McCain Against the World

Share

Hits: 155

In his militarist lust he was near lunacy; his ignorance: profound; he was, in many respects, conventional—numbingly conventional—on Washington’s global role. That was John McCain.

This was a man who, post-9/11, promoted measures expected to boost foreign terrorism. “Within hours” of that morning’s carnage, he made himself “leading advocate of taking the American retaliation against Al Qaeda far beyond Afghanistan,” to countries—like Iraq—with no Qaeda ties, where revenge, really, would be aggression. On CNN, aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt, on “Face the Nation” he pushed for assaulting Iraq, stressing the “need to keep telling the American people” about Saddam’s menace, to keep “frightening and scaring them every day.”

Later, as hopes shattered for quick success in Iraq on Washington’s terms—the only terms concerning McCain—he started “calling for the deployment of at least another division,” growing “more strident in his advocacy of escalation” with time. More young soldiers had to go to Baghdad, many to die. These troops became “the surge,” to McCain a triumph, proof of his acute thinking, his wartime sagacity. “The surge has succeeded,” he declared in 2008, claiming it showed how Washington could win in Afghanistan.

Relevant scholarship reveals these claims were, if we’re polite, dubious, if not: bullshit. Stephen Biddle, Jeffrey A. Friedman and Jacob N. Shapiro, in International Security, determined the surge “was insufficient to explain 2007’s sudden reversal in fortunes,” since “local conditions that will not necessarily recur elsewhere” were “essential” to its success. “These findings suggest caution for Afghanistan, in particular,” they warned. Others drew darker conclusions. Steven Simon, in Foreign Affairs, wrote that the strategy enflamed “the three forces that have traditionally threatened the stability of Middle Eastern states: tribalism, warlordism, and sectarianism.”

But these matters lay beyond McCain’s field of attention. So did other developments: the million slaughtered; the millions more displaced; the linked plagues of cancer, soaring infant mortality and congenital birth defects in bomb-crippled Fallujah and Basra. One scholar judged the U.S. occupation “the biggest cultural disaster since the descendants of Genghis Khan destroyed Baghdad in 1258.” McCain helped visit this nightmare on Iraq.

His decisions haunt Yemen as well. “Thank God for the Saudis,” he proclaimed, insisting it was “not true” their bombings took out Yemeni civilians, that U.S. legislators were “crazy” trying to bar Trump’s $110 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia. In reality, the Saudis in Yemen have “killed thousands of civilians in airstrikes, tortured detainees, raped civilians and used child soldiers as young as 8—actions that may amount to war crimes,” the UN concluded.

Again: “tortured detainees.” Contrary to eulogies saturating the news, McCain struck no principled stance against torture, and in fact supported, many times, groups infamous for their appalling treatment of hostages. He personally paid the Contras, for example, who counted as members “major and systematic violators of the most basic standards of the laws of armed conflict.” A congressional inquiry learned they “raped, tortured and killed unarmed civilians, including children,” that they “burned, dismembered, blinded or beheaded” their victims.

He later endorsed the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK), the Iranian opposition group. “I thank you for being an example, an example to the whole world,” McCain told its leader. Human Rights Watch (HRW), reporting on MEK, discussed “abuses ranging from detention and persecution of ordinary members wishing to leave the organization, to lengthy solitary confinements, severe beatings, and torture of dissident members.”

Then McCain rejected “the push to investigate and possibly prosecute Bush administration officials who crafted the legal basis for the use of ‘enhanced interrogation techniques,’ such as waterboarding,” citing the “need to move forward.” The ACLU,  Amnesty International, and HRW were just some of the critics condemning this stance.

That latter outfit also censured John Negroponte, McCain’s choice for U.S. Ambassador to the UN. Negroponte’s Honduran tenure (1981-85) coincided with state-backed “abduction, torture, and murder of scores of people,” as “millions of dollars of U.S. military aid” flowed into the country.

Reagan-era policies, like those Negroponte administered, helped spur Central American migration to the U.S. Many seeking refuge here confronted, more and more over the years, a border that “promotes the death of migrants,” a boundary that channels them onto lethal desert paths. This weaponized line was one of McCain’s great causes: he called again and again for more Border Patrol agents and National Guard troops to police southern Arizona; for enhanced surveillance and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles to monitor the zone; for “double-layer fencing at needed locations.”

McCain’s border priorities also lay bare his alleged environmentalism. He co-sponsored the Arizona Borderlands Protection and Preservation Act, which imperiled “a vast, 10-million-acre area of Arizona without any remotely corresponding border-security benefits.” A related proposal was “the most direct assault on national parks ever to be advanced at any level in any Congress in U.S. history,” the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees believed.

There were other signs of his reverence for nature: McCain dismissed as “extremely disappointing” Obama’s Keystone XL pipeline rejection. He praised Trump for working to dismantle the EPA’s “Waters of the United States” rule, a move savaged as a “reckless attack on our waters and health.” And he lauded Scott Pruitt’s Clean Power Plan rollback, deemed “a boon to the coal industry.”

This ersatz maverick—who voted with George W. Bush 95% of the time, with Trump 83% of the time—left a clear legacy. Unmoored from reality, unmoved by the pain his policies caused: that was John McCain.


Originally published on 2018-09-07

About the author: Nick Alexandrov lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  He can be reached at: nicholas.alexandrov@gmail.com

Source: Counter Punch

Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection & Pinterest.

Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!

Donate to Support Us

We would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.

[wpedon id=”4696″ align=”left”]

READ MORE!
100th Anniversary of Australian Beersheba Charge, UK Balfour Declaration & Palestinian Genocide Commencement
There are 3 Apartheid Israel-related centenaries this week, namely (1) the victorious 31 October 1917 charge of the Australian Light Horse at Beersheba that led to conquest of Palestine by Britain and massive famine, (2) the nefarious and racist UK Balfour Declaration of 2 November 1917  that gave Palestine to Zionists as a Jewish Homeland as an inducement to help keep Russia in WW1, and (3) commencement of the Palestine Genocide (2 million Palestinian deaths from violence, 0.1 million, or imposed deprivation, 1.9 million, since WW1). History ignored yields history repeated and genocide ignored yields genocide repeated [1]. Anniversaries are useful ...
READ MORE
The Pentagon and Slave Labor in U.S. Prisons
Prisoners earning 23 cents an hour in U.S. federal prisons are manufacturing high-tech electronic components for Patriot Advanced Capability 3 missiles, launchers for TOW (Tube-launched, Optically tracked, Wire-guided) anti-tank missiles, and other guided missile systems. A March article by journalist and financial researcher Justin Rohrlich of World in Review is worth a closer look at the full implications of this ominous development. (minyanville.com) The expanding use of prison industries, which pay slave wages, as a way to increase profits for giant military corporations, is a frontal attack on the rights of all workers. Prison labor — with no union protection, overtime pay, ...
READ MORE
NATO – 70th Anniversary of the Most Murderous – and Legal – Organization on our Planet
On 4th of April 2019 NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) “celebrated” the 70th Anniversary of its murderous existence. This horror organization was born sort of as a “Rosemary’s Baby”, signed into life in Washington DC, as the North Atlantic Treaty. Its creation was absolutely unethical but also absolutely “legal” – meaning what we, the west, have made the law, a man-made law for war, was applied by the Washington-Pentagon driven NATO. Estimates have it, that NATO and its ‘allies’, cronies, proxies and mercenaries killed more than 20 million people since NATO’s existence, basically since the end of WWII. Compare this with ...
READ MORE
Is “Jewish Supremacy” a Form of Racism? The Zionist Exception
Today, we hear a lot about White supremacy but very little about Jewish supremacy, as if the former stands for the latter.It is true there are more similarities than differences between Jewish supremacy and White supremacy. Both are based on ethnic/nationalist bias and racism. They are both“historically based, institutionally perpetuated system[s] of exploitation and oppression … a web of interlocking, reinforcing institutions: economic, military, legal, educational, religious, and cultural. As a system, racism affects every aspect of life in a country.”Within Israel and militarily occupied Palestinian lands, Jewish supremacy is sometimes described as White supremacy, as in this headline:“Israel’s White Supremacy Agenda ...
READ MORE
What is the Best Solution To the Ukrainian Crisis?
The current Ukrainian crisis and, in fact, a civil war which started at the very end of 2013 are grounded in for decades lasting internal interregional antagonisms between the western and the eastern regions of Ukraine. The crisis is fully fueled by the Western governments which armed far-right “European” Kiev regime giving to it a comprehensive political, financial and diplomatic support for the policy of brutal Ukrainization and even Nazification of the whole country but primarily at the expense of the Russian-speaking population at Ukraine’s East. A similar example we experienced in “European” Croatia in the 1990s when the same ...
READ MORE
Israel is a War Criminal
Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection, Public Domain & Pinterest.Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!Donate to Support UsWe would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.[wpedon id="4696" align="left"]Save
READ MORE
09.03.2001, Berlin, Berlin, Germany - Zoran Djindjic, serbischer Ministerpraesident der Bundesrepublik Jugoslawien. 00M112016CARO.JPG GT, Image: 141207614, License: Rights-managed, Restrictions: , Model Release: no, Credit line: Profimedia, Alamy
Odd as it may seem, October 5, 2000 was not the first time the Western powers engaged in “regime change” in Serbia. There are many similarities between the October 5 regime change and the Western involvement in putting the government of Josip Broz Tito and the Communist Party in charge of Yugoslavia in 1945. Just as Slobodan Milošević received faint praise from the West as “factor of peace and stability” in the Balkans, General Draža Mihailović was praised by the Western Allies during the war – yet support for both was limited mostly to words and empty propaganda gestures, and only so ...
READ MORE
How a Single Remark Stole a Lithuanian Writer’s Livelihood
The title page of Rūta Vanagaitė’s best-known book contains two pictures of young men. “This one is a Jew,” she said, pointing at the picture on the left. “He was a bicycle-racing champion. Good enough to represent Lithuania in international competitions, but not good enough to live.” He was executed during the Holocaust. The man in the picture on the right was a Lithuanian executioner. “They are both us,” Vanagaitė explained. “But Lithuanians don’t like to think of them as ‘us,’ because one is a Jew and the other is a killer.” Her book is called “Us.” (The title has ...
READ MORE
Washington Leads the World to War
What must the world think watching the US presidential campaign? Over time US political campaigns have become more unreal and less related to voters’ concerns, but the current one is so unreal as to be absurd.The offshoring of American jobs by global corporations and the deregulation of the US financial system have resulted in American economic failure. One might think that this would be an issue in a presidential campaign.The neoconservative ideology of US world hegemony is driving the US and its vassals into conflict with Russia and China. The risks of nuclear war are higher than at any previous ...
READ MORE
Remembering U.S. Soldiers who Refused to Kill Native Americans at Sand Creek
A scholar shares the true story of two men who stood up and spoke out against the murder of American Indians, and how they are celebrated today. Native American tribal members pay their respects at the headstone of Union Officer, Capt. Silas Soule, at the Riverside Cemetery Dec. 03, 2014 in honor of the 150th Anniversary of the Sand Creek Massacre.Every Thanksgiving weekend for the past 17 years, Arapaho and Cheyenne youth lead a 180-mile relay from the Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site to Denver.The annual Sand Creek Massacre Spiritual Healing Run opens at the site of the Sand ...
READ MORE
A Curious Analogy – Coronavirus Misrepresentations Follow Srebrenica Script
As the contemporary Corona virus hysteria narrative continues to collapse (here and here) another dubious narrative, launched a quarter of a century ago – Srebrenica genocide – comes to mind. The common thread of both narratives is that they have just enough genuine elements to provide a seemingly plausible foundation for a vastly exaggerated tale. The Covid-19 virus can endanger health, and even be lethal, to certain classes of the population, but how much more than that is it? In Srebrenica in July of 1995, about a thousand Muslim prisoners were executed by a rogue outfit of the Serb army. ...
READ MORE
The Operation Barbarossa II File: But Who will Prosecute?
As some of you may remember I am compiling a criminal dossier on the western powers concerning, among other things, their preparations for Operation Barbarossa II, the term that I use for NATO’s build-up of forces in Eastern Europe threatening the security of Russia.In June, the BALTOPS 2017 NATO naval and air exercises were conducted in the Baltic Sea near Kaliningrad and the approaches to St. Petersburg simultaneously with the Saber Strike military ground exercises in Latvia and Lithuania.On July 11th NATO’s Sea Breeze naval exercises began in the Black Sea, threatening Russia’s southern flank. The NATO exercises are conducted ...
READ MORE
Ignorance and Indoctrination of Westerners Kills Millions
Our Planet Earth is heading straight towards the most dangerous collision in its history. It is not a collision with some foreign body, with an asteroid or a comet, but with the most brutal and selfish chunk of its own inhabitants: with people who proudly call themselves “members of the Western civilization.” Again and again it is clearly demonstrated that Western culture, which the paramount psychologist Carl Jung used to call “pathology”, couldn’t be trusted. This “culture” had already mercilessly slaughtered several hundreds of millions of people in all corners of the world; it enslaved entire continents, and plundered all that had ...
READ MORE
Kosovostan – An European Trafficking Point
In this Talking Point Dr Marcus Papadopoulos says that ordinary people in the West were not told that after Serbia lost control of Kosovo, following the Nato bombing campaign against Belgrade and other Serbian cities in 1999, the region became a centre-point in Europe for the trafficking of people, drugs and organs. When Kosovo unilaterally declared its independence from Serbia in 2008, Western politicians hailed the event. The United States, which engineered the disputed act of independence, led the way in recognising the new Balkan state, with its allies quickly following suit. Many of the leading figures in today’s Kosovan government are ...
READ MORE
Serbia Under the EU’s Ultimatum on Kosovo’s Independence
Editor's note: Originally posted on 2016-01-11Serbia entered on December 14th, 2015 a final stage of negotiations with Brussels on the EU's membership. It is known, however, that the EU gave an informal ultimatum to Serbia to recognize Kosovo’s independence for the exchange of becoming a full Member State of the EU. The western (the USA/EU) client Serbia’s Government is currently under the direct pressure from Brussels to recognize an independence of the narco-mafia Kosovo’s quasi state or to give up an idea to join the EU. It is only a question when a western colony of Serbia has to finally ...
READ MORE
The Kosovo War: “Humanitarian Intervention” or Undeclared War Against Yugoslavia?
The armed conflict between the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) and Serbian forces started in 1992 with the KLA attacks on Serbian police officers, non-Albanians that lived in Kosovo and Albanians loyal to Serbia (Johnstone, 2002; Kozyris, 1999).  This low level conflict escalated in 1996 with the KLA attacking refugee camps as well as other civilians and policemen resulting in dozens of innocent deaths (Johnstone, 2002; Kozyris, 1999).  At this point of time and all up to late 1998, the KLA was regarded as a terrorist organisation (Gelbard, cited in Parenti, 2000:99; Jatras, 2002; Johnstone, 2002; Kepruner, 2003; Rubin, cited in ...
READ MORE
Islamic Extremists Establish Foothold in Kosovo and the Balkans
Peace TV, an enterprise directed from India, Saudi Arabia, and Dubai by a fu­­ndamentalist Islamist preacher, Zakir Naik, has established a 12-hour daily program in Kosovo, a country 90% Muslim. The entry into Kosovo of Naik’s Peace TV, broadcasting each day in Albanian from 9:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., appears to be an element in a novel campaign by South Asian Islamists to establish a foothold among Europe’s indigenous Balkan Muslims. Peace TV’s message is hard-line Wahhabism, which insults, in aggressive terms, spiritual Sufis, Shia Muslims, non-fundamentalist Sunnis, Jews, Christians, and Hindus, among others. Radical Islamist interlopers and their financiers, mainly ...
READ MORE
Prelude to World War III
Unless Syria will simply hand its most heavily pro-jihadist province, Idlib, to adjoining Turkey, which claims to have 30,000 troops there and is planning to add 20,000 more, World War III will probably happen soon, and here is why: Russia’s troops are in Syria at the invitation of Syria’s Government and they have provided crucial assistance to restore the Government’s control over areas that the jihadists (sometimes called “Radical Islamic Terrorists” or otherwise) had seized. Consequently, unlike the Turks and the Americans, who are invaders of Syria, Russia is instead a defender of Syria, and is committed to doing there only ...
READ MORE
Allies Raped Hundreds of Thousands of German Women after WW2
Western allies raped hundreds of thousands of German women, writes German historian Miriam Gebhardt in a book published under the name “When the soldiers came” (Als die Soldaten kamen) and which received both praise and criticism in Germany.“At least 860,000 women and girls, but also men and young boys, were raped by ally soldiers after the fall of the Third Reich and in the postwar period. It happened everywhere,” writes Gebhardt, noting that US soldiers were the ones who did it the most.The book strongly echoed in Germany, where information on such crimes was known before but was almost exclusively ...
READ MORE
The Albanian Origin: The Main Challenges of Research
We must be clear on the meaning of Albanian autochthony, anthroponymy and ethnogenesis. Actually, the question is: have the Albanians lived without interruption in the  present-day “ethnic” territories of the Albanians (Albania, the Eastern Montenegro, Kosovo and Metohija, the Southern Central Serbia, the Western Macedonia and the Northern Epirus in Greece) since the ancient Greek and Roman times? In the other words, are the Albanians really the indigenous people of the Balkans as they claim or just newcomers to their present-day ethnic territories?  It is true, however, that the question of the Illyrian ethnic and cultural background of present-day Albanians ...
READ MORE
100th Anniversary of Australian Beersheba Charge, UK Balfour Declaration & Palestinian Genocide Commencement
The Pentagon and Slave Labor in U.S. Prisons
NATO – 70th Anniversary of the Most Murderous – and Legal – Organization on our Planet
Is “Jewish Supremacy” a Form of Racism? The Zionist Exception
What is the Best Solution To the Ukrainian Crisis?
Israel is a War Criminal
“Regime Change” in Serbia, 1945 and 2000
How a Single Remark Stole a Lithuanian Writer’s Livelihood
Washington Leads the World to War
Remembering U.S. Soldiers who Refused to Kill Native Americans at Sand Creek
A Curious Analogy – Coronavirus Misrepresentations Follow Srebrenica Script
The Operation Barbarossa II File: But Who will Prosecute?
Ignorance and Indoctrination of Westerners Kills Millions
Kosovostan – An European Trafficking Point
Serbia Under the EU’s Ultimatum on Kosovo’s Independence
The Kosovo War: “Humanitarian Intervention” or Undeclared War Against Yugoslavia?
Islamic Extremists Establish Foothold in Kosovo and the Balkans
Prelude to World War III
Allies Raped Hundreds of Thousands of German Women after WW2
The Albanian Origin: The Main Challenges of Research
FOLLOW US ON OUR SOCIAL PLATFORMS
Share