I'll admit that I know next to nothing about Ukrainian politics. And when it comes to the current crisis there, I don't have any brilliant ideas about how the United States could solve this problem, but that's partly because the United States probably can't solve this problem. My limited knowledge and lack of transformative ideas puts me on equal footing with John McCain. Yet for some reason, McCain is once again all over the news, now that the situation in Kiev is turning uglier by the hour. What does McCain have to say? Well, he believes that it's all Barack Obama's fault. "This is the most naive president in history," he said, citing as evidence the fact that five years ago, the Obama administration said it wanted to "reset" relations with Russia. Got 'em there, John. Obviously, if a certain someone was president, and he's not not naming any names here, this whole thing could be wrapped up in an afternoon.
What does McCain actually think we should do about Ukraine? We'll get to that in a moment. But if you had to sum up John McCain's foreign policy beliefs in a single word, that word would probably be "Grrrr!" Whatever the situation is, McCain's view is always that we should be tougher than whatever the White House is doing. This applies to both Republican and Democratic presidents. If we're already bombing somebody, McCain's answer to any challenge is that we should bomb harder. If we haven't yet commenced action but are seriously thinking about it, he thinks we should start bombing. If we're engaging in diplomacy, McCain thinks we should ditch all that talk, which is for pussies anyhow, and get "tough" with whoever it is that needs getting tough with.
That is, I promise you, the extent of the sophistication of McCain's foreign policy thinking. Despite the fact that he is regularly lauded by the reporters who have worshipped him for so long as an "expert" in foreign policy with deep "knowledge" and "experience," I have never heard him say a single thing that demonstrated any kind of understanding of any foreign country or foreign crisis beyond what you could have gleaned from watching a three-minute report on the Today show. And this one? Well, McCain's got the solution: "This thing could easily spiral out of control into a major international crisis," he says. "The first thing we need to do is impose sanctions on those people who are in leadership positions." You mean, Senator, what the Obama administration already did? Or the ones they're preparing with our EU allies?
Once somebody clues McCain in to that, you can bet he'll come back and say that it isn't tough enough, and we have to get tougher. And dozens of media outlets will run stories titled "McCain Calls for Tougher Stance Toward Ukraine," as though he were some kind of wise and influential foreign policy voice, and not a buffoon.
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