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IPFS News Link • General Opinion

Child of the State, Man of War

• By Karen Kwiatkowski

And now, John Sidney McCain, III is a corpse in a morgue awaiting his state burial.  It is as it should be, perhaps for the first time in his entire life.

McCain – the holy terror of teenager and Naval Academy cadet, mad pilot and poster child for the horrors of the towering enemy we faced for our very survival as a Republic in Vietnam, and political animal for much of his life – clearly was not at home in this world.

In a world filled with people who are all pretty much accountable on a daily basis for their decisions, choices, actions, and for the pain they have and are causing, John McCain was missing from his post.

Instead, as a son of a successful Naval commander, he path was not entirely his own, and yet he did, repeatedly, choose that path.  His biggest tragedy may have been that he was the namesake of a distinguished military family.   Certainly the life of his younger brother Joe Pinckney McCain is a testament to how being born into service of the state doesn't have to result in the deaths of so many for so long.

Where failures and character flaws occur in all families, when they occur in the important chapter of the national narrative called "Military Heroism And Sacrifice In The Name Of National Greatness And Security," something must be done.

And what was done?  Props, propaganda and prose all came forth, and we aren't done being propagandized and prosed to death just yet.  The funeral is coming.

While much has been written about John McCain, it's the stories we haven't been told that bother most people.  How he made it through the Academy one our dime with massive numbers of demerits and low academic performance, how he avoided courts martials and discharge from the Navy after the first two plane crashes and flying through the telephone lines in Spain, all before the interesting roles he played on the deck of the USS Forrestal before, during and after it burned.

The story of being shot down, likely by friendly fire, and his subsequent capture and torture by the "North" Vietnamese (a state construct in its own right) is rarely told in detail, but rather bundled in the official narrative under "courage."  His divorce of his first wife and disconnect from his first family – understandable because of what war, separation and the stress of a military society do to human beings – is not discussed.  Nor are the personal, political and financial machinations that led to his first Congressional seat, and shortly thereafter, a secure Senate seat for Arizona, a seat he has held since this weekend.

From being a savior of the A-10 Warthog program, refusing to allow it a natural death — ironically the aircraft known for causing the most friendly fire and civilian deaths — to saving Obamacare from the breach, to reliably supporting projects to change governments overseas, all while waging low-level but steady combat against liberty and the Constitution at home, McCain was a busy man, and a well-connected, well-funded politician.

The actions of McCain as Senator are legion, and while no doubt people of various political stripes may find at least one or two things to laud in his progressive neoconservative warmongering and state-strengthening agenda in over three decades, in reality he earned no loyalty.  This glowing yet strangely surreal obit by Jeff Goldberg of the leftward progressive and warmongering Atlantic says it all – and has it all wrong.