If John McCain is elected president we won’t need a U.S. policy for Israel. All we’ll have to do is open the Likud songbook and mouth the words as Bibi Netanyahu sings the song for us. Stumping for Jewish support in Israel (you didn’t know Israel was an official U.S. territory did you?), McCain sounded sycophantically pro-Likud if not in name then in substance. And wouldn’t you know that the only publication which interviewed him while there was the right-wing Jerusalem Post. Here are a few of the “high points:”
“If Hamas/Hizbullah succeeds here, they are going to succeed everywhere, not only in the Middle East, but everywhere. Israel isn’t the only enemy,” Arizona Sen. McCain said, in the only interview he is giving to the Israeli media during his visit here.
“They are dedicated to the extinction of everything that the US, Israel and the West believe and stand for. So America does have an interest in what happens here, far above and beyond our alliance with the State of Israel.”
Barack Obama has noted the difficulty McCain seems to have telling Al Qaeda, Shia, and Shiite apart (this video displays McCain at his feeblest having to be prompted by Lieberman to correct his gaffe) and now he seems not to realize that Hamas and Hezbollah are not the same entity. Oh well, I guess they both start with “H” and that’s close enough.
It’s fitting that a hero of the Vietnam War should revive the tired old political bugaboo of the domino effect transferring it from southeast Asia to the Middle East. You mean you didn’t realize that Hamas and Hezbollah aim at world domination??? Yes, indeed. They’re dedicated to overthrowing our U.S. government and western values. Not to mention that Muslim caliphate that Dick Cheney and Dore Gold like to rant about so often.
This passage is so gross, so extreme and so completely out in right field it’s a wonder this guy can run for president let alone get elected. Just imagine if he DOES get elected who will be running U.S. policy toward Israel.
“Someone is going to have to answer me the question of how you are going to negotiate with an organization [Hamas] that is dedicated to your extinction,” McCain said…
Easy. Israel did the same with the PLO which at one time was dedicated to precisely the same aim.
McCain…was careful about dispensing advice or coming across as dictating policy to the Israeli government. “I really think that we should understand that the US and Israel are partners. Israel is not a client of the United States,” he said. “If you are partners, then you don’t dictate what you think the terms of the survival of a nation should be.”
And if you close your eyes and repeat that phrase often enough you might just start to believe it’s true. It’s the equivalent of Nixon’s “I am not a crook” reply to Dan Rather during Watergate. As soon as he said he wasn’t one you knew he was.
Asked whether Israel was using the right tactics in trying to quell the rocket fire on Sderot and the western Negev, McCain praised Defense Minister Ehud Barak – terming him “one of the great military people” he has met – and added, “I can’t give you a good answer as to how you respond to these rocket attacks.”
Barak may’ve been good at dressing up in women’s clothing and murdering terrorists in their beds, but he doesn’t seem like “one of the great military people” in terms of his success in quelling the attacks on Sderot and Ashkelon. Interestingly, McCain’s people had briefed him to say that 900 rockets had fallen on those places. But he didn’t seem to recall who the defense minister was during the very same period.
…He…said dryly, “I can tell you that I believe that if rocket attacks came across the border of the United States of America, that the American people would probably demand pretty vigorous actions in response. I think I know my constituency in the state of Arizona, and they would be pretty exercised if rockets came across our southern border.”
So let me see. If rockets attacked Arizona they’d be coming from Mexico, right? That reminds me that the last time we had a war with Mexico we stole a considerable portion of their territory from them and appropriated it for our own. Not such a convenient parallel considering Israel’s Occupation of Palestine and “appropriation” of its land via settlements.
And if rockets did attack Arizona I don’t have much confidence John McCain would have any better strategy for dealing with them than he has to resolve the Iraq imbroglio.
McCain also made a few oddly inappropriate comments while in Israel. On visiting a Sderot home hit by a Qassam, he told the victims:
“I’m sorry this happened to you. We’ll try to see that it doesn’t happen again.”
What does he plan to do? Send U.S. troops into Gaza to stop the rockets? Or does he have some secret plan or inside knowledge we’re not privy to that will protect Israelis?
McCain’s comparison of Purim to Halloween was a tad strained:
Mr. McCain said the situation in Sderot, where children dressed up for Purim walked the streets on Wednesday, highlighted the urgency to pursue the peace process…
“Obviously this puts an enormous and hard-to-understand strain on the people here, especially the children as they celebrate their version of Halloween here,” said Mr. McCain, of Arizona, referring to Purim.
Purim actually isn’t “their version” of anything. It’s Purim, plain and simple. The only similarity is that children wear costumes on both holidays and sweets are exchanged. But it sounds slightly odd for a Jew to hear a holiday with a deep historic tradition harkening back to ancient Persia compared to a holiday with pagan-Christian origins related to the worship of ancestors (cf. Day of the Dead).
And this ought to warm the heart of the 100 or so remaining die-hard Lieberman supporters out there in the country:
As to a future role for Lieberman, who has been touted as a secretary of state or defense secretary, McCain warmly thanked Lieberman for supporting him at a time when it was not the popular thing to do. “I know many ways that he can serve this country [the US], with or without me as president of the United States,” McCain said.
Good slogan: you want Lieberman for secretary of state–vote McCain. I should think that would send tens of thousands of voters flocking to the Dems come November. Having Lieberman running U.S. Mideast policy scares me almost as much as having Dick Cheney run the entire national security policy. With Lieberman in charge AIPAC might as well just put itself into cold storage for the next four years. They’ll have their man MAKING policy, not just lobbying for it.
Thanks to Rupa Shah for pointing out this JPost article.
Doesn’t it strike Americans as…. strange, weird, bizzarre that McCain, a republican candidate for president in the USA, spends his PRECIOUS time campaigning for this position in a foreign country, Israel?
Nothing strange in that?
With no better Democratic candidate than Hillary and Obama, I will proudly vote for the old McCain.
He is reminding me of decent past leaders like a Churchill or Roosevelt, and not like the remaining contentless and whining Democratic candidates.
I would be glad to support either Howard Dean or John Edwards if….. still running.
Honesty and Integrity count above all. The rest does not matter.
Richard, I have told you this before, and I will repeat it….ALL Presidents follow the same policy in the Middle East…..working to bring about an Israeli withdrawal more or less to the pre-67 lines and setting up a “democratic Palestinian state which will live side-by-side with Israel in peace”. However, since this is not attainable they will end up spending their time sputtering around trying to minimize the ongoing conflict as much as possible. This means throwing out pious wishes about the “dream of Palestinian state”, pressuring their client leaders, Abbas and Olmert, to make “good-will” concessions to the other side, realizing that Abbas can’t or won’t reign in the terrorist organizations that operate in his territory and having to accept ongoing Israeli security operations to foil these.
Obama and Hillary would follow the same script. Sure, many of you “progressives” seem to have convinced yourseves that “if the US President really wants and presses hard enough, he or she can impose an agreement”and that Obama is willing to do this, but Clinton proved that this can’t happen. (Yes, I know Robert Malley said that there would have been an agreement in 2000 if only Barak had talked at the dinner table with Arafat instead of Chelsea Clinton, or the theory of Tony Karon that there would have been peace then if only Dennis Ross hadn’t blocked it (?!))