You can look for diaries with the tag “Know Your McCain”, and some diaries will have the “Know Your McCain” in the title as well. If you are interested in joining the Google Group or helping out with Facebook, please send me an email (address is in my profile).
I’ll probably take some heat for this, but I am serious here, as the prospect of someone with anger issues, who holds grudges, doesn’t think about the implications of his words before he talks, is confrontational by nature and experience five years of torture (and the effects of it) being the President of the United States – especially now – is downright scary.
As recently as 2000, McCain stated “I hated the gooks. I’ll hate them as long as I live”. While this is disturbing in and of itself, regardless of the horrors that he had to endure, the fact that he was tortured for 5 years should be considered as far as both the dedication to his country that he showed then, and the far reaching impact on him, his psyche and how he views the world.
If this was an isolated incident, then that would be one thing – and even somewhat explainable (even if unacceptable to all Asians). But more recently, McCain did it again when Bud Day, a leading campaign surrogate said that ”the Muslims are going to kill us”, and he refused to disavow the comments that painted only one billion people with the same broad brush – let alone in a most confrontational way.
But it still goes way deeper than that. We know the amount of stress that an individual who is at war endures. We have seen many many soldiers return with various levels of PTSD, and our own CIA declassified documents that were prepared in the 1960s that dealt with brainwashing and torture. Other than the fact that there are “interrogation techniques” referred to as “torture” in these documents that are way less extreme than some that our own administration and much of the republican party thinks is just peachy keen, there are some interesting notes.
For starters, note the passage in bold regarding isolation. John McCain spent approximately 2 years in solitary confinement. That’s a helluva long time. The CIA document referenced in the link above (the link in the diary is broken but if you play around with it, you can get to the entire document) has the following to say about isolation and the impact on a person subjected to it (emphasis mine):
A major aspect of his prison experience is isolation. Man is a social animal; he does not live alone. From birth to death, he lives in the company of his fellow man. His relations with other people and, especially with those closest to him, are almost as important to him as food or drink. When a man is totally isolated, he is removed from all of the interpersonal relations which are so important to him and taken out of the social role which sustains him. His internal as well as his external life is disrupted.
After a few days it becomes apparent to the prisoner that his activity avails him nothing and that will he will be punished or reprimanded for even the smallest breaches of the routine. His requests have been listened to but never acted upon. He becomes docility of a trained animal. Indeed, the guards say that prisoners are “reduced to animals”. It is estimated that in the average case it takes from four to six weeks of rigid, total isolation to produce this phenomenon.
Four to six weeks in isolation will produce that. John McCain was in isolation for two entire years. And within those two years, he was also bound into painful positions with rope and beaten every two hours.
As I wrote in a diary a few months ago:
The long term effects of solitary confinement have been well documented, and there is little doubt that the torture that McCain endured had a profound effect on him, both short and long term.
Is there any doubt that McCain feels some level of anger, bitterness, holds a grudge or wants revenge for what was done to him? Hell, I know I would. I’d be permanently pissed off and looking for a fight - and I’m a pretty mild mannered guy. But, do we want to have a Commander in Chief who is even more hawkish on foreign policy than Bush is? On Iraq? On Russia? On China? Someone who talks openly about more wars, especially at a time when we are hated around the world for our confrontational and reckless foreign policy, not to mention with troops already stretched to the breaking point?
But even with that, it still goes deeper than the torture, the threats, the grudges, the sweeping comments and derogatory statements that offend multiple entire races. In a precarious global situation – one that the United States is already not looked favorably in, we see chest thumping about “100 years in Iraq”, we hear of excluding Russia from the G8 (not to mention his apparent desire to restart the Cold War), we hear talk of there being more wars, we have a Presidential candidate whose view of diplomacy is to physically assault foreign diplomats, just to name a few of the more major alarming issues.
If we want to look at how he treats those on the homefront, he blows off reporters when he isn’t berating them individually (this pattern goes back to 1982) or what he thinks of his wife or rape victims, there are plenty of examples of what is clearly an angry and disturbed man with little tolerance.
These issues are serious ones, and as much as some people want to ignore them or call them “quirks” or “gaffes” or part of his personality, they are scary and are not befitting of someone who aspires to be President or Commander in Chief.
“Shoot first” is what got the United States into the mess it is currently in – both domestically and internationally. Browbeating, chest thumping and insulting entire races or countries is not what is needed.
But when all of these traits, experiences and factors are considered together – if it was someone who wasn’t running for President (I’ll add “as the republican candidate”) – if it was your grandfather, your uncle, your neighbor or someone you worked with – this behavior would not be acceptable or tolerated. This individual’s mental stability would be called into question and would likely be referred for some sort of professional help.
So why is it ok if the person is only running for one of the most important positions in the world?