McCain: The Answer to Bush's Prayers
In his acceptance/victory speech, last night, John McCain made clear his foreign policy would be based on a world view that assumes a global war with radical Islam is the great calling of our time. He essentially endorsed George Bush's good versus evil mentality and the Administration's imperial notions of America's role in the world.
He did not mention, however, that Secretary of State Rice was in the Middle East and Admiral Mullen was in Pakistan, both trying to obscure the embarrassing fact that every single application of the Bush Administration's foreign policy against Islam has collapsed in total chaos, leaving America's strategic interests in shambles.
McCain tried both to evade responsibility for the strategic blunder of invading Iraq -- he simply asserted there is no value in "relitigating" past decisions -- and in the very next sentence to take credit for deposing Saddam Hussein.
America is at war in two countries, and involved in a long and difficult fight with violent extremists who despise us, our values and modernity itself. It is of little use to Americans for their candidates to avoid the many complex challenges of these struggles by re-litigating decisions of the past. I will defend the decision to destroy Saddam Hussein's regime as I criticized the failed tactics that were employed for too long to establish the conditions that will allow us to leave that country with our country's interests secure and our honor intact.It is a neat trick to claim credit for deposing an unpopular dictator while denying all responsibility for opening the Pandora's Box of catastrophic consequences that flowed from removing a non-sectarian regime and replacing it with the murderous clerics and chaos that filled the governance vacuum we created.
McCain was defiant on Iraq, laying out a set of preconditions for withdrawing so impossible that even George Bush has been reluctance to make them explicit.
But Americans know that the next President doesn't get to re-make that decision. We are in Iraq and our most vital security interests are clearly involved there. The next President must explain how he or she intends to bring that war to the swiftest possible conclusion without exacerbating a sectarian conflict that could quickly descend into genocide; destabilizing the entire Middle East; enabling our adversaries in the region to extend their influence and undermine our security there; and emboldening terrorists to attack us elsewhere with weapons we dare not allow them to possess.