Thursday, September 19, 2013

McCain is more dangerous than Putin

In response to Putin's critical though unemotional NYT op-ed in which he questioned US exceptionalism, Senator McCain struck back hard with a shrill tirade in Pravda. He must have just seen You Got Served.

Putin vs. McCain: In practice, who has been the more dangerous politician?
 
McCain has a prominent and visible role in shaping the foreign policy of the largest military in world history. And unlike Russia (and most other countries run by putative supervillains), the US often does make good on its rhetoric (see most post-WWII US foreign policy), so McCain's words frequently become reality. This is less true of Putin. Because the US is an empire and has a military presence in something like 140 countries (to do any less would be isolationist), McCain has far more power than Putin to implement his foreign policy gimmicks. When Russia even talks of military action, the whole world throws a fuss. The US faces modest criticism (sometimes) when it begins military action.

McCain vociferously backed the invasion of Iraq (we'll stay "maybe 100" years!), the escalation in Afghanistan, the intervention in Libya, and strikes on Syria. As a Presidential candidate, he sang "Bomb Iran" at a campaign stop. Any time Putin or some other authoritarian makes an offhand remark about aggression, the international press talks about it like the troops are already landing in whatever country he was referring to. Well, if we're going to have such a standard, how about the Republican candidate for President promoting a bombing campaign, via karaoke, against a country that hadn't attacked the US? Imagine the reaction if Chavez or Putin had done something remotely similar.

McCain never met a hopeless conflict he didn't want to get involved in. Dr. Strangelove was less of a hawk. So ask yourself: who has contributed to more worldwide aggression, Putin or McCain? Oh, and he also backs NSA spying, in case any of my fellow Americans were feeling left out of McCain's long waltz of wrath.

Of course Putin is a terrible guy. He is a Head of State. You don't get that job without getting a lot of dirt under your nails (usually cemetery dirt). But ask yourself who has put more of his rhetoric into practice, leading to real deaths rather than just threats of death? I say John McCain.


Hopefully Putin won't kill me for my tweets: https://twitter.com/greatMikePayne

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