Post by fasgnadh
Michael Duffy interviews Matt Welch, author of the book
"McCain: The Myth of a Maverick". on ABC Counterpoint
Matt Welch: "I went into John McCain as a fan. ....Like most
journalists, I love politicians who talk smack about their own party,
especially if that party is the Republican Party, so I found him sort of
charming. I took his two books and I was just alarmed at the hostility
to the individual that his world view had. I didn't really realise until
reading this what an expansive foreign policy idea that he had, how
rooted it was in the Teddy Roosevelt style, unipower, unipolar, the US
will keep the world safe for democracy. So these two things, just a
close reading of his books, and the gap between the information
contained therein and the way that he was portrayed glowingly in the
media for ever, until very recently, was enough to make me think, hey, I
can add some value about what he thinks about the proper role of
government, which is basically limitless.
Michael Duffy: So on the one hand he's being portrayed as a maverick
who's got serious doubts about the Republican Party but in other areas,
particularly the military, he is, if anything, to the right or certainly
more aggressive than George W Bush.
� � � B^D �McCain is to the RIGHT OF GENGHIS KHAN!
Matt Welch: Oh it's not even close. I mean, it's a strange thing to
remind people because they don't really realise it but in 1999 and 2000
when it was basically him against Bush, the Republican nomination,
McCain was the one who ran as a neo-conservative. He was hanging out
with the guys from the Project for the New American Century, he
literarily was trading staff, emails, books and whatever with The Weekly
Standard magazine which is the leading neoconservative journal here.
They, in many ways, supply the ideology of his campaign.
His campaign managers have described it as something like an a-ha moment
when the chief editor of The Weekly Standard wrote this essay in 1997
for The Wall Street Journal about national greatness, conservatism,
which was an explicit repudiation of a kind of Barry Goldwater, Ronald
Reagan limited government idea, which McCain thought was a dogma. And as
part of this, in 1999, back when everyone was loving him and calling him
a maverick and all this kind of stuff, he unveiled a doctrine which he
called Rogue State Rollback. He named a half a dozen countries�Burma,
North Korea, Iran, Iraq�where US policy should be to topple dictators,
to support insurgents wherever they may be, and if the insurgents get
cracked down upon by the authoritarian in charge then back them up with
the full use of US force. Any time you even bluff or use any kind of
threatening language, you better be ready to back it up, not just with
force but with ground troops.
Michael Duffy: Where would a president McCain get the people to do this?
What are his views on military service?
Matt Welch: He thinks that we should increase the size of the military
by 150,000 troops. He told me in a direct question that America should
be spending at least half of the world's total money on defence, he
thinks that's proper and normal. He thinks that defence spending should
be fixed at at least 4% of gross domestic product. Right now it's
probably more like 2.7% or 3%, largely because GDP keeps growing because
in the private sector things actually grow in a way that they don't in
the government sector. And he wants to launch a new OSS, the Office of
Strategic Service, from WWII which was the precursor to the CIA which,
in case no one has noticed, still exists. He wants to also put civilians
on much more of a war footing and get involved in the effort. He
basically wants to use government as an engine to have us all put our
shoulder to the wheel for this great collective project of American
Michael Duffy: The person you've just been describing does sound a bit
like a maverick, although maybe not in the way he would like it.
�>> Peter Lavelle
�>> Everyone �miscalculated� when it came to the origins of Saakashvili�s
�>> war. Rice went on to state that Tbilisi was provoked by Russia to
�>> start the war. This is utter nonsense and an insult to those who
�>> needlessly died. Let�s give it a thought: Russia tricked the Georgians
�>> into killing civilians and Russian peacekeepers. Russia tricked
�>> Tbilisi into shelling women and children as they slept. How did Russia
�>> stand to benefit from that? Rice did not mention a word on the
�>> militarization of the Saakashvili regime � paid for and trained by
�>> Washington. What was that beefed-up military for? Well we know the
�>> answer to the question now.
�> And the American political stage is set for uber-patriotic
�> belligerance, with McSame/Palin touting possible nuclear war
�> as a distraction from their failure in TexIraq, and destruction
�> of the US economy!
�> This is the danger of a rogue state, with WMD's (the only
�> nation to have used them, on civilian targets) in decline.
�> It is ripe for a demagogue, (perhaps without the toothbrush
�> moustache, perhaps she shaved it off), to tell the angry victims
�> of their Empires economic decline (like the 1930's Germans)
�> angry and frustrated by their military defeats (like the 1930's
�> Germans) who want someone to tell them, 'It's not your fault,
�> THEY [..insert target Ennanuel Goldstein character ..] are to blame!".
�>> Rice claims Russia violated international law and dismembered a
�>> sovereign state. But she contradicted herself. She admitted that
�>> Tbilisi started military operations first (though because of a
�>> �provocation�). International law became a dead letter when
�>> Saakashvili ordered the first shot.
�> The Georgians assert sovereignty over Sth Ossettia, by attacking
�> them, shelling and killing civilians, they have committed War Crimes
�> upon those they claim to be their own citizens.
�> Just like Saddam gassing the Kurds.
�> And the Republicans including Bush McSame and PMT Palin support
�> their military agression against their owm civilians
�> Just like they supported Saddam.
�> And the Sth Ossettians demand independence and freedom from
�> Just like the Kurds in Iraq.
�> The USSA used to at least PRETEND to uphold freedom and
�> self-determination.. �under Bush and the Republican war
�> criminals they have become known more for torture and the denial of
�> human rights.
�> The world wants what America needs, a return to decency in the White
�> �> �Rice is right on one point �
�>> Georgia�s sovereignty has been changed. However, it was Saakashvili�s
�>> regime with American support that created this new reality. Russia is
�>> not selfishly seeking security on its borders.
�> Well, it might be, but > Saakashvili gave them a legitimate pretext
�> to protect the rights of Sth Ossettians (AND protect it's security).
�> Not as dumb as invading Iraq and handing it to shiites and regional
�> control to the Iranians.. �but pretty fuckin stupid nontheless.
�>> Just as an aside, I would have liked to ask her the following
�>> question: Americans are deemed as occupiers in Iraq. Are Russians seen
�>> as occupiers in South Ossetia and Abkhazia? The answer is obvious!
�>> Russia troops are seen as liberators. Anyone who believes that we can
�>> go back to the status quo ante in Georgia is delusional. The good news
�>> is Tbilisi will never again threaten its former breakaway republics.
�> Good point.
�> Similarly, we should note that the Turks, tired of PKK terrorists
�> maing bombing attacks across the northern Iraq border have justified
�> their counter attacks using classic Bush rhetoric "Terrorists threaten
�> us, �Not in our imaginations like Bush's WMD fantasy, but IN REALITY..
�> The Iraq government, backed by rogue states (that must hurt) either
�> can't stop them or is willingly supporting their terrorism.. �by
�> Bush's doctrine the Turks have a right to invade and sieze control
�> of the Kurdis oil fields, occupying the region and installing a new
�> regime free of the current terrorist elements." �Perhaps they will hang
�> one Kurdish terrorist and claim a Victory for the Free World? �B^p
�> � What can Rice say in reply?
�>> Rice spoke with contempt when referring to Dmitry Medvedev�s claim
�>> that Russia has �privileged� interests in the region of the world
�>> where it is situated. This comes from an American Secretary of State
�>> who sees the entire world as Washington�s sphere of influence! I don�t
�>> even have words to describe this enormous double-standard.
�>> Again Rice went on talk about how wonderful, friendly, democratic and
�>> open, blah, blah, etc NATO is. She repeated the usual litanies about
�>> how it projects peace and security. Ask the Serbs what they think
�>> about this flowerily language. Ask ethnic Russians in Ukraine what
�>> they think about peace-loving NATO. The fact is Rice and NATO never
�>> think about anybody else�s security � least of all Russia�s. Never
�>> once did Rice mention how Russia understands its own security
�>> interests. Never once - to my mind � has the US ever sat down with
�>> Russia to cut a deal both can live with.
�>> Rice really annoyed me by her remarks that Russia bullies its
�>> neighbors - and the reference to using energy as a blackmail tool is
�>> simply ludicrous. The U.S. has spent millions of dollars to promote
�>> regime changes in the post-Soviet space. Is Russia really expected to
�>> stand on the sidelines and watch the U.S. overthrow regimes it doesn�t
�>> like in favor of those that promote its global geopolitical agenda
�>> (that is almost always directed against Russia�s influence in the post-
�>> Soviet space)? Any Russian leader who would allow this to happen would
�>> be charged with...
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