Friday WTF: McCain endorsed by NVA jailer

Not an expat Vietnamese who fled for freedom and recants his former views.  But a prison guard who lives in Haiphong and talks about McCain as if they were pals.  Oh, and he denies American POWs were ever tortured, of course.

“If I were an American voter, I would vote for Mr. John McCain,” Tran Trong Duyet said Friday, sitting in his living room in the northern city of Haiphong, surrounded by black-and-white photos of a much younger version of himself and former Vietnam War prisoners.

At the same time, he denies prisoners of war were tortured. Despite detailed PoW accounts and physical wounds, Duyet claims the presumed Republican presidential nominee made up beatings and solitary confinement in an attempt to win votes.

— “McCain endorsed by his NVA jailer” Associated Press (via the Toronto Star), June 27th, 2008.

And I suppose all the other POWs who claimed they were beaten and tortured were hoping to gin up support for their eventual presidential campaigns, right?

This story is just plain weird.  I can’t decide if this goofball is genuinely trying to help, or if he’s trying to torpedo McCain by painting him as some kind of Manchurian Candidate collaborator to the GOP base.

Duyet, 75, grew testy during the interview when repeatedly questioned about torture and why so many other former PoWs say they too were mistreated. He preferred to talk about McCain as an old buddy.

His photo collection doesn’t include one of him with PoW McCain, and he said they have not met on any of McCain’s postwar visits to Vietnam. But Duyet said he often met the young navy pilot when off duty, that McCain would correct his English, and that he had a great sense of humour. And although they never saw eye-to-eye on the war that killed some 58,000 Americans and up to three million Vietnamese, he said they listened to each others’ views.

“He’s tough, has extreme political views and is very conservative,” Duyet said. “He’s very loyal to the U.S. military, to his beliefs and to his country. In all of our debates, he never admitted that the war was a mistake.”

Well, “old buddy”, John McCain didn’t have much choice as to whether he listened to your views or not.  I strongly suspect he heard your views and told you to f*ck off and die.  And hearing his views, you decided to share a rebuttal with him.  Respectfully.  By way of the toe and heel of your boot.  I’m sure he had all the time in the world and could think of nothing better to do than to correct your English.  Like buddies.  It’s not as if your welcoming committee crushed his shoulder and bayoneted him in the field, right?  Nah.

McCain’s wife, Cindy, was in southern Vietnam last week doing charity work. She said if her husband wins the election the couple would delight in paying a presidential visit to the country.

If that happens, Duyet said, “I hope to meet with him again as two old friends. At that time, I would toast to congratulate him as U.S. president.

“We would talk about the future, and we would not talk about the past.”

If McCain ever does meet you, I hope he has the good graces and foresight to kick you in the nads.  And then correct your English.  Since you’re buddies and all.

Category: Foreign Affairs
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