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Letter: Reconsider praise of Sen. McCain

Sen. John McCain has died, and the tributes have come pouring in from the entire political and media landscape.

So laudatory have these tributes been that one could easily assume McCain had been responsible for developing a cure for a major disease or lifting millions of people out of poverty.

To the contrary, McCain spent his entire life as a man of the State who sought to expand and grow the power of what has sadly become the U.S. empire.

Rather than join in the slavish devotion to this man that is flowing from all corners of "acceptable" society, we need to look at his actions and legacy with a more critical eye.

McCain was shot down over Vietnam on his way to bomb a light bulb factory full of civilians. He was imprisoned there for several years. He then used his captivity as both a springboard into political office and a shield from any criticism.

Aside from one episode early in his career where he argued against U.S. involvement in Lebanon, McCain spent his entire time in power arguing for, voting for and covertly involving the U.S. military all over the globe.

Every single conflict that the U.S. has been a party to since the mid-80's he supported. The list of countries that McCain advocated bombing is lengthy and, to the ordinary American, puzzling. To achieve those desired ends, he was willing to make allegiances with some of the most ruthless and despicable creatures imaginable.

For example, he supported Nazis in Ukraine, Al-Qaeda in Libya, ISIS in Syria, and Saddam Hussein in a war against Iran, and then turned around and sought Hussein's ouster through war, twice. Vietnam, Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Ukraine, Sudan, Nigeria, Mali, North Korea, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Iran, and even nuclear power Russia were all countries McCain advocated attacking.

One would think that a man who had seen the horrors of war up close would have spent the rest of his life promoting peace. Instead, McCain's legacy abroad is one of destruction, mayhem and death.

His legacy on the domestic front is one of expanding federal power by helping craft and pass the ironically named Patriot Act and creating the largest spying apparatus ever created in human history to be used by our government on the people.

The political and media class know all of this about McCain and yet still honor him as one of the greatest Americans. That should tell you all you need to know about them.

To honor this man is to say that all those lives lost because of his actions were meaningless, a mere statistic. History will not be kind to McCain's legacy and neither should we.

Instead, we should use the moment of his passing to think long and hard about our actions abroad and return to our founding vision of only a defender of our own liberty and guarantor for no one else.

Lastly, we need to be vigilant and keep a man like McCain from ever having the power again to bring so much sorrow to the world in our name.

Carlson lives in Fargo

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