The longtime lawmaker and former prisoner of war during his time serving in the Vietnam War was widely remembered for his presidential candidacy against Barack Obama in 2008, when the senator famously told a woman attending a town hall event that his opponent was not a Muslim and was in fact “a decent family man [and] citizen that just I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues.”
McCain left behind a mixed legacy among African-Americans, particularly as it pertained to his opposition to his state recognizing the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.
Much has been made about John McCain’s war heroism. Even his opponent Barrack Obama has gone out of his way to praise McCain’s patriotism and heroism. America has a long tradition of electing war heroes, from George Washington to Ulysses S. Grant to John F Kennedy. Unlike Washington Grant and Kennedy who fought in the Revolutionary war Civil War and World War II, McCain fought in a war that was highly unpopular and viewed as unnecessary.
The Revolutionary War gave the U.S. independence, the Civil War ended slavery, WWII saved the world from Hitler’s domination and ended the genocide of the European jews. What exactly was accomplished by the Vietnam War other than the deaths of thousands of U.S. soldiers and millions of Veitnamese soldiers and civilians? Most non-neocons would agree that the Vietnamese war was an ideologically based war for the US empire of capitalism against the communists.
Fighting in a war does not make you a hero. Were the Nazi soldiers heroes? Were confederate soldiers heroes? Part of being a hero is fighting for a good cause that saves lives and makes the world a better place not taking lives and making it a worse one. Unfortunately for our soldiers, it is not them who decide whether they are heroes, villains or victims of the wars they fight but up to the leaders who wage the wars. Most of the soldiers who fought in Vietnam did not want to fight in the war at all and were drafted, victims of their government’s imperialist warmongering policies. McCain on the other hand volunteered for the war, marking the 1st time he followed his president to an idiotic war.
Unlike Kennedy, John McCain did not fight on the front lines, instead flying a plane and bombing strategic targets and the occasional innocent civilian. McCain participated in Rolling Thunder, an Operation that dropped hundreds of tons of bombs on Vietnam.By all accounts, Mccain was an unqualified, incompetent pilot Given that Vietnam did not have an airforce it is unlikely that McCain engaged in any Top Gun like arial maneuvers. .
McCain’s plane was shot down by anit-aircraft fire in 1967. He parachuted into a lake and was saved by a Vietnamese peasant who fought off an angry mob that wanted to kill him. If someone were to bomb a power plant in the US and had their planes shot down they would be seen as a terrorist. I doubt any American would pull him out the Hudson river and save him from an angry mob, Americans would call for his execution and justify his torture.
When McCain’s plane was shot down he wasn’t bombing any military target at all just a power plant in Hanoi with a team of 20 planes that were made to shut down vietnam’s infrastructure. Millions of Vietnamese civilians were killed by American bombs from planes like McCain’s. In 1997, on 60 Minutes McCain said ‘I am a war criminal, I bombed innocent women and children.’
Unlike the many Arab prisoners in Guantanamo bay and Abu Ghraib, McCain quickly cracked under the pressure of his captors. Giving up all relevant information he had and issuing a statement, “I am a black criminal and I have performed the deeds of a war pirate…I almost died and the Vietnamese people saved my life thanks to the doctors”
In a time where we can clearly see the negative affects of a war-mongering president on the economy and foreign policy, McCain seems a bad choice for president. McCain’s history as a bomber and his disregard for civilian casualties make him an ideal candidate for continuing Bush’s foreign policies. If anything his experience in Vietnam have made him more mean-spirited. On his tour bus in 2000 McCain said “I hate gooks, I will hate them all my life” He has called his wife a cunt and cursed out several senators who disagreed with him.
A true patriot follows his country to war when it is absolutely necessary and leads his country away from war when he is not. McCain is a war villain and a war criminal, not a hero. Muhammed Ali was a hero for standing up for his beliefs and refusing to go to the Vietnam war. The many people who risked their freedom to protest the Vietnam war are heroes. People like John Kerry who fought in the war and then came back to reveal the atrocities to the American people were heroes. People like John McCain who voluntarily fought an illegal, immoral war and admitted to killing innocent civilians in the cause of spreading capitalism and eliminating communism are not at all.
In 1967 an accident involving a napalm bomb on a Navy ship lead to the deaths of 134 soldiers. After it, McCain told the New York Times: “Now that I’ve seen what the bombs and napalm did to the people on our ship, I’m not so sure that I want to drop any more of that stuff on North Vietnam.” He kept bombing even when other pilots refused to take place in the bombing until his plane was shot down.
I’m sure Obama will stay clear of criticizing McCain’s war experience and continue to praise him on his service. However, I’m sure that others will attack his patriotism and war experience. Being a veteran or P.O.W. does not qualify you for the presidency, especially in a time where war-mongering and disregard for civilian casualties have led to abysmal international relations for the US and its lowest popularity rating since Vietnam.
If America really wants to have another Vietnam, another draft, billions more dollars taken away from our schools, healthcare system given to our military to kill civilians abroad then we should elect John McCain. John McCain is an admitted war criminal who still hates “gooks” and wants to bomb Iran, with no regard for the deaths of innocent civilians. In 2001 Mccain said “I hated my enemies even before they held me captive because hate sustained me in my devotion to their complete destruction and helped me overcome the virtuous human impulse to recoil in disgust from what had to be done by my hand.” Is this the kind of man we want in charge of our armed forces?
Video: John McCain is a War Criminal