Let me just begin by prefacing thus: there are a LOT of reasons to attack John McCain. For simple starters he’s a RHINO – which for politically illiterate is an acronym meaning “Republican In Name Only” – who has made a career out of splitting the difference by betraying conservatives. I voted for him in the general election, because my alternative was a backstabber or the damned devil, but no way was that turd my primary vote.
So there are a LOT of ways that a reasonable person could reasonably attack John McCain. Heck, one of those ways involves the very category of “prisoner of war” that Donald Trump attacked McCain on. Certainly Trump had every right to go after John McCain for saying that 15,000 American citizens living in McCain’s own state of Arizona were “crazies.”
But for the official record the way that Donald Trump viciously attacked John McCain simply for BEING a prisoner of war is beneath the pale of decency or dignity. And Donald Trump seriously needs to be fired by every decent American for his stupid idiotic indecency.
Luntz: “He’s a war hero. He’s a war hero …”
Trump: “He’s not a war hero …”
Luntz: “He’s war hero.”
Trump: “He is a war hero …”
Luntz: “Five and half years in a Vietnamese prison camp …”
Trump: “He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured. So he’s a war hero …”
Luntz: “Do you agree with that?”
Trump: “He’s a war hero, because he was captured, okay? I believe, perhaps, he’s a war hero. But right now he said some very bad things about a lot of people. So what I said is John McCain, I disagree with him that these people aren’t crazy.”
Okay, Trump had his say. But here is something called the ACTUAL DAMN FACTS as to how John McCain became a P.O.W.:
On October 26, 1967, McCain was flying his twenty-third mission, part of a twenty-plane strike force against the Yen Phu thermal power plant in central Hanoi that previously had almost always been off-limits to U.S. raids due to the possibility of collateral damage. Arriving just before noon, McCain dove from 9,000 to 4,000 feet on his approach; as he neared the target, warning systems in McCain’s A-4E Skyhawk alerted him that he was being tracked by enemy fire-control radar. Like other U.S. pilots in similar situations, he did not break off the bombing run, and he held his dive until he released his bombs at about 3,500 feet (1,000 m). As he started to pull up, the Skyhawk’s wing was blown off by a Soviet-made SA-2 anti-aircraft missile fired by the North Vietnamese Air Defense Command’s 61st Battalion, commanded by Captain Nguyen Lan and with fire control officer Lieutenant Nguyen Xuan Dai. (McCain was later awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for this day, while Nguyen Xuan Dai was awarded the title Hero of the People’s Armed Forces. Decades later, Soviet Army Lieutenant Yuri Trushechkin claimed that he had been the missile guidance officer who had shot McCain down. In any case, the raid was a failure, as the power plant was not damaged and three of the Navy planes were shot down.)
McCain’s plane went into a vertical inverted spin. Bailing out upside down at high speed, the force of the ejection fractured McCain’s right arm in three places, his left arm, and his right leg at the knee, and knocked him unconscious. McCain nearly drowned after parachuting into Trúc Bạch Lake in Hanoi; the weight of his equipment was pulling him down, and as he regained consciousness, he could not use his arms. Eventually, he was able to inflate his life vest using his teeth. Several Vietnamese, possibly led by Department of Industry clerk Mai Van On, pulled him ashore. A mob gathered around, spat on him, kicked him, and stripped him of his clothes; his left shoulder was crushed with the butt of a rifle and he was bayoneted in his left foot and abdominal area. He was then transported to Hanoi’s main Hỏa Lò Prison, nicknamed the “Hanoi Hilton” by American POWs.
McCain reached Hoa Lo in as bad a physical condition as any prisoner during the war. His captors refused to give him medical care unless he gave them military information; they beat and interrogated him, but McCain only offered his name, rank, serial number, and date of birth (the only information he was required to provide under the Geneva Conventions and permitted to give under the U.S. Code of Conduct). Soon thinking he was near death, McCain said he would give them more information if taken to the hospital, hoping he could then put his interrogators off once he was treated. A prison doctor came and said it was too late, as McCain was about to die anyway. Only when the North Vietnamese discovered that his father was a top admiral did they give him medical care, calling him “the crown prince”. Two days after McCain’s plane went down, that event and his status as a POW made the front pages of The New York Times and The Washington Post. Interrogation and beatings resumed in the hospital; McCain gave the North Vietnamese his ship’s name, squadron’s name, and the attack’s intended target. This information, along with personal details of McCain’s life and purported statements by McCain about the war’s progress, would appear over the next two weeks in the North Vietnamese official newspaper Nhân Dân as well as in dispatches from outlets such as the Cuban news agency Prensa Latina. Disclosing the military information was in violation of the Code of Conduct, which McCain later wrote he regretted, although he saw the information as being of no practical use to the North Vietnamese. Further coerced to give future targets, he named cities that had already been bombed, and responding to demands for the names of his squadron’s members, he supplied instead the names of the Green Bay Packers‘ offensive line.
It’s not like John McCain did a Bowe Bergdahl and abandoned his fellow soldiers to seek out and subsequently provide aid and comfort to the enemy. John McCain is a combat veteran who had honorably served his country in time of war in 22 previous missions before being shot out of the sky, terribly wounded, and pulled out of a lake where he nearly drowned. He was easily taken prisoner because his arms were too injured to move and one of his legs was useless. The obvious implication is “JUST WHAT THE HELL WAS THE GUY SUPPOSED TO DO?”
Let me ask some follow-up questions of Donald Trump:
1) Are you seriously telling me that you possessed – in spite of your own lies about dodging the draft and your five damned deferments – that you possessed far superior fighter jet aviator training such that there is no way you could have ever possibly been shot down out of the sky by an anti-aircraft missile? Is that your story, The Donald? That had it been YOU in that cockpit the man who repeatedly obtained deferral after deferall rather than serve in the war that you insinuated John McCain was some kind of coward for having actually FOUGHT in you would have used your superior hair weave to duck and dodge the missiles that took McCain’s aircraft out??? Because you are Trump the CHUMP if that’s your testimony, you worthless boastful punk.
2) Is it your suggestion that John McCain would have been braver had he done what YOU would have done – because YOU’RE the one who dodged fighting in a war with your superior skills in compiling an impressive number of student deferments – and by simply refusing to serve in the first place??? Is THAT what you’re saying? That cowardice is the better part compared to valor??? Are you saying that at the first sign that you were being tracked by enemy radar, that you would have bailed on your mission as John McCain failed to do because unlike you he actually IS a war hero???
3) Or maybe you’re suggesting to us that had it been YOU that had been shot down by a missile, had it been YOU who were shot down “in as bad physical condition as any prisoner during the war” – that you would have tied your ridiculously expensive business-suit’s accompanying necktie around your head like the businessman-version of Rambo and killed 10,000 North Vietnamese with your bare hands as you crawled your way to the border on your ruined knee??? Maybe THAT is what you’re saying, you pathetic little turd???
But actually I think what Donald Trump is really telling us is that 4) Trump the Chump looks at Adolf Hitler and says, “Now there is one awesome badass great LEADER!” Allow me to provide illustrations of what I mean before I explain myself further:
Regarding Adolf Hitler: the Führer had a nasty habit of giving orders to his soldiers such that “Every man shall fight or fall where he stands.” He REPEATDLY ordered his units to die fighting rather than surrender or even merely withdrawal rather than be overrun. As one US military analysis of Hitler’s “leadership” we have the following typical statement (see page 22):
Hitler’s unrelenting policy of no retreat at Stalingrad cost thousands of German soldiers’ lives. According to James Duffy, “It was a policy of fanatical resistance. On October 14, 1942, Hitler issued this order to his troops: ‘Every leader, down to squad leader must be convinced of his sacred duty to stand fast come what may even if the enemy outflanks him on the right and left, even if his part of the line is cut off, encircled, overrun by tanks, enveloped in smoke or gassed.’”
And there were, for Hitler the commander, some deeper flaws as German Field Marshal Erich von Manstein observed: “He was a man who saw fighting only in terms of the utmost brutality. His way of thinking conformed more to a mental picture of masses of the enemy bleeding to death before our lines than to the conception of a subtle fencer who knows how to make an occasional step backwards in order to lunge for the decisive thrust. For the art of war he substituted a brutal force which, as he saw it, was guaranteed maximum effectiveness by the will-power behind it…. Despite the pains Hitler took to stress his own former status as a frontline soldier, I still never had the feeling that his heart belonged to the fighting troops. Losses, as far as he was concerned, were merely figures which reduced fighting power. They are unlikely to have seriously disturbed him as a human being.”
Another German general, Alfred Jodl, described “Hitler’s almost mystical conviction of his own infallibility as leader of the nation and of the war.” Which I personally see fitting Donald Trump to a “T” when you listen to Trump’s idiotic and fanciful statements that he’d build a border wall and make Mexico pay for it or from a position of weakness and debtor (WE owe THEM trillions of dollars) somehow end up owning them because of course he’s just that darn great.
‘The armed forces have lied to me and now the SS has left me in the lurch. The German people has not fought heroically. It deserves to perish.
‘It is not I who have lost the war, but the German people’.”
So under a Hitler – and yeah, under a Trump the Chump – you pretty much have two choices as a soldier: die fighting or just die. Otherwise you’re a coward.
Now, Hitler said he couldn’t fight because he might get merely wounded instead of killed and then be captured:
“He said that he could not go out and die fighting on the barricades as he was afraid of merely being wounded and captured by the Russians. He would therefore shoot himself.”
And we couldn’t have that, could we? So he ordered his men to die rather than give one inch of ground while he himself cowered in the concrete bunker that the millions serving him were ordered to die to protect. And then there’s Trump the Chump, who in spite of his four student deferments before finally managing to find some doctor who was willing to say that Trump was too much of a pathetic little physical wuss to serve, that somehow John McCain should have died fighting in spite of having just sustained terrible wounds after being shot out of the sky by a missile.
I think it’s 4), myself. Not that the other three make Trump look like anything other than an outright idiot, but personally I find 4) the most terrifying indictment of Trump the Chump of all of the above.
Under a Trump the Chump Führer-in-chieftainship, if President Trump the Chump orders a fascist-style banzai charge, you run into machine gun fire screaming and you die. But what you are NOT allowed to do under ANY circumstances possible is to allow yourself to be captured for any reason under the Rising Sun.
LAURENCE REES: And how can we understand the reasons for what you call the ‘suicidal mentality’ of the Japanese?
AKIRA IRIYE: Some people trace it back all the way to the feudal ethos. I think it seems to be a combination of two things. One is belief in Japanese national uniqueness, again this is an insular mentality, summed up in the sense that Japan is a unique country unlike any other country that can do things that no other country can do, and things like that. And this sense of uniqueness is combined with the Emperor worship. Again this is rather a recent origin: in the 1870s and 1880s the government decided to rally national opinion around the image of the Sacred Emperor, because this Emperor system seemed to be a long living line of Emperors; that is the longevity of the imperial line. Japan was unique and you died for your country but in fact you died for your Emperor, everything was in the name of the Emperor. In war, in battle, [soldiers] fought for the sake of honouring the Emperor, that kind of thing. That is one, mental attitude.
And the second reason is a more material kind of reason. That is that the Japanese army is much more poorly equipped. So the Japanese say, well, maybe we’re not as good in producing so many weapons as the Americans, but we have this spiritual aspect to it, that we can fight not simply with guns, but we can fight with our spirit. That spirit is the spirit of our selflessness and this is nothing that is part of your fighting. You know this famous exhortation not to be taken prisoner of war because they say to be taken prisoner of war is a shameful thing. Why? Because it shows that you have not fought till the very end. To fight to the very end is to honour the Emperor and to show that you can compensate for meagre weapons by using yourself, perhaps as a human shield, or in a suicide attack.
For these reasons I think even as early as the Russian/Japanese War you get lots of Japanese casualties because they believe in it, that death in battle is an honourable thing. I would think that there were so few Japanese prisoners of war taken by the Russians because they either committed suicide or they just fought to the very end before the Russians could capture them. The same is true in the 1930’s as well. I think you brought dishonour to your family and to your parents if you were caught prisoner during the war, so for these reasons I think there is a sense that the war is never finished until the last man dies. And the last man dies because that’s what they’re supposed to do.
LAURENCE REES: How can we understand here in the West this phenomenal cultural pressure on the individual to conform?
AKIRA IRIYE: I think there is no question about that. I think a kind of collective mentality, or collectivist mentality, and also the idea that you are a member of this family, and what you do brings dishonour to your parents, but not only that, to the Emperor too. This is the whole idea of the nation as one family with the Emperor as the Divine Head. So whatever you do you are bringing either honour or dishonour to the Emperor. There’s nothing in between. So to die is more honourable than to live. I think the conception of life and death, things like that, are maybe at the basis of this. No individual thinking here. Of course there were people who were not that way, but they would not be able to express their opinion more clearly or more frankly during the war because of the mentality of wartime Japan.
Under the Western and American concept of warfare, you are ordered to place yourself at risk. You are ordered into harm’s way. You are ordered to fight the enemy. But in the face of certain death, you are NOT required to die. Americans are individuals, not herd animals. You fight honorably, but you have the right to surrender when you have no other option but certain death.
But Trump the Chump’s remark which was tantamount to an assertion that every single prisoner of war was somehow a failure has nothing whatsoever to do with the Western or American concept of a soldier honorably serving on a field of battle; it is straight out of Hitler and it is straight out of Imperial Japanese fascist emperor-worship.
So under Emperor Trump, you die fighting for the glory and honor of “The Donald.” A Trump the Chump cannot understand why you would not be willing to take a few hundred bullets for him.
To allow a Donald Trump to be anywhere NEAR the office of the president of the United States is simply evil. We fought a terrible war to kick people like Donald Trump out of their dictatorships.
And the man is so pig-headed that he cannot admit that he made a mistake any more than the CURRENT DISGRACE-IN-CHIEF contaminating our White House.
Allow me to now point out that this isn’t the first incredibly wrong thing that Donald Trump has said. What Donald Trump said about illegal immigrants was beneath the pale of dignity, as well.
Understand, I am fiercely opposed to illegal immigration. I believe that we should be fighting with everything we’ve got to dismantle a system whereby people are encouraged to essentially put themselves at the head of the line ahead of all the people trying to enter America from all around the world LEGALLY by ignoring our laws and just flooding into this country. BUT my beef is NOT with the people coming into America, but with ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION. Whereas Trump the Chump personally demonized the character of pretty much nearly ALL illegal immigrants.
Allow me to contrast my own belief about illegal immigrants vis-à-vis the system tolerating and even encouraging illegal immigration from a prior article to Donald Trump’s vindictive statements:
Let me assure you of something: if Hispanic illegal immigrants voted Republican, you would see the rabid, poison-dripping FANGS of Democrats come out in a spirit of rage and hate unlike nothing you’ve ever seen on the faces of Republicans as they went completely poop-flinging nuts over the invasion of our border.
I attend a church that has an English and Hispanic congregation. And I regularly take part in ministry to Hispanics, quite a few of which are here illegally. As a true Christian, I DON’T hate illegal immigrants. I realize as a moral human being that if I were a poor Mexican or Central American living in a completely failed state the way these people are, I would come to America too – either legally or illegally. I recognize that for many illegal immigrants, work is a good thing that they are grateful for. And that they send a lot of the money they earn home to their families. These are virtuous things. What I rabidly despise is a cynical and dishonest liberal ideology that wants to politically benefit from these poor people’s misery and ignorance. I blame the left for its hostility to America as they seek to cynically grab further political advantages by exploiting these people. Liberals are like drunken braggarts in a bar, buying drinks for everyone in order to be popular and then refusing to pay the tab when the bill comes. America cannot afford to continue living so wildly and wickedly beyond our means. We are going to completely economically and socially collapse because of the vile wickedness of Democrats. And then you will see suffering as you have never seen before – suffering that Democrats forced upon the America that they destroyed.
I believe, therefore, that we ought to treat the illegal immigrants who are coming here as human beings. And that we should protect our nation, protect our borders, protect our culture, protect our way of life by controlling our borders and enforcing our laws.
You see the difference? I recognize that many, MANY illegal immigrants are good and decent people whose ultimate crime is to give themselves and their families a better life than they could ever get in the pathologically broken system that is Mexico and much of Central America. Are there terrible criminal illegal immigrants? Okay, yes. But on the same token, are there terrible criminal LEGAL immigrants? Yep. And for that matter, are there terrible criminal native-born American CITIZENS? Oh, you betcha, there are.
My theory on illegal immigration is that we need to profoundly reform our SYSTEM. We need to begin by first changing the law that BROKE our system: the 1965 law that “reformed” our system that had previously favored immigrants with vital job skills that this nation desperately needed in order to maintain the best industrial base in the world to one whose central purpose was reuniting families. Should we have a system that emphasizes more doctors, more engineers, more mechanics, more skilled workers, more trained people who can help build America, or should we bring in every single family member of the immigrants who are already here? Democrats broke our system by preferring the latter over the former. And that inaugurated a flood of immigration that has NOT made America better, but worse, not richer, but poorer. We certainly also need to aggressively patrol our borders and deport the people who should not be here.
But we shouldn’t demonize the millions of people who came here seeking a better life. And I believe that if I were a Mexican and my country was broken the way Mexico was broken and America gave me a chance for building a better life for my family, I would come here to. And no I would NOT be a “rapist” for doing so, contrary to Trump the Chump.
As a conservative and as a Republican, I demand that we continue to make a distinction between being “anti-illegal immigration” versus being “anti-immigrant.” And I believe Donald Trump stupidly crossed a line and should have apologized immediately rather than “doubling down” as is apparently the only trick of this one-trick pony.
If you exclude Donald Trump’s giving since 2012 – when he decided he was a “Republican,” Donald Trump has actually given more money to the DEMOCRAT Party over the previous 26 years. Prior to 2012, Trump gave $581,350 to DEMOCRATS versus only $497,690 to the GOP. But even when you factor in Trump’s total giving, the man hardly stands as a genuine Republican. Politifact acknowledges that “Trump has actually been relatively evenhanded in doling out cash to the two parties” and that “The difference in donations is almost entirely captured in Trump’s recent giving” when Trump went from 1989 to 2012 giving MORE to Democrats to giving $463,450 to Republicans against $3,500 to Democrats. Personally, I would just assume that my Republican president hadn’t only been one for three years and had been a Democrat prior to that.
The man clearly is NO spokesman for the Republican Party or Republican Party values. And as just one shining example of the hypocritical and opportunistic demagogue that Trump the Chump truly is, he actually attacked Mitt Romney’s very moderate position on illegal immigration as “mean-spirited” in 2012. Which may mean that while he isn’t the racist he’s coming off as being, what he in fact is is a dishonest demagogue who will say whatever the hell will get him the attention that this arrogant blowhard narcissist clearly seems to need.
Donald Trump needs to be made to shut up and go away. And yes, anybody who actually thinks that this fool ought to be president IS certainly a “crazy” from this point on, if he or she wasn’t one already.