Sunday, 19 July 2015



This may be one of our very few disagreements.

I do not see John McCain as a war hero.  Trump is correct, not that I am a fan of him, that McCain is considered a hero because he simply was captured.  The fact that he was in the military is honorable.  However the things he did, that by most outside of the military would be considered as extraordinary, are a part of the job.  Most people would respond to catastrophe with the same courage and instinct for survival.  McCain gave up information while in captivity.  Many others did as well because the torture is irresistible to all but the very strongest of character. 

I don’t know the real story of the actions he took on the aircraft carrier incident but even if he were to jump into the effort with all the other pilots and crewmen that would be a reflexive reaction of most in the military.  That kind of character is instilled in every one of them first in the oath of entrance and then through basic training, and in McCain’s case through his Academy training and OCS.

John Kerry was a hero before he wasn’t.  Trump is McCain’s swift boater (but not as successful).  That being said, McCain is honorable by any standard.  He may even be a hero by definition.  But… the only reason he is being identified as a bonifide hero is because he was captured.  If he had not been captured, he would have been given medals, which he actually was but there is not one heroic thing that makes him more outstanding than thousands of others.  Maybe he deserves the “title” because he is well known, a political figure, or by association.

I served with heroes.  I don’t even remember their names or know where they are.  I don’t know how I would have reacted had I been in situations such as those as was McCain but I hope I would pitch in.  On an aircraft carrier there is not much choice.  It is either put out the fire, save your brothers, or jump in the shark infested ocean.

Bottom line, Trump is obnoxious but he is right.  He did not say John McCain is less than honorable.  He did not even insult him.  He just told the truth.  Trump later said, in his attempt to walk back his truth, McCain is a hero but so is anybody else who is captured unless a traitor.

I don’t like what he said.  It was not called for.  He knew what he was implying.  But the truth is he did not denigrate McCain’s service.  He did not even say McCain is not a hero.  He simply said McCain is a hero “because he was captured”.

I have felt this way for years about McCain.  He rode on his father’s coattails, his money, and his notoriety.  He is not a good Senator.  He is mediocre one at best.  He and his partner Lindsay Graham.  He was a terrible choice for a Presidential candidate.  I think I, and thousands of other veterans, felt the same way.

The mainstream, uninformed talking heads are gushing all about how terrible Donald Trump is and what a national disgrace he is for his simple statement.  They know nothing of honor or duty of the military.  They are looking for anything to bring Trump down.  They are terribly afraid of him.

Okay, that’s enough.  My last thought is Trump is better than the Hag or Bernie.  I did and do support Ted Cruz but I am afraid we could end up with Marco Rubio or Jeb Bush (either would be better than Hag Clinton).  I don’t think Trump will go the distance.  The media will probably have their way.  That might be a good thing even though I don’t approve of their devious methods.


     The above comments and observations give even an opinionated person such as myself the chance to ruminate, considerably.  McCain and I agree on about 40%, concur on about 40%, and pretty much disagree on 20%.   He has never been my idea of anything like a strike-force conservative voice.   His "suspension" of the campaign during the 2008 "crisis" brought on by the artificially induced "banking emergency" was stupid, ridiculous, and pointless for instance, and it played into the hands of a person who hated America then, hates America now, and who will always hate America and white people and black and Latin Conservatives.
     Perhaps my problem is that my service was not marked with any noteworthy valour.   A bit of dabbling in peripheral intelligence, nothing more, nothing dangerous, nothing romantic or chivalrous, no self-sacrifice.  El Zorro, as an advanced jet-engine and ground technician did not have to volunteer for out-of-theatre black and grey ops, very dangerous search and recover of personnel and hardware forays outside of South Vietnam.....but he did.   Those missions had a 1 - 3 per cent casualty rate.   Not good odds for repetitive forays.   After three or four...your clock starts to run out of ticks.
       So, perhaps it is best to put what he says into our pipes and smoke that as well as the fury of El Gringo Viejo's reaction.  I shall.

El Gringo Viejo