Can someone clarify McCain’s heroism? |

Can someone clarify McCain’s heroism?

Perhaps someone out there can clarify what I hear, ad nauseum, about Mr. McCain’s heroism in Vietnam.

Much is touted lately about “heroism.” Unfortunately, the touting has become tiresome, exploited for simple minded political oratory. I am left with only superficial knowledge of Mr. McCain’s oft-proclaimed heroism, which is why I ask for help here. Mr. McCain was a military aviator shot down and grievously wounded and imprisoned. But here jingoism clouds my view.

As I understand these matters, when Mr. McCain unfortunately became a prisoner of war, he was obliged by the U.S. Military Code of Conduct to “continue to resist and to make every effort to escape and to aid others to escape.”

Did Mr. McCain, in fact, apply this code to his own situation? From what I have sifted out of the bits and pieces of TV gossip, he did not. I have heard no mention of his attempting escape. In addition, he refused parole. Instead of assisting fellow prisoners to escape, he chose to remain with them for a protracted length of time. There is no denying that he had grit, enough to withstand inhumane treatment from the enemy, but that is what he chose to do, rather than follow the established military code.

I am skeptical. From my own observations of military activity, I believe that heroism is a product of circumstances, not volition. Certainly it is not a matter for boasting, or meaning qualification for the presidency of our country.

Charles Jaschob

Penn Valley

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