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October 10, 2008 10:37 am
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McCain and the Evil Empire
Pepe Escobar: McCain insists on demonizing Russia – he’s not even listening to his own heroes.
Pepe Escobar comments on the potential renewal of the Cold War. This following the second US presidential debate in which John McCain and Barack Obama commented on Russia’s response to the Georgian invasion of South Ossetia, and the Ukraine’s potential membership in the European Union and NATO.
In the debate McCain and Obama used language that echoed the Bush Administration’s descriptions of Iraq under Saddam Hussein and of al Qaeda. McCain stated that Russia has ‘exhibited most aggressive behaviour’ and suggested that the US should use its economic and diplomatic leverage to punish Russia for its actions in Georgia. Obama stated that Russia has ‘engaged in evil behaviour’ and that a reduction in US energy consumption will limit the amount of petro dollars Russia can access to promote ‘mischief around the world’.
Notably, McCain recognized that using such language can reignite old Cold War sentiments. However, Escobar argues that McCain is not listening to his advisors who are key Cold War figures. Both Henry Kissinger and George Shultz argue that the potential for an alignment in the interests of Russia and the United States has never been more plausible. Further, Kissinger argues that isolating Russia is not a sustainable long-term policy for the United States.
Central to this debate is the potential membership of the Ukraine with the European Union and NATO. Escobar notes that the majority of Ukrainians prefer ties with Russia over the European Union. Despite this reality, McCain argued that US moral support is necessary for both Ukraine and Georgia and that America should advocate for their membership in NATO.
Escobar looks to the next presidential debate with certain questions: ‘Will [McCain and Obama] stop demonizing Russia?’; and ‘Will they even pronounce that fateful word, China?’.
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