John McCain: Why do the terrorists hate us?
John Sidney McCain III is the senior United States Senator from Arizona. He was the Republican nominee for president in the 2008 United States election. McCain followed his father and grandfather, both four-star admirals, into the United States Navy, graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1958. He became a naval aviator, flying ground-attack aircraft from aircraft carriers. During the Vietnam War, he nearly lost his life in the 1967 USS Forrestal fire. In October 1967, while on a bombing mission over Hanoi, he was shot down, badly injured, and captured by the North Vietnamese. He was a prisoner of war until 1973. McCain experienced episodes of torture, and refused an out-of-sequence early repatriation offer. His war wounds left him with lifelong physical limitations.
He retired from the Navy as a captain in 1981, moved to Arizona, and entered politics. Elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1982, he served two terms, and was then elected to the U.S. Senate in 1986, winning re-election easily in 1992, 1998, and 2004. While generally adhering to conservative principles, McCain at times has had a media reputation as a "maverick" for having disagreed with his party. After being investigated and largely exonerated in a political influence scandal of the 1980s as a member of the Keating Five, he made campaign finance reform one of his signature concerns, which eventually led to the passage of the McCain-Feingold Act in 2002. He is also known for his work towards restoring diplomatic relations with Vietnam in the 1990s, and for his belief that the war in Iraq should be fought to a successful conclusion. McCain has chaired the Senate Commerce Committee, has opposed spending that he considered to be pork barrel, and played a key role in alleviating a crisis over judicial nominations.
McCain ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 2000, but lost a heated primary contest to George W. Bush. He secured the nomination in 2008 after coming back from early reversals, but lost to Democratic candidate Barack Obama in the general election.
Question: Why do the terrorists hate us?
John McCain:I’m sure that we may have had something to do with it by some action of ours, but I think fundamentally we ought to understand that this is a perverted adaptation of an honorable religion in which people want to destroy everything we stand for and believe in. They wanna destroy our ideals, our principles, our Bill of Rights – our fundamental principles that have permeated our thought, and action, and governing bodies not only in America, but in other places in the world. And they wanna destroy it, and they hate it. And that’s very hard for us to understand; but we better understand they’re making very good use of cyberspace. It’s a hatred. It’s an irrational hatred of us. It’s a belief that their religion is telling them to destroy us, and that . . . that their fundamental faith and reward . . . rewards are based on a destruction of all western beliefs and ideals. And it’s hard if not impossible for us to understand, but we better appreciate that it’s there; it’s unrelenting; it has many . . . takes many forms ranging from doctors in Glasgow to Denmark to Germany; to efforts to establish Al Qaeda cells in the United States of America.
We need a strong military intelligence and diplomatic capability; but we also better understand that it’s gonna be an ideological battle at the end of the day just as the Cold War was. And we’re not doing nearly enough in the area of cyberspace and winning the ideological struggle as we need to. And it’s gonna be a long, hard struggle. It’s gonna be a long war.
Fundamentalism is a perversion of an honorable religion.
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