Category Archives: John McCain

McCain, The POW He Left Behind & The Men Who TRIED To Expose Him

Donald Trump, Foreign Policy, History, John McCain, Military

John McCain owes much more than a mea culpa to POWS and Men Missing in Action is the conclusion of a chapter in the book “The Trump Revolution: The Donald’s Creative Destruction Deconstructed.” The context: Donald Trump’s unfocused, but correct, move to hate on McCain.

I would have been none the wiser about McCain, the prisoners of war he left behind and the man who tried to expose Sen. McCain’s most covered-up disgrace, were it not for Ron Unz who publicized Sydney Schanberg’s heroic efforts.

Read “American Pravda: The Legacy of Sydney Schanberg”:

The death on Saturday of Sydney Schanberg at age 82 should sadden us not only for the loss of one of our most renowned journalists but also for what his story reveals about the nature of our national media.

Syd had made his career at the New York Times for 26 years, winning a Pulitzer Prize, two George Polk Memorial awards, and numerous other honors. His passing received the notice it deserved, with the world’s most prestigious broadsheet devoting nearly a full page of its Sunday edition to his obituary, a singular honor that in this degraded era is more typically reserved for leading pop stars or sports figures. Several photos were included of his Cambodia reporting, which had become the basis for the Oscar-winning film The Killing Fields, one of Hollywood’s most memorable accounts of our disastrous Indo-Chinese War.

But for all the 1,300 words and numerous images charting his long and illustrious journalistic history, not even a single mention was made of the biggest story of his career, which has seemingly vanished down the memory hole without trace. And therein lies a tale.

Could a news story ever be “too big” for the media to cover? Every journalist is always seeking a major expose, a piece that not merely reaches the transitory front pages but also might win a journalistic prize or even change the history books. Stories such as these appear rarely but can make a reporter’s career, and it is difficult to imagine a writer turning one down, or an editor rejecting it.

But what if the story is so big that it actually reveals dangerous truths about the real nature of the American media, portrays too many powerful people in a very negative light, and perhaps leads to a widespread loss of faith in our major news media? If readers were to see a story like that, they might naturally begin to wonder “why hadn’t we ever been told?” or even “what else might be out there?”

Towards the end of the 2008 presidential campaign, while John McCain battled Barack Obama for the White House, I clicked an intriguing link on a small website and discovered Syd’s remarkable expose, one which had been passed over or rejected by every major media outlet in the country, his enormous personal reputation notwithstanding.

The basic outline of events he described was a simple one. During the Paris Peace Talks that ended the Vietnam War, the U.S. government had committed to pay its Hanoi adversaries $3.25 billion in war reparations, and in exchange would receive back the American POWs held by the Vietnamese. The agreement was signed and the war officially ended, but the Vietnamese, suspecting a possible financial double-cross, kept back many hundreds of the imprisoned Americans until they received the promised payment.

For domestic political reasons, the Nixon Administration had characterized the billions of dollars pledged as “humanitarian assistance” and Congress balked at appropriating such a large sum for a hated Communist regime. Desperate for “peace with honor” and already suffering under the growing Watergate Scandal, Nixon and his aides could not admit that many hundreds of the POWs remained in enemy hands, and so declared them all returned, probably hoping to quietly arrange a trade of money for prisoners once the dust had settled. Similarly, Hanoi’s leaders falsely claimed that all the captives had been released, while they waited for their money to be paid. As a result, the two governments had jointly created a Big Lie, one which has largely maintained itself right down to the present day.

In the troubled aftermath of America’s military defeat and the Nixon resignation, our entire country sought to forget Vietnam, and neither elected officials nor journalists were eager to revisit the issue, let alone investigate one of the war’s dirtiest secrets. The Vietnamese continued to hold their American prisoners for most of the next twenty years, periodically making attempts to negotiate their release in exchange for the money they were still owed, but never found a American leader daring enough to take such a bold step. The Big Lie had grown just too enormous to be overturned.

Over the years, rumors surrounding the remaining POWs became widespread in veterans’ circles, and eventually these stories inspired a series of blockbuster Hollywood movies such as Rambo, Missing in Action, and Uncommon Valor, whose plots were all naturally dismissed or ridiculed as “rightwing conspiracy theories” by our elite media pundits. But the stories were all true, and even as American filmgoers watched Sylvester Stallone heroically free desperate American servicemen from Vietnamese prisons, the real-life American POWs were still being held under much those same horrible conditions, with no American leader willing to take the enormous political risk of attempting either to rescue or ransom them. Over the years, many of the POWs had died from ill-treatment, and the return of the miserable survivors after their secret captivity would unleash a firestorm of popular anger, surely destroying the many powerful individuals who had long known of their abandonment.

Eventually, America’s bipartisan political leadership sought to reestablish diplomatic relations with Hanoi and finally put the Vietnam War behind the country, but this important policy goal was obstructed by the residual political pressure from the resolute POW families. So a Senate Select Committee on the POWs was established in order to declare them non-existent once and for all. Sen. John McCain, a very high profile former POW himself, led the cover-up, perhaps because the very dubious nature of his own true war record left him eager to trade secrecy for secrecy. Despite considerable evidence to the contrary, our media declared that the abandoned POWs had never existed and closed the books on the long, lingering controversy.

As it happens, not long after the committee issued its final report and shut down, a stunning document was unearthed in the newly-opened Kremlin archives. In the transcript of a Hanoi Politburo meeting, the Communist leadership discussed the true number of POWs they then held and made their decision to keep half of them back to ensure that America paid the billions of dollars it had promised. Former National Security Advisors Zbigniew Brzezinski and Henry Kissinger both stated on national television that the document appeared genuine and it seemed undeniable that American POWs had indeed been left behind. Although the national media devoted a couple of days of major coverage to this uncomfortable revelation, it then reported denials from both the U.S. and Vietnamese governments, and quickly dropped the story, returning to the official narrative: There were no abandoned POWs and never had been.

As I reviewed Syd’s massively-documented 8,000 word exposition, …

Read the rest of “American Pravda: The Legacy of Sydney Schanberg.”

Lindsey Graham: Liar & Dissembler About Islam And Foreign Policy

Foreign Policy, Islam, John McCain, Left-Liberalism, Middle East, Neoconservatism, Republicans

Three minutes and fifteen seconds into Chuck Todd’s unedifying exchange of niceties with the left’s favorite Republican, Sen. Lindsey Graham, Imam Graham imparts that Islam isn’t the problem; he’s not afraid of The Faith, as most Muslims practice it as it ought to be practiced. (Doesn’t he enjoy a security detail, too?) If indeed, as this liar asserts, “there is a war [of reformation] going on within Islam,” it is the most silent, uncontested intellectual war ever. The truth is that no Muslim jurist of note—and no, Pakistani cleric Muhammad Tahir ul-Qadri’s fatwa is deceptive, too —to date, in any recognized center of Islamic learning, has canceled out the authentic Islam outlined in the Quran, supplemented by The Hadith and practiced by ISIS.

As to Graham’s foreign policy promises if elected by MSNBC: ISIS did not exist in the region during the Golden Age of Saddam Hussein. ISIS is a creation of American foreign policy. Yet the stuff that gave rise to ISIS—the American military’s overthrowing of secular leaders in the middle East—Graham wants revisited and intensified, not to mention more foreign aid to spread “our values” and build schools. Obama and Bush before him have done plenty of that stuff; billions worth of it, but I guess the American public has forgotten how well that went.

I wonder how the poor of South Carolina and America feel about Graham’s expansive mandate?

Recommended reading (for kids, too): “The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades),” by Robert Spencer.

‘Senators Lindsey Graham & John McCain Return To The Scene Of The Crime — Iraq’

Foreign Policy, Iraq, John McCain, Neoconservatism

Daniel McAdams: “Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain have returned to the scene of the crime — Iraq — where the war they demanded has left the country shattered into a million bits with ISIS there to take care of the rebuilding. These two “experts” are forever wrong in their every utterance and policy position — remember how angry McCain became when it was pointed out that he was meeting with terrorists in Syria and telling us they were moderates? — yet the slavish US mainstream media continues to defer to their rotten judgement. Back in Iraq over the weekend, the Senators again pushed the only policy they know — war — demanding a fresh supply of young American meat to be ground up in Iraq and Syria.” … MORE.

RON PAUL: “Before the US-led ‘regime change’ in Libya, Boko Haram were just a poorly-armed gang. Once Gaddafi was overthrown by the US and its NATO allies, leaving the country in chaos, they helped themselves to all the advanced weaponry they could get their hands on. Instead of just a few rifles they found themselves armed with rocket-propelled grenades, machine guns with anti-aircraft visors, advanced explosives, and vehicle-mounted light anti-aircraft artillery. Then they started killing on a massive scale. Now, according to the Global Terrorism Index, Boko Haram has overtaken ISIS as the world’s most deadly terrorist organization.” … MORE.

RELATED: “Classical Liberalism And State Schemes.”

No Wonder Assad Needs A Sugar Daddy

Foreign Policy, Islam, John McCain, Middle East, Neoconservatism, Russia

Crazy neoconservative John McCain has repeated his crazy talk to the effect that Bashar Assad is the father of ISIS. The guy doesn’t know Shia from Shinola. As an Alawite, Al-Assad belongs to the opposing, Shia strand of Islam.

Like the Iranians, Assad is enemy of ISIS. (Another forgetful folk are the Israelis, who’ve forgotten that Assad’s grandfather, a wise man, was a Zionist.)

The neocons destabilized the Middle East all by their lonesome. Now American mainstream think tanks are framing strongman Assad for what they wrought and have trained their sights on him. The neocon ghouls are just waiting for a clueless clown like Marco Rubio to oblige them with a war on Syria.

Assad knows he and his family are at the mercy of loons like McMussolini; that his wife and kids will live and die by the say-so of the fools. Any wonder Assad has wisely sought out the Russians to help him stay alive?

McCain’s vacation pictures to Syria, in 2013, were snapped by his then ISIS pals. Don’t believe me? Read on.