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Presidential Campaign Enters the Silly Season

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By Dave Lindorff

I’ve been getting some emails that refer to Barack Obama as a
“Manchurian Candidate,” a guy who is somehow hiding a secret radical
and/or Muslim jihadist agenda that will burst forth if he’s elected
president. There is a certain idiot factor at work here, since if Obama
were a closet Weatherman, who somehow learned of and adopted that 1960s
college dropout organzation’s creed at the tender age of 8, it would
have clashed badly with any Muslim teaching he might have picked up as
a student in an Indonesian public school at the same time (he attended
an Indonesian public schoolfrom the age of 6 to 8 before transferring
to a Catholic-run institution).

But since some low-wattage and conspiracy-minded people seem ready
to believe this kind of stuff, let’s consider John McCain’s early
background, and the possibility of his being a Manchurian Candidate
too. Fair’s fair, right?

Okay. McCain, it turns out, was actually born outside the US, in
the Panama Canal Zone, which in 1936 was territory leased from Panama.
His father, a Navy officer, was stationed there with his wife at the
time of McCain’s birth. Now it’s a safe bet that McCain was largely
raised—fed, diapered, and spoken to—at that age by a local Panamian
woman. That’s what, after all, you do when you are an elite officer and
the wife of an elite officer in a foreign country where low-wage help
is abundant. Who knows what subversive ideologies were poured into the
young McCain’s tender ears at that vulnerable period of his life by his
Panamanian nurse? Maybe that would explain McCain’s support for an
amnesty program for immigrants from Latin America a few years back.
Does he have a secret agenda to throw open the doors of America to
Latin American immigrants once in the White House?

And worse yet, maybe his Panamian amah was a Marxist! Lord knows
that Central America in the mid-1930s was a hotbed of revolution. The
dreaded Augusto Sandino had only just been executed in Nicaragua, just
north of the Zone, two years before McCain’s birth, following a bloody
guerrilla war against US Marines, and the region was full of bitter and
vengeful nationalist and Marxist revolutionaries bent on throwing the
US out of Latin America. Could his nurse have been one of these people,
whispering and implanting the language of liberation into the young
boy’s still unformed mind, ready to spring to life once he assumed high
office in Washington?

Then we turn to McCain’s prisoner of war days in the hands of the
North Vietnamese. Certainly his mind was weak and vulnerable to
control. While many of McCain’s fellow POWs endured five, six or more
years of torture without cracking, he is said to have begun spilling
secrets and agreeing to broadcast anti-American propaganda statements
after only four days of torture shortly after his capture. We also know
that the Communists had a sophisticated system of mind control
developed, which was shared among the Communist nations of the USSR,
China, North Korea and North Vietnam. Were these techniques applied to
the captive McCain, and did they leave him after five long years of
captivity robotically programmed to seek and win the presidency, only
then to launch a campaign of sabotage to soften America up for
Communist takeover?

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This prospect seems much more likely than that some Muslim teacher got to Obama in his grammar school in Indonesia.

Actually, I find the Obama Manchurian Candidate theory much weaker
than the McCain Manchurian Candidate theory, just based upon my own
experience. I was, after all, put through some serious indoctrination
by my own family. My parents sent me to Sunday School at the local
Congregational Church, from the age of six to the age of about 11. I
can still remember the earnest parent volunteers teaching us all the
nonsense about the earth being formed in six days, about Adam and Eve,
the burning bush, the parting of the Red Sea, the Virgin birth (What
was a virgin, I wondered? They wouldn’t say…), and the crucifixion and
resurrection. None of it stuck. Despite the indoctrinators’ best
efforts, I left Sunday School an atheist and remain one today. The only
thing I really learned in Sunday School was how to smoke—something a
number of us learned together while skipping class and hiding out in
the church attic. Is Christian dogma that much weaker that it can fail
to impress a young mind while Muslim dogma can take a firm hold in an
even shorter time? What an insult to Christianity!

My daughter too, is testimony to the limits of early childhood
propaganda efforts. At the age of 7, we brought her to Shanghai, China,
where for a year, she attended first grade in a local Chinese public
school. She learned excellent Chinese there, but though there was
considerable indoctrination in Maoist theory, with special focus on the
life of the young Mao and also of the selfless workers’ hero Lei Feng
(they actually had one daily class called “Loving the Country class”
and most other subjects had a propaganda aspect), and though she also
attended a fifth grade Chinese public school when we returned to China
a few years later, for a stay in Xi’an, at 24 she is hardly a Commie or
a Maoist, I’m sure though, that should she someday decide to run for
president, some of the same people who suspect Obama of being a closet
Muslim terrorist will say she harbors secret Communist sentiments from
her early school years.

Such is the state of some American minds.
__________________
DAVE LINDORFF is a Philadelphia-based journalist and columnist. HIs
latest book is "The Case for Impeachment" (St. Martin's Press, 2006 and
now available in paperback edition). His work is available at www.thiscantbehappening.net

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Dave Lindorff is a founding member of the collectively-owned, journalist-run online newspaper www.thiscantbehappening.net. He is a columnist for Counterpunch, is author of several recent books ("This Can't Be Happening! Resisting the (more...)
 

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