Sunday, September 7, 2008



Fox News: 'McCain's TV Commercials Contain ... Out-Right Lies'
Steve Benen Washington Monthly

Confession: I have not yet read all six (short, illustrated, large type) chapters of Mike's Election Guide 2008, Michael Moore's, latest work of jaunty political opinion. Am I supposed to discuss it with him on "Meet the Bloggers" tomorrow? Yes. But I'm not worried. It's a breezy read, has already made me laugh out loud, and besides, I may have already found the best part in Chapter One.

The title is "Ask Mike!" and, in it, ordinary voters, old and young, pose questions about politics and current events. Some are more serious than others ("If Iran has weapons of mass destruction, we should invade, right?"), which does not make Moore's answers any more subtle. ("Excuuuuuse me? Did you say the words, 'weapons of mass destruction?' Take it back. I SAID TAKE IT BACK!") Of course, the "questions" are really satirical jabs at the media -- "When a Republican wears a little American flag lapel pin, what is he trying to say?" "If Obama can't bowl, can he govern?" -- but there's one in particular that is worth paying attention to -- especially if you happen to be a member of the press and have been utterly unwilling to take McCain's supporters and opponents alike to task for perpetuating a narrative that would be central to a McCain victory, and which has already become a dominant theme in this election: The McCain as War Hero canard.

The "question" is posted thusly:

"Why did the Vietnamese shoot down John McCain and put him in prison for five years? He seems like such a nice guy."

ANSWER: I'm guessing, in spite of his anger management issues, he is a nice guy. He has devoted his life to this country. He was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice in the defense of our nation. And for that, he was tortured and then imprisoned in a North Vietnamese POW camp for nearly five-and-a-half years.

That's the set-up. It gets better. Moore proceeds, not to question, as Wesley Clark recently did to so many shrieks of criticism, whether McCain's capture really makes him qualified to be president of the United States -- the answer, any thinking person realizes, is "no" -- but whether the Vietnam war was a conflict that can really be said to have produced the breed of "American hero" McCain is so often celebrated as.

"Sadly," he writes, "McCain's sacrifice had nothing to do with protecting the United States. He was sent to Vietnam along with hundreds of thousands of others in an attempt to prop up what was essentially an American colony, South Vietnam, which was being run by a dictator whom we installed."

Lest we forget, the Vietnam War represented a mass slaughter by the United States government on a scale that sought to rival our genocide of the Native Americans. The U.S. Armed Forces killed more than two million civilians in Vietnam (and perhaps another million in Laos and Cambodia). The Vietnamese had done nothing to us. They had not bombed or invaded or even sought to murder a single American. President Johnson and the Pentagon lied to Congress in order to get a vote passed to put the war in full gear. Only two senators had the guts to vote "no."

But the parallel between Iraq and Vietnam is not the only point Moore is making. He makes it personal.

John McCain flew 23 bombing missions over North Vietnam in a campaign called Operation Rolling Thunder. During this bombing campaign, which lasted for almost 44 months, U.S. forces flew 307,000 attack sorties, dropping 643,000 tons of bombs on North Vietnam (roughly the same tonnage dropped in the Pacific during all of World War II). Though the stated targets were factories, bridges, and power plants, thousands of bombs also fell on homes, schools, and hospitals. In the midst of the campaign, Defense Secretary Robert McNamara estimated that we were killing 1,000 civilians a week. That's more than one 9/11 every single month -- for 44 months.

What's not heroic about that? Is it any wonder all politicians speaking in public about John McCain are required to preface their remarks with a fawning admiration for his war service?

Alas, McCain does have some regrets about Vietnam. As Moore points out, in his memoir Faith of Our Fathers, McCain called it "illogical" and "senseless" that he was limited to bombing only military targets.

"I do believe," McCain wrote, "that had we taken the war to the North and made full, consistent use of air power in the North, we ultimately would have prevailed."

In other words, McCain believes we could have won the Vietnam War had he been able to drop even more bombs.

When McCain was shot down, on October 26, 1967, he was busy bombing what he would describe as a "heavily populated part of Hanoi."

What follows is a a rather entertaining passage in which Moore then asks what you would do to a man who "fell out of the sky" after dropping bombs on you or your children. But the most important question comes at the end:

John McCain is already using the Vietnam War in his political ads. In doing so, it makes not just what happened to him in Vietnam fair game for discussion, but also what he did to the Vietnamese … I would like to see one brave reporter during the election season ask this simple question of John McCain: "Is it morally right to drop bombs and missiles in a 'heavily populated' area where hundreds, if not thousands, of civilians will perish?"

Of course, no member of the "mainstream" media is going to ask John McCain that question. (And given his famous quips on "Bomb-bomb-bomb-ing Iran" or, when asked to comment on the U.S. exporting cigarettes to the country, on the speculation that "Maybe that's a way of killing them,", the answer may be too disturbing to bear.) Regardless, this is the same press that obligingly calls McCain a "maverick" and McCain's campaign bus the "Straight-talk Express." Going after his war hero credentials? Why, that would be ... un-American.

Luckily, in the absence of an effective media -- or one that takes its cues from Michael Moore -- there are some people who are uniquely qualified to ask tough questions about the war hero John McCain, and they can't all be considered "surrogates" for Barack Obama. One of them is a man named Phillip Butler, who, on AlterNet today, has an article whose point, really, is laid out in the title:

I Spent Years as a POW with John McCain, and His Finger Should Not Be Near the Red Button

Originally published on, it's a scathing, point-by-point indictment of McCain that punctures the war hero mythology he has so successfully insulated himself in.

It is part fact-check ("Was he tortured for 5 years? No. He was subjected to torture and maltreatment during his first 2 years, from September of 1967 to September of 1969"), part much-needed perspective ("Because John's father was the Naval Commander in the Pacific theater, he was exploited with TV interviews while wounded. These film clips have now been widely seen. But it must be known that many POW's suffered similarly, not just John. And many were similarly exploited for political propaganda"). But perhaps its most compelling characteristic is that it is written by a former POW of a misbegotten war, who has seen the death and destruction firsthand, and who is fearful of what McCain would do as commander in chief. "I can verify that John has an infamous reputation for being a hot head. He has a quick and explosive temper that many have experienced first hand. Folks, quite honestly that is not the finger I want next to that

red button."

Now that's a quote. Maybe it's time for a new 3 AM ad.

Tagged as: torture, ran, iraq, vietnam, john mccain

Liliana Segura is a staff writer and editor of AlterNet's Rights and Liberties and War on Iraq Special Coverage.

Is Palin a Step Backwards for Women in Power?

Sarah Palin is a milestone, for we achieve true gender equality when an incompetent woman goes as far as an incompetent man.

Fox News: 'McCain's TV Commercials Contain ... Out-Right Lies'
Wait, we're seriously talking about Fox News? The Fox News?
Post by Steve Benen. September 5, 2008.

I was wondering if someone would ever ask the question: “what is so heroic about participating in genocide?” If anything McCain, even though he does not act like it, was a victim of the brutal, imperial American foreign policy; not a hero! I realize that this question will never be raised by the Democrats for practical reasons; no one wants to rehash the old war most people forgot about, or were not around to be influenced by it in the first place. I certainly do not expect anyone in MSM to ask it, it would take guts and that is not what McCain’s campaign had in mind when they implied that special access to the candidate will be granted to those reporters “who work for it” ; and judging by the coverage, they are working very hard. LOL. I imagine, if asked, McCain would say: “They were Godless communists my friends; they deserved to be bombed, bombed, bombed!”

Keep the focus on the corruption, cronyism, and economic stagnation during the GOP reign of the last seven years...and remind voters of their heartless/callous government response during the Katrina disaster....
Democrats: stop the flip-flopping, stop the opinion poll driven policy shifts and grow a spine...Attacking McCain's war record will probably backfire..and it will keep the the focus off the core/real issues. Progressives already know that the Vietnam War as a monstrous demonstration of the worst form of American imperialism and hubris....a war that killed millions in SE Asia...with the results still being felt today from Agent Orange....

Honestly, if any pilot from a foreign nation that was dropping bombs and napalm on American cities was shot down you think that he would be treated well by the American military...perhaps the US military would get him a condo in Palm Springs and serve him French Croissants for breakfast every day??? I think not....McCain's capture and torture was probably a typical response/reaction from any nation experiencing this sort of aerial attack by a foreign power..

Yet, the war in Vietnam has been subject to historical revisionism....and now it was a "noble" cause...and McCain was just doing his duty....It's too late to change this perception in three months

We shot down your million dollar plane and we have your pilot, na na na na na. It must have been nice in Nam to be of political value. Out in the bush a lot of wounded grunts were not worth food, water, meds, or even a bullet. They did not get to go to the Hanoi Hilton; they got a club or a rock and got to go MIA. There were 58000 plus heroes in Nam, the rest of us were just lucky, and some were luckier than others were. It is nice to make moral judgements about war, but when you are there, there are only two kinds of people the quick and the dead. Governments can’t live with them and you can’t live with out them.

He wasn't tortured

Of course, something else we ought to remember is that according to the Bush Administration John McCain wasn't tortured. Their definitions of "enhanced interrogations" are much worse than what happened to John McCain, and that's not considered torture. i.e. John McCain was not tortured in Vietnam. He was held as a prisoner of war, and that's it. Oh yeah, and that doesn't qualify him to be the President either.

It seems to me that the propaganda machine has picked out the "hero" who failed his mission and ignored all the rest when they talk about McCain.

He already has had plenty of rewards and no apparent censure at all.

That goes for Dubya too. What our current crop of hangers-on at the American Royal Court really admire is an ability for their "idols" to make them rich quickly, by whatever crooked means possible.

Of course the American people are going to require something much different from their candidates. What they look for is someone who knows what religion and ethics actually are and how to live their lives with a sense of true morality and integrity.

This is more persuasive
than 100 pro-Obama ads.

I suggest that you view all of the videos, especially the video titled:
"1992 Senate Select Committee on POW'MIAs: The McCain Factor."
Notice that these are not Liberal Democrats
speaking about McCain, but rather very Conservative Republicans.

This is more persuasive
than 100 pro-Obama ads.

Nicknamed "Nasty" in high school, McCain is no "maverick." He just enjoys pissing people off!

That quip (about 9/11) had more to do with sinking Guiliani (thanks Biden) than any other factor, IMO.

McCain voters are unlikely to be swayed

I would know: I live in Lubbock TX (enough said). I fight them on a daily basis in the "comment" section of the local paper. Heck, McCain could be caught raping a toddler and he'd get away with it because he's a true patriot.
I think Mike More, for once, is absolutely right. But I also don't think any good is going to come out of reminding people that McCain was not doing anything patriotic or worthwhile in Vietnam. McCain voters are the same people who think that anyone the President calls a bad guy is in fact a bad guy, and that with bad guys you gotta be tough or they'll come to your home, steal your SUV, rape your wife and forbid Christmas (i.e. kill the American way of life). No one is likely to be swayed by this argument. This being said, yes, McCain is a mass murderer, a worthy successor to our resident mass murderer. And there is a reasonable chance that he'll win the elections because people will vote him because Obama is intent on giving more Americans health care (gasp!), is black (double gasp!), and his middle name is Hussein (triple, quadruple gasp!). And if you think about it he probably counts as an anchor baby.

This is the most persuasive argument against democratic elections I have heard in a long time. What's the point if the result is the same as in a dictatorship?
Sorry. I am sooo depressed.

Moore makes the point that the actions in Vietnam were similar to our genocide of Native Americans. While this is true to a point, the two processes are of different levels.

The first level of state violence (which is really class violence) is pure force; i.e., the wealthy get the US Army to send cavalry regiments to slaughter buffalo on the Great Plains to eliminate people who rely on them for food, shelter, and clothing.

The next level is something like what happened in South Vietnam: industrialists use the CIA to subvert locals with bribes and threats, turning the underclass in a former colony against itself, and then use the American underclass to fight a guerilla war against resisters.

We are witnessing an even higher level of attack right now in China: the captains of industry know they have sunk the US economy, so they are using what little remains of our national treasure to buy themselves Chinese stock and currency, amounting to an inflationary tax on the poor and middle class.

So, while Moore hits home with his analogy, I think there is a lot of room for a more nuanced approach that could be even more effective in debates about the broader issues arising from discussions of McCain's role in the military.

Similarities between the Vietnam action and the Genocide of American Natives

It seemed really crazy for McCain to be the candidate in 08, but maybe his being promoted as a 'war hero' was the best the GOP could do to take on O. Why?Well, it seems to be working as a ruse. It seems that mainstream America could care less about the disingenuous nature of politics and the lies, liars, and the lying they do.

It's pathetic how uninformed the American public is overall about European affairs, their own government, geography, history, grammar, etc. Thank Buddha for Michael Moore's willingness to fight the good fight against the ignorance the US has become. For such a military/corporate nation, the people have been the basic matrix for their tactics. Could McC be any less capable as a candidate? He seems to be a bully - hating women's reproductive rights and treating his wife like she's dirt. Forget also about the environment - he could care less about alternative energy and infrastructure. Why should he - he's beyond rich and definitely shows signs of early dementia. The GOP must be laughing itself sick - that Americans are buying in to this NON-HERO.

It's not how McCain behaved while a POW but what he said afterwards

Being a registered Republican since 1956 who disliked the Bush family intensely, I supported Senator McCain's run for the White House during the 2000 GOP primaries.

I praised John in my 2004 self-published book, George Dub-ya Bush, THE PHONY FIGHTER PILOT, created a pro-McCain Web site to help boost his 2008 candidacy and attended a fundraising dinner for the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, not far from my home, because he was the keynote speaker.

My admiration for McCain ended in May 2008, when I began investigating rumors about his so-called heroic war record. That's when I learned the truth about McCain -- that it's not how he behaved while a POW but what he said afterwards.

Consider McCain's suggestion on the campaign trail that by refusing an earlier release from North Vietnam, he demonstrated bravery worthy of admiration.

The truth is, McCain was ordered by his American POW camp commander NOT to accept early release.

Furthermore, had he come home before other POWs who'd been in captivity longer, McCain's family would have been humiliated and his Navy career ruined.

So why does he continuously claim his "decision" to remain in North Vietnam indicates valor when it doesn't?

Simple answer. Unfit McCain is a pandering politician, not a principled patriot.

Case closed on his "heroic" POW record.

Hugh E. Scott, Vietnam veteran (for the benefit of new AlterNet visitors)
Seven reasons to vote against Unfit McCain

McPain more of the SAME!

John McPain went to Viet Nam
Rained bombs out of the Sky.
Became the Hanoi Candidate
Came back to the States and
Preached more WAR
Did he learn from his mistakes?
McPain more of the same.
BU__! SH__!
The never ending river of SH-T that comes out of
Carl Roves lips.

It really cheeses me off how much people worship soldiers and the machinery of war. To me it's like everyone's rallying in the streets with parades and flags to honor the noble sacrifice of plumbers cleaning our drain or sanitation engineers taking out the garbage can. Being a soldier sucks, and it isn't very helpful to other people either. Truly plumbers and garbagemen are much greater life savers than a soldier ever could be. I don't give someone a medal for being a murderer, so why should I beam and smile when they murdered not of their own volition, but in blind obedience to the state? Way to go morons!

Basically we become soldiers because we are forced to. Some terrible horrible danger requires that we pick up firearms and use lethal force against our fellow man. It's terrible, horrible, a rotten lousy job. It's a last resort. Being a soldier means you have failed at basic civilization, failed at basic humanity, and you have no recourse other than to try and solve the problem with bullets and threats. That's when we should become soldiers, not in the USA where people commit those atrocities just for the fun of it. Should we be proud of ourselves when we go to war? No! We should be ashamed!

I feel sympathy for wounded war veterans and all, but it doesn't take much smarts to figure out that as a soldier your government's going to use you, ruin you, and toss you out like an old torn rag. If you didn't realize this and fight against it, then you screwed up, and I've got other people to help who are in trouble from little fault of their own. Next you'll be asking me to give aid to people who maxed out their credit cards, instead of the honestly destitute?

It's all language. Heroes are heroes because they shined through in the most perilous of times(couldn't make that more vague, could I?). They're all victims of circumstance. Like the guy above said, in war, you're quick or dead. Most heroes don't do what they did to be a hero. Heroes don't like to be recognized as heroes, and often contend they aren't. Heroes definitely do not go around advertising themselves as such. More often than not, the media covers the person in a flag when they get home to bolster recruiting figures or a politician's ambitions, when the soldier can't bear to think about or begin to relate wtf they just had to go through, and absolutely would not do again in a million years. McCain wears and relates what should be a horribly traumatic experience like a freakin badge(or perhaps a campaign gimmick, no?). My Dad was on one of those swift boats in Nam, patrolling the rivers. The gunners to his front and rear "liked to pass out on opium and heroine in the dead blackness of night" just in time for 100's of enemy tracer rounds to start flying at him from both sides. This happened about 3 or 4 times a week. You want fear, experience? What's McCain got on that? A guy called my Dad a hero after hearing about his service in Nam, and my Dad broke his jaw in half. I wouldn't elect my Dad president if you paid me. You're not a hero because you fought in a war, whether you volunteered or were drafted. You're a hero if your buddy fighting next to you got his legs blown off and rather than run, you carried him out on your back. You're not a hero because you volunteered for service to pay for school and wound up shot in the head, you're unlucky and made arguably bad decisions. You're a hero because you fell on the grenade to save your unit, but you also are inconsiderate of your family and friends. Suicide is still suicide even when it's sacrifice.
Pilots carpet bombing from thousands of feet in the air are never heroes, in my opinion. Air Force is military for dirty boxing. Fighting people that ride bicycles and don't have shoes... with jetplanes and bombs, that's fair, real brave. If you listened to the media, every damn American soldier in the field or otherwise is a freakin hero, and by our use of it these days, so are all the people our 300,000 heroes are shooting at and getting blown up by. It's sickening and dilutes the meaning of the term. We really need to reel-in use of this word.

I think it is great an American citizen has the courage to compare Vietnam (2000.000 victims)
with 9/11 =4000) victims.

Now the colony Georgia near Russia (militairy aid
US$ 30.000.000 is the new tryout for the III world war.

God bless the world if McCain becomes president.
Donot bother about enviroment anymore, mortgage bubble so what?
Read Noam Chomsky

"One of the biggest assertions that attempts to make McCain's biography bullet proof, is the claim that he is a genuine American hero. This is of course based upon his harrowing years as a POW during the Vietnam war. Never mind that he was participating in an illegal war by dropping bombs on a country with mostly agricultural peasants. If he had been put into an American prison for refusing to follow unconstitutional orders, citing the Nuremberg War Crime Trials as precedent. he would be a hero, but not in the Republican party."
People are trying to raise the issue. Along with Phillip Butler, on its website the group Viet Nam Veterans Against McCain ( posts damning Pentagon and North Vietnamese documents and eyewitness accounts showing how much McCain is not a hero.

The right is so afraid of McCain's actual war record coming out that when ran another "praise the Lord and pass the ammunition" article about Cowardly John, I tried using the comment section to fact-check what it had written. My comment stayed up for about 90 minutes before being erased and my account closed by RedState. Gee, another big surprise!

Michael Moore, my Hero of TRUTH. Once again he hits the nail right square on the head!

Ask McCain this...

Of all the questions McCain should be asked, I wish for the following:

The Bush administration, which you wholeheartedly support, when you were running against them in 2000, said that you were "crazy" or mentally defective. What have you done in the ensuing eight years to overcome that mental disability?

Anti War Protestors have been vindicated

Just as the Anti War protestors of the '60's ahve been vindicated, so have those of US who have Opposed both the 1st Gulf war and these most recent 2 invasions into the region.
We however Learned that blaming the Soldiers for these Policies was Wrong.
They do as they are told- regardless of having enlisted or drafted.
But we are able to separate the person from the for Mac to continue to pat himself on the back for his 'missions' during that Illegitamate war is an Outrage.
He should not only be embarassed for the country over that bit of history...He should be pissed to have been used for that Imperialistic attempted Hostile takeover.This should also be a "Never Again" campaign slogan.
Never again will we invade a country who has Not attacked US, never again will we send outr Kids into regions under such false pretenses, Never again will the Gov't fail to listen to the citizens...Those are the lesson from Vietnam,not just 'don't blame the soldiers for the arrogance or stupidity of our leaders'
Iraq has proven to be another Concocted War of lies..Mac -is truely beleives "Country First" should be the loudest dissenter about these Wars for Oil!!!
Also his repeated 'Pats' on his own back only diminishes the sacrifics so many others gave for this country.He seems to have no problem continuously patting himself on the back for being Used and abused in a Corrupt 'Police Action'...Remember it was NOT a WAR per the powers that be..It was only a 'Law & Order'
Live by the Sword,die by the Sword
The 'Swiftboaters' opened this Pandoras box when they went after Kerry, let them Now reap their Just 'Reward'- Mac's Personal Serivce & Sacrific are Up for Close examination- His campaign is just asking for it!
Also being a silver spponed military brat of an Admiral...How much did Mac know Vietnam was a land grab?
Since Mac also was the first mouthpiece out of the chute on the Anthrax (also on the Armed Services) How much did he already know about WHERE the Anthrax orignated from when he "leaked" it originated from Iraq on late night TV?
Knowledge & Forethought often lead to ones Motivations..'Should have Bombed More in Vietnam' even with Hindsight and confirmation of it's illegitimacy? Still does not concede We should have never went into Iraq..Now that we know the Anthrax did not come from there, theere was no connection between Iraq & AQ, and Oil has finally been the Only reason which has not been debunked??
Mac has never learned the lesson of Vietnam or has been actively ignoring them, and working to commit Our country, and Our Kids, to another ill fated mission
"Never Again" means never will we, or the rest of the world, allow people to die and suffer for the aspirations of a few powerful men.
Sen McCain you have already Broken that Pledge!

What kind of monsters?

John McCain and his mates hurled pain and death on thousands of Vietnamese, both combatants and non-combatants. Day after day. For years.

These murderers were not killing to stop aggression – Vietnam hadn’t attacked any other country but had courageously fought vermin entering their own country to rule it at gunpoint For more than a generation. French, Japs, then French again and finally Americans accompanied by jackals from countries allied to America. So out go these happy heroes and drop explosives, shrapnel, phosphorus, napalm, toxic defoliants – and without a single decent reason to be fighting their betters at all. McCain and the others weren’t protecting their own freedom or anyone else’s, any more than their SS predecessors did. Merely serving their rulers’ geostrategic ambitions.

Any action taken to serve a dishonourable cause can never be honourable, only contemptible. McCain was lucky the NVA got to him before the locals had managed to lynch him.

So what kind would hail John McCain, murderer, as a hero? What kind would vote for him? Only a monster, with monumental ill-will towards decent people living in peace. That there are scores of millions of such monsters in America is bleak indeed for all those Americans who deserve to be able to bear their flag with pride, as their grandparents could when they returned from freeing Europe and South-East Asia from a real enemy, from criminals very like John McCain.

Oh – and the presidential election. How long did they have available to swift boat John Kerry? For McCain, three months ought to do it. Just so McCain doesn’t get to add to his baby-killing tally.

Just because Senator McCain calls us g**ks and now sends his wife to do Vietnam projects as if he can wipe his record clean and rewrite history, the question remains unanswered in this Bush warmongering profiteering scheme. We didn't answer it in Vietnam, and we are not answering it now again in Iraq and Afghanistan, and we are not answering it here at home with our criminal justice and juvenile justice systems: Is the life of a civilian worth nothing? Is the life of a Vietnamese and an Iraqui worth nothing? Is the life of a young American worth nothing?

The last thing we need - in this country is a hot headed, old man who thinks he is a war hero and believes that going to war is better than cooperation and teamwork. When will this country ever realize that the worst of the terrorists in this world is the US. Why isn't John McCain's exaggerations about his heroism in the Vietnam war as big a story as the lies about John Kerry's service? Why isn't John McCain's affairs as much reported as Bill Clinton's? If you don't think the media is skewed and forcing us into a certain way of thinking then you're already lost.

Above and beyond all other points regarding McCain's military service, what's his point? I'd venture the number of Americans alive that have served in the military is probably in the millions or so. FANTASTIC!

I fail to see how that quality makes someone a good candidate for President. I've witnessed people from the military that aren't even good people or citizens.

My brother was an MP in the Marines, can he be President? I love my good friend Toby to death, Army artillery division.....not a chance for President, though I'd put him over McCain in a heartbeat. He'd be the first in line to adjust fire on my water balloon launcher though.

It was prudent, noble, and just to remove a brutal dictator who was responsible for the following:
1)as a matter of policy routinely launched massive unprovoked attacks against neighboring nations resulting in the deaths of over 1 million,

2)harbored known anti-Western terrorists responsible for the murder of over 1000 Westerners including those that attempted to destroy the WTC in 1993,

3)aggressively conspired to develop WMD,

4)used WMD on its own citizenry,

5)paid Palesinian children thousands of dollars to blow up innocent Israeli children,

6)committed the worse case of environmental terrorism in history

7)imprisoned, tortured, and murdered over 600,000 innocent Kurds and Shia,

8)Launched ballistic missiles into the population centers of noncombatant nations,

10)repeatedly refused to abide by the tenets of the internationally brokered peace treaty signed after the Kuwait liberation,

11)funnelled oil revenue from starving citizenry to corrupt leadership,

12)repeatedly launched lethal anti-air missiles at our servicemen enforcing the no-fly zone under international law.

At least Senator McCain didn't abandon his crew to death by bailing out after being hit by ground fire. George Herbert Bush did, and the world doesn't know, doesn't care. And yes! this is an important issue- even for aging "heroes" and ex-presidents like George Herbert Bush. Turning acts of cowardice into acts of heroism is easy to do when one is a member of the ruling elite (whether your father was Prescott Bush or a Navy Admiral)

My personal guess is that George Bush panicked when their aircraft was hit, bailing out without warning his crew. It's unlikely that both crew members were killed when the plane was initially hit (being in different sections of the TBM/TBF aircraft).

Perhaps soldiers should not be admonished for panicking in the face of combat- except that George Herbert Bush was the U.S. Navy's youngest officer pilot having acquired his rank through his prominent family connections.

Moral of the story: Should we as a nation choose a leader based on birth and family connections, or based on ability?

What is a "hero"?

Heroes in war rarely talk or boast about their sacrifice, because they realize the "true" heroes are those who didn't come back.

To make a different point: "hero" is an overused term that means very little today. We speak so often of sports "heroes," when all they did was hit a homerun or throw a TD.

McCain followed in his father's wake and got a free education at the expense of the U.S. taxpayer (an education he valued little, since he tried to graduate at the bottom of his class at Annapolis). He lived a life of relative privilege as a hotshot Navy pilot (think "Top Gun") until reality caught up with him and he was shot down. He endured a tough imprisonment, for sure, but that hardly qualifies him to be a "hero," something McCain himself might admit, if you asked him one-on-one. But he is being packaged and sold as a "hero," and the American people's willingness to buy into this image may determine the election.

As another person said, the Democrats should avoid this issue to focus on the real crimes and blunders of Bush and his party.

from a great distance [australia] i have long been an enthusiastic supporter of the incomparable michael moore. however, unless one is much mistaken, those that mr moore supports tend to lose. it would be a travesty to blame moore for this outcome. therefore, would it not be appropriate now for a little flip-flopping by michael to put his considerable weight behind senator mccain? surely no one would seriously blame moore for an obama victory?

First, he got shot down like hundreds of other pilots many who died. For example, he put his life on the line on an almost daily basis. Defending his country on orders from a DEMOCRAT LEFTIST President whose actions were sanctioned by a DEMOCRATIC controlled congress.

Second, the very act of landing on an aircraft carrier is dangerous. McCain did this on a daily basis.

Third, no President has ever intentionally bombs civilians. It serves no purpose. Of course, as in WWII the atom bombs dropped on Japan actually saved millions of Japanese lives.

Fourth, the US retreat in Southeast Asia led directly to the deaths and enslavement of tens of millions of people.

IN summary,

Disturbingly, while tens of thousands of innocents drowned in the South China Sea after the Communist takeover of Saigon, the LEft in the US was silent.

while millions were tortured and murdered throughout Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia; the Left was silent.

The LEft doesn't care about freedom (they routinely are apologists for brutal dictators worldwide)

they dont care about life (they routinely revel in supporting the "right" to stick a metal rod into the head of a precious and innocent baby seconds and inches from birth, and all without anesthesia!)

It is ironic that the only "combat" most Leftists and their supporters will engage in is indiscriminate bombing of innocents (William Aires) or the looting and beating of innocent shop owners during the rioting.

For example, while some Leftist serve (thanks) the overwhelming majority of combat troops serving in the US military are conservatives, while the overwhelming majority of rapists, pedophiles, and thieves are support democrats.

In summary, when confronted with real evil, the only thing you will see from most Leftists is his back and a trail of detritus.

For example, the NYTimes has yet to print a picture of Mohammad despite calls from Islamic extremists attacking free speech.

Michael Moore is a big fat lying fool who has duped you clowns for years, note that while he was attacking the war in Iraq, like so many hypocrit leftists (see Al gore who wastes more energy jetsetting around the world than scores of average Americans)Moore was profiting off his holding of Haliburton stock.

I read a funny article that recommend a title for Moore's next book:

It is self-evident that what McCain did was selfless and heroic

A Larger Question

I believe in honoring the courage of those in the military. But, I have always wondered why war heros are admired above all else. Why we keep picking them as leaders. That keeps us in the consciousness of war. Eventually, we are going to have to move beyond this mentality to understand we need to honor peace.

I am also glad there are people like Moore who dare to move beyond the taboos of social traditions and say what needs to be said. No issue ever got solved because people kept their mouths shut out of fear.

Wow, Michael Moore has something bad to say about the Republican candidate, what a huge surprise. What really would have been surprising is if he would have done a deep investigation into Obama and said controversial things about him, but even if he would have done that it wouldn't have mattered, nobody in the media would have carried it. Michael Moore is a publicity seeking assbag who says controversial things to get his big fat ugly ass on TV and into print to bolster his ego in the only way he can, not by talent, not by good looks, but by being a contrary dickhead!

Is it time for to 'swiftboat' McCain with this story?
[Report this comment] Posted by: jimidee on Aug 22, 2008 6:52 AM
Current rating: Not yet rated [1 = poor; 5 = excellent]

Why not?

Is it time for to 'swiftboat' McCain with this story?


There once was a man named... Mac Vain
who is much like the rain in Spain.
He fell from the sky
at the wromg place and time...
and for a time there,
he would remain!

A hero's welcome, was not scheduled..
Nor, American flag pins displayed..
the dead children lie in the village,
thier blood crying out from the grave!
Undeclared, merciless killing...
for senseless political gain!

A hero, no doubt, in the minds of many...
this antiquated relic of war...
is taking the helm, as we head the ship,
into the eye of the storm???
Un-provoked senseless slaughter..
of your brother's children,.. and mine!

Politicians-- sacrifice "your" children...
Before you start offering mine,
To your "God of War and Destruction,"
who drinks thier blood, like wine!
Snuffing out life's wonderful journey...
for your brother's children.. and mine!

So, in parting,..
I express this deep-felt feeling..
that agitates my soul...
Johnny Mac Vain, loses my vote...

McCain and those who contend unleashing the AF on NV would have resulted in a different ending to the sad tale of Vietnam are full of shit and don't know what they're talking about. (So what's new?)

Case in point ... 64 Apr Sigma I and II JCS War Games Divison conclusions paraphased: After bombing all military targets in NV, mining the harbor and committing 10 US divisions to the SV we would still be considering INVADING NV to halt the insurgency sponsored by the north. Incidentally, Sigma II also predicted the loss of support for the war by the American public ... in 1964 people!

Don't take McLastCentury's word for it. You can look it up: DERELICTION OF DUTY by Lt. Col. H.R. McMaster, pp. 155 - 158. See also Johnson Presidential Library, search "Sigma I" and "Sigma II".

For CIA confirmation of the Sigma I and II findings see the PENTAGON PAPERS published in the early '70's.

Here is the OBJECTIVE, RATIONAL, AND COMPREHENSIVE empirical research to disprove the fairy tail that many of you automatons believe that the MSM is biased in favor of conservatives or Republicans.

Comprehensive UCLA study on Leftist Media Bias

Harvard study on Leftist Media Bias

Note that these institutions are NOT rightwing or even remotely rightwing.

Wake up clowns, stop flooding your mind by persuing sites that support your flawed, one-sided, kool-aid drinking interpretation of reality.

if I can stomach reading all of this collective guilt-collective responsibility nonsense, no doubt you brainwashed Leftists can stomach individual rights - individual responsibilty prose on conservative websites.

Alternet is great, but opinion is no confined to this site -- venture outward fools and learn something about the real world. You will be less bitter, scared, and confused.

The problem with our culture is fights are fun to watch until the arena burns down.

In our lives, most of us are taught and encouraged to be macho on most every aspect of life. The problem is that while it can be fun, when you become the next casualty, the fun dries up in a New York minute. Some of us learn from those mistakes and try to correct our ways. Others, because they're rewarded big money for their sins will keep telling you to stay the course and may even try to be aggressive and seductive about it. As long as fossil fuels are kept artificially "cheap" by government subsidization and wars, we will keep electing pols such as Mccain or continue to be sucker-punched into voting for GOP-lites the likes of Clinton, Gore, Kerry, Obama, and even Dukakis and will LOSE LOSE LOSE ! Mr. Moore, Obama or Mccain, the veteran bombing and casualties will stay the course.

Thank heaven McGovern lost

During WWII, he dropped heaven knows how many tons of bombs on the Germans. Luckily, the American people realized he was a war criminal and rejected him for the noble Nixon.

Whew! That was close!

Overlooking the Obvious...Again

How very American, to have the tendency to criticize others without looking at ourselves.
McCain's military record is a sacred cow to the news media and almost everyone else; he is venerated for bombing civilians in wholesale slaughter, and then after being shot down for doing just that, he's locked up in prison, tortured and left to rot in a cell for over five years. Gee, sounds familiar, doesn't it? Thirty years later, we're doing the same thing. There's a prison in Cuba called Guantanamo, sitting in the midst of a naval base by the same name. It claims to house people just like McCain, whom we say have killed innocent civilians. It tortures people, just like McCain had been tortured. It provides poor medical care, keeps its inmates on the verge of starvation, just as McCain experienced. And it holds its denizens indefinitely, just as McCain was held.

The irony of this is staggering, don't you think? It should call to mind all sorts of interesting questions should a person care to engage in a little introspection. I shouldn't have to enumerate them.

What are innocent civilians doing shooting down planes?

If McCain was only bombing innocent civilians, you have to ask what these innocent civilians were doing shooting down planes?
Michaeal Moore should at least get the facts right, there was obviously a war going on here!
And as far as the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong were concerned, he should at least look at their record at killing civilians -- it is none too pretty!

More truth, less war.

Please, more articles on our (USA) inability to face the truth and reveal the lies that support our government. It really is long past time for Americans to take a good hard look at ourselves and where we want to go in the world, both home and abroad, and what kind of world we want to live in. We cannot survive as a nation if we continue to spend over fifty percent of our taxes on weapons of war. It is one thing to have a defense, but to export weapons of destruction as our biggest export is only to contribute to ever increasing danger, suffering, pollution, and hatred in our world. Is that want we want and stand for as Americans?

More swiftboating?

Swiftboating of McCain's military record continues. Two articles in two days, a few other ones before that.

Would Helen Wheels and others who so objected yesterday, agree that his isn't that much different from the treatment Kerry got 4 years ago?

This kind of article would hurt Obama if it was picked by the MSM.

War heroes

Real war heroes aren't Rambos who shoot at everything that moves. John Kerry was a war hero, not just for how he served but especially for having the integrity to ask whether he was doing the right thing - and coming out against the war. Al Gore was a war hero, of sorts, for refusing to use family connections to avoid the draft, also refusing to bear arms in a war he opposed, and also refusing a safe role behind the lines while others died at the front: so he served as a military correspondent, which was then one of the most dangerous (but pacific) tasks.

My favorite war hero is my grandfather, who was a factory director in Holland in WWII. He risked his life and those of his family by refusing to produce ammunition for the Nazis. (He got away with it by telling the Luftwaffe that he was working overtime for the Wehrmacht, and telling the Wehrmacht the opposite, and they never checked. All the while he kept his workers employed with making pots and pans.) And when after the war the government wanted to give him a medal, he refused, because he had just made a bad investment decision that had resulted in workers being laid off. In his mind, an entrepreneur who lays off workers is worth no honor.

The hero prisoner concept

I dunno. my dad was in a concentration camp; made mccain's imprisonment look like a picnic, and there certainly isn't any question about his having done something to deserve it; or the fact that in war, combatants can expect a chance of being taken prisoner.

Does that make him a hero for surviving? i don't know; in some ways, maybe. more passively than actively. does that make him presidential material, or in some way boost his qualifications? i don't think anyone would say yes, including himself.

So why does it work for McCain??

The hero prisoner concept

Moore really puts himself at risk here. By now, I'm sure the Faux Noose guys, Flushed Limpballs, and the Weakly Standard-types are having a field day with this one, especially since Michael Moore is one of their favorite targets.

Never mind the fact that he's right. The whole purpose of the Bushites' foreign/military policy has been to exonerate our Vietnam debacle. Bush the Elder even said so after Desert Storm-that he wanted to end the so-called "Vietnam Syndrome."

That was also behind George II's Iraq war "policy" and its assumptions of "slam dunk" and our troops being welcomed with flower-throwing parades.

I do hope that Michael has his body guards close by at all times, and has someone opening his snail mail for him.

Another Question:

I am glad to see this article back. It was posted yesterday and gone this morning. My question is this: Why is this question so radioactive? Is this an inconvenient topic for those attempting to re write history? Perhaps while we are at it, we should also re-write definition of heroism? I have tried to delicately raise this issue on the Huffington Post(not a right wing site) by replying to the blog by Sam Stein titled “Fineman: McCain Is Trivializing His POW Past”; it never passed the moderator. I stress, I was very delicate and on few occasions did not even mention McCain’s name. Is this a taboo subject in in our democracy? If so than we are moving dangerously away from the ideals and principals this country was funded on.

Thank You; Michael More and Liliana Segura.


I'm glad to see that Michael Moore and Alternet have the courage to question McCain's "war credentials". Maybe if McCain hadn't finished #495 out of a class of 500 at the Naval Academy he wouldn't have gotten shot down in the first place!

McCain still argues the Vietnam War could have been "won"

The Vietnam War represents a phenomenally stupid squandering of blood and treasure on a completely unnecessary war. Ho Chi Minh told the US he wanted Vietnam to be a friend, and he courted American support in his effort to free Vietnam from French Colonial rule reinstated after World War II.

South Vietnam was an artificially created portion of Vietnam, largely controlled by the Catholics even though the great majority of Vietnamese were not Catholic. Most Vietnamese wanted the US to get out of their country. This was true in the North and the South.

John McCain thinks that if only the US had been willing to kill a few more millions of people, the war could have been "won" - - meaning continuing squandering of hundreds of billions of US taxpayer dollars to accomplish something the people, in the main, were either indifferent to or opposed.

It Works for John McCain

Because of all the friends he has. Do you notice that when speaking to his crowds,its always "MY FRIENDS" I have never heard him say my fellow citizen or americans. Let me say this, a lot of veterans have done things that they were told to do and would truely like to forget about them; but not John McCain he is using a horrible event in the lives of many to make the american people think that he is a hero. John McCain is no hero; if truth be known I would bet that there are a lot veterans wish that he had never made it out of Vietnam.

And this is an example of honesty, integrity?

Another reason to vote for Ralph Nader.

This is the hurt point for the right wing

This is exactly where the left should be punching: right into the hurt point. Why do we have to idolize a war which was the forerunner of the present disaster? What does the country have to be proud of? This war, if "asymetrical warfare" can be called war, will end the same way as the last disaster. We fight enemies who have no airforce or navy or army and we are the ones spending the trillions? Come on!! Michael Moore is right. What did Songbird McCain do in the Hanoi Hilton to deserve the special treatment he got? Ask it loud and clear, over and over. What have we got to be proud of? What has McCain got to be proud of?

There was nothing that America won in Iraq or Vietnam. Po

Most wars after WWII are about OIL.


About half of all military personnel who died in WW2 were part of aircrews.

Hold on

I'm thinking about this, we have lost focus.
This discussion is not about soldiers who serve, those who die or those who are called heroes, this is specifically about McCain's use of his POW experience for political gain, and therefore its denigration, and how he should be brought to shame, "de-heroized" for that. Expose the man, bring down the cloud of illusion constructed by the GOP and its media accomplices.
Let's keep it there and stop insulting all these people who have suffered enough! And to them: please open your eyes about this farce, don't tolerate being used.

Why the media should investigate John McCain’s POW record.

By not vetting McCain’s POW record, the media will be making the same mistake it did in 2000 and 2004 by ignoring assertions that George W. Bush bailed out of the Air National Guard during the Vietnam War and went AWOL.

An example of the indifferent press coverage happened on February 26, 2004, when the Boston Globe ran an article by one of its premier reporters, Walter V. Robinson, headlined, “Bush Bio on Web Inflates Guard Service.”

The fabricated document was found by a freelance journalist while surfing the Internet for information about Dub-ya's controversial military service.

Of all places, the text had been published on a U.S. State Department website for the whole world to see. Everyone but the sleepwalking press, that is.

Brazenly, the official White House document claimed George W. flew F102 interceptors almost SIX years when the actual time was 27 months, according to official ANG records. The bio contained other misrepresentations as well -- all intentional, not typos or mistaken dictation, as shown by the following quotes and fact-checks:

BOGUS BIO: Bush "spent two years on active duty, flying F-102 fighter interceptors."
FACT: He served 18 months on active duty, not 24. Of those, 13 months were spent in
basic training and USAF flight school, NONE of it flying F102s.

BOGUS BIO: "For almost four years after that, he was on a part-time status."
FACT: After becoming combat qualified in ANG F102s, Lt. Bush flew just 22 months.

NOTE: Because of personal problems, such as excessive drinking, poor airmanship and a
reported fear of flying, George W. quit ANG interceptors in April 1972. The self-grounding left him 30 months short of the asserted six-year period, which he had promised to complete under his sworn Guard obligation as a pilot who received flight training costing over a million dollars.

BOGUS BIO: Bush flew "occasional missions to help the Air National Guard keep two of its F-102s on round-the-clock alert."
FACT: On August 1, 1972, ANG Major General Francis Greenlief grounded him for failing to take his required annual USAF medical exam. Thus Lt. Bush wasn't qualified to fly F102s during the time claimed in his falsified biography, much less perform alert duty as alleged.

For three years the bogus bio went undetected on the State Department website, missed by thousands of surfing journalists except Hugh E. Scott, who told the Boston Globe and received credit for the scoop. That’s right, AlterNetters—yours truly who has been called a fraud, liar, shameless self-promoter and many other insulting and reckless things by various AlterNet trouble-makers.

Bush’s falsified biography is why I wrote and self-published my 2004 nonfiction book, George Dub-ya Bush, THE PHONY FIGHTER PILOT -- to make up for America’s indifferent and lazy press. To help spread the word to voters, I posted the ENTIRE manuscript for free reading on a nonprofit Web site,

Great article and a real eye opener. It changed my thinking . It is very clear that of the candidates running for president only one of the four; McCain is a mass murder. Obama has no blood on his hands not McKinney , Nor Nader,
So if history has taught us anything ;it is that only men with blood stained hands get elected to be president.If the candidate is innocent of murder as the other candidates seem to be,. the very threat to wage war just to get elected, will put them in that same club.

Has anyone researched the Internet on the information that McCain was a traitor who worked with the enemy. He did radio broadcasts and gave them information on the routes our planes used to attack their (Vietnam's) weapons etc. Men that were with him in the POW camp said they never heard any torture on McCain. When they returned, several officers wanted McCain charged with helping the enemy, but the gov't didn't want to do it, wanted to make him a hero. BUT, he never received an increase in rank or money as is usual when someone is a prisoner of war. Others in the camp did get their increase in rank and pay. The gov't heard McCains radio broadcasts. The info he gave the enemy caused more of our military planes to be shot down and more men killed. You can read the information on the Internet. Search McCain military trader or similar words and you will get the information. This is just another-but important- reason why this SOB should not be president. He doesn't deserve to be a Senator. He only works to rob from the poor and workers so he can give more to the wealthy. He doesn't deserve the free health care he and his family gets, he loves his perks that American Citizens can't get! He is a rich SOB that doesn't know what an honest days work is. He was in the Senate for 26 years, but didn't bother to learn anything about economics. He was too busy getting $ from lobbyists, helping the rich screw us and spent his time getting backing for re-election. He is wearing Bush's robes and will continue screwing the American people. You just can't fix stupid voters....

The following text is from my forthcoming nonfiction book, "King George W. Bush and the Treasonous Neocons":

During the 2004 campaign, leftwing filmmaker Michael Moore escalated the rhetoric by accusing Bush of being a deserter. Republicans went ballistic over the charge and accused Moore of treasonous slander. Actually he was correct.

Article 85 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice defines a deserter as any member of the armed forces who goes AWOL with “the intent to avoid hazardous duty.” It makes no difference when the hazardous duty was scheduled, war or peacetime.

In 1961, an Aggie classmate of mine, First Lt. Ernest Biehunko, flew his F102 into a Nevada mountain while following radar controller instructions in cloudy weather at night. Military aviation can’t get much riskier than that. The inherent hazard of operating single-seat jet interceptors is one reason why Bush grounded himself and went absent without leave. Technically, that made him a deserter.

Lt. Bush received his silver wings on December 2, 1969, finished F102 combat crew training in June 1970, and was assigned the Houston-based 114th Fighter Interceptor Squadron nicknamed the “Champagne Unit” because of the large number of high society draft-evading members. His last flight was in April 1972. Thus, Bush flew as a combat qualified F102 pilot only 22 months of his obligated six-year tour.

But what does he say in his 1999 autobiography, A Charge to Keep? Do your remember? It was also in the 2004 Boston Globe article. Asserted Bush in his autobio, "After completing F102 combat qualification, I continued flying with my Guard unit for the next several years.”

I’m sorry, loyal Bush fans, but one year and 10 months is not the same as “several" years, which Webster defines as “more than two.”

Additionally, to cement the impression he had indeed flown "several" years, Bush enclosed two B&W photos in A Charge to Keep that show him kneeling by an F102 and sitting in the cockpit labeled “Texas Air National Guard, 1968 to 1973.” The last time he flew the Delta Dagger interceptor, if you recall, was April 1972.

So what else does Bush say in A Charge To Keep about flying single-engine jet fighters, a peak experience in any young man’s life shared by one of the greatest pilots ever, Chuck Yeager?

Nothing. Nada, zip, zero.

Not wanting to be pinned down, he also didn’t provide any dates in his autobio. The next one mentioned after “several years” is 1975, when Dub-ya talks about visiting his folks in China. So what happened in 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973 and 1974?

Nothing important, unless you consider going AWOL noteworthy. When questioned by reporters, Bush had “some recollection,” but wouldn’t elaborate and declined to be interviewed on the issue. Oh, by the way, he, ah, “lost” his flying records. They accidentally fell into a document shredder (I’m guessing).

Continuing with his dishonorable Guard record, sometime after April 1972, the future commander-in-chief grounded himself by refusing to take his mandatory annual flight physical. Bush people will probably say I am exaggerating the seriousness of his failure. Well, here’s a fact that can’t be disputed. Had George W. not been a Congressman’s son, he would have met the same fate as any other National Guard pilot who grounded himself by not taking his flight physical. He would have faced a court martial.

McCain Was NOT "Defending" His Country
Michael Moore writes of McCain:
"He was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice in the defense of our nation."

He was a member of the most powerful military in history assaulting a defenseless rural society half a world away. And he was doing it because his government didn't like the politics of the guerrilla army in the southern part of the country, plus the government in the northern part of the country he was helping attack.

It's impossible for the U.S. to be engaged in a war of "self defense". Once any U.S. soldier steps outside of the legally recognized borders of the U.S., he is an aggressor. The U.S. has such an unfair advantage over any opposition it faces that it is impossible for it to be engaged in anything but wars of aggression.


The problem that seems to be forgotten once you are in the military, you are conditioned to follow orders. not question them. they will tell you that it is your solemn patriotic duty and obligation, that your brothers in arms lives depend on your obeying the chain of command given by those who are in the loop and know what has to be done to achieve victory and save the lives of your fellow soldiers and the way of life you took an oath to defend.
Soldiers in wartime are machines designed to kill and blow up things, Its easy now to criticize Mccain for his participation in what many consider to be genocide, but the fact remains he was a fighter pilot in war trained to kill and destroy those he was told was the enemy. I have no intention of voting for Mccain, but as a veteran and someone with a son in army. I cannot and will not be silent about his military experience. The man did serve honorably and sacrificed more than most of us can imagine.(which is more than I can say about the current adminstration) even if his torture was only for 2 years and not 5 thats probably more than most could McCain the pilot

I do not know the source of this story, so I would appreciate someone confirming it: McCain was involved in an accident on an aircraftcarrier when. waiting in line to take off, he pushed a button and fired a missile which hit a plane in front of his, resulting in death or injury.

Has anyone out there heard this story and been able to vet it?

Rumors say McCain "wet-started" his plane to piss of an F4 pilot parked behind him.

A more accurate picture of McCain "cook off" ordeal

So tell me, Karl, why did the North Vietnamese nickname Mr. War Hero "Songbird"?

McCain has been shoving his war experience down our throats.

There were almost 800 American POWs in Vietnam with approx 700 of them comning home. While some have died, many are still alive.

Why aren't these former Vietnam POWs all out on the campaign trail with McCain?

Also, where are all of the McCain supporters who survived the USS Forrestal "accident"?

McCain and his campaign have been trotting out the 5 1/2 years in captivity as a POW as if this were qualification to be president. It isn't. Besides, many others were similarly imprisoned, tortured, and survived. Some, including Phillip Butler (, were imprisoned alongside McCain, and for longer. Butler writes a compelling piece explaining why he does not feel tenure in a POW camp is sufficient to qualify McCain to be president.

Let us not forget McCain's deep involvement in the savings & loan scandal of the 1980s. I am certain he has ethical problems and this was an early indication of it. It nearly finished him politically. McCain is no maverick. He's rudderless. Rich, but rudderless.

John McCain was shot down while on a mission as a U.S. Naval pilot. From the comments I've read, it's apparent that many have never served in the military and have no concept of following orders or the chain of command. The bombing target was not McCain's personal choice.

And, Mooreover...

No wonder the right wingnuts despise Michael Moore. He's telling the truth. His health care movie Sicko may have resorted to set-up situations and use of poetic license, but hey, didn't Cocteau describe art as "a lie that tells the truth"?

For weeks now, I've wondered why the Obama people didn't find some surrogate to say it, that there was nothing inherently honorable about serving in the military during the Vietnam War. Wesley Clark did not say that; he only said that service in Vietnam, including POW experience, didn't automatically qualify McShame to be our leader.

As a person who protested Dow Chemical when it sent talent scouts to UCLA -- we did a sit-down in the administration building -- and as a lifelong pacifist, I must point out that John McShame was perfectly willing to drop Dow napalm indiscriminately on the Vietnamese people.

And have we forgotten the lessons of My Lai? Now that we know that McShame betrayed his country under less torture than was administered to others who did not, how can we find anything heroic at all in his military record? He thinks waterboarding is all right and that we ought to attack Iran. This guy is positively frightening. Hero my ass!

I am the only liberal in a family of 67 conservatives. I asked during Easter dinner why everyone was so enamored because John McCain "was a war hero". The war heros are not dropping bombs on civilians at 30,000 feet make a terrible mistake in the air, which leads to his plane being shot down. That is a fool not a hero. Reason I know he made a big-time mistake is because my newly deceased father-in-law who was the youngest member of the RAF at 17 during WWII was told by a British flight commander in England. He flew more bombing missions over Germany than anyone in the RAF and Airforce, and he used to carry the big brass back and forth from England to look at Germany. He completed his 30 missions but his superiors refused to allow him to be discharged. He was that good. He was a flight school training pilot after the war. He never retired, and he died doing what he loved, flying. He never once said he considered himself a hero. As a matter of fact, he told me that anyone who made a mistake, and got shot down, deserved whatever happened to them. He despised McMain and the straight talk BS. He also told me that if McCain had dared to leave before the other POW's captured before him, his father would have died of embarrasement. His father would have resigned his commission. He was fully aware that prisoners were released in the order they were captured. The young men I consider heros are the ones who still kept getting out of those boats and storming the beach knowing that death was right in front of them on D-Day, the troops who are going back for their 5th and 6th tours in Iraq and coming back complete messes, the coalition that Bush 41 put together and our troops were out of there as soon as Kuwait was free of Iraqi thieves and are sick as hell right now, our POW's that were caught during that war. Those are heros, including the Marines that died in Lebanon, and on, and on. Please, someone, tell me what makes this man who never faced the nightmarish conditions of the infantry a WAR HERO???????????? I was excoriated at Easter, except by my father-in-law, but I am a traitor to this country for refusing to agree McClown is some big time war hero. I don't know, did not then, never will. Is that the new criterion for heros in the US? Is this how the country has so completely lost its bearings? I can't stand listening to this garbage about McClown anymore. The day he puts on fatigues, gets a gun, and patrols the streets of Baghdad with the real heros, McClown really has no idea what warfare really is.


Thinking is bravery. America is full of brave women and men, citizens who look forward and who guide their country and world.

Then there's this guy McCain. The son of an admiral, he was wealthy and drifted into a marriage with a swimsuit model. Then he did the easy thing and got a military education. Then he messed up a number of times in the military. Then he got unlucky one day. So then he did what he was told for five years and he eventually got out.

Then his wife was ugly and he was a real hothead so he chased other skirts for a long while. He married a hundred million dollars.

He used some of the cash to become a United States Senator. He was actually pretty good at the politics game, and for a while he actually thought about the good of his country. That was brave. So you see, in the end McCain was a brave man. For a while.

Then he started doing politics entirely by the book. He took some money from a shady banker and got caught in the Keating 5 scandal. Much later, he always voted for Bush's bills like a robot, year after year.

Then he lost the thinking part of his memory. He read things off of cue cards or, in emergencies, recited unrelated stories that he had in his long-term memory.

I wish there was a moral but there isn't. Lots of stuff just happens to people who aren't brave for most of their lives, and nothing is really learned by them.


Committed by the USA? And twice? And here I thought that was the privilege of Nazi Germany. But then native Americans and Vietnames dont seem to count.

Our Own War Games Predicted the Outcome

"Yep....armchair warriors whose combat experience is limited to playing "Battleship" as a all grown up...they'll fight to your last son or daughter for multinationals and big oil..."

Amen to that.

To attack McCain for being a bomber pilot. The Butler article is more useful because it is written by someone who knew McCain as a young man and also was POW. More details about his military career such as his 3 plane accidents--is that normal or below par? Is there anything to Forrestal claim that showbaoting lead to 144 deaths? Maybe Moore could make or sponsor an ad for Forrestal Vets for Truth. Definitely more should be made of his marital infidelity (ADULTERY for the Ten commandment crowd) after release from Vietnam which ended by landing the beer heiress that enabled his political career after he retired from Navy. More about his command experience in the military should be revealed and explored. What kind of officer was he? Adultery, incompetence, greed, memory lapses are weak points in Mccain character that should be exploited by the Dems, but not trying to say bomber pilot are inherently war criminals.

RE: Most may agree with Moore, but it is not a winning tactic

I just need to say this

As an extremely liberal person (unashamed of the word), I think that questioning McCain's patriotism is a REAL LOSER for liberals. There are alot of veterans out there--my partner of 15 yrs is as liberal as they come. He is a Viet vet---when they bring up/make fun of McCain's time in the Hanoi Hilton--he clouds over. One time, he said, "Wont we ever be able to get a Viet vet in the WH? I might vote for McCain". He reneged om this, of course, but--I think the left has accepted that we ignored the suffering of the "grunts" ( i know mcCain was not one) and troops for way too long ie: Vietnam. That's why we're not blaming the troops again in Iraq--if MCain is to blame, Moore, are the troops fighting in Iraq today KILLERS? Are they to blame? Cause taht is what you are asying--or, thats what they hear...GIVE THIS ONE UP!! Michael, youre funny and all---but, now youre a multi-miollionaire, who no one in Flint seems ro remember coming hom emuch, who is supporting a candidate who dose NOT support what you latest movie was about--natl health care..are you a fraud? If not--YOURE STILL NO T HELPING! You'll be oK no matter who wins, right? People out there--can you still afford to go see Moore's movies these days? Cause I cant.ALL revolutions that last, have to get the military on their side--or they wil kill us all! I'm serious. Theyve already got Blackwater and tasers and razorwire for those who disagree--how can some of you go along with this crap??Amazing--after 8 yrs of Dubya--you havent learned a damn thing!

God help us if McCain is elected

because his positions on multiple issues are so destructive. That not only includes his foreign policy positons, but also his domestic policy positions. What's frightening is that the public opinion polls are now revealing a very slim margin for Obama, and getting slimmer with each passing day! The media focus on his "war heroism" does a disservice to the much needed discussions of more serious issues. No one is asking him the tough questions.

Now comes information about McCain having graduated very near the bottom of his 800-member Annapolis class. I ask, can America tolerate another low-performing frat-boy war-hawk president? Surely, intelligence and the ability to perform under pressure are good qualities to have, and McCain's performance at the naval academy would suggest he has neither.

Sure, McCain's been a senator longer than many potential voters have been alive, and occasionally he has bucked the republican machine. But, deep at heart, McCain is a paleoconservative, espousing the very same ideas and notions that have conspired to land America in the shape it's in today.

At some point, the media has to decide to get real about the dramatic contrasts between the candidates, and stop treating McCain as if he were a real alternative to Obama.

Unfit McCain literally can't tell Shiite from Shinola.

AlteNet's policy about trolling is crystal clear:

We also ask our readers to refrain from responding to posts by people who only want to derail the conversation with conservative talking points. Please report these comments; do not respond.

So why are trolls like Karl.Ben allowed continued acess to this blog?

You can bet your sweet bippy Democrat trolls wouldn't last one nanosecond on Republican blogs!

RE: Why aren't we following AlterNet's policy about GOP trolls and conservative pot-stirrers? Posted

It's the revisionist Rightist thinking that makes a noble cause out of our national aggressive act, the Vietnam War. During the war, especially during the draft part of it (guess why the draft had any bearing), Americans came more and more to see the war as a mistake. That held into the 90's. Now with Wyatt Earp in the White House and our power and influence dwindling, we need a new national myth on that war. And we have it. We forget about the destruction we did on two million and remember the so-called sacrifices of the men.


Full disclosure: I not only support Obama, but I am volunteering for him. I desperately hope for the sake of my young son that he is our next President. But McCain was indeed heroic a half-century or so ago. Not for bombing civilians, not for getting shot down, but for staying in prison when he could have gotten out. It doesn't make him remotely qualified to be President, but he had a moment in his life where he was truly heroic, when he eschewed an opportunity to avoid great suffering. I'm not at all sure what I would have done under those circumstances, and neither are you.

Prisoner of Dubya

McCain spent 5 1/2 years as a prisoner in Hanoi, but he's been held captive for eight years in Washington, DC. After being captured in political battle by Karl Rove during the South Carolina Republican primary, McCain has been forced to crawl and grovel before his captors (such as his submission to Jerry Falwell & Co), abjure his mostly closely held principles (note his surrender to torture in the Military Commissions Act), and promote his former enemies' ideology (his Senate voting record is approximately 95% pro-Bush).

Unfortunately, this time he has failed to resist the enemy's brainwashing, and if anything might serve as a case study in Stockholm Syndrome. Only an immediate and permanent release from the continuing traumas of the political pressure-cooker offers any hope for the rehabilitation of McCain's mental health.

This is exactly my point! why hasn't anyone suggested that ANY fool can get himself captured? it seems to me if mccain had any balls to speak of, he'd at least talk about how hard he tried to escape. but he didn't even have hte sense to save his own skin when offered the chance to walk out. i don't want some idiot as my president who doesn't have hte sense to come home from the war, let alone come in from the rain...

This is exactly what i've been wondering

It's threads like this... which will make mainstream Americans want to vote for McCain. Keep it up. That way, when you try to blame Nader as spoiler, I can point my finger at you all as well.

One main reason for not voting for the fact that this man went to Vietnam to drop bombs on innocent people in their homes. You should be safe in your own home. Your home is supposed to be your castle. Unless of course you live in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, or any other country the U.S. wants to invade and enslave. My father too was in Vietnam and he did not take one single human life while he was there. He was a carpenter and built barracks and other buildings. To me my dad is a true hero. No one died by his hand. I will not vote for someone who is a pathological killer and that is what Mr. McCain is. Torture was too good for that piece of scum.

One main reason for not voting for because McCain thinks his trauma is a credential

Understandably, John McCain was traumatized by his years as a POW. Unfortunately, instead of getting therapy and working through his issues, he uses them as proof that he is ready to lead.

In a reasonable world, McCain would acknowledge that his unresolved issues stemming from his torture make in impossible for him to exhibit any objectivity on matters of war, and recuse himself from any decision-making powers in that arena. Instead he wants to use our nation, our sons and daughters, to express his unresolved fear and anger on the world stage. No thank you. John, see a shrink.

There's nothing heroic about Michael Moore

I agree, there's nothing heroic about beign shot down.

But it IS heroic, to survive in a POW camp.

Perhaps Michael Moore should realize that just because something doesn't make you qualified to be President, it doesn't mean it wasn't heroic.

And as for the criticism that the war he was fighting was immoral? That is irrelevent. There are plenty of Vietnam Heroes. None of them worked in Washington DC and sent the people to war.

Why is this even a topic of discussion? Michael Moore has always had a problem identifying what is, and is not, relevent to the topic at hand.

John McCain is a war hero. He deserves that title, and he earned it.

But that is NOT relevent to the US Presidential campaign.

If you want to be relevent, Mr. Moore, try writing about actual ISSUES related to the election.

John McCain deserves to lose the election, not because of his war record, but because of his POLICIES.

Okay then, let me get this straight... pro-life people think it's okay to kill innocent people outside of the womb??...



This man is sick, paranoid, selfish, legacy driven, self centered, malicious.... To think that his military service (of which he was not drafted)but, joined voluntarily and POW experience tops the cake for experience some 40 years ago is ridiculous and tragic.

This man has a problem with authority, women, real hero's of any the one's in Iraq, and his daddy's credits also place him above the law, the fray, answering questions, a civil answer. This man is dangerous and shouldn't be near the red button, but moreso shouldn't be a senator. He's a hustler and a fraud. Killing innocent civilians is what he deserved as POW, it should have been life.

Women especially, should not have this man near them. He has threatened their jobs if they don't comply with his 'command' when running for the senate, influence peddling with Don Diamond and the Keating Five. This is a man with many issues. America send him to Belise. Put him in charge of the 'dog breeding' lifestyle of the rich and famous dogs in Belise. He should go for that.

Why does everyone keep saying that McCain was tortured in Vietnam? He wasn't tortured at all, not by the Republicans' new definition of torture. And since they have such great faith that their "enhanced interrogation" works, and they get from it valuable, accurate, actionable intelligence, that must mean that that's the quality of information the North Vietnamese got from McCain.

I consider myself a liberal conservative and I guess I can understand the original arguement in the above article, if you think that when there are civilian casualties in war, then that makes it evil or pointless. I don't agree with that view, but I understand the thoughts behind it. Civilians dying in war is a horrible, horrible thing...but do we then not fight for what we believe to be right?? I'm not an expert on Vietnam, but I know it's been debated for years and will continue to be...but I don't think it was "wrong" to go to war just b/c there were civilian casualties. THAT can not be the deciding factor. Was it wrong to bomb civilian towns in WWII, while chasing Hitler and the Nazis??? Should we have let Hitler keep doing what he was doing, simply b/c we didn't want more innocent people to die in the "scuffle"??? No, of course not!!! We are part of a generation that does NOT understand, that freedom and rights, must be protected and fought for, even at the expene of other human life some times! People like Michael Moore, don't want to get involved, b/c they don't want to pay the price of helping other people get the freedoms we have...and that's just sad.

And while we are questioning McCain's "heroic" status....and while he is being called a "murderer" by some, let us not forget, that when asked, Obama could not let us all know when he thought life begins, AND he and his wife are "champions" of the partial birth abortion movement. Even the most liberal of liberals, is repulsed by such a "procedure" and yet the media is not puting Obama to task about this. If someone wants to be the president of the United States, I think they should have a very firm opinion and understanding of when life begins and how it should be's a huge moral issue, that one can NOT afford to be so apathetic about! Democrats can not make McCain look like a monster and then NOT hold Obama accountable for supporting the murder of babies, as they are coming out of the birth canal!!