RIP John McCain (1936-2018)
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RIP John McCain (1936-2018)

By IndraStra Global News Team

On August 25, 2018, U.S. Senator John Sidney McCain III, the veteran Republican politician, war hero, and former presidential candidate died of brain cancer. He served as the United States Senator from Arizona from 1987 until his death.

In a statement released on August 25, his family said McCain had died at 4:28 p.m. in his home state. His wife, Cindy, and other members of his family were present. He died less than 48 hours after his family announced that he was discontinuing treatment for the brain cancer that was first diagnosed in 2017.

McCain will receive a full-dress funeral service at the Washington National Cathedral, his family said. According to news reports said both Obama and former President George W. Bush would speak at his funeral.

Vietnam War Legacy

McCain was the son and grandson of U.S. Navy admirals - John S. McCain Jr. and John S. McCain Sr. respectively who were like him Naval Academy graduates and both became four-star United States Navy admirals. The McCain family followed his father to various naval postings in the United States and the Pacific.

During Vietnam war, he endured almost six years of torture and captivity in a North Vietnam prison after when he was flying his 23rd bombing mission over North Vietnam in his A-4E Skyhawk which was shot down by a missile over Hanoi in 1967.

In mid-1968, his father John S. McCain Jr. was named commander of all U.S. forces in the Vietnam theater, and the North Vietnamese offered McCain early release because they wanted to appear merciful for propaganda purposes, and also to show other POWs that elite prisoners were willing to be treated preferentially.McCain refused repatriation unless every man taken in before him was also released.

McCain returned home 5 and 1/2 years later on crutches and never regained full mobility in his arms and leg.

Political Legacy

McCain's U.S. Senate career began in January 1987, after he defeated his Democratic opponent, former state legislator Richard Kimball, by 20 percentage points in the 1986 election. McCain succeeded longtime American conservative icon and Arizona fixture Barry Goldwater upon the latter's retirement as U.S. senator from Arizona.

Following an unsuccessful attempt in the 2000 Republican primaries, McCain secured the party's nomination for the 2008 presidential election. His choice of running mate, a little known Republican governor from Alaska named Sarah Palin, raised eyebrows within the party's mainstream. The pair would lose to former President Barack Obama in a landslide. Palin went on to break with McCain on many issues, and establish herself as a key figure on the party's hard-right.

The senator was also a dedicated supporter of Israel and was quick to back US President Donald Trump's decision to move the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.  However, McCain was particularly critical of Trump’s praise of Russian President Vladimir Putin and other leaders McCain called foreign "tyrants." After Trump met Putin in Helsinki in July, McCain castigated Trump, calling their joint news conference "one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory." Last year, McCain made a key vote in the Senate to reject Trump’s effort to overturn Obama’s signature health-care plan. That eventually angered Trump.

McCain, a longtime chairman of the Senate's Armed Services Committee, was considered an expert on defense and foreign policy issues. And with time, he had acquired a reputation as a "Maverick Republican" and maintained "hawkish posture" on various international issues with respect to U.S. involvement.