Let me first say, I respect John McCain’s service to his country. Anyone who wears the United States uniform and gives a portion of their life in defending the United States deserves the respect and honor that is part and parcel of what it means to serve, no matter how well or badly they performed.
McCain, however, in his frustration in the face of his growing list of failures, should think clearly about his legacy (if he has one). As one writer put it, McCain has never met a war he didn’t love. His World War II bona fides, however, are suspect at best. McCain’s effectiveness as a pilot is a thing of much controversy and has been for years. In an article titled The Day John McCain Got Shot Down: Did He Show the Right Stuff? by Zalin Grant on the website Pythia Press, Zalin gives an unbiased account of McCain and his checked past as a young pilot. Son of Navy royalty (both his dad and grandfather were celebrated admirals), McCain seemed fitted with a golden spoon permanently attached to his lower lip.
History, even personal history, however, has a way of recording facts the way they happened, not like someone would have them be in a canned biography attached to fund raising material. From all accounts it appears McCain was less than a stellar cadet, an atrocious pilot and an all-around screw up not well-liked by his comrades. As Zalin notes about McCain’s early days in the military:
“That might have been checked off to youthful rebellion. Plenty of kids spent their college years partying but then sobered up after they were slapped in the face by the reality of making it in the outside world. But after he left Annapolis, McCain continued to show the same attitude that had almost got him kicked out of the naval academy.
He barely passed flight school. And then he crashed two airplanes and damaged a third.”
This all before the crash that landed him in the Hanoi Hilton, which as Zalin points out later in the article was his fault.
When the Iraq War came around after 911, McCain was one of the Hawks squawking the loudest for America to invade Iraq and bring down our one time ally Saddam Hussein. Recently, he has championed just about every armed conflict around the world calling for immediate involvement with either United States service personnel boots on the ground or supplying arms to rebels in locales like Libya, Syria, and the Ukraine. The four thousand plus Americans who lost their lives in Iraq and the nearly two hundred thousand Iraqis who died (a new estimate places that total closer to a half a million) hasn’t been enough to quench his blood lust in the slightest.
So, it’s safe to say McCain’s default message is when guns are blazing and there is a war to be fought, no matter how little it has to do with American interests, bomb, bomb, and bomb some more is the only thing that comes to his aging, shriveled, pea brain. This is nothing new. Everyone knows McCain’s weird fixation on war. It’s who he is and what we’ve come to expect from this man with one mission: Kill em’ all and let god sort them out.
One reason McCain is so fixated on pushing for war is the fact that war is big business. A look at a list of his campaign donors is a telling walk down the gilded lane of money in America. OpenSecrets.org offers this list of revenue sources that McCain has been able to tap into over the years. War is good for McCain’s political life and gives him a means of supporting his manic drive to see America’s presence in the numerous armed conflicts around the globe. I am sure in his mind pushing for war is a means of recapturing the glory of a now fading career slipping slowly away from him.
However, like so many politicians these days, McCain doesn’t know when to shut up. His failure to drag the country kicking and screaming into battles around the globe, highlights his inability to grasp the true nature of war and when diplomacy is the better choice. Last week, in response to the Malaysian Airlines tragedy, McCain stepped over a line that may be the most telling of all the numerous signs that he is definitely losing it.
In an article by Jason Easley and Sarah Jones for PoliticsUSA.com, McCain opens his mouth and stuffs his foot in it:
“Senator John McCain called the Obama administration “cowardly” for waiting for the facts before taking action on the downed Malaysian Airlines Flight.”
It would seem that even a hot head like McCain would understand that jumping into a conflict before all the facts are known is foolhardy at best if not just downright foolish. Not McCain though, he was locked and loaded for the kill. From the article:
“It’s just been cowardly, it’s a cowardly administration that failed to give the Ukrainians weapons with which to defend themselves,” McCain said on Hannity.”
How supplying the Ukrainians with arms would have kept the separatists from shooting down a commercial airliner is a mystery to just about anyone with a shred of sanity under their belt. However, as Easley and Jones note, there may be more to McCain’s anger than meets the eye:
“Republicans can’t stand the Obama doctrine. John McCain would rather be bomb, bomb, bombing any and everyone before the facts come in — you know, just in case. Sen. McCain is so frustrated by the fact that the Obama foreign policy has worked where his neo-con warmongering has failed that he has been reduced to personal attacks and name calling.”
What McCain calls cowardly is called diplomacy by most of the civilized word. The fact that he can’t grasp the reality and complexity of the geopolitical world stage is disturbing. More than that though, it sad that an old man has to sully not only his own military record, but to also degrade the integrity of the highest office in the land. The one thing to take away from McCain’s idiotic remarks is how fortunate America is that Obama won and he lost.
McCain needs to give it a rest while what little legacy he still retains is intact and unsullied by his own outlandish statements.