Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

John McCain deems the Georgia-Russia war the “first serious crisis internationally since the end of the Cold War”:

Satyam notes “the Gulf War, 9/11, and the Iraq War, to name a few” as possible alternatives. But beyond McCain’s seemingly poor memory, the interesting thing is the confusion in terms of high-level concepts. It was just a little while ago that McCain was giving speeches about how “the threat of radical Islamic terrorism” is “transcendent challenge of our time.” Now Russia seems to be the transcendent challenge. Which is the problem with an approach to world affairs characterized by a near-constant hysteria about threat levels and a pathological inability to set priorities.