Posts Tagged ‘Hanoi Hilton’

38.9 Million Got To See Real John McCain During Speech

September 5, 2008

A staggering 38.9 million viewers – fully half a million more than saw Barack Obama’s speech – watched John McCain deliver his Republican nomination acceptance speech.

John McCain’s campaign had been rather envious of the crowds Barack Obama was getting; now – buoyed by Sarah Palin – John McCain is now not only matching but beating Barack Obama for crowd turnout.

Millions of viewers had felt a shiver go down their spines as John McCain concluded his speech by saying:

“Long ago, something unusual happened to me that taught me the most valuable lesson of my life. I was blessed by misfortune. I mean that sincerely. I was blessed because I served in the company of heroes, and I witnessed a thousand acts of courage, compassion and love.”

“On an October morning, in the Gulf of Tonkin, I prepared for my 23rd mission over North Vietnam. I hadn’t any worry I wouldn’t come back safe and sound. I thought I was tougher than anyone. I was pretty independent then, too. I liked to bend a few rules, and pick a few fights for the fun of it. But I did it for my own pleasure; my own pride. I didn’t think there was a cause more important than me. Then I found myself falling toward the middle of a small lake in the city of Hanoi, with two broken arms, a broken leg, and an angry crowd waiting to greet me. I was dumped in a dark cell, and left to die. I didn’t feel so tough anymore. When they discovered my father was an admiral, they took me to a hospital. They couldn’t set my bones properly, so they just slapped a cast on me. When I didn’t get better, and was down to about a hundred pounds, they put me in a cell with two other Americans. I couldn’t do anything. I couldn’t even feed myself. They did it for me. I was beginning to learn the limits of my selfish independence. Those men saved my life.” (more…)

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Highlights From Fred Thompson’s Great RNC Speech

September 3, 2008

I’ve always like Fred Thompson.  His combination of folksy wit, good old boy charm, and a brilliant mind make him a brilliant speaker.

Tonight, he took the podium at the Republican National Convention, and knocked Republicans dead – even as he knocked Democrats’ heads together like Moe with the stooges.

I’d like to present some highlights of the speech (entire transcript available HERE):

[Sarah Palin] and John McCain are not going to care how much the alligators get irritated when they get to Washington, they’re going to drain that swamp.

But tonight, I’d like to talk to you about the remarkable story of John McCain.

It’s a story about character.

John McCain’s character has been tested like no other presidential candidate in the history of this nation.
——

John McCain was preparing to take off from the USS Forrestal for his sixth mission over Vietnam, when a missile from another plane accidentally fired and hit his plane.

The flight deck burst into a fireball of jet fuel.

John’s flight suit caught fire.

He was hit by shrapnel.

It was a scene of horrible human devastation.

Men sacrificed their lives to save others that day. One kid, who John couldn’t identify because he was burned beyond recognition, called out to John to ask if a certain pilot was OK.

John replied that, yes, he was.

The young sailor said, “Thank God”… and then he died.

These are the kind of men John McCain served with. (more…)

John McCain’s 7 Houses: Liberals, Nuance, and Hypocrisy

August 22, 2008

In the aftermath of the Rich Warren’s Saddleback debate, conservatives were greeted with a new catchphrase to encompass Barack Obama’s windy, cerebral, abstract answers: nuance. Barack Obama’s responses to revealed his “nuanced” understanding of a complex, difficult, ambiguous world.

And of course, conservatives are depicted as having only enough “nuance” to kill some poor helpless animal and drag its carcass back to the cave.

The Obama campaign is also involved in a daily complaint session about how the McCain campaign is constantly engaging in lowball politics and “gotcha” attacks while the ephemeral and pure Obama campaign pursues the higher and loftier things.

Well, bogus, and more bogus.

Both forms of “bogii” are revealed in the Obama campaigns handling of John McCain’s “house controversy.”  Aside from the fact that a guy who spent 5 1/2 years being tortured in a Communist hell hole DESERVES to have a life of luxury these days, there are a couple of factors that really turn this issue into another revealing glimpse into the shrivled soul of the Obama machine.

Get Listy summarizes the issue:

Republican Presidential hopeful John McCain was asked Wednesday by a reporter from Politico how many houses he owned. McCain wasn’t sure.“I think — I’ll have my staff get to you,” McCain reportedly said in the interview in Las Cruces, N.M. “It’s condominiums where — I’ll have them get to you.”

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama jumped on McCain’s statement and almost immediately turned it into a campaign attack. McCain’s camp responded with a responding attack, according to CBS News.

Well, here’s the deal: John McCain had a difficult time answering the Politico reporter’s question because the answer was NUANCED.

It turns out that wealthy heiress Cindy Hensley McCain – who keeps separate finances (there’s even a prenuptial agreement) owns most of the homes. Some of the houses they may not even technically own per se, as they are owned in trusts established by Cindy McCain’s LLC. [Click here for an investigation of the seven houses]. And John McCain didn’t want to get into the personal and murky issues as to what was owned by his wealthy heiress wife.

John McCain may not actually even own a home of his own.  The Obama slam has the merit of being technically correct, but how big of a deal is it with an understanding of the big picture?

Nuance.

That didn’t stop Barack Obama from personally jumping all over this. He’s stumping on it with speech after speech. His campaign immediately came out with an ad depicting McCain as so elitist and so out of touch that he doesn’t even know how many houses he’s bought.

Who’s the caveman now?

Which brings home the issue of hypocrisy.

Barack Obama will whine and complain about how unfair the McCain campaign is, and how they attack him with trivial side issues even as he simultaneously launches into a barrage of the very sort of thing he’s complaining about.

The McCain campaign, for it’s part, mentions Obama’s $4 million in income last year, and his shady million-plus dollar home bought in cahoots with convicted politician-buying sleazeball Tony Rezko and asks, “Does Obama really want to talk about elitism and real estate?”

Of course, Obama does.  The crime isn’t about owning seven houses.  The crime is rather about not immediately knowing how many houses you “technically” own.  You see, for a hypocrite like Barack Obama, appearance is the only thing that really matters.

Remember that the next time he whines about how he’s treated.

Clark’s Dismissal of McCain’s Military Service Part of Coordinated Pro-Obama Smear Campaign

July 1, 2008

It appears pretty clear that there is a concentrated effort to attack and undermine John McCain on his greatest strength as candidate for president: his military service and his war record. Wesley Clark became the latest Obama surrogate attempting to undermine McCain’s military record Sunday on CBS’ Face the Nation:

(CNN) — Retired U.S. Gen. Wesley Clark, a supporter of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, on Sunday questioned whether Sen. John McCain’s military experience qualified him to be commander-in-chief.
Retired Gen. Wesley Clark, who ran for president in 2004, questioned John McCain’s qualifications Sunday.

Retired Gen. Wesley Clark, who ran for president in 2004, questioned John McCain’s qualifications Sunday.

The McCain campaign called for Obama to condemn the remarks.

The dust-up began with Clark’s appearance Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” where moderator Bob Schieffer asked him about his interview with the Huffington Post earlier this month.

In the interview, Clark said McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee, was “untested and untried.”

When Schieffer asked to explain the comment, Clark said he was referring to McCain’s experience, or lack thereof, in setting national security policies and understanding the risk involved in such matters.

“I certainly honor his service as a prisoner of war. He was a hero to me and to hundreds of thousands and millions of others in the armed forces, as a prisoner of war. And he has traveled all over the world. But he hasn’t held executive responsibility,” said Clark, a former NATO commander who campaigned for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004.
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“He hasn’t been there and ordered the bombs to fall. He hasn’t seen what it’s like when diplomats come in and say, I don’t know whether we’re going to be able to get this point through or not,” Clark said.

Schieffer noted that Obama did not have any of those experiences, nor had he “ridden in a fighter plane and gotten shot down.”

“Well, I don’t think riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to be president,” Clark said.

Clark’s comments are clearly part of a trend. Consider Democratic Senator and Obama surrogate Jay Rockefeller’s attack on McCain’s record in an April 8, 2008 interview with the Charleston Gazette:

Rockefeller criticized Sen. John McCain, the presumed Republican nominee for president. “Senator McCain does have a temper. But today, he speaks in a monotone on the campaign trail.”

Rockefeller believes McCain has become insensitive to many human issues. “McCain was a fighter pilot, who dropped laser-guided missiles from 35,000 feet. He was long gone when they hit.

“What happened when they [the missiles] get to the ground? He doesn’t know. You have to care about the lives of people. McCain never gets into those issues.”

And we can also find Democratic Senator and Obama Surrogate Tom Harkin attempting to directly undermine McCain on the basis of his military background:

Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin is catching grief for suggesting John McCain’s family history of military service makes the presumptive Republican presidential nominee unfit to be commander-in-chief.

Harkin, who has a history of embellishing his own military record, told Iowa reporters last week that McCain’s background as the son and grandson of Navy admirals creates a “dangerous” situation because he can only view the world through the prism of the military.

“He has a hard time thinking beyond that,” Harkin said, according to The Des Moines Register. “I think he’s trapped in that. Everything is looked at from his life experiences, from always having been in the military, and I think that can be pretty dangerous.”

The paper also quotes Iowa’s junior senator telling reporters, “It’s one thing to have been drafted and served, but another thing when you come from generations of military people and that’s just how you’re steeped, how you’ve learned, how you’ve grown up.”

There is clearly a continuing campaign trend going on here. Each of the attacks is aimed at a particular facet to undermine McCain on what ought to be his greatest strength.

Harkin suggests that McCain is so steeped in the military worldview that his judgment as a civilian Commander-in-Chief should be questioned. Harkin comes right out and calls McCain’s military background “dangerous.” Rockefeller cuts down McCain – a Navy aviator and fighter pilot who was shot down in Vietnam – as some kind of robotic high-altitude push-button killer who couldn’t care less about human life. And now we have Wesley Clark suggesting that getting shot down and ending up being tortured for 5 1/2 years doesn’t really amount to squat, and that his command of the Navy’s largest aviation squadron doesn’t amount to real leadership.

And yes – although I will not link to that kind of crap – I also found attacks directed at McCain’s military career that suggested that he attained his success because of his Navy admiral father, and that he cooperated with the North Vietnamese Army interrogators.

So Obama surrogates have left no stone unturned in attempting to undermine, throw dirt at, discredit, and insult John McCain’s war record and military career.

Now, I’m sure that liberals will point to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth campaign and argue, “Republicans did the same thing to John Kerry!”

Well, no, they didn’t. The Swift Boat Veterans were just that – veterans. They served with John Kerry. And they responded to what they believed were distortions, exaggerations, and flat-out-lies by a man who had outraged them by turning on American servicemen and accusing them of war crimes during a career as a war protester that was actually longer than his career as a Navy officer. The fact of the matter is, the overwhelming majority of the men who served with John Kerry had a very different view of the man than the John Kerry (who put himself up for all his decorations) had of himself.

A Washington Post story on the Swift Boat episode by Michael Dobbs does a pretty fair job of sorting out the convoluted history and the claims and counter claims.

In any event, you don’t have a case of prominent Republicans attacking John Kerry’s war record and service the way you have of prominent Democrats doing such to John McCain. And, in order for the Obama surrogates “Swift Boating” of McCain to in ANY way be parallel to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth “Swift Boating” of John Kerry, you would have to have a similar overwhelming majority of men who actually served with – and rotted with in the Hanoi Hilton – John McCain. Do we have any such? Not even close.

While John Kerry couldn’t wait to mention what he hero he was and brought his “band of brothers” with him on the campaign trail to sing his praises, “John McCain rarely speaks about his experiences as a POW in Vietnam.”

But at least one man – who’s reputation is unimpeachable, has spoken out:

John McCain rarely speaks about his experiences as a POW in Vietnam, but one of his cell mates at the Hanoi Hilton on Thursday described some of the conditions and character traits that earned McCain the commendations he received for his war service.

Col. George “Bud” Day, 83, is the most decorated service man since Gen. Douglas MacArthur, with more than 70 medals. A living legend, Day was blown out of the sky two months to the day before the North Vietnamese shot down a propaganda prize, whose father and grandfather were renowned American admirals.

One of those 70 medals is the Congressional Medal of Honor.

I’ll take Bud Day’s account on John McCain over any other, thank you very much.

Another, more detailed account on John McCain’s military career, is found in an LA Times story.  You’ve got to figure that the Los Angeles Times – which is decidedly leftist in its orientation – would have dug up whatever dirt they could have.

The story dings McCain wherever possible on minor points, but it begins this way:

THE POST-POW YEARS: FIRST OF TWO PARTS — When John McCain limped home from a Hanoi prison camp in 1973 with a badly injured knee that he could not bend, Navy doctors gave him the bad news: His 15-year career as a jet pilot was over. He would never fly again.

But McCain surprised his doctors by making a dramatic comeback. With a ferocious determination to fly again and a tough physical therapy regimen, he got his wings back and not long after was awarded command of the Navy’s largest aviation squadron, VA-174, at Cecil Field in Florida. Blue-chip connections in the Nixon administration helped.

These days, when the presumptive Republican presidential nominee is asked about his qualifications to lead and manage, he points to his command of that squadron as proof he has the right stuff to be president.

“I led the largest squadron in the United States Navy, not for profit, but for patriotism,” McCain said at a candidate forum in New Hampshire. “I’m proud of that record of leadership.”

McCain’s bravery during his 5 1/2 years as a prisoner of war is a well-told story. But how he regained his career after the Vietnam War has received less attention in his autobiography and other writings about his life.

A review of Navy records and interviews with more than a dozen of his former colleagues paint a picture of a commander who was lionized by his troops as a war hero and respected by aviators as a fair and effective manager. He had rugged good looks and a common touch, and was fiercely loyal to those who worked for him, his former colleagues say.

There is no question: John McCain is a legitimate war hero.  He suffered for his country as few men have suffered.  And in his determination to return from trauma and injury to continue to serve his question leave no question as to his character and courage.  Anyone who attempts to undermine such a man’s military record undermines himself.  But there is little question now that Democrats and Barack Obama surrogates are out there doing everything they can to do just that.

And John McCain’s record – when compared to Barack Obama’s complete lack of a record – speaks for itself.  John McCain’s service qualifies him as Commander-in-Chief.  He has executive level leadership experience that Barack Obama clearly lacks.  And John McCain’s lengthy career in the Senate likewise serves to further underscore the fact that one man has far more experience and credibility to serve as President than does Barack Obama.

Wesley Clark, Jay Rockefeller, and Tom Harkin’s attempts to undermine a genuine hero are genuinely despicable.  And – when three Barack Obama surrogates come trickling out to attack McCain – it is more than worth asking as to what the Obama campaign’s role has been in this campaign to question, attack, and trivialize a clearly exemplary military career.