McCain Means War

Matt Yglesias captures the spirit of John McCain as the essence of militarism:

“For McCain, a certain culture of honor, militarism, and nationalism are their own reward. The military is to be celebrated and supported not for what it does but for what it is. Thus, a given military venture doesn’t need to have a real purpose or be ‘worth it’ in any particular sense. It is what it is, and what we need to do is keep on doing it for as long as ‘it’ takes and it doesn’t matter if ‘it’ is pointless or futile or even if ‘it’ isn’t anything in particular at all. The war is its own rationale.”

War is the religion of the post-Bush blood-and-soil GOP, and McCain is auditioning for the role of high priest.

He’s scarier even than Giuliani, whose vision of unremitting aggression seems pretty much limited to the Middle East, as per the Israeli-centric perspective of his foreign policy advisors. McCain’s belligerence is more all-inclusive: I remember he once went to Georgia, the former Soviet republic, and declared that South Ossetia — which has risen up in rebellion against the tyrannical Georgian regime — is “sovereign Georgian soil.” No part of the world is exempt from the McCaniac purview.

43 thoughts on “McCain Means War”

  1. And I thought Bush was bad. Heaven help this country if McCain ends up in the White House.

  2. In Latin “homo” is “man” in the sense of person, as “anthropos” in ancient Greek or “Mensch” in German.

    In the same language, “vir” is “man” in the sense of “male human”, with undertones of power, physical strength and virtue, or in Latin, “virtus”, a related word.

    I usually eschew ad hominem (accusative form with the preposition) but in this case the “homo” (nominative) is the argument in the first place.

    To wit: McCain, son of an admiral, crashed a plurality of aircraft in training. Indeed so many, it is rumored, he was called by his colleagues “Ace”.

    Later he was shot down over Vietnam, and again it is retailed, one of the first sentences out of his mouth to his captors was, “I am an admiral’s son!”.

    I leave his behavior at the Hanoi Hilton to those who were there, many of whom have rather dark things to say about the man (homo).

    For all this, however, he was decorated and made into a war hero, from which his political career followed.

    Enough said. The acute easily fill in the blanks.

    1. Not even my mom accuses me of being acute, so I think you lost me here. McCain is a person (homo), but not in any sense virtuous (a powerful male human). He was an incompetent pilot and not averse to pointing out to his captors his standing, presumably so they wouldn’t shoot him on the spot. And so forth. The only blank I can find is the connection between the Latin terms and McCain’s military career, from training to POW.

      McCain loves war, as do nearly all the conservatives I’m acquainted with. (So do the liberals and a majority of libertarians.) It really is bizarre. It’s as if a portion of their brains have been removed, or tainted. If McCain were to win the presidency, it would simply be a case of a lunatic leading the lunatics. If only I could spare myself and my family from the fallout….

    2. The allusions of Eugene Costa and other respondents to McCain’s questionable behavior in captivity are intriguing. Has anyone written the documented, footnoted story of this episode? If so, would you respond to

    3. Commentators are confused about why McCain didn’t use his POW status in the 2000 race.

      This anecdotal story might explain. The guy who was in the POW cage at the same time as McCain was still alive. A friend of mine was an Air Force Colonel. Age 69 in 1998. He knew the guy who was in POW camp with McCain. The ex-Colonel became a journalist. A well-known one but I wont name names.

      The ex-Colonel’s POW friend told him that while he spent 5-6 years in an underground 4′ x 6′ cage, McCain was in dress whites in an apartment courtesy of the VietCong. . . for the entire time he claimed to be incarcerated: five years. The ex-Colonel’s POW friend said McCain’s POW record is phony, and that’s why McCain doesn’t dwell on it or feigns humility when it’s brought up. The ex-Colonel’s POW friend said only two or three guys can dispute McCain’s story because they were there. They were in bamboo cages watching McCain when he waltzed around free and pampered.

      I also heard this same thing at a 1992 Las Vegas fall meeting (just after Hurricane Andrew) of the MAC-SOG group. And if you were there, you guys know who you are. And what that means.

      McCain is a phony. The VietCong helped him ride out the war without trouble and helped his future public career.

  3. The man is clearly mentally unbalanced. Whether it’s a result of his unpleasant imprisonment in Vietnam, I cannot say. Regardless, the fact that he’s considered a GOP frontrunner should tell us all we need to know about the state of American presidential politics.

    These are scary times indeed.

    1. Steve….that is exactly right on target. McCain is a very stupid, sluggish slow-talking slow-thinking fellow who is mentally and/or intellectually incompetent. It doesn’t much matter if it’s a result of Vietnam/POW, genetics or the oncoming of Alzeimer’s.
      Having a mumbling idiot for President is dangerous, just look at Junior Bush.

  4. Thank you for calling McCain out, Justin. I have always considered him the most scary this time round. Thank you too, Eugene Costa for all your comments. Well, we have almost made it through the first week of ’08 without the bullsh***ers attacking any other country, or have we?

  5. Thank you, Justin, for calling out McCain. I have always considered him the most scary of all the contenders this time round. Thanks Steve, and thank you Eugene Costa for all you have offered. Well, we have almost made it through the first week of ’08 without attacking anyone else’s country, or have we.

  6. With the McPain Train back on the “tracks”, does that mean that America is being ‘railroaded’ to hell?

  7. Mr Raimonodo

    Worldnet Daily says that you are now pro-illegal immigration, what gives? You think what Ron Paul says about anchor babies is disgusting.

    I agree with Mr Paul on this issue sir.

  8. I think McCain is a barely contained mad man. Just watching him for a few minutes you can see that under that “oh so calm demeanor” there is a volcano awaiting to erupt.
    Having this maniac anywhere near the nuclear button is a frightening prospect. He must be stopped.

    1. Yes, I’d concur. An underlying, unresolved hostility is the very watermark of McCain. And a certain impulsivity as well. The combination is more than a little unsettling, its absolutely frightening.

  9. Irrational state-ideological structures tend to self-perpetuate, a fact that has crystallized in the McCain campaign.

  10. Watching the debate tonight it’s obvious that the Republican Party has become totally detached from reality. If it was allowed, I think those ghouls would have lynched Ron for having the temerity to tell the U.S. public the truth about how our foreign policy has caused such widespread hatred of the United States in the Muslim world.

    Giuliani actually said that our foreign policy has “nothing” to do with Islamic terrorism directed against us! Could anyone be MORE detached from reality? President of the moon I would vote him.

    I thought it was interesting that both Romney and Huckabee (and Giuiani?) mentioned Sayyid Qutb in contradiction of Paul’s position vis-a-vis the results of our foreign policy. I suppose his name has been making the rounds of the right-wing punditry as of late. If it is, you can be certain that Paul’s candidacy has put this meme out there. It seems difficult to believe that Romney et al really believe that the writings of this individual PROVE that the basis of Islamic hatred of the U.S. is because of our values and NOT our foreign policy. Reading Sayyid Qutb’s Wiki entry, it seems that part of his complaint against the West was its unvarnished support of Israel. Huh – imagine that.

    I thought Paul’s point that there are extremists in every religion was very apropos. But unfortunately, I think that his point that it was/is our actions which have in part given Sayyid Qutb’s its particular power is going to go over most people’s head. But I am much less optimistic than your average Paul supporter, so I wouldn’t mind being proved wrong.

  11. The Iraq War proves Paul’s point exactly. Saddam Hussein’s regime, before the first Gulf War, was the most secular in the Middle East, in some ways even including Israel.

    Not only has the criminal and incompetent US invasion and occupation produced anti-US hostility around the world, it has also helped foment Wahabist terrorists in Iraq.

    There was no “Al Qaeda” in Iraq before the Second Gulf War.

    There is now.

    But this is all a straw man that Paul was invited to fall for.

    In fact how many anti-US “Islamic terrorists” were there before the Second Gulf War?

    Very few. But more important than that, most of them were originally US creations.

    Al Qaeda? Whatever it is, Osama bin Laden and many of the fundamentalist Pakistanis later reincarnated as the Taliban, were armed and supported originally by the Americans in the covert war against the Soviets in Afghanistan.

    Indeed, for purposes of US policy against Communism, the more vicious and fundamentalist they were, the better.

    Was “Al Qaeda” present on the Albanian side in the war against Yugoslavia? There is much good evidence to that effect.

    Chechens? Curiously enough, when it comes to Chechens, among whom Wahabists were also making converts, both Britain and the US were on and off very supportive of terrorists who also happened to be Muslims.

    But down the road it gets even worse. Who and what alienated the Turks from the US, and is now in the process also of alienating the Kurds?

    To be able to alienate both at the same time, both of them very secular in their “Islam”, is an accomplishment only the genius of American incompetence, and in particular Bush administration incompetence, may have been able to manage, and by dint of foreign policy, if that is the right word for such idiocy abroad.

    Meanwhile at home, the same administration through the Patriot Act and other measures, seeks to curtail the very freedoms it argues the Islamic Terrorists are resentful of.

  12. Republican frontrunners, Democratic frontrunners – we have tried their ways over the last 100+ years and the “successes” of each are nothing more than “small failures”, as opposed to “failures” being “large failures”.

    Republicans want our money and lives to kill people we do not know and who have done us nothing; democrats want our money and lives to enable those who have sold their humanity for a few coins from the public trough in exchange for their votes.

    McCain may be the topic and a very dangerous man he is, but look at the rest of the clowns sans clown suits (save R. Paul). All are for POWER ENHANCEMENT (first, their own; second, their party; there is no third – they only use us and we do not figure in their plans at all) and will do ANYTHING to gain such power and keep it, including WARS OF AGGRESSION.

    None of these clowns, save R. Paul, are even worth considering. If a nation of 300+ million people can only serve up this collection of miscreants, save R. Paul, we are not in trouble, we have already fallen over the precipice into the abyss.

  13. McCain is simply nuts. NBC has made him their pet. I’m convinced that Russert and Matthews fawn all over this pig because they have guilty consciences about the way they avoided the draft. McCain is a fraud. He got into the Naval Academy as a legacy. Finished FIFTH from the bottom of his class. To enter Naval aviation you must be in the top 20% of your class. Waived for little Johnny because father and grandfather were admirals. He crashed TWO planes in training. Got to Nam and is shot down. He was ready to leave the prison camp when the American commander said he couldn’t go — he had to wait his turn. This whole “war hero” thing is BS. Ron Paul makes them ALL look like the morons they are. The only problem is that the American people need the brains to understand the monetary system, who runs foreign policy and why, and what their rights are as outlined in the Constitution. Unfortunately, ignorance prevails here. Just listen to what is said by the commentators and the people. Not much hope. I only wish that Ron Paul had asked each one of those mental midgets to tell the people where a dollar comes from. I bet none could explain it.

  14. I am just dissapointed that no one asked the republicans last night what they would do to stop a “Nuclear attack on a major city,” like they asked the Dems.

    Romney: I would personally kill every man, woman, and child in the middle east

    Huckleberry: I would also kill them, but first convert them to Christianity.

    McCain: We would then put bases on thier bombed out radioactive countries, and sterilize their remaining populace

    Giuliani:9/11, 9/11. 9/11.

  15. I wish you were an NBC commentator and interviewer, Bob. I would have loved to witness Paul asking your suggested question to those bubba boobs, or someone exposing them.

  16. I am glad that there are so many esteemed mental health experts on this site, who can judge the sane from the insane just by looking at them on TV. I am glad that you sit on such a high level of competancy and sanity that you have the right to decide and declare who is sane and who is not.

    1. McCain’s dossier is quite thick. One appearance on television is not the criterion. It is but a punctuation mark in a long paragraph.

      For example, I did not see the television appearance in question. Pleonastic as far as I am concerned.

      What I find interesting is that a section of the powers that be, and still think they are, have now focused on McCain as the most promising candidate on the conventional Republican Right.

      Desperation and lunacy.

      No wonder Clinton is the Neo-Cons’ backup.

      Perle was only the first to desert the sinking ship.

      And Lieberman was long in place.

    2. It’s not that hard to judge the sane from the insane.

      The worst form of insanity can look completely normal on tv. Compelling, even. But what does a human being stand for? Whom does he salute?

  17. Interesting that McCain and Thompson are CFR members and Guiliani is part of the Northeast Establishment. These three did everything they could to ridicule what Ron Paul had to say, even though his facts were accurate.

    McCain is a smug, wiseass flyboy who thinks he’s funny, when he really is a jerk.

    The press keeps these clowns in our faces with their worn-out Bush rhetoric, so what chance does truth really have?

  18. Imagine this–Hillary President, Lieberpmann V.P and McCain leader of the Republicians.==Head for the Alaska hills!

  19. “War is the religion of the post-Bush blood-and-soil GOP, and McCain is auditioning for the role of high priest”.

    I agree with the article, however it can also be said that in some circles war is a central theme of religion. McCain, Huckabee and Liberman all speak at Rev. Hagee’s Church. One of their key speaking points is that we need to bring about the return of Jesus with the coming of the rapture/armagedon. One of the ways they believe they can accomplish this is through the bombing of Iran for Isreal (the chosen people).

    I used to believe that this was simple pandering. However, after talking with supporters of Hagee, I realize that most of these followers are true believers. They honestly believe that bringing about WWIII is their ticket to heaven. I’m afraid to say it, but I feel that McCain, Huckabee, Liberman, Bush, etc. fall into the catagory of true believers. I hope I am wrong and that they are simply pandering but sometimes even pandering leads to action.

    Fanatisism is flat out scarry no matter where it comes from. A lot of people spend their time being worried about fantics in other countries. Frankley I am more concerned with it here. We are the most powerfull nation in the world, with over 10,000 nuclear weapons.

    Doesn’t it make more sense to be worried about a fanatic here, than one in some country that no matter how hard they tried could barely make a dent on us and who would be immediatly destroyed?

  20. Now, the question is, will we make it through this week without attacking another country? How we will suffer, if US do.

  21. In new hampshire the motto is “live free or die” looks like they’ve opted for the latter because they just voted for clinton and McCain, both voted for the draconian patriot acts.

    1. Reckon all the Hampshiremen have left is the motto.

      The Green Mountain Boys long ago took the best with them, fighting off the Yorkers and founding what is now Vermont.

  22. It’s depressing to see the trash that’s lining up to be the next president of our country. Collectively, they comprise traitors, criminals and pathological liers. Only Dr. Paul represents anything remotely honest. I fear for our country’s future if any of the other idiots get elected.

    1. Write it all off.

      Structurally, if there is no impeachment, it really does not matter much which of the Corporate candidates, left or right, wins the presidential election.

      Start working toward what comes after the fall.

  23. I am so not worried about McCain. I don’t care if he is a nutcase, he cannot win. Not against Clinton, not against Obama.

    Actually I’m not that worried about any of the so-called republicans making it (as opposed to Paul, actual republican…but I don’t think he’ll make it either), you will not see a President Huckabee, Romney, McCain, or Giuliani. They were already screwed this cycle, and those are not choices that would throw any balances off. I want Huckabee to win the nomination, I just think it would be funny and since the process is already hopeless we ight as well have a few yucks along the way. Same with Giuliani…a republican candidate in a dress, you couldn’t make this stuff up.

    Save all your fear for Hillary…although you have to admit, and it pains me to say this, she’s a better choice than any Huckabee, Romney, McCain, or Giuliani. She may be part of The Machine, but at least she and her husband know how to work the damned thing.

    McCain in dress whites instead of a bamboo cage? You know he does bring it up on the campaign trail…and it’s not like G Bush would have missed a chance to bring that up along with the make-believe black baby. And there would have to be some plausible reason why he would be the first POW I ever heard of to be treated in that way.

    I’m not saying it’s impossible, I believe a lot of crazy stuff, but this one fails any common-sense test. Are you suggesting that McCain is VietCong sleeper agent posing as a right-wing militarist? That might explain why he’s always showing up on the Daily Show…appealing to both sides, those crafty little MoFos!!

    I did a google search and while yeah there might be some circumstantial evidence the veracity I have no way of knowing…I had forgotten that he was one of the Keating 5!!!!!! How can taking bribes in return for legislative favors not prevent you from being president? Yeah I know the Clintons are just as dirty but the taxpayers never had to bail them out with millions of dollars, instead we got a $6 trillion surplus.

  24. The real reason these nutcases “love” war is because their ideals have been hijacked by the right-wing and the profiteering bankers.

    In the past 100 or so years, wars have been started and continued because of their profitability. The minders for McCain (should he be chosen as president) will keep whispering into his ear that the war ‘needs to keep going’. There are massive industries depending on its continuance. Perpetual wars for perpetual peace for perpetual profits. That’s what its all about.

    Since the government is owned by heavy hitter corporations that are neck deep in war money, they will pull all the strings necessary to keep the likes of McCain (and others like him) on the warpath. All the other candidates (save for Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich) are mentally weak and will give in to their influences.

    That is the sad state of affairs we live in today. That is the sad state of affairs we’ve had to live in for the past 100 years.

    1. There is something new and revolutionary on the scene–a strong and stable Euro.

      When there is a choice between putatively stable currencies, no one currency dominates as the “petrodollar”.

      Which means, completely independently of what any American Corporatist or Federal official might want or like or need or may do, every time oil goes up, the dollar is devalued in terms of the Euro and a barrel of oil.

      Meanwhile, under a different set of compulsions, Bernanke lowers interest rates.

  25. There is a common sense to “Machiavellian” in English reaching back to the Elizabethan stage.

    It has little or nothing to do with Machiavelli himself, or his political analysis and theories, but everything to do with the way “The Prince” was understood.

    Using that sense, how Machiavellian are the various factions behind the Bush administration?

    If, as I suspect, thoroughly so, someone or several are already desperately considering ways the US might destabilize the Euro.

    To do so, on the other hand, would also be cutting their own throat.

    The “asymmetry” the Russian Defense Minister recently threatened in response to the Bush administration’s provocations against the Russian Federation no doubt includes both oil and the dollar.

    About the only people still in the dark are Americans, including the Corporatists and Neo-Cons, who think they control policy in both the US and over the world.

    Whether they do or not, they no longer control the value of the dollar.

  26. In regard to Europe and the Euro, an intriguing train of events over the last three days:

    (1) J.P. Morgan announced that it had hired Tony Blair part time in some vague capacity, similar to Major’s at Carlyle, and at a huge annual salary.

    (2) Blair today fueled rumors that he might run for President of the EU.

    (3) Sarkozy at one point suggested Blair was one of two prominent candidates.

    Were one German or Italian one might be a bit anxious to lock up the silverware.

  27. “One of the biggest threats to US security may now come from within Europe, US Homeland Security head Michael Chertoff has told the BBC….” {BBC January 15, 2008]

    Yep, a strong and stable Euro, displacing the U.S. dollar as the alternate currency for oil revenues is quite a threat indeed.

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