An Iraq War Veteran with a different view on the Iraq War threw a shock of reality into the Republican National Convention tonight, capturing the attention of McCain and the audience.
In the top tiers over an exit in the bleachers, the protester with an "Iraq Veteran's Against the War" shirt on held a sign that read, "McCain votes against vets" on one side and, "You can't win an occupation" on the other.
The veteran's name is Adam Kokesh, according to The American Prospect, which interviewed him. Kokesh is a Ron Paul supporter from Santa Fe, and he served in Falujah, an area that saw some of the greatest horrors in the Iraq War.
Here's a play-by-play of the shock McCain displayed at the sight of this protester:
You'll notice that the people in the arena, including McCain, can see the networks' broadcast on television monitors. At the 43 second mark on this video, McCain notices that the screen behind him is showing one of his 54 houses rather than what it's supposed to be showing. He turns half-way around to see this in reality. He then turns back and begins to speak but pauses to let the audience applaud. He looks down, and while he's looking down the networks cut to a shot of the Iraq War Veteran holding a sign that reads, "You can't win an occupation." McCain looks up, and perhaps owing to a slight delay, sees the protester just a moment after we do, mid-sentence, swallowing his words and freezing at the sight of Kokesh.
The clip would make a great anti-McCain commercial. Just play it over and over again.
While Fox cameras, as seen above, only showed the protester briefly, NBC--which had just transferred its viewership in from the first NFL game of the year--showed the man several times. It also showed the faces of the audience, many of whom seemed shaken by the message of the protester--perhaps ashamed of themselves and their party.
Thousands of savages in the audience buried any feelings of remorse by ganging up on the single man with chants of "USA! USA! USA!" Reminding us that when veterans speak out against the war, the Republican Party treats them like dogs.
Many of the Republicans who screamed obscenely at the Iraq War Veteran never fought in battle. They did, however, wrap themselves in the American flag and cheer on the invasion of Iraq. Last night, they followed the lead of Rush Limbaugh, who attacks veterans that don't fall lock-in-step with the corporate agenda of the Republican Party.
Veterans and active duty military are only beginning to learn that John McCain hates veterans. What else could explain the stunning list of votes he's cast against veterans?
In 2005, John McCain voted against S. Amdt. 149, a $2.8 billion veterans' health care bill introduced by Senator Daniel Akaka (D-HI).
In 2006, Senator Akaka requested $1.5 billion for medical care for veterans and $430 million for the Department of Veterans Affairs doing outpatient care. John McCain voted against this proposal too.
In 2006, a year before the horrors of Walter Reed Hospital captured headlines, Senator Dodd proposed S. Amdt. 2735 to shore up failing infrastructure at veterans hospitals. The bill would have mandated a minor rollback in the capital gains tax cuts for the richest 1 percent of Americans (Republican spin: raise taxes, implying for everybody) to pay for the veterans' needs. John McCain, perhaps because his wife's worth possibly $100 million, voted against this one too.
Republicans are content to put a yellow ribbon on their SUVs declaring, "Support the troops." But they will not give veterans actual, meaningful support. They only recite patriotic BS to win absolute power so Jack Abramoff, former GOP Congressman Duke Cunningham, Congressman Rick Renzi (R-AZ) and others can rip YOU off.
These elite rich Republicans, many of whom filled the Xcel arena last night, are content to chant "USA! USA!" and get patriotic in order to win elections, but they will attack veterans and anybody else who stands in the way of absolute power.