McCain’s War Record Needs No Defense

May 31st, 2010 at 8:56 am | 13 Comments |

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Recently I wrote about the campaign in the U.S. to denigrate John McCain’s heroism as a Vietnam PoW, in efforts to oust him as the Republican candidate in Arizona primary for the Senate.

J.D. Hayworth is the preferred Republican candidate of ultra-conservatives and the Tea Party movement. Hayworth is largely unknown in Canada, and I apparently erred when I said he put his wife on the government payroll – it was on his campaign staff. My mistake.

One who takes issue with my defense of McCain, is Peter Brimelow who runs VDare.com, and who I once hired as a Sun columnist and who remains (I hope) a valued friend with a lively, distinctive, combative mind.

Brimelow suspects McCain betrayed Vietnam PoWs who are Missing in Action – the 600 or so PoWs who were unaccounted for when some 591 were released after the war. Their fate remains a mystery. Various sightings have been reported and Bill Stevenson’s and Monica Jensen’s book, Kiss the Boys Goodbye, probed the mystery.

As a former PoW, McCain disbelieved anyone was still alive, and felt giving false hopes to relatives was misleading and cruel. Efforts to undermine McCain in favor of Hayworth, include depicting him as one who sold out fellow PoWs.

In his VDARE blog, Brimelow implies David Frum “has wheeled out his father-in-law. . . (me) . . . to try and quash questions about John McCain’s record as a PoW and his subsequent blocking of MIA inquiries.”

C’mon Peter, you can do better than that!

I have a lot of use for Peter Brimelow, and am inclined to agree with his view that mis-managed immigration is damaging to both Canada and the U.S. Certainly Canada’s policy towards illegal immigrants verges on the lunatic – illegals able to claim refugee status when caught trying to enter with fake passports. Years pass, while they stay in Canada awaiting disposition.

McCain has flip-flopped on Mexicans illegally entering Arizona, and his tougher line now is because Hayworth and the Tea Party movement have momentum. Arizonians have had a bellyful of illegals getting a free pass.

In light of Washington’s refusal to do anything, Arizona has taken it upon itself to require people to prove their identity and citizenship, which human rights zealots view as profiling and a cardinal sin, which is also nuts.

There was a time when McCain favored amnesty for illegals. Now he sides with those who want a fence built along the Mexican border. This seems not only feasible, but sensible. A fence certainly enhanced Israeli security, and a wall kept West Berliners from illegally entering East Berlin to enjoy the robust night life during the Cold War (a joke, Peter, so relax).

While Brimelow may be annoyed at me for defending McCain (McCain really needs no defense – his record achieves that), I have difficulty believing he truly thinks I’m a sort of catspaw for David Frum. News to Frum, too.

If I can accept that Brimelow thinks immigration is an evil endangering America, why can he not accept that I believe John McCain is a man who puts his country ahead of his own personal ambitions? Or that David Frum is honest in his beliefs?

Recent Posts by Peter Worthington



13 Comments so far ↓

  • anniemargret

    This is too easy. That John McCain, war hero and honorable senator from Arizona would put such a self-serving featherhead such as Sarah Palin near the nuclear button is enough for me. He lost whatever ‘honor’ he had.

    As far as the Vietnam POWs, let’s investigate. The right wing did it’s utmost to defile John Kerry’s and Max Cleland’s war records. Let’s do the same with McCain. *IF* the allegations are true and *if* he ignored their plight due to political reasons, or otherwise, the facts should and must be brought to light. I would go further and say any member of congress who purposefully ignored attempts to help POWs abandoned in Vietnam should be named and face the consequences. If he’s innocent he has nothing to worry about.

    This is too serious an issue to ignore, especially if we are talking about our military and their honor and sacrifice on Memorial Day.

  • tequilamockingbird

    McCain’s time as a POW is controversial, and I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. But the record of his decades as a politician is well known.

    No politician is a saint, and they all do some unsavory things (sometimes in what they honestly believe to be the people’s best interests). Keating 5 and other missteps aside, I’ll also give McCain the benefit of the doubt over his long career preceding his 2000 election campaign.

    Unfortunately, I believe that campaign to have been the watershed in McCain’s career. I believe “the maverick” would have been a better candidate, and then a better president, than the abject failure that was Bush. But after being the victim of the scurrilous campaign waged by Bush and Rove, I think McCain reached the conclusion that dirty, cynical politics was the way to achieve victory; I think he sold his soul and deserted his principles in the years following. (Please don’t demand that I go through the tedious process of enumerating and providing links for his lies and fliplops. Look for yourself; they’re everywhere on the web.)

    I think the worst thing he has done is his nomination of Palin for vice president. That was a purely cynical attempt to revive a moribund campaign and energize his extreme, radical right-wing Christian base — and we’ve suffered the consequences of his elevation of this vapid airhead to national prominence ever since, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. (Although if she ever has the hubris to believe she is capable of moving beyond Twitter and Facebook and answer questions from media other than Fox News and its ilk, she will rapidly be exposed as the shallow know-nothing she is; I pray for the day.)

    In his desperation to preserve his career in the face of an attack on the right flank in the Arizona GOP primary, he has jettisoned any remaining vestiges of his principles. He has become an empty, ugly shell of the honorable man he once could claim to be.

    Worthington: You should read a grammar book on the proper use, of commas.

  • ktward

    While Brimelow may be annoyed at me for defending McCain (McCain really needs no defense – his record achieves that), I have difficulty believing he truly thinks I’m a sort of catspaw for David Frum. News to Frum, too.

    I don’t know anything of Brimelow, but one more Canadian’s op-ed I do not need cluttering up my head. (Ive turned [bad] poet?)

    But I’ve been long convinced that Worthington, as David’s f-i-l, is here to help shore up FF. I’ve no issue with that. I think it’s rather sweet, in fact. But catspaw? Seems a rather sinister characterization for keeping it in the family.

    If I can accept that Brimelow thinks immigration is an evil endangering America, why can he not accept that I believe John McCain is a man who puts his country ahead of his own personal ambitions? Or that David Frum is honest in his beliefs?

    Yeah, well, I’m not sure anyone still believes McCain puts ‘country first’, even if we used to. McCain blew that myth apart all by himself, starting when he brought Palin on board. It’s been downhill ever since.

    The rest of it–Vietnam era controversy surrounding McCain’s POW experienced–is an investigative book long closed. Despite my current, neon unappreciation of the aged, ineffective partisan pol McCain is today, the politicization of his military service is shameful in every respect.

    How many of the finger pointers have walked in his tortured shoes?

  • bamboozer

    Hero-shmero, McCain needs to go, ten years ago. Old, rich and in the way describes most Senators but McPain in particular. It Is NOT a job for life, now GTFH!

  • BoolaBoola

    John McCain never finished saying f*ck you to the people who tortured him. He hates everybody, his first impulse is always to fight.

    If we had elected him, he’d have bombed Russia and Iran by now. We’d be in THREE wars.

  • BoolaBoola

    He’s certainly no hero. A hero is someone who ACCOMPLISHES SOMETHING for his side in a war. What has McCain ever accomplished in war? Just getting shot down and tortured does NOT make you a hero.

  • busboy33

    Its a shame to see how McCain has reached the closing of his career.

    I’d have jumped party lines to vote for him in 2000. In a heartbeat. Had alot of respect for him (and Specter, and some few other GOPers).

    But the man that ran for President on 08 was not that man. This person campaigning for re-election is not that man. Quite frankly, at this point I don’t give a damn about too much about Mr. McCain. He already lost my vote, and he doesn’t seem to concerned with getting it back.

  • Smarg

    Bye bye, McCain.

  • DFL

    True, John McCain’s war record was honorable. With his wounds so grevious, he could have been medically discharged from the confines of North Vietnam prisons and kept his honor. This he did not ask for due to the high position that his father had in the Navy as Pacific commander.

    McCain’s record since his release from North Vietnam has been discreditable personally and politically. He abandoned his first wife because she was no longer young and beautiful. To curry favor with the liberal media and liberals in Congress, he has delighted in stabbing conservatives in the back. Worst, in his dealings over immigration, he has betrayed his own country and its people. This is why McCain must be politically destroyed in August.

  • Smarg

    DFL, well said. The man is a slimy careerist. I just hope Arizonans aren’t duped into voting for the creep.

  • LFC

    With people like McCain and Romney, Pander Bears are hardly an endangered species.

  • gmckee1985

    Sure as hell wish McCain were president. We’d be a hell of a lot better off in the long run. He opposed most of Bush’s horrible domestic programs…….I’d like to see a fresh face in that seat, but Hayworth is a joke.

    Getting 46% of the vote in 2008 actually wasn’t that bad when you think about the circumstances. Picking Palin was a boneheaded move, but I don’t think it would have improved the GOP’s chances in that election.

  • tequilamockingbird

    “Sure as hell wish McCain were president.”

    God almighty. With all the problems besetting us every day, the one source of comfort I have is that it could have been McCain/Palin in charge. But something like 27% supported Bush as he fled into well-deserved anonymity, so I guess flaky posts like this shouldn’t come as a surprise. We’re afflicted with a substantial minority of fools.