Even a contemptible idiot who says whatever passes beneath the orange wombat tail he wears on his head can stumble upon a correct statement. I am not referring to anything he has said since announcing his candidacy and for the presidency of the United States regarding immigration economic policy, for that matter anything else. But I am referring to remarks he has made which have caused a media frenzy regarding his disagreement with Senator John McCain., Wherein he has remarked that he does not regard we came as an “hero” and that he prefers people who “were not captured.”
I agree because I do not regard John McCain as a hero. Rather, as I have asserted elsewhere in these pages I regard him as a survivor who has made himself into a “professional POW.” Also, elsewhere in these pages I have written at some length at about the in accurate and over use of the term hero in American media and in general usage.
I am probably going to catch some flak for this point of view, probably more slack than McCain’s plane received when he was flying his mission over Hanoi to drop bombs and fire missiles in an undeclared war against the people who were not our enemy or any threat to the territory and people of United States of America, And which were indiscriminately aimed at noncombatants. John McCain was closer to a war criminal than a hero, and deserved to be shot out of the sky. Ever since he gets that twisted little smile that bespeaks “Oh, oh, I think there is a Russian-built SAM about to fly right up my ass!” (I seem to recall reading that as a cadet McCain crashed a jet, a circumstance that usually results in being washed out , but John McCain was the son and grandson of Navy admirals.)
In October 2008 I wrote of him: No introduction of Sen. John McCain, it seems, comes un-preambled without the obligatory benediction of his “heroic service” in Vietnam. Should there be an exception we may be assured that McCain himself, who is as much a professional P.O.W. as a professional politician, will find a way, as he did in addressing us as “my fellow prisoners,” to remind us. I, for one, will have no more of it. John McCain did not, as is often remarked, bomb Hanoi to keep me from having to trade my pasta for pho noodles for the rest of my life (anymore than the current stupid war he supports is to keep my daughters from having to wear burkas). I regard these wars has his wars, wars of his preference. So screw him if he gets shot down while dropping bombs on people who never attacked us. Getting shot down is not heroism, it’s ineptitude. McCain was a survivor, not a hero.
McCain’s renown came from having been a POW in Hanoi in the Hanoi Hilton for five and a half years. Often not mentioned is that he was rescued from a pond in which into it she had parachuted and probably would have drowned were not for the rescue efforts (are they heroes?) of the North Vietnamese. McCain came home to a hero’s welcome, assumed dumped his long-suffering wife for a wealthy beer hieress that could support his political ambitions and parlayed his professional POW status into a United States Senate seat. McCain even managed to get his party to nominate him to run for the presidency, an opportunity he took to choose for his running mate an idiot whose position as ranking GOP jerk has now been supplanted by Donald Trump.
McCain didn’t save anybody’s life, in fact probably took a number of lives in his previous 22 missions over North Vietnam. If he just gave his name rank and serial number to his North Vietnamese captors, that is what is expected of him and should not be considered as heroic behavior. The irony is that although he made his POW time pay for himself quite well, Mc Cain’s assignment as being a hero was more a matter of what his government and a complicit media was inclined to do with his captivity, than as a result of anything heroic that he did. In this sense he is as much an exploited individual, a victim, of illegal wars and a corrupted government as he has become and advocate of them.
There is no doubt that John McCain endured much suffering during his years in the Hanoi Hilton, but he emerged from it an even bigger warmonger, a poster boy for any chance to exercise America’s military might. But with America’s perverse predeliction for electing former Naval officers as president McCain had worked his POW credentials to a nomination for the nation’s highest office and a chance to keep us in perpetual hero worship.
As part of his war hero image Mc Cain liked to call himself “Maverick.” In 2008 I decided to give that appellation a different interpretation. Here it is again, in case you missed it.
A Dragon City Journal Election Special Interview
DCJ’s Asian Bureau Chief, Ba Feng Gu, who is fluent in Vietnamese, spoke with former North Vietnamese Prison Guard (and now proprietor of Cao’s “Oodles of Noodles Diner in Hanoi) Cao Pham Phong. Read the full, un-expurgated transcript. Then, read the book that will make or break the 2008 presidential election.
DCJ: So, Mr. Cao, surely you must realize that some of the American public might think that the Democrats have put you up to releasing your book just now, when Mr. McCain is just a month away from the election of the next president of the United States?
CPP: No sir, not at all. My book has nothing to do with politics. It is about love, the love that grew between Johnny and . . .
DCJ: Let’s be clear here: Are you referring Senator John McCain when you say “Johnny”?
CPP: Yes, he was always my Johnny, and he always will be. I actually called him “Little Johnny,” but don’t ask me to explain why, it’s too . . . ah, well, personal.
DCJ: So why now, after all these years, are you publishing this book? You must be aware that America has a lot of homophobic bigots, most of whom support Senator McCain’s candidacy. This could end his chances to be another shot down Navy pilot to become president.
CPP: I want him back. Yes, after all these years I can’t get over Johnny. I want him back and, if I have to destroy his ambitions to be president to get him, I will. We can get married in California and then go back to Vietnam and take up where we left off. I have fixed up a little flat just like the cell that Johnny had, where our love blossomed, but with new drapes and some nice wall sconces for that low, intimate lighting. Then we can open a little Bed and Breakfast place in Halong Bay . . .
DCJ: Mr. Cao, with all respect, you can’t seriously expect anyone to believe that an American war hero and a man they are calling “the next George Bush” would give it all up to go back with you to a torture cell . . .
CPP: Don’t say “torture” cell, Mr. Ba, or I will have to bring great discomfort to your genitals with my boot. Remember, I am a NVA prison guard and I am trained in such measures.
DCJ: Sorry, Mr. Cao, I’ll wear a cup to our next interview . . .
CPP: [rather emphatically] I did not torture Johnny! What do you take me for, Dick Cheney? Sure, we were not signatories to he Geneva Conventions, but we did sign the articles of the Indochinese Pet Groomers Convention.
DCJ: Excuse me, sir, but I don’t see the relevance . . .
CPP: Johnny loved it when I spent hours brushing the lice out of the hair on his back.
DCJ: Yes, I read in the accolades for your book that his colleague, Senator Larry, “Wide Stance” Craig found that one of the most tender passages of your book. Is it true that you actually met Senator Craig? Most people don’t get to meet even one senator.
CPP: Well, not quite, but it sounded like him. I was passing through Minneapolis Airport on my book tour and, . . . well from the tapping of his shoes it sounded like he wanted to meet me. It was like Fred Astaire was in the next stall.
DCJ: Let’s just leave it at that. To return to the, ahem, torture matter—is it true that the North Vietnamese actually fixed Senator McCain’s injuries?
CPP: Yes, we did. Johnny was a mess when we fished him out of that lake. He might have drowned, you know. His arms were in pretty bad shape. You know when he does that little thing with his arms, like that music leader, what’s his name, Mitch Miller, used to do, like he is some silly old puppet—sooo cute! Well that’s from Johnny’s arms being so messed up. We used to get out some Mitch Miller tapes and Johnny would lead the guards in a sing-along and do that thing with his arms— sooo cute! Johnny loved those Barbra Streisand tapes, too; he loved to dress up as Yentil, and dance . . . well, hobble, around the cell.
DCJ: How did you get hold of these tapes, may I ask.
CPP: Didn’t you read the book? Jane brought them.
DCJ: Jane? Oh! Jane Fonda! Really?
CPP: Of course, silly. She also brought Johnny some of her panties. He loved them. She used to give us the locations of your missile solos in Hollywood and we would let her bring anything in.
DCJ: Then why didn’t she get him out of the Hanoi Hilton?
CPP: She could have gotten him out. You know, there is this myth about when Johnny was asked if he wanted to go home and he declined because his fellow prisoners were not allowed to leave with him . . . ?
DCJ: Yes, it is one of the reasons Johnny . . . rather, Senator McCain is regarded as a military “hero” is America.
CPP: Well, Jane set that up. But I think you are sitting across from the real reason Johnny didn’t want to leave. [Pause] We were so happy together. Johnny always said that our . . . ah, “relationship” gave a whole new meaning to the Stockholm Syndrome. [Mr. Cao begins to tear up]
DCJ: But Mr. Cao, it is unrealistic to think that Senator McCain, an important man, with several children, thirteen cars and more houses than he can remember, is going to go back to Vietnam and operate a B & B with a former prison guard. He’s a married man.
CPP: Oh, that bitch. Excuse me. But Johnny has called her worse than that, you know. Look at me; not one cosmetic surgery, tight as a kettle drum. [Cao pats his butt] When Johnny loses the election he’ll dump her just like he dumped the other one and become his real self again. And if that Palin woman tries to make babies with weird names with my Johnny I will field dress her like a cow moose.
DCJ: Whoa, I guess you are serious, Mr. Cao. But what if he is indeed elected, sir?
CPP: But I believe Johnny will not be elected. Not when people read my book. I want him to come back with me to Vietnam. It can be like the old days. I even saved the little Yentil suit Jane brought him. I’m the only one who can make him feel like a real hero.
DCJ: And if you are wrong . . . ?
CPP: Well . . . I have applied to become a presidential intern.
* * *
Of course, “The Donald,” who took almost as many deferments as Dick Cheney because making millions in real estate might have been less risky than enlisting, is just a big a jerk—no, bigger—than Maverick McCain.
But something strange might be happening. Political pundits have been opining since the real estate magnate made his disparaging remarks about McCain’s heroism That he had finally run his mouth a little too far and that he would sink in the polls as fast as McCain’s bomber did over Hanoi. Yet several days afterwards his popularity shows no sign of diminishing and a national poll shows him leading the entire pack of GOP primary contenders.
Trump likes to call people some people “losers”. Maybe that’s how some right when Americans are beginning to see through John “Maverick” McCain.
© 2008, 2015, James A. Clapp (UrbisMedia Ltd. Pub. 7.22.2015)