The pro-war vet

John McCain has had an amazing military career – he is the archetypical American military man, and his presidential campaign often references his unique history of military service.But they haven’t proved that military service qualifies someone for the White House.McCain joined the Navy after graduating from the naval academy. He became a pilot and dropped bombs on the Vietnamese (god damn communists). In 1967, he was shot down and was held as a prisoner of war for five and a half years.According to his Web site his plane was hit by an enemy missile, forcing him to eject. He was knocked unconscious, broke both his arms and leg during the ejection and was captured by the North.During his time as a POW, his website states that he was denied medical treatment, was routinely beaten and was tortured. The effects that this has on a person should not be taken lightly. The man simply can’t be the same after going through that.Should we feel horrible and sorry that this happened to someone who was risking their life for their country? Absolutely.Should we use this as a lesson in disowning torture as evil and a horrible thing to do to someone? Without question. There is no doubt that John McCain’s story is a disgusting tale of truth during war, but these are not qualifications for the White House. In fact, his time as a POW may make him less qualified. And his experiences in Vietnam, which surely color his attitude toward war, seem to have done no good for the candidate – he has said he is fine with the prospect of the U.S. remaining in Iraq for over 100 years. And he also has confused the different sides of the Iraq civil war.Last Tuesday, in questioning Gen. David Petraeus he confused insurgent groups in Iran (Shiite) with Al-Qaeda (Sunni). Only one of many occasions in which he has shown minimal knowledge about the actual situation there – he is not keen on the details.Is there a chance this could be from his military days?His policies and broadly generalized ideas about Islam and the Middle East sound strikingly similar to the type of unreason that plagued the Cold War. For someone who was a victim of war and knows firsthand how devastating it is, he seems a little too prowar. He must know that war results in innocent people dying all the time. Why doesn’t he fight against this using his personal history as evidence?I feel bad that the man had to go to war and was tortured. I feel bad for anyone who goes to war. I think we should strive to make war something that can only be read about in history books. An ideal candidate should hold similar views.War does not make great thinkers.