Skip to comments.McCain: 'Russia is a gas station masquerading as a country'
Posted on 03/17/2014 12:46:18 AM PDT by kingattax
Sen. John McCain returned from a trip to Ukraine on Sunday, calling for "a fundamental re-assessment" of the United States' relationship with Russian Vladimir Putin.
No more reset buttons," McCain told Candy Crowley on CNN's "State of the Union." No more reset buttons, no more Tell Vladimir Ill be more flexible. Treat him for what he is. That does not mean re-ignition of the Cold War. But it does mean treating him in the way that we understand an individual who believes in restoring the old Russian empire.
McCain, who has been critical of the Obama administration's response to the crisis in Crimea, said the White House should target Russia's oil exports.
"Russia is a gas station masquerading as a country, McCain said. Its kleptocracy, its corruption. Its a nation thats really only dependent upon oil and gas for their economy. And so economic sanctions are important. Get some military assistance to Ukrainians, at least so they can defend themselves. Resume the missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic. Look at Moldova and Georgia, both of whom are occupied by Russian troops as we speak, a path toward membership in NATO.
Speaking in Kiev with a delegation of fellow U.S. senators on Saturday, McCain called for the United States to provide long-term military support both "lethal and non-lethal" equipment to Ukraine. "[It is] the right and decent thing to do," McCain said.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
McCain will gleefully say anything that triggers his big war fantasy.
The very last thing we need on our plate right now is a war with Russia. With Obama at the helm.
Masquerader talking of masquerade...
True, but I will confess that it made me laugh. The gas station part. It is kinda funny you have to admit.
mccain is a wrinkled liberal POS masquerading as a wise old caucasian.
Shut up, Juan.
And McCain’s yack will do just what? Maybe get Putin’s laughs.
Yep. Just keep pressing reset, be more flexible and everything will be alright.
What do you know about gas McCain? Oh.... That’s right.
Mr. Helpful is pissed that we can’t go invade some country. This guy is simply a menace to anything constructive and grows more mentally flaccid with each utterance. He really needs to go away somewhere.
McCain has proven himself to be an idiot, He needs to be primaried . He and Obama are going to screw around and get our ground forces in Afghanistan cut off from anything and everything coming to them thru Russia . With the Paks unpredictable , we critically need that bridge , our troops need that bridge . They are going to screw around and get us cut off from access to manned space flight , and cut off from the ISS .
Is Ukraine worth any of that ? NO!
MCain with Terrorists in Egypt
>> mccain is an idiot masquerading as a US senator.
He’s done. If the republicans get the senate, he will be out. The conservatives will have the mandate as well as the awareness of his dealings as well as those of his cohorts
If the senate doesn’t go to republicans, the younger more popular with the base conservatives will be pissed at these guys and the GOP central for giving it away. They’re not going to let him or the rest of them do anything
He’s as lame as any lame duck
a fine party... come on mccain you were being sarcastic werent you?
I hear tell that there are new medications to combat Alzheimer’s.
McCain sounds like he should try them.
What a diplomatic moron. And this guy wants to tell ME how to be a Republican?
Go join the Democrats, mckook.
If anyone alive today deserves the title of warmonger, it’s He’d invade Canada to get snow.
Gee, I hope McCain is proposing a more adversarial stand-offish relationship. Only an “ignorant” individual who doesn’t understand the genius of “smart policy” would take that position.
Not “is”, Isn’t.
Yeah, a gas station run by a bunch of paranoids with more than a little show of hostility...
Ethnic Russians have such an impeccable pedigree when it comes to being both paranoid and hostile. That they now have a highly valuable commodity with which to exert economic pressures and blackmail is, for them, just a plus.
No, the territory that was once known as “the United States of America” should not and does not have to engage in a distance-and-direction urination contest with the territory once known as “the Soviet Union”. Invariably, we end up facing into the wind on that one.
Simply keeping it as a competition for whom is better able to supply natural gas to northern and eastern Europe at an economically feasible price (by vastly expanding LNG as a transportation medium), the North American continent could greatly undercut the Eurasian conglomerate on both price and influence in the local hegemon.
LNG is going to be the bridge fuel that takes the world well into the 22nd Century, as petroleum took us through the 20th Century. Thorium molten-salt reactors for power generation and processing of sea water into potable supplies of fresh water, and plasma-arc trash reduction technology, are the means by which the environment will be cleaned up. Present-day accumulation of various waste streams will be converted into new sources of economic growth and plenty, the greatest means of reducing poverty the world has ever seen.
Now we have a thread criticizing McCain not for the merits of this position but directed against the man. No one is more opposed to John McCain that I am but we must get out of this dangerous habit of dismissing opinion and even fact because of we repudiate the source. I've read McCain's remarks and find nothing to repudiate even as I repudiate the man. McCain was careful to say, "That does not mean re-ignition of the Cold War." In that context, who can argue with his main point:
"Crimea has exposed the disturbing lack of realism that has characterized our foreign policy under President Obama," McCain wrote. "It is this worldview, or lack of one, that must change."
Pat Buchanan can be right about domestic or foreign policy issues even if he is wrong about Israel. John McCain can be right about our policy being exposed for a "lack of realism" even as he is wrong about Syria or about domestic policy issues too numerous to catalogue.
Whatever happened to debating the merits?
Gee, Juan McLame, spare us your puerile insights.
I have been there many times. Many times. They are an incredible people. You cannot admire a wall hanging in their home, or they take it down and insist you have it. They will prepare so much food that you would get sick trying to eat it all. They would give you the shoes from their own feet if you looked like you needed them.
Do not confuse the leadership with the people of Russia. You simply have no idea. They give new meaning to the word hospitality. While there adopting a child, this child told people at the park that she was being adopted and was with her new parent from America. That night tons of food showed up at the apartment where they were staying - many babushka knocked on the door holding steaming dishes of food they had prepared. In a poor region too.
Yes, Yes, Yes. Come on Michigan. You can do it.
No Republican in his right mind would talk to that biased blimp.
I am embarrassed to say I once voted for this clown for President.
I did not say all Russians were paranoid and hostile. I said the “gas station” is run by individuals who were paranoid and hostile.
The faction that has both these characteristics normally gravitates to the leadership positions within the region generally known as “Russia”. In Sicily, the general population of people is also extremely generous with what they have, but the locality is controlled by the members of the Mafioso, and the reputation far precedes them. As Sicily is controlled by gangsters, the current Russian Federation is also controlled by gangsters.
Much like Chicago, home base for the Current Occupant now squatting in the White Hut.
Chicago is the next Detroit. And Detroit and all of Michigan are coming back. Thanks to the comeback kid. (sorry, I grew up there and am so happy to see the progress in Michigan)
You nailed it.
The problem is he thinks Obama is Ronald Reagan.
McCain must be kidding, right? And Russia is more than an oil producer, its a leading industrial and military superpower.
We’re slashing our military to the bone while Putin has been rebuilding the Russian armed forces. Plus, he humiliated the West without firing a shot.
Finally, what is McCain going to do about it?
It is funny. I do wish he (McCain) didn’t have any power, though.
This is the guy who wouldn’t lay a glove on Obama during his election campaign and who told us we had nothing to fear from him.
I am still waiting for McCain’s apology and I don’t think I’ll ever get it.
In listening to him, I just wish he would shut up and go away. Tha’s how I feel about debating his views on the merits.
It completely terrifies me that Obama would consider challenging Putin, after slashing the military as you said.
It seems to give merit to those many freepers who believe Obama is trying to destroy this country.
Except it is MCLAIM! ! ! ! !
STFU you old coot.
With gays in the military, Obamacare and $18 trillion in debt, I see what Putin sees: a morally dissolute, dependent and deeply indebted country.
America is lecturing to Russia about Crimea when America would be well advised to get its own house in order first. And I think that’s actually a very good point.
We can’t defeat potential foreign adversaries when we are far from strong here at home.
I wonder if any empty heads at the White House can see this?
Alas, debating merits loses its luster after enough repetitions, and people start thinking war would be more exciting.
No more 'tell Putin I can work with him after the next election'????
I believe two factors in the life of John McCain combined to create a man fully committed to public service, but one who does not see public service in the context of party.
The first factor in terms chronology is his military experience starting with the commitment of his grandfather and father who were admirals and men who had responsibilities for other men's lives that would give any normal man pause. That kind of responsibility must be exercised by individuals acutely conscious of their duty and self-consciously committed to integrity. This is the military ethos translated into civilian language but it describes a man with the power of life and death over others who must exercise that power in good conscience or he degenerates into a tyrant and a murderer.
The ethos requires 100% commitment to integrity. When John McCain entered the Naval Academy this ethos was battered and bashed into every midshipman and, despite McCain's screwing around, I think the message took. The academies work on the honor code, one of the fundamental principles of which is that the individual must do what is right in a moral sense and not content himself only with what is right and satisfactory for jailhouse lawyer. The officer must habituate himself to determining for himself what is right and doing it. McCain's remarkable career in the Navy including a fire on the USS Oriskany and his combat experiences would have served only to sharpen this honed reflex.
His conduct during captivity demonstrates that by the time he was put under torture in the Hanoi Hilton this facet of his character had been deeply rooted. But the experience of torture took him to one more level -he was broken.
In order to carry this thesis forward let may have resort backward in time to a post which I offered before the election in which, I think, gives us a better understanding of John McCain the man and politician than merely rebuking him for his inconstancy to conservative principles. It is my thesis that John McCain is no conservative but it is pointless to rebuke him for his condition because he earned what he is honestly and I do not believe there is a single one of us who would willingly endure it:
McCain's Vietnam experience was so shattering that he sees the world through a new lens, the experience so profound that he has emerged from it with a lifelong commitment to country. This gives credibility to McCain's claim that he is a maverick, beholden not to party but to principle and country. This claim to independence is necessary in a political climate in which the present occupant of the White House is found to be unsatisfactory by nearly three out of four Americans. So, the narrative explains why a voter can believe at John McCain is different from ordinary politicians, especially ordinary Republican politicians, and they can't believe he should be trusted to embark on a new course away from current administration policies.
At the end of his acceptance speech, McCain recited how he came to be utterly broken but then restored, even redeemed with a new commitment to service to others when a fellow prisoner urged him by prison telegraph not to quit and die but instead to carry on the fight out of respect for his comrades who even then were carrying on the fight for him.
Psychologists and scholars of religious experience, especially Christian scholars, have long been aware of the empowering release generated by total surrender of the will. One can describe this in psychological language, or in Biblical language, or even in evangelical idiom.
Whatever language one uses to describe these epiphanies there is no question that very often they are real and long lasting. Psychologists would begin to explain the phenomenon by reference to the ego. An Old Testament scholar might think in terms of the first and second Commandments and the muscular faith which follows adherence to them. Christians speak of dying to the self, picking up the cross and following the Savior to become a new man-to be born again. Perhaps the most famous example is recounted in the Book of Acts which tells that Saul of Tarsus was physically knocked off his horse by the Holy Spirit. Saul experiences an epiphany, Saul becomes Paul, and is transformed from a murderous persecutor of Christians to a fully committed martyr who becomes the great evangelist of the early church, indomitable in spirit, inflexible in commitment, and-like the other disciples- utterly fearless. Significantly, Paul, the newbie Christian, does not shrink later from taking on Peter the acknowledged leader of the disciples "to his face" to dispute matters of doctrine.
In contemporary history we have the example of George Bush and his transforming encounter with Reverend Billy Graham. Indeed, we have the Reverend Billy Graham's own epiphany in the forest. We have the numberless examples recited daily in meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous. It is from the success of this group that countless so-called "12 step" groups have been formed to apply successfully the same empowering message of surrender.
The important thing to understand about these epiphanies is that when they are genuine they are often life-long and tremendously empowering. Lives really are transformed forever. Criminals go straight, alcoholics stay sober, and the miserable are made happy. In fact, these newly born spirits enjoy their new condition so much that they seek ways to prolong the joy they have obtained in their moment of sweet release. Almost universally, these people find that service to others is the surest way to prolong that wonderful feeling of well-being.
Isolated, sick, starved and beaten beyond human endurance, John McCain ultimately broke and signed a confession which he mistakenly assumed amounted to a betrayal of his country. Who was this wretched man who lay so anguished in that cell? In his memoir and in his speech, McCain described himself as a kind of a hotshot jet jock, a screwup, a discipline problem in school, and an accomplished accumulator of demerits as a midshipman. Evidently, he was also an enthusiastic swordsman. In short, he was an arrogant SOB. Now, in that cell, he had fallen far. The classic description of the crushing of the ego. At this pivotal moment came the means of his redemption via the prison telegraph: Service to others out of love of country. In his speech McCain declared:
"And I wasn't my own man anymore, I was my country's"
And now we know the rest of the story. This is not to say that John McCain was instantly sanctified in all respects, far from it. He still had to swim his way out of a giant mental, moral and spiritual hangover from his ordeal. His screwing around would cost him his marriage before he could swim to shore. Even today, the old self bursts out in temper. But when one lays this template over the rest of John McCains career, one should have little difficulty accepting the story as being essentially true (I for one believe it) and to accept it as a convincing explanation of his career and his conception of his role as president.
If you have stayed with me this far and you accept at least the thrust of what I've been saying, I'm sure your question must be: So what? What makes McCain such a maverick? Why can he not be loyal to party? Why did the experience not make him a conservative?
Again Kindly Indulge me and let me have shameless resort to another pre-election post:
What about the implications for us conservatives of John McCain's epiphany?
Well that of course depends on how John McCain defines putting country first. It's quite clear that he is not replaced his giant ego trip with a classic Reaganesque conservative philosophy. The danger for conservatives is that John McCain has no identifiable framework, no principled political philosophy upon which to identify the nation's interest.
The great danger to us conservatives, and of course to the nation as a whole, is that John McCain operates ad hoc.
This is what George Will has been alluding to in his column in which he expressed his dismay that McCain has called for the firing of SEC Chairman Cox, "It is arguable that, because of his inexperience, Obama is not ready for the presidency. It is arguable that McCain, because of his boiling moralism and bottomless reservoir of certitudes, is not suited to the presidency. Unreadiness can be corrected, although perhaps at great cost, by experience. Can a dismaying temperament be fixed"
We know what Barak Obama's vision for America is, it is written down, not in his own autobiographies, but in Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals. We know also that John McCain has been intensely energized with a vision for America. We're just not quite sure what it is that informs that vision.
Whatever it is that John McCain put in place of his broken ego is a hell of a lot better than what drives Barak Obama. But that does not mean that we conservatives will not always be gnashing our teeth over John McCain. I can understand how a man who has been brought by torture to the very cusp of death really does not give a fig for party squabbles. As a military man he saw sailors not as Republicans or Democrats but as Americans. Today, he sees the country not as Republicans or Democrats but as Americans. It is not that John McCain does not value the Republican Party, it is that he simply does not understand that the American democracy functions as a adversarial system and not as a collegial system. If a party does not fight its corner, as it has not under George Bush for four years and in many ways at the hands of John McCain in the last election, the system breaks down. Our democracy just does not work right.
If Republicans do not attack Obama for the corruption in Chicago, the public will not be served because the truth would never emerge. The adversarial party has an actual duty to be adversarial for the good of the country. That is how in one application we limit corruption. One-party states are always corrupt.
Decades of experience in the United States Senate encourages collegiality and tends to rub off the sharp edges of partisanship. Military men are especially susceptible to this thinking. Chuck Schumer on the other hand needs no inoculation, he is virtually immune to the seductions of bipartisanship. But a military man who claims one of the most extraordinary epiphanies in American public life, can be understood and, given his extraordinary sacrifice for the country, perhaps forgiven if he sees the world of politics from the vantage of a different place.
I confess a tendency to this response as it seems absurd to soberly contemplate the latest actions of someone routinely displaying irrationality. Your sense of civility and desire to focus on merits is admirable.
I rather McCain was president than the clown who currently occupies the White House. McCain knows how to deal with Putin.