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No Hero: John McCain is a War Criminal

Decorum and human decency demand that we refrain from talking ill of the ill and near death’s door. This rule is null and void when the people we are to mourn are responsible for the death and continued slaughter of countless humans around the world. Forgive me if I thus refuse to pull any punches and lace into this war mongering Senator from Arizona. Not even an impending date with his maker can moderate the mendacity of McCain. Like a barbarian on steroids, Johnny boy insists on pushing one ungodly war after another.

McCain has used the narrative of being a Vietnam P.O.W. to catapult to the top of the political strata even though he has done little to help veterans who suffer the ravages of the wars he keeps pushing. I make no secret of my admiration for veterans, after having faced two years of hardship and calling homeless veterans my neighbors and friends, I can vouch for the valor and kindness of those who served in our nation’s military. What makes veterans heroes is not the number of times they pulled triggers nor is their valor quantified by body count; it is their generosity and giving spirit that makes them true warriors worthy of praise and honor.

True heroes are those who fight in wars and come back home to serve even as they battle their own demons. I’ve written about my experiences with veterans on copious occasions. It breaks my heart daily seeing veterans struggling with PTSD and coping with the horrors of readjusting to life after seeing hell unleashed on their fellow humans (read Blessed are the Peacekeepers). My own father was a veteran and both my grandfathers were war heroes who fought Mussolini’s army in World War II; consequently, I am a man who always revered people who put on the uniform to serve their nation. This reverence was heightened by magnitudes when I made friends over the past two years with a litany of veterans from South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Iowa to Colorado. The kindness of veterans who kept me in good spirits during my season of adversity is a debt I can never pay back. Many were facing hardships of indigence and distress yet kept helping others—this is the quintessence of being a hero.

I know war heroes; I met war heroes. John McCain is no war hero. Past accomplishment does not make up for present maliciousness. At the root of this world’s mind bending human suffering is an out of control military-financial complex that exists solely to steal the wealth of other nations and in the process slaughters millions globally. This same death machine is behind the struggles that veterans go through; our immoral politicians—from presidents down to Senators and Congressmen—keep declaring illegal wars as they use the lies of “protecting Democracy” as a pretext to commit crimes in direct contravention of the Geneva Conventions. If there was any justice in this world, Clinton, Bush, Obama, Trump and every neo-con and neo-liberal war monger would be frog marched to the Hague and tried for wars against humanity.If Clinton, Bush, Obama and Trump are the aces in the card deck of war criminals, John McCain would be the king of no hearts. This man can’t get enough of wars—he is a mix of a Dr. Strangelove and a war drum major. For close to four decades, he has stood at the Senate dais and cheered on a continuous stream of wars. Lebanon, Grenada, Panama, Iraq I, Somalia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq II, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, these are just some of the wars that our war-drunk government keeps declaring for the sake of profiteering and bloodletting. If you actually start to count the covert wars that our government is behind, the list of nations we have bashed with bullets and bombs outnumbers the list of countries we yet to kneecap. My native land Ethiopia is a victim of this atrocious war machine; what is being done oversees in our names is arriving at our shores as depraved globalists are now destroying America from within (read When a Conscience Begets a Colonial Bullet).

McCain has endorsed each of these wars; there is not one war he stood against during his career in Washington DC. After seeing the horrors of war, most people come back with a purpose to end them. Not McCain! What he experienced in Hanoi Hilton pales compared to the havoc he has loosened upon the world as he has been one of the primary war advocates and the preeminent war monger in Congress. If he only committed a fraction of the effort he has put behind pushing wars to actually helping veterans, I might give him at least a little bit of credit for being human. Instead, he has voted on many occasions to gut the Veterans Affairs and yesterday he flew into Washington DC to vote against health care.

I don’t write this as a partisan toady like most of the Corporate State Media pundits; I make my politics very clear on the subject of Obamacare. The Affordable Care Act was a scam and a boondoggle that benefited the Insurance Industry as it threw all of us onto a broken health care system that is bound to implode in short order (read Obamacare, Obama’s Scam). However, McCain did not parachute into DC to stand up for the little guy or to advocate for a more equitable health insurance system. He took to the microphone to advocate for corporate interests and to once again peddle the broken ideology of trickle down economy. McCain sees nothing wrong with spending trillions on the military-financial complex yet he refuses to endorse health care policies that would ensure veterans and the rest of Americans get the same type of coverage that he and his fellow legislators get.We are a nation ruled by the lawless and led by war criminals. Too often, we call scoundrels heroes not because they deserved it but because they managed to garner fame and status. Fighting in a war alone does not make one a hero; if that was the case, Hitler would be counted as one since he too fought in a war and was victim of chemical weapons. We rightly cast Adolph as the monster that he was because we judge him based on what he did after he took off the uniform. In that same light, I judge McCain not for his service during Vietnam but for what he did once he became a Senator. McCain’s hands are covered in the blood of millions who have perished over the past 40 years of endless wars that he has endorsed and advanced—he is no hero, he is a war criminal. #NoHeroMcCain

“Mankind must put an end to war before war puts an end to mankind.” ~ John F. Kennedy

If you appreciated the message behind this write up and you too stand against war pushers and war criminals, share this article on social media using #NoHeroMcCain

Silent Salute 

To the soldiers who sacrificed
Did their duty without asking
I express outrage against injustice
Over immoral wars and endless carnage
I am speaking out for you in the process
Veterans in the end understand one thing
Their fellow men were never their enemy
To this day fierce rivals from past conflicts
Embrace after the last bullets have been fired
Soldiers salute and do their duty that is best
The sorrows they go through alone
Trauma induced by bodies and reduced humanity
Only to come back home and encounter Satan’s embrace
Flash backs prompting cold sweats
Bullets and blood droplets
Too much for the mind to process
Those who die in wars are fortunate
It’s the veterans, the survivors
Who carry the burdens of these remembrances
Fallen comrades and innocent children
Indiscriminately swallowed whole by turbulence
Tears mixing with blood stains
Cries drowned out by battle drums
War is humanity’s utmost blemish
Concealed by propaganda and theatrics
Patriotism birthing negligence
Our conscience is subverted into ignorance
As we enjoy disengagement’s bliss
Veterans suffer depression’s kiss
Politicians, profiteers and Hollywood
Glorifying war horrors by bending reality
Obfuscating suffering with special effects and rhetoric
But to the soldier their truth is the opposite
Rat-tat-tat-tat bullets shattering God’s presence
Untold masses disappearing into graves and silence
We wave flags thanking them for service
They shiver alone bearing the cost of compliance
Final judgments by way of triggers and buttons
Only to come back home
Shock and awe replaced by shock trauma
Nightmares that never end
Being continually transported back to mayhem
The battle field redrawn into the mind’s synapses
Piercing quietness with shrieks and terrors
Spouses who grow estranged
Children unable to comprehend
Concern pixelating into absence
Loneliness the only friend that remains
The proud and few become islands
Invisible wounds breaking cognizance
This is why so many end up homeless
Many more embracing suicide’s cuddle
Despair muffles life and blends into darkness
To be met by society’s mind numbing indifference
We step over them daily
Once warriors turned into the indigent
Salutes being returned with diffidence
Yet in this silence I stand for you
May God forever bless you
Where you are broken
May you mend into fullness
Sergeant Black in DC
Vietnam War survivor
Gunny Stevens in Greenville
Korean War survivor
Derrick in Colorado
Iraq War survivor
Frank in Ankeny Iowa
World War II survivor
Countless others who I have met
Had the honor of sharing meals with
May your struggles be fleeting
But your blessings be eternal
In silence I salute you
~ The two poems are excerpts from Serendipity’s Trace, a book I wrote while I was in a boot camp called life which led to a harvest called purpose. ~
Check out the Ghion Cast below where I had shared a conversation with a true war hero by the name of Rick Belt who served two tours of duty in Vietnam and has come back home to give back to his fellow neighbors and the least among us.

Check out the Ghion Cast below where I discuss the reasons for these ungodly wars and how we, the people, can turn back take part in a movement to turn away from wars and turn towards peace and coexistence. 

Lij Teodrose Fikremariam
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Lij Teodrose Fikremariam

Lij Teodrose Fikremariam is the co-founder and former editor of the Ghion Journal. He is currently the chair of Ethiopians for Constitutional Monarchy. A published author and prolific writer, a once defense consultant was profoundly changed by a two year journey of hardship and struggle. Going from a life of upper-middle class privilege to a time spent with the huddled masses taught Teodrose a valuable lesson in the essence of togetherness and the need to speak against injustice.

Originally from Ethiopia with roots to Atse Tewodros II, Lij Teodrose is a former community organizer whose writing was incorporated into Barack Obama's South Carolina primary victory speech in 2008. He pivoted away from politics and decided to stand for collective justice after experiencing the reality of the forgotten masses. His writing defies conventional wisdom and challenges readers to look outside the constraints of labels and ideologies that serve to splinter the people. Lij Teodrose uses his pen to give a voice to the voiceless and to speak truth to power.
Lij Teodrose Fikremariam
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