Op-Ed for the Proud American Since 1988
Responding to Russia’s Crimean Vacation
By JEFF KOOPERSMITH
14 April, 2014
One can always count of Senator John McCain to unleash his hawkish simple-mindedness when it comes to any opportunity for conflict – especially war – and especially with the Russians.
McCain claims not to blame President Obama for Russia’s moves on Crimea in today’s New York Times, and slyly blames Vladimir Putin for NATO expansion, the Iraq War nor our intervention to stop the death tolls in the Balkans and Libya. He calls Putin an “unreconstructed Russian imperialist and KGB apparatchik.
Yet his op-ed today it titled “Obama has made America Look Weak”
This, like most everything McCain chirps makes no sense, nor is it true.
For some reason military and other threats from Washington toward Russia makes a far more sensible realism than does Obama who, McCain thinks is disturbing. In short, our President is living in a dream world and McCain says he must change.
When John McCain, who is personable in private, opens his mouth one would think he was on the front lines in Vietnam rather than hosted by Hanoi in a relatively comfortable prison suite while his comrades died or were maimed all around him. In fact, McCain took the best opportunity to flee from ‘Nam and leave our warriors there to be mutilated to the tune of 58,000 dead and countless wounded beyond description. McCain is a hero for flying to Vietnam inasmuch as his reputation and his predictable capture are rumored by those who were there to be a result of his own incompetence.
There are also thousands of Vietnam Vets who will never forgive him for making a relatively swift exit from those killing fields, although I think that hardline attitude is far-fetched. He put his life in danger, perhaps for the wrong reasons – but he did that.
McCain claims that Americans, since Obama was elected, “have been told” that the tide of war is receding. Well, it seems to me this is true – at least for our boys and girls brave enough to volunteer to fight for our Democracy in almost Godforsaken conditions. We are out of the Cheney bloodbath in Iraq and soon our kids will be home from criminal Afghanistan as the President realizes that nothing but corruption is being defended there. Barack Obama does not want to offer the bodies of our children to a drug-pushing cadre of lunatic criminals that lead the poor people of the region.
Everything anyone who was present and participant in the Obama “reset” with Russia would call McCain a liar to claim that a reduction of animosity between two nuclear super powers was a fine idea. Mr. Putin, despite his stubbornness is known to have respected Obama at that point in our late history – and it is men and women like McCain who constantly attempt to undermine the considerable and considerate moves for peaceful coexistence emanating from the White House.
No wonder Putin is angry. Goonies like McCain and other warmongers who pretend to love peace yet instead incessantly manufacture reasons to resurrect the cold war and maybe begin a hot one. This is ostensibly a sign of manhood and bravery, but in reality it is McCain who is weak, and weak-minded. It is McCain, who more than most policy makers in Congress, should realize that history and Putin’s own love for his Russia and its past are what’s pushing The Big P. to protect “my own children” in the Crimea where Russia maintains its fleet of warships and its only warm water port under an agreement with prior Crimean dictators now long gone.
So, the machinations going on now in this once-glorified possession of the Soviets have little to do with Mr. Obama’s manner of conducting foreign policy and far more to do with hundreds of years of relationships between Moscow and Kiev.
Added to this is Mr. Putin’s fear that Washington and Langley had more to do with the ousting of Putin’s puppet government in Ukraine than is possibly true. I have many Ukrainian friends and although they want their freedom and independence, not one has blamed the USA for the turmoil that preceded the latest move by Russia, and one that followed the Bush-Cheney “weakness” vis-a-vis Putin’s launch into Georgia which was more than successful for Russia.
Did McCain call President Bush a weakling as well?
Senator McCain also bloviates about Mr. Obama’s long ago quiet reassurance to Mr. Putin that he would have more flexibility after he was elected again, than before. Mr., Putin, who I have seen discussing the American agreement to share nuclear power in Europe with Russia did not think much weakness was involved in this, what McCain would call “placation” but what I would call – intellect.
You might recall that America was about to install missile bases in Poland and Czechoslovakia which only a moron like Dick Cheney would think was a respectable idea inasmuch as Russia was now flexing its own weakened but yet militarily strong muscles like never before.
Would McCain have installed those missile bases, ostensibly to be aimed at Iran? Who knows – but it makes good copy when you’re one of those who not only believe but tout the overstatement that Ronald Reagan broke that back of the Soviet Union simply by asking it to “take down the wall” dividing east and west Berlin – even as the Germans feared it would upset their thriving economy to do so.
McCain writes that Obama’s decision to withdraw from Iraq and Afghanistan rather than “succeed” smacks of adolescent babble. It appears that American voters made the correct decision to send McCain to the presidential political graveyard rather than consider his murderous ideas re American respect.
McCain is also quick to compare Putin to Hitler – especially with regard to Crimea owing to Germany’s surprise takeover of that region after promising the British they would not. Yet one could give examples of such treaties working out just fine over hundreds of years. In short – this too is twaddle.
How thoughtless does one have to be to think that Putin, who has proven a worthy chess player would not risk his very economically weak nation on a confrontation with the United States and Europe – not to mention American allies in the orient.
It is also a falsehood for McCain to write that defense budgets have been “slashed”. They haven’t been. In fact our nation spends more money on war-making than any other general concern and remains doing so.
Washington did not increase military budgets largely because McCain’s own party – the Republicans fell to a stint of budget insanity which today forces the White House to cut everywhere. The Pentagon came out well and our military leaders – (not the Fox News “former low-grade colonels”) support the President’s budget.
President Obama is the Commander in Chief – and not Senator McCain who commands a crazy state – mostly a desert -- filled with racism and crudity and his wife’s beer empire that continues to enable him much as a wealthy parent might create an unpleasant child.
If McCain stood for trial on every statement he had made since his unconvincing and way-to-early return from the Hanoi Hilton, he would most likely be on probation for nonsense. Take the President’s remark about his “red line” to the lunatic Assad. Does McCain in fact believe that we should send our already exhausted military to Syria as well? Obama tried to talk sense into Assad, but the confusion and the lack of knowledge regarding who we could trust in that nation did not allow any fair minded leader from making such a rash mistake along with the invisible supporters of Assad.
John McCain appears to respect little but money and bloody martial power. His genes flow with it. He makes hay and fun of Putin because Putin considers the fall of the Soviet Union as the “greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the (his) century.”
Would not Mr. McCain believe that the loss of Texas and Arizona to Mexico might he as roughly catastrophic? The loss of Crimea is a personal catastrophe for many Russians who recall their ancestors living like slaves under the Tsars or our own ancestors. These personal disappointment do not die hard. McCain should recognize this, and keep his mouth shut – especially when his whining is merely a poor attempt to elect a few more GOP senators so they – not he – can take over the Congress.
Assuming Mr., Putin acted in Crimea because he has “a growing disregard for America’s credibility in the world.” Why would that be? After all, in a little more than a decade we have crushed Iraq, flattened what was left of Putin’s folly in Afghanistan, Invaded Libya and arranged for the murder of its leaders, and launched who knows how many drones to kill others who we think might be willing and able to harm us. To me that’s a set of very chilling and “respectable” (to McCain) actions - none of which he agrees with publically but privately applauds.
McCain even mashed Chinese “nationalists” into this muck up – putting them in the same company with Al Qaeda terrorists and Iranians. I imagine he wants the Chinese to fear us rather than respect us.
So John McCain, a very old man, now rides Barack Obama to ‘restore the credibility of the United States as a world leader’ when there has never been a question that the USA is THE world leader.
McCain’s opinion sounds like Roger Ailes dictated it – or worse Steve Doocey of Fox News. He crafts the same lies. McCain thinks our allies and friends in Eastern Europe need to know we will “shore up” Ukraine. Shore up?
Does this mean sending Kiev a stash of weapons-moderne which would certainly and finally convince Putin that he has little choice but to fight Western Ukraine or lose his sea power aimed at the Mediterranean?
Do our allies truly believe that Russia will roll their tanks into Berlin once more and then on to Paris – or are they sick and tired of our Republican-led outrages in too many nations to count.
My old friend McCain tells us, “This does not mean military action against Russia. But it should mean sanctioning Russian officials, isolating Russia internationally, and increasing NATO’s military presence and exercises on its eastern frontier.” Aha – the old trickster still has it. He quickly abandons his hawk pose here – “does not mean military action…?) Mr. McCain, the days of proxy wars should have ended when you came home from Vietnam, and for a time it did.
Yes, what a boundless idea – lets truly push Putin to feel vulnerable so he’ll back down and go whimpering home to the Kremlin.
Sometimes I think McCain is in an advanced stage of Alzheimer’s.
John McCain should resign from the Senate.
At his time of life he should be off sailing or playing golf, or doing whatever elderly hawks do when they are pensioned off.