Tuesday, September 16, 2008

John McCain: imprisoned in wars past;
Too ready for future wars

"He will make Cheney look like Gandhi." So says a guy who is pretty scary himself -- right wing commentator Pat Buchanan. This video is a little slow developing, but stay with it. [5:02]

So much for the implications of McCain's "understanding" of terrorism. He can't or won't take in the reality of the world we all live in.

One of McCain's major foreign policy advisers is Robert Kagan. According to H.D.S. Greenway in the Boston Globe, here's how Kagan thinks the United States should conduct its foreign policy:

Today's so-called realists, Kagan says, are "supposed to be locked into some titanic struggle with neoconservatives . . . but rather than talk about power, they talk about the United Nations, world opinion, and international laws." Sissy stuff.

Greenway points out how backward looking this is:

Clearly China wants to be part of the world economic system and has little interest in threatening neighbors. True, China believes Taiwan should one day return to the fold, but is not bent on invading Taiwan and accepts the status quo as long as Taiwan does.

As for Russia, it cannot be excused for its lunge into Georgia, but it was the US-trained Georgian Army that upset the status quo in South Ossetia. Nations, like human beings, can feel threatened and lash out when attacked, but hostility is not an immutable trait.

It would do no harm to recognize that Russia has an interest in what happens in the countries along its southern flank as does the United States on this continent.

To view Russia and China as nothing more than villains striving to expand their power at the expense of the West is simply to fight the last war, the Cold War, over and over when the geopolitical terrain has changed.

At root, what ails McCain is that the war that screwed up his life and body was lost while he was captive in Vietnam. His suffering (not self-sacrifice, please; the Vietnamese did exactly what he would have done and shot back and he ended up a prisoner) took place in the context of national defeat, not national glory. The guy wants another chance at winning a shooting war. And he blames those pesky civilians who stood up for the Constitution against Richard Nixon for robbing his sacrifice of the kickass triumph he feels entitled to.

McCain went on, "I believe I might take this one step further. We had literally all Americans out by 1973, and we had a Vietnamese army that was pretty capable but they needed our air support … and Richard Nixon could not use air power because of Watergate,...

"I think it was winnable," he said.

The author of this Atlantic Magazine article concluded:

In one area, though, he has been more or less constant: his belief in the power of war to solve otherwise insoluble problems. ...

For McCain, the doctrine of preemption clearly falls outside the realm of mere politics, as does the need to "win," rather than "end," wars; the safety of America demands that they be fought, and honor demands that they be won.

The agony McCain suffered in a losing cause has left him unable to adjust to realities. Apparently he really believes the U.S. can "win" by destroying other countries despite bankrupting itself and without concern for "a decent respect to the opinions of mankind." He is a dangerous man.

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