Sunday, June 29, 2008

The McCain-Churian Candidate by Louis Evan Palmer

There are any number of people who should not run for public office and at the top of most lists would be persons who have been compromised. John McCain would be such a person. While we commiserate over the somewhat murky circumstances of his imprisonment and his claims of mistreatment, we are also very leery about having a person who endured five and a half years of an alleged brutal captivity as a leader, especially a powerful one.

Whether you call it behaviour modification, torture, brain-washing or plain old blackmail, when done to
the extent that it might over a period of years in a POW setting, it definitely creates doubts as to the stability and judgement of the victim. Its goals would be familiar to students of history who had read about the Inquisition. It cropped up during the time of the Soviet Union's Gulag and its spectacular and gruesome show trials as a way to ensure cooperative defendants. The United States got its first taste of it when an unexpectedly high number of soldiers captured during the Korean War were induced into making anti-American statements.

The Americans might not have been that surprised as they had already been conducting their own "brain-washing" experiments at the start of the Korean War in 1950. The now infamous Ewen Cameron snuck off to Montreal and with the despicable cooperation of McGill University and the Canadian government, devised a variety of "techniques" for erasing a personality as a first step towards re-making them.

In the 1964 movie, "The Manchurian Candidate", an American soldier in Korea, and his fellow soldiers, are brainwashed by the Koreans and Chinese. Unknown to him, he can be triggered into action, perform the action (like killing someone), and then revert to "normal" without any memory of what he did.

If ever a candidate has given the impression that he is on a hair-trigger, it's John McCain. His vulgar threatening public and semi-public outbursts against other members of Congress and his own wife do sound like someone who's under duress. His memory and logic problems could be age-related but then again they could also be torture-related. Is this really the best America can do? Where are all these defective, flawed candidates coming from?

We can give our compassion and good wishes to John McCain. We feel it prudent to maintain a little extra vigilance when he's around just in case he "loses" it. But we certainly don't want to vote for this guy. We certainly don't want to give him world-destroying weapons to play with. Let's vote for sanity and vote against John McCain.

The McCain-Churian Candidate, Louis Evan Palmer, The Way It Can Be,
Copyright 2008 Louis Evan Palmer lives in Ontario Canada. His short stories have appeared in numerous publications.


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