McCain as Manchurian Candidate

  • By Jim Dwyer
  • December 21, 2005 @ 11:02 AM
Here’s a quiz: If you could name any one individual who was responsible for George Bush being elected in 2004, who would that be?

Karl Rove? He was just the mechanic. The guy who was actually driving the Bush candidacy with his 2004 version of the Straight Talk Express was Arizona Senator John McCain. Without McCain hugging Bush literally and figuratively, John Kerry would be in the White House today and our participation in the War in Iraq, which is decimating American military personnel and equipment, would be over by Christmas, as the inevitable Iraq civil war begins.

The question is begged: Why did McCain do it? He knew what was going on in Iraq and within the Bush Administration: fudging intelligence reports, calling critics unpatriotic, the rush to shock and awe that was drowning out any attempt to rationally assess the need to invade Iraq.

And yet, knowing all this, McCain, putting party before country, stepped off his Straight Talk Express bus in 2004 into the arms of a smirking George Bush, the man who had savaged him in the 2000 Republican Presidential primary, whose campaign staff made blanket telephone calls to potential voters charging that, among other political sins, McCain had fathered an illegitimate black daughter.

So how do you fathom the mindset of John McCain? Incredibly, McCain’s cure for the Iraqi mess is to send more American troops there to become additional targets for the insurgency. And does he really think that hugging Bush now will make him a more viable Presidential candidate for the Republicans in 2008, once again putting his personal and party considerations ahead of duty, honor, country?

Or did McCain bring back from his Vietnam prisoner of war experience something that has lain hidden for decades, something that would force him psychologically to do what he knew was irrational, something that would be triggered by a simple object, such as the Queen of Diamonds?

In the 1962 movie “The Manchurian Candidate”, starring Frank Sinatra, Laurence Harvey, and Janet Leigh, Harvey plays brainwashed Korean war hero Raymond Shaw, who has been programmed as a Soviet sleeper/mole agent to assassinate a Presidential candidate. His programming is triggered by a telephone call and a voice that suggests: “Raymond, why don’t you pass the time by playing a little solitaire?”

Methodically, Raymond begins dealing from a deck. When he turns up the Queen of Diamonds, his brainwashed mind activates the Soviet programming, and he is ready to receive instructions.

In 1962, I was in Korea with a bunch of other soldiers, a number of whom were studying Russian to escape the boredom of the barracks and the terror that awaited on patrols near the DMZ. Some of us joked that learning Russian might help us get jobs as houseboys if the Soviets finally decided to join the Chinese and chase the Americans out of Korea. What would we do as prisoners? Would we be brainwashed like Raymond Shaw?

What happened to John McCain as a prisoner? He has admitted candidly that torturing prisoners doesn’t work, because they essentially tell their torturers anything they want to hear in order to stop the pain.

What did the North Vietnamese with their Russian allies do to John McCain, knowing that they had a prize on their hands, a decorated war hero, son of an Admiral, who would someday surely be in a lofty position of power in American government? What could he do to help decimate the American military in a future Vietnam?

Couldn’t happen? Didn’t happen?

Then, please, would someone explain to me why a genuine American hero, a man who doesn’t lack for money, power, or prestige, would support a person like George Bush, who has dollar bills for brain cells, an oil pump for a heart, and blood on his hands, retain his position as the most powerful human in the world?

It doesn’t make any sense. You do not participate in sending thousands to their deaths in Iraq because you think it would be good for your political party. No politician should have that power.

Unfortunately, Senator John McCain has that power, and he has abused it, whether as a politician whose Presidential ambitions justify any means to his ends, or as a Manchurian candidate who turned over the Queen of Diamonds while “playing a little solitaire”.