McCain embraces the muddle of multilateralism

NY Times:

In a wide-ranging speech on foreign policy, Senator John McCain sought Wednesday to distance himself from the unilateralism that has been a hallmark of the Bush administration, saying Americans must, in the words of the Declaration of Independence, show “decent respect to the opinions of mankind.”

“We cannot build an enduring peace based on freedom by ourselves, and we do not want to,” Mr. McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee for president, said in remarks here to the Los Angeles World Affairs Council. “We have to strengthen our global alliances as the core of a new global compact.”

The speech, the most extended exposition of foreign policy views and principles the senator has delivered during the campaign, was an apparent effort to draw attention to his positions on topics other than his oft-repeated insistence that the nation stay the course in Iraq. He touched on nuclear proliferation, global warming, free trade and fighting AIDS in Africa.

But, turning directly to the war toward the end of his remarks, he said a precipitous withdrawal “would be an unconscionable act of betrayal, a stain on our character as a great nation.” He called for the United States to maintain a presence in Iraq until it could be transformed into a “peaceful, stable, democratic” state.

The campaign of Senator Barack Obama, Democrat of Illinois, immediately responded by saying in a statement, “John McCain is determined to carry out four more years of George Bush’s failed policies, including an open-ended war in Iraq that has cost us thousands of lives and billions of dollars while making us less safe.”

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Obama's statement shows he does not comprehend counterinsurgency warfare and the amount of time necessary to defeat an enemy determined to wage an insurgency. His policies will make this a much longer war and his retreat from Iraq will be a disaster for that country and this one.

But, McCain's embrace of multilateralism is no winner. Just look at places like Darfur, and the Sudan to see the slow genocide that is perpetrated while multilateral negotiations muddle along. Iran is another example of the failure of multilateral negotiations stop stop a determined adversary in its quest for a nuclear bomb. Then there is Zimbabwe where Mugabe's genocide on the cheap is unabated by the international community. Liberals and tyrants probably like to hear this bow to multilateralism, but their victims mush shudder and still go to bed in fear and hunger.

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