John McCain, pre-RIP

After a Trump Administration official joked that Senator John McCain, who is dying of cancer, didn’t matter politically anymore because he’s dying, media and politicians said the remark was inexcusable. (Never mind that it’s the kind of thing everyone says privately.) As we prepare for the inevitable lionizing of McCain after he dies, it’s worth remembering those he killed.

33 thoughts on “John McCain, pre-RIP

  1. The Siege of Baler (Filipino: Pagkubkob sa Baler, Spanish: Sitio de Baler) (July 1, 1898 – June 2, 1899) was a battle of the Philippine Revolution and concurrently the Spanish–American War and the Philippine–American War. Filipino revolutionaries laid siege to a fortified church manned by colonial Spanish troops in the town of Baler, Philippines for 11 months, or 337 days.[3][4]

    The war had ended in December 1898 with Spain’s surrender and cession of the Philippines to the United States. However, cut off from communications with their own government and military, the Spanish forces in Baler continued their defense against the Filipino forces until 1899.

    On June 26, it was noticed that the town residents were leaving.[1]:18 On the night of the 30th, 800 Filipino troops under Teodorico Luna (a relative of the painter Juan Luna) attacked, and the garrison fell back to the church.[1]:18 The town priest, Candido Gómez Carreño, also quartered himself in the church.[3]

    The first few days of the siege saw several attempts by the Filipinos to get the Spanish to surrender by leaving letters, while they surrounded the church with trenches.[3]:29–30 On July 8 the Revolutionary Commander, then Cirilo Gómez Ortiz, offered a suspension of hostilities until nightfall, which was accepted.[3]:32 On July 18, Calixto Villacorta[4] took command of the Filipinos. He also sent a warning letter, which was rebuffed.[3]

    The Spanish had to endure confinement in a small, hot, humid space. As the siege progressed, their food supply began to diminish through usage and spoilage. Enemy rifle fire did cause casualties but diseases such as beriberi, dysentery, and fevers did more damage.[1]:24 The first Spaniard to die was Gómez Carreño.[1]:22–23 In September, Lt. Alonso, and then in November, Captain Las Morenas succumbed to beriberi.[1]:23 Command fell to Lt. Saturnino Martín Cerezo when Las Morenas died in December.[3][4]

    More than once the Spanish made forays to burn nearby houses to deprive the Filipinos of much needed cover.[3]:31 The Filipinos attempted to smoke them out by setting fires beside the church wall but this was repulsed and their timber captured.

    At the start of the siege, the Spanish had provisions of flour, rice, beans, chickpeas, bacon, canned Australian beef, sardines, wine, sugar, and coffee – but no salt.[3]:54, 75 Supplementing their food supplies, the Spanish foraged for pumpkins, pumpkin leaves, oranges, plantain shoots, various herbs, and planted a garden of peppers, tomatoes and pumpkins.[3]:66–68

    By mid-November, having failed to dislodge the Spanish defenders, Villacorta, under a flag of truce, left newspapers on the church steps that told of Spain’s planned departure from the Philippines and that the Spanish-American conflict was over. Martín considered this a ruse. Next Villacorta brought in Spanish civilians and ultimately a uniformed Spanish officer left behind to wrap up Spain’s affairs on the island, to no avail.[3]

    By 22 Nov. 1898, 145 days had elapsed since the siege began, during which 14 Spanish soldiers died of disease.[1]:23 Of the thirty-eight remaining troops, only twenty-three were effective, with the rest being sick. The Filipinos also had suffered casualties, mostly from Mauser rifle fire the Spanish were able to inflict on them from their protected firing positions. Gómez Ortiz was one of these.[3]

    The New Year brought more Spanish emissaries to Baler but again Martín Cerezo turned them away.[1]:49 At the end of February, the Spanish killed three water buffaloes, eating the meat before it spoiled, and using the leather for footwear.[3]:87–88

    In April, the Americans intervened when Commander Charles S. Sperry, commanding the USS Yorktown, attempted to rescue the Spanish.[1]:43 By this time, the Philippines had been at war with the United States since February.[4] On a reconnaissance mission, five Americans were killed, while Lt. Gilmore, and nine others, were captured, and held prisoner by the Filipinos until rescued in December.[5]:178–179, 382–383

    When their food ran out on 24 April, the Spanish resorted to eating stray dogs, cats, reptiles, snails and crows.[3]:102[4]

    On 8 May, Filipino artillery shelling hit an improvised cell that held three Spaniards who had attempted to desert earlier in the siege. One of them, Alcaide Bayona, ran out and joined the Filipinos. This was a blow to the Spanish as the deserter had important intelligence to share about their dire straits, and helped fire the cannon on the church to good effect.[3]:105–107

    On May 28, 1899, there was yet another attempt to get Martín Cerezo to surrender. Again, another Spanish officer, Lieutenant-Colonel Cristóbal Aguilar y Castaneda, appeared under a flag of truce and was turned away.[1]:109 He had brought recent Spanish newspapers, which Cerezo initially dismissed as bogus, until Martín read an article concerning a close friend’s posting, plans of which only he knew, convincing him the newspapers were genuine and that indeed Spain had lost the war.[1]:110–111 On June 2, 1899, Martín surrendered to the Filipinos.[1]:111

    General Emilio Aguinaldo, president of the First Philippine Republic, decreed that they were to be considered “Not as prisoners of war but as friends”. He further stated that “They realized an epic as glorious as the legendary valour of the son of El Cid and of Pelayo”.[4]

    Three months later, on September 1, the survivors, including Martín Cerezo, arrived in Barcelona where they were received and honored as heroes.[3][4] Martín Cerezo later published a memoir, “El Sitio de Baler”, where he gave his reasons for holding out:

    “It would be somewhat difficult for me to explain, principally, I believe through mistrust and obstinacy. Then also on account of a certain kind of auto-suggestion that we ought not for any reason surrender because of national enthusiasm, without doubt influenced by the attractive illusion of glory and on account of the suffering and treasury of sacrifice and heroism and that by surrender, we would be putting an unworthy end to it all.”

    The two Franciscan priests, Félix Minaya and Juan López, plus the Yorktown seaman George Arthur Venville, were kept as prisoners by Novicio, until the priests were rescued by the Americans on 3 June 1900, having re-garrisoned Baler earlier that year.[1]:239 Venville however was led to his death by the hands of Ilongots, before the American arrival.[1]:278 Furthermore, Novicio was put on trial for ordering the Yorktown sailor Ora B. McDonald buried alive after the ambush.[1]:252 Found guilty, Novicio faced a life sentence of hard labor in Bilibid Prison.[1]:270

    Las Morenas was posthumously promoted to Major and awarded the ‘Lauerate Cross of San Fernando’, Spain’s highest military medal. His widow received a pension of 5,000 pesetas or pesos. Martin-Cerezo was promoted to Major with an annual pension of 1,000 pesetas. He also was decorated with the ‘Royal Cross’ as well as the Military Order of San Fernando and went on to become a Major General. He died in 1948. Lt. Zayas received a posthumous promotion. The enlisted men received the ‘Silver Cross of Military Merit’ and each of them received a monthly pension of 60 pesetas.[3]

    Of the fifty men who entered the church, around thirty survived the 11-month siege. Fourteen men died from disease. Only two men died from wounds. There were four deserters from the garrison. Two men were imprisoned for helping in the desertion of another (Alcaide), and executed on orders of Martin Cerezo on June 1, 1899, the day before the surrender.[3]

    The feat of the Spanish so inspired the American General Frederick Funston that he had Martin-Cerezo’s memoir translated and gave copies to all his officers. It was published as Under the Red and Gold: Being Notes and Recollections of the Siege of Baler.[3]

    The survivors were known as “The Last Ones of the Philippines” (Spanish: Los últimos de Filipinas; Filipino: Ang Pínakahulí Mulà sa Pilipinas). A century after their return, the modern-day Spanish government paid homage to them.[6]

  2. That tears it, Ted.

    You have become something I no longer recognize.

    McCain was the only Republican I could (as a Progressive) see myself voting for — if he hadn’t chosen Sarah.

    I served during the VietNam War, not that I had a choice. You have done a disservice to McCain and all of those veterans with this posting. This, along with your ass-kissing of the “American Teacher,” (who is NOT one) drives me to bid “adieu” to this site. You will not see me here again.

    As a farewell to the aforementioned AT, even though off topic, I state the following:

    All of Ted’s regulars undoubtedly understand why you choose to be anonymous. Hiding behind a generic (although misapplied) pseudonym, you are such a chicken-shit that you can’t take the heat of personal criticism, and fear for your job if your superiors (other than the one whose menial servant you admit to being) discover your attitude and your lack of dedication and performance. It’s turds like you who give a bad name to the professionals who work for the betterment of society. Each morning, I flush down the toilet excrement that has more value than you or anything you represent. I’ve wasted too much time addressing your malfeasance, since you and your ilk are convinced that you are above those whom you denigrate for “feeding off the system.”

    • McCain may be the last principled GOP congress critter we have. Not that I always agree with his principles, but at least he has some – unlike the current crop of dastards.

      Standing up when your country calls is a good thing, but what our country did in ‘Nam was unconscionable. A lot of young, impressionable, kids were sent off to kill people who never did them any harm. They were fed much the same sort of lies told to the kids who went off to Afghanistan.

      One can support the troops without supporting the war.

      • One can’t support the evil doer’s doing of evil without supporting the evil inextricably bound with it.

        Can you imagine supporting Nazi troops during the mass murders of Hitler’s demonized minorities?

        Can you imagine supporting slave hunting militia members without supporting slavery?

        The troops in Vietnam did not even “support the troops”. Which troops would you support, the fraggers, the fragged, or both?

        In the latter case, what can “support the troops” even mean?

      • @glenn

        While I understand your argument, I must respectfully disagree.

        Can you imagine some poor farmboy, raised in Teh Babble Belt, who honestly thinks that the Domino Theory is real? His neighbors, his parents, his clergy all encourage him to believe it so he does. Hell, most of them believe it as well. He rushes off to ‘nam only to find he’s been lied to.

        He comes home to find that he is now the bad guy, not because of his own actions, but because of the decisions made by his higher-ups.

        There’s a reason we induct 18 year olds. They’re big enough to carry a gun, but too inexperienced to know when they’re being lied to. If you blame the farmboy, then you’re blaming the victim.

        Feel free to heap scorn and derision on the likes of Lt. Calley or Lynndie England, they deserve it – but don’t tar the farmboy with the same brush.

      • @CH

        OK, how about modification to “Support the ignorant troops who know not what they do” instead of a complete unconditional absolution?

        Then how do you reach the troops who are owned by the “truth of the mob” from killing innocents, and after enlightenment, prevent the many of whom who will kill themselves when they recognize what they have done in their ignorance?

        What about those who find solace only in unenlightened denial, and who inflict their ignorance on future generations, only to repeat the cycle of horrors?

        The slogan leaves too much unrecognized, so I always hated it.

      • @Glenn – I can live with something like that.

        I hate the other side of that slogan: Chickenhawks who use “support the troops” to mean “support the war.” I wish to make a clear distinction.

        As for how we stop the cycle: educate the little guys and replace the big guys. Quit putting innocents in the line of fire. Give everyone a puppy.

        My brother went to nam, I didn’t. He was in denial the rest of his life, insisting that he had been fighting for our freedom. Maybe it was rationalization, it’s hard to admit that you were tricked into doing evil.

      • @ AT

        “If there is a hell, McCain is on his way”

        Wait. I’m confused. Jesus loves killing people. They were just gooks anyway – it’s not like he was killing white people. Besides, it’s our manifest destiny to rule over all the lesser races. We can march in and take whatever we want so long as some white person makes money off of it. McCain is quite obviously destined to sit at the Right Hand of God.

        It says so right there in the bible. Somewhere.

    • @derlehrer

      Hey, buddy

      The assistant principal wants me to tell you that whenever she gets a report on a student from a teacher she rips it up and says she never got it.

      And she makes $145k a year

  3. “Update: Three hours after the publication of this story, Schneiderman resigned from his position. “While these allegations are unrelated to my professional conduct or the operations of the office, they will effectively prevent me from leading the office’s work at this critical time,” he said in a statement. “I therefore resign my office, effective at the close of business on May 8, 2018.””

    Racist woman beating perv still gets no toon.
    Hell he resigned after ONLY three hours.
    What kind of batshit freaky shit is he hiding?
    Like Weiner’s laptop. Hell he seduced CHILDREN.
    Yet gets a walk in the tennis and lemonade jail instead if ass rape prison.
    I’m seeing a very typical pattern of hypocrisy in the latest toons.
    The Sputnick Spike Lee one as well.
    Naturally Spike needed something to boost his fading career.
    Where was the Kanye pro- Trump toon?
    Goodness gracious Uncle Kanye caused this

    According to the results of a Reuters weekly tracking poll released this week, support for the president among black men doubled from 11 percent, for the week ending April 22, to 22 percent, for the week ending April 29. The approval numbers are the highest Trump has enjoyed in the survey among black men all year.

    The timing is noteworthy since the rapper began to go public with his pro-Trump views on April 21, first tweeting support for right-wing pundit Candace Own on April 21. Four days later, he proclaimed “love” for POTUS and his “dragon energy” — and posted a selfie in which he wore a MAGA hat.”

    • Me too.

      But I just can’t seem to remember reading them.

      They were probably lost somewhere in the flurry of tangential references that I found to be irrelevant distractions.

  4. You’re absolutely right. Because, as everyone knows, the North Vietnamese were peace-loving beatniks having picnics and ice cream socials before the big mean Americans started bombing them for totally no reason whatsoever.

    • FlemingBalzac
      “Americans started bombing them for totally no reason whatsoever.”

      It was because the French once again got their asses kicked.
      I think it was Eisenhower who started sending in the US “advisors” to help the French not lose.

      But what pisses me off is the fiction. Immediately after the war we saw all these films about damaged vets. You didn’t get that with Korea, and very few people know about Audie Murphy and his PTSD story.
      Rambo started off as one of those stories. Dude was a drifter abandoned by his country and harassed by local police.
      Then it devolved into the military badassed hogwash we have now.
      I’m not seeing any Afghan/Iraq war films even close to those done after Nam. Those guys really fell through the cracks.

      • The French were involved for the same reason – the persistent low-level aggression and terrorism of South Vietnam by North Vietnam. And it’s not nearly as simple as that, even, but the NVA and VC weren’t just passive victims of imperialism. Or, maybe they were if you account for Soviet and Chinese support of the North Vietnamese regime as such.

        I am not defending the hopelessly corrupt South Vietnamese government or the hopelessly incompetent ARVN forces with any of this. I am stating that the notion that the North were just passive victims is just as laughable now as it was then.

      • FlemingBalzac

        Everyone fights back.
        Well, I was on Reddit and someone started a topic “if a murderer was in your house where would you hide”,
        Not how would you attack, how would you defend yourself, WHERE WOULD YOU HIDE!
        I wanted to use one of those medical eye openers and force them to watch hundreds of hours of Home Alone.
        When did people become such pussies?
        I listed a handful of objects in the room to be used as weapons. Kind of left them stunned.
        Really, doesn’t everyone have a Karambit and Yawara by their bed?

      • EvilWizardGlick: If you want to disagree with the geopolitics of the situation, say the Domino Theory is crap or get into the nuts and bolts of the Sino-Soviet split and the consequences regarding outside assistance for the North, fine. But this starts with Uncle Ho and the North being the aggressors.

    • @ Flaming ball sack

      I remember thinking this same way when I was a child immersed in the indoctrination of school, the media, and the WWII vets who seemed so wise.

      Unfortunately some children come late to doubting Santa Clause, and some just give Santa Claus a new name and continue their fidelity to the same ideas.

      • First off, let me bow to your sublime comic genius. No one has ever made fun of my name like that, and I totally didn’t see it coming. Your talents are wasted on a comment board.

        I’m not sure what indoctrination you’re referring to. The pre-war atrocities of the NVA and VC against civilians both North and South are thoroughly documented. As are the networks of operatives attempting to undermine the government in the south (not that they really needed to work hard at that, but still…). And it was well known by people that mattered that any meaningful differences between communist regimes and simple totalitarianism were long gone. The North Vietnamese were not nice people. Deal with it.

        About the only thing that was genuine bullshit was the causus belli of the Gulf of Tonkin incident, so I’ll give you some points for that.

    • I had two cousins who died of Cancer.
      Where is the toon on the series of exploding Teslas and Musk continually conning governments out of subsidies?

      “Any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.”

      ― John Donne, Meditation XVII – Meditation 17

      • @Evilwizardglick

        I love the Meditations; Death Be Not Proud is My Favorite

        Best wishes with your battle

      • American Teacher

        One of my cousins was mentally challenged. Back then the family kept him out of sight and favored a younger son.
        After some blow up with the favorite they started giving him more attention.
        He worked in his dad’s factory and was part of his dad’s volunteer fire department.
        Rumor has it the trailer he lived in on his parents property had Black mold.
        It evolved into brain Cancer and supposedly his parents kept people away from him.
        I consider his suffering far worse than mine. Not really understanding what is happening to him. Not having fully involved parents.
        Mine were evil bastards as well but I have more immediate family who care.
        The other cousin lived life to the fullest and was a youth councilor. Dude was kind of a criminal derelict when younger.
        He was loved.

      • @EWG

        I am sorry about your cousin. That sounds like an awful struggle

        Families are toxic, yet there is no escaping them.

        One of my favorite plays ever is Long Day’s Journey into Night

      • American Teacher

        My family example is the O’Toole version of A lion in Winter.
        Bonus it’s a Christmas story.

  5. It is worth remembering all those he killed, all the American soldiers he sent to their deaths with his Zionist warmongering.

    • I’ll always remember McCain’s rendition of “Bomb bomb bomb bomb bomb Iran” sung to the tune of the Beach Boys’ Barbara Ann: “Ba ba ba ba Barbara Ann Ba ba ba ba Barbara Ann”.

      A happy death to a happy murderer who dies with a song on his lips.

      • Glenn
        As some warn victory, some downfall
        Private reasons great or small
        Can be seen in the eyes of those that call
        To make all that should be killed to crawl
        While others say don’t hate nothing at all
        Except hatred
        Disillusioned words like bullets bark
        As human gods aim for their mark
        Made everything from toy guns that spark
        To flesh-colored Christs that glow in the dark
        It’s easy to see without looking too far
        That not much is really sacred

  6. Agree with the lady on the right (although admittedly, Mr McCain was also good at blowing up or at least crashing US Navy apparatus, so his contributions were entirely negative)….


    • Patrick Bateman: Do you like Phil Collins? I’ve been a big Genesis fan ever since the release of their 1980 album, Duke. Before that, I really didn’t understand any of their work. Too artsy, too intellectual. It was on Duke where Phil Collins’ presence became more apparent. I think Invisible Touch was the group’s undisputed masterpiece. It’s an epic meditation on intangibility. At the same time, it deepens and enriches the meaning of the preceding three albums. Christy, take off your robe. Listen to the brilliant ensemble playing of Banks, Collins and Rutherford. You can practically hear every nuance of every instrument. Sabrina, remove your dress. In terms of lyrical craftsmanship, the sheer songwriting, this album hits a new peak of professionalism. Sabrina, why don’t you, uh, dance a little. Take the lyrics to Land of Confusion. In this song, Phil Collins addresses the problems of abusive political authority. In Too Deep is the most moving pop song of the 1980s, about monogamy and commitment. The song is extremely uplifting. Their lyrics are as positive and affirmative as anything I’ve heard in rock. Christy, get down on your knees so Sabrina can see your asshole. Phil Collins’ solo career seems to be more commercial and therefore more satisfying, in a narrower way. Especially songs like In the Air Tonight and Against All Odds. Sabrina, don’t just stare at it, eat it. But I also think Phil Collins works best within the confines of the group, than as a solo artist, and I stress the word artist. This is Sussudio, a great, great song, a personal favorite.

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