Sunday, September 14, 2008

Hamas Endorses Obama--and Vietnam Endorses McCain (Updated)

Much was made of Obama's endorsement by Hamas.

So who is endorsing McCain? His former jailers think he'll make a great President:
As a U.S. Navy pilot, John McCain flew 23 bombing sorties over Vietnam before he was shot down and incarcerated in the infamous "Hanoi Hilton" prison camp. The courage he displayed behind bars gave him the aura of a war hero, and it is still powering his electoral appeal.

Yet now, even the jailers who once tortured Sen. McCain are lining up to offer effusive -- if somewhat embarrassing -- endorsements for his presidential candidacy.
There is a difference, of course.

From Hamas' viewpoint, they believe they can get better from Obama who advocate talk and negotiation than from McCain. That kind of endorsement--from terrorists--is not flattering.

On the other hand:
The fascination with Sen. McCain's presidential bid shows what has and hasn't changed in Vietnam in the more than three decades since Hanoi's Communist regime won its "American War." Converts since then to a gospel of free-market economics, Vietnam's rulers today see America not as a foe but as an increasingly valuable partner with shared geopolitical interests, such as counterbalancing a rising China next-door. "Vietnam needs a strong America, not a weak America," says Mr. Quoc.
The fact that Vietnam respects McCain and would not expect him to be vengeful as President of the United States speaks to the respect of McCain and his character. Unlike Hamas, Vietnam is not expecting a rollover.

Imagine: And McCain didn't have to make a tour of the area to get that kind of endorsement.

UPDATE: Soccer Dad pointed out to me that when President Clinton wanted to normalize ties with Vietnam, he sent Senator John McCain. That fact, and the way McCain conducted himself there at the time, would also add to the respect the Vietnamese would have for him.

This would also go towards addressing the image the Left wants to create that McCain is a hothead. If he can deal with the Vietnamese--and they now show respect for him now--than it is clear that McCain is not the warmonger the Left wants to paint him as.

According to the link Soccer Dad sent me, it was Senator McCain's idea to normalize relations with Vietnam:
In July 1995, Clinton established diplomatic relations. In making the decision, Clinton was advised by Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona, an ex-navy pilot who had spent five years as a prisoner of war in Hanoi during the Vietnam War. Brushing aside criticism of Clinton's decision by some Republicans, McCain asserted that it was time for America to normalize relations with Vietnam.

[Hat tip: Powerline]

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