Sunday, August 17, 2008

McCain's cross in the sand story...PLAGIARIZED?

Last night at the Saddleback Forum, McCain emotionally reitterated his story about the cross in the sand drawn by a guard while he was captured in Vietnam.
The camera panned to a sympathetic Cindy McCain as the Evangelists cheered. But today all across the blogosphere and even in the Huffington Post, his story is decried as plagiarism from an Andrew Solzhenitsyn account of a too similar experience while he was detained in a Soviet camp. It just so happens that McCain is a great fan of Solzhenitsyn (maybe he thought his base wouldn't be intellectual enough to have read any Solzhenitsyn). Politics as usual - a little more serious that the Hillary sniper fire story - a lot more serious than the Cindy McCain recipe plagiarism. :>) But McCain sould be called on it. Long story short. In 1973, a russian author, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, wrote about his time in in the book "The Gulag Archipelago" and relayed exactly the same story.

From the book:

"As he waited, head down, he felt a presence. Slowly he looked up and saw a skinny old prisoner squat down beside him. The man said nothing. Instead, he used a stick to trace in the dirt the sign of the Cross. The man then got back up and returned to his work.
As Solzhenitsyn stared at the Cross drawn in the dirt his entire perspective changed. He knew he was only one man against the all-powerful Soviet empire. Yet he knew there was something greater than the evil he saw in the prison camp, something greater than the Soviet Union. He knew that hope for all people was represented by that simple Cross. Through the power of the Cross, anything was possible."

There is a nice long excerpt from John McCain's book "Hard Call: The Art of Great Decisions " released in 2005, reprinted in the NY Sun, about what a big fan he is of Alexander Solzhenitsyn writings...

We all keep repeating how we respect and appreciate John McCain's service to our country as a captive (although you really should check out the information about the other part of his naval career - a good place to start is at, but we expect the truth from a man who now is running for our President.

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