Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Vote for Obama

The reader friend who wanted 10 good reasons to vote for Obama gets another one here, in a biting profile of Senator McCain in Rolling Stone, called "Make-Believe Maverick." Major eye-opener. In particular, author Tim Dickinson describes an exchange between McCain, back from Hanoi and now enrolled at the National War College (which he would never have been admitted into given his terrible academic record at Annapolis, but got in by pulling strings with John Warner) and Air Force Lt. Col. John Dramesi, who spent time as a POW in Hanoi at the same time as McCain and went on to become a commander with the Strategic Air Command.

There's a distance between the two men that belies their shared experience in North Vietnam — call it an honor gap. Like many American POWs, McCain broke down under torture and offered a "confession" to his North Vietnamese captors. Dramesi, in contrast, attempted two daring escapes. For the second he was brutalized for a month with daily torture sessions that nearly killed him. His partner in the escape, Lt. Col. Ed Atterberry, didn't survive the mistreatment. But Dramesi never said a disloyal word, and for his heroism was awarded two Air Force Crosses, one of the service's highest distinctions. McCain would later hail him as "one of the toughest guys I've ever met."

McCain asked him about a trip abroad Dramesi was going to take to network with military and political leaders in distant places.

"I'm going to the Middle East," Dramesi says. "Turkey, Kuwait, Lebanon, Iran."

"Why are you going to the Middle East?" McCain asks, dismissively.

"It's a place we're probably going to have some problems," Dramesi says.

"Why? Where are you going to, John?"

"Oh, I'm going to Rio."

"What the hell are you going to Rio for?"

McCain, a married father of three, shrugs. "I got a better chance of getting laid."

Here's what Dramesi says today about McCain:
McCain says his life changed while he was in Vietnam, and he is now a different man. But he's still the undisciplined, spoiled brat that he was when he went in."
A 72-year-old spoiled brat. President? Hell, no.

No comments: