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Thursday, March 27, 2008


Dept. of "fool me once, etc."

Today's headlines proclaim: "McCain, in Foreign Policy Talk, Turns His Back on Unilateralism." We're told McCain thinks that the U.S. has to show "decent respect to the opinions of mankind."

Well, I guess it's hard to argue with that. Except I seem to remember something I heard from a different candidate, back in 2000:

"If we're an arrogant nation, they'll resent us; if we're a humble nation, but strong, they'll welcome us. And our nation stands alone right now in the world in terms of power, and that's why we've got to be humble."
That was George Bush, talking about the need for a "humble" foreign policy. Of course Bush was talking nonsense then, just as McCain is talking nonsense now - neither believed a word of what they were saying. But, no matter, the press will keep reporting it as if it has meaning.

And indeed, in the latest case, there's even a strong clue as to just how meaningless McCain's words are:

"We must be strong politically, economically and militarily. But we must also lead by attracting others to our cause, by demonstrating once again the virtues of freedom and democracy, by defending the rules of international civilized society and by creating the new international institutions necessary."
"Defending the rules of international civilized society"? So sayeth the man who was (along with most others in the "leadership" of this country, mind you) foursquare behind the unilateral invasion of another country, in violation of the U.N. Charter and the Geneva Conventions, which might, by most people, be considered the cornerstone of the "rules of international civilized society." Not to mention the man who opposes a ban on torture, and says "we have to 'work with our allies to forge a new international understanding' on how to treat detainees" as if there aren't already existing "rules of international civilized society" governing that subject.


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