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

An Open Letter From a Fellow US Veteran and Arizonan

by Douglas Herman
Exclusive to STR
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?

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