Sunday, October 09, 2005

This is my fifth blog.

Recently the United States Senate passed by 90 to 9 a very important amendment to a budget bill. Apparently the Senate was persuaded by evidence that this amendment was needed to give clarity to interrogators of detainees in the war in Iraq and and in the war on terror, and exactly what they will be able to do in questioning these people

The force behind this amendment was Senator John McCain. He explained why it was so imperative: " We have to clarify that this is not what the United States is all about. This is what makes us different from the enemy we are fighting." McCain sponsored the amendment which bars cruel and inhumane treatment of detainees.

If there is a requirement for knowledge about cruel and inhumane treatment John McCain would not only pass; he would write the test.

In his book "Faith of Our Fathers" McCain begins with all of the mistakes he made as a young rebellious student, before and during his years at the Naval Academy. He also tells the story of his father and grandfather and their careers in the Navy. His reveres his fathers and accept completely their ideas of honor and courage. He needs every bit of his reverence to sustain him during the years he was imprisoned by the Viet Cong in the infamous "Hanoi Hilton" prison.

When the Viet Cong discovered that John McCain's father was the Admiral in charge of the Pacific fleet, they offered to let him go home. McCain knew that if he accepted he would be used as a propaganda tool. The courage it took to turn down such an offer after years of hideous treatment and months of solitary is beyond most of us to imagine.

John McCain believes in honor and he may be one of the last to do so in a violent and treacherous world. He is more than most politicians a somewhat humble man. His survival of such physical and psychological torture as he experienced during the Vietnam war gives him a presence that not many public figures can match. When he says," If the Pentagon's top minds can't sort these matters out, after exhaustive debate and preparation, how in the world do we expect our enlisted men and women to do so?" he has the credibility to express those ideas.

Read his book "Faith of My Fathers" and follow the experiences which makes McCain a much needed man in public American life.

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