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Bury McCain's Dangerously Belligerent Foreign Policy

September 6, 2018 in Economics

By Doug Bandow

Doug Bandow

John McCain was a brave man, from his time spent as a POW in
Vietnam to his final battle against cancer. May he rest in
peace.

However, his public career warrants a harsher judgment. Indeed,
we should bury his aggressive, militarized foreign policy along
with him. Had he been elected president in 2008 many more Americans
and foreigners likely would have died unnecessarily.

McCain was one of the Senate’s most ferocious advocates of
military intervention, almost irrespective of circumstance.

Over the last quarter century McCain favored aggressive war
against Serbia, an endless democracy crusade in Afghanistan, the
disastrous invasion of Iraq, the equally counterproductive
destruction of Libya, a combat role in Syria’s horrific civil war,
and military aid for Saudi Arabia in its brutal aggression against
Yemen.

McCain was one of the
Senate’s most ferocious advocates of military intervention, almost
irrespective of circumstance.

He recklessly promoted Georgia against Russia in their
short-lived war, advocated striking North Korea militarily, and
sang about bombing Iran in a little ditty set to the Beach Boys’
“Barbara Ann.”

McCain suggested that support for terrorism could justify
attacking Iran, Libya, Syria, and even North Korea. He proposed
creating a “no-fly” zone in Sudan and intervening in Nigeria
against the Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram.

Last year he urged the Trump administration to “choose the
Kurds” against Iran and Iraq, since for decades America “has
protected them from attacks, both from within and outside Iraq.”
Ukraine was a disappointment, causing him to lament: “I do not see
a military option and that is tragic.”

His militaristic vision was flawed in multiple ways. First, he
treated war as just another policy option, an answer to any number
of problems from the mundane to the monstrous. He exhibited no
reluctance to visiting death and destruction on other peoples and
nations.

In none of the conflicts he backed was the nation’s security
seriously threatened. In most U.S. intervention actually increased
the resulting humanitarian tragedy.

McCain also failed to appreciate the ill consequences of
promiscuous intervention. For instance, the Iraq War predictably
unleashed a virulent insurgency and sectarian conflict.

These, in turn, spawned ISIS, which spread death and failed to
understand that the American people believed wars should have a
point. As Iraq imploded, he advocated years more of combat despite
what he admitted would be the high cost in lives and wealth; he
later urged an occupation of 100 years if necessary.

McCain defined success in Afghanistan and Iraq as “the
establishment of peaceful, stable, prosperous, democratic states
that pose no threat to neighbors and contribute to the defeat of
terrorists.”

Yet a few locals with AK-47s and IEDs had …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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