"Former Alabama Senator Jeremiah Denton, who survived 7½ years as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam and alerted the U.S. military to conditions there when he blinked the word "torture" in Morse code during a television interview, has died. He was 89 years of age.
Denton's grandson, Edward Denton, says he died about 8 a.m. Friday at a hospice facility surrounded by family. Edward Denton says his grandfather had been in declining health for the past year and died from heart problems.
Denton, a Republican who served a single term in the U.S. Senate, was a strong advocate of conservative causes and backer of the Reagan administration. But the iron will that served him in such good stead in captivity gave rise to criticism that he was too rigid as a politician."
I remember as a very young child seeing those terrible images from the Vietnam War that have now become so iconic. They were beamed into our homes with every news bulletin.
Vietnam was, of course, a cold war era proxy war.
Of course, we still fight proxy wars, but as one who served in Her Majesty's Armed Forces during the final years of the cold war, I sort of took comfort in the fact that in those days we knew who our enemies were. Our main enemy was what was officially called the Soviet Union, but what we all knew was the Russian Empire. Or as one former Baltic Prime Minister called it recently, "The Second Mongol Occupation".
Then it changed. That change reached its pinnacle on 9/11. The enemy became an unknown force, operating within our own borders.
Now, in a loose interpretation of Marxist vernacular, we see the negation of the negation.
It has changed again. It has reverted back to where we were some decades ago. Russia is on the move again.
A very senior military advisor to NATO told me two days ago "This is the start of World War 3".
Let us hope he is wrong.