Matt Yglesias and Ezra Klein both have some good comments on this Newsweek interview with McCain foreign policy adviser Randy Schuenemann, whose shady history as a registered foreign agent, cog in the neoconservative
war liberation machine, and shill for long cons has been covered in some depth on this blog. But there are a couple further comments that I want to highlight.
Scheunemann states that John McCain “recognizes there are certain people in the world who send children off to be suicide bombers or repress their citizens viciously whom you can’t use any word other than evil to describe.” That’s all fine, we know how conservatives get a huge charge out of calling various classes of people evil, but the point is, at least as regards McCain’s Iraq views, such people are only considered evil up until the moment when they decide to switch sides and ally with us against other evil people, at which point people like John McCain will, without batting an eye, stridently advocate giving our no longer-evil new allies millions of dollars to fight their still-evil former allies.
This is isn’t to suggest that paying one’s former enemies to fight one’s current enemies can’t be a wise tactical choice, it often is, just that when one was condemning one’s new allies as “evil terrorists” about five minutes ago, it tends to reveal one’s appeal to “moral clarity” as a mockery of a sham of a mockery of a travesty of two mockeries of a sham.
Speaking on McCain’s views on political progress in Iraq, Scheunemann says that McCain “has a realistic understanding of how you make peace“:
When you try to push parties that are unwilling to get together, you’re not going to have success. He’s said it’s important to keep moving forward, but we have to be realistic about the prospects.
Oops, sorry. Those are actually McCain’s views on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, where he believes we must be “realistic about the prospects” for reconciliation, while doing all we can to prevent a Palestinian government dominated by Islamic extremists like Hamas.
Whereas in Iraq, McCain believes it’s important to be wildly optimistic about the prospects of reconciliation, while insisting that a government dominated by Islamic extremists like Da’wa and ISCI represents American victory.