“Happy Jack is laughing with napalm tears, He loves the Lord with bitter fears, Happy Jack sitting in places high, Happy Jack one hell of a guy” FeatherLeaf
“And it’s one, two, three, What are we fighting for?, Don’t ask me, I don’t give a damn, Next stop is Vietnam.” Joe Allen Mcdonald
As a pacifist, I am already against the next war. And believe me, it’s coming very soon.
The Vietnam War was one of the most divisive times in our country’s history. Perhaps only the Civil War exhibit more internal friction. It is hard to say because history is taught to us with lies.
First of all the Vietnam War itself was an unrighteous effort. The Vietnamese people fought with the United States against the Japanese. Then after the war, instead of granting the people self-determination the United States decided to return it’s status to a French colony. There was fighting and the Vietnamese defeated the French. In turn, the United States began to commit more and more troops into the region. Then based on a lie, the alleged attack of a U.S. Naval vessel in the Gulf of Tonkin major hostilities broke out. We began to wage a war to enslave a people wanting to be free, a tenet totally opposed to every ideal America was founded on.
Of course, that’s not how it was spun to the American public. Rather it was a war to stop the evils of communism. If we didn’t stop the reds in Vietnam then all the nations would fall one by one like dominos. I remember being taught this in high school and my mind formulated a question which I never asked or even articulated. If communism was so bad how do they get so many people to fight for them?
Enter John McCain. He served as a pilot bombing the North Vietnamese. We were trying to ‘bomb them back to the Stone Age’. Not exactly a noble cause, an effort on par almost with genocide. But I don’t fault John McCain or any of the young soldiers who fought in the war. I too was raised in the culture of the United States and I firmly believe that if I lived during that time I would have volunteered to go fight. But, as I lived life I learned more and got a little wiser.
John McCain was shot down and captured by the Vietnamese. Reportedly he was tortured. But the United States also tortures prisoners of war. Abu Ghraib in Iraq comes to mind immediately. But there are also other ‘black sites’ where the dastardly work is done.
I firmly believe that people can change and that we all deserve not only second chances, but as long as we have breath in our spirits that we can recreate ourselves. So here is the issue with John McCain. As a politician, he zealously supported all of the imperialistic wars the United States waged. You would think that somebody who was brutally exposed to the horrors of war, as John McCain was that he would be vehemently opposed to it. Instead, he gravitated to the other end of the spectrum.
I do not want to diminish the loss of a human being. Even a human being who dropped bombs on women, men, and children killing them indiscriminately. I hope that the family can find some solace and peace in their loss. Unfortunately, the press which is mostly propaganda is ramming down our throats that John McCain was some kind of hero.
I suppose in some sick and twisted way John McCain embodied the worst of what the United Staes is. He was the cold-blooded killer, that never learned from his suffering, and promoted the evil that he partook in. He was the perfect pundit for the capitalistic military-industrial complex. John McCain is on par with the generals who slaughtered the Native Americans and the slave owners who brutally punished the African Slaves. John McCain was on par with the rich industrialists who lived luxuriously while their workers were paid salvation wages.
The America I love is because of the goodness of the people and not because of the goodness of its government. That is because there is not so much goodness in our government. It is the tool of Wall Street.
John McCain may you rest in peace, but you are as far from a hero as you can be.
Please check out my book ‘Poet To The Poor, Poems Of Hope From The Bottom One Percent.’ https://amzn.to/2KGdKLB
Photos by Gage Skidmore,