McCain's War Views Echo '74 Thesis

GOP hopeful notes dangers of '60s antiwar movement
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jun 15, 2008 9:24 AM CDT
This Oct 26 1967, file photo provided by the Library of Congress shows Navy fighter pilot John McCain, center, being captured by Vietnamese civilians in Truc Bach Lake near Hanoi, Vietnam.   (AP Photo)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – “A man’s ability to perform credibly as a prisoner of war” is founded on “a strong belief in his nation’s foreign policy,” John McCain wrote in a 1974 essay that shows the seeds of the candidate's views on public support for war. The New York Times takes a look at the essay, which was written during his time at the National War College—a time McCain says was key in the development of his views on Iraq, .

McCain wrote that prisoners of war in Vietnam “who questioned the legality of the war” were “extremely easy marks for Communist propaganda,” and proposed that the US work to teach troops about the reasons behind foreign policy decisions—even though such a program “could be construed as ‘brainwashing.’”