It is not gracious to use an obituary column to take cheap shots at the deceased, however in the case of John S.McCain III, his track record speaks for itself.
To start, the death of each and every human being is a tragedy to someone - spouse, loved ones, children, grandchildren, family pets, the community... and John S. McCain will be no exception, passing away after a monumental battle with brain cancer on August 25. His legacy will be remembered by many as one to avoid so as to foster a positive image for his country, whereas McCain's approach was the epitome of why the USA is so unpopular overseas.
Much is written about McCain's experience in Vietnam as a life-changer but then again if you sign up for service and spend your time strafing people from a military aircraft, this does tend to engender hatred, especially if you are spreading freedom and democracy thousands of miles overseas murdering people from 3,000 feet. Interesting it is that the involvement in the Vietnam War has become almost synonymous with McCain, while the Vietnam War represents a dark and failed episode in the history of the United States of America for numerous reasons.
John McCain's op-ed for Pravda.Ru: Russians deserve better than Putin
It was this "gung-ho ra-ra-ra sock it to them, Whoosh BANG! Shouldn't have been there, should they? Sniff! Never Mind! God Bless America" approach which has epitomized Washington's reaction to crisis management since then, as this failed European abortion of a nation runs screaming like a spoiled brat out of control from one side of the planet to the other, setting up bases of rapists and torturers, invading countries, destabilizing governments less friendly to Washington (i.e. the whims of the six lobbies which dictate Washington's policies - Banking, Arms, eneRgy, Finance, Food, DrugS, the BARFFS).
And McCain was there wherever wars or flashpoints appeared, sticking his nose into other people's business fostering bloodshed, misery, discomfort, destruction and death for so many families around the world. Quite obviously, he supported the US intervention in Iraq, believing the American soldiers would be received as liberators. More people treated the Japanese as liberators in South-East Asia during the Second World War than the Americans in Iraq, the only reason why more were not returned home in body bags being because the US commanders reached agreements with the Iraqi commanders, firing over their heads to avoid casualties, while the USA decided to strafe civilian structures with military equipment so that lucrative rebuilding contracts could be handed out among White House cronies. Without tender. To note, and to be just, he did vote in favor of restructing interrogation techniques to those in the Army Field Manual, excluding the sadist psychopathic tendencies of CIA torturers.
Yes, McCain was there in all hotspots. Before the terrorist uprising against the Jamahiriya Government of Colonel Muammar al-Gaddafy, there was McCain in Benghazi meeting terrorists before the campaign began, a campaign supported by McCain and one which turned the African country with the highest Human Development Index into a failed state crawling with terrorists. This was not the first time that the USA colluded with terrorist forces to pursue its policy but was perhaps the most blatant display of an absense of core values.
Declaring the Libyan terrorist forces "my heroes" puts McCain in the same bed as those who raped women and little girls before and after they were decapitated, impaled small boys on metal spikes from their scrotum up to their throats, sliced the breasts off women in the street, burnt people alive, stole, destroyed private property and created terror and panic among the elderly, common citizens, children and babies.
Ukraine, December 2013. There he was again appearing in Independence Square, Kiev, shortly before the illegal Fascist Putsch which would oust the democratically elected President, see marauding gangs of thugs massacre Russian-speaking Ukrainians (which would force the south-east of the country to take up arms to defend itself) and which saw in Crimea the legal entity with power to enforce the law on the occasion of the removal of the President, namely the Legislative Assembly, organize a free and fair democratic referendum on status, in which well over 90 per cent of the population voted to return to Russia. Talk about an evil policy backfiring... but that is what happens when you meddle in the internal affairs of sovereign states.
Syria. There he was again, meeting terrorists and siding with the forces which raped nuns and defenseless children, pressing for American military intervention when they were not wanted or called for. The Syrian government prefers a country (Russia) that exterminates terrorists, not one that arms them and finances them and trains them.
Cuba - McCain was against normalizing relations. And the list goes on and on and on and on and on. As I said at the beginning, it is not gracious to use an obituary column to take potshots at someone who is not here to defend themselves. Perhaps my title could have been more poetic, such as "John McCain - a troubled Quixotean warrior pursuing his chimera" but at the end of the day, and piece, what I have presented here are facts and nothing but, and so John S. McCain III should be happy to be judged on what he represented.
Trying to understand the person, perhaps we could say that John McCain was the product of his circumstances ("Yo soy yo y mi circunstancia" - I am myself and that which surrounds me, as Ortega y Gasset said), and this was cosy little US Navy bases, military banter and discipline, tales of shooting people and killing people no doubt and some misguided and warped view of the world in which the US military took center stage as a birthright, solving everyone's problems by turning the global community into some kind of a romantic version of McCain's US navy bases.
This is the mirror image of the unilateralist approach of the colonial powers as they carved up the world drawing lines on maps from comfortable European offices in the nineteenth century without a shred of respect for the local peoples and traditions and cultures, a position based upon arrogance.
To finish, this was indeed McCain's position on Russia, a country he repeatedly treated with utter insolence, bad manners and disrespect, deriding its democratically elected President as a despot and displaying a degree of intrusion, rudeness, pig-headedness and misguided arrogance rarely seen before in the annals of international relations.
And so John S. McCain III may have believed he was doing his job defending Washington from windmills and phantoms and dragons but in this day and age, I believe few would diverge from my title, "The Americans deserve better than McCain".
That said, I offer my condolencies to his family and loved ones and would remind them that at such times of sadness, the cloak of time eventually swathes anguish to rest.
Photo: By Rachael Dickson - originally posted to Flickr as mccainpalinrally. Also see , CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5899551
*Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey has worked as a correspondent, journalist, deputy editor, editor, chief editor, director, project manager, executive director, partner and owner of printed and online daily, weekly, monthly and yearly publications, TV stations and media groups printed, aired and distributed in Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, East Timor, Guinea-Bissau, Portugal, Mozambique and São Tomé and Principe Isles; the Russian Foreign Ministry publication Dialog and the Cuban Foreign Ministry Official Publications. He has spent the last two decades in humanitarian projects, connecting communities, working to document and catalog disappearing languages, cultures, traditions, working to network with the LGBT communities helping to set up shelters for abused or frightened victims and as Media Partner with UN Women, working to foster the UN Women project to fight against gender violence and to strive for an end to sexism, racism and homophobia. A Vegan, he is also a Media Partner of Humane Society International, fighting for animal rights. He is Director and Chief Editor of the Portuguese version of Pravda.Ru.