Tuesday, September 04, 2007

The World Of Epictetus

When reading liberal or "progressive" anti-war blogs, one becomes accustomed to reports of military failures, questionable actions by our troops, and a general poor opinion of all things military.

Not so here in Robert Kaplan's Rereading Vietnam, where you will find stories of honor, courage, and conviction, as told by POW's during the Vietnam War.

Just a taste. Bud Day:

With all of his limbs now broken or shot up, he spent the next six years in captivity, undergoing mock executions, hung again repeatedly by his feet, often not permitted to urinate, beaten senseless in scenes "out of the Mongol Hordes" with whips that made his testicles like charred meat. When prison guards burst in on him and other POWs during a clandestine Christian service, Day stared into their muzzles and sang "The Star-Spangled Banner."

John McCain:
"Character," writes the younger McCain, quoting the 19th century evangelist Dwight Moody, "is what you are in the dark," when nobody's looking and you silently make decisions about how you will act the next day.

Vice Admiral James Bond Stockdale:
In September 1965, then-Navy Commander Stockdale (the equivalent of a lieutenant colonel) was forced to eject from his A-4 Skyraider over North Vietnam. He spent the next seven years in prison, undergoing the usual barbaric treatment that the North Vietnamese communists meted out to Americans who did not provide information. Told that he was going to be shown to foreign journalists, Stockdale, a Medal of Honor winner, slashed his scalp with a razor and beat himself in the face with a wooden stool, to prevent being used for propaganda purposes.

Read the rest. H/T Instapundit.

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