Discussion:
What Does It Mean To Call McCain A 'War Hero' Candidate?
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kb
2008-04-15 04:33:38 UTC
Permalink
Published on Monday, April 14, 2008 by The Christian Science Monitor
What Does It Mean To Call McCain A 'War Hero' Candidate?
McCain is running as one, but those who oppose dishonorable wars are
also heroes.
by Charles Derber and Yale Magrass

"624787." In his first national campaign ad for president, John McCain
is shown reciting his rank and serial number as he lies in a
Vietnamese hospital bed as a prisoner of war. The ad describes him as
"a real hero."

Let's be clear; Senator McCain is running for president as a war hero
who plans to win the campaign based on character and honor. On the
surface, it seems churlish to critique the idea of a war hero. And
criticizing a tribute to courageous and self-sacrificing soldiers
would be disrespectful.

But inextricably tied to the idea of the war hero for president is a
discussion that goes beyond individual soldiers or prisoners of war,
such as McCain, to the wars they fight and what their role in the war
says about their moral merits as national leaders. This turns out to
be surprisingly problematic.

We need to distinguish the war hero from the war. Fixed ideas about
war heroes get into what we call "morality wars," crucial struggles
about which values should prevail, who should be admired and for what
qualities.

When we call McCain a war hero, we engage in moral discourse about the
Vietnam War and now Iraq. We also give McCain - currently the
country's most celebrated war hero - the ultimate political weapon:
power by virtue of heroism and the ability to discredit opponents as
weak or unpatriotic.

The public has treated McCain's record in Vietnam and his status as a
war hero as something unchangeable. But placing his sacrifice beyond
the pale of criticism also implicitly places the cause he served
beyond the pale, and that hushes important dialogue.

McCain's heroism stems entirely from Vietnam. McCain was brave in
captivity, but he and his fellow pilots dropped more bombs on Vietnam
than all those dropped in World War II, leading to the conclusion that
"we had to destroy Vietnam in order to save it." But he did not
acknowledge the war itself as immoral. Had he engaged in such
"straight talk" about the war itself, or if we had a more enlightened
concept of heroism, he might not be getting so close to becoming the
next president.

This language of war heroism is used unfairly to confuse unjust wars
and their architects with the honor of brave soldiers. By promoting
the idea that Vietnam was an honorable war and denigrating antiwar
Democrats as too weak to "stay the course," Richard Nixon won the
election in 1968. He then kept the war going for another five futile
years, sustained by that myth.

Playing the war hero card has long been a political strategy to elect
Republicans; legitimize imperial wars; and portray Democrats and peace
activists as weak, cowardly, or traitorous. John Kerry, also a
courageous soldier, was swift-boated as a traitor because he became a
peace activist in Vietnam.

Republicans even did the same to Daniel Ellsberg, a real hero of the
Vietnam era. Ellsberg was a war planner who turned against the war and
in 1971, at great personal risk, released to The New York Times the
"Pentagon Papers," the military's internal and damning history of the
war. But as there are no peace heroes, only war heroes in the American
moral discourse, President Nixon tried to indict him and many still
brand him as a traitor.

Ten out of 11 presidents after the Civil War were Republicans, the
majority of whom were generals who ran as war heroes. In the 20th
century, Republicans continued to serve up war-hero candidates like
Teddy Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, George H.W. Bush, a strategy that
has worked for tens of decades. And now we have John McCain.

If the Democrats are to win elections in the 21st century, the key is
to finally engage in straight talk about war and war heroes.

First, they must renounce the morality of militarism.

Second, they must be clear that the architects of unjust wars are not
honorable or heroic but immoral moralists, those who wage evil in the
name of good.

Third, they must create a new language of heroism. Brave soldiers in
just and unjust wars may be heroes, if we refer purely to personal
courage and sacrifice in battle. But it is critical that we recognize
that those who oppose dishonorable wars are also heroes. Surely, their
courage should also qualify as a character virtue for the highest
office in the land.

The peace hero - even more than the war hero - should be the ultimate
moral force in the world we now inhabit.

Charles Derber and Yale Magrass are coauthors of "Morality Wars: How
Empires, the Born Again, and the Politically Correct Do Evil in the
Name of Good."

Article copied from:
http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2008/04/14/8278/

===================

McCain dropped bombs on a sovereign nation, murdered innocent women &
children & was justly imprisoned. He is not a hero, but another
terrorist killer and criminal. He has no remorse for all the killing
he did. He should be locked up in a nut house, not strutting around
like he's great. He's a dummy who swallowed the lies, and began
helping to spread them all over the globe. He represents the worst of
America. Shame on him, and shame on all the fools that call him a
hero!
KB
toci
2008-04-15 13:28:40 UTC
Permalink
Post by kb
Published on Monday, April 14, 2008 by The Christian Science Monitor
What Does It Mean To Call McCain A 'War Hero' Candidate?
McCain is running as one, but those who oppose dishonorable wars are
also heroes.
by Charles Derber and Yale Magrass
"624787." In his first national campaign ad for president, John McCain
is shown reciting his rank and serial number as he lies in a
Vietnamese hospital bed as a prisoner of war. The ad describes him as
"a real hero."
Let's be clear; Senator McCain is running for president as a war hero
who plans to win the campaign based on character and honor. On the
surface, it seems churlish to critique the idea of a war hero. And
criticizing a tribute to courageous and self-sacrificing soldiers
would be disrespectful.
But inextricably tied to the idea of the war hero for president is a
discussion that goes beyond individual soldiers or prisoners of war,
such as McCain, to the wars they fight and what their role in the war
says about their moral merits as national leaders. This turns out to
be surprisingly problematic.
We need to distinguish the war hero from the war. Fixed ideas about
war heroes get into what we call "morality wars," crucial struggles
about which values should prevail, who should be admired and for what
qualities.
When we call McCain a war hero, we engage in moral discourse about the
Vietnam War and now Iraq. We also give McCain - currently the
power by virtue of heroism and the ability to discredit opponents as
weak or unpatriotic.
The public has treated McCain's record in Vietnam and his status as a
war hero as something unchangeable. But placing his sacrifice beyond
the pale of criticism also implicitly places the cause he served
beyond the pale, and that hushes important dialogue.
McCain's heroism stems entirely from Vietnam. McCain was brave in
captivity, but he and his fellow pilots dropped more bombs on Vietnam
than all those dropped in World War II, leading to the conclusion that
"we had to destroy Vietnam in order to save it." But he did not
acknowledge the war itself as immoral. Had he engaged in such
"straight talk" about the war itself, or if we had a more enlightened
concept of heroism, he might not be getting so close to becoming the
next president.
This language of war heroism is used unfairly to confuse unjust wars
and their architects with the honor of brave soldiers. By promoting
the idea that Vietnam was an honorable war and denigrating antiwar
Democrats as too weak to "stay the course," Richard Nixon won the
election in 1968. He then kept the war going for another five futile
years, sustained by that myth.
Playing the war hero card has long been a political strategy to elect
Republicans; legitimize imperial wars; and portray Democrats and peace
activists as weak, cowardly, or traitorous. John Kerry, also a
courageous soldier, was swift-boated as a traitor because he became a
peace activist in Vietnam.
Republicans even did the same to Daniel Ellsberg, a real hero of the
Vietnam era. Ellsberg was a war planner who turned against the war and
in 1971, at great personal risk, released to The New York Times the
"Pentagon Papers," the military's internal and damning history of the
war. But as there are no peace heroes, only war heroes in the American
moral discourse, President Nixon tried to indict him and many still
brand him as a traitor.
Ten out of 11 presidents after the Civil War were Republicans, the
majority of whom were generals who ran as war heroes. In the 20th
century, Republicans continued to serve up war-hero candidates like
Teddy Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, George H.W. Bush, a strategy that
has worked for tens of decades. And now we have John McCain.
If the Democrats are to win elections in the 21st century, the key is
to finally engage in straight talk about war and war heroes.
First, they must renounce the morality of militarism.
Second, they must be clear that the architects of unjust wars are not
honorable or heroic but immoral moralists, those who wage evil in the
name of good.
Third, they must create a new language of heroism. Brave soldiers in
just and unjust wars may be heroes, if we refer purely to personal
courage and sacrifice in battle. But it is critical that we recognize
that those who oppose dishonorable wars are also heroes. Surely, their
courage should also qualify as a character virtue for the highest
office in the land.
The peace hero - even more than the war hero - should be the ultimate
moral force in the world we now inhabit.
Charles Derber and Yale Magrass are coauthors of "Morality Wars: How
Empires, the Born Again, and the Politically Correct Do Evil in the
Name of Good."
Article copied from:http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2008/04/14/8278/
===================
McCain dropped bombs on a sovereign nation, murdered innocent women &
children & was justly imprisoned. He is not a hero, but another
terrorist killer and criminal. He has no remorse for all the killing
he did. He should be locked up in a nut house, not strutting around
like he's great. He's a dummy who swallowed the lies, and began
helping to spread them all over the globe. He represents the worst of
America.  Shame on him, and shame on all the fools that call him a
hero!
KB
Worse than no remorse; he thinks it's funny. "Bomb, bomb, bomb: bomb,
bomb Iran....." Toci
w***@yahoo.com
2008-04-15 23:04:59 UTC
Permalink
Excellent article - like a breath of fresh air - the truth at last!
The truth will set us free - forever from corrupt polticians (like
Bush, McCain, & Hilary) and the ugly wars that they start and
glorify.

True democracy, government by and for the people, truth and justice -
those are all worth fighting for. Insane corporate greed, barbaric
invasions and occupations of sovereign nations - are worth fighting
against.

Wegona BeFree!
Post by kb
Published on Monday, April 14, 2008 by The Christian Science Monitor
What Does It Mean To Call McCain A 'War Hero' Candidate?
McCain is running as one, but those who oppose dishonorable wars are
also heroes.
by Charles Derber and Yale Magrass
"624787." In his first national campaign ad for president, John McCain
is shown reciting his rank and serial number as he lies in a
Vietnamese hospital bed as a prisoner of war. The ad describes him as
"a real hero."
Let's be clear; Senator McCain is running for president as a war hero
who plans to win the campaign based on character and honor. On the
surface, it seems churlish to critique the idea of a war hero. And
criticizing a tribute to courageous and self-sacrificing soldiers
would be disrespectful.
But inextricably tied to the idea of the war hero for president is a
discussion that goes beyond individual soldiers or prisoners of war,
such as McCain, to the wars they fight and what their role in the war
says about their moral merits as national leaders. This turns out to
be surprisingly problematic.
We need to distinguish the war hero from the war. Fixed ideas about
war heroes get into what we call "morality wars," crucial struggles
about which values should prevail, who should be admired and for what
qualities.
When we call McCain a war hero, we engage in moral discourse about the
Vietnam War and now Iraq. We also give McCain - currently the
power by virtue of heroism and the ability to discredit opponents as
weak or unpatriotic.
The public has treated McCain's record in Vietnam and his status as a
war hero as something unchangeable. But placing his sacrifice beyond
the pale of criticism also implicitly places the cause he served
beyond the pale, and that hushes important dialogue.
McCain's heroism stems entirely from Vietnam. McCain was brave in
captivity, but he and his fellow pilots dropped more bombs on Vietnam
than all those dropped in World War II, leading to the conclusion that
"we had to destroy Vietnam in order to save it." But he did not
acknowledge the war itself as immoral. Had he engaged in such
"straight talk" about the war itself, or if we had a more enlightened
concept of heroism, he might not be getting so close to becoming the
next president.
This language of war heroism is used unfairly to confuse unjust wars
and their architects with the honor of brave soldiers. By promoting
the idea that Vietnam was an honorable war and denigrating antiwar
Democrats as too weak to "stay the course," Richard Nixon won the
election in 1968. He then kept the war going for another five futile
years, sustained by that myth.
Playing the war hero card has long been a political strategy to elect
Republicans; legitimize imperial wars; and portray Democrats and peace
activists as weak, cowardly, or traitorous. John Kerry, also a
courageous soldier, was swift-boated as a traitor because he became a
peace activist in Vietnam.
Republicans even did the same to Daniel Ellsberg, a real hero of the
Vietnam era. Ellsberg was a war planner who turned against the war and
in 1971, at great personal risk, released to The New York Times the
"Pentagon Papers," the military's internal and damning history of the
war. But as there are no peace heroes, only war heroes in the American
moral discourse, President Nixon tried to indict him and many still
brand him as a traitor.
Ten out of 11 presidents after the Civil War were Republicans, the
majority of whom were generals who ran as war heroes. In the 20th
century, Republicans continued to serve up war-hero candidates like
Teddy Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, George H.W. Bush, a strategy that
has worked for tens of decades. And now we have John McCain.
If the Democrats are to win elections in the 21st century, the key is
to finally engage in straight talk about war and war heroes.
First, they must renounce the morality of militarism.
Second, they must be clear that the architects of unjust wars are not
honorable or heroic but immoral moralists, those who wage evil in the
name of good.
Third, they must create a new language of heroism. Brave soldiers in
just and unjust wars may be heroes, if we refer purely to personal
courage and sacrifice in battle. But it is critical that we recognize
that those who oppose dishonorable wars are also heroes. Surely, their
courage should also qualify as a character virtue for the highest
office in the land.
The peace hero - even more than the war hero - should be the ultimate
moral force in the world we now inhabit.
Charles Derber and Yale Magrass are coauthors of "Morality Wars: How
Empires, the Born Again, and the Politically Correct Do Evil in the
Name of Good."
Article copied from:http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2008/04/14/8278/
===================
McCain dropped bombs on a sovereign nation, murdered innocent women &
children & was justly imprisoned. He is not a hero, but another
terrorist killer and criminal. He has no remorse for all the killing
he did. He should be locked up in a nut house, not strutting around
like he's great. He's a dummy who swallowed the lies, and began
helping to spread them all over the globe. He represents the worst of
America. Shame on him, and shame on all the fools that call him a
hero!
KB
*****
"To criticize one's country is to do it a service .... Criticism, in
short, is more than a right; it is an act of patriotism-a higher form
of patriotism, I believe, than the familiar rituals and national
adulation."
J. William Fulbright
*****
"You believe you are dying for the fatherland - you die for some
industrialists."
Anatoly Franace
*****
"The American press, with a very few exceptions:, is a kept press.
Kept by the big corporations the way a whore is kept by a rich man."
Theodore Dreiser
*****
"It is the absolute right of the State to supervise the formation of
public opinion."
Josph Goebbels, Nazi propaganda minister
*****
"Humanity's most valuable assets have been the non-conformists.
Were it not for the nonconformists, he who refuses to be satisfied
to go along with the continuance of things as they are, and insists
upon attempting to find new ways of bettering things, the world would
have known little progress indeed."
Josiah Gitt
*****
"People of privilege will always risk their complete destruction
rather than surrender any material part of their advantage."
John Kenneth Galbraith
*****
"It is true that you may fool all the people some of the time; you
can even fool some of the people all of the time; but you can't fool
all of the people all of the time."
Abraham Lincoln
*****
"The majority of people believe in incredible things which are
absolutely
false. The majority of people daily act in a manner prejudicial to
their
general well-being."
Ashley Montagu
*****
"No people can be both ignorant and free."
Thomas Jefferson
*****
"The man who never looks into a newspaper is better informed than he
who reads them; inasmuch as he who knows nothing is nearer to truth
than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors."
Thomas Jefferson
*****
"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth is
revolutionary."
George Orwell
*****
"While vast sums of money are being siphoned off into hidden
[military] coffers,
Americas schools, hospitals and public services are facing cutbacks
and closures."
Representative Henry Waxman
*****
"The United States is a society in which people not only can get by
without knowing much about the wider world but are systematically
encouraged not to think independently or critically and instead to
accept the mythology of the United States as a benevolent,
misunderstood giant as it lumbers around the world trying to do good."
Dr. Robert Jensen
*****


*****
"If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will
eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such
time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic
and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally
important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent,
for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension,
the truth is the greatest enemy of the State."
Joseph Goebbels, German Minister of Propaganda, 1933-1945

Presently many Americans believe the big fat lie that the US forces in
Iraq are fighting a war against terror. The truth is, they are
terrorizing the Iraq people.

*****

"This country is in the grip of a President who was not elected, who
has surrounded himself with thugs in suits who care nothing about
human life abroad or here, who care nothing about freedom abroad or
here, who care nothing about what happens to the earth... The so-
called war on terrorism is not only a war on innocent people in other
countries, but it is also a war on the people of the United States: a
war on our liberties, a war on our standard of living. The wealth of
the country is being stolen from the people and handed over to the
superrich. The lives of our young are being stolen. And the thieves
are in the White House."
Howard Zinn


XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX


"I spent thirty-three years and four months in active service in the
country's most agile military force, the Marines. I served in all
ranks from second lieutenant to major general. And during that period
I spent most of my time being a high-class muscle man for Big
Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a
racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.

"I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of
it. Like all members of the military profession I never had an
original thought until I left the service. My mental faculties
remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of the
higher-ups. This is typical with everyone in the military service.

"Thus I helped make Mexico, and especially Tampico, safe for American
oil interests in 1914. "I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place
for the National City Bank boys to collect revenue in. I helped in the
raping of half-a-dozen Central American republics for the benefit of
Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify
Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers and
Co. in 1909-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the
sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras 'right' for American
fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that
Standard Oil went its way unmolested.

"During those years, I had, as the boys in the back room would say, a
swell racket. I was rewarded with honors, medals, and promotion.
Looking back on it, I feel that I might have given Al Capone a few
hints. The best he could do was to operate a racket in three city
districts. The Marines operated on three continents."
--Maj. Gen. Smedley Butler (U.S. Marine Corps)
k***@gmail.com
2008-04-23 23:32:11 UTC
Permalink
This article is full of the truth that will set us free forever from
the clutches of insanely men, their corrupt politicians and their
horrific wars.
Post by kb
Published on Monday, April 14, 2008 by The Christian Science Monitor
What Does It Mean To Call McCain A 'War Hero' Candidate?
McCain is running as one, but those who oppose dishonorable wars are
also heroes.
by Charles Derber and Yale Magrass
"624787." In his first national campaign ad for president, John McCain
is shown reciting his rank and serial number as he lies in a
Vietnamese hospital bed as a prisoner of war. The ad describes him as
"a real hero."
Let's be clear; Senator McCain is running for president as a war hero
who plans to win the campaign based on character and honor. On the
surface, it seems churlish to critique the idea of a war hero. And
criticizing a tribute to courageous and self-sacrificing soldiers
would be disrespectful.
But inextricably tied to the idea of the war hero for president is a
discussion that goes beyond individual soldiers or prisoners of war,
such as McCain, to the wars they fight and what their role in the war
says about their moral merits as national leaders. This turns out to
be surprisingly problematic.
We need to distinguish the war hero from the war. Fixed ideas about
war heroes get into what we call "morality wars," crucial struggles
about which values should prevail, who should be admired and for what
qualities.
When we call McCain a war hero, we engage in moral discourse about the
Vietnam War and now Iraq. We also give McCain - currently the
power by virtue of heroism and the ability to discredit opponents as
weak or unpatriotic.
The public has treated McCain's record in Vietnam and his status as a
war hero as something unchangeable. But placing his sacrifice beyond
the pale of criticism also implicitly places the cause he served
beyond the pale, and that hushes important dialogue.
McCain's heroism stems entirely from Vietnam. McCain was brave in
captivity, but he and his fellow pilots dropped more bombs on Vietnam
than all those dropped in World War II, leading to the conclusion that
"we had to destroy Vietnam in order to save it." But he did not
acknowledge the war itself as immoral. Had he engaged in such
"straight talk" about the war itself, or if we had a more enlightened
concept of heroism, he might not be getting so close to becoming the
next president.
This language of war heroism is used unfairly to confuse unjust wars
and their architects with the honor of brave soldiers. By promoting
the idea that Vietnam was an honorable war and denigrating antiwar
Democrats as too weak to "stay the course," Richard Nixon won the
election in 1968. He then kept the war going for another five futile
years, sustained by that myth.
Playing the war hero card has long been a political strategy to elect
Republicans; legitimize imperial wars; and portray Democrats and peace
activists as weak, cowardly, or traitorous. John Kerry, also a
courageous soldier, was swift-boated as a traitor because he became a
peace activist in Vietnam.
Republicans even did the same to Daniel Ellsberg, a real hero of the
Vietnam era. Ellsberg was a war planner who turned against the war and
in 1971, at great personal risk, released to The New York Times the
"Pentagon Papers," the military's internal and damning history of the
war. But as there are no peace heroes, only war heroes in the American
moral discourse, President Nixon tried to indict him and many still
brand him as a traitor.
Ten out of 11 presidents after the Civil War were Republicans, the
majority of whom were generals who ran as war heroes. In the 20th
century, Republicans continued to serve up war-hero candidates like
Teddy Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, George H.W. Bush, a strategy that
has worked for tens of decades. And now we have John McCain.
If the Democrats are to win elections in the 21st century, the key is
to finally engage in straight talk about war and war heroes.
First, they must renounce the morality of militarism.
Second, they must be clear that the architects of unjust wars are not
honorable or heroic but immoral moralists, those who wage evil in the
name of good.
Third, they must create a new language of heroism. Brave soldiers in
just and unjust wars may be heroes, if we refer purely to personal
courage and sacrifice in battle. But it is critical that we recognize
that those who oppose dishonorable wars are also heroes. Surely, their
courage should also qualify as a character virtue for the highest
office in the land.
The peace hero - even more than the war hero - should be the ultimate
moral force in the world we now inhabit.
Charles Derber and Yale Magrass are coauthors of "Morality Wars: How
Empires, the Born Again, and the Politically Correct Do Evil in the
Name of Good."
Article copied from:http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2008/04/14/8278/
===================
McCain dropped bombs on a sovereign nation, murdered innocent women &
children & was justly imprisoned. He is not a hero, but another
terrorist killer and criminal. He has no remorse for all the killing
he did. He should be locked up in a nut house, not strutting around
like he's great. He's a dummy who swallowed the lies, and began
helping to spread them all over the globe. He represents the worst of
America.  Shame on him, and shame on all the fools that call him a
hero!
KB
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