May 6, 2008


McCainiac : John McCain is dangerously contemptuous of the international system that has served the U.S.--and the world--so well. (Eric Rauchway, May 05, 2008, New Republic)

The incoming president--whoever it is--will almost assuredly enjoy a brief window when he or she can enjoy international good will simply by virtue of not being George W. Bush. International goodwill would be an excellent asset for charting a course to end the war in Iraq and to return the fight against terrorism to a sane path. McCain's belligerence suggests he can't wait to squander this honeymoon.

Nor is such loose macho boasting limited to the sort of politician who would sample a lesser Beach Boys tune for his foreign policy statements. Hillary Clinton's offer to "obliterate" Iran should Tehran prove so foolish and wicked as to attack Israel demonstrates that swaggering trash-talk appeals across party and gender lines.

To be an elite is to fail to grasp that the national interest trumps the international desire to control America.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 6, 2008 2:09 PM

International goodwill? Who the hell needs it? Even Germany's Merkel wants war monger Bush's missile shield. What the president needs to do is to secure the US, and our so-called friends and trading partners. Goodwill be damned.

Posted by: ic at May 6, 2008 3:10 PM

To be an anti-intellectual is to fail to grasp (or, more accurately, refuse to grasp) that national interest can be furthered by international goodwill.

Posted by: jd at May 6, 2008 4:09 PM

Poor Sheryl Crow got ridiculed for her statement that "The best way to solve problems is to not have enemies." But that is a very simple way of stating the foreign policy wisdom of a lot of people on the left.

Posted by: Brandon at May 6, 2008 4:12 PM

They bitch and moan, but when the chips are down where do they land?

"When someone is in trouble they don't call Sweden." PJ O'Rourke (IIRC)

Posted by: Mikey at May 6, 2008 4:54 PM

Even the most consequential moment in the peanut farmer's Presidency was his declaration that the Persian Gulf was an American lake.

And the next President's window of goodwill probably won't last 48 hours, although even Mr. Rauchway would have to admit that a President McCain will be given much more leeway than Obama or Clinton.

Posted by: ratbert at May 6, 2008 5:28 PM

Except that the cost of international goodwill is the national interest. Nothing would make America more popular than if we acted against ourselves.

Posted by: oj at May 6, 2008 7:09 PM