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Mad Mac

As much I have had to say about his likely opponent in recent weeks, I don’t want to give the impression that I disagree with any of the criticism that Anatol Lieven, who is also an occasional contributor to TAC, has offered about John McCain in his FT article [1].  For at least nine years I have been keenly aware of just how belligerent and reckless John McCain was, ever since he advocated introducing ground forces into Yugoslavia in 1999 (the bombing of which began nine years ago yesterday), and I have been writing against him in one venue or another since that time.  His meddling in the Caucasus, his embarrassing and dangerous shilling for Shevardnadze and now Saakashvili and his generally throwback ideas about U.S.-Russia relations are all truly horrifying.  Since the start of this blog, I have [2] warned [3] against [4] McCain’s [5] Russophobia [6] and [7] his [8] militarism [9], to say nothing of the historical ignorance [10] that he uses to defend his positions.  Obviously, his belligerence towards Iran is extremely troubling, and his insistence on remaining in Iraq indefinitely as well-known as it is awful.  A McCain Presidency would likely be a disaster for our country that is at least on par with what the current administration has done.

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8 Comments To "Mad Mac"

#1 Comment By Grumpy Old Man On March 25, 2008 @ 2:37 pm

Thou almost presuadest me to support Obama, for the reasons cited by Professor Bacevich, and because notwithstanding some pronouncements of his to the contrary, he might be less belligerent than either McCain or Hillary.

The “almost” is important here. The divided government that McCain would bring is a plus, and who knows where the Messianism of the Obamaites might lead?

#2 Comment By TGGP On March 25, 2008 @ 4:18 pm

I didn’t feel like registering at FT, so I read it [11].

#3 Comment By expertlaw On March 25, 2008 @ 4:19 pm

To quote McCain on Yugoslavia,

In the most obscene chapter in recent American history is the conduct of the Kosovo conflict when the president of the United States refused to prepare for ground operations, refused to have air power used effectively because he wanted them flying — he had them flying at 15,000 feet where they killed innocent civilians because they were dropping bombs from such — in high altitude.

The Journal of the Air Force Association responds here – [12]

Within the context of those remarks, McCain’s insistence upon ground forces suggests that he was thinking of a Vietnam-era line of B52s dropping “dumb” munitions, and did not discuss his views with Air Force personnel before making his statements. Despite his supposed military and foreign-policy expertise, his comments suggest a lack of familiarity even with the branch of the armed forces in which he served.

#4 Comment By LMaggitti On March 25, 2008 @ 4:53 pm

The truly frightening thing about McCain is the combination of vast ignorance and extreme hawkishness. There was a time when I consoled myself that the latter problem might by marginally tempered by at least some degree of foreign policy knowledge, but it has become increasing obvious that he actually combines the substantive cluelessness of Bush with the extreme love for war of Cheney. It is impossible, I think, to understate just how dangerous he would be.

#5 Comment By Grumpy Old Man On March 25, 2008 @ 4:59 pm

He’s the last-in-his-class Gen. Kong. I can imagine him riding a bomb down the chute, singing “Bomb, bomb Iran!”


#6 Comment By adam On March 26, 2008 @ 7:33 am

“The divided government that McCain would bring is a plus, and who knows where the Messianism of the Obamaites might lead? ”

Certainly an important factor to consider. In the current political environment, with all presidential contenders being interventionists of one stripe or another, a deadlocked Washington may be the best we can hope for.

#7 Comment By daninardmore On March 26, 2008 @ 11:31 am

A minor correction to expertlaw: McCain was a pilot in the Navy, not the Air Force.

#8 Comment By Grumpy Old Man On March 26, 2008 @ 11:34 am

Another correction. Kong, played by Slim Pickens, was a major, not a general.