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John McCain: The Return of “King Rat”

August 30, 2008

a commentary by TNTalk! writer, Leon Walker…

Is Senator John McCain a war mongering baby killer or a war hero?

When Jay Leno asked John McCain how many homes he had the other night it appeared to be in jest. A question that was only intended to poke fun or induce laughter from the crowd. Senator McCain however, immediately pivoted on the inquiry and launched into a tale about the deprivation of life as a prisoner of war. It was then that the stench began to overwhelm me as I realized the disgusting truth of what was transpiring. More and more frequently it seems that the POW cloak of safety is being utilized when Senator McCain finds himself in a difficult situation politically. As it relates to the thousands of others who so admirably served this politicizing of and trivializing of such an event is a despicable travesty.

There have been other examples of questionable or even clearly fabricated stories that have sprung from his Senator McCain’s actual POW experience. When campaigning in Pittsburgh earlier this year he claimed to have given his captors the names of the “Steelers” defensive line as names of his aircraft squadron mates. In Senator McCain’s book is was actually the Green Bay Packers that he named. Then when being interviewed by Pastor Rick Warren recently he told a story of a compassionate guard at the POW camp that drew a cross in the sand for him on Christmas so that they could worship together for a few minutes. Given his propensity to manipulate and pander using his misfortune, this story hardly seems believable or original.

There are many Americans who were and who remain severely disappointed, even angry about the way the Vietnam War was conducted and the way our service members were treated upon their return. There are also many Americans who remain disgusted at the carnage the United States wrought in Southeast Asia for no apparent good reason. Those Americans who protested in our streets and on college campuses and who were successful in getting the attention of the government, therefore contributing to stopping the Vietnam war. And yes, lest we forget, those who called our men in arms baby killers and war mongers. Today many Americans consider that the Vietnam conflict was a mistake that was horribly mishandled by our government. What’s worse, the cost in American dead will be long remembered as one of the greatest horrors in American history. This reality says nothing of those we killed there.

When the people can be convinced that their religion or way of life is being threatened, even from a distance, they can be thrust into a feverish and blinding darkness. Often it is far too late when we discover that our government was wrong, whether intentionally or unintentionally. Further, it must be clearly understood that such errors in judgment are sometimes thrust upon armies and citizens with substantial manipulation. Then, as with the Vietnam conflict, we are left to reflect and mourn our dead with no tangible positive results for our sacrifices.

Senator McCain was and remains a rabid advocate for continued aggression rather than withdrawal in the sovereign nation of Iraq. He advocates this aggression in spite of the fact that this country has buried thousands of dead and collected a staggering war debt. He advocates this approach in spite of the fact that the Iraqi government has now demanded that we declare a timeline for departure. Senator McCain has also recently turned his attention to the sovereign nation of Georgia, threatening U.S. military intervention against Russia. This now characteristic saber rattling must certainly seem foolish to the Russians as the world knows the United States has crippled itself militarily in Iraq and that we are therefore lacking in military resources. Let Americans not forget that he has also taken a stand against Iran that includes military intervention.

Senator McCain tells us we are now fighting “radical Islamic extremism” in Iraq and that we must stay there to finish the job and bring our troops home in victory. The problem is that nobody knows what “finish the job” means. Not even the Iraqis have a clue. In The Republic of Georgia, according to McCain, we are opposed to the spread of communism as well as committed to assisting an ally to preserve its freedom. And you know what? Nobody really knows what that means either! Of course the Iranians must stop the development of a nuclear program even though it is unclear what their nuclear intentions are at this point. There are also potential growing problems in Afghanistan and Pakistan, even North Korea.

time for confrontation

time for confrontation

Senator John McCain is a 20th century warrior. He is paralyzed by a cold war era mentality that drives his military ideas and stunted diplomatic logic. It is a simple equation that he understands and repeatedly puts forth as his mandate. Either threaten to kill people or actually kill people if they don’t subscribe to your political ideology. The concept of diplomacy is far too complex given his intellectual shortcomings and far too time consuming for someone of his irascible personality. He is a simple man of narrow ultra-conservative beliefs. Unfortunately he is also motivated by the violence of war and intoxicated by power. If the history of this nation over the past eight years has shown us nothing more, it is clear that the bully within our borders has produced more death and debt than any bully outside our borders. What will be the nation’s “bully bounty”?

Commander McCain

Commander McCain

Our government has become adept at hiding the death count from our own national media and our citizens. Our government has become adept at hiding the meaning of the trillion dollar war debt that we have already amassed in Iraq. However, our government has not been particularly good at convincing Americans that this nation is on the right track, that the war in Iraq was justified or what the clear mission is today. In fact, our government has not been particularly good at convincing Americans that solutions may be forthcoming to the many severe problems that must be faced here at home. What is worse, our government has been absolutely horrible at solidifying, building trust and encouraging cooperation among the world community.

One thing Americans know is that one of the two men who remain in this political contest owns seven homes and is a long time advocate of war. The other spectacle that we are beginning to see is that he holds little regard for those who suffer the perils of war and die in such conflicts. He has not opposed the cloaking of the returning dead and he now uses his story of having been a POW as armor against political attacks and questioning. Such a tactic seems terribly insulting to the thousands of honorable survivors who would never so selfishly or callously manipulate any situation by awakening such a tragic memory. Tell me Mr. and Mrs. America, does one who employs such unconscionable political ploys and advocates cranking up the war machine while raining death around the world whenever possible really have your best interests in mind?

Would a war hero really lie about what happened in a POW camp or use that sad memory for political advantage? Could anyone who so desperately thirsts for war pause for diplomacy when it is prudent, considering the toll in dead or the negative global impacts?

McCain Manipulation?

McCain Manipulation?

What will happen if you elect Senator McCain president? Will he continue to send America’s children off to die, to be wounded or to be scarred by the visions of killing others? Sadly, the only remotely positive result would be that he might finally be able to say that he won a battle. Perhaps his mentions of a selective service or draft would take root under his administration, ensuring no need for 21st century world diplomacy.

Is Senator John McCain a proud war hero or a war mongering baby killer? What I know is that those who promote the carnage of war on such a continuum and on such a grand scale make the term “pro-life” difficult to fathom.

It was James Clavell who wrote the original work “King Rat” about a POW who callously manipulated and victimized his fellow prisoners and the prison guards for personal gain. I’m thinking “The Return of King Rat” might be an interesting sequel.

Talk among yourselves and tell me what you think…

L. A. Walker, © Leon A. Walker

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. Joan Barkauskas permalink
    October 28, 2008 4:40 pm

    How dare you take the position of the all-knowing Oz. What makes you believe you read this footage right. How dare you make an assumption that there was no father/ son happiness. You have written an opinion on hearsay that his father saw him as a loser??? It is people like you who cause needless gossip that hurts the fabric of our society.
    The mere fact that this man served our country as a POW for your sorry **** should be enough ‘shame on you’ for a lifetime. I am proud and thankful for every second this gentle man sat in that cell and endured nightmarish torture for me. God Bless him. I owe my freedom to him and so do you.

  2. jon permalink
    October 23, 2008 6:49 pm

    I remeber a old news film when John Mccain was walking on the tarmack of a USA Airport.Having just been released as a POW.
    This should be the happiest time in his life and his parents.
    BUT in the footage his father all dressed in his uniform walks in front of his Son looking rather dejectuve.with his head down. There was no Father & Son happiness .
    Why does he not say a word now about his father? I have heard that his father saw his son as weak,and a loser.
    Did Mccain give the enemy info? Did he RAT out his country?
    His father was a big (Rank??) man and thought his son should have killed himself, than become a tool for the
    Viet Cong and a embarrassment to the USA.

  3. Glen mann permalink
    October 18, 2008 9:44 am

    Just one note from a retired USN CPO – yes, I know there are a lot of us!

    To Randall:
    “REAL” heroes don’t talk about their trials and won’t accept un-witnessed medals.
    John McCain has made an entire career using his pow scenario.

    I’m an independent – no mascots needed.

  4. September 10, 2008 11:39 am

    I find your article repulsive, so left wing, so emphatically embarrassing. Do you actually hear what you are saying? Do you realize that all the world can see your anti-American, far left wing, disgusting, cowardly… is that good enough for you? Huh? McCain is a POW war hero, much more than your community organizer could ever hope to dream to be- what’s that? He ordered pizzas at a little league game? Drove the mini-van in a carpool? Stacked chairs at a bingo? Get real. Get respectful of a man who served his country- take away the election and all that crap- and recognize that the man is a decorated war hero, an American V E T E R A N, a former POW… Do you hear yourself, huh punk? Is that the way you talk about veterans? Huh?… You #@$%% disghust me, you left wing !@$^&. Obviously folks, my party mascot is not a JACKASS… yeah, LITERALLY the democrats have a jackass for a mascot… its fitting- KNOW THAT- when I read far left hate bull*!@# towards veterans like this…

  5. tn hillbilly permalink
    August 31, 2008 2:31 pm

    war monger may be a little extreme. manipulator first class, mr. pseudo nice-guy is right on the button.

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