Beliefnet
At the Intersection of Faith and Culture

Below is my response to a person who apparently thinks that no one should criticize John McCain because, one, he’s dying and, two, he’s…what else?. . a “war hero.”
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You ask me if I have no decency? Do you? Do you have any intellectual integrity? Any sense of feeling for McCain’s countless victims, both the poor Vietnamese villagers who he bombed from thousands of feet in the air as well as many others whose destruction he orchestrated as a Senator and visible public figure?
Given that the vast majority of McCain’s victms are Third World peoples of color, and since not an ounce of the compassion that you ooze for your hero seems to extend to them, must we conclude that you are a “racist” Stuart?
Of course, McCain was only all too happy to send generations of American boys off to be maimed, traumatized, and killed too. No, Stuart, you shut your own damn mouth, rather than tell me to shut mine. Do some soul-searching, and ask yourself:
(1)What makes McCain a “war hero?”
(2) Can someone be a bad person and yet a hero? After all, Nazi soldiers risked life and limb to protect their Fatherland too, did they not? They too experienced suffering the likes of which I’m sure YOU CANNOT FATHOM, Stuart. Are they not heroes too?
(3) Benedict Arnold was a hero and a superpatriot–until he became one of history’s most remembered traitors. Should his critics have “shut their mouths” out of reverence for his service to his country?
(4) Everyone suffers Stuart. Life is filled with it. Is everyone who toughs out the loss of loved ones, including the loss of children, to be commended for their “heroism?” Should all criticism of these people, however rotten they may treat others, be suspended because they endured suffering?
(5) Martin Luther King referred to America as “the biggest purveyor of violence in the world today” because of its actions in Vietnam. If the war was unjust, as King and many others–including, most notably, many ‘Nam veterans themselves–insist, then is it possible for McCain and others who participated in that war to be commended for their heroism?
(6)If, as many–including, most notably, American soldiers who participated in it–believe that the war in Iraq, justified as it was on the basis of what everyone now recognizes as a falsehood, was unjust, then shouldn’t at least some of that boundless compassion that you have for your war hero extend to the more than one million Iraqis whose lives he helped destroy, and to whom he has yet to issue an apology?
I don’t expect for you to treat with any seriousness any of these questions, Stuart. I expect for you to respond with more condescension and insults. Have at it. I’m done.
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