The Other Side of John McCain

If the paeans to McCain by diverse political climbers seems detached from reality, it’s because they reflect the elite view of U.S. military interventions as a chess game, with the millions killed by unprovoked aggression mere statistics, says Max Blumenthal.

By Max Blumenthal
in Washington

Special to Consortium News

As the Cold War entered its final act in 1985, journalist Helena Cobban participated in an academic conference at an upscale resort near Tucson, Arizona, on U.S.-Soviet interactions in the Middle East. When she attended what was listed as the “Gala Dinner with keynote speech”, she quickly learned that the virtual theme of the evening was, “Adopt a Muj.”

I remember mingling with all of these wealthy Republican women from the Phoenix suburbs and being asked, ‘Have you adopted a muj?” Cobban told me. “Each one had pledged money to sponsor a member of the Afghan mujahedin in the name of beating the communists. Some were even seated at the event next to their personal ‘muj.’”

The keynote speaker of the evening, according to Cobban, was a hard-charging freshman member of Congress named John McCain.

During the Vietnam war, McCain had been captured by the North Vietnamese Army after being shot down on his way to bomb a civilian lightbulb factory. He spent two years in solitary confinement and underwent torture that left him with crippling injuries. McCain returned from the war with a deep, abiding loathing of his former captors, remarking as late as 2000, “I hate the gooks. I will hate them as long as I live.” After he was criticized for the racist remark, McCain refused to apologize. “I was referring to my prison guards,” he said, “and I will continue to refer to them in language that might offend some people because of the beating and torture of my friends.”

‘Hanoi Hilton’ prison where McCain was tortured. (Wikimedia Commons)

McCain’s visceral resentment informed his vocal support for the mujahedin as well as the right-wing contra death squads in Central America — any proxy group sworn to the destruction of communist governments.

So committed was McCain to the anti-communist cause that in the mid-1980s he had joined the advisory board of the United States Council for World Freedom, the American affiliate of the World Anti-Communist League (WACL). Geoffrey Stewart-Smith, a former leader of WACL’s British chapter who had turned against the group in 1974, described the organization as “a collection of Nazis, fascists, anti-Semites, sellers of forgeries, vicious racialists, and corrupt self-seekers. It has evolved into an anti-Semitic international.

Joining McCain in the organization were notables such as Jaroslav Stetsko, the Ukrainian Nazi collaborator who helped oversee the extermination of 7,000 Jews in 1941; the brutal Argentinian former dictator Jorge Rafael Videla; and Guatemalan death squad leader Mario Sandoval Alarcon. Then-President Ronald Reagan honored the group for playing a leadership role in drawing attention to the gallant struggle now being waged by the true freedom fighters of our day.

Being Lauded as a Hero

On the occasion of his death, McCain is being honored in much the same way — as a patriotic hero and freedom fighter for democracy. A stream of hagiographies is pouring forth from the Beltway press corps that he described as his true political base. Among McCain’s most enthusiastic groupies is CNN’s Jake Tapper, whom he chose as his personal stenographer for a 2000 trip to Vietnam. When the former CNN host Howard Kurtz asked Tapper in February, 2000, “When you’re on the [campaign] bus, do you make a conscious effort not to fall under the magical McCain spell?”

Oh, you can’t. You become like Patty Hearst when the SLA took her,” Tapper joked in reply.

Ocasio-Cortez: Called McCain ‘an unparalleled example of human decency.’

But the late senator has also been treated to gratuitous tributes from an array of prominent liberals, from George Soros to his soft power-pushing client, Ken Roth, along with three fellow directors of Human Rights Watch and “democratic socialist” celebrity Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, who hailed McCain as “an unparalleled example of human decency.” Rep. John Lewis, the favorite civil rights symbol of the Beltway political class, weighed in as well to memorialize McCain as a “warrior for peace.”

If the paeans to McCain by this diverse cast of political climbers and Davos denizens seemed detached from reality, that’s because they perfectly reflected the elite view of American military interventions as akin to a game of chess, and the millions of dead left in the wake of the West’s unprovoked aggression as mere statistics.

There were few figures in recent American life who dedicated themselves so personally to the perpetuation of war and empire as McCain. But in Washington, the most defining aspect of his career was studiously overlooked, or waved away as the trivial idiosyncrasy of a noble servant who nonetheless deserved everyone’s reverence.

McCain did not simply thunder for every major intervention of the post-Cold War era from the Senate floor, while pushing for sanctions and assorted campaigns of subterfuge on the side. He was uniquely ruthless when it came to advancing imperial goals, barnstorming from one conflict zone to another to personally recruit far-right fanatics as American proxies.

In Libya and Syria, he cultivated affiliates of Al Qaeda as allies, and in Ukraine, McCain courted actual, sig-heiling neo-Nazis.

While McCain’s Senate office functioned as a clubhouse for arms industry lobbyists and neocon operatives, his fascistic allies waged a campaign of human devastation that will continue until long after the flowers dry up on his grave.

American media may have sought to bury this legacy with the senator’s body, but it is what much of the outside world will remember him for.

‘They are Not al-Qaeda’

McCain with Abdelhakim Belhaj, leader of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, a former Al Qaeda affiliate.

When a violent insurgency swept through Libya in 2011, McCain parachuted into the country to meet with leaders of the main insurgent outfit, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), battling the government of Moamar Gaddafi. His goal was to make kosher this band of hardline Islamists in the eyes of the Obama administration, which was considering a military intervention at the time.

What happened next is well documented, though it is scarcely discussed by a Washington political class that depended on the Benghazi charade to deflect from the real scandal of Libya’s societal destruction. Gaddafi’s motorcade was attacked by NATO jets, enabling a band of LIFG fighters to capture him, sodomize him with a bayonet, then murder him and leave his body to rot in a butcher shop in Misrata while rebel fanboys snapped cellphone selfies of his fetid corpse.

A slaughter of Black citizens of Libya by the racist sectarian militias recruited by McCain immediately followed the killing of the pan-African leader. ISIS took over Gaddafi’s hometown of Sirte while Belhaj’s militia took control of Tripoli, and a war of the warlords began. Just as Gaddafi had warned, the ruined country became a staging ground for migrant smugglers on the Mediterranean, fueling the rise of the far-right across Europe and enabling the return of slavery to Africa.

Many might describe Libya as a failed state, but it also represents a successful realization of the vision McCain and his allies have advanced on the global stage.

Following the NATO-orchestrated murder of Libya’s leader, McCain tweeted, “Qaddafi on his way out, Bashar al Assad is next.”

McCain’s Syrian Boondoggle

Like Libya, Syria had resisted aligning with the West and was suddenly confronted with a Salafi-jihadi insurgency armed by the CIA. Once again, McCain made it his personal duty to market Islamist insurgents to America as a cross between the Minutemen and the Freedom Riders of the civil rights era. To do so, he took under his wing a youthful DC-based Syria-American operative named Mouaz Moustafa who had been a consultant to the Libyan Transitional Council during the run-up to the NATO invasion.

In May 2013, Moustafa convinced McCain to take an illegal trip across the Syrian border and meet some freedom fighters. An Israeli millionaire named Moti Kahana who coordinated efforts between the Syrian opposition and the Israeli military through his NGO, Amaliah, claimed to have “financed the opposition group which took senator John McCain to visit war-torn Syria.”

This could be like his Benghazi moment,” Moustafa remarked excitedly in a scene from a documentary, “Red Lines,” that depicted his efforts for regime change. “[McCain] went to Benghazi, he came back, we bombed.”

During his brief excursion into Syria, McCain met with a group of CIA-backed insurgents and blessed their struggle. “The senator wanted to assure the Free Syrian Army that the American people support their cry for freedom, support their revolution,” Moustafa said in an interview with CNN. McCains office promptly released a photo showing the senator posing beside a beaming Moustafa and two grim-looking gunmen.

Days later, the men were named by the Lebanese Daily Star as Mohammad Nour and Abu Ibrahim. Both had been implicated in the kidnapping a year prior of 11 Shia pilgrims, and were identified by one of the survivors. McCain and Moustafa returned to the U.S. the targets of mockery from Daily Show host John Stewart and the subject of harshly critical reports from across the media spectrum. At a town hall in Arizona, McCain was berated by constituents, including Jumana Hadid, a Syrian Christian woman who warned that the sectarian militants he had cozied up to threatened her community with genocide.

McCain with then-FSA commander Salam Idriss, right, and an insurgent, left, later exposed for kidnapping Shia pilgrims.

But McCain pressed ahead anyway. On Capitol Hill, he introduced another shady young operative into his interventionist theater. Named Elizabeth O’Bagy, she was a fellow at the Institute for the Study of War, an arms industry-funded think tank directed by Kimberly Kagan of the neoconservative Kagan clan. Behind the scenes, O’Bagy was consulting for Moustafa at his Syrian Emergency Task Force, a clear conflict of interest that her top Senate patron was well aware of. Before the Senate, McCain cited a Wall Street Journal editorial by O’Bagy to support his assessment of the Syrian rebels as predominately moderate,and potentially Western-friendly.

Days later, O’Bagy was exposed for faking her PhD in Arabic studies. As soon as the humiliated Kagan fired O’Bagy, the academic fraudster took another pass through the Beltway’s revolving door, striding into the halls of Congress as McCain’s newest foreign policy aide.

McCain ultimately failed to see the Islamist “revolutionaries” he glad handled take control of Damascus. Syria’s government held on thanks to help from his mortal enemies in Tehran and Moscow, but not before a billion dollar CIA arm-and-equip operation helped spawn one of the worst refugee crises in post-war history. Luckily for McCain, there were other intrigues seeking his attention, and new bands of fanatical rogues in need of his blessing. Months after his Syrian boondoggle, the ornery militarist turned his attention to Ukraine, then in the throes of an upheaval stimulated by U.S. and EU-funded soft power NGO’s.

Coddling the Neo-Nazis of Ukraine

On December 14, 2013, McCain materialized in Kiev for a meeting with Oleh Tyanhbok, an unreconstructed fascist who had emerged as a top opposition leader. Tyanhbok had co-founded the fascist Social-National Party, a far-right political outfit that touted itself as the last hope of the white race, of humankind as such.No fan of Jews, he had complained that a “Muscovite-Jewish mafia” had taken control of his country, and had been photographed throwing up a sieg heil Nazi salute during a speech.

None of this apparently mattered to McCain. Nor did the scene of Right Sector neo-Nazis filling up Kiev’s Maidan Square while he appeared on stage to egg them on.

Ukraine will make Europe better and Europe will make Ukraine better! McCain proclaimed to cheering throngs while Tyanhbok stood by his side. The only issue that mattered to him at the time was the refusal of Ukraine’s elected president to sign a European Union austerity plan, opting instead for an economic deal with Moscow.

McCain met with Social-National Party co-founder Oleh Tyanhbok.

McCain was so committed to replacing an independent-minded government with a NATO vassal that he even mulled a military assault on Kiev. “I do not see a military option and that is tragic, McCain lamented in an interview about the crisis. Fortunately for him, regime change arrived soon after his appearance on the Maidan, and Tyanhbok’s allies rushed in to fill the void.

By the end of the year, the Ukrainian military had become bogged down in a bloody trench war with pro-Russian, anti-coup separatists in the country’s east. A militia affiliated with the new government in Kiev called Dnipro-1 was accused by Amnesty International observers of blocking humanitarian aid into a separatist-held area, including food and clothing for the war torn population.

Six months later, McCain appeared at Dnipro-1’s training base alongside Sen.’s Tom Cotton and John Barasso. “The people of my country are proud of your fight and your courage,” McCain told an assembly of soldiers from the militia. When he completed his remarks, the fighters belted out a World War II-era salute made famous by Ukrainian Nazi collaborators: “Glory to Ukraine!”

Today, far-right nationalists occupy key posts in Ukraine’s pro-Western government. The speaker of its parliament is Andriy Parubiy, a co-founder with Tyanhbok of the Social-National Party and leader of the movement to honor World World Two-era Nazi collaborators like Stepan Bandera. On the cover of his 1998 manifesto, View From The Right,” Parubiy appeared in a Nazi-style brown shirt with a pistol strapped to his waist. In June 2017, McCain and Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan welcomed Parubiy on Capitol Hill for what McCain called a “good meeting.” It was a shot in the arm for the fascist forces sweeping across Ukraine.

McCain with Dnipro-1 militants on June 20, 2015

The past months in Ukraine have seen a state sponsored neo-Nazi militia called C14 carrying out a pogromist rampage against Ukraine’s Roma population, the country’s parliament erecting an exhibition honoring Nazi collaborators, and the Ukrainian military formally approving the pro-Nazi “Glory to Ukraine” greeting as its own official salute.

Ukraine is now the sick man of Europe, a perpetual aid case bogged down in an endless war in its east. In a testament to the country’s demise since its so-called “Revolution of Dignity,” the deeply unpopular President Petro Poroshenko has promised White House National Security Advisor John Bolton that his country — once a plentiful source of coal on par with Pennsylvania — will now purchase coal from the U.S. Once again, a regime change operation that generated a failing, fascistic state stands as one of McCain’s greatest triumphs.

McCain’s history conjures up memory of one of the most inflammatory statements by Sarah Palin, another cretinous fanatic he foisted onto the world stage. During a characteristically rambling stump speech in October 2008, Palin accused Barack Obama of “palling around with terrorists.” The line was dismissed as ridiculous and borderline slander, as it should have been. But looking back at McCain’s career, the accusation seems richly ironic.

By any objective standard, it was McCain who had palled around with terrorists, and who wrested as much resources as he could from the American taxpayer to maximize their mayhem. Here’s hoping that the societies shattered by McCain’s proxies will someday rest in peace.

Max Blumenthal is an award-winning journalist and the author of books including best-selling Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement That Shattered the PartyGoliath: Life and Loathing in Greater IsraelThe Fifty One Day War: Ruin and Resistance in Gaza, and the forthcoming The Management of Savagery, which will be published by Verso. He has also produced numerous print articles for an array of publications, many video reports and several documentaries including Je Ne Suis Pas Charlie and the newly released Killing Gaza. Blumenthal founded the in 2015 and serves as its editor.

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211 comments for “The Other Side of John McCain

  1. John G
    September 8, 2018 at 14:24

    Excellent article, however Mr Blumenthal repeats the urban myth that the target of the day was an attack on a light bulb factory. The mission of the day was a scheduled attack on the Yen Phu thermal power plant in Hanoi; attacked six weeks earlier, it was repaired and back in service. McCain was part of a twenty aircraft strike force and due to its importance, the mission was called an Alpha Strike.The information concerning the mission is readily available on line and in McCain’s autobiography/memoir, chapter 15/page 186 of the paperback edition, he states that indeed, the mission was to destroy the power plant!

    • John G
      September 9, 2018 at 01:44

      McCain’s book was titled, “Faith of My Fathers.”

  2. TRM
    September 5, 2018 at 22:13

    I can understand nothing of value in the story or most comments. Mr. McCain has passed away,,The initial story and comments mean nothing to him -the past that is gone forever.No one is promised tomorrow,, Changing today only happens with direct action–Not by whining..

  3. Cassandra
    September 5, 2018 at 14:57

    What a lot of absolute claptrap. John McCain was never tortured. The closest he came was to be shut in a hut with his hands tied.

    His injuries were sustained in the crash of his plane, which he caused by freezing at the controls when pipped rather than taking evasive action.

    Because of his badly broken leg, he summoned his captors, told them who he was, and offered to do propaganda for them if they would transfer him to their officers’ hospital where he might see an orthopedist.

    This is all clear from a reading of his autobiographies. They are spun, but just by him. There’s no sign of professionalism and it’s easy to read the subtext.

    McCain’s superior officer in the camp said this about McCain: “No comment.” He said it consistently and frequently all his life. He never endorsed him. Tellingly, he also never defended him when a word from him would have corroborated McCain when under attack for treason.

  4. Bill Morison
    September 2, 2018 at 12:20

    I glanced at the long burial of John McCain today; not for long. It was a wonderful view of human myths, from the hero, warrior myth through the religious myths and I suppose a few clan/tribal myths. All sadly resulting in our reinforcing humans to split into camps, hate groups, countries, antagonism, class warfare and universal warfare, death and destruction.

  5. Rich
    September 2, 2018 at 11:41

    Anyone who thinks John McCain is a war hero should pull up the RAMPARTS magazine article from January, 1967, titled The Children of Vietnam which clearly reveals the human destruction our fly boys were committing on the Vietmanese people, particularly on children. Totally disgusting it was.

  6. veronica
    September 1, 2018 at 12:42

    An amazing in depth share about McCain. Interesting how death glorifies some people. This piece sure shows me how movements are fed and the lines that are drawn are so often spun by power seekers. Thanks What a painful snap of reality this was. Again Thank you…

  7. Barbara Smith
    September 1, 2018 at 03:01

    Thank you, Consortium News, for Max Blumenthal’s article, putting in plain language the bellicose and destabilizing traits of a so-called war hero. Refreshing honesty that should be in all the “papers of record”, but isn’t.

  8. Mark
    August 31, 2018 at 09:24

    I would have liked to have seen some talk about how McCain got his nick name “Song Bird” . Also, it should have mentioned how McCains plane got shot down…..he was flying OUT OF FORMATION where he shouldn’t have been. Also, his arms……yes the media makes us believe they were broken from being g a POW….not to say they didn’t add to the injuries but, when his plane was hit he had to eject through the canopy which broke his arms.

    • Cassandra
      September 5, 2018 at 15:01

      McCain was supposed to dive when pipped; he could pull more Gs than the Vietnamese heat-seeking missiles. He froze.

      His leg and knee were pretty mangled in the crash and he was afraid he’d have a limp, so he summoned his captors, told them who he was and offered to do propaganda for them if they would transfer him to their officers’ hospital where he might see an orthopedist.

      It’s all in his biographies, only slightly spun. There is no torture in the biographies.

  9. PodUK
    August 31, 2018 at 08:50

    And when not war mongering, McCain was corrupt, see, e.g., “The Keating Five”

  10. Kalen
    August 30, 2018 at 12:13

    A note of clarification of common misunderstanding. Days after the 2014 February coup entire Donbass area local governments refused to recognize coup and new government as parliament despite beating of deputies of majority Party of Regions and preventing them from voting tried but failed to impeach Yanukovitch as it did not reach threshold of 75% or so of present voting to impeach.

    And hence legally Donbass local authorities became legal holders of power in their region while illegal Kiev Coup government were separatists, illegal rebels.

    While some regions like Lvov supported coup hence as practical solution Donbass regional authorities proposed authonomy, a federal organization of Ukraine as a way out and asked Kiev to send negotiators.

    Instead Kiev sent Illegal fascist militias and army tanks to attack legal local authorities including local police, beating, arresting, killing elected officials and burning buildings in some cities like Charkiv in others like Donetsk self defense militia was created with clubs and hunting rifles and barricaded themselves to protect elected officials.

    In Donbass there were no separatists initially before but legal authorities holding on to their perogatives, war made them ask to join Russian Federation which was rejected in time of worst fighting and later again by Putin. Crimea demanded separation in the first place as they were autonomous already.

    • September 2, 2018 at 21:15

      U r a ruSSian troll. Stop drinking warm vodka.

      • Skip Scott
        September 3, 2018 at 09:30

        You’re an MSM troll. Stop drinking their Kool-Aid. The Kiev putsch was not a legal process.

  11. Wgf
    August 30, 2018 at 04:31

    Really a very good article,a well written article, a full of information,facts and interest. As I accepted from such a respectful writer.
    However I only have one simple question to ask.
    Seems that everyone knows these facts along with the dates when they took place then Why no one published an article of this sort before the man passed away and was put to rest ? What good is it telling the world this today even tho most of the world already knows it but cant prove it .

    • Walter
      August 30, 2018 at 11:46

      Take the trouble to search and you will find many articles about the real songbird – articles that date back many years and long predate his retreat to hell.

      @ ” What good is it telling the world this today even tho most of the world already knows it but cant prove it .[sic]”

      This is one question and one untrue claim… First, is an apriori assumption in science that Truth is a Good Thing. This is also basic journalism 101… Second, the Truth about McCain is proved…just not suitable to the propaganda and total deception of intelop CIA (It was Clapper at CIA who complained the there were “fissures in our tapestry [of lies], and CIA Director Casey who said that their goal in 1981 was to be achieved “when everything Americans believe is false”.

      Seems to have worked, for some people.

  12. August 29, 2018 at 21:58

    And also to the person who thought McCain helped “heal” Vietnam, several people here posted on McCain’s role in cover-up of 1205 POW/MIA who never were accounted for and probably died in captivity without their families learning about their fate. I think there were three people who mentioned this. One lady who had facts about sightings of possible prisoners and testified years later, he apparently bullied so badly she was reduced to tears. This is not a man concerned about “healing”, he was concerned about “heeling” to brute force.

  13. August 29, 2018 at 21:10

    Someone here said McCain worked to heal Vietnam? I think reparations were not paid to Vietnam, someone correct me if wrong. I read McCain said “I hate the gooks” and when called for a racial slur said he meant his captors. He also actually worked to block aid to veterans. He opposed the Martin Luther King holiday both in Arizona and federally. And for the person who defended Google, it is known that Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt every year attends the secretive Bilderberg meeting, which nobody of press can cover. Personally does anyone want Google knowing where they are at any time of day? But the last telling tidbit, NATO is thinking of naming their new building after McCain, in “keeping with their spirit” or some such nonsense.

  14. David
    August 29, 2018 at 17:51

    A great and real article about the late John McCain. I’m going to show this to my brother who lauds him as a great American hero.

  15. David Otness
    August 29, 2018 at 15:36

    As mentioned further down in the comments McCain was in Georgia in 2006 fomenting offensive action against Russia before the hostilities commenced and the Georgians took a well-deserved drubbing. McCain, with his ever-faithful sidekick Lindsey Graham, were busy making U.S. foreign policy–which as far as I know resides in the Executive Branch–and promised Shakshavilli “We got your back, man,” So typical of “Johnny Freedom.”
    Of course after the Georgians took an immediate and well-deserved crushing it was “Where’s ‘Johnny Freedom’ when you need him?”
    His urging on of the Ukie Nazis (nothing “neo” about them) in 2016 added a new starlet to the McCain/Graham MOAR WAR tour with the addition of little Amy Klobuchar–diminutive Dem Sen from Minnesota–getting her knickers figuratively combat blood-drenched in urging the Nazis into further mayhem, a precursor as it were to the full-on post-2016 DNC drive to demonize Russia for everything under the sun.
    And aww, never to be forgotten Victoria Nuland-Kagan handing out cookies at the local Maidan Massacre Fest.
    Who can forget that?
    Every goddamned Democrat under the sun, that’s who!

  16. Isabella
    August 29, 2018 at 14:47

    Can I make one request to an excellent writer and speaker, who is fighting to get Americans to open their eyes and see the truth of their moral cesspit of a country?
    Please, stop refering to these demons from hell who have unearned Power and Privildge but who are betraying ordinary people into misery, destruction and death as “elites”.
    Any dictionary definition gives “elite” as “the best, the cream of the cream, the superlative when compared to all others” as in saying “only the most elite of soldiers is selected for the Russian Spetsnaz [or American SEALS].”
    They you go saying the Clintons, Soros, McCains and their ilk are “elite”. In what way are these boils on the bum of humanity “elite”. If I then wish to describe the brilliant conductor Mr. Grigoriev as “one of the elite ” what am I saying of him??
    The true term for these people is a word I know Americans dont like – but learn to use it. They are “Aristos”. “Aristocrats” which are defined as someone from the ruling class, usually those with nobility, money, or both”
    Thats all they are. Not good, best, valued, worthy, but wealthy rulers and damned ones at that.
    But they are “elite” in no way.

    • David Otness
      August 29, 2018 at 15:40

      You give them too much credit, Isabella. At least the aristocrats were frequently concerned with an enlightened and more just society. These people are minions for the plutocracy/oligarchy that ultimately runs the machinery of worldwide power gone corrupt and awry. Willing minions.

  17. Walter
    August 29, 2018 at 09:59

    Gospodin Orlov, the Russian expat writer, opines that McCain was a gas station masquerading as a senator…and the satire is good. (at Club Orlov)

    He points out that Johnny Wet-Start (or “Songbird”) did a lot to contribute to the collapse of the American Empire…destroyed 26 American warplanes, and put a US fleet aircraft carrier out of action, killing many – before collaborating with “the enemy”.

    He almost got a carrier…quite an achievement! Imagine the howls if the RAF or the Weathermen had done so much to end the criminal war against Vietnam!

    McCain’s absurd incompetence was special…his replacement may be even more so,,,as she’s not so stupid…

  18. David Bennett
    August 29, 2018 at 09:56

    Great article that I can now show to my idiot friends lauding John McCain. Of course, they will say “oh this is a conspiracy theory.” But I can at least try.

  19. August 29, 2018 at 08:40

    Well done, Max Blumenthal! Here’s one straight to the heart of the matter:
    How to Feel About John McCain

  20. Sunrise Skipper
    August 29, 2018 at 07:43

    Thanks, Max, for detailing the horrendous record of this anti-people warmonger masquerading as a hero.

  21. Ray Snew
    August 29, 2018 at 00:02

    Thank you for a fine article, shedding light on the warmonger’s past. I for one said Good Riddance to McCain.

    One question about this piece: “He spent two years in solitary confinement and underwent torture that left him with crippling injuries.” How does the author know this? According to the ex-pilot’s captors, they did not torture him.
    McCain was not tortured, PoW guard claims
    John Hooper in Rome
    14 Oct 2008

    “… In an interview with the Italian daily Corriere della Sera, Nguyen Tien Tran acknowledged that conditions in the prison were “tough, though not inhuman”. But, he added: “We never tortured McCain. On the contrary, we saved his life, curing him with extremely valuable medicines that at times were not available to our own wounded.” …”

    • Macon Richardson
      August 29, 2018 at 08:06

      John McCain,III was an extremely high value prisoner. His father, John McCain, Jr., a four-star Admiral, was Commander in Chief, Pacific Command of the US Navy, commander of all U.S. naval forces in the Vietnam theater from 1968 to 1972. His grandfather, John McCain, Sr. was a four-star admiral in the US Navy and active as such in the Pacific theater during World War II. How much higher value could there be? Holding Lucy Baines Johnson or Tricia Nixon hostage? Had McCain’s superior officers in the prison allowed it, the North Vietnamese might have given McCain his own villa complete with servants and dancing girls.

      It seems to be a common myth that McCain’s crippled arms and shoulders were the result of torture, sort of a hang-him-by-his-thumbs-for-a-week thing. From what I have read, McCain’s crippled arms and shoulders came from his own carelessness. The aircraft McCain was flying the day he was shot down had a very specific ejection protocol which, if not followed, could break arms and shoulders. The protocol required that after the ejection button was pressed, the pilot cross his arms tightly against his chest and press his back tightly against his seat back. If not, flailing arms and rolling shoulders would hit against the body of the aircraft as the seat ejected. Since McCain was in hospital immediately after his capture, many have suggested that it was his own carelessness that caused the damage.

      The article doesn’t even get into McCain’s hideous record while in flight school or the possibility that he was responsible for the explosions and fire on the USS Forrestal that killed 134 and injured 161 in 1967. McCain’s daddy, the admiral, had him helicoptered off the Forrestal within hours of the disaster and transferred to another command.

  22. Jean 2
    August 28, 2018 at 22:08

    John McCain was a survivor of harsh treatment and torture after dozens of flights to drop bombs on children. He even said as much in an apology to his captors and enemies. That kind of experience would make anyone pretty crazy and in fact, that’s what the old war horse was: mentally ill. It showed up over and over. Any Viet Nam vet could easily have diagnosed him just by observing his swerving, weaving “maverick” public behavior, let alone this nefarious warmaking documented so ably here. John Mc Cain be fukking crazy. Anybody would be, after what he did in his 20’s, but the defense of him, the encouraging of him, the marketing of him over the next 50 years– that’s where the real crimes took place. And those criminals are still around. Wonder who they’ll market next.

    • August 29, 2018 at 17:33

      Many wonderful posts here. I agree with your assessment. Somehow his true story changed because once again there are those who promote celebrity. I just asked a friend if he followed McCains 50 year history AFTER Viet Nam. He hasn’t answered me yet. I have a bit of glee that I can help bring down this so called hero. My friend got soooooooo angry that I didn’t swoon over McCain. I’m from Arizona too.

  23. irina
    August 28, 2018 at 19:56

    The serious talk about appointing wife Cindy to McCain’s seat
    (how convenient !) has suddenly been damped down. Gotta
    wonder if her family history has anything to do with that ?

    TPTB may not want people delving very deeply into her father’s
    connections, which were instrumental in powering McCain’s
    early political career :

  24. Padtie
    August 28, 2018 at 17:55

    While McCain stood for many things I am most certainly not for, at this web-site it’s crickets about 45. That man is insane and it’s crickets by your reporters. He wants to censor Google. Yet, here, that’s apparently all a-ok. ; ) And, yeah, I’ll get creamed for speaking that one. First they came for,

    One thing I learned from my logic professor, just because one thing is true, ie: mic, doesn’t make the opposite untrue, ie: insanity of current “leader.” Why not report it all? We’re witnessing the unraveling of a country. And I don’t own a gun. So I guess I’m in trouble when the sh*t hits the fan. BTW: 45’s supporters are also crazy. Also, I’m not a Hillary fan, so go figure.

    • backwardsevolution
      August 28, 2018 at 20:08

      Padtie – Google and Facebook are off-the-wall dangerous and much, much too powerful, material-suppressing monopolies.

      Google is putting “some” items higher in the search results than other items. If those search results favor one candidate over another, that shifts votes.

      News feeds on Facebook sometimes seem to favor one political point of view over another, and that shifts votes.

      There are no rules or regulations that are stopping them, no monitoring system in place.

      They have demonstrated a clear political preference and are exercising that preference by suppressing information they disagree with.

      This is the real subversion of democracy.

      These monopolies need to be split up.

    • Ray
      August 29, 2018 at 00:05

      @ Padtie – You didn’t support Trump or Killary? That means you’re SANE & thinking… (^^)b

    • George
      August 29, 2018 at 03:55

      Padtie – I have no doubt Trump will probably scare the living crap out of FB, Tw & Goog – threatening anti monopoly laws.
      Google Hilary is…….and you get awesome from google. You get liar from Yahoo, Bing & DuckDuckGo. The algorithms are meant to show what the people are searching for. Put in ‘Idiot’ in images and nearly all Trump and again, not the same with the other 3 search engines. Conservatives just want fairness, balance & impartiality – not to much to ask!

      • backwardsevolution
        August 29, 2018 at 06:09

        George – good response.

        “Trump will end the ‘monopolies’ of Facebook, Google, Twitter et al. The intelligence community will hate this, but they already hate him anyway, so why bother? And besides, it’s the only thing to do that makes any sense. The AT&T model might be useful, essentially creating Baby Bells, though the international reach of the companies may add a layer or two of complications.

        But you simply can’t have a few roomfuls of boys and girls ban and shadowban people with impunity from networks that span the globe and reach half of the world’s population on the basis of opaque ‘Terms and Conditions’ that in effect trump the US constitution the way they are used and interpreted. Whether they are private companies or not will make no difference in the end.

        At some point an ‘entity’ becomes a ‘utility’. Twitter and Facebook already are the most efficient way to alert people in cases of emergency. To throw people out of such systems is indefensible.”

      August 29, 2018 at 21:43

      You should read more Consortium News, which has often criticized Trump. The next piece to be published is on his shameful foreign policy. Stay tuned.

  25. Realist
    August 28, 2018 at 17:15

    McCain must have returned from Hell with new marching orders for Washington since the Pentagon has noticeably ramped up the propaganda against Russia in Syria since the bastid took leave of this armed madhouse called Earth.

    Looks every bit like the chemical false flag is on… and, after that, more missile attacks on Syrian government positions. I think the Devil gave McCain a field command with Al Qaeda and the rest of its poseurs.

  26. L Garou
    August 28, 2018 at 14:07

    I’m guessing Dante’s ninth Circle, or thereabouts..

    • GM
      August 28, 2018 at 17:14

      Lucifer’s going to be sorry he granted him admittance

  27. August 28, 2018 at 13:53

    McCain parachuted into … he capable of parachuting since he cannot raised his arms to comb or brush his hair?

      August 28, 2018 at 16:45

      This is called a metaphor, not to be taken literally.

    • McCain jumps?
      August 29, 2018 at 07:38

      Yeah, I’m trying to fact check that. He would have been 70! A tandem jump is a possibility. But wtf? I can’t find any confirmation. Help.

  28. Sandra Gall
    August 28, 2018 at 13:11

    Thanks for exposing the ‘ war hero’ McCain who carried his hate to his grave.

  29. DJO
    August 28, 2018 at 11:10

    Great summary of McCain’s soiled history, except it neglected to mention the S&L scandal in which the traitorous McCain was deeply involved with his good friend Charles Keating. McCain’s time in Congress was one perpetual long con that was aided, and abetted by the corrupt, corporate media.

  30. Daniel Guyot, Paris
    August 28, 2018 at 09:02

    Great article! McCain was a war criminal not for taking part in the Vietnam war, but for promoting all other American interventions and wars during his endless political career. McCain is not the only one to have done so, he was perfectly conditioned by the American military cast for killing, which is exactly what he did directly or indirectly during his whole life. McCain is not a hero, he is just the perfect illustration of American “exceptionalism” in action, exceptionalism so praised – among others- by the “peaceful” Obama. Even Putin declared that he had some respect for McCain seen as a genuine “patriot”. I must admit, I don’t share that view of patriotism. That’s the kind of patriotism that leads entire generations to regret the deeds of their fathers. That’s what happened in Germany with the “patriotic “ misdeeds of Nazis. That is probably what is going to happen sooner or later in America. I am already too old, and I won’t see that happen. Really too bad!

    • Walter
      August 28, 2018 at 10:14

      Bombing cities, such as Hanoi (where Song-bird” got shot down), is specifically a war crime.

      So is planning a war of aggression. So is taking part in one. Read Nuremberg trial transcripts…and UN Charter, which is US Treaty Law.

        August 28, 2018 at 16:47

        Yes. As Noam Chomsky said: “If the Nuremberg laws were applied, then every post-war [WW II] American president would have been hanged.”

      • John2o2o
        August 28, 2018 at 18:18

        Yes, even Curtis Lemay admitted to Robert McNamara that had the Americans not won WW2 he would have been indited for war crimes in Japan.

  31. John Skinner
    August 28, 2018 at 08:44

    Brave new films: The Real John McCain

  32. Thomas Knyst
    August 28, 2018 at 08:12

    The MSM now embraces McCain as a saint—and his entire “criminal” record is wiped clean by one fact: McCain
    didn’t like Trump.

    • David G
      August 28, 2018 at 12:04

      The media was in a torrid love affair with McCain for more than twenty years.

    • ronnie mitchell
      August 28, 2018 at 14:52

      For someone who “didn’t like tRump” he sure didn’t show it in his votes as he voted FOR 83% of tRumps proposals according to the polling organization Five-Thirty-Eight in the NY Times.
      What I find stunning is someone like Rep. John Lewis calling him “a warrior for peace”, the same guy Rep. Lewis, had less than ten years ago in an article in the NY Times, compared to George Wallace.

      However one eulogy to John McCain made the most sense, it was from Lockheed Martin, and this is not a joke they really heaped praise on him.

      • David G
        August 28, 2018 at 17:34

        I think Lockheed Martin is in the position of the sultan with hundreds of wives who loses one for whom he had some special fondness: the sentiment may be genuine, but they won’t be lacking for consolation or company inside the Beltway post-McCain.

  33. Marc Bonagura
    August 28, 2018 at 07:58

    Adding the quote by Ocasio-Cortez and her photo seemed odd to me; she might have been (mostly) alluding to McCain’s comments during the 2008 debate to the people who were saying ridiculous and racist things about Obama. Trump has a net effect on all American politics–that being almost anyone looks better in comparison regardless of their ideology or what they’ve actually done. The praise for McCain in death is just another example. It is certainly fair and important to set the record straight as you attempt to do, but to drag a young person who is at least on the surface trying to forge a new paradigm is just unnecessary and not particularly helpful, as if somehow she’s the problem. As far as the quip about McCain dropping bombs on civilians, that’s what all war is and has always been about. Civilians always suffer the most. McCain also worked for years for better relations with Vietnam, actually helping Vietnamese people in many different contexts, and he returned many, many times on peaceful initiatives trying to heal some of the war’s deep wounds; to omit that work is pretty biased. The most salient point you make is simply that American foreign policy contains a long history of very bad initiatives with disastrous consequences for so many millions of people on many fronts, especially the cold war ideology. Democrats and republicans alike have fostered this policy. I think in this current climate of American politics and culture, it is almost impossible to separate people’s feelings from actual facts, and at the very least you attempt to do so regarding McCain in your article, so thank you for that.

    • John2o2o
      August 28, 2018 at 18:20

      Politicians deserve no special treatment.

      • Marc Bonagura
        August 29, 2018 at 11:26

        Even more than that they should be held to a higher standard.

  34. Jerry Clifford Kays
    August 28, 2018 at 05:50

    The “other side” might indicate that the two sides were opposites, I would contend that they were one and the same, very dark.

  35. Tom Kath
    August 28, 2018 at 05:41

    There was an old movie “The Deer Hunter” which depicted a young bloke in captivity in Vietnam who lost his reason. There are probably many who have lost it as well, there, or Guantanimo, Abu Graib, or elsewhere. The young bloke in the movie ended up playing “Russian roulette” with a pistol for a living. – John McCain did much the same, although not with his own life.

    Are they heroes for having been rescued and having survived? Or are they poor bastards, just victims of fate?

  36. Wallace M
    August 28, 2018 at 02:47

    Thanks for the article, it is encouraging to read a more complete review of McCain’s legacy. What I find somewhat unfair is the criticism of Alexandria’s comments about McCain. The folks who are dogging her here, where is your courage to speak truth to power? If she is such a flawed candidate, why aren’t you getting out there and speaking truth to power?

    Let’s not forget how this country was founded and the centuries of doing the very same thing John McCain is guilty of. Let’s not forget what happened to Dr. Martin Luther King when he spoke about America and our lust for war. Let’s not forget Malcolm X and what happened to him when he linked the treatment of Blacks in America with the America’s treatment of people of color over the world.

    Currently I am reading a book written by Mumia Abu-Jamal titled “Murder Incorporated: Empire, Genocide, and Manifest Destiny: Dreaming of Empire – Book One” which is, in many ways, very similar to Howard Zinn’s book. Folks the whitewashing of our history has led us to where we are today. Save for the brief term of Franklin D. Roosevelt, who was called a traitor to his class, this is who we are.

    To expect and or criticize Alexandria for her comments is unfair given the fact that America is still hung up in its so-called “exceptionalism”. Until we acknowledge our past, the whole past, we are doomed to repeat it.

    What I find interesting is the same folks who are all in a tizzy about Trump (you know who you are) are the same people who thought he was “presidential” when he smacked Syria with a bunch of Tomahawk missiles. What’s even more sad that we would name this weapon after a tool used by the native peoples says a lot about us.

    Remember, six companies control all of the media and entertainment in this country, manufacturing consent for the masses. The fact that CN still exists and provides true investigative journalism is awesome.

    • John2o2o
      August 28, 2018 at 18:23

      Again: politicians deserve no special treatment. She is choosing to put herself out there. Politics is power. Politicians have to be prepared to take criticism.

  37. Bob Newman
    August 28, 2018 at 00:54

    Excellent piece.

  38. merrill possendoc
    August 28, 2018 at 00:39

    where’s the comments?

  39. firstpersoninfinite
    August 27, 2018 at 23:46

    Thanks for this cogent chronology of McCain’s misdeeds. There were many more, but this was a tight narrative and therefore extremely effective. In a world of vaporous reality, we need this kind of truth-telling. Our politicians are leading the world to ruin, and are hoping we won’t see it coming.

  40. mrtmbrnmn
    August 27, 2018 at 23:11

    I’m curious what the moderator’s beef was with this comment I submitted earlier today @5:30pm??

    I don’t wish to speak ill of the dead, but…

    * John McCain, the mean and sour old coot, gave the world the nincompoopus americanus Sarah Palin, which begat the genuine American dotard Trump.
    * John McCain could have died 3 days sooner and his unctuous obits might have stepped all over Mueller’s Manafort/Cohen noisey propaganda production. Or he could have hung on for 3 more days and died on his own birthday.
    * Lamentable sidebar: sounds like Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez has already drunk the Dementedcrat kool-aid.

    • firstpersoninfinite
      August 27, 2018 at 23:49

      Like lobotomized patients in bedlam, we’re all neoliberals now. It’s just a matter of finding the fellow grifter who will lead you to the money, Democrat or Republican.

    • Punkyboy
      August 28, 2018 at 09:18

      Was thinking the same thing about Cortez. Just what we need – another wolf in sheep’s clothing.

    • Skip Scott
      August 28, 2018 at 09:20

      Instead he died on a Saturday afternoon, giving the presstitute MSM time to put together their glorification bonanza for the Sunday morning propaganda shows.

  41. Claire Geddes
    August 27, 2018 at 23:10

    Great article! I knew a lot about the terrible legacy John McCain left, but Max Blumenthal’s article puts in great context just how Devastating his career has been. From Vietnam to Ukraine very few people have left such carnage in their career. Thanks Consortium News for such great articles. Consortium News is the best web news site I have read and I do receive several publications. I will be donating,I imagine it is difficult to publish such informative articles without donations. Thanks again!

  42. Randal Marlin
    August 27, 2018 at 23:00

    I saw the video clip of John McCain’s “Bomb, bomb, bomb Iran,” and could never respect him thereafter. It just shows a kind of unfeeling, crass and ugly sensitivity to the untold numbers of people (mostly innocent) who would maimed, dislocated, killed, orphaned, widowed…the list goes on. I don’t believe he was joking, but a decent person does not joke about such things.
    He can’t plead ignorance: The bombings of Libya, Iraq, and Syria are evidence enough of what catastrophe American and NATO bombings had produced and likely will continue to produce.
    He is human and he is dead, so, sure, let us recall his stand against Trump in supporting Obama’s flawed but still better-than-nothing step toward better access, for many people, to health care. There are other fine things he did, but you can’t erase – and neither should you – the callous attitude towards victims of U.S. militarism and contempt for international law.

  43. John Gilberts
    August 27, 2018 at 22:49

    Excellent overview by Blumenthal of this American war-criminal. Unfortunately, in Canada also, it seems there were those who felt compelled to embarrass themselves issuing paeans to John McCain. Jagmeet Singh, the leader of Canada’s parliamentary left opposition, the New Democratic Party (NDP) tweeted the following:

    “Senator John McCain had the courage not to stoop to divisive politics. He showed us that we can disagree in a way that creates dialogue and discussion, not fear and division. Rest in Peace.”

    Before concluding this is a mistake or an abberation, it is necessary to point out that this ‘left’ party also unanimously supported NATO’s attack on Libya, is a staunch supporter of the ultranationalist oligarchy in Ukraine, and continues his predecessor’s ‘ardent support for Israel in all situations and circumstances.’. Singh himself led the way in suppressing a mild BDS resolution widely supported by the party during its last leadership convention.

    Perhaps these laudatory memorials from nominal ‘left’ figures like Singh, Sanders or Ocasio-Cortez, reveal to us the alarming observation that there isn’t necessarily all that much distance between themselves and someone like John McCain. Perhaps we should be thinking, deeply on that before voting for those that may not turn out to be the ‘alternative’ we thought they were.

  44. Joe Tedesky
    August 27, 2018 at 22:13

    “Finally, let us return to the powerful and unwavering dissent of John Quincy Adams, for the Mexican War, not his presidency, may constitute his finest hour. On Feb. 21, 1848, the speaker of the House called for a routine vote to bestow medals and adulation on the victorious generals of the late Mexican War. The measure passed, of course, but when the “nays” were up for roll call a voice from the back bellowed “No!” It was the 80-year-old former president. Adams then rose in an apparent effort to speak, but his face reddened and he collapsed. Carried to a couch, he slipped into unconsciousness and died two days later. John Quincy Adams was mortally stricken in the act of officially opposing an unjust war. That we remember the victories of the Mexican-American War but not Adams’ dying gesture surely must reflect poorly on us and our collective remembrances.” from an article by Maj. Danny Sjursen …..

    Our American experience is littered with our history honoring war over peace. So, I suspect that John McCain will go down in our official American history as his being as great an American hero, such as the likes of Davy Crockett or Sergeant York. Little will be mentioned of McCain’s angrily blocking much valued MIA/POW information, as his USS Forrestal explosive tragedy turns into a misfire from a plane that was stacked behind aviator McCain’s death trap that fateful day aboard the Forrestal when 134 of it’s crew perished due to ‘Wet Start Johnny’s’ cowboying ways. There again our MSM will have you scratching your head to ‘what is the truth’, for the truth of a legend is almost always more myth than that of fact.

    So I would imagine it won’t be long until Hollywood comes out with a movie, or a tv series, portraying John McCain as America’s number one 20th Century hero of all time. To counter this, might I suggest you watch old reruns, or the Science Channel… sorry, that’s the best I got.

    Good to see Max Blumental on the Consortium.

  45. Harry Castleman
    August 27, 2018 at 21:59

    Whether one agrees with any or all that Blumenthal posits, this provocative and deeply sourced piece is a valuable contribution to the study and debate of McCain’s foreign policy legacy. On the domestic front, I’ll remember the old senator most fondly for casting the critical vote against the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

  46. Daniel
    August 27, 2018 at 21:55

    Thanks Max and CN for this important corrective to the propagandist hagiography marking the death of this…. well, the great comedian Moms Mabley said that she was taught to only say good about the dead. So, paraphrasing her, I will say:

    John McCain is dead.


  47. Hatuxka
    August 27, 2018 at 21:35

    McCain wasn’t tortured. Since it’s normal in the US bloc to assume anyone not part of that club, not only his jailor but at least one other US pilot and I recall several others have denied he was.

    • John2o2o
      August 28, 2018 at 18:28

      Really? Who knows. Unless you were one of his captors you really don’t know.

  48. August 27, 2018 at 20:47

    This was just sent to me. I don’t have time to go through comments to find other references to this:

    Now It’s The Post Covering Up John McCain’s Mob Connections

    By Michael Collins Piper


  49. Joe Buckstrap
    August 27, 2018 at 20:38

    Great commentary Max, but you’ll never convince me that The O’bomb-a-nation along with Killary Rotten Clintoon were not dovetailed with McInsane in Ukraine, Libya and Syria.

    • Anon
      August 28, 2018 at 10:29

      One of the staunchest supporters of the pro-Western, neo-Nazis in Ukraine was Victoria Nuland who is Jewish. She worked in both the Bush and Obama administrations and played a key role in supporting Ukrainians in their overthrow of the prior pro-Russian administration in Ukraine. What were McCaine and Nuland thinking? Did they think that Russia would stand quietly by and eventually see Sevastopol in Crimea become a NATO naval base? In case Ms. Nuland is not familiar with Jewish history in this part of the world, I suggest that she Google Liviv pogrom June 1941.

    • Anon
      August 28, 2018 at 10:44

      While I supported McCain’s efforts in limiting political campaign donations (later overturned by the US Supreme Court in the 2010 Citizens United decision), he also struck me as someone who never saw a war that he didn’t like. The US simply cannot afford to keep spending the kind of money it is spending to be the policeman of the world without doing tremendous financial damage to many Americans.

      • GM
        August 28, 2018 at 17:25

        The US role as “policeman of the world” is a mythical one. It’s foreign policy much more resembles that of the mafia. Then again, so do some police departments.

    • Rob
      August 28, 2018 at 11:27

      If you know anything about Max, you know that he would never try to convince you of that. He is a very harsh critic of the U.S. role in Ukraine.

  50. Lois Gagnon
    August 27, 2018 at 20:31

    I was wondering the same thing. I never used to have to re-enter my info for every comment either, but now I do. What’s up CN?

  51. Rick Patel
    August 27, 2018 at 20:31

    Thanks for an interesting & informative post. McCain personifies the hideous visage of war-mongering imperialism.

  52. Lois Gagnon
    August 27, 2018 at 20:17

    I always appreciate your view of things Max. The lionizing of this war criminal is so very telling regarding the priorities of this Empire. The bigger the war crimes, the more the hero. While the peace makers are demonized as fanatics. Sick.

  53. JWalters
    August 27, 2018 at 19:55

    Here’s Ralph Nader castigating John McCain for continuing the shameful coverup of Israel’s sneak attack on the USS Liberty, a coverup McCain’s father participated in.

  54. cms
    August 27, 2018 at 19:01

    Priests, kings, statesmen, soldiers, bankers and public functionaries of all sorts; policemen, jailers and hangmen; capitalists, usurers, businessmen and property-owners; lawyers, economists and politicians – all of them, down to the meanest grocer, repeat in chorus the words of Voltaire, that if there were no God it would be necessary to invent Him.

    Somehow, I think McCain would have been proud to be counted, among other categories, as one of the hangmen. Had he been a German in 1945 he would have been the guy with the rope strung over his shoulder:

    All is fair and nothing foul in service of the State.

  55. J. Lynn
    August 27, 2018 at 19:00

    This is an important history and addition to the many articles and statements coming out in the last days about the horrors of the policies McCain supported. It shows how low our political culture has sunk that there are so few examples of even his old-fashioned code of honor. There’s no reason to erase the positive in either his character or his acts to recognize the devastating impact of his commitment to militarism and American imperialism. Nor does it do our national political conversation any good to leave out the times he was a strong moral voice against torture; or when he was booed by his own supporters for demanding over and over again that Obama be treated with respect. Nor should we ignore that ultimately he betrayed those beliefs and went along with the Bush Rumsfeld Cheney crowd.
    If we don’t learn to see the complexity of people; if everyone is reduced to one-dimensional cartoons – even if our net conclusions are negative – we will continue to have a hyper partisan, violent political environment that alienates the majority of the American people from politics and eats further away at any hopes for real democracy and civil society. Of course there is much more to say someplace else about how all the unvarnished praise is also a result of the post 9-11 glorification of permanent war and the military. .

    Because what I really object to though in this piece, in that spirit, is the high-handed moralistic lambasting of a young, 28 year old progressive Puerto Rican woman, and the opportunistic use of her photo and selective editing of what was simply a condolence note. When read in full it is clear that it is based on her personal experience with McCain during her work with him as a college intern in Ted Kennedy’s Senate office! These are the words of a young woman taught working class decency in her dealings with people.

    It is even more objectionable and offensive that Mr. Blumenthal, a 40 year old progressive, highly accomplished, best selling author and journalist, who comes from a privileged intellectual family, and raised in the upper most echelons of Democratic Party royalty and publishing royalty, should pounce on this very young and vulnerable Bronx-raised neophyte to the world of hard ball politics simply for being “too nice” in her condolences to someone she personally knew, & who happens to be in a pitched battle with that same Democratic Party royalty.
    What she actually said was, “John McCain’s legacy represents unparalleled human decency and American service. As an intern I learned a lot about the power of humanity in government through his deep friendship with Sen. Kennedy. He meant so much to so many. My prayers are with his family.”
    So you think ‘unparalleled’ is over the top? A political mistake of apparently unparalleled betrayal that deserves singling out from among the thousands of tributes to him from real political elites and progressive leaders? Why not focus on Hillary calling him a hero and trusted colleague, Gillibrand saying unparalleled courage heart and service, Schumer, saying he was truly great, Cuomo saying all that we admire in a hero, DeBlasio saying he served with honor. Even the Foreign Minister of Vietnam thought to say something positive, expressing condolences and saying he was “a symbol of the Vietnam-US reconciliation process.”

    But for her verbal transgression, you felt it was appropriate for a man in your position to heap a damning criticism on this young woman of color, who by dint of her extraordinary hard work and courage has become a lightning rod for vicious attacks. The right wing attacks are because of all her calls to abolish ICE, to strip the military budget, for Palestinian human rights – all things Mr. Blumenthal purports to support – and yet they aren’t enough to escape public scolding and humiliation for excessive politeness. Certainly you’re not suggesting those words signaled a change in her platform. You’re not suggesting she finished her tweet and emerged a military hawk? Everything she stands for and stands against put her on the side of the angels in this history of McCain’s misdeeds. So seriously, what is the possible motivation for this nit picking, holier than thou nastiness? I get angrier as I write about it. Read a little about her life, her brilliant achievements and hard work before setting yourself up as her moral judge. This is an important history and addition to the many articles and statements coming out in the last days about the horrors of the policies McCain supported. It shows how low our political culture has sunk that there are so few examples of even his old-fashioned code of honor. There’s no reason to erase the positive in either his character or his acts to recognize the devastation of his commitment to militarism and American imperialism. Nor does it do our national political conversation any good to leave out the times he was a strong moral voice against torture; or when he was booed by his own supporters for demanding over and over again that Obama be treated with respect. Nor should we ignore that ultimately he betrayed those beliefs and went along with the Bush Rumsfeld Cheney crowd.
    If we don’t learn to see the complexity of people; if everyone is reduced to one-dimensional cartoons – even if our net conclusions are negative – we will continue to have a hyper partisan, violent political environment that alienates the majority of the American people from politics and eats further away at any hopes for real democracy and civil society. Of course there is much more to say someplace else about how all the unvarnished praise is also a result of the post 9-11 glorification of permanent war and the military. .

    Because what I really object to though in this piece, in that spirit, is the high-handed moralistic lambasting of a young, 28 year old progressive Puerto Rican woman, and the opportunistic use of her photo and selective editing of what was simply a condolence note. When read in full it is clear that it is based on her personal experience with McCain during her work with him as a college intern in Ted Kennedy’s Senate office! These are the words of a young woman taught working class decency in her dealings with people.

    It is even more objectionable and offensive that Mr. Blumenthal, a 40 year old progressive, a highly accomplished, best selling author and journalist, who comes from a privileged intellectual family, and raised in the upper most echelons of Democratic Party royalty and publishing royalty, should pounce on this very young and vulnerable Bronx-raised neophyte to the world of hard ball politics simply for being “too nice” in her condolences to someone she personally knew.
    What she actually said was, “John McCain’s legacy represents unparalleled human decency and American service. As an intern I learned a lot about the power of humanity in government through his deep friendship with Sen. Kennedy. He meant so much to so many. My prayers are with his family.”
    So you think ‘unparalleled’ is over the top? A political mistake of apparently unparalleled betrayal that deserves singling out from among the thousands of tributes to him from real political elites and progressive leaders? Why not focus on Hillary calling him a hero and trusted colleague, Gillibrand saying unparalleled courage heart and service, Schumer, saying he was truly great, Cuomo saying all that we admire in a hero, DeBlasio saying he served with honor. Even the Foreign Minister of Vietnam thought to say something positive, expressing condolences and saying he was “a symbol of the Vietnam-US reconciliation process.”

    But for her verbal transgression, you felt it was appropriate for a man in your position to heap a damning criticism on this young woman of color, who by dint of her extraordinary hard work and courage has become a lightning rod for vicious attacks. They are because of all her calls to abolish ICE, to strip the military budget, for Palestinian human rights – all things Mr. Blumenthal purports to support – and yet they aren’t enough to escape public scolding and humiliation for excessive politeness. Certainly you’re not suggesting those words signaled a change in her platform. You’re not suggesting she finished her tweet and emerged a military hawk? Everything she stands for and stands against put her on the side of the angels in this history of McCain’s misdeeds. So seriously, what is the possible motivation for this nit picking, holier than thou nastiness? I get angrier as I write about it.

    Why not use your knowledge and privilege to teach if you think she doesn’t understand this history rather than lord it over her as her intellectual superior and moral judge? My guess is she’s have more to teach you about human decency and intellectual honesty.

    • incontinent reader
      August 27, 2018 at 19:41

      If Ocasio-Cortez worked as a Senate aide, by now she should have had a better sense of what’s what with the institution.

      She has articulated some very decent domestic policy positions, but that doesn’t mean she should be given a pass for going along with the Congressional crowd in its eulogizing of McCain, or for failing to balance what she may have seen as a collegial relationship with Ted Kennedy, against McCain’s heinous policies, record and history, both in and out of the Senate – which include the commission or complicity in innumerable war crimes in Vietnam, MENA and Ukraine- some of which she also must have witnessed, or at least, not been ignorant of.

      And why did she yield to Jewish lobby pressure to back off from her comments about the Israeli slaughter of Gaza demonstrators; and why accept what is now being reported as financial support from George Soros (that would almost certainly translate into influence over her foreign policy positions); and why add to the Congressional derangement by drinking its Russia-gate Kool-aid?

      Does she realizes the consequences of all of this? I’d say that none of it bodes well for an educated young person who aspires to political leadership.

      • Dave P.
        August 28, 2018 at 00:43

        Incontinent reader –

        Excellent comments.

        This woman of color and being from Bronx is utter nonsense. Looking at Ms. Cortez’s pictures, she does not look to be all that different. I was not born here and have light olive skin. I came here about fifty three years ago, and have been married here a very long time. I have never felt as a person of color in my life. Yes, one does feel different from the group in some situations, as it is true all over the World. And my father was a dirt poor farmer. And Ms. Coretz does not seem to be from those people with economically low means either, the group into which millions of white people have fallen along with the other groups. Of course, I have read enough American History and understand about slavery and African Americans; being a left progressive person, I support many policies which truly help the disadvantaged.

        Also, I found Americans are more open to different cultures and least prejudiced than people in Western Europe or other countries in the World. It is the Ruling Establishment who has been using them to serve their own agenda.

        Ms. Cortez is going to be no different than other Democratic legislators. It is time that a Third Party is formed.

      • J. Lynn
        August 28, 2018 at 04:08

        Incontinent reader: For someone taking a very high-ground moral stance – you don’t actually provide any facts at all for largely rumored and false accusations. You accuse her of something so vague by unknown reports – “why accept what is now being reported as financial support from George Soros (that would almost certainly translate into influence over her foreign policy positions?”. What are you talking about? You mean George Soros the person? The company? The Open Society Foundation – which can’t give to candidates? Here’s the minute seed that started this ridiculous rumor you keep spreading with such empty authority:
        “Several websites have recently been circulating stories with headlines that claim: “Details of Democrat Communist Antisemite Ocasio-Cortez’s Ties To George SOROS Revealed” and “Details Of Communist Ocasio-Cortez’s Ties To George Soros Revealed.”
        The stories point to Ocasio-Cortez’s appearance on The Young Turks, a liberal internet show, as evidence that she is tied to the liberal billionaire philanthropist George Soros. Ocasio-Cortez did appear on The Young Turks, which is supported in part by a nonprofit that has received a grant from a group that gets some of its funding from a Soros foundation. In fact, she credited the online show with giving her campaign exposure. But her campaign has not received any funding from Soros.
        ‘The Young Turks, a show that named itself after rebellious progressives, is supported by The Media Consortium, which describes itself as a “network of independent and community media outlets dedicated to values-driven journalism.” In 2017, the most recent year for which information is available, The Media Consortium got funding from the Chicago Community Trust, the Park Foundation, the Wallace Global Fund, and the Media Democracy Fund. The Media Democracy Fund lists 12 funding partners and one of them is Soros’ the Open Society Foundations.
        ‘But, the stories call The Media Consortium “a Soros media empire” and cite an organization called the Media Research Center as the authority for that claim. But, just as The Young Turks and The Media Consortium described themselves as progressive, the Media Research Center identifies as conservative. It says its mission is “to expose and neutralize the propaganda arm of the Left: the national news media” and touts its efforts to spread “conservative content.”

        And a Jewish lobby huh? Are you referring to Pro-Zionist, Pro-Israel organizations and lobbies that includes vast funding by Christian evangelists known as Christian Zionists, as well as by Pro-Zionist Jews? What did she yield to? How? You don’t even say. Maybe she did. I don’t know. I still don’t know based on your apolitical but ethnically charged comment. The slaughter of demonstrators in Gaza was a horrible war crime and human rights offense. When and how did she back off?

        What has she said about Russia that you object to? You accuse her of adding to derangement – how? I do know is that the consequences of rumor and false accusations is an unhealthy, undemocratic political culture where people can’t participate or talk to each other with respect.

    • exiled off mainstreet
      August 27, 2018 at 20:10

      I notice that after she won the nomination she pulled in her horns on the Israeli issue. Her paean to McCain is part of her effort to maker her acceptable to the regime. McCain was a dangerous war criminal who consorted with fascists and terrorists, and this is not all. His likely roll in the deaths of 134 navy men on the Forrestal due to his hotdogging takeoff going awry on the aircraft carrier, and the fact things were likely covered up due to his father’s leadership of the US navy at the time are relevant, as is his replacement of his wife with a more valuable one (one whose family apparently was linked to Meyer Lansky and other gangsters as a source of their fortune) is also relevant, as is McCain senior’s role in the USS Liberty affair, the Israeli attack on a US spy ship monitoring the seven day war which led to a cover-up and created the situation where the Israeli tail has, for the last 51 years, wagged the yankee dog on foreign affairs issues. McCain is scum and anybody who, for ambitious reasons, follows the official sanctification of this war criminal scumbag, even if she has been right on the issues up to now, should be castigated. The Obama regime did serious damage in Libya and elsewhere to world peace. I suspect that, had McCain been the president after 2008 we would not be alive now. If he had gotten in in 2000 only the fact Russia was on the ropes as a result of yankee subversion in the 1990s, would have prevented the same result. McCain’s record of consorting with fascists and terrorists and his closeness to the deep state makes him a primary figure on the evils of the last 40 years or so.

    • David G
      August 27, 2018 at 20:29

      In a few months time, barring some mishap, Ocasio-Cortez is going to be a member of the U.S. Congress.

      She may be a young, 28-year old, vulnerable, Puerto Rican woman of color from the Bronx, etc. etc., as you put it, but she’s raised expectations, and like it or not, people are looking for effective agents of change, not demographically repackaged versions of the same old garbage.

      I don’t think going into full jeremiad mode because of Max Blumenthal’s brief, accurate quotation of Ocasio-Cortez here is fair to him, or her for that matter.

      • J. Lynn
        August 28, 2018 at 12:59

        David G. – and she should be held accountable for those expectations.

        But I don’t agree it was an accurate quote to take 3 words out of context or that it reflected anything meaningful. It is, in my opinion, the height of fancy and cynicism to conclude from those 3 words, as the article implies and many on this thread are explicitly saying, that this is proof of her selling out her principles.

        Apparently 3600 (and counting probably) people are attacking her on twitter. The most disturbing part is the almost gleeful superior tone many take, that this hopeful new voice has been “uncovered” as being as bad as career politicians who have long track records of betraying their constituents and coffers full of corporate donations.

        There’s so much at stake at this moment and so much real suffering to alleviate, that this undermining of any unified progressive opposition makes me sick to the core.

    • Litchfield
      August 27, 2018 at 21:11

      The reason for singling out Cortez is that we hope and expect better from her than from the “usual” (hypocritical/mendacious/genuflecting) suspects. That’s why. I can’t believe you don’t get this.

      • J. Lynn
        August 28, 2018 at 13:32

        Litchfield –

        I do know that’s why. And for that very reason, I can’t believe you don’t get that what’s needed instead are people who say, “Wow, we’d better have her back – and help insulate her against what’s going to be a tsunami of attacks from those very hypocritical/mendacious/genuflecting Democratic party bosses and their flunkies and GOP racist/corporate sycophants.

        ‘They are going to do ANYTHING and EVERYTHING (including fueling this disagreement) to stop real reform from happening in the Party and squash a real independent progressive movement with power to make change. Not to mention, the MSM which will turn on her on a dime in doing their bidding.”

        Believe me, those very people are laughing all the way to the bank when they read these idiotic attacks – thinking – ‘here they go again! We have nothing to worry about!”

        And finally, I can’t believe you don’t get the difference between taking responsibility by engaging her directly if you disagree and being a disgruntled spectator and predictable ineffective complainer. I still naively hope and expect better from those who call themselves progressive.

    • backwardsevolution
      August 27, 2018 at 23:16

      J. Lynn – “28 year old progressive Puerto Rican woman.” I wasn’t aware she was Puerto Rican. I thought she was born in the United States. Her father was born in New York City and became an architect, and her mother is from Puerto Rico.

      “…this very young and vulnerable Bronx-raised neophyte.” According to several articles I’ve read, she only lived in the Bronx for a few short years after she was born.

      “Though Ocasio-Cortez, 28, was born in and currently lives in the Bronx, county land records show her late father Sergio Cortez-Roman bought a quaint three-bedroom in Yorktown Heights, New York in 1991, when she was about two.

      It is an apparent contradiction with the candidate’s official biography, which states in part: ‘The state of Bronx public schools in the late 80s and early 90s sent her parents on a search for a solution. She ended up attending public school 40 minutes north in Yorktown, and much of her life was defined by the 40 minute commute between school and her family in the Bronx.’

      Ocasio-Cortez also boasted on Stephen Colbert’s late-night show that President Donald Trump, born in Queens, wouldn’t know how to handle ‘a girl from the Bronx’ such as herself.”

      She apparently moved to Westchester when she was five years old and attended Yorkton High School there. So how is it she calls herself a “girl from the Bronx”?

      And what’s with “this young woman of color”? What, are we supposed to go easy on her because she’s a particular color? The Obama syndrome all over again.

      If it is true that she was not raised in the Bronx at all, then what else isn’t true? If I’m wrong, somebody please correct me.

      • backwardsevolution
        August 27, 2018 at 23:35

        One article said:

        “When she was about five, Ocasio-Cortez’s family moved to the house in Westchester County, a detail that the bio omits.

        The timing of the move is confirmed in a New York Times interview with mother Blanca Ocasio-Cortez, but the report does not address the discrepancy.”

      • J. Lynn
        August 28, 2018 at 04:54

        backwardsevolution: Yes, you’re wrong in a number of way. First – Puerto Rico is the United States! And she is Puerto Rican from the Bronx. Being from the Bronx myself, this statement is perfectly clear. Some call it Nuyorican. I went to high school 30 minutes away – but lived in the Bx. It enriched me but didn’t strip away anything. She also has/had family remaining on the island and the Bronx. So even shuttling to Yorktown hi she remained rooted in the Bx.. In fact, she recently tweeted that her grandfather died in the last hurricane. It doesn’t make her less of any of those things. Unfortunately, you clearly don’t understand the culture and social dynamics. 25% of the Bronx population is Puerto Rican – whether born here or on the Island – the demographic figures don’t distinguish. 55% of the Bronx is Hispanic of various nationalities and the only boro with an Hispanic majority – and with major Puerto Rican -inspired institutions like Hostos College, Hostos Arts Center, the Puerto Rican Traveling Theater, and Pregones Theater. .

        There is a power relationship between the author and Ocasio because of who they are. It’s not identity politics – it culture and history.. He is a man of significant privilege, education and worldly experiences. If he cares about progressive leadership and new leadership, he can use that privilege to respectfully teach, not publicly taunt. I don’t know what you mean by “go easy”. Being respectful isn’t going easy. It’s recognizing power and privilege.

        Hold people accountable. But part of what’s wrong with our American political life is that we’ve stopped being citizens and act like consumers buying another product. Or spectators at a sporting event. A lot of people are fed up with that.

    • August 28, 2018 at 14:38

      Just read the complete article, and found nothing about the 28 yr old Puerto Rico born woman.

      The article is a stunning contradiction to the hagiography that is dominating the news, and more details and validation, even some links to allow one to research further would be useful.

      However, I agree, the adulation of McCain is mostly for his rather tepid resistance against the Trump cult. He could have done more, much voting with the Dems on the Trillion dollar gift to the ultra rich. Sure, it’s good for the DOW, meaning that those with great wealth will bid up the price of housing when 10 acres becomes the new minimal house site.

      He had the chance to have really changed history, with Trump’s slender margin. He chose not to.

    • John2o2o
      August 28, 2018 at 18:33

      Ocasio-Cortez is a politician. She is not a child. She does not need anyone’s protection from criticism!

      Politicians put themselves up for elections to positions of power. The need to be held to account in ways in which ordinary people are not.

      Her race and her sex have no relevance whatsoever.

      And the MSM are sanctifying McCain. Balance – such as in this piece – is required!

      • J. Lynn
        August 29, 2018 at 15:43

        John2020: I completely agree with the importance of these exposes of McCain’s real history. But regarding singling out Ocasio for ridicule, you’re missing the point completely and maybe I wasn’t clear enough. I’ll try one last time.

        It’s NOT about protecting her as an individual. It’s about not cannibalizing a nascent progressive movement; undermining new leaders, and completely alienating newly activated voters/activists who hate this internecine snarkiness, in the face real tyranny here and internationally. We’re moving from the velvet glove to the iron fist with horrifying speed.

        To lump her with “political climbers and Davos denizens”, Soros, & 40 year Congressional incumbents – and belittle her as a “celebrity” after a total of 8 weeks in the public eye – is piling on to the intense attempt to bully and demean her, pure and simple. It undermines her credibility and leadership – and it teaches her nothing, IMO. I have no doubt she can take it. But she’s not cast in stone – why just abandon her to the DNC to shape her? The New Deal happened because millions of people were in the streets; organizing, protesting, cajoling and shaping who FDR and others were becoming as political leaders.

        Race and gender and class have everything to do with how to provide leadership and how movements are built. Have you completely missed what is being said about that by Blacks, women, Muslims, minorities, etc. now and for the past 50 years? .Do we care about winning this fight or do you just care that you were right and pointed out how wrong everyone else was as we go down to defeat?

        People are dying for smart compassionate leaders to bring us together. They are fed up snarky know-it-alls of all stripes. That, in no small part if why people loved about Bernie – (leaving aside his capitulations to the Democrats, etc. etc. ) and what so many hate about Hillary.

        How many tragic lessons in history do we need before we learn that a fractured progressive movement opened the door for fascism and years of death and destruction? From the Spanish civil war, to Pinochet’s 20+ years in power in Chile, etc etc. – and of course our history here.

  56. merrill possendoc
    August 27, 2018 at 18:50

    Surely our own Am Hero didn’t button-push no Napalm or Agent Orange?

  57. August 27, 2018 at 18:50

    Let’s not forget the McCain’s role in covering up USS Liberty slaughter.

  58. JeffB
    August 27, 2018 at 18:44

    McCain was a smug, rabid, self-serving compilation of everything wrong with the modern political class. Too bad he lived so long.

  59. Mike From Jersey
    August 27, 2018 at 18:01

    There is a saying “say no ill about the dead.”

    I am sure that there are people who know and love John McCain. And I am sure that he has done some good things in his life.

    Accordingly, I was not going to post anything, anywhere about John McCain.

    However, I have to say one thing. The undiluted adulation of John McCain being displayed in the corporate media is nothing short of an indictment of modern America. How can the media ignore the obvious. There are undoubtedly hundreds of thousands of dead, injured or crippled people in the world whose fate was both avoidable and unnecessary. The fact that our corporate media can ignore the significance of that fact on this day shows just how far we have fallen as a nation. The heart of the “establishment” or the “deep state” or whatever you want to call it, is simply and completely without moral compass. There is no other way to put it.

    • Tom Kath
      August 27, 2018 at 21:00

      “If you can’t say anything good about a man, its best to say nothing.”…………………………………………………………………………………..

      • RnM
        August 28, 2018 at 02:58

        Mike from New Jersey was cmmenting on the effects of Sen. McCain’s actions. If the Senator was not fully aware of those effects, or if he simply didn’t care about the maimed human beings, and forever changed (for the worse) lives of those millions of innocents, then he was unqualified for Public Service. If he was aware, and persisted in those actions, he is deserving of the facts of what he did being exposed. We are living in a time and place where War Crimes are being characterized as Patriotism. Woe is us. Woe for our children.

    • eole
      August 28, 2018 at 10:55

      Well said!

  60. Dee Drake
    August 27, 2018 at 17:53

    McCain was ever an empire-serving, warmongering opportunist and manipulative bigot. It flabbergasts me that people who used to know better are glibly singing his praises. For an honest appraisal of his duplicity listen to:

  61. TB
    August 27, 2018 at 17:45

    He crashed 3 aircraft stunting, one into power lines.

    The USN files show his version of the USS Forrestal incident to be fanciful.

    As a “true hero”, McCain never allowed his military records to be released, save for the list of his awards and medals, all of which were given only after he became a prisoner of war.

  62. Gus Because
    August 27, 2018 at 17:25

    Finally an honest eulogy to the deeply flawed, Nazi-loving war monger who was the late senator from Arizona. Let’s hope we don’t see his like again. Shame on AOC, Schumer, Bernie, Collins et al who ignored the real damage that John McCain did to America and the world.

  63. August 27, 2018 at 17:24

    Back-Evol, thanks for your post on PCR showing that Reagan, despite his obvious faults, did not want the Cold War continued and saw the horrific danger of the nuclear threat, something which today’s misleaders don’t seem to grasp, even seem to relish, like McCain.

  64. Shahab Siddiqui
    August 27, 2018 at 17:09

    Finally, the earth has stripped off its one of the filthiest curse of all time. Let’s wait for more to be purged from the crust of the earth like rancid bushes and horns.

  65. August 27, 2018 at 17:07

    Don’t go, F. G.! We don’t want to lose your brilliant wit! There’s something else going on with lost or edited comments, and Drew, i used a form of your scrubbed word which stands. But last week an entire comment of mine was scrubbed and i actually think it was done by internet forces of the new political fascism because a related youtube posted by someone else was also removed, on the Bushes, 911 and the New World Order. It is interesting that McCain passed just as we seem to be at a critical juncture, so many dramatic events occurring both politically and even geologically. The world is getting sick of being ordered around by the US. Thank you, CN, and the thoughtful people who post here. I hope something opens up to investigate the 1205 lost POWs of Vietnam that McCain worked assiduously to cover up.

  66. JR
    August 27, 2018 at 16:51


  67. Steve O.
    August 27, 2018 at 16:47

    I am a Korean vet and a Nuclear vet. I’ve always looked upon McCain as a self-seeking glory hog and promoter of war and destruction by whatever means necessary.
    *Millions are dead with his help and encouragement of murderers and arms sales, amongst other things.
    *I shed no tears for this man; just glad that he is gone, and sad that so many more remain to poison the world.

  68. T
    August 27, 2018 at 16:27

    > American media may have sought to bury this legacy with the senator’s body,
    > but it is what much of the outside world will remember him for.

    Unfortunately, in some NATO countries, the official media have been spouting similar praise for him.

    > the Croatian Nazi collaborator who helped oversee the extermination of 7,000 Jews in 1941;

    And many more Serbs!

  69. August 27, 2018 at 16:16

    Brilliant reporting; it sould be widely shared among the acolytes of atrocity who want to beatify the foremmost paladin of fascist terror in the U.S., not even excepting John Bolton.

    Even in his Vietnam days, he was a butcher and terrorist, bombing civilian buildings that had nothing to do with the war effort. Instead of shooting him as a war criminal, when his plane was shot down, the Vietnamese tended to his broken leg. According to several of the other denizens of the “Hanoi Hilton,” he received special treatment when he revealed that he was the son of a U.S. admiral, and may have “sung” to his captors. He was also known in the senate as a really vicious and nasty opponent, taking any opposition personally and insulting those he disagreed with.

    It’s too bad he never got shipped to the Hague or Romee as an intellectual author of terrorism, fascism, and barbarism; as they say about others who passed on without evef being tried for their crimes against humanity, he “cheated the hangman.”

  70. backwardsevolution
    August 27, 2018 at 16:15

    John Chuckman – John McCain was a warmonger, bought off by the war machine, and responsible for millions of deaths.

    Trump might be loud and brash, might have had a propensity to fraternize with sleazy hookers, but he does not even come up to the ankles of John McCain in terms of outright ugliness.

    Trump campaigned on stopping the wars, ending NATO, ending globalization, righting the trade deficit, securing the borders, rebuilding infrastructure, and draining the Swamp. He accuses the media of being “fake”, and he is right in that. He has not praised McCain and does NOT see him as a hero. He met with Putin, which every other leader has done, and for this he was called a traitor by both the Left and Right.

    The Uniparty (Democrats and most Republicans) and the media have vilified him for the above on a 24/7 basis ever since he was elected. How dare he stop our looting machine!

    How are all the good Conservative members of the Chamber of Commerce supposed to get cheap labor if the borders are enforced? How are all the good Democrats going to secure an endless stream of new voters if the borders are choked off?

    How are the arms dealers and weapons manufacturers going to make a killing when some upstart like Trump wants to end the wars? End NATO? He must be kidding!

    The multinational corporations and the Chinese elite have been looting to their hearts’ content. They don’t want to see globalization and the offshoring of jobs ending any time soon. How dare Trump!

    And stopping the wars? Who does he think he is? How are we supposed to go in, level a country, and then steal its resources when Trump is getting in the way?

    Rebuild infrastructure? What? That money could be better spent on killing millions of innocents and lining our own pockets with war. We don’t care whether some bridge comes down. Lose some here, lose some there, what does it really matter?

    And here you are pulling the same stuff. Donald Trump might be lots of things, he certainly is not perfect and no saint (neither was JFK with all his women), but from where I’m sitting, at least he’s trying to stop the escalation of war. Being surrounded by neocons, the Uniparty elite, and a media painting him in the worst light possible, he’s fighting an uphill battle. Russiagate was invented to try to bring him down, but it looks like the plotters might be brought down instead, especially with all of the evidence slowly trickling out.

    Help him, don’t hinder him. If the elite win, the country is truly lost.

    • RnM
      August 27, 2018 at 18:01

      Two thumbs up, Sir. I’ll always speak up in favor for someone like Trump, pursuing dètante with Russia and going for “jaw, jaw, rather than war, war, ” as Churchill said. McCain took the opposite approach, which sheds some light on his mediocrity. That, and the Sarah Palin thing. What ever was his purpose in that bit of surrealism? Best that can be said about him is that he was an odd duck. Thank goodness we didn’t have to experience any of his mean and nasty flavor of oddness issuing from the Oval Office!

      • JWalters
        August 27, 2018 at 20:12

        The movie “Game Change” shows vividly the incompetence of McCain in picking Palin. Truly a Saturday Night Live sketch writ large.

    • JWalters
      August 27, 2018 at 20:07

      Very important points, well assembled and clearly stated. Thank you.

    • Daniel
      August 27, 2018 at 22:15

      Please draw for yourself some “redlines” which, once crossed by your President, will finally cause you to come to the conclusion that his campaign was as much a fraud as that of President CareBear.

      The Syrian Army is preparing for the biggest battle of this war that was brought to them. Reports are that the White Helmets crowd are even now preparing the next false flag chemical weapons attack. If your President remains true to form, he will claim to believe the fraud, and will once again bomb the sovereign, secular state of Syria.

      Or, I fear, now that he has several thousand troops “in country” and cruise missile destroyers in range and a B1B bomber fueled up on the runway in Qatar, this next provocation will lead to far more deadly violence than even the murderous “liberation” of Raqqa he oversaw (in which 40,000 civilians are reportedly dead and many still rotting).

      Perhaps that would be an appropriate last straw for any Trump supporters who believed his campaign rhetoric about ending interventionist wars and making peace with Russia.

      I don’t know if, once united, we can change the course of the USSS Titanic, but we who have common goals must at least try.

    • ronnie mitchell
      August 28, 2018 at 16:00

      You have many statements that are straight out of Fox news, (not that the others are truthful) the part about an “endless stream of new voters” for the Democrats is another made up talking point that feeds the fire of racism.
      First of all more people are emigrating to Mexico (especially after the recent election), not immigrating from Mexico as there are no jobs and they (along with any real citizen that might look like them) are targeted by every level of police forces, local, County, State and Federal.
      About those illegally working here are you aware that taxes and Social Security deductions are taken from their paychecks? But they will NEVER be allowed to benefit from it, so they are just paying into a system from which they can’t eventually benefit.
      Second people illegally here can’t vote, in fact it has become a lot harder for American citizens to vote with demands for photo ID (while a gun permit gets you the vote in Texas) and other restrictions like a police record and a minimal amount of polling stations (for example Georgia recently closed down over 80 polling stations).

      Where you get this idea from is probably the same source…”How are the arms dealers and weapons manufacturers going to make a killing when some upstart like Trump wants to end the wars? ” Where were you when Trump made a big Public show of his multi billion dollar arms sales to Saudi Arabia, it was no secret it was touted by Trump in a photo op with him holding up a picture of one of high dollar jets.

      Also the genocidal war on the people of Yemen was started under Obama but it hasn’t slowed down a bit under Trump, we are still selling them the jets, the bombs, inflight refueling and ‘technical assistance’ in ‘target selections’.
      Meanwhile he gives everything Netanyahu wants and then some while Israeli soldiers shoot unarmed protesters, men women children and even the medics (who are clearly marked) and moving the embassy to Jerusalem assures a lot more bloodshed is on the way, but Bibi is happy.
      It is also important to note that Trump has given lethal armaments to that Nazi loving Govt. in Ukraine and this being right on Russia’s border which has caused a big buildup on the Russia side in defense. All it will take is a mistake, or one of the rabid Nazis to push a button that could automatically start WW3.

      Speaking of that, right now aircraft carriers with cruise missiles are right beside Syria and most likely the terrorist organization’s White Helmets are expected,just like the previous time, to launch another false flag chemical attack to be blamed on the Assad govt. and get the US UK and France to go back to firing tomahawk missiles into Syria.
      Btw Russia has ships and’ possibly’ submarines in the same area unlike the last time so this can go very horrible very quickly and as the famous song Eve of Destruction said “if the button is pushed there’s no running away there will be no one to save with the world in a grave”

  71. Apis
    August 27, 2018 at 16:06

    Just a minor correction – Jaroslav Stetsko was from Ukraine not from Croatia.

    But easy mistake to make, after all, how can you tell one Nazi from another, they all look alike.

  72. rosemerry
    August 27, 2018 at 15:55

    A Russian film I saw about a year ago showed a point of view quite different from the “tortured hero” Max reports. The Vietnamese knew who McCain was, and also his father (the man helping to cover up the Liberty attack by Israel on US ship Liberty) and gave many examples of how well-treated, comparatively, McCain was despite his protestations of cruelty.

  73. August 27, 2018 at 15:52

    This is appalling what the national dogma-enforcers are trying to say about John McCain. “Bombs Away” McCain doesn’t deserve the reverence of thinking Americans. To portray his well-documented dark deeds as some sort of fascist ‘human decency’, what are they trying to say here? Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain? Are we supposed to join in league with the rest of the moral cowards populating imperial Washington, and pretend things are not as they so obviously are?

    The rot described here – the willful barbarism against natives inside a targeted vassal state – is well-described in such great Western literature as “The Heart of Darkness” by Joseph Conrad. This was about colonialism in the Belgian Congo over 100 years ago, and it is still highly relevant today. Somehow, nobody in Washington any more seems to have ever read these books, despite the fact there was a time when (at least I once believed) most aspiring ‘good students’ in college preparatory or college freshman English classes had to at least read and perhaps understand these issues of Western sanctimony in the cruel advancement of resource extraction and forced-labor in hapless societies. Smedley Butler got it. (Confession: I believe many college-educated “leaders” on Capitol Hill get it, but – they just don’t care.)

    Wasn’t John McCain ranked 896 out of 900 students at the Naval Academy? What does this suggest? That perhaps he was ignorant, perhaps willfully so? Because it looks like ignorance and fascism and neo-colonialism made deadly consorts during his life.

  74. Skip Scott
    August 27, 2018 at 15:15


    They use an algorithm here that focuses on automatically deleting comments with certain words, sort of like Carlin’s 7 words you can’t say on TV. Don’t take it personally. You just have to work around it. I value your comments here, so please hang in there!

    • F. G. Sanford
      August 27, 2018 at 15:46

      Mine disappeared too – I figured at first that I was too critical of Mr. Warmth, but after reading the other comments, mine seemed kinda tame. I’ve about had it with the AI editing, so I’ll be checking out of this nightclub!

    • August 27, 2018 at 17:21

      Thanks for the kind words Mr. Scott.

      • backwardsevolution
        August 27, 2018 at 20:05

        Drew – I value your comments too, Drew. Last week I got so pissed off when one of my own comments that I had taken the time to research and think about was nowhere to be found – out in the “moderation” graveyard. First I swore at Joe Lauria, then I realized it probably had nothing to do with him, and then I got down and did some planks, squats, push-ups and got my anger out.

        By the time we “solve” politics, I am going to be one lean, mean machine.

        Stick around, Drew. You’re needed. Take care.

        • August 27, 2018 at 22:31

          Haha! Been there backwardsevolution, been there.

          I’m going to have to take up your method of venting off steam, sounds therapeutic.

  75. AnneR
    August 27, 2018 at 15:10

    Thank you Mr Blumenthal for this article. It expresses my sentiments (and those of my late husband) regarding McCain as well as my disgust at the beatification of this distinctly warmongering, unprincipled militarist-politician. I would only add that he supported the Reagan-North Contra affair; Reagan’s invasion of Grenada; saw eye to eye with Pinochet. Indeed, as you have made abundantly clear, there wasn’t a US-NATO led war, bombing, killing spree that he didn’t support (so far as I can tell). So long as the deaths and mayhem happened elsewhere, beyond US shores and so long as those invasions, interventions, coups, meddlings and whatnot further the corporate-capitalist-imperialist aims of the US’s ruling elites, they were fine by him.

    Moreover, he (so many of these hypocrites in Congress) was, I gather, willing to cut “public spending” (I doubt he intended the military-industrial-complex) when a budget deficit exists. Would he have included his own (and his workmates) salaries and medical care costs in such a cut, do you suppose? Personally, I doubt it. He and his forebears appear to have done little else beside live off the tax payer tit. A sinecurist to his fingertips.

  76. Occupy on!
    August 27, 2018 at 15:02

    Thanx, Max, for this important reminder of the neocon control over US destructive foreign policies – McCain at the helm some times, a Kagan at the helm other times. Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, Hillary Clinton sprinkled throughout. And now, little John Bolton with the big mustache is having his time. They’ve run this country over a cliff. We deserve the ignominy coming our way.

  77. Michael H
    August 27, 2018 at 15:01

    The Main Stream Media’s Whitewashing of a Blood Thirsty Maniacal Cheerleader for war is a most sickening act of a government that keeps its citizens blind, deaf, and brain dead. If you’re not careful TV news will have you praising and cheering for the brutal warmongering killers while fighting against those who are being victimized.

  78. Matt Krist,Germany
    August 27, 2018 at 14:42

    The Mc Cain friends ,(Exactly the Tommies) work on another false flag action in idlip,Syria ,(Chemical attack,what else?) in this days.They need a legitimation to blow up Syria.A legitimation for simple minds.Let’s hope the Russians will keep their feet calm,otherwise ,yes,I think you all know exactly what otherwise will happen!

  79. Jochen Vogel
    August 27, 2018 at 14:38

    McCain’s leanings and activities got a valid wrap-up. Thank you.

  80. Richard Morgan
    August 27, 2018 at 14:30

    Combine the traitorous international actions with the felonious fealty for the Corporate Oligarch and the true nature of the man is exposed for all to see and remember. In one of the worst displays by any Senator, McCain raged at a lone Blackfeet woman named Elouise Cobell during a hearing on the theft of resources from Native lands. He leaned forward and called her a liar on an issue he knew was true. All, along with the entire Clinton Administration and Congress, in defense of the Energy cartels doing the looting. His raging rant can be seen in the documentary: 100 years, One womans fight for Justice. It revealed the horrors perpetrated by the U.S. government against all Natives by both political parties, the Supreme Court and all of the Judiciary, Congress, and every Presidential administration during those years. The slate was wiped clean by the felonious actions of government awarding a pittance for the billions in stolen wealth. Elouise Cobell died before she received one cent. McCain deserves no accolades for his traitorous servitude to every aspect of humanity and the Constitution of the United States.

  81. Steven F. Izzo
    August 27, 2018 at 14:17

    McCain’s bloody legacy and deep state advocacy will be spun for the masses as American heroship… America, the beacon of democracy.

  82. August 27, 2018 at 14:04

    “his fascistic allies” I wish knowledgeable writers like Max would refer to fascists as fascists at all times and not only when they present well known symbols of Nazism.

  83. Pecosin Rat
    August 27, 2018 at 13:53

    Interesting, Max. Thank you for the contrarian view…

  84. Louis Nardozi
    August 27, 2018 at 13:51


    Great job on documenting the obvious – anyone who listens to McCain for 5 minutes is certain this type of thing happens, but without documentation providing proof an argument against him cannot be made.

    • Robert Edwards
      August 27, 2018 at 14:06

      There ‘s plenty of proof of McCains duplicity, his funding terrorists, killing 133 US navy personnel and plenty more. Divorcing his wife why she was still in hospital for a much younger and wealthy women.

  85. Gary Anderson
    August 27, 2018 at 13:50

    THANK YOU for publishing this INCREDIBLE Max Blumenthal story about the WACKO MILITARIST John McCain!!!!!!!!
    It’s THE reason I just contributed $50 to Consortium.

    It’s VERY difficult to say ANYTHING positive about Trump but I applaud him for NOT honoring McCain!

    “Trump reportedly nixed a White House statement that praised McCain and his legacy, instead opting for a tweet that simply conveyed his sympathies to the McCain family. Trump’s Instagram tribute took it a step further, reposting the text from his tweet alongside a photo of himself.” (from MSN)

  86. August 27, 2018 at 13:45

    This is how bad Washington has become. McCain was supposed to be a “moderate Republican”.

    When in fact, there really are no moderate Republicans today. There used to–like Nelson Rockefeller and John Sherman Cooper and Jacob Javits.

    But the combination of Buckley, Reagan, Gingrich and DeLay eliminated that whole part of the GOP. McCain passed for that in today’s spectrum.

    • backwardsevolution
      August 27, 2018 at 15:15

      Jim DiEugenio – I don’t disagree with your statement, but at least we have to give credit to Reagan for ending the arms race with Gorbachev. Paul Craig Roberts says:

      “The collapse of the Soviet Union is usually attributed to Reagan and represented as one of his victories. This is a fabrication. I was in Reagan’s government, both as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury and afterward as a member of a secret Presidential Committee with subpeona power over the CIA. Reagan told us many times that his purpose was not to win the Cold War but to end it.

      He told everyone involved that all respect had to be shown to the Soviets as the purpose was to end the threat of nuclear war, not to have an insulting triumphal victory.

      Unfortunately, the trust Reagan established with the Russians was betrayed by the corrupt and criminal Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama regimes. Because of these utterly corrupt regimes, today the distrust between the US and Russia is far higher than ever existed during the long decades of the Cold War. What the criminal Clinton, Bush, and Obama regimes did was to resurrect the possibility of nuclear war that Reagan and Gorbachev had terminated.”

  87. PJ
    August 27, 2018 at 13:39

    They say don’t speak ill of the dead but in John McCain’s case we should and do make an exception. Max Blumenthal’s article and the comments here serve as a realignment with reality, to balance the MSM and dozens of politicians comments which can only be described as platitudes about a man who has done great harm. A man who has never acknowledged the harm he had done nor had he any empathy for the victims of the policies he pursued throughout his life.

  88. August 27, 2018 at 13:30

    i believe War and War-makers are a disease.
    October 19, 2014
    The War Disease

    This disease has been known to infect the minds of so-called “honourable” and “right honourable” politicians. Some have even called it “noble.” It gives them a sense of power and control and some feel it helps their chances of re-election. Therefore, they spread this disease by forming coalitions with other diseased politicians of similar mindset. They spread their disease by word of mouth and it becomes infectious and contagious. This contagion is happily picked up by most of the media and the arms dealers who manufacture weapons for this deadly disease and they spread their dangerous, destructive and evil killing around the world, while at the same time reaping enormous bloody profits.

    Other supporters of this disease are the generals’ in fancy uniforms and colourful medals which they receive for perpetrating this sickness. This illness also contaminates whole armies of serfs who blindly follow orders to bomb, kill and maim on instructions from the generals. Sometimes innocent people, including children who are disease-free are slaughtered by the perpetrators of this disease. But if this is done by a “moral army” then it is praised and approved by most of the establishment. This is called “collateral damage” and the killers sometimes apologize then carry on killing….
    [more info at link below]

  89. alley cat
    August 27, 2018 at 13:08

    “I am in this earthy world, where to do harm is often laudable, to do good sometimes accounted dangerous folly.”

    –from the play Macbeth

    “I spent most of my time being a high class muscle-man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.”

    –from a 1933 speech by General Smedley Butler

    youtube host to McCain: “When I searched John McCain on youtube the biggest thing that comes up is you singing ‘bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, Iran,’ [to the tune of the song ‘Barbara Ann’] . . . Are you proud or embarrassed of that?”

    McCain: “Oh, I’m proud of that.”

    Later, McCain would say he was joking, but that’s only half-true. McCain was born a plutocrat scion of imperialist warriors. He never had to worry about money, all he had to worry about was whether he could measure up (or down) to the examples set by his father and grandfather. He did that and then some.

    Was McCain really a patriot? Or was he just a gangster for capitalism who wanted to bomb everyone into submission to big business, Wall Street, and the bankers?

    If McCain was a patriot, then what was General Smedley Butler, who told the truth about U.S. imperialism? What are countless others who dare to speak truth to power and to defend the rights of ordinary people against powerful elites?

    According to the neocon code of (dis)honor, only traitors dare to tell the truth.

  90. Alan
    August 27, 2018 at 13:07

    It is great to see a genuine truth-teller and trenchant reporter like Max Blumenthal in the pages of Consortium News.

    As for John McCain, the whitewashing of his career by people who should know better is what we have come to expect from the political establishment. Hell, even Dick Cheney and George W. Bush have seen their reputations rehabilitated, and they’re not dead yet.

  91. Litchfield
    August 27, 2018 at 12:55

    Don’t forget, too, McCain’s ties to the Jewish mob via his wife.
    That certainly affected his politics—if the McCain brand of running around like a Boy Scout trying to get a badge in supporting criminal interventions can be called politic.

    It is ironic—or perhaps timely—that this arch meddler should depart this world when the USA’s role as the world’s biggest meddler in other nations’ business is being whitewashed and swept under the rug to the accompaniment of a “chorus of the innocents.”

  92. Walter
    August 27, 2018 at 11:58

    Real people who have MIA in their family history may not understand how John Boy helped cover up the treason of abandoning them.


    “…By eviscerating the law, McCain gave his stamp of approval to the government policy of debunking the existence of live POW…”

    But read it yourself…

  93. Susan Sunflower
    August 27, 2018 at 11:27

    I was (and remain) baffled by McCain’s apparent autonomy in visiting the conflict zones mentioned and others (just a friendly visit!) like the Kurds who were reportedly McCain’s darlings, never to be abandoned (again) except they kinda sorta have been used as no-passive or neutral playing pieces (pawns or bishops) in Iraq/Syria/Turkish affairs. When the Georgia “crisis” erupted, I stunned and sickened when I read that McCain was on-the-ground with Sashkavilli as events unfolded — reminding me of other situations where promises of “American support” led to rash acts and ultimately no support (a good thing, but then having no stomach for actual war — Bay of Pigs, reportedly Saddam’s invasion of Kuwait, Iraqi rebels who would challenge Saddam) — project disowned). Another amazing example where claims of a Russian “attack” are accept as “truth” … not to be questioned or examined at all.

    I’m grateful for this piece but I still do not know how McCain became some sort of “deep state” military advisorwithout portfolio. Was is “autonomy” brought with the arms sales he could claim responsibility for? Before MBS, McCain worked diligently to become the new KSA indispensible right-hand man only to apparently be cast aside when Bandar fell from grace

    atlantic: ‘Thank God for the Saudis’: ISIS, Iraq, and the Lessons of Blowback
    U.S lawmakers encouraged officials in Riyadh to arm Syrian rebels. Now that strategy may have created a monster in the Middle East. [ ]

    “”“Thank God for the Saudis and Prince Bandar,” John McCain told CNN’s Candy Crowley in January 2014. “Thank God for the Saudis and Prince Bandar, and for our Qatari friends,” the senator said once again a month later, at the Munich Security Conference.

    McCain was praising Prince Bandar bin Sultan, then the head of Saudi Arabia’s intelligence services and a former ambassador to the United States, for supporting forces fighting Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria. McCain and Senator Lindsey Graham had previously met with Bandar to encourage the Saudis to arm Syrian rebel forces.””
    (at a time when I believe Obama was still publically begging other nations to resist doing just that ….. It is impressive how the mujahadeen model was then replicated throughout a number of countries thrown into turmoil by “Arab Spring” ain’t it — proxy fighters and all.)

    anyhow, how did McCain evolve into an almost untouchable one-man-band? Inquiring minds.

    • Susan Sunflower
      August 27, 2018 at 12:01

      new today, from Russiaphobe Franklin Foer in Attlantic on McCain’s Russian connections and election related dealing with Manafort (2008 and before)
      Atlantic: John McCain’s Epiphany About Paul Manafort
      Manafort saw managing the 2008 Republican convention as almost a birthright. But McCain denied him the job. He couldn’t abide Manafort’s pro-Russian clients—and told him so.

      I do get the feeling that Russian, the ‘STans and Ukraine (and others) were viewed as some sort of lawless wild-west with gold nuggets to be picked up from the street. (if you ingratiate yourself to the right people)

  94. Jeff Harrison
    August 27, 2018 at 11:10

    No one is uniformly good or evil. The ancient Egyptians believed that after you die, your heart is placed on one pan of a scale and a feather is placed on the other. If your heart is weighed down with your behavior in life and out weighs the feather, the pan with your heart in it will drop down and get snapped up by the Nile Crocodile and you disappear forever. Otherwise, you join the pantheon of the gods.

    It would be interesting to know what happened to McCain’s heart.

  95. Ed
    August 27, 2018 at 10:55

    I can’t help but think that all the praise being heaped upon Sen. McCain is being coordinated by what has been called the Deep State, and is yet another desperate attempt to plant in the minds of citizens the narrative that what the deep state intelligence/political organizations do is for the good of the US and the world.

    It’s unlikely to work as the crimes of our officials are being brought to light. It seems obvious that the alternate media, including Consortium News, is bringing about a change in the way that the actions of our government are being viewed by the American people.

    • Susan Sunflower
      August 27, 2018 at 11:40

      My memory of Clinton’s stint as Secretary of State (aside from Libya) as being America’s #1 sales representative. I have wondered how much of McCain’s clout was derived from his “Rolodex” and arms related deal making … McCain usually finding some reason to consider military action or military deterrence … diplomacy,

      • Susan Sunflower
        August 27, 2018 at 11:47
        • Anne Jaclard
          August 27, 2018 at 16:06

          The war makers certainly will use the myth of McCain to the the greatest effect, as Noam Chomsky said in 1973, “the POW campaign, nonetheless, is an outstanding achievement of the state propaganda machine. It may well have a significant impact on the public response to American aggression in the future.”

  96. Tony Vodvarka
    August 27, 2018 at 10:46

    Had John McCain’s father not been the Naval Commander of the Pacific theater at the time, he might have been spared the fate of becoming a POW and finding himself making propaganda broadcasts for the North Vietnamese since he probably would have been court-martialed and given a dishonorable discharge for his reported role in the USS Forrestal disaster. He was ordered off the ship on the first helicopter available that carried the most severely wounded.

    • Deniz
      August 27, 2018 at 11:00

      I could not find any conclusive evidence that he was responsible for the Forrestal fire. He abandoned ship and should have been court martialled for that, but the causing the fire allegation seems unsubstantiated.

      Kudos to Blumenthal, top notch journalism.

      • Tony Vodvarka
        August 27, 2018 at 11:57

        He was known at the time as Johnny “Wet Start”, i.e. filling the engine with fuel before ignition, therefore pranking the pilot behind with a cloud of flame. Unfortunately, this prank set off a Zuni rocket which exploded in the bow of the aircraft carrier causing major explosions. This incident was covered up as effectively as was the whitewash of the attempted sinking of the USS Liberty by Israel that was conducted by his father.

        • Deniz
          August 27, 2018 at 12:41

          I heard about Johnny Wet Start I have no doubt that is true, but again that is not conclusive evidence that in that particular instance he started the fire. There is a widely distributed video in the Navy, which follows the Zuni’s path being fired from the other side of the ship. Apparently, the video is a standard fire training procedure for navy shipmen. The video could have been doctored but I have not found evidence of that either. I also doubt the Navy would go so far as to make a doctored video standard training procedure as by now enough people would have seen it to poke holes in it.

          McCain has plenty of war crimes to account for, I am just not certain that this is one of them.

          • Tony Vodvarka
            August 27, 2018 at 12:54

            I am as confident in the good faith of the Navy in this instance as I am of their explanation of the treacherous attack upon the Liberty, both covered up under the direction of John McCain, Sr. Believe what you will.

        • backwardsevolution
          August 27, 2018 at 15:26

          Tony – “This incident was covered up…” As with everything else! Good posts.

    • David G
      August 27, 2018 at 13:20

      McCain skated past several instances of dubious flying on his way up the ranks in the navy (and who knows how much other misconduct the spoiled spawn of admirals got away with), but he was blameless in the Forrestal fire.

      Other than popularizing the idea that the missile hit his plane – rather than the one next to it, as investigations have shown (not a very important misconception) – McCain didn’t have any fault in that disaster.

      This seems to cover the relevant sources pretty well:

  97. August 27, 2018 at 10:40

    A psychopath’s psychopath. Few humans in recent history can claim more innocent blood on their hands than this monster. The quote in praise of McCain from Ocasio-Cortez just about made my head explode. Apparently “lies” have become the new “truth.” Amazing.

    • August 27, 2018 at 12:01

      Ocasio-Cortez is the newest puppet of the Democratic Party. It makes my head explode every time she is referred to as a socialist, further confusing the U.S. populace about the meaning of the word.
      As for McCain, his canonization is truly ludicrous, while people like Hugo Chavez and Fidel are vilified upon their passing.

      • J. Lynn
        August 28, 2018 at 13:57

        Bernie is about as socialist as Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. The word socialist lost its meaning and Americans were flooded with misinformation and anti-communist propaganda about it long before she hit the scene.

        Whether Ocasio becomes a puppet is at least as much up to the people around her from “the base” as from the DNC/DP hacks. If she’s attacked and left alone from the start you’re pretty much making sure they win. No individual can withstand that institution by themselves. It’s impossible.

    • michael crockett
      August 27, 2018 at 14:43

      This quote stood out for me as well Gary. I can imagine Ocasio-Cortez getting scolded or at least schooled by Sen. Warren to be more evasive/nuanced in her comments. This is the sad state of affairs when it comes to “progressive democrats”. They have no sincere commitments to peace. They are happy to take campaign donations from those who represent the interests of the MIC. The weapons manufacturers have these politicians all figured out: You want my money, you need my money, and you will do my bidding! It was not an oversight on Sen Sanders part, when running in the democratic primary, he refused to meet with the organization Veterans For Peace. Democrats would like you to think that they will stand up to the MIC. They also tried to tell us that they would stand up to Wall Street. How has that worked out?

      • Litchfield
        August 27, 2018 at 21:23

        This also says quite a lot about Sen. Warren.
        No justice for Palestinians, middle class or otherwise.

    • Litchfield
      August 27, 2018 at 15:48

      I was disgusted at OC’s sycophantic contribution to the McCain choir.
      What is she thinking?
      What does she think her potential constituency is thinking?
      Makes me question her intelligence.
      OK, the guy was a senior senator, he died.
      There are ways to deal with this social requirement to say something appropriate without prostituting oneself and lying and groveling.
      If she cannot figure out how to parse this one, she can’t be looking forward to a very illustrious career.
      I don’t think her constituents really want to witness this kind of a s s licking from their representative in Congress.
      Or, is she too ignorant to know anything about McCain’s real career?

      BTW, check out Cindy McCain’s dad. Many question marks and very strong indication of mob influence in his liquor and racetrack businesses, despite his own felony convictions. Meaning Mccain’s political career was likely financed by mob money.
      Nice family: Cindy McCain gets all teh money; her sister gets virtually squat. Dad Hensley pulled the same trick on his first wife that John McCain later did with his own first wife when he decided to marry into the super-rich Hensley tribe.

  98. mike k
    August 27, 2018 at 10:31

    Thanks to CN for airing what is beneath all the whitewash of this evil man.

  99. August 27, 2018 at 10:30

    McCain was a whore war of the highest order, a true psychopath. The shrinks who interviewed him during his confinement in Vietnam marveled at the manner in which he could kill without remorse, a cold blooded assassin more suited to be a contract killer for the Genovese crime family than a nationally respected Senator.

    For decades he was the Energizer Bunny of Washington militarist-Zionist aggression throughout the globe, providing his deranged imprimatur on virtually every single “humanitarian” intervention the ruling class imperialists decided upon.

    Perhaps he’s now finally facing justice from the hundreds (1,000s?) of innocent Vietnamese he killed from the cockpit of his plane. It’s a pleasant thought if the big cosmic arrangement in the sky worked in such fashion.

  100. August 27, 2018 at 10:21

    John Chuckman, very good article on McCain written when he was running for President, as well as your other writings are very good. I thought of Marc Antony’s words from Shakespeare’s ‘Julius Caesar’, “The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones”. In McCain’s case it seems that the evil he has done is seen as good in the Matrix of DC Bubble Babble.

  101. August 27, 2018 at 09:47

    Indeed, none of this comes as news to some who have actually examined John McCain. He was without question a man as unsavory and ugly as Donald Trump.

    I know we are to speak nothing but good of the dead.

    But I simply cannot do that in John McCain’s case.

    The truth is that most articles eulogizing him simply reflect a lack of real knowledge.

    Apart from the appealing boyish smile, this was in fact a man who shared many of the extremely unpleasant qualities of Donald Trump.

    Even the war hero stuff is close to offensive when you know the truth, and I am not even considering the testimony of a number of men who were also prisoners of war with him and who tell terrible tales of him using his influence – his father was a big admiral, and the Vietnamese knew that – to gain privileged treatment.

    I wrote a researched article about him back at the time he was running for office.

    The facts speak for themselves. Here it is:

    And here is another small piece which may interest readers:

    • RnM
      August 27, 2018 at 18:24

      Sorry, John, but I just can’t put Trump into the same bin as McCain, who found a way to achieve a record of killing, arming nations and pillaging cultures from the perch of a US Senator. He went way out of his elected position to visit countries chomping on their bits to get American aid for ways to overrun their neighboring countries. McCain was the central enabler/bagman for a great deal of the tragedies and atrocities committed in the name of the USA, many of them on behalf of our “partners.”
      Could it be time to ease up on President Trump, and compare his governing to what could have been under the Clinton gang?

      • J2027
        August 27, 2018 at 20:04

        Maybe, if he as sincere about stripping weapons-and-logistical support from Saudi Arabia and interventionist-forces in Africa and South America as he is about Russia, and only then. The MIC is a rabid dog having been loosed upon the world, destroying all in it’s path. It needs to be put on a leash. Trump didn’t cause the problem, of course, but it’s too soon to know for certain how serious he is about reigning it in.

        • RnM
          August 28, 2018 at 03:06

          Exactly! So it is too early to be painting Trump as being in the same league as McCain.

  102. August 27, 2018 at 09:15

    McCain was a useful idiot, serving those now in power and will continue to do so from his grave. But he was also a vicious mischief maker who played on his heroism to stir people to violence against their neighbors. Trying to retain the image of a true patriot will be a challenge, now willingly accepted by his admirers and those who saw his enormous value to further their aims.

  103. August 27, 2018 at 08:55

    A much needed essay on the real John McCain by Max Blumenthal which i hope will be picked up by other alternative media sites in the midst of the jingoist orgy we will be treated to this week. Martin Luther King, if he were here today to hear John Lewis, an icon of the Civil Rights movement, hail McCain as a “Warrior for Peace”, would not be pleased. And the neophyte Ocasio-Cortez apparently feels political pressure to pay tribute to McCain’s “decency”. Surely Bernie Sanders’ tribute will be next? There will be no shortage of McCain’s successors and proteges who will continue his war whoring. The slogan of the Beltway these days is the same as that of “The Party” in Orwell’s ‘1984’: “War is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength.”

    • mike k
      August 27, 2018 at 10:19

      Beautiful comment, as always Jessika.

  104. August 27, 2018 at 07:57

    The “other” side of McCain?. There is only one side to McCain. War-monger and destroyer of countries and people. He was one sick puppy.

      August 27, 2018 at 09:49

      Indeed, well said.

        August 27, 2018 at 10:23

        Clearly, the other side to the mainstream media treatment of the man. The side that’s not being told. A perfectly apt headline.

    • mike k
      August 27, 2018 at 10:20


  105. August 27, 2018 at 07:42

    A correction is in order. Yaroslav Stetsko was Ukrainian, not Croatian.

  106. F. G. Sanford
    August 27, 2018 at 07:31

    McCain didn’t actually have a political ideology. He was just plain nuts. Claims to the contrary are consistent with the rampant political schizophrenia now gripping our nation. McCain was crippled by injuries sustained during what some claim was an improperly executed ejection procedure after his plane was struck by antiaircraft fire. He was notorious for disregarding training protocols. Several accounts document his disdain for standard operating procedure, and lay blame for the catastrophic “Forrestal Fire”, for which he earned the nickname “Johnny Wet-Start”, squarely on his shoulders. He may have been harshly interrogated, but plenty of reliable sources claim he was treated with kid-glove care. In fact, he did make a propaganda recording praising the fine medical attention he received from the North Vietnamese.

    I speculated in a previous comment that Ocasio-Cortez could prove to be an authoritarian follower based on perspectives intrinsic to her cultural heritage. Her praises for a man so completely possessed of chauvinistic belligerence and obstinate irrationalism would seem to concede. Her critics on the lunatic alt-right include Dan Bongino and Stefan Molyneux, who incessantly mischaracterize “socialism” as “state control of the means of production”. Never mind that this is more consistent with feudalism or totalitarianism. The tragedy is that Ocasio-Cortez, the product of mediocre American academia, is not intellectually or factually capable of making an informed counter-argument. As a result, she will cause irrevocable harm to the Democratic party and progressive causes through inability to defend programs such as FDR’s “New Deal”. Her critics are wrong. She’s not a moron. She’s politically illiterate. Don’t be surprised when she also supports censorship and repression of free speech in the name of “social justice” and “political correctness”.

    Two years ago, Webster Tarpley was singing the praises of improved Russian relations. After being sued for slander, he now finds Russian subversives in every closet. Without a shred of evidence, the entire pundit class has gone down this schizophrenic road. What I see is a Hollywood style “Mexican standoff”. The truth is, both sides have abominable corruption to hide. Trump is no angel, but if he lasts long enough, sooner or later, someone will talk to save their own skin. Neither Democrats nor Republicans are eager to face the real reasons that make Hillary Clinton untouchable. But there is a real reason, and it has nothing to do with emails.

    • J. Lynn
      August 28, 2018 at 14:35

      F. G. Sanford: WHAT in the world does this mean? To what cultural heritage do you refer? Tammany Hall? I await your reply with bated breath as the political and historical illiteracy intrinsic in this remark is truly breath-taking.

      “I speculated in a previous comment that Ocasio-Cortez could prove to be an authoritarian follower based on perspectives intrinsic to her cultural heritage.”

      • F. G. Sanford
        August 29, 2018 at 02:11

        First, we’d need to have a discussion about the Anthropological definition of culture. This has nothing to do with ‘race’ or ‘ethnicity’. Enculturation produces attitudes, beliefs, perspectives and patterns of behavior which are incredibly resistant to change. Some anthropologists posit that the genetic makeup of a population is more likely to change over time than its cultural traditions. The concept of ‘Authoritarian Personality’ types is well documented. Paradoxically, ‘authoritarians’ tend to be willing followers, feckless lackeys, submissive stooges and enthusiastic myrmidons until, by essentially “sucking up”, they achieve positions of power. At that point, their contrapuntal personality attributes emerge, and they become odious abusers of their underlings and subjects. The bottom line is, Ocasio-Cortez probably has more in common with Eva Peron than Eleanor Roosevelt. Her hookup with George Soros should be a clue. Maybe I’m wrong. Only time will tell. But hey, what did you think about the rest of my comment? I’m waiting with bated breath!

        • J. Lynn
          August 30, 2018 at 17:19

          F. G. Sanford – Wow, the 19th century arrogance and prejudice of your comment has to be a joke to provoke an outraged response. I’ll only say this because you’ve picked up on what other trolls are repeating and other bigots might believe.

          Your cartoonish claim: “The bottom line is, Ocasio-Cortez probably has more in common with Eva Peron than Eleanor Roosevelt. Her hookup with George Soros should be a clue. Maybe I’m wrong. Only time will tell. ”

          Time doesn’t have to tell. I will.
          Ocasio is a direct inheritor of Eleanor Roosevelt’s far-reaching influence in the city where she was born, raised and worked and in Eleanor’s place in NY’s consciousness as our beloved global hero and role model. Whether Ocasio lives up to it is another matter.

          Eva Peron has as much to do with her, Puerto Rico or the NY character/psyche as the Argentine penguins 6000 miles away.

          Hookup w/ Soros? Are you insane? I’ll assume you have no idea what hookup means today. See my detailed comments somewhere else on this thread about the totally false rumor that links her to Soros.

  107. Walter
    August 27, 2018 at 07:05

    Adios “Songbird” (or “Johnny Wet-start” (they say he nearly sank the Forestall)).

    Glad to see him leave the arena…

    What interests some is how a dim bulb amoral character with such mediocre performance can become such a figure…how do men of such character “rise” to positions of power? What sort of forces support such odious persons?

    His “replacement” may be even more terrible…

    • mike k
      August 27, 2018 at 10:22

      Black is white for the image makers.

    • August 27, 2018 at 12:05

      Only in the exceptional USA!

    • Litchfield
      August 27, 2018 at 21:29

      My post about his father-in-law’s connections to the mob were deleted by mods.

      McCain pulled a fast one on his wife in order to marry the heiress, Cindy Hensley.
      You can read about her father and is involvement with the liquor and racetrack business (nudge nudge), which was the source of his wealth, depsite his being a felon.
      He got McCain started in politics, and doubtless he a nd his pals “owned” McCain to a great extent.

  108. RnM
    August 27, 2018 at 06:57

    John McCain was a genuine monster.
    Thank you, Max.

    • mike k
      August 27, 2018 at 10:23

      A monster indeed. That needs to be said.

  109. Theo
    August 27, 2018 at 05:30

    Very good and interesting article.Thank you.In the German media McCain was a hero a fighter for democracy and freedom.Not one single word about his”other side”Same thing on”Politico Europe”

    • mike k
      August 27, 2018 at 10:25

      Media lie consistently.

    • Josep
      August 31, 2018 at 03:19

      Was it the same German media who, during the Iraq War, denounced Bush and compared him with Hitler? Considering how both McCain and Bush were both war-mongering neocons, it would be interesting to see what it was about McCain that set him apart from Bush in the eyes of the German media.

  110. Realist
    August 27, 2018 at 05:27

    All these loopy liberals who are presently praising McCain just want to hoodwink the public into voting against McCain’s biggest political target come November: Donald Trump and the Republican congress that might keep him from being impeached. It’s just pure expediency. “Enemy of my enemy qualifies as my new hero” and all that idiocy. How can any set of “liberal democratic” principles cause one to rally around one of the chief fomentors of the New Cold War, started by his personal attentions in Ukraine. He’s championed neo-nazism in an attempt to overthrow the Russian government not caring a bit about the multi-millions of lives at stake fer chrissake. And, for what purpose? How did his deluded mind, thankfully no longer conspiring to commit mass atrocities using the American military as his favorite tool, believe that destroying Russia, China, Iran and a long litany of other nations would improve the lot of the human race? Anyone basing a presidential campaign on a promise to “bomb, bomb, bomb Iran” or any other country should be immediately disqualified as a danger to all, if not officially at least in the judgment of the voters. Instead of lionizing this psychopath, he should be held up as a caution of the dangers inherent in political power. In his aftermath the country should be breathing a brief sigh of relief at the path not taken in spite of his urgings.

    I would like to see more panegyrics like Caitlyn Johnstone gave the SOB, not dangerous nonsense like Ocasio-Cortez delivered.

    • mike k
      August 27, 2018 at 10:28

      Right on Realist. Excellent link also.

      • Realist
        August 27, 2018 at 17:20
        • Dave P.
          August 28, 2018 at 03:35

          Yes. Fitting tribute indeed by Paul Craig Roberts.

          Article and comments have covered very well the moral degradation of John McCain and other institutions of Government. I like to add another point which has been missed – McCain was utterly devoid of any intellectual depth or understanding of World History. Of course it applies to a very large majority of those sitting in the Congress. And the Western Europe is also going in that direction – a very rapid decline of the Western Civilization.

          • Walter
            August 28, 2018 at 09:46

            Congress seems to have all the brains and education of a sack of hammers. Hammers? Yes, Force and Obedience…that’s what hammers do.

  111. john wilson
    August 27, 2018 at 04:48

    A very informative piece and an example of journalism as it should be, but I doubt there will be anything like this in MSM. McCain’s passing will make little in the way of a dent in the now frightening power of the neocons, the deep state, thinks tanks and the MSM. Presumably, there will be an election for McCain’s seat so that should be interesting. We might think we can breathe a sigh of relief now that the man has gone, but the power of the state and the more openly MSM etc seems to grow by the day and fine works of journalism like this one the internet, will have little effect on the clones of McCain who infest government. McCain is not really dead, he just has a new face like some kind of specter from a horror film.

    • mike k
      August 27, 2018 at 10:29

      Scary and true forecast.

    • Ed
      August 28, 2018 at 10:34

      John, your presumption of an elected replacement for McCain will disappoint you. The governor of Arizona can simply appoint a replacement, and he certainly will. We may hope that the replacement will not inherit McCain’s influence nor the access to electoral fraud that he held.

      While he lived, he was living proof that votes simply do not matter in an Arizona senatorial election.

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