Dear Senator McCain: When and Why Did You Sell Your Soul?

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November 20, 2006

My parents, longtime Republicans, lived in Arizona before their death. I lived there too. They voted for Republican presidents like Eisenhower. You remember Ike? He commanded a lot of troops in Europe before he became president. Ike said: "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in a final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed--those who are cold and not clothed." Ike tried to warn us. Generally, President Eisenhower tried to avoid unnecessary wars, avoid foreign alliances and entanglements, the sort of things President George Washington also warned us about.

Senator McCain, you and I are about the same age. We both served during the Vietnam War. We both have been Arizonans for many years.

Do you really serve the best interests of the American people by requesting more troops and many more billions for the war in Iraq ? I wonder how a foreign war based on lies can suddenly become more truthful by escalation. Do you, sir, really expect conditions to become better for US troops and Iraqis? The average soldier questions his purpose, his mission there now. The average Iraqi resents our presence there. An occupied nation unjustly attacked cannot but feel a God-given right, a patriotic duty to resist. After almost 50,000 US casualties (dead and wounded thus far), how many more dead and wounded Americans will be required to subjugate a country we had no right attacking in the first place?

Political insiders mention you as a possible Republican candidate for 2008. As a fellow veteran, a fellow former prisoner, and a fellow Arizonan, I always respected you. Anyone who survives years of confinement and torture has my respect. Sadly, I've come to respect you less and less, as I see you sell your soul for less and less in return.

Did a top GOP insider take you aside during the summer of 2000, and instruct you to soften your stance towards GWB? You had been hitting him on substance and were rising in the polls. Did top Republican insiders promise you the ticket in 2008? As a fellow Arizonan, I felt George W. Bush insulted you and your family in 2000, during the campaign through South Carolina, and you should have invited him outside for a proper thrashing. Those smear attacks were vicious and deeply personal. Perhaps your silence during the Bushco smear attacks was due to a promise made to you about 2008. One can only wonder.

Back then you said: "I am a Republican. I'm loyal to the party of Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt. And I believe that my party, in some ways, has strayed from those principles, particularly on the issue of fiscal discipline." So how exactly does spending $500 billion on a war in Iraq show "fiscal discipline"?

About the best thing you said later, sir, was your pithy observation: "Bush's knowledge of foreign policy is from the International House of Pancakes." Since your remarks have been proven correct, sir, WHY then would you want to approve additional wastefulness--of men, money and materials--in this fraudulent and immoral foreign policy adventure in Iraq ? Especially when we could use that money here at home? Why would you approve of anything the Bush Administration conceives when it is morally and economically damaging to America ? Have you forgotten Eisenhower's warnings? Washington 's warnings?

Did an insider from the Council on Foreign Relations ( CFR ) take you aside in mid-2000 and say: Look, John, the PNAC crowd has big plans, ambitious plans, for the first five years of the 21st Century. We are running out of energy resources in this country, as you know, and our paper dollars are basically worthless. Saddam has threatened to dump US dollars and China will need lots of oil by the year 2010. If the Middle East follows Iraq 's example and sells oil in any other currency but US dollars, we are cooked, finished, dead. There is, however, a spectacular terrorist event coming--planned for mid-September-- that we already know about. We intend to use that event for a springboard into the Middle East . Are you with us, Senator?

Or did a top insider from AIPAC take you aside sir, and inform you that unconditional support for Israel would be necessary for any successful run for the presidency in 2008? Did some top honchos in the Israeli Lobby suggest you support the war(s) to weaken Islamic countries? Because we hear a lot about Islamofascists attacking America , but both of us know, sir, that Israelofascists are even more dangerous and terrifying. Better funded, more powerful, more pervasive, right here in America . Is that who got to you?

Because it appears to be so. You wrote a forward to a book supportive of the Israeli side of the USS Liberty incident. What is surprising, as a US Navy veteran, is that you took the word of Israelis over that of US sailors who were there. The crewmen of the USS Liberty said they were attacked brutally after having been clearly identified as an unarmed US ship by Israeli pilots who circled their ship for seven hours. At the time, 1967, we were allegedly allies with Israel , as we are (allegedly) today. The USS Liberty attack is well known to veterans, sir. These veterans are, or would be, your supporters in any political race. A shame you seem to be serving Israeli interests, rather than American interests, and certainly not the truth.

Understandably, your loyalty to your father, Admiral McCain, may have been the reason you approved the book. Many top Navy brass, your father unfortunately among them, let the crew of the USS Liberty down. But what of "Duty, Honor, Country," sir? Shouldn't patriotic US servicemen, like yourself, seek to lend support to other servicemen, especially fellow Navy men who came under fire, than to serve political correctness or some foreign interests?

Which brings me to the recent "Torture Bill," the Military Commissions Act, recently passed by Congress. You initially opposed it. Bravo, sir. You remarked about such breaches of the US Bill of Rights: "The core political values of our free society are so deeply embedded in our collective consciousness that only a few malcontents, lunatics generally, ever dare to threaten them."

Lunatics, yes, and malcontents.

We Americans, those millions of us who still believe in the Bill of Rights, were counting on you. After all, you had been imprisoned and tortured by a repressive regime. Here at home, millions of POW-MIA ribbons and bracelets were reminders for you, sir, and your brethren. Have you forgotten? And now, suddenly, you decided to approve the Military Commissions Act, which pretty much allows the sort of torture you endured?

A word of caution and advice. It appears the degraded Dems will do nothing in the next two years. Infiltrated or unduly influenced by AIPAC or the CFR, they are as imperialistic as the current despicable crop of Neocons. You sir, should initiate a bipartisan reversal of the MCA. A soul, once sold, can be bought back and redeemed. You sir, should initiate a bipartisan reversal of ALL unconstitutional laws passed by yourself and by men unworthy to carry your medals in the last five years.

The only chance you have of being a remarkable man, a memorable US senator or American president, is to reverse course and serve the American people, the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

Redemption is an admirable step to political success, senator. Americans embrace a man who knows when he is wrong, honestly admits the error, and attempts to reverse direction. Unless, of course, you are counting on those easily rigged, electronic voting machines in 2008 to hand you the office. Then it would be wise to remember the words of another political reformer: What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his immortal soul?

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Douglas Herman's picture
Columns on STR: 136

Award winning artist, photographer and freelance journalist, Douglas Herman enjoys exploring the occasional ghost town or spooky conspiracy and can be found wandering the back roads of America. Recently Doug finished writing, directing and producing an independent feature film, naturally a "road movie," and credits STR for giving him the impetus to write well, both provocatively and entertainingly. A longtime gypsy, Doug completed a 10,000 mile circumnavigation of North America, by bicycle, at the age of 35, and still wanders between Bullhead City, Arizona and Kodiak, Alaska with forays frequently into the so-called civilized world of Greater LA.