Third Bush Term Watch: McCain Advocates ‘Transforming The World’

Today, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) made his first major foreign policy address since clinching his party’s nomination. Claiming to be a “realistic idealist” McCain laid claim to many of the traditions of liberal internationalism, referencing Harry Truman and John F. Kennedy in pledging to “work very hard and very creatively to build new foundations for a stable and enduring peace“:

I believe it is possible in our time to make the world we live in another, better, more peaceful place, where our interests and those of our allies are more secure, and American ideals that are transforming the world, the principles of free people and free markets, advance even farther than they have. […]

America must be a model citizen if we want others to look to us as a model.

If you think this sounds familiar, you’re right. George W. Bush made many of these same noises about freedom and democracy, such as this from his 2003 State of the Union:

Americans are a resolute people who have risen to every test of our time. Adversity has revealed the character of our country, to the world and to ourselves. America is a strong nation, and honorable in the use of our strength. We exercise power without conquest, and we sacrifice for the liberty of strangers.

Americans are a free people, who know that freedom is the right of every person and the future of every nation. The liberty we prize is not America’s gift to the world, it is God’s gift to humanity.

….right before he hauled off and invaded Iraq. There’s no reason to believe that McCain will behave any differently, especially since many of the neoconservative ideologues who advocated Bush’s disastrous Iraq misadventure are now advising McCain. We don’t have to imagine what a John McCain foreign policy might look like, we’ve seen it.