Strategy ’08

Obama vs. the other guy, 2008

What if he was serious?

A lot has been said about McCain’s recent declaration about the Russian invasion of Georgia:

My friends, we have reached a crisis, the first probably serious crisis internationally since the end of the Cold War. This is an act of aggression. And historians in time will tell how provoked it was, what actions the Georgian government took, etc., but the fact is that this aggression is is far exceeded any any provocation that might have been inflicted on South Ossetia or Abkhazia

Much has been said about this being either a moment of forgetfulness or, as Yglesias says, a “confusion in terms of high-level concepts.”

But there is one possibility that nobody has really addressed. What if McCain was being neither forgetful nor confused (let alone the fact that we’d have to ask that question raises serious questions about his suitability as CInC)? What if McCain was serious?

If John McCain really does think that the crisis in Georgia is more serious than the threat of Islamic extremist terrorism (which of course includes 9/11 but also terrorism in Europe, Asia, and Africa), more serious than either Iraq war, or the genocides in Darfur or Yugoslavia, then he’s obviously thinking of taking actions beyond what were taken in any of these cases (of course in Darfur, there was no real US action).

If McCain was serious, it means he’s literally ready to go to a hot war with Russia, which is madness. At the very least, he’s ready to start up the cold war again, which is also madness.

So, “my friends,” we have a serious question here. Either McCain was being forgetful, or he was being crazy.

Either way, America can’t afford to choose between those two when it comes to moments of crisis.

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August 16, 2008 - Posted by | foreign policy | ,

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