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ISSUE #112
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Features

ArrowMcCain's Mutiny
Why "Mr. Integrity" wants the war to drag on
Allan Uthman

ArrowThe Negligents
How to convert ignorance into “skepticism”
Ben Zaitchik

ArrowCivil War?
An oxymoron in one act
Ian Murphy

ArrowBaker-Hamilton Omission Report
Iraq Study Group aims to change perception, not reality
Matt Taibbi

ArrowThe BEAST Holiday Gift Guide
Because you must consume!

ArrowAre YOU a Racist?
Take the BEAST Quiz!

Local BEAST

ArrowAn Important Message from our Fearless Leader
Paul Fallon

Departments

ArrowThe Beast Page 3
Environmental Apocalypse

ArrowKino Korner: Movies
Turistas, Blood Diamond, Unaccompanied Minors, Apocalypto, The Holiday

ArrowBEAST-O-Scopes
As divined by your ethereal guide

Arrow[sic] - Letters
Fiends Like These, Cutler & Run, That's [sic], Osama for your Mama and more

 

McCain’s Mutiny
Why “Mr. Integrity” wants the war to drag on
Allan Uthman

“I understand the polls show only 18 percent of the American people support my position. But I have to do what’s right... In war, my dear friends, there’s no such thing as compromise. You either win or you lose.” - Senator. John McCain

Same thing with elections.

So John McCain has joined Bush in throwing a shit fit over the Iraq Study Group’s recommendations. What’s bothering him? Well, it’s certainly not the fact that no one who participated in the ISG had the foresight to oppose the war in the first place. McCain yelled at Baker and Hamilton last week because they didn’t like his proposal to increase troop strength in Iraq by a number somewhere between 20 and 40 thousand (about 100,000 short of anywhere near enough to establish a semblance of security there). But the real bone in McCain’s increasingly freakish craw? If the ISG recommendations are followed—an unlikely event considering Bush’s classic “whatever” dismissal—US combat troops will be out of Iraq before McCain has a chance to get his election on.

While McCain’s insistence on “re-invading” Iraq and holding out for a miracle has been assailed as unrealistic except by diehard hawks and Bush loyalists, it has also been absurdly misinterpreted as the brave, bold stance of a man who puts the welfare of his nation above his own presidential aspirations. The common take is that McCain is “jeopardizing” his electability by continuing to support an unpopular war. MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough said McCain is “swimming against the tide.” CNN’s Wolf Blitzer gushed that it was “a Profiles in Courage kind of statement.” Even the UK press got in on the act, with the Times of London’s Bronwen Maddox arguing the report “damages” McCain, making him look “like the nation’s maverick, not the next president.” Anatol Lieven wrote on the Guardian’s website that McCain “seems to have committed himself to a course which could very well cost him the presidency in 2008.”

These opinioneers are either lying or stupid. Mainstream journalists are loath to engage in “straight talk” about McCain in deference to his heroic legend. In the simplistic, shorthand narrative of American political coverage, McCain’s flashcard has the word “integrity” on it in big red letters. It’s as if a few years of torture and imprisonment renders one immune to ambition, vanity or dishonesty for a lifetime. That may sound callous, but the truth is that McCain has time and again proven willing to change his tune on issues of conscience for maximum convenience, and has even admitted as much. In May, McCain told Fox News’ Chris Wallace all about it:

“I’ve found in my life that when I do what I think is right… it always turns out in the end OK. When I do things for political expediency, which I have from time to time, it’s always turned out poorly.”

Asked for an example, McCain elaborated: “I went down to South Carolina and said that the flag that was flying over the state capitol, which was a Confederate flag, was—that I shouldn’t be involved in it, it was a state issue. It was an act of cowardice,” he said, admitting he had done it to help his chances in the South Carolina primary and seeming only to regret the act because he “lost anyway.”

Early indicators of the depths to which McCain will stoop to win include his freshly appointed campaign manager, professional scumbag Terry Nelson. Nelson, Bush’s national political director for his 2004 reelection campaign and an unindicted coconspirator named in Tom Delay’s money-laundering indictment, is responsible for the infamous below-the-belt white bimbo ad which helped sink Harold Ford, Jr.’s senatorial campaign this year by exciting the powerful anti-miscegenation Neanderthal demographic in Tennessee. The appallingly racist ad drew so much heat that Nelson was fired by Wal-Mart, but McCain apparently has lower standards.

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