Fresh off of his flip-flop on aid to Egypt and his threats to vote for the left (neocon) interventionists in the Democratic Party should anyone remotely non-interventionist succeed in gaining the Republican nomination to be the next president, Senator John McCain is determined to light a new fire under the long dead ashes of the Cold War. However, he no doubt chokes on the smoke of irony as he fumbles with his matches.
What has set McCain’s neoconservative nerve on edge is the finalization yesterday of NSA leaker Edward Snowden’s request for temporary asylum in Russia. According to McCain and his fellow neocons, when Washington demands extradition the rest of the world must immediately comply, regardless of the circumstances.
However, as William Blum points out yesterday in Counterpunch:
[A]ccording to the Russian Interior Ministry, 'Law agencies asked the US on many occasions to extradite wanted criminals through Interpol channels, but those requests were neither met nor even responded to.' Amongst the individuals requested are militant Islamic insurgents from Chechnya, given asylum in the United States.
So Washington harbors those who support and commit violent acts of terrorism in Russia, while demanding the return of an individual who has simply exposed a police state that has been silently gathering strength like a botulinum in the bowels of corpus Americanus.
McCain’s hysterical demands range from the bombastic to the truly dangerous. He barked:
Russia’s action today is a disgrace and a deliberate effort to embarrass the United States. It is a slap in the face of all Americans. Now is the time to fundamentally rethink our relationship with Putin’s Russia. We need to deal with the Russia that is, not the Russia we might wish for.
He continued by calling for the listing of as many Russians as possible under the Magnitsky legislation in the US, which allows those considered – underdubious criteria – to be human rights violators to be prevented from entering the US and to have their assets seized by the US government.
Then, reprising his subsequently discredited position during the short 2008 Russian/Georgian conflict that "we are all Georgians now,” McCain all but called for the US to foment another Georgian war against Russia -- this time with NATO providing back-up:
We should push for the completion of all phases of our missile defense programs in Europe, and move expeditiously on another round of NATO expansion, including the Republic of Georgia.
John McCain remains Chairman of the US government-funded regime change "NGO,” the International Republican Institute. He should be taken seriously, therefore, when he makes thinly veiled threats to ramp up US efforts at acolor revolution in Russia by demanding that the US…
…challenge the political convictions and detentions of Russian dissidents such as Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Alexei Navalny. And perhaps most importantly, we should speak out on behalf of the many people in Russia who increasingly are finding the courage to peacefully demand greater freedom, accountability, and rule of law in Russia.
This of course while he demands a life sentence or the death penalty for those like Snowden who are finding the courage to peacefully demand greater freedom, accountability, and rule of law in the United States.
McCain is a man totally driven by ideology. He has made his career promoting a messianic vision of the US as the one indispensable nation which is destined to dictate to the rest of the world how it should live and what kind of government it is to be allowed. He seeks to re-start the Cold War but in fact he himself resembles a Soviet commissar. His bluster and threats do grave harm to the United States and serve only to stiffen worldwide opinion against Americans and US foreign policy. He is but one US senator and he speaks only for himself, but somehow his destructive positions are given weight far out of proportion to his actual position in the US government. Hopefully someday he will be granted the shunning he deserves.