John McCain: An American Hero My Ass!

A Hero In What Way Exactly?

Is it just me or is all this constant talk of John McCain as "The Great American Hero" more than just a little bit ridiculous? Not only did he do nothing to earn the title, he actually did things most people would consider to be the antithesis of heroic. I mean, seriously, since when did slaughtering civilians make you a great hero?

The fact of the matter is McCain dropped bombs on Vietnamese towns and villages full of civilians with the intent of wiping them out. There were no military targets. Well, other than the civilians themselves. The American military may have considered the entire population of North Vietnam to be legitimate military targets - much like al Qaeda sees every American citizen as a legitimate target - but that doesn't change the fact that the intentional killing of civilians is, obviously, a war crime.

Yet, in America today, the idea that John McCain is a hero seems to be an indisputable fact. It's an article of faith, repeated ad nauseam in article after article, news piece after news piece. I mean, it's like holy script or a bad '80's song or something: "A hero, hero hero, oh he's such a hero to me".

Myself, I've always thought of heroes as people who helped others or did great things, often involving self-sacrifice or great risk to themselves. I'm talking about people like MLK, Gandhi, Mandela, Aung San Suu Kyi or the guy who jumps in the river or runs into the burning house to save somebody else. Maybe it's just me, but slaughtering innocent villagers in their hundreds has just never struck me as something to praise and celebrate.

Yeah, it's true, McCain was most definitely captured and tortured by the North Vietnamese, but that doesn't by any means make him a hero. A victim, yes, like anyone else subjected to torture, but certainly not a hero.

You could also argue that McCain was a victim in that he was a young man brainwashed into going off to fight in a meaningless war on the other side of the world. However, being brainwashed doesn't make you a hero either. And, besides, the man was 30 years old when he started flying bombing raids... and he requested to fly them... and he was on his 23rd bombing mission when his plane went down ... and 23 bombing missions equals one hell of a lot of dead civilians.

So, the funny thing is, any way you look at it, the guy's a lot closer to being a war criminal than a hero.

And, the not-so-funny thing is, America is currently prosecuting people held in the gulag at Guantanamo Bay and plans to execute them for the crime of, you guessed it, killing innocent civilians. Unlike McCain's, however, their intentional killing of large numbers of innocent civilians is, for some reason, not considered all that heroic in America. Funny how that works, isn't it? Seems to have something to do with who's doing the mass slaughter... or torture, for that matter.

I mean, why is it that if a soldier on the ground executes a handful of civilians then it's a war crime, but if hundreds, or even thousands, are intentionally slaughtered from the air then it's somehow acceptable, even heroic?

Even in a country like America, with its obsession with military power and its pseudo-religious belief in military solutions to problems (some real, some imagined, some invented), not even in a country like this can the slaughter of innocent civilians be seen as heroic. Can it?

And let's remember that three million Vietnamese died in the Vietnam War. Three million! Mainly civilians.

As for those who say that the killing of civilians is just a sad part of war; well, yes, I agree... if it's accidental. But the mass slaughter of North Vietnamese, as America attempted to "bomb North Vietnam back into the Stone Age", can hardly be classified as accidental killing of civilians. It was the whole point. The civilians were the target.

Now, as for those who say the intentional killing of civilians is simply part of war; well, I've got nothing to say to such sad, amoral, cynical people. Of course, they would also, I'm sure, find little to condemn in the ways the Nazis conducted war. Nor, I suppose, would they have any qualms with the mass slaughter of hundreds of thousands of Chinese civilians at the hands of the Japanese army in Nanking (Nanjing) in 1937-38. But, forgetting for the moment all such apologists for civilian slaughter, let's just get back to the question at hand: How can a man who dropped bombs on civilian targets be considered a hero?

I should mention that this has nothing to do with presidential politics. I've been thinking this exact same thing for years now. Whenever an article or newscast referred to John McCain as a hero I would just shake my head. Obviously, however, we hear a lot more about "The Hero McCain" these days than we did before he was the Republican's nominee for president.

This isn't really an attack on the character of John McCain so much as it is an attack on anyone who claims that it is heroic to slaughter civilians "for your country". Either on the ground or from the air.

And, in fact, this isn't so much about John McCain, character or otherwise, than it is about the American notion of what it means to be a hero. It would seem that in some ways McCain is just another in a long line of American killers glorified for being really good at mass slaughter. Just another modern-day Custer (or any of the other butchers of large numbers of innocent Native Americans, babies and all).

Speaking of which, I wonder, do you think anyone still actually considers Custer to be a hero?

Mike Cowie (Oredakedo)
Monday, July 7th, 2008

 

And for another recent piece on American Politics read this: The Obama Rave or The Audacity Of Hoping For The Obvious Choice

 

And for another check this out: The Wright Stuff: The Jeremiah Wright Rave

 

Or try this: History Has Spoken: Bush Finally Seals The Deal

 

And for more politics visit the Politics Homepage

 

MikesAndDislikes Home

are u freakin kidding me!! you uneducated anti-american idiot

To let u know a little bit about me, I am a UNITED STATES MARINE, a very patriotic American, and I can't stand anti-americans who enjoy the freedoms granted to them by the U. S. military. I can't see any reason why you wouldn't consider John McCain to be an American hero. Because of all of the many men and women who have served in the military, it gave people like you the freedom to openly criticize REAL American heroes. John McCain is a great American hero. In one of the paragraphs above you criticized McCain for killing "innocent" civilians. How can you call a person firing at our military with the intent to kill or seriously injure them, an "innocent" civilian. People like you ought to be forced to leave America. I mean in all actuality why do you live here anyways. If your so against our Military, our constitution, and all the values that the United States of America was founded by. LEAVE!!!!!!! You heard me, I SAID GET OUT OF MY COUNTRY!!!!!!!!!! If I could have one wish in life it would be that you and all of your anti-American friends be sent out to an open field filled with men and women of the U. S. Military along with the family members of the veterans who lost their lives fighting for your REAL AMERICANS freedom. While in this field you would be beat to a pulp and humiliated until you died. I'm sure you voted for Barack Obama and all of his anti-American views. To me you are a terrorist and a real threat to real Americans freedom. Oh and by the way when I say REAL AMERICANS I mean patriotic, God fearing, anti-communistic citizens.

John McCain Shitty pilot

John McCain Shitty pilot rich spoiled brat only reason in military was dad,grandpa,liar never has done anything forAZ or it's people HERO MY ASS.

Where to begin with this angry marine?

Where to begin with this angry marine? A few questions: 1) Do you consider all wars just? 2) What makes you think Mike lives in the U.S.? Is it because he writes in English and, therefore, must live in the U.S. (no one speaks English elsewhere, do they?) 3) Why is "god-fearing" a requirement for American citizenship? 4) What's with the fearing part? I never really got that part. I mean I understand why we should fear god (he does seem to come off as a bit of a omnipotent hothead in his biographies), but why would anyone want to be part of a fear-based religion? 5) What's the problem with "communistic" citizens? 6) Explain how "freedom" is so important as to justify killing civilians, yet someone exercising his freedom and openly criticizing the government should be "beaten to a pulp and humiliated until [he] dies?"

United States Marine

Yeah, so you voted for Sarah Palin, way to go! You say you are God fearing, just how fearful are you? God commanded " Thou Shalt Not Kill ". What does that mean to you ? There is a guy that lived in Germany , his name was Adolph Hitler. This guy's reasoning was to kill everyone that was Jewish or had a problem with his Vision of Germany. He exterminated them . I want you to tell us the difference between his thinking and yours. You want to take everyone that has a different opinion than you to a field and exterminate them. Go take a look in the Mirror my friend, take a hard look at what you've become. It ain't pretty. What happened to you ? Do you think you have possibly been brainwashed into this twisted caricature of a Human Being? You are MORE dangerous to your fellow Americans and the Country you profess to love, so passionately, than the people you want to eliminate. Take a look at your Constitution, The Declaration of Independence and read Abraham Lincoln's writings, for starters. Contrary to your incredibly frightening views , you will see in these writings that we ALL have the right to Free Speech , and many other rights that you are fighting for, when you put on that Military uniform.

 

You represent the US when you are serving. You Hate your Commander in Chief, you hate many of your fellow Americans . Perhaps you should get out of the Military because you sure as hell don't represent the majority of Americans or the real Heros that serve with valor every day in the Forces.

 

You sir , make the stories we hear about soldiers torturing prisoners, and committing heinous acts in foreign Countries, easier to believe, now that you have shared your beliefs with us. I am appalled that I have to share MY earth and MY air with you. By the way WHO defines what a REAL AMERICAN IS ? YOU , my friend, are not qualified , nor were you asked .

Mc Cain

This is to all you radical, draft-dodgers, run-away to Canada holdovers from the 1960s. McCain served his country honorably. He paided his dues. He is a man of integrity, he did what he was trained to do. Just like all of us who served over there. We were fighting a war, that some of you didn't have the intestinal fortitude to be a part of--I guess burning your draft card and being involved in protesting was your idea of having intestinal fortitude, what a joke. I pity all of you who have this negative attitude about McCain, deep down inside you probably envy McCain, because he is a better person than you. A U.S. Marine who also served during hostile times.

For fuck's sake.

For fuck's sake. You weren't fighting a war. You were involved in an unnecessary and unjust military exercise that resulted not only in the needless loss of millions of civilians, and soldiers, but cost your country far more money than necessary because it was poorly planned, poorly executed and resulted in your soldiers fighting a losing battle against forces who simply knew the territory better. The Vietnam "War" was a fiasco, pure and simple. Anyone who didn't question their orders to go in there is a moron at best, an idiot at worst. And that includes all your much-heralded Vietnam veterans. In fact, the only ones who had any common sense were the ones who left the country. And here we have Bush Jr. having led your country into yet another Vietnam-style fiasco. You Yanks never learn, do you?

McCain

I TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU Mike!! I am so sick of him standing up there blowing his horn about being shot down and captured, yadda, yadda! Doesn't he understand there is a new song now. We are sick to death of war! I am sixty three years old, that's all I've heard most of my life. It is a terrible thing to have as your claim to fame. "Hi I have killed thousands of innocent people, I dropped bombs on them, it was war, I'm a hero. Vote for me. I really hate war you know. I hate it. I have a little song I like to sing, at my town hall meetings, Bomb bomb bomb , bomb bomb Iran. Catchy isnt it!" How anyone can vote for McCain boggles my mind! Instead of putting ethenol in your cars folks, drink it! It makes about as much sense! Momma from Courtenay.

McCain a hero?

I imagine it is heroic for anyone to survive years of torture and imprisonment as a political prisoner, but I agree with Mike's analysis that being a bomber pilot in the Vietnam war doesn't qualify someone to be acclaimed a "hero". DM

McCain a hero?

If McCain had been a political prisoner and tortured perhaps I could manage a smidge of admiration for what he used to be, but a political prisoner is someone held for their political beliefs, and im not sure the Vietnamese asked him about those when they captured him. They were probably upset about the trying to kill them all and leave their country looking like the surface of the moon.(Vonnegut).I know it would definitely piss me off. Actually it really pisses me off and it happened before I was born, halfway across the world in a country full of people I never met. As far as heros go, Mlk and Ghandi are great suggestions but I think the millions of people who quietly help any cause along without getting to be the famous person at the head, those are the heros. All wealth comes from the workers and even revolutionaries are nothing without them. In the words of Orwell "If there is hope, it lies in the proles" Derek

John McCain: Hero?

The constant references to McCain being a hero is akin to what we had to hear after 9/11. Anyone and everyone who died in the attacks was instantly named a hero. All you had to do was be in the wrong place at the wrong time and you were a hero. Now, I have no beef with those victims, but only a few could really be classified as heroes. Most just died early unnecessary deaths. Unfortunate, but true.