Commentary & Opinion———–
US Senator John McCain R-AZ is calling on Donald Trump the apparent GOP candidate to apologize to America’s veterans even though McCain has said if Trump is the GOP nominee for POTUS he will support him. McCain’s demand comes after comments made by Trump about McCain this past July. Specifically, Trump said McCain was only a war hero “because he was captured.” Trump at that time went on to add “I like people that weren’t captured.” Additionally, Trump also said, “People that fought hard and weren’t captured and went through a lot, they get no credit. Nobody even talks about them. They’re like forgotten. And I think that’s a shame, if you want to know the truth.” McCain says he wants Trump to apologize for those remarks NOT to him but to other veterans.
Senator John McCain fought in the Vietnam War. He was born the son of John S. McCain, Jr and the grandson of John S. McCain, Sr. Both of these men had distinguished naval careers and both became US Navy Admirals. Following in their footsteps Sen. McCain enlisted in the US Navy and entered the US Naval Academy at Annapolis as a young man. During that time Sen. McCain had gained a reputation as a friend and a sort of informal leader for the other cadets. He also gained a reputation for standing up for cadets who were bullied by other cadets. He also became a lightweight boxer. Yet, McCain wasn’t the perfect little cadet! In fact he came into conflict with his superiors at the academy and failed to follow the rules at times. He graduated from the academy in 1958.
McCain was commissioned into the Navy as an Ensign after graduating the academy. For the next 2 1/2 years he studied to become a naval pilot in Pensacola, FL. Afterwards he requested a combat assignment and the US Navy obliged him by assigning him to the USS Forrestal which is an aircraft carrier. His combat duty began when he was 30 years old btw. In the midst of 1967 during the Vietnam War the ship and its crew including McCain were stationed at the Gulf of Tonkin in South Vietnam. It was during this time that the young McCain and some of his fellow pilots grew frustrated by the micromanagement of the war coming out of Washington. McCain was far from being alone in his frustrations. MANY US servicemen including generals and admirals were very frustrated by the same micromanagement from Washington. Vietnam became a political war thanks to that micromanagement in which commanders were not allowed to do their jobs. Sound familiar? We have the SAME problem in Afghanistan today!
McCain and MOST other US servicemen and women serving in Vietnam came to see their CIVILIAN commanders as complete idiots and, in fact, they were! Notice our forces in Vietnam had CIVILIAN commanders not MILITARY commanders???? WTF? No wonder we LOST that war! McCain and others believed that these civilian commanders didn’t have what it took to win a war….ANY WAR. In fact, these civilians had NO CLUE! No clue about the military, no clue about war, no clue about ANYTHING!! We have a REPEAT going on today in AFGHANISTAN but the results are turning out to be the SAME. When it comes to W-A-R we need to allow MILITARY commanders to do their jobs and BUTTTTTT OUTTTTT!! That is IF we want to win that war.
By mid 1967 McCain held the rank of Lt Commander. That’s about the time the USS Forrestal caught fire and McCain escaped from his burning jet and attempted to help his fellow servicemen escape the blaze. However, as he was doing so a bomb went off and McCain suffered injuries to his chest and legs. The fire aboard ship killed 134 naval personnel aboard the carrier and was so huge that it took 24 hours to bring under control and extinguish.
McCain volunteered for assignment to the USS Oriskany which was another carrier as the Forrestal was history, literally. On the USS Oriskany he was awarded the Navy Commendation Medal and Bronze Star for missions he flew over Communist North Vietnam. In October of 1967 he was flying his 23rd bombing mission when his A-4E Skyhawk jet was shot down by a missile over the North Vietnamese capital of Hanoi. He ejected from the aircraft and injured his arms and legs and almost drowned when he parachuted into Truc Bach Lake. He was pulled ashore by some North Vietnamese but they were not friendly. One crushed his shoulder with a rifle butt once they got him ashore and one of his rescuers also stabbed him with a bayonet. He was then taken to Hanoi’s main prison nicknamed the “Hanoi Hilton.” From that point on McCain was a POW (prisoner of war).
Placed in the “Hanoi Hilton” (actually its real name was the Hoa Lo Prison of Hanoi) McCain’s North Vietnamese captors refused to treat his injuries. Instead they beat him trying to get information out of him. The North Vietnamese only decided to give him medical treatment when they found out that McCain’s father was a US Navy high ranking admiral. They learned this from US News media who reported the story of his capture. However, his medical care was marginal at best. After his “recovery” (if that is what you want to call it) the North Vietnamese sent him to another prison on the outskirts of Hanoi. There he was thrown into a cell with 2 other American POWs and he was not expected to live through the week. In March 1968 the North Vietnamese decided to throw him into solitary confinement where he’d remain for the next two years. I guess they were angry that he DID live beyond the one week!
In mid 1968 McCain’s father was assigned as Commander of all US forces in the Vietnam conflict. Suddenly, the North Vietnamese Communist government offered to release the POW McCain! It was said they wanted to appear “merciful” but most likely the Communists in Hanoi feared having the shit bombed out of them!! McCain rejected his release! He wanted every POW captured before him released FIRST! This infuriated the Communists in Hanoi needless to say. The result of McCain’s nobleness was for his Communist captors to embark on a ruthless and merciless campaign against HIM. In August 1968 the North Vietnamese began a program of cruel and inhumane TORTURE with McCain as their constant target!!
McCain was refused any medical treatment during this time even though he suffered severe dysentery. He was bound with a rope and hung. He was beaten every 2 hours! McCain needless to say also began to suffer the psychological consequences of his torture. Reportedly, North Vietnamese guards stopped his suicide attempt at the prison. He was then forced to make an anti-American statement to be shown to the world which the North Vietnamese did frequently. His “confession” was filmed and went out to the American media. McCain had been broken which was exactly what his captors wanted. However, he refused to sign statements that were anti-American and for this his captors simply beat and tortured him even more!
He was eventually released by the North Vietnamese in March 1973. For the rest of his life he would be incapable of raising his arms above his head and would suffer the long term effects (both physical and psychological) from his years (5 1/2) of torture. He went on to become a member of the US House and then a US Senator after being discharged from the Navy HONORABLY.
So was/is John McCain a HERO?
Here we have a man who stood up to bullies for others at the US Naval Academy. Here we have a man who flew numerous successful bombing missions in Vietnam before his capture. Here we have a man who was broken yet refused to give the enemy the information they desired. And here we have a man who overcame all of that torture and made something out of himself by becoming a respected US Senator. He could have just as easily became a drug addict or alcoholic or he could have killed himself after his release. I don’t know what Donald Trump considers a “hero” but obviously that man seems not to even known what a HERO is and is not. McCain is in fact a hero and instead of attacking McCain, Trump might learn from him IF Trump had any brains…..which he doesn’t. In fact, Donald Trump is a divider and destroyer. He speaks of making America great again but isn’t America great already? And specifically what does he intend to do to “make America great again” if elected? Does he plan to return our nation to the pre-1960s complete with all its racism and sexism? Will Blacks have to use their own water fountains and bathrooms again separate from Whites? Does he intend on bringing back the old hateful “White is Right” SHIT?! In fact, none of those things will make America great again but they sure as hell will bring America to its END in likely some very violent ways. Trump is a fool period! He may be fantastic at making money but as a leader of a nation he is most likely America’s WORST nightmare!
By singling out John McCain with his vile comments Trump has also insulted every other American POW in US history. He seems to think that if you were or are a POW then you can’t possibly be a hero of any kind because you were captured. And as far as those who weren’t captured, in fact, people DO talk about them and DON’T pretend they don’t exist as there are many examples of American hero’s who were not POWs just as there are many who were/are POWs. I think Trump is a very CONFUSED man frankly.
Senator John McCain is right. Trump DOES owe an apology! But I’d say he owes BOTH McCain and all other service men and women an apology!! Yet, Trump refuses and I’m sure he won’t apologize for his vile comments against McCain as Trump is STUCK ON ME….permanently….and I’m sure believes he does nothing wrong. Just ask his ex-wives as I’m sure they can tell you all about the REAL Donald Trump that America has not seen as yet. But, I’m sure we will once he’s put into the White House (God Forbid). And if that happens it will already be too late for our nation and our people of ALL skin colors! I don’t like Hillary Clinton at all so don’t get me wrong. But, compared to Trump she’d be a better and more just POTUS than Trump.
Racism and Sexism are EVIL things. No good in any form has ever come from them. In a way I’m happy Trump has made it this far in the presidential campaign has he’s simply given voice to an underlying current in America that hasn’t been seen since the 1960s. That underlying current is one of Racism, Hatred, Bigotry, Prejudice, and Sexism and in fact it never went away in the 1960s but simply went “underground.”
America has some REAL issues that one day must be dealt with and resolved. Then and only then will America “be great again” Mr Trump! Somehow I just don’t think you’re the guy to make that happen!