Anyone who has read this blog knows I’m not a Donald Trump supporter. Donald Trump is clueless on many issues and it is an understatement to say he’s unqualified for the job.
But he’s right on at least one thing.
The late John McCain isn’t a hero.
Trump trashed “Bomb Bomb Bomb Iran” McCain at a tank factory on March 20. He criticized the dead senator for pushing “so hard” for war in the Middle East.
“He was calling Bush, President Bush all the time, ‘Get into the Middle East, get into the Middle East.’ So now we’re into that war for $7 trillion, thousands and thousands of our people have been killed, millions of people overall, and frankly, we’re straightening it out now but it has been a disaster for our country,” Trump said.
The Golden Golem of Greatness, as James Howard Kunstler sarcastically characterizes the president, said the war was “worse than it was 19 years ago.” The invasion and occupation of Iraq began 16 years ago this month.
But let’s skip over this careless error and get to the crux of the issue.
John McCain, worshipped by Republicans and Democrats alike, is a war criminal, not a national hero. He bombed civilian targets in North Vietnam prior to being shot out of the sky and spending five years in a POW camp.
On the day he was shot down, McCain targeted a light bulb factory in Hanoi. This was a civilian target and the bombing a violation of international law. I’m not sure how many civilians died there, or how many died in McCain’s previous bombing raids. McCain was, of course, “only following orders,” the same excuse Nazi war criminals made during the Nuremberg Tribunal. For their crimes, many of the Nazis went to the gallows. McCain, on the other hand, went to Congress.
As for Trump, he is responsible for a number of war crimes in Somalia and Syria. Many of us expect lies and factual distortions from this president and he never seems to disappoint on that account.
“If Clinton, Bush, Obama and Trump are the aces in the card deck of war criminals, John McCain would be the king of no hearts,” writes Teodrose Fikre. “This man can’t get enough of wars—he is a mix of a Dr. Strangelove and a war drum major. For close to four decades, he has stood at the Senate dais and cheered on a continuous stream of wars. Lebanon, Grenada, Panama, Iraq I, Somalia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq II, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, these are just some of the wars that our war-drunk government keeps declaring for the sake of profiteering and bloodletting.”
On average, Americans are only dimly aware of the role John McCain played, first in Vietnam as a Navy bomber pilot, and then in the Senate as an advocate of endless war.
A search of Twitter reveals a host of plaudits for McCain and condemnation of President Trump:
President Trump’s attacks on the late John McCain mark the first time in memory where a President has picked a fight with a dead man and lost. McCain was no saint, but he was a brave and patriotic man. Hitting him when he can’t hit back is repellent.
— Brit Hume (@brithume) March 22, 2019
Great read. Spot on.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) March 22, 2019
— Mediaite (@Mediaite) March 22, 2019
Prior to the eight year presidency of Barack Obama, many Democrats went into the street to protest the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. Like Trump, Obama lied during his campaign about bringing the troops home, but that false promise was all but forgotten by the time Obama led the invasion of Libya and the arming of jihadi fanatics in Syria.
During the reign of Obama, millions of Democrats, previously opposed to the Republican Bush’s wars, made a miraculous transformation—they became “humanitarian interventionists” fully supporting the murder of thousands in Libya and the rape-murder of Muammar Gaddafi at the hands of NATO’s “rebels,” including Abdelhakim Belhadj, a LIFG (Libyan Islamic Fighting Group) jihadist. The LIFG was founded in 1995 by a group of mujahideen veterans who had fought against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. The mujahideen operation was run by the CIA, Pakistan’s ISI, and the Saudis. It eventually became al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and assorted jihadists.
Obama supporters didn’t have any use for gruesome details. Hillary Clinton’s paraphrase of Caesar—“We came, we saw, he died,” followed by a chortle—went right over their heads. Gaddafi was portrayed as an evil autocrat by the corporate propaganda media and this made it easier for intellectually lazy Democrats and Republicans to accept mass murder in the name of humanitarian intervention.
The bounty of praise for McCain upon his death reveals perfectly the effectiveness of propaganda, lies, distortions, and fabrications in the name of endless war. In the twisted Bizarro world of American politics, McCain is a hero while the presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard is trashed in the corporate media for her call to end the wars and lower nuclear tensions between Russia, China, and the US.
The wars, however, will continue so long as the establishment controls the political process in America. Gabbard doesn’t stand a chance. The current crop of Democrat candidates will not call for an end to forever war and the war profiteering racket that feeds upon it.
The ruling elite will continue to push empire and the perverse concept of the “indispensable nation” so long as Democrats and Republicans control the House, Senate, and the Executive.