Some would say that John McCain lied about his war record so he could cynically use it to his own political advantage. SOME WOULD SAY:

In all the tales of wartime courage peppering John McCain’s presidential campaign trail, perhaps the most outstanding example of selfless heroism involves not the candidate but a humble Vietnamese peasant.

patpearle.jpgOn October 26, 1967, Mai Van On ran from the safety of a bomb shelter at the height of an air raid and swam out into the lake where Lieutenant Commander McCain was drowning, tangled in his parachute cord after ejecting when his Skyhawk bomber was hit by a missile.

In an extraordinary act of compassion at a time when Vietnamese citizens were being killed by US aerial bombardments, he pulled a barely conscious McCain to the lake surface and, with the help of a neighbour, dragged him towards the shore.

And when a furious mob at the water’s edge began to beat and stab the captured pilot, Mr On drove them back.

Nearly three decades later, a Vietnamese government commission confirmed he was indeed the rescuer and, in a 1996 meeting in Hanoi, McCain embraced and thanked Mr On and presented him with a Senate memento.

From that brief encounter to his death at the age of 88 two years ago, Mr On never heard from the senator again, and three years after their meeting, McCain published an autobiography that makes no mention of his apparent debt to Mr On.

It is a snub Mr On took to his death.

His widow, Bui Thi Lien, 71, said: “In his last years, my husband was very sad sometimes.

He would say, ‘Mr McCain has forgotten me.’

That’s how straight-shooting mavericks say ‘thank you for saving my life’, Late Mr. On.

mccainbush_bffs.jpgWhether or not McCain believed Mr On is unclear.

But his refusal to acknowledge his heroism is likely to fuel other, more damaging allegations that McCain exaggerated elements of his PoW ordeal in Hoa Lo prison.

Phung Van Chung, 70, who was a Communist Party official at the time, claims McCain was quickly singled out for softer treatment, adding: “I found out he was the son of an American admiral, so the top people wanted to keep him as a live witness so they could use him for negotiations.”

Barack Obama must denounce Biz Markie. He’s scary.

About these ads