Since the “John McCain is the greatest hero of all time” news cycle is never going to end, let’s just highlight a couple of the most ridiculous examples. Jen Rubin may be a NeverTrumper, but it’s important to remember that these people are themselves comically evil and want horrific policies, just with a different figurehead. According to Rubin,
With the possible exception of the U.S. military (including veterans and families), no group was more indebted to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) than the human rights community. Whether it was Russia, Ukraine, Egypt, Cuba, China or anywhere else on the planet, McCain understood that America must be the friend, protector and advocate of oppressed people.
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Oh God, these blow-em-up conservatives just cannot get over their belief that an America kicking ass is an America doing the right thing for the world. And note that the picture above, which is the one with the Rubin column, is McCain next to Oleh Tyahnybok. Who is this human rights hero sharing the stage with St. John of Arizona?
On 20 July 2004 Tyahnybok was expelled from the Our Ukraine parliamentary faction after he made a speech in the Carpathian Mountains at the gravesite of a commander of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army. In the speech, which was aired on television in the summer of 2004, he made comments such as,
[You are the ones] that the Moscow-Jewish mafia ruling Ukraine fears most
They were not afraid and we should not be afraid. They took their automatic guns on their necks and went into the woods, and fought against the Muscovites, Germans, Jews and other scum who wanted to take away our Ukrainian state.
In his defence Tyahnybok said he had not offended Russians in calling them an occupying force, as this was based on historical fact. He also denied that he was anti-Semitic, saying he was rather pro-Ukrainian. The prosecutor’s office initially filed criminal charges for inciting ethnic hatred, but later withdrew for lack of evidence. Since that time Tyahnybok has won nine court cases in that regard. By the decisions of courts it was recognized that the criminal case was raised unlawfully, and the actions of TV-channel “Inter” that showed the footage of Tyanybok’s speech as well as the Head of the Derzhkomnatsmihratsia H. Moskal were recognized as ones that insult the honor and dignity of Oleh Tyahnybok and caused him moral damage. The actions around that issue led to creation of the “Program in defense of Ukrainians”. Tyahnybok stated in 2012 “this speech is relevant even today” and “All I said then, I can also repeat now”.
Since February 2004 Tyahnybok has headed the All-Ukrainian Union “Freedom”.
In April 2005, Tyahnybok co-signed an open letter to President Yushchenko calling for a parliamentary investigation into the “criminal activities of organized Jewry in Ukraine.”
Well, I can see now how St. John only associated himself with the best people on human rights!
And then there’s Eli Lake with one actually titled “John McCain, America’s Revolutionary Conscience.” Huh.
Sometimes this aspect of McCain’s legacy is expressed in universalist language: He was a defender of human rights. Sometimes it is presented in a less flattering way: He simply loved war.
McCain believed in human rights and knew force was sometimes necessary to defend them. But his beliefs were grounded in a more straightforward impulse: patriotism. McCain’s support for Syrians, Iraqis, Bosnians, Kosovars, Ukrainians, Georgians, Burmese and free Russians was very American. McCain was driven by a reverence for the American republic’s revolutionary obligation as expressed in the Declaration of Independence.
It’s a tradition that goes back to Thomas Jefferson’s campaign to get President John Adams to support the French Revolution. It’s the spirit that drove abolitionists to send arms to Kansans fighting slavery before the Civil War. It is what animated both FDR’s war against fascism and Ronald Reagan’s campaign against communism.
McCain took up this mantle in the late 1990s, following the dissolution of the Soviet Union. He broke with many in his party to support military interventions in the Balkans to halt ethnic cleansing there. In a 1999 speech outlining this new post-Cold War internationalism, McCain rejected the “false dichotomy between policies that are intended to protect our security interests and policies intended to promote our political values.”
If it was George Washington and Thomas Jefferson’s deep desire to go to war at all times and bomb all the brown countries when necessary, I guess that maybe McCain is their heir? Or maybe DC journalists are utter sycophants to power, especially power that likes to make them feel tough because it means we are bombing and killing people.