Friday, September 05, 2008

In Speech McCain Casts Himself As Rambo

Informed Comment has a interesting take on the McCain speech and mind set. That McCain is trying to have a do over of the VietNam war. In this version America's military wins and McCain is vindicated.

"McCain's convention speech positioned him as John Rambo. The popularity of the Rambo: First Blood 2, historian Melani McAlister argued in her Epic Encounters, derived from the way it allowed its hero, a betrayed veteran, to fight the Vietnam War all over again and to win this time. McAlister suggests that the popularity in the United States of Israeli macho operations such as Entebbe derived from this same Rambo complex, a desire to compensate for the humiliating defeat of the United States by the Vietnamese and their Chinese and Russian allies.

McCain dwelled at length on his years as a prisoner of the Vietnamese and even adverted briefly to having been broken by torture. The rage and abasement of that moment when he signed a confession of war crimes and denounced the United States."

McCain has spoken of his breaking before, as in an October 12, 1997 60 Minutes interview that his critics sometimes misquote:

"Sen. McCAIN: I m--made serious, serious mistakes and did things wrong when I was in prison, OK?

WALLACE: What did you do wrong in prison?

Sen. McCAIN: I wrote a confession. I was guilty of war crimes against the Vietnamese people. I intentionally bombed women and children.

WALLACE: And you did it because you were being tortured...

Sen. McCAIN: I...

WALLACE: ...and you'd reached the end of the line.

Sen. McCAIN: Yes. But I should have gone further. I should have--I--I never believed that I would--that I would break, and I did."

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