McCain: "I hate war"

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So says the presumptive Republican nominee for President in his first general election ad:

RELATED: U.S.News and World Report has posted John McCain's first-hand account of his 5 years as a prisoner of war, originally published in its May 14, 1973, issue, just two months after he regained his freedom.

On page 14 of 17, McCain describes the use of high-level antiwar statements by the North Vietnamese government to torment their American prisoners.

This was the most effective propaganda they had to use against us--speeches and statements by men who were generally respected in the United States.

They used Senator Fulbright a great deal, and Senator Brooke. Ted Kennedy was quoted again and again, as was Averell Harriman. Clark Clifford was another favorite, right after he had been Secretary of Defense under President Johnson.

When Ramsey Clark came over they thought that was a great coup for their cause.

He gave Richard Nixon credit for decisive but unpopular actions that brought the North Vietnamese government to the negotiating table in October 1972, leading to a cease-fire and the release of POWs:

I admire President Nixon's courage. There may be criticism of him in certain areas--Watergate, for example. But he had to take the most unpopular decisions that I could imagine--the mining, the blockade, the bombing. I know it was very, very difficult for him to do that, but that was the thing that ended the war. I think the reason he understood this is that he has a long background in dealing with these people. He knows how to use the carrot and the stick. Obviously, his trip to China and the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty with Russia were based on the fact that we're stronger than the Communists, so they were willing to negotiate. Force is what they understand. And that's why it is difficult for me to understand now, when everybody knows that the bombing finally got a cease-fire agreement, why people are still criticizing his foreign policy--for example, the bombing in Cambodia.

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4 Comments

W. said:

And the point of this post is ... what?

On a related note, hilarity ensues when readers are allowed to comment about the McCain Golf Gear being sold on his Web site. The comments finally were removed, but screen captures are here:

http://www.balloon-juice.com/?p=10594#more-10594

The point was to call attention to McCain's first general election ad and U.S.News' reprint of his account of his captivity, written in the weeks immediately following his release.

Speaking of vanishing comments, what happened to Brian Barber's comments protesting the headline that was put over his story about the audit of the Public Works department?

W. said:

So ... does this mean you're no a McCain supporter even after your three-part series on why Republicans *shouldn't* vote for John McCain? I'm still having trouble discerning purpose of this post, given your tepid enthusiasm for the GOP nominee.

As for your question, I have no idea. You'll have to ask the Web staff about that one.

That series was about why Oklahoma Republican primary voters shouldn't vote for McCain. In the first entry of that series, I wrote:

"There are plenty of reasons to admire John McCain, both for his military service and his service in Congress. He is solid on the War on Terror. From a conservative perspective, he would still be a better pick for President than whoever the Democrats nominate. But there are plenty of reasons why a McCain presidency would be the worst of any realistic option remaining to Republican primary voters."

On the issues where I disagree with McCain, Obama is no better, and in most cases, much worse. McCain is still on the right side of far more issues than Obama, the War on Terror being the most important.

Regarding the deletion of Brian Barber's comments, I have a feeling that call was made by someone higher up the food chain than the web staff.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on June 10, 2008 7:19 PM.

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