By Pejman Yousefzadeh Posted in Iraq | John McCain | War — Comments (4) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »
I'm sure that someone, somewhere, is going to claim that John McCain's support of the reconstruction effort in Iraq is oh-so-convenient because, as a powerful Senator, he risks nothing personally by supporting the war. Sure, he may run a political risk thanks to his position as he seeks the Presidency, but what are political risks--after all, as a high and mighty politician, McCain surely can't understand the personal costs of the struggle, can he? Why even Kevin Drum has decided to simplify McCain's line of thinking for his audience by stating that "McCain is in love with war and the military."
One struggles to understand how it is that someone like John McCain, who was imprisoned and tortured under horrifically brutal conditions and who carries the severe physical limitations of that horrifically brutal torture could possibly be "in love with war." McCain--being a sane, intelligent and rational human being, as well as one who is conversant with war in ways few others could possibly be--likely hates and despises war and while he is certainly supportive of the military, he is seared and affected by his experience in Vietnam. He may view war as a sometimes tragically necessary tool of statecraft, but only a madman could love it and McCain is no madman.
But assume for a moment that it has been far too long a time since McCain's captivity for him to fully and vividly recall the horrors of war. Just out of curiosity, does this do enough to demonstrate to McCain's critics that he does not take the decision to press on in Iraq lightly?
And no, the reconstruction effort is not right merely because the McCains have flesh and blood staked in it. But neither is the Senator unaware or ignorant of the stakes. People should stop thinking that he is and they should stop reducing a terribly personal and emotional--as well as intellectually wrenching--decision to the simplistic "McCain is in love with war and the military" formulation that Drum and others appear to favor.