Poor John McCain Bombed Women and Children and “I Was Following Orders” Is Not a Legal Defense

John McCain

Majority Humanity, especially people whose 3rd World countries have suffered bombing by Americans, as did Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Libya, Syria, Guatemala, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Panama, Grenada should take carful note of the adulation awarded a pilot, like McCain, who dutifully bombed cities with women and children in a non-Caucasian nation, for some time soon there will be a reckoning.

So as to refrain from denouncing someone who has just passed away while his family is in mourning, let’s figure, given all the information we have, that John McCain, rest his soul, was probably to his misfortune a very mentally challenged guy, who like so many others, was taken advantage of by the elite of the genocidal Financial-Military-Industrial-Complex and its criminal CIA-controlled media, and used to falsely justify and at times participate in, America’s murderous taking of many millions of innocent lives of men, women and children, as Martin Luther King said, in atrocity wars and covert violence on three continents since 1945 in order to maintain unjust predatory investments. [1] John McCain’s sorry story began with a young navy pilot’s receiving and obeying illegal criminal orders to bomb the Vietnamese cities of Hanoi and Haiphong. We can imagine young McCain just might have not been conversant with the new and stronger international laws first used to prosecute the Nazis after the Second World War. However, ignorance of the law has never been an excuse for murder.

Principle I of the Nuremberg Principles of International Law

Any person who commits an act which constitutes a crime under international law is responsible therefor and liable to punishment.

Principle IV

The fact that a person acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility under international law, provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him. This principle could be paraphrased as follows: “It is not an acceptable excuse to say ‘I was just following my superior’s orders'”.

U.S. Nuremberg Trials Prosecutor Would Have Proudly Prosecuted McCain As a War Criminal

, History News Network, George Washington U.,  10/19/2008 https://historynewsnetwork.org/article/55841

A chief U.S. prosecutor at the Nuremberg trials after World War Two, told CBS Editor Richter that he strongly supported the idea of trying the U.S. pilots captured in North Vietnam as war criminals. U.S. Navy Lieut. Commander John McCain, who was captured a year later, would have been among the group Taylor wanted to prosecute, and by the courts decision, military personnel cannot claim that they were simply following orders.

Robert Richter, an Emmy-winning documentary filmmaker, and political director for CBS News from 1965 to 1968 wrote in Bomber Pilot McCain: War Heroism or War Crimes? published by Institute for Public Accuracy, October 15, 2008:

“I will never forget how stunned I was when Gen. Telford Taylor, a chief U.S. prosecutor at the Nuremberg trials after World War Two, told me that he strongly supported the idea of trying the U.S. pilots captured in North Vietnam as war criminals — and that he would be proud to lead in their prosecution.” 

Richter notes that 

“McCain has repeatedly invoked his record in the Vietnam War during the campaign, but that the effect of bomber pilots like McCain and of the Rolling Thunder bombing campaign has not been sufficiently scrutinized. 

An ardent opponent of the Vietnam conflict, Taylor spoke with me in the fall of 1966 when I was looking into producing a documentary on this controversy for CBS News, where I was their National Political Editor. While he did not mention any pilot’s name, then U.S. Navy Lieut. Commander John McCain, who was captured a year later, would have been among the group Taylor wanted to prosecute. … 

Taylor’s argument was that their actions were in violation of the Geneva conventions that specifically forbid indiscriminate bombing that could cause incidental loss of civilian life or damage to civilian objects. Adding to the Geneva code, he noted, was the decision at the Nuremberg trials after World War Two: military personnel cannot defend themselves against such a charge with a claim that they were simply following orders.” 

The charge that U.S. pilots also had bombed hospitals and other civilian targets, turned out to be correct and was confirmed by the New York Times’ chief foreign correspondent, Harrison Salisbury. 

“In late 1966 Salisbury described the widespread devastation of civilian neighborhoods around Hanoi by American bombs: ‘Bomb damage … extends over an area of probably a mile or so on both sides of the highway … small villages and hamlets along the route [were] almost obliterated’. 

“In one of his autobiographies McCain wrote that he was going to bomb a power station in ‘a heavily populated part of Hanoi’ when he was shot down. …

This author was assistant conductor of the Ho Chi Minh founded Vietnam National Symphony Orchestra during many concerts between 1993 and 1999. Don’t expect the Vietnam government to release any records of how many men, women and children were killed or maimed during the twenty-three bombing sorties of pilot John McCain. The Vietnamese have long put the generations of war behind them now and look to the future and the enjoyment of their lives after suffering for years under punishing  economic sanctions by a vengeful U.S. government and its allies.

Yours truly, who has an adopted Vietnamese son and whose near one hundred Vietnamese students in Hanoi all lost family – “killed by the Americans,” they would admit with unaccusing Buddhist equanimity – finds it difficult to stomach criminal conglomerate media’s incessant hailing deceased Senator John McCain as a outstanding hero among any and every politician hero, who ‘served’ in perpetrating what Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. condemned as a crimes against humanity.[1]

In 2008, your author wrote:

Shot Down by Heroic Vietnamese Defenders in Shameful US War & Defeat

OpEdNews, 3/22/2008

Years before Airman McCain began his 23 bombing runs, former President Eisenhower in his Mandate for Change had admitted Ho Chi Minh was a hero to his countrymen and would have won an all-Vietnam election with 80%+ had he (Ike) not blocked it. Well before McCain’s 1st bombing mission, Rev. King Jr. had angrily condemned U.S. genocide, and Muhammad Ali had refused to go. Was McCain taken in then, and now as well, by war propaganda? Is poor McCain, an heartless anti-hero or dumbbell?

Presidential candidate McCain comes across as a sincere, if not intelligent, politician, as he speaks of his country maybe continuing its occupation of Iraq for a hundred years! Would McCain have preferred America to have gone on killing in Vietnam rather than enjoy today’s profitable commerce, even the recommending of Vietnam for World Trade Membership? Probably not.  In congress he has helped restore good relations with the Vietnam communist government. Did McCain’s bombings serve any purpose?  Did McCain ever try to find out how many Vietnamese were killed, maimed or orphaned by his bombs, express feeling sorry, want to apologize, help out survivors?  If he did, the public remains ignorant of such regret.

McCain had a good college education, which must have included a history of colonialism, and the special brutal injustices of the French colonial subjugation of the Vietnamese. He would have known that Ho Chi Minh was decorated by the American OSS as a dedicated ally against the Japanese and Vichy French, and that Truman, against Roosevelt’s promise, had brought the French army back in US ships to fight an bloody 9-year war against its former allies, the Vietnamese.

Senator McCain’s countenance on TV as he campaigns for the presidency is one of kindness, neighborly and respectful. Viewers notice his crippled hand and other injuries suffered when he was first rescued, pulled from the lake he had parachuted into, but then beaten by an angry mob. Everyone feels sympathy for McCain – at the same time one can figure that the bombs he dropped must have taken their human toll of innocents and one is curious to know if his plane crashed without causing further casualties. The whole story awakens sadness, but also some understanding, if one imagines how the reaction on the ground would be in New York City upon the capture of a bombing pilot – especially if the bomber happened to parachute down into one of the city’s tougher neighborhoods.

He reported having been tortured during years as a POW. No one would like to have gone through such years of imprisonment. At the same time, the bereavements of families of those slain during his bombings is more heartbreakingly permanent, final and absolute.

On 60 Minutes in 1997, there was an uncomfortable, sorrowful and somewhat disturbing moment: (from the text transcript)

Sen. McCain: “I m–made serious, serious mistakes and did things wrong when I was in prison, OK?”

Mike Wallace: “What did you do wrong in prison?”

Sen. McCain: “I wrote a confession. I was guilty of war crimes against the Vietnamese people. I intentionally bombed women and children.”

Wallace: “And you did it because you were being tortured…”

Sen. McCain: “I…”

Wallace: …”and you’d reached the end of the line.”

Sen. McCain: “Yes. But I should have gone further. I should have–I–I never believed that I would–that I would break, and I did.”

This article went on, but we leave it here in order to go quote a CBS report later in 2008

Jul 15, 2008,

McCain: “I Know How To Win Wars” – CBS News


Jul 15, 2008, Republican Candidate for President, Sen. John McCain told a town hall meeting, ”I know how to win wars. And if I’m elected president, I will turn around the war in Afghanistan, just as we have turned around the war in Iraq.”

Your author wrote:

“I KnowHowToWinWars!” Says McCain Who Bombed Cities in a Lost War

OpEdNews, 7/16/2008

Huh? Which war did McCain know how to win? His 23 bombing runs over North Vietnam did not win anything but shame and disgust at home in streets filled with war protests. America LOST THE WAR. Surely CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX anchors and CNN celebrities Wolf Blitzer and Anderson Cooper REMEMBER that America LOST THE VIETNAM WAR, though their paid to forget it. In reality McCain is to pitied.

And still later in 2008:

Media Suppression of MLKjr’s Condemnation of Vietnam War as an Atrocity Helps McCain

OpEdNews, 10/21/2008

Martin Luther King’s blistering condemnation of the Vietnam War as a crime against humanity, which made bold type headlines on the front pages of newspapers all over the world BEFORE McCain’s 1st bombing mission, has been intentionally suppressed in commercial media and school books. If voters knew King’s sermon on the true history of the heroic Vietnamese fighting invasions of three powerful nations, the Japanese, US backed France and finally the great USA, McCain’s ‘hero status’ would evaporate

It serves McCain’s presidential campaign well that all mention of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s blistering condemnation of the war on Vietnam as a crime against humanity has been intentionally suppressed in media and school books.

War mongering conglomerate-owned media are always very busy deceiving the public on present wars and future possible wars, presenting them, and all past wars, as necessary and just. The New York Times, The Washington Post and most major media slammed King as unpatriotic after his truthful 1967 Riverside Church speech denouncing his country’s government as “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world.”[1]

For years now, ‘big brother’ media has re-painted that Vietnam War as good, and as having been a heroic adventure for all politicians who took part in it as military personnel. Whew, talk about brain washing!

But before voters accept Senator McCain’s credentials as having served his country well, they might better look at some of what Rev. King Jr. said forty-one years ago in his Beyond Vietnam speech, as, within it, King gave clear historical context of US crimes:

“They move sadly and apathetically as we herd into concentration camps. They know they must move on or be destroyed by our bombs. So they go, primarily women and children and the aged. They watch as we poison their water, as we kill a million acres of their crops, destroy the precious trees. 

We test out our latest weapons on them. So far we may have killed a million of them, mostly children. They wander into the towns and see thousands of the children, homeless, without clothes, running in packs on the streets like animals. They see the children degraded by our soldiers as they beg for food. They see the children selling their sisters to our soldiers, soliciting for their mothers. We have corrupted their women and children and killed their men.” [1]

Your author had asked:

So How Many Poor Vietnamese Did McCain’s Bombs Kill in 23 Runs?

OpEdNews, 9/5/2008

Given all the praise heaped upon McCain, the bomber of Hanoi, this is a natural question – especially for millions of us who remember the inexpressible shamefulness of this genocidal war on the agrarian Asian population of a brutal French colony that suffered Japanese occupation and fought both the Japanese and Vichy French as a U.S. ally;

How many Vietnamese citizens, men, women and children, did McCain’s bombs kill or maim during his twenty-three runs?

In his acceptance speech as Republican candidate for the presidency McCain, referring to his participation in the U.S. war on Vietnam bragged,

“I have that record and the scars to prove it, and Obama doesn’t.”  McCain told the rapt convention audience and went on to confesses that he broke under interrogation – but did not bother to give the detail of his famous “I am a war criminal,” admission.

But hold on. Wait just a decent moment. What of the Vietnamese McCain was bombing? How good did they have it? Do not the Vietnamese victims and their grieving families deserve honorable mention at least?

Is it that the “The Greatest country on earth,” as McCain cried out, has no compassion for the people bombed in their very own beautiful home city of Hanoi, so humble be it by comparison to great and powerful America?

Okay skip any body count, just give us a round number of the Vietnamese who the possible future president can be credited with assisting into the next world earlier than they expected while hoping to survived alive – as did their executioner.

And why doesn’t the Republican Party thank the family of the Vietnamese man who saved McCain from drowning and then protected him from the wrath of the people he had been bombing just before being shot out of the sky? John McCain failed to even mention the guy in his speech describing only how he parachuted “into a small lake in Hanoi to an angry crowd.”

Below, is a relevant article from Mail On Line of the Daily Mail Company of the United Kingdom, (additional reporting: William Lowther, in Washington).

Published October 23, 2008

“How war hero John McCain betrayed the Vietnamese peasant who saved his life”

In all the tales of wartime courage peppering John McCain’s presidential campaign trail; perhaps the most outstanding example of selfless heroism involves not the candidate but a humble Vietnamese peasant.

On October 26, 1967, Mai Van On ran from the safety of a bomb shelter at the height of an air raid and swam out into the lake where Lieutenant Commander McCain was drowning, tangled in his parachute cord after ejecting when his Skyhawk bomber was hit by a missile.

In an extraordinary act of compassion at a time when Vietnamese citizens were being killed by US aerial bombardments, he pulled a barely conscious McCain to the lake surface and, with the help of a neighbour, dragged him towards the shore.

And when a furious mob at the water’s edge began to beat and stab the captured pilot, Mr On drove them back.

Nearly three decades later, a Vietnamese government commission confirmed he was indeed the rescuer and, in a 1996 meeting in Hanoi, McCain embraced and thanked Mr On and presented him with a Senate memento. It was the kind of thing you buy in the souvenir shop in the Senate basement. “But Mr On, to the day he died, treated it as if it were a Congressional Medal of Honour.

From that brief encounter to his death at the age of 88 two years ago, Mr On never heard from the senator again, and three years after their meeting, McCain published an autobiography that makes no mention of his apparent debt to Mr On.

It is a snub Mr On took to his death.

His widow, Bui Thi Lien, 71, said: “In his last years, my husband was very sad sometimes. He would say, ‘Mr McCain has forgotten me.’”

”Mr McCain would be dead if it weren’t for my husband. He would never have returned to his family and he wouldn’t be in the presidential race today.”

But although McCain appeared to believe the story, it was one he would later seem to ignore in his autobiography and there was no more contact between the two men.

When Mr On died in 2006, an email was apparently sent to McCain’s office requesting a message of condolence for the family. There was no response.

Whether or not McCain believed Mr On is unclear.

But his refusal to acknowledge his heroism is likely to fuel other, more damaging allegations that McCain exaggerated elements of his PoW ordeal in Hoa Lo prison.

What followed, according to McCain, was five-and-a-half years of torture and brutal beatings as a prisoner of war – an account that has given a steely edge to his candidacy by establishing him as a true American war hero.

But the story is at odds with the version uncovered by Vietnam veteran Chuck Searcy, who lives in Hanoi and is in charge of the Vietnam Veteran Memorial Fund.

Phung Van Chung, 70, who was a Communist Party official at the time, claims McCain was quickly singled out for softer treatment, adding: “I found out he was the son of an American admiral, so the top people wanted to keep him as a live witness so they could use him for negotiations.”


Since John McCain does not think his bombing a city was a prosecutable crime by international law, he would most probably not imagine threatening to bomb is a prosecutable crime either, but it is. Actually, most people have a sense of what is right and what is wrong, without knowing the exact law that applies. If someone was threatening to harm McCain’s mother or sister, he would certainly know enough to notify the police.

Jesting, McCain Sings: ‘Bomb, Bomb, Bomb’ Iran : NPR


Apr 20, 2007 – Republican presidential contender Sen. John McCain joked about bombing Iran this week during a campaign appearance in Murrells Inlet, S.C.

McCain was asked by an audience member about possible U.S. military action in Iran.

In response, McCain said, “That old, eh, that old Beach Boys song, Bomb Iran” — which elicited laughter from the crowd. McCain then chuckled before briefly singing — to the tune of the chorus of the Beach Boys’ classic “Barbara Ann” — “Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, anyway, ah ….”

The audience responded with more laughter.

McCain’s Call “Bomb Iran And Syria” In War Championing US Not Prosecutable?

countercurrents.org, 3/12/2012  Which side of the fence is the reader on? The side of McCain, hailed by media as a hero bomber, and all those elected and would-be-elected politicians calling for bombing of yet another small nation? Or on the side of law, the Nuremberg Principles, the General Treaty for the Renunciation of War, both integral parts of the US law of the land by Article Six of the US Constitution.

Senator John McCain, a chief promoter of Wall Street wars for predatory investments, steadfastly dismissive and contemptuous of Nuremberg Chief Prosecutor Telford Taylors’s publicized desire to have prosecuted him for bombing civilian populations of Vietnamese cities, has added demands to bomb Syria to his calls to bomb Iran (that he was prominent in the calling to bomb Libya, goes without saying.)


McCain Calls for U.S.-Led Airstrikes in Syria, New York Times, 3/10/2012 “Senator John McCain called on Monday for the United States to lead airstrikes against Syria’s armed forces to protect the rebels and civilians there, much as it did in Libya last year.” 

The world has heard the same humanitarian intervention lie over and over and over again since Korea in 1950.


John seems to have been careless about, who he takes a photo op with:

McCain Poses With Alleged Terrorists By John Soltz, Huffingtonpost, 7/30/2013

The photo of John McCain posing with terrorists and kidnappers in Syria encapsulates, perfectly, everything wrong with the position of McCain and others that the U.S. ought to insert itself into Syria’s civil war.

To recap the past few days, talk of arming the Syrian rebels is heating up. In the Senate, the Committee on Foreign Affairs cast a 15-3 vote to authorize arming and training the rebels — Senators Tom Udall, Chris Murphy, and Rand Paul being the three courageous dissenters. Then, the Russians announced the shipment of advanced air defense missiles to the government of Bashar al-Assad. The European Union reacted in kind, voting to allow the arming of the opposing rebels.

It was revealed this morning that McCain, during his personal mission to Syria to meet with rebels, appeared in photos with Mohammed Nour and Abu Ibrahim, two members of the Sunni “Northern Storm” brigade, which kidnapped 11 Lebanese Shia pilgrims, who were on their way back to Lebanon, from Iran. The group is still holding nine of the hostages.

This should give everyone pause when it comes to ramping up support for the rebels by arming them.

McCain’s office says that the senator didn’t know who they were, and doesn’t support their terrorist acts. I don’t doubt that. But it precisely is the point. If a U.S. senator can unwittingly pose for pictures with terrorists in Syria, how can we guarantee that the arms McCain supports sending there won’t also end up in the same place McCain did — with terrorists?


John McCain Caught Again! Senator Photographed With ISIS Chief, YourNewsWire, 11/3/2015


EPIC: Tulsi Gabbard Calls Adam Kinzinger, John McCain and Evan McMullin Terrorist Enablers… Sundance, 1/25/2017

This is beyond epic.US Congress Representative Tulsi Gabbard visited Syria and delivers big and bold truth to CNN upon her return interview.

Gabbard deconstructs the false narrative sold by the Muslim Brotherhood,  Obama administration, John McCain, Adam Kinzinger and Evan McMullin -all of whom supported the various terrorist factions within Syria- and sets the record straight:

The “Rebels” in Syria are extremist terrorists.


Rand Paul sparks firestorm with claim that John McCain posed with ISIS-linked jihadists in Syria

  • McCain snuck into Syria in May 2013 to meet with Free Syrian Army (FSA) rebels and encourage them in their fight against dictator Bashar al-Assad
  • Photo shows him with leaders of an FSA ally called the Northern Storm Brigade
  • Unconfirmed online claims suggested ISIS fought alongside Northern Storm three months later when they captured an airport
  • Rand Paul said McCain ‘did meet with ISIS, and had his picture taken, and didn’t know it was happening at the time’
  • McCain favors arming Syrian rebel groups, while Paul contends it’s impossible to know which groups are moderate and which are jihadists

By David Martosko, US Political Editor for MailOnline Published 19 September 2014

So here was McCain personally supporting people, some not even Syrians, fighting to overthrow the elected president of a nation member of the United Nations, an obvious crime not only by the UN Charter, but so many other laws and obligations of the United States and all nations.


Just a few days ago,

August 29, 2018

WaPo Uses Photo of John McCain Next to Nazi to Praise His ‘Human Rights’ Work

In an news report praising Sen. John McCain, the Washington Post used a photo of McCain speaking next to the notorious Ukrainian neo-Nazi leader Oleh Tyahnybok. https://fair.org/home/john-mccain-human-rights-ukrainian-nazi-photo-washington-post/


Once again, so as to refrain from denouncing someone who has just passed away while his family is in mourning, let’s figure, given all the information above, that John McCain, rest his soul, was probably to his misfortune just a very mentally challenged guy, who like so many others, was taken advantage of by the elite of the genocidal Financial-Military-Industrial-Complex and its criminal CIA-controlled media, and used to falsely justify and at times participate in, America’s murderous taking of many millions of innocent lives of men, women and children, as Martin Luther King said, in genocidal atrocities and covert violence on three continents since 1945 in order to maintain unjust predatory investments.

Hong Kong major newspaper was more candid about the adulation for McCain:  https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/article/2162347/john-mccain-was-chronic-warmonger-not-war-hero

John McCain was a chronic warmonger, not a war hero, South China Morning Post, 01 September, 2018,

“I hate the gooks,” he once declared. “I will hate them as long as I live.”

Well, he doesn’t have to any more.

Yonden Lhatoo, chief news editor at the Post


This tract, about the bizarre praise in criminal media for a pathetic John McCain is written as an alert that Majority Humanity, especially people whose 3rd World countries were bombed by Americans, like Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Libya, Syria, Guatemala, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Panama, Grenada etc. should take carful note of the adulation awarded a pilot, like McCain, who dutifully bombed cities with women and children in a non-Caucasian nation, for some time soon there will be a reckoning.


The handwriting is on the wall that reads ‘pale skin folks will not keep power over six times as many folks of color toned skin for all that much longer.’

Economist Magazine already seven years ago, predicted that in thirty years the emerging economies of the Third world will be greater than the developed economies of the First World.

China will soon overtake the United States as the world’s largest economy, and by 2050, its economy will be twice as large as that of the United States. Chinese influence will extend well beyond the economic sphere. The full social, cultural and political repercussions of China’s ascendancy will be felt sooner.

The Chinese Century is the title of a article by Nobel Laureate in Economics Joseph Stiglitz in the January, 2015 issue Vanity Fair.


Your author had the good fortune of living in China many years among the Chinese. China is more a civilization than a mere nation. The Chinese were reading and writing two thousand years before the West. China was the envy of the rest of the world for nearly two thousand years. The Chinese have no need to prove themselves by pushing less developed people around. Non confrontation is a principle for well being in Chinese society just as it is in its martial arts.

The world can expect an end to Western war-like behavior John McCain made himself spokesperson for, and the West will soon be held financially accountable for its genocidal plundering over the past five centuries in the courts of a democratically reconstituted United Nations.

Jay Janson is an archival research peoples historian activist, musician and writer; has lived and worked on all continents; articles on media published in China, Italy, UK, India and in the US by Dissident Voice, Global Research; Information Clearing House; Counter Currents, Minority Perspective, UK and others; now resides in NYC; First effort was a series of articles on deadly cultural pollution endangering seven areas of life emanating from Western corporate owned commercial media published in Hong Kong’s Window Magazine 1993; Howard Zinn lent his name to various projects of his; Weekly column, South China Morning Post, 1986-87; reviews for Ta Kung Bao; article China Daily, 1989. Is coordinator of the Howard Zinn co-founded King Condemned US Wars International Awareness Campaign, and website historian of the Ramsey Clark co-founded Prosecute US Crimes Against Humanity Now Campaign, which Dissident Voice supports with link at the end of each issue of its newsletter.


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