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OPINION:

The Fighter Pilot and the Princess in America's Presidential Primaries

McCain simply loves death and killing, just as it can be argued Princess Diana regularly flirted with death.

by John Chuckman

McCain promised voters in South Carolina that he'd hunt down Osama bin Laden, even if it took him "to the gates of hell." And he swore he knows just how to do the job. Good Lord, if McCain knows, why has he kept it secret all these years?
The fighter pilot of this story is, of course, John McCain, but the princess is not Hillary Clinton as some readers might have guessed. The princess in the story is Britain’s late Princess Diana.

What possible connection is there between the late Princess Diana and John McCain? Well, as it proves, there are connections of serious importance to American voters and citizens of the world.

There is today an unpleasant, but necessary, excruciatingly-detailed inquiry into Diana’s death underway in Britain. It is unpleasant because no one should have every private thought and act exposed this way, but it is necessary because the Princess’s own actions and words left millions believing dark, paranoid fantasies around her death. Her remarks and notes in private about believing she would be assassinated, her batteries of obsessive telephone calls, her reported private fits of moodiness and hysteria, her going public with private marital problems—these and other events point to a person with mental instability. Detailed revelations of the inquiry come as no surprise because many sensed something more than her wonderful public charm and grace, and her family does have other such cases in its history.

McCain has all the signs of a similar personality disorder. He can be charming in public, and he has a reputation as an interesting maverick. He is sometimes bluntly truthful, as when he talked about the Religious Right in his 2000 campaign for the Republican nomination.

But McCain has the same highly inconsistent pattern as Diana in public and private behavior. In private, he is famous for a colossally ugly temper. McCain has made some absurd claims over the years, reminding me very much of Princess Diana's whispers and notes about people in high places wanting to assassinate her, all the while smiling beguilingly in public.

Recently, McCain told us he would still have invaded Iraq, even without the excuse of "weapons of mass destruction." He has learned nothing from all that pointless death and misery.

McCain promised voters in South Carolina that he'd hunt down Osama bin Laden, even if it took him "to the gates of hell." And he swore he knows just how to do the job. Good Lord, if McCain knows, why has he kept it secret all these years?

“The gates of hell"? McCain in 2000 made fun of hellfire Christian fundamentalists’ role in politics, now he’s feeding them their own lines.

If Osama were still miraculously alive following all the bombing where he was hiding, would hunting him down now be a high priority to a rational person? Two unfinished wars are underway. McCain’s promise is just one for increased destruction and horror abroad.

Noisy patriotism is a valued characteristic only to the brain-washed, feeble-minded, and aggressors.
Recently, he told a crowd in South Carolina that the state "was, hands down, the most patriotic in the nation." First, what does his utterance mean? Nothing—it is empty rhetoric of the worst kind. Two, keeping Dr. Johnson's dictum on patriots in mind, who cares who is most patriotic? That way is the certainty of more war. Noisy patriotism is a valued characteristic only to the brain-washed, feeble-minded, and aggressors. Three, regardless of the meaning you attribute to McCain’s statement, if you account for the historical facts, quite the opposite is the truth. South Carolina was the state that started secession from the Union at the start of the Civil War. South Carolina was also "hot to trot" back in John Adams' day under the secret promptings of anti-federal opposition leader Jefferson. Again, in Andrew Jackson’s day, South Carolina pitched the national government into a crisis over a state’s right to nullify federal law. Jackson threatened troops to put an end to it.

Recently, too, McCain told us he would still have invaded Iraq, even without the excuse of "weapons of mass destruction." He previously had one of his tasteless, juvenile joking sessions before reporters about bombing Iran, complete with vicious, laughing antics. The man has learned nothing from all the death and misery ofAfghanistan, Iraq, and Vietnam.

McCain simply loves death and killing, just as it can be argued Princess Diana regularly flirted with death. She had deliberately turned down requests to increase the level of protection about her. She needlessly drove off on wild adventures like the ride in Paris that killed her.

After seven years of the low-grade psychopath Bush, and the destruction on every front he leaves as his legacy, the last thing humanity needs is the smiling death's head of John McCain as commander-in-chief.


John Chuckman, a former chief economist for a large Canadian oil company, is a member of no political party. His articles can be found on such sites as YellowTimes, CounterPunch, SmirkingChimp, and Democrats with Spine. He encourages reader comments to chuckman@yellowtimes.org.


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This story was published on January 21, 2008.