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Feature Story February 9, 2008
 
US Elections Special Part I: A McCainiac On The Loose
By Alexander Zaitchik Browse author Email
 
Page 3 of 3
 

In other words, Russia must fall into line, or it's the "tough times ahead" he promised in Orlando. Like a father who has disowned his son but is pressured by his wife to allow the possibility of forgiveness, McCain leaves "the door open" to Russia, but express no hope that it will ever show. The Black Sea reference is another signal that he is a full supporter of Ukraine's NATO application and the wide-open door policy.

The China section of McCain's Foreign Policy essay has a very different tone. Longer and more nuanced, McCain sounds less like an angry father than a concerned father, one giving his son a stern sit-down on the day Junior, a bit of a rebel and a rising star on the football team, gets his drivers license.

Praising China's recent economic growth (something unmentioned in his Russia talk) McCain gently states that China's new power "implies responsibilities." Almost apologetically, McCain says that its growth "raises legitimate expectations that internationally China will behave as a responsible economic partner."

"China could also," writes McCain (you know, if it feels like it), "bolster its claim that it is 'peacefully rising' by being more transparent about its significant military buildup." The apologetic tone continues when the senator mentions China's surprise tests of anti-satellite weapons. When China does such things, McCain explains, the United States "legitimately must question [China's] intent." And when China threatens Taiwan, the United States must "take note." Things start to get a little heated when China snuggles up to regimes in Burma, Sudan, and Zimbabwe; at which point "tension will result." But by then the lecture is over.

McCain ends his relatively tepid China bit by stating that China and the United States "are not destined to be adversaries. We have numerous overlapping interests. U.S.-Chinese relations can benefit both countries and, in turn, the Asia-Pacific region and the world."

McCain could have said the same thing about Russia. But he didn't. Obviously it's not because of China's wonderful human rights record or its humble geopolitical ambitions as compared to Russia. Something else is at work.

If Deripaska and company want to warm McCain up to Russia, they're going to have to find out what the China lobby's done to make him so reasonable. The good folks at Kissinger Associates might be able to help them figure it out.


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Zaitchik
Browse author
Alexander Zaitchik is an editor at The eXile. Email him at zaitchik@gmail.com
 
 
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