From Intention to Reality

As Ilan Goldenberg says it’s wrongheaded to give John McCain credit for professing a desire to improve relations with allies and rejoin the international community. It would be perverse to think that George W. Bush actually wanted the United States to become so isolated. The point is that Bush wanted to pursue policies of rogue state rollback and unilateral preventive war that are incompatible with the United States having a strong relationship with its actual and potential allies around the world. And John McCain wants to pursue those exact same policies; indeed, he was making the case for them before Bush was.

What matters isn’t what McCain says he wants to accomplish (an enduring peace based on freedom!); we need to be asking what would the actual consequences of his policies be.