Donald Trump has been attacked by much of the Republican Establishment as well as the mainstream media for questioning John McCain’s status as a “war hero.” So was the 2008 GOP presidential nominee a hero? For the time being I will put aside the issue of whether McCain actually collaborated with his captors. Instead I’d like to look at this at a more basic level of what constitutes heroism:
John McCain voluntarily joined the Navy to be a fighter pilot. He knew this would entail dropping bombs on civilian infrastructure and would result in the death of innocent civilians. How did he know this? Because that’s exactly what the United State Military did in World War II and the Korean War. So young John McCain signed up for the Navy knowing that his contribution to any future war would be bombing civilian targets.
It should also be noted that while the propaganda surrounding World War II effectively convinced most Americans that it was a war of self defense or self preservation, no one seriously suggested that the North Koreans were going to attack the USA. So what does this all mean?
It means John McCain joined the military with the expectation that he would drop bombs on civilian targets, murdering innocent men, women, and children. It means that he knew that doing this would not defend the men and women living in the United States, but it would simply be to further the political objectives of powerful people in Washington, D.C.
And once McCain found himself in the Vietnam War, he willingly and enthusiastically carried out these bombing missions against the civilian infrastructure of a third world country that had very limited means of fighting back. And yet he managed to get shot down by some second hand Soviet anti-aircraft guns. And he was held prisoner. And now he’s an enthusiastic supporter of sending Americans to fight more Asian wars and kill more Asian civilians.
Is he a hero? You decide.