Sen. John McCain has exhibited personal courage, but his geopolitical judgment is uniformly awful. Over the last 30 years there has been no war or potential war that he has opposed. In 2008 he wanted to confront nuclear-armed Russia over its neighbor Georgia, which started their short and sharp conflict. It would have been ironic had the Cold War ended peacefully, only to see Washington trigger a nuclear crisis in order to back Georgia as it attempted to prevent the territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia from doing what Kosovo did with U.S. military aid: achieve self-determination (by seceding from Georgia).
Now Senator McCain is banging the war drums in Libya. But he seems to have trouble remembering who are the good guys and who are the bad guys.
Although now crusading against Moammar Qaddafi, two years ago he joined Sens. Joe Lieberman and Lindsey Graham in Tripoli to sup with the dear colonel. There the three opponents of tyranny whispered sweet nothings in the dictator's ear, offering the prospect of military aid. After all, the former terrorist had become a good friend of America by battling terrorists.
Andrew McCarthy reported on the sordid tale from the WikiLeaks disclosures:
A government cable (leaked by Wikileaks) memorializes the excruciating details of meetings between the Senate delegation and Qaddafi, along with his son Mutassim, Libya’s “national security adviser.” We find McCain and Graham promising to use their influence to push along Libya’s requests for C-130 military aircraft, among other armaments, and civilian nuclear assistance. And there’s Lieberman gushing, “We never would have guessed ten years ago that we would be sitting in Tripoli, being welcomed by a son of Muammar al-Qadhafi.” That’s before he opined that Libya had become “an important ally in the war on terrorism,” and that “common enemies sometimes make better friends.”
Obviously, that was then and this is now. Along the way Senator McCain and his fellow war enthusiasts realized that Qaddafi wasn't a nice guy after all. Who knew? I mean, he had only jailed opponents, conducted terrorist operations against the United States, and initiated a nuclear weapons program. So earlier this year they demanded that the United States back the rebels, the new heroes of democracy.
Until now, anyway.