POLITICAL observations & opinions

* McCain’s policies would hurt our efforts to deal with Russian aggression

Posted by Lew Weinstein on September 10, 2008

Fareed Zakaria, perhaps our most perceptive columnist on international matters, wrote in NEWSWEEK (9-8-08) about the Russian attack on Georgia. Zakaria believes it was a “major strategic blunder” by the Russians, in large part because of the firm response against Russia by its neighbors and the world community of nations.

Zakaria’s last paragraph is very relevant to our choices in the Presidential election …

  • “Imagine if we had kicked Russia out of the G8 and broken most ties with Moscow – as the Republican nominee, John McCain, and many neoconservatives have long wanted to do. Then, when the Russians attacked Georgia, we would have had only two options – appeasement or war.”

A President Obama will talk to friends and foes alike, because negotiation, from a position of strength, is the best way to influence an increasingly diverse world. He would rebuild our military, depleted by the horrendous Bush-McCain mistakes in Iraq. Sen. Obama has stated clearly that he is not opposed to war when it is necessary, but he does oppose stupid wars, as should we all.

A President McCain, the warrior, doesn’t understand, any more than George Bush and Dick Cheney, who he would emulate, that armed conflict is not the only or best choice in most circumstances. And, by continuing the U.S. presence in Iraq indefinitely, he would be coming from a position of weakness.

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