Recounting how his own Naval record — being shot out of the sky as a young pilot, his subsequent capture by the enemy and incarceration inside a North Vietnamese prison — has made him uniquely qualified to be commander-in-chief, Republican presidential hopeful John McCain told an audience of veterans that the Iraqi military will not be ready to take over security of their own country “until all of their fighter pilots have been shot down at least once.”
Before the United States can withdraw its troops, the Iraqi military would need to demonstrate “character-building losses and soul-searching set-backs,” explained McCain, citing the wartime experience he garnered in Southeast Asia.
“The Iraqis should have a few of their ships torpedoed; their sailors pulled from the freezing waters and tortured by the opposition,” noted the senator, who also suggested giving Iraqi soldiers defective parachutes and letting them jump from 30,000 feet.
“We need to give Iraqi fighters the opportunity to suffer a slew of humiliating personal defeats,” concluded McCain, offering as evidence his own wartime record. “Only then will they be able to lead their country to the heroic stalemate we achieved in Vietnam.”