John McCain - Let us not glorify famous creeps
Its one thing to speak cliches about loss when someone dies; it is completely different to try to rewrite history to make a bloodthirsty warmonger into someone who should be praised and emulated.
While many leftists are trying to push back against the glorification of McCain, I think the correct approach is best made by Caitlin Johnstone. Its not about McCain himself, its about using him as a poster boy for warmongering.
Do NOT Let Them Make A Saint Of This Asshole
If you want to see a world with more and more John McCains, with more and more US wars of aggression and regime change interventionism, then by all means play right along with his public beatification. If you want to see a world where neoconservative war whores are treated with the revulsion, disdain and rejection they deserve, then now is your chance to help create that world. Refuse to be shamed and guilted into polite silence and move in the exact opposite direction from where the establishment shepherds are herding you.
You don’t have to be as brash about it as I am if that’s not your cup of tea. But now, while they are telling us that we are not permitted to speak about McCain’s unforgivable record of facilitating military bloodshed in Iraq, Syria, Libya and elsewhere, it is precisely the time to speak. By publicly disrupting the narrative of McCain’s sanctification, we make it harder for the war propagandists to manufacture consent for more war. It really is that simple.
Caitlin Johnstone, Do NOT Let Them Make A Saint Of This Asshole
The idea that this warmonger should lay in state in our nation's capitol sickens me. In the last 100 years, only 17 people have lain in state. They include eight presidents, three high-ranking military officials, and five senators.
1917 - Admiral George Dewey - only Admiral of the Navy
1948 - General John Pershing - commander AEF, WW1
1964 - General Douglas McArthur - one of 5 Generals of the Army
1953 - Senator Robert Taft - Majority Leader
1969 - Senator Everett Dirksen - Minority Leader
1972 - J. Edgar Hoover
1978 - Senator Hubert Humphrey - VP nominee
1989 - Senator Claude Pepper
2012 - Senator Daniel Inouye - President Pro Tempore, Medal of Honor
I get the feeling that the honor has lately been cheapened. I don't remember the reasoning, but why should Hubert Humphrey have lain in state? Claude Pepper? Medal of Honor Winner, Daniel Inoyue actually sounds reasonable. But John, "reverse ace"[NOTE] McCain?
McCain is often called a “war hero”, a title adorning an unlovely resume starting with a father who was an admiral and graduation fifth from the bottom at the US Naval Academy, where he earned the nickname “McNasty”. McCain flew 23 bombing missions over North Vietnam, each averaging about half an hour, total time ten hours and thirty minutes. For these brief excursions the admiral’s son was awarded two Silver Stars, two Legions of Merit, two Distinguished Flying Crosses, three Bronze Stars, the Vietnamese Legion of Honor and three Purple Hearts. US Veteran Dispatch calculates our hero earned a medal an hour, which is pretty good going. McCain was shot down over Hanoi on October 26, 1967 and parachuted into Truc Boch Lake, whence he was hauled by Vietnamese, and put in prison.
- Jeffrey St. Clair, Alexander Cockburn, The Horrors of John McCain: War Hero or War Criminal?
But enough about John McCain, the person. (If you want more, read Max Blumenthal's excellent biographical sketch.) What we should focus on are all the people trying to convince the country that he was a likable (vs McNasty) guy, a great patriot, and a role model (yeah, for sociopaths).
And, surprise, surprise, guess who is getting a lot of coverage for gushing over McCain? None other than Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC):
US House candidate, NY-14
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Retweeted Washington Post
John McCain’s legacy represents an unparalleled example of human decency and American service. As an intern, I learned a lot about the power of humanity in government through his deep friendship with Sen. Kennedy. He meant so much, to so many. My prayers are with his family.
Sort of validates my hesitation to anoint her as the latest progressive savior.
The bottom line for me is that the US political system is owned by the warmongers. No one who wants to keep being published in the corporate propaganda media is going to bring up what a complete disaster McCain was - as a person, as a pilot, as a POW, and as a politician. The level of doublethink required to pretend that McCain was anything other than a sociopathic monster is beyond me. But in the Neo-McCarthyism era, its daunting to stand up and say that. Still, Caitlin has said it best. Do not let them make this guy into a saint.
NOTE (Reverse Ace)
During his relative short stint on flight status, McCain III lost five U.S. Navy aircraft, four in accidents and one in combat.
#1 McCain III lost jet number one in 1958 when he plunged into Corpus Christi Bay while practicing landings. He was knocked unconscious by the impact coming to as the plane settled to the bottom.
#2 McCain's second crash occurred while he was deployed in the Mediterranean. "Flying too low over the Iberian Peninsula," Timberg wrote, "he took out some power lines reminiscent of the 1998 incident in which a Marine Corps jet sliced through the cables of a gondola at an Italian ski resort, killing 20 which led to a spate of newspaper stories in which he was predictably identified as the son of an admiral."
#3 McCain's third crash three occurred when he was returning from flying a Navy trainer solo to Philadelphia for an Army-Navy football game. Timberg reported that McCain radioed, "I've got a flameout" and went through standard relight procedures three times before ejecting at one thousand feet. McCain landed on a deserted beach moments before the plane slammed into a clump of trees.
#4 McCain's fourth aircraft loss occurred July 29, 1967, soon after he was assigned to the USS Forrestal as an A-4 Skyhawk pilot. While seated in the cockpit of his aircraft waiting his turn for takeoff, an accidently fired rocket slammed into McCain's plane. He escaped from the burning aircraft, but the explosions that followed killed 134 sailors, destroyed at least 20 aircraft, and threatened to sink the ship.
McCain was personally responsible for the deadliest fire in the history of the US Navy. That catastrophe, with 27 dead and over 100 wounded trumps McCain's record as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam...
crewmen aboard the Forrestal have provided additional information about the Forrestal incident. It is believed by many crewmen and those who have investigated the case that McCain deliberately "wet-started" his A-4E to shake up the guy in the plane behind his A-4. "Wet-starts", done either deliberately or accidentally, shoot a large flame from the tail of the aircraft.
In McCain's case, the "wet-start" apparently "cooked off" and launched the Zuni rocket from the rear F-4 that touched off the explosions and massive fire. The F-4 pilot was reportedly killed in the conflagration. "Wet starting" was apparently a common practice among young "hot-dog" pilots.