03 May 2008

The yawning chasm that is John McCain's reality gap

Looks like hot wars aren't enough for Johnnie Mac, anymore. Mr. Hundred Years is bucking for a return to a good, old-fashioned Cold War:
WASHINGTON — John McCain dropped a little-noticed bombshell into his March foreign-policy address: Boot Russia from the G-8, the elite club of leading industrial democracies whose leaders try to coordinate economic policies.

One major problem: He can't do it because the other G-8 nations won't let him.

But the fact that he's proposing to try, risking a return to Cold War tensions with the world's second-largest nuclear power after 20 years of prickly partnership, raises questions about McCain's judgment. It also underscores that many of his top foreign-policy advisers are of the same neo-conservative school that promoted the war in Iraq, argue for a tougher stance toward Iran and are skeptical of negotiating with North Korea over its nuclear program.

The Group of Eight, or G-8, as it's popularly known, makes decisions by consensus, so no single nation can kick out another. Most experts say the six other countries — Great Britain, France, Italy, Germany, Japan and Canada — would never agree to toss Russia, given their close economic ties to their neighbor. A senior U.S. official who deals with Russia policy said that even Moscow would have to approve of its own ouster, given how the G-8 works.

"It's not even a theoretical discussion. It's an impossible discussion," said the senior official, who requested anonymity because he wasn't authorized to speak publicly. "It's just a dumb thing."

Does McCain need to be caught, on camera, hiding in a fort that he built out of couch cushions, wearing only a combat helmet and his underwear for his barbeque buddies in the mainstream press to recognize just how batshit insane he truly is?

Unlike his embarrassing ignorance of Sunni and Shia, there's absolutely no way for his apologists to spin this as a slip of the tongue:
"We should start by ensuring that the G-8, the group of eight highly industrialized states, becomes again a club of leading market democracies: it should include Brazil and India but exclude Russia."
This is our experienced foreign policy candidate? In one fell swoop, he's making G-Dub's childish, fingers-in-the-ears, "I'm not talking to you" stance on international relations seem positively enlightened in comparison. It's the worst of all worlds: the tinnest of ears for international opinion coupled with a fundamental lack of understanding of the body on which he's opining.

All to pander to the rightest of the right wing of his party.

In what should be mandatory reading--and broadcasting--Fareed Zakaria politely eviscerates McCain's latest "dumb thing," here.

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