Arizona Sen. John McCain refused to apologize yesterday for his use of a racial slur to condemn the North Vietnamese prison guards who tortured and held him captive during the war.
``I hate the gooks,'' McCain said yesterday in response to a question from reporters aboard his campaign bus. ``I will hate them as long as I live.''. . .
``I was referring to my prison guards,'' McCain said, ``and I will continue to refer to them in language that might offend some people because of the beating and torture of my friends.''
McCain made it clear that his anger extends only toward his captors. As a senator, he was one of the leaders of the postwar effort to normalize U.S. relations with Vietnam.
Say what you will about the man, but Mac's as honest as they come. As for what he said, I really don't care. He can use whatever language he pleases when referring to the bastards -- yes, the bastards -- who beat him, starved him, and left him to rot in solitary confinement for two or three years. They broke his bones and his teeth in torture sessions which would last for days on end. By the time McCain emerged from the Hanoi Hilton, he had white air. The man was only thirty-three.
If he has a bit of pent up anger, well, that's understandable.