The Least Popular Senator in the Country, Arizona’s angry old man John McCain (“Fuck you! I know I’m popular. The media loves me!“), who never met a war that he did not like, is going insane over Ukraine.
Arizona’s angry old man has an opinion in The New York Times today subtitled “John McCain on Restoring America’s Credibility.” I’ll wait for you to clean up the coffee you just spit out.
John McCain was a principal patron of Ahmed Chalabi and the Iraqi National Congress exile group responsible for the falsified intelligence that the Bush-Cheney regime used to lie this country into an unnecessary and unlawful war with Iraq. There was no bigger cheerleader for the Iraq war than “Surge” McCain. if he had been elected president, American troops would still be dying every day in Iraq.
The man who did so much to destroy America’s credibility in the world with his Neocon wet dream of a Pax Americana empire in Iraq is in no position to preach to others how to “restore America’s credibility” (it would start by holding those responsible for the Iraq war, like John McCain, accountable for their crimes, and banishing them from the media — and Congress).
But I digress. Arizona’s Neocon war monger, who has never been right about any foreign policy matter, says to forget diplomacy and to focus on aggressive saber rattling (something he excels at) in Obama Has Made America Look Weak:
Should Russia’s invasion and looming annexation of Crimea be blamed on President Barack Obama? Of course not, just as it should not be blamed on NATO expansion, the Iraq war or Western interventions to stop mass atrocities in the Balkans and Libya. The blame lies squarely with Vladimir V. Putin, an unreconstructed Russian imperialist and K.G.B. apparatchik.
But in a broader sense, Crimea has exposed the disturbing lack of realism that has characterized our foreign policy under President Obama. It is this worldview, or lack of one, that must change.
For five years, Americans have been told that “the tide of war is receding,” that we can pull back from the world at little cost to our interests and values. This has fed a perception that the United States is weak, and to people like Mr. Putin, weakness is provocative.
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Mr. Putin also saw a lack of resolve in President Obama’s actions beyond Europe. In Afghanistan and Iraq, military decisions have appeared driven more by a desire to withdraw than to succeed. Defense budgets have been slashed based on hope, not strategy. Iran and China have bullied America’s allies at no discernible cost. Perhaps worst of all, Bashar al-Assad crossed President Obama’s “red line” by using chemical weapons in Syria, and nothing happened to him.
For Mr. Putin, vacillation invites aggression. His world is a brutish, cynical place, where power is worshiped, weakness is despised, and all rivalries are zero-sum. [The kind of brutish leader John McCain secretly admires.]
* * *
What is most troubling about Mr. Putin’s aggression in Crimea is that it reflects a growing disregard for America’s credibility in the world. That has emboldened other aggressive actors — from Chinese nationalists to Al Qaeda terrorists and Iranian theocrats.
Crimea must be the place where President Obama recognizes this reality and begins to restore the credibility of the United States as a world leader.
So what does “Surge” McCain suggest the president do? Exactly what President Obama is already doing — it just sounds more “credible” if “Surge” McCain says it and he can denigrate all others as weak and vacillating:
This will require two different kinds of responses.
The first, and most urgent, is crisis management. We need to work with our allies to shore up Ukraine, reassure shaken friends in Eastern Europe and the Baltic States, show Mr. Putin a strong, united front, and prevent the crisis from getting worse.
This does not mean military action against Russia. But it should mean sanctioning Russian officials, isolating Russia internationally, and increasing NATO’s military presence and exercises on its eastern frontier. It should mean boycotting the Group of 8 summit meeting in Sochi and convening the Group of 7 elsewhere.
Then “Surge” McCain drifts into provocation that well could draw the U.S. into a war with Russia:
It should also mean making every effort to support and resupply Ukrainian patriots, both soldiers and civilians, who are standing their ground in government facilities across Crimea. They refuse to accept the dismemberment of their country. So should we.
“Surge” McCain, who said during his 2008 campaign for president that “The Cold War is over, the Soviet empire is gone and neither one is missed,” now says the glorious days of the Cold War live on:
More broadly, we must rearm ourselves morally and intellectually to prevent the darkness of Mr. Putin’s world from befalling more of humanity. We may wish to believe, as President Obama has said, that we are not “in competition with Russia.” But Mr. Putin believes Russia is in competition with us, and pretending otherwise is an unrealistic basis for a great nation’s foreign policy.
Three American presidents have sought to cooperate with Mr. Putin where our interests converge. What should be clear now, and should have been clear the last time he tore apart a country, is that our interests do not converge much. He will always insist on being our rival.
In the very next paragraph, “Surge” McCain flatly contradicts himself:
The United States must look beyond Mr. Putin. His regime may appear imposing, but it is rotting inside. His Russia is not a great power on par with America. It is a gas station run by a corrupt, autocratic regime. And eventually, Russians will come for Mr. Putin in the same way and for the same reasons that Ukrainians came for Viktor F. Yanukovych.
“Surge” McCain concludes, as he always does, by claiming that he is the only clear-eyed realist who sees the world as it is, and laments that others do not:
America’s greatest strength has always been its hopeful vision of human progress. But hopes do not advance themselves, and the darkness that threatens them will not be checked by an America in denial about the world as it is. It requires realism, strength and leadership. If Crimea does not awaken us to this fact, I am afraid to think what will.
Arizona’s angry old man is also pissed at his fellow Republicans in Congress. The Washington Post reports, McCain berates colleagues:
A proposed U.S. aid package for Ukraine’s fledgling pro-Western government stalled Thursday amid festering Republican Party feuds over foreign policy.
Tensions erupted on the Senate floor late in the day after the chamber did not advance the measure, with Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) berating the dozen or so of his Republican colleagues who, for various reasons, objected to the legislation.
“You can call yourself Republicans. That’s fine, because that’s your voter registration. Don’t call yourself Reagan Republicans,” McCain said on the Senate floor. “Ronald Reagan would never — would never let this kind of aggression go unresponded to by the American people.”
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After the emotional floor speech, McCain and seven other senators flew to Ukraine to meet with the country’s political leaders. The group includes Barrasso, whose objections late Thursday prompted McCain’s lecture.
Oh God, no. “Surge” is on the ground in Ukraine? He’ll start a war all by himself! What was the State Department thinking? Suspend his passport.
So what is holding up the aid package to Ukraine? Republicans are holding up Ukrainian aid in hopes of getting the Obama administration to end plans for a proposed regulation that would dramatically change how 501 (c) nonprofit groups engage in political activity. You read that right.
In doing so, [Senate majority leader] Harry Reid said, Republicans were more interested in helping their campaign donors, including the billionaire industrialist brothers Charles and David Koch, who are bankrolling conservative political groups helping GOP congressional candidates.
“This is hard for me to comprehend, how with a clear conscience they can say, ‘Ukrainians, we probably can’t help you because we’re trying to protect the Koch brothers,’ ” Reid told reporters. “And not only that, they’re saying to the American people that protecting the Koch brothers is more important than protecting our country.”
Democrats want to include a provision for the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which will play a role in the aid to Ukraine, and which is supported by key Republicans:
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), [John McCain’s puppet boy], said he backs the IMF changes because the institution “can provide stability at a time we need it. From the long view, the IMF is a strategic tool for United States foreign policy. We would be shortsighted to not embrace this reform.”
Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), the ranking Republican on the Foreign Relations Committee, also supports including the IMF reforms as part of a new aid deal.
“We’ve got the votes” in the full Senate to pass the aid package, Corker told reporters.