and now are about to take on AQI in Mosul.


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Most of these journalists cut their teeth in the Nam era and have indoctrinated the next generation with the same views, everything about military matters must be seen through the lens of THEIR experince during the 70′s. War=quagmire. Soldier=babykiller. American flag=jingoistic racism. Its enough to make me want to spit on a NYT journalist, as I am sure many of them did to our boys back in the day. I wonder what Ernie Pyle would think of these despicable & traitorous scumbags who now populate his profession.

Lunkinator on May 15, 2008 at 9:14 AM

freevillage, the impression I got was that Ed was joking. If you’re going to insist on literal interpretations of what are (normally on this site) humorous captions, it’s going to become frustrating and tedious for everyone.

DrSteve on May 14, 2008 at 9:00 PM

Thank you, good post.

right2bright on May 15, 2008 at 9:45 AM

How exactly does being forced into the captivity of the enemy “seal” one away from their tactics and their motivations?

I appreciate John McCain’s service. My concern is that his time in the captivity of the enemy may have brainwashed him. A very good friend of mine, who has been active in the POW-MIA effort since his own return from Vietnam, tells me that they have reason to believe that during the time when McCain was not seen by other POWs (the time that McCain says he was in solitary confinement) McCain was not even in Vietnam and was being treated very well by the Russians.

Before you dismiss that, take just a second to realize the truth about this Breach and ask yourself, “What if?”

What if John McCain were really a double agent?

What if a double agent had been in the following positions:

Furthermore, when McCain got out, he got himself an assignment at the National War College to study the war and its lessons in great detail. As far as is known, none of his colleagues bothered to do the same. McCain also served for over twenty years on Senate committees overseeing the armed services and their strategies and tactics after having studied them through the NWC. For almost 40 years, McCain has kept himself not just informed but critically involved in matters of national security and defense.

What if all of that knowledge was shared with the Communists?

No one suspected Robert Hanssen until great damage had been done.

What if Barack Obama is also a double agent? Barack’s 3 hour meeting with the Russians in 2005 is highly, highly suspicious:

During the August recess of 2005, Lugar, who was the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, went with Senator Barack Obama to Russia to inspect nuclear facilities there. They were detained for three hours at an airport in the city of Perm, near the Ural Mountains, where they were scheduled to depart for a meeting with the President and the Speaker of the House of Ukraine. They were released after a brief dialogue between U.S. and Russian officials and the Russians later apologized for this incident.

What if Hillary Clinton is also a double agent? The Clinton connections with Communist countries like China and Vietnam are numerous.

What if the three leading Presidential Candidates (McCain, Obama, and Clinton) are all double agents?

What if?

Think I’m crazy? I don’t think so. Take a look at these books.

Red Pill on May 15, 2008 at 10:02 AM

Matt Bai enjoys the convenience of rehashing misinformation fabricated by his own employer for his job security.

BTW, reading the Cleland incident as first described, I noted that he was PROBABLY a victim of “friendly” fire grenade. But as you note, Captain, Bai worded it so as to lead on the reader to assume in battle blown up by the enemy. That’s par for the course in nuevo yellow journalism, the Grey Lady’s favorite color of apparel.

Great job, Captain, noting the MSM design to erase McCain and superimpose the non-person they wish he were for the people to consume and assume as well.

I grit my teeth with Bai’s further wholecloth persuasion:

Both conflicts were entered into under pretenses that were later widely discredited.

How young is Bai? Obviously he shows such ignorance, in his probably prestigous education, he failed to read his history, swallowing the nuevo yellow lectures of his Marxist professors hook, line and sinker. Bai’s stupid statement ignores ALL of the obvious contrasts! Just begin by remembering where all IndoChina had already been through, even prior to the French, and who was fighting in Viet Nam before we “helped”. It was the Vietnamese vs. Viet Cong provided Chinese warfare, and Communism was the foe. The only “product” being fought over were drugs, and the dark side of the CIA had their dirty hands in that pie. Nearly half a century later, it is not in the jungles of Asia but the deserts of Arabia, it is not Communism but Fascism, first from a cruel dictator, then from various Islamic sect wannabe theocratic dictators all cohorts of Islamofascism, aka Muslim terrorists. But the enemy is of various sects, not one Communist party, and of various genetics as even Iraq is populated by two breeds of Muslim and also the Kurd, and used to be Christian (mostly gone or dead now). Add to this the influx of Arabs and Persians from other Muslim countries. The “product” motivating our presence in Iraq is oil, no drugs. (Drugs are in Afghanistan where we have limited our presence currently.)

To the point of contradicting Bai, there was no Communist bombing of the USA to demand our presence in Vietnam. The communist infiltration in America had been occuring throughout the century with the progressive politics, and McCarthy made that particular point correctly. ALL OF THAT ASIDE, after Sept. 11, 2001 the USA responded correctly to the Muslim attack. Hussein was involved along with many other agents in providing the means and opportunity for Muslim terrorism abroad. Deposing him coincides with no further jihadist attacks in the USA. Hussein played his hand, and paid for it. He lost, but if Bai had his way, we’d be reading what a great guy the misunderstood Hussein was all along.

maverick muse on May 15, 2008 at 10:06 AM

Red Pill
I seriously doubt that brainwashing stays entrenched forever no matter what, particularly given “re-education” and a lifetime of dedication contrary to the former brainwash-indoctrinations that ran counter to the person’s nature and essence, anyway.

It would take a very weak mind to succumb permanently to its own tendencies entrenched by brainwashing, and that weak mind would require continuity of purged environment in order to remain brainwashed forever.

maverick muse on May 15, 2008 at 10:16 AM

They must think he stayed at a real Hilton.

Quote anything they write that would indicate they in any way question or doubt gruesome details of his time in captivity as they are widely known.

freevillage on May 14, 2008 at 6:42 PM

It’s interesting to note that comrade freevillage is in Russia.

It’s also interesting to note how the current top headline on Pravda is:
Russian bombers fly over Alaska again

Red Pill on May 15, 2008 at 10:16 AM

American soldiers who find it difficult to discern friends from enemies as they try to navigate an unfamiliar culture, language and landscape.

Once again, I am so happy that all those farm boys from the great plains that we drafted in 1942 took the time to study the culture, history, language, and landscape of both Germany and Japan. They truly were the greatest generation.

Kafir on May 15, 2008 at 10:22 AM

What if?

Think I’m crazy? I don’t think so. Take a look at these books.

Red Pill on May 15, 2008 at 10:02 AM

That is scary…
I mean, you are scary. Do you really believe what you just posted?
What if McCain was brainwashed? Decades ago, and we have an incredible amount of documents on…never mind, if you even entertain these thoughts you are not a rational person.
Double agent? Oh my God, get out of your aunts cellar (put down the blow up doll) and get some fresh air.

McCain was not even in Vietnam and was being treated very well by the Russians

Here is where Red Pill is getting his garbage.
Your little “A very good friend of mine” quote is a sure sign of a scam. As Snopes says, whenever someone injects the “I heard from a friend (relative, co-worker, inside source, etc), you can bet it is a scam.
Be honest and say you visited the site, were taken in by the propaganda and now you hate McCain.
Please, do not insult us and say “I never knew that site existed”…

right2bright on May 15, 2008 at 10:23 AM

right2bright on May 15, 2008 at 10:23 AM

If you’re going to rant, please at least make sure your link works.

fossten on May 15, 2008 at 10:27 AM

right2bright on May 15, 2008 at 10:23 AM

Take just a second to realize the truth about this Breach.

Do you think that was an isolated event?

Red Pill on May 15, 2008 at 10:37 AM

Your little “A very good friend of mine” quote is a sure sign of a scam.
right2bright on May 15, 2008 at 10:23 AM

I guarantee you that my friend was a Marine in Vietnam. I am under no obligation to reveal his (or my) identity.

Red Pill on May 15, 2008 at 10:38 AM

If you’re going to rant, please at least make sure your link works.

fossten on May 15, 2008 at 10:27 AM

A simple your link is broken would suffice…if you had any class.
I’m sure you are familiar with this site.


Link

right2bright on May 15, 2008 at 11:00 AM

I guarantee you that my friend was a Marine in Vietnam. I am under no obligation to reveal his (or my) identity.

Red Pill on May 15, 2008 at 10:38 AM

Kerry also served in VietNam (where he “saw” ears cutoff), that means nothing. And I don’t want to know who this “friend” is, the “friend” is always someone “special”, with “inside” information.
It is a rumor, and it shows how desperate people are to diss McCain.
“I know a friend that was a neighbor of McCain, and he saw McCain beat his son with baseball bat. And when he looked in the window he saw McCain had an alter and was worshiping satan.”
There, that will help you, you can now report that as being one more thing against McCain.

right2bright on May 15, 2008 at 11:15 AM

Speaking of Snopes, a lot has been said about Barack Obama’s disdain for our flag. He refused to put his hand over his heart during the National Anthem, and chose to make a statement about not wearing a flag pin on his lapel.

What would you think about a man who was ejected from a college basketball game for confronting a player, Toni Smith of Manhattanville College, who refused to face the American flag during the Pledge of Allegiance? I’d thank that man and think he was a Patriot.

What if that man helped tell the truth about John Kerry in 2004? I’d thank that man.

What if that man was helping tell the truth about John McCain in 2008? I’d thank that man.

Many voters are thankful that the SwiftVets and POWs for Truth told the truth and asked important questions about John Kerry in 2004 that have never been answered.

The man I mention above helped tell the truth about John Kerry.

My friend is not the man I mention above, but my friend told me that the man I mention above is now trying to tell the truth about John McCain.

I searched today and found this story from over a year ago (03/09/2007) when the man I mention above filed papers to establish the nonpartisan group Vietnam Veterans Against John McCain. Now, I make no endorsements of that site as a whole, but don’t just shoot the messenger…pay attention to the message of the article. The fact that the same man co-founded Vietnam Veterans Against John Kerry and Vietnam Veterans Against John McCain should tell you that this group is not a leftist 527 out to just smear John McCain. It is Vietnam veterans telling the truth about other Vietnam veterans, whether they be Democrats or Republicans.

Do you trust John Kerry to represent other Vietnam veterans? I would think not.

There were two Senators were in charge of our government’s handling of POW-MIA affairs.

One was John Kerry.

The other was John McCain.

[John McCain] led the way on normalizing relations with Vietnam, and it took away all our leverage on prisoner of war issues. McCain has proudly touted for years that he and Kerry were saviors of the POW issue, but he’s really the betrayer of the issue.

If you thought they were telling the truth 4 years ago (Vietnam Veterans Against John Kerry), why don’t you think they are telling the truth now (Vietnam Veterans Against John McCain)?

Red Pill on May 15, 2008 at 11:38 AM

A simple your link is broken would suffice…if you had any class.
I’m sure you are familiar with this site.

Link

right2bright on May 15, 2008 at 11:00 AM

Are you accusing me of something? Do you have a basis for this, or did you just “feel” it?

fossten on May 15, 2008 at 11:41 AM

A simple your link is broken would suffice…if you had any class.

right2bright on May 15, 2008 at 11:00 AM

This from the same guy who called me stupid yesterday.

LOL at the hypocrisy.

fossten on May 15, 2008 at 11:42 AM

LOL at the hypocrisy.

fossten on May 15, 2008 at 11:42 AM

No it isn’t hypocrisy, I still think you are stupid. What I stated was fact, you were being snotty.
Please, you are obsessing with me, move on.

right2bright on May 15, 2008 at 11:45 AM

No it isn’t hypocrisy, I still think you are stupid. What I stated was fact, you were being snotty.
Please, you are obsessing with me, move on.

right2bright on May 15, 2008 at 11:45 AM

Don’t flatter yourself. What you stated was your opinion, and that doesn’t lend any credibility.

You stay classy, keep calling names while whining like a wittle baby over somebody’s tone.

fossten on May 15, 2008 at 11:52 AM

right2bright,
I’d still like an answer to this question:

Do you think that this Breach was an isolated event?

Red Pill on May 15, 2008 at 11:52 AM

Red Pill on May 15, 2008 at 11:52 AM

He’s too busy wiping tears from his face over my snotty comment. Next he’ll be calling you names and saying that you have no class.

fossten on May 15, 2008 at 11:55 AM

fossten on May 15, 2008 at 11:55 AM

I appreciate that you and I are on the same side of many issues, but I personally don’t like ad hominem attacks in either direction.

Red Pill on May 15, 2008 at 11:58 AM

I appreciate that you and I are on the same side of many issues, but I personally don’t like ad hominem attacks in either direction.

Red Pill on May 15, 2008 at 11:58 AM

Well, in that case, let me make it clear that I don’t wish to be associated with any of your conspiracy theories.

fossten on May 15, 2008 at 12:04 PM

right2bright,

Since it’s the same people behind both sites, I’d still like an answer to this question:

If you thought they were telling the truth 4 years ago (Vietnam Veterans Against John Kerry), why don’t you think they are telling the truth now (Vietnam Veterans Against John McCain)?

Red Pill on May 15, 2008 at 12:04 PM

Wake up, Neo…

Red Pill on May 15, 2008 at 12:06 PM

Red Pill on May 15, 2008 at 11:52 AM

I can’t answer, I really haven’t read the book or seen the movie.
But I acknowledge many “breachs”. Sandy Berger is one most recently. What I don’t go along with is someone like McCain, who has personal testimony of men who suffered with him (this is one account). I have a problem with conspiracy theories that are so easily disproved.
Hillary is a mess, but not a traitor, Kennedy I am not so sure about, he did meet secretly with the enemy.
But to come out and say someone is an agent, without any proof, well that is just not right.
You might as well say they have been infected by an alien race, now prove that they haven’t been.
Nothing in McCain (or Hillary) has shown anyone that they are not true Americans. I don’t agree with them on a lot, but that doesn’t make them “secret agents”.
Remember, 10% of the people still think Elvis is alive…10% of the people believe anything.
You can even convince people to drink kool-aide and die…

right2bright on May 15, 2008 at 12:20 PM

Standard liberal fare.

If you disagree with me, there’s something wrong with you.

MarkTheGreat on May 15, 2008 at 12:26 PM

This is what we’ve come to expect from the left- it is truly sad.

When someone turns off the last light at the NY Times I shall not mourn.

drjohn on May 15, 2008 at 12:27 PM

Think I’m crazy? I don’t think so. Take a look at these books.

Red Pill on May 15, 2008 at 10:02 AM

There is no :thinking” your are crazy, you are a nutjob.

Squid Shark on May 15, 2008 at 12:31 PM

If you thought they were telling the truth 4 years ago (Vietnam Veterans Against John Kerry), why don’t you think they are telling the truth now (Vietnam Veterans Against John McCain)?

Red Pill on May 15, 2008 at 12:04 PM

First of all, they are not the same people, that is where you are getting a little confused. Look at the leaders of both institutions, and you will see very little similarities. Go on each website and see who is behind each one. “Against Kerry” lists the men by name and background, “against McCain”, nothing…doesn’t that throw up a red flag, you pride yourself obviously on being insightful.
Second, Kerry’s statements have been proved, by his own men, and by him as to not have been truthful. He never saw any atrocities, he only had “friends” that saw them, and they have been discredited. He used his “stories” for personal gain. McCain has kept his rather personal, brought up by others. Even his sons serving now is not mentioned, he did not use his service as a tool, unlike Kerry.
But you will believe what you want to, all conspirators believers do. It is just painful to read the desperation of a conspiracy advocate as the theory unravels.
Like, the analogy between Kerry and McCain. Please, don’t embarrass yourself and defend that.

right2bright on May 15, 2008 at 12:31 PM

personal testimony of men who suffered with him (this is one account). I have a problem with conspiracy theories that are so easily disproved.

What about the 2+ years when men who suffered with him didn’t see him at all? Can you “so easily disprove” that McCain was not in Eastern Europe during the time he says he was in solitary confinement (and none of the other POWs saw him)?

But to come out and say someone is an agent, without any proof, well that is just not right.

What I said was, “What if?” It is a legitimate question.

Nothing in McCain (or Hillary) has shown anyone that they are not true Americans.

Fact: The Communist Party, USA, wants to “Defeat the Ultra-Right

Fact: John McCain said in Virginia Beach in 2000,

Neither party should be defined by pandering to the outer reaches of American politics and the agents of intolerance, whether they be Louis Farrakhan or Al Sharpton on the left, or Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell on the right.

Fact: John McCain called Governor George W. Bush “a Pat Robertson Republican” (i.e., “an agent of intolerance Republican”).

Fact: John McCain said

“I must not and will not retract anything that I said in that speech at Virginia Beach. It was carefully crafted, it was carefully thought out.” (Hardball, 3/1/00)

Fact: After McCain lost the 2000 Republican Primary, he changed his approach (but not his heart):

April 2nd, 2006

RUSSERT: Do you believe that Jerry Falwell is still an agent of intolerance?

MCCAIN: No, I don’t. I think that Jerry Falwell can explain to you his views on this program when you have him on.

Red Pill on May 15, 2008 at 12:39 PM

First of all, they are not the same people, that is where you are getting a little confused. Look at the leaders of both institutions, and you will see very little similarities. Go on each website and see who is behind each one. “Against Kerry” lists the men by name and background, “against McCain”, nothing…doesn’t that throw up a red flag, you pride yourself obviously on being insightful.

right2bright on May 15, 2008 at 12:31 PM

Founders of Vietnam Veterans Against John Kerry:
Ted Sampley
Mike Benge
Jerry Kiley

Vietnam Veterans Against John McCain is a 527 PAC organized by Jerry Kiley.

Red Pill on May 15, 2008 at 12:44 PM

Just to clarify, the two individuals (Killey and Sampley) who started both websites, are not the real players. They are website people, that is how they make their money now.
O’Neill the main spokesperson against Kerry denounces these guys.

right2bright on May 15, 2008 at 12:46 PM

Two familiar faces will soon be dogging Senator John McCain on the campaign trail, as activist Vietnam Veterans Jerry Kiley and Ted Sampley resume a campaign they have conducted for years against the Arizona Republican and former prisoner of war.

-Source (which I gave you before, but you must have ignored)

Red Pill on May 15, 2008 at 12:47 PM

Just to clarify, the two individuals (Killey and Sampley) who started both websites, are not the real players. They are website people, that is how they make their money now.
O’Neill the main spokesperson against Kerry denounces these guys.

right2bright on May 15, 2008 at 12:46 PM

And your source is…. (link please).

Red Pill on May 15, 2008 at 12:48 PM

McCain was a failure as a pilot (got shot down), is a failure in business (married a woman who supports him financially because he can’t support himself), was a failure in politics (can’t even take a bribe correctly) and cheated on his first wife.

Has McCain ever been successful at anything he’s done? So why would you vote for a failure as President?

jim m on May 15, 2008 at 12:52 PM

Listen, I’m telling you that my personal friend, a Marine and Vietnam veteran, who has been active for 30 (approaching 40) years in the POW-MIA effort, went up to Washington, D.C. and sat in the meetings run by Kerry and McCain. My friend, and many other POW-MIA families, were infuriated by how Kerry and McCain were hindering, not facilitating, their efforts.

Are there any Hot Air commenters who are active in the POW-MIA effort and who would like to speak up?

Red Pill on May 15, 2008 at 12:52 PM

Red Pill on May 15, 2008 at 12:44 PM

Really, you have to do more then cut and paste.
Did you read the Rove story on McCain? That was a man who actually served with McCain, physically spent time with him. Not some website figment.
Enough of this, you have created a fantasy, and you want to live it. It is exciting to you…enjoy your world.
The fact that you use a sci-fi movie as your foundation of comments is telling in itself…maybe McCain is a Klingon, or that this is just a cyber world…

right2bright on May 15, 2008 at 12:55 PM

jim m on May 15, 2008 at 12:52 PM

Did you get that from one website or did you have to go to several.

McCain was a failure as a pilot (got shot down)

Explain that. By your standards, all men shot down were failures?
What medals did he receive for his flying?
And now you are supporting whom? Obama?

right2bright on May 15, 2008 at 12:58 PM

right2bright on May 15, 2008 at 12:55 PM

Ad hominem.

If you can’t provide a link for what you said at 12:46 PM you have impugned your own credibility.

Red Pill on May 15, 2008 at 12:59 PM

Matt Bai is a fierce liberal and his articles in the NY Times always have a liberal spin. Once in a while, Bai writes about conservatives and when he does he sounds alot like Margaret Meade studying the “natives”. Bai didn’t even do basic homework in this piece. Everybody but Bai knows that Max Cleland did not suffer his injuries in battle. The battle was over and he was having a break (supposedly having a beer but I don’t know that for sure) and he and some buddies apparently found a grenade and for whatever reason detonated it. Cleland’s service to his country is awesome. I admire him for his service and his honor and his courage. But none of this justifies Matt Bai’s revisionist history. What is the point of putting Cleland in the midst of battle of Khe Sanh at the time of his injuries when it simply is not true? Is Mr. Bai trying to be the successor to Jason Blair and Walter Duranty?

Larraby on May 15, 2008 at 1:05 PM

It’s interesting to note that comrade freevillage is in Russia.

I think he’s actually a lot closer to Russian House at MIT. Don’t jump to conclusions; he can post to a site with a .ru TLD, in Russian, from the food court at your local mall if he wants to. The technology has been available for a while now.

The Manchurian Candidate meme marks you as a loon, BTW. You know who looks like a real brainwashing victim to me? Mike Huckabee. The glassy eyes, the behavioral changes, the rote repetition of certain phrases. What sort of reprogramming did he have to go through to lose all that weight? I mean, I’m just asking questions here!

DrSteve on May 15, 2008 at 1:09 PM

DrSteve on May 15, 2008 at 1:09 PM

I don’t see any glassy eyes, behavioral changes, or rote repetition of certain phrases in his speech at CPAC. Watch it and then post the repetitious phrases and where in the speech (what minute and second mark) we should look for the glassy eyes.

Nice ad hominem attacks on both Huckabee and me, by the way.

Red Pill on May 15, 2008 at 1:30 PM

What sort of reprogramming did he have to go through to lose all that weight? I mean, I’m just asking questions here!

DrSteve on May 15, 2008 at 1:09 PM

I think you’re barking up the wrong tree here. Huckabee was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes. Those who have had this disease can tell you that remaining alive is a strong motivational factor in losing weight.

fossten on May 15, 2008 at 1:37 PM

Thanks, fossten.

DrSteve, you should also go to the Hot Air post on that very topic.

Captain Ed has interviewed Gov Huckabee on a few occasions. Did Captain Ed say that he observed what you say?

The glassy eyes, the behavioral changes, the rote repetition of certain phrases.

No, Captain Ed said:

I’ve interviewed Gov Huckabee on a few occasions and have found him intelligent, honest, and refreshing.

So, DrSteve, why should Hot Air readers believe you over Captain Ed?

Red Pill on May 15, 2008 at 1:49 PM

In addition, McCain:

1). Graduated 5th from the bottom in a class of 899at the US Naval Academy;

2). Received about 100 demerits a year at the Academy;

3). Even then did not take well to those of higher rank arbitrarily wielding power over him – “It was bullshit, and I resented the hell out of it”;

4). Was famous for organizing off-Academy activities; one classmate said that “being on liberty with John McCain was like being in a train wreck”;

5). Crashed three planes before going to Vietnam;

6). Signed and taped an anti-American confession helpful to the North Vietnamese (“I am a black criminal and I have performed the deeds of an air pirate. I almost died, and the Vietnamese people saved my life, thanks to the doctors”);

7). Failed to be promoted to Admiral in the Navy, as his father and grandfather had been; and

8). Went to an “elte” all-male private Episcopal High School for sons of wealthy Southerners.

jim m on May 15, 2008 at 2:07 PM

jim m on May 15, 2008 at 2:07 PM

I hate it when people spout off about the Service Academies like they know what they’re talking about.

1). Graduated 5th from the bottom in a class of 899at the US Naval Academy;

Not to put too fine a point on it, but where in the order of merit did you graduate in your Service Academy class? I was in the mid 900s in mine. After graduation, both the person at the top and the bottom of the order of merit are called the same thing: Lieutenant (or Ensign).

2). Received about 100 demerits a year at the Academy;

A quadruple Centurion…and still allowed to graduate. As a matter of fact, that IS impressive.

3). Even then did not take well to those of higher rank arbitrarily wielding power over him – “It was bullshit, and I resented the hell out of it”;

When power is wielded arbitrarily, especially by classmates, it is BS.

4). Was famous for organizing off-Academy activities; one classmate said that “being on liberty with John McCain was like being in a train wreck”;

…which only explains where the 400 demerits came from.

James on May 15, 2008 at 3:00 PM

Someone wrote that McCain was “a failure as a pilot because he was shot down”. That shows how little the person posting knows about flying and how little the guy knows about flying in wartime. First of all, McCain did not choose his target or his route or his time of day to fly the mission. Second, the North VietNamese were given advanced Soviet antiaircraft missiles and Soviet “advisors” trained them and may have helped operate the missiles. To assume that VietNamese were not capable of learning missile defense systems is absurd. Say what you want about the North VietNamese during that era. They were cruel and misguided but they were not stupid,and they were highly motivated. McCain was under orders to avoid civilian casualties and that may have hindered his ability to avoid missile fire. But in every war, many of the best pilots get shot down by sophisticated defense systems. That does not make the pilots incompetent. I wonder if the guy posting the message about McCain being “an incompetent pilot” has ever flown in combat and flown against a SAM missile battery. If you haven’t been there, don’t disrespect those who have.

Larraby on May 15, 2008 at 3:34 PM

If you can’t provide a link for what you said at 12:46 PM you have impugned your own credibility.

Red Pill on May 15, 2008 at 12:59 PM

Just google the names and you will come up with the same. I don’t ask you to provide me with every source of your discussions.

Captain Ed has interviewed Gov Huckabee on a few occasions.
Red Pill on May 15, 2008 at 1:49 PM

Provide the links

Listen, I’m telling you that my personal friend, a Marine and Vietnam veteran, who has been active for 30 (approaching 40) years in the POW-MIA effort

Provide the links

What would you think about a man who was ejected from a college basketball game for confronting a player, Toni Smith of Manhattanville College, who refused to face the American flag during the Pledge of Allegiance?

Provide the links…
See what that gets you? Are you now impugned?

If you don’t want to believe what I stated, don’t…but it is obvious that two guys have found a way to make a buck. Did you google O’Neil and get his take? He was the real spokesperson for the Swiftboaters.

right2bright on May 15, 2008 at 3:51 PM

Larraby, McCain also crashed three other planes before he even got to Vietnam: one when his engine quit during a practice run in Texas, a second when he ran into power lines in Spain (the plane actually survived this one, so I guess he only really crashed twice) and a third when he had a flameout over Virginia.

Pleae explain to us how someone who runs into power lines is a good pilot?

jim m on May 15, 2008 at 4:06 PM

Captain Ed has interviewed Gov Huckabee on a few occasions.

Red Pill on May 15, 2008 at 1:49 PM

Provide the links

right2bright on May 15, 2008 at 3:51 PM

Here’s the link.

You were wrong when you said

First of all, they are not the same people, that is where you are getting a little confused. Look at the leaders of both institutions, and you will see very little similarities. Go on each website and see who is behind each one. “Against Kerry” lists the men by name and background, “against McCain”, nothing…doesn’t that throw up a red flag, you pride yourself obviously on being insightful.
right2bright on May 15, 2008 at 12:31 PM

And I proved it with links.

I asked you to back up your follow-on assertion, and you refuse to back it up. I did a search myself and don’t see what you claim. If you can’t back it up, you impugn your own credibility.

The question remains:

If you thought they were telling the truth 4 years ago (Vietnam Veterans Against John Kerry), why don’t you think they are telling the truth now (Vietnam Veterans Against John McCain)?

The same people (Jerry Kiley and Ted Sampley) are behind both sites.

I think you can’t discredit the message, so you are trying to discredit the messenger. That only makes people take a closer look at the message.

Red Pill on May 15, 2008 at 5:12 PM

Oh, and…

What would you think about a man who was ejected from a college basketball game for confronting a player, Toni Smith of Manhattanville College, who refused to face the American flag during the Pledge of Allegiance?

Provide the links…
See what that gets you? Are you now impugned?

right2bright on May 15, 2008 at 3:51 PM

I already provided the link for that quote above. See what that gets you?

But, it’s worth repeating the link, and part of the story, anyway:

RAW STORY spoke last week with Kiley, as well as Ted Sampley, a North Carolina-based publisher who has been harshly criticizing McCain for more than 10 years. Sampley teamed up with Kiley in 2004 to found a similar group that targeted Senator John Kerry as he ran for president. They see McCain as an apologist for Vietnam’s Communist government who sold out fellow POWs and servicemen missing in action from America’s lengthy war in Southeast Asia.

“We know him best because we’ve dealt with him over the years, and we know how he’s acted,” Kiley said. “We’re taking no salaries, we do this voluntarily, and every penny will go into defeating him.”

Now, if given the choice of McCain vs. (Obama or Clinton), clearly McCain is the better choice. But we won’t have to make that choice if McCain is not our nominee coming out of the convention.

Red Pill on May 15, 2008 at 5:24 PM

if McCain is not our nominee coming out of the convention

Someone has been taking too many red pills.

jgapinoy on May 15, 2008 at 10:31 PM

I’m amused that Red Pill has his head so far up Huckabee’s backside that he took my jab at his boy literally. Someone could save time by just scripting a bot that responds with the appropriate Bible verses any time anyone criticizes St. Huck.

Careful whom you worship, Red Pill. I think it might be a man.

For the record, I don’t think Huckabee’s weight loss is a result of brainwashing. I was trying to highlight the ridiculousness of the innuendos against McCain. Humor apparently doesn’t fit that subject well, so in the future I’ll just treat it as what it is — vile, baseless, and loaded with intent to lead others into error. You do your “Christian Leader” no credit.

DrSteve on May 16, 2008 at 9:23 AM

jgapinoy on May 15, 2008 at 10:31 PM

I’m starting to think that somehow, someway, the Ron Paul supporters are going to find a way to force a brokered convention.

Red Pill on May 16, 2008 at 9:23 AM

Careful whom you worship, Red Pill. I think it might be a man.

DrSteve on May 16, 2008 at 9:23 AM

Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.’”

Matthew 4:10

Red Pill on May 16, 2008 at 9:28 AM

Blacklisted by History: The Untold Story of Senator Joe McCarthy and His Fight Against America’s Enemies

Red Pill on May 16, 2008 at 9:38 AM

Drawing on primary sources—including never-before-published government records and FBI files, as well as recent research gleaned from Soviet archives and intercepted transmissions between Moscow spymasters and their agents in the United States—Evans presents irrefutable evidence of a relentless Communist drive to penetrate our government, influence its policies, and steal its secrets. Most shocking of all, he shows that U.S. officials supposedly guarding against this danger not only let it happen but actively covered up the penetration. All of this was precisely as Joe McCarthy contended.

Red Pill on May 16, 2008 at 9:39 AM

410 of 489 people found the following review helpful:
Don’t listen to the Publisher’s Weekly review of this book!!, November 7, 2007
By R. Smith (Crown Point, IN)

This book is very well written, using facts. Publishers Weekly’s review of the book tries to deflect the import of this book by claiming that it is common knowledge that McCarthy was right about the inroads Communism had made into the U.S. government. The fact that McCarthy is still today called by Publishers Weekly “the egregious scourge” proves that what they say is not true. PW goes so far as to lump Evan’s into a category of conspiracy theorist himself.

Buy the book and don’t trust Publishers Weekly. They are on the side of the American Communist movement.
You will get a real history lesson that is very pertinent today, where the liberal media is seeking to rewrite history to try to convince the masses that “evil is good” and “good is evil”.

Red Pill on May 16, 2008 at 9:41 AM

Sigh If anybody wants actual truth about McCain, and how he is not and enemy agent (for whom? Hanoi?) Sweet Jesus..

http://www.miafacts.org/

http://www.miafacts.org/mccain.htm

Here they come again — May 2008.
Beginning in early March 2008, a website titled “Vietnam Veterans Against John McCain” appeared on the WWW. The site contains a collection of attacks on John McCain. As McCain moved to cement the 2008 Republican Presidential nomination, the site added more and more attacks on McCain. Briefly stated, the site is bullshit. The website, “Vietnam Veterans Against John McCain” is the creation of Ted Sampley from Kinston, NC. Sampley is assisted by another individual, Jerry Kiley, and the bills are being paid by rightwingnut and former member of Congress, John LeBoutillier. This is a long and twisted tale. To fully understand why Sampley is attacking McCain, you need to start by reading this article after which you need to read the articles linked to this one.

http://www.miafacts.org/menupg.htm#hendon

funky chicken on May 16, 2008 at 10:05 AM

And it is a major stain on the administrators of this site that I am the only person who comes on to counter slanderous accusations against McCain, made by scumbags who defraud grieving military dependents for a living.

Sampley, Kiley, Smith, Herndon and the rest are shameful, dishonest theives who prey on traumatized people.

Shame on you Ed, Allah, and Malkin.

funky chicken on May 16, 2008 at 10:08 AM

And it is a major stain on the administrators of this site that I am the only person who comes on to counter slanderous accusations against McCain, made by scumbags who defraud grieving military dependents for a living.

Sampley, Kiley, Smith, Herndon and the rest are shameful, dishonest theives who prey on traumatized people.

Shame on you Ed, Allah, and Malkin.

funky chicken on May 16, 2008 at 10:08 AM

1. It’s not slander, it’s libel.
2. This isn’t a media outlet, it’s an opinion forum, so it isn’t libel.
3. You aren’t a martyr.
4. I don’t give a crap about their opinions either, but get over yourself a little bit.

fossten on May 16, 2008 at 10:14 AM

funky, you’re not alone. Please read my posts. The Huckabee worshipers are trucking in these disgusting insinuations. The Communist infiltration stuff is aimed squarely at McCain.

DrSteve on May 16, 2008 at 10:16 AM

I hate it when people spout off about the Service Academies like they know what they’re talking about.

1). Graduated 5th from the bottom in a class of 899at the US Naval Academy;

Not to put too fine a point on it, but where in the order of merit did you graduate in your Service Academy class? I was in the mid 900s in mine. After graduation, both the person at the top and the bottom of the order of merit are called the same thing: Lieutenant (or Ensign).

2). Received about 100 demerits a year at the Academy;

A quadruple Centurion…and still allowed to graduate. As a matter of fact, that IS impressive.

3). Even then did not take well to those of higher rank arbitrarily wielding power over him – “It was bullshit, and I resented the hell out of it”;

When power is wielded arbitrarily, especially by classmates, it is BS.

4). Was famous for organizing off-Academy activities; one classmate said that “being on liberty with John McCain was like being in a train wreck”;

…which only explains where the 400 demerits came from.

James on May 15, 2008 at 3:00 PM

good stuff

funky chicken on May 16, 2008 at 10:19 AM

My point is about the Sampley, Kiley, etc info that gets posted again and again, with not a single reproachful comment by the site administrators.

fossten, you are a nasty person.

funky chicken on May 16, 2008 at 10:21 AM

“McCain: Folding and failing under pressure for 40 years.”

New campaign slogan.

jim m on May 16, 2008 at 11:04 AM

funky chicken on May 16, 2008 at 10:05 AM

Ok, so who is behind http://www.miafacts.org/?

Sampley and Kiley were behind Vietnam Veterans Against John Kerry which promoted the excellent documentary “Stolen Honor: Wounds that Never Heal”, which was shunned by the MSM.

Why were Sampley and Kiley heroes four years ago (when they dared to tell the truth about John Kerry) and “shameful, dishonest thieves” now that they dare to tell the truth about John McCain?

If anyone out there personally attended any of the sessions run by McCain and Kerry, I’d really like to hear your input. I trust my friend of over 17 years, who fought for our country in Vietnam and has spent over 30 years of his life (and lots of his own money) fighting for our POW-MIAs.

Funky, I know that you are a military wife. I appreciate your husbands service. Please don’t let your military loyalty blind you from the truth about McCain. There is a reason why George Soros has been donating to McCain for years.

Red Pill on May 16, 2008 at 11:08 AM

The Huckabee worshipers are trucking in these disgusting insinuations. The Communist infiltration stuff is aimed squarely at McCain.

DrSteve on May 16, 2008 at 10:16 AM

You’re wrong on two accounts.
1) I worship the living God.
2) Take a look at my blog and see who “The Communist infiltration stuff is aimed squarely at”.

Red Pill on May 16, 2008 at 11:12 AM

Take a look at my blog and see who “The Communist infiltration stuff is aimed squarely at”

Can you “so easily disprove” that McCain was not in Eastern Europe during the time he says he was in solitary confinement (and none of the other POWs saw him)?

Liar.

DrSteve on May 16, 2008 at 11:44 AM

Take a look at my blog and see who “The Communist infiltration stuff is aimed squarely at” [on my blog].

Red Pill on May 16, 2008 at 11:53 AM

I.E., I’m clearly not in favor of Obama.

If McCain is the Republican nominee coming out of the convention, I will vote for him. But I believe he is a Trojan Horse.

If Huckabee is the Republican nominee coming out of the convention, I expect you to vote for him.

Red Pill on May 16, 2008 at 11:59 AM

If you thought they were telling the truth 4 years ago (Vietnam Veterans Against John Kerry), why don’t you think they are telling the truth now (Vietnam Veterans Against John McCain)?
Red Pill on May 15, 2008 at 5:12 PM

I already explained, the real spokespeople, like O’Neill do not agree with Vets against John McCain.
Once again, the same people are not supporting both issues. Just the website providers, the ones making the money from the site.
Get it? Sheesh…

right2bright on May 16, 2008 at 3:01 PM

Can you “so easily disprove” that McCain was not in Eastern Europe during the time he says he was in solitary confinement (and none of the other POWs saw him)?
Red Pill on May 15, 2008 at 12:39 PM

Can you prove that you never touched a young boy inappropriately?
Can you prove that for every day of your life, you never reached over to a young boy and “touched” him?
You can’t? Well looks like we have a pedophile among us.
See how that works?

right2bright on May 16, 2008 at 3:09 PM

My point is about the Sampley, Kiley, etc info that gets posted again and again, with not a single reproachful comment by the site administrators.

fossten, you are a nasty person.

funky chicken on May 16, 2008 at 10:21 AM

Overreacting much? Seriously, I correct your error and somehow you know me as a person? You stay classy, Funky.

fossten on May 16, 2008 at 3:22 PM

My point is about the Sampley, Kiley, etc info that gets posted again and again, with not a single reproachful comment by the site administrators.

fossten, you are a nasty person.

funky chicken on May 16, 2008 at 10:21 AM

You need to read:

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air’s community of registered readers. Please don’t assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Now go have a hot toddy or something and get some sleep.

fossten on May 16, 2008 at 3:23 PM

right2bright on May 16, 2008 at 3:01 PM

http://vietnamveteransagainstjohnkerry.org/sampbio.htm
http://vietnamveteransagainstjohnkerry.org/kiley_bio.htm

http://www.vietnamveteransagainstjohnmccain.com/sampbio.htm
http://www.vietnamveteransagainstjohnmccain.com/cin_bio_jerry.htm

They are the same people, not “Just the website providers, the ones making the money from the site.”

Get it? Sheesh…

Red Pill on May 16, 2008 at 3:53 PM

I already explained, the real spokespeople, like O’Neill do not agree with Vets against John McCain.

right2bright on May 16, 2008 at 3:01 PM

You never backed up that assertion with a link, even though I asked you to several times.

It appears I’ve hit a nerve here…all you can offer is ad hominem attacks.

If you have something substantive to back up your claim that O’Neill does not agree with these Vets, I suggest you provide it now.

Otherwise, your attempts to defend McCain by attacking other Vietnam veterans and me will appear baseless and a flimsy shield for John McCain’s campaign.

Red Pill on May 16, 2008 at 4:04 PM

Sampley and Kiley have been scum since the 1980s (and probably before then, but that’s when I became aware of them). I have said before that it is a stain on Rove and GW Bush’s honor that they used them in 2000 against McCain and in 2004 against Kerry.

Sampley and Kiley are supported by many on the far right who are the primary force behind the “True Conservatives” who hate John McCain.

Bob Smith is one of them, as is some nut with a french sounding last name that I can’t remember right now. Scum.

funky chicken on May 16, 2008 at 7:34 PM

http://www.miafacts.org

Run by:
So, what do I know about it?
My Credentials

I am Joe Schlatter, Colonel, U. S. Army, Retired. I retired on 1 April 1995. My involvement in the MIA issue came during two assignments:

February 1986 – July 1990
Feb 86 – Dec 88: Chief, Analysis Branch, Defense Intelligence Agency Special Office for POW-MIA Affairs
Dec 88 – Jul 90: Chief, Defense Intelligence Agency Special Office for POW-MIA Affairs
July 1993 – March 1995: Deputy Director, Defense POW-MIA Office
Vietnam Veteran
2/13 Field Artillery
February 1969 – February 1970

funky chicken on May 16, 2008 at 7:35 PM

Red Pill, one reason I respond forcefully to this crap is that decent people like you (yes, I give you the benefit of the doubt; Valiant and the rest of the crazy MDS brigades not so much) get fooled by these bastards. They harassed Reagan and GHW Bush, and their hatred for McCain originates in that era as well.

Don’t get taken in by truly bad actors….they are as toxic as Jeremiah Wright.

funky chicken on May 16, 2008 at 7:53 PM

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