EDITORIAL: John McCain Talks Tough And Carries A Twig

A century ago, President Theodore Roosevelt made the famous remark, “Speak Softly and carry a Big Stick.” John McCain continually refers to his hero as being Theodore Roosevelt but he invariably winds up talking tough and carrying a twig to enforce it. In virtually, every issue over the past decade, the Arizona senator, has responded with loud mouthed belligerent comments and threats to back up his words with troops. He supported the war in Iraq, in Afghanistan, and now shouts, “we are all Georgians.” If McCain was in the office of the president, no doubt he would send in the troops to halt Russian action. Of course, the problem is which troops? American military forces are stretched to the utter limit and there are none around to confront a major crisis but to McCain,he is willing to back up his words with non-existant military forces.

America has learned who the real John McCain is over the past few weeks. He is a belligerent, ignorant man who lacks a sophisticated concept of foreign policy. In the 1962 Cuba missile crisis, President Kennedy did make strong public statements, but he also worked quietly to negotiate a compromise with Soviet leaders that entailed removal of Russian troops from Cuba while American missile sites in Turkey were dismantled. John McCain supports the misguided Bush decision to construct missile bases in Poland because the senator has no understanding of Russian concerns or anxieties. A wise diplomat always examines foreign policy issues through the lens of his opponent.

John McCain constantly tells America he has more foreign policy experience than Barack Obama. Yes, he does, but his is the experience of failure. He rushed to support Bush on the invasion of Iraq although US military leaders wanted double the number of troops in that enterprise. McCain was enthusiastic about the work of Secretary of Defense Don Rumsfeld and only criticized the man AFTER he left office. John McCain never understood the Teddy Roosevelt comment, if you want to engage in military ventures, be certain you have the troops to do it.

The McCain dilemma is he wants America fighting all over the world and will not support a military draft which is the only way to ensure such an approach to foreign policy might work. The bottom line is that in the modern world, military force alone will fail, it requires intelligent economic and political action, two factors that lie beyond the intellectual thinking of John McCain.