Thursday, June 6, 2013

Thomas Jefferson vs. John McCain

by Laurence Vance

There is no question that Syria has been ruled by the authoritarian al-Assad family since 1971, that the country’s human rights record is dismal, and that over 40,000 Syrians have been killed in a civil war that has been ongoing for almost two years.

The question is what the United States should or shouldn’t do about any of these things.

Senator John McCain thinks he knows the answer. 

John McCain (born 1936) graduated from the Annapolis Naval Academy in 1958. After flight training, he spent some time on aircraft carriers in the Caribbean and Mediterranean Seas before volunteering for combat duty in Vietnam. In 1967 Lieutenant Commander McCain began bombing runs over North Vietnam. He was shot down on his twenty-third bombing mission and held as a prisoner of war for five years. After his release in 1973, McCain resumed his naval service until his retirement in 1981. While in the Navy, he earned the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Legion of Merit, Purple Heart, and the Distinguished Flying Cross. After leaving the military, McCain began his career in politics. He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1982. After two terms there, he was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1986, and has been there ever since.

McCain has been in the news of late because while on a trip to the Middle East to meet with officials from Egypt and Lebanon, speak at the World Economic Forum in Jordan, and visit American troops in Turkey, he also met with leaders of the Syrian opposition in Turkey and inside the Syrian border. McCain, who never met a war or a troop surge he didn’t like, wants to expand the 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF) that has been used by Presidents Bush and Obama to justify all manner of military interventions. If it were up to McCain, the United States would already be bombing Syria on behalf of the allies of al-Qaeda

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