War Criminal Gets Brain Cancer After Seeking to Deprive Millions of Affordable Healthcare
John McCain has brain cancer and his time on this earth will soon be drawing to a close. This fact cannot be recognized without acknowledging the cosmic irony involved here. In light of this, I, your humble Greenman, would like to explore the history of a man who has marketed himself as a moderate and a “maverick” while examining the path of destruction left in his wake. It is not for whom the bell tolls, but in this instance, it tolls for John McCain.
John McCain served in the U.S. Air Force and participated in Operation Rolling Thunder, a sustained bombing campaign targeting the infrastructure of North Vietnam during the American War of Aggression in Southeast Asia. The stated objective of Rolling Thunder was “to destroy North Vietnam’s transportation system, industrial base, and air defenses, and to halt the flow of men and material into South Vietnam.” This fact meant the targeting of factories, bridges, and power plants (as well as other non-military infrastructure). By 1968 (Rolling Thunder began in 1965), the CIA estimated that $370 million worth of destruction had been wrought by the strategy. $164 million of that total was caused by the destruction of such aforementioned capital assets. From 1965 to 1968, the United States dropped 643,000 tons of bombs on North Vietnam. According to CIA estimates concerning the death-toll of Rolling Thunder, “approximately 1,000 casualties had been inflicted on the North Vietnamese population per week, or approximately 90,000 for the 44-month period, 72,000 of whom were civilians.” ( “Appraisal of the Bombing of North Vietnam (through 1 January 1968)”. Vietnam Virtual Archive. Texas Tech University. p. 32.)
McCain’s A-4E Skyhawk was shot down by a surface-to-air missile over Hanoi on October 26th, 1967. This was his 23rd bombing mission over North Vietnam. Before the missile hit his plane, McCain ejected. Upon doing so he fractured both arms and a leg and almost drowned in a lake while tangled up in his parachute. He was dragged to shore by the righteously angry locals, hit with a rifle butt and bayoneted. It was only when it was discovered that McCain’s daddy was a high-ranking Admiral were his wounds treated.
While under interrogation by the North Vietnamese at the Hỏa Lò Prison, McCain confessed to “war crimes against the Vietnamese people.” Furthermore, his confession entailed the statement: “I intentionally bombed women and children.” Regardless of McCain’s presentation of the confession as coerced, the substance of the confession expresses the direct outcome of the strategy employed during Rolling Thunder. His confession is undoubtedly true, whether he likes to admit it or not. The targeting of civilian infrastructure with weapons of mass destruction is a war crime, and the whole of the U.S. imperialist military machine was and still is guilty.
But this is not the only element of smug hypocrisy that McCain will leave us with. As the Republican health care bill stagnates before a befuddled, hubris-driven monster like Trump, McCain received surgery to remove a blood-clot from above his eye. During the course of this surgery, a “primary glioblastoma,” a type of aggressive and malignant brain tumor, was discovered. As of the writing of this article, McCain is still alive and has already undergone the emergency surgery to remove the tumor from his brain. This medical assistance was provided to him at full cost to the tax payer.
While McCain makes repeated claims to wish to provide “accessible health care” to every American through “bi-partisan legislation,” McCain was one of many voices who called for the scuttling of the “public option” originally attached to the Affordable Care Act.
His compassion is also echoed in his advice to a married couple in Arizona who wrote their Senator and asked him for help after this unnamed woman’s husband was diagnosed with the very same brain disease McCain has already had surgery for. McCain suggested that they move to a different state. The Washington Examiner has dismissed the story as the unverified ramblings of anti-Maverick subversives and championed McCain’s impeccable record of hawkish contempt for anyone who dares suggest that he is morally repugnant. The individuals involved in the viral content which spread over the last few days have all either deleted their accounts and posts or made them private.
Regardless, reality has highlighted a series of glaring contradictions in our society far better than any analytical think-piece ever could. We should see the statement of McCain’s daughter, “Now we live with the anxiety about what comes next,” as a reminder of the uncertainty all working people live in under the auspices of American bourgeois interests. Their temporary discomfort and world-class medical care is euphemistically rubbed in the faces of the masses with the same dull alacrity which dampens all true revolutionary spirit. The humanized suffering of the bourgeoisie is meant to distract us from the legacy of evil perpetrated in our name and against our bodies.