the Rational Radical  

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John McCain, War Hero Criminal

It still seems absolutely outrageous how some 33 years ago -- on October 26, 1967 to be exact -- North Vietnamese agents traveled 12,000 miles from their own country; snuck into the United States; kidnapped the innocent American John McCain; smuggled him back to North Vietnam; and imprisoned him for five years.

Of course, in reality, McCain was the one who traveled 12,000 miles from his own country, invaded North Vietnamese air space on October 26, 1967, and was dropping bombs on that nation for the 23rd time when his plane was shot down. That's how he became a North Vietnamese prisoner.

No North Vietnamese had ever committed any act of violence on U.S. soil, or, until Americans invaded their country, against any American. Yet the United States rained death and destruction from bullets, bombs and chemical agents on that small impoverished nation for 10 years. McCain was an active participant in destroying that country, indeed, he volunteered to go there.

When he was shot down, McCain's bombing mission was to destroy a power plant in the center of Hanoi. What a perfect illustration of the essentially terrorist, war criminal-like nature of McCain's actions.

Torture is absolutely wrong, and to the extent McCain was tortured, his captors should be absolutely condemned.

And to the extent McCain bravely withstood his torture, he exhibited qualities of physical bravery.

But that only makes him a brave war criminal, not a war hero.


***August, 2004 Update: I commend John McCain for condemning the scurrilous attack ad against Kerry by some swift boat veterans.


senator john mccain
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