Vail Daily column: Say goodnight, hawks
March 10, 2014
Pssst, hey, Arizona, would you do us all a big favor and put John McCain out to pasture, please?
Not in a bad way, though. Not like when a vet says your old dog will "go live on a big ranch and roam free," when in reality you know he's headed for the gas chamber.
Just get McCain off the public stage so we don't have to continue listening to him babble on about how we should keep sending more American troops to die on foreign soil to "prove how tough we are" to the rest of the world.
Oh, and South Carolina, please feel free to put Lindsey Graham back in the closet for, um, the same reason.
But with all due respect to Sen. McCain (who deserves plenty for the sacrifices he made to his country), screaming "feckless" while demanding we be "reckless" is the kind of macho-based cow-dung thinking that twisted us into this position in the first place.
We all remember when Bush looked Putin in the eye and fell in love, like the rest of the right wing, right?
Bush invades the wrong country, sends over 4,000 American troops to their death, over 100,000 innocent Iraqi civilians killed, an entire region was destabilized (more than it already was), $2 trillion added to our national debt, and now that we've left we ignore their civil war while unknown multitudes continue to die each day.
Egypt, Libya, Syria and Iran have all had issues in the past half dozen years where the extreme right (usually led by McCain) jumped to the immediate conclusion that Obama is weak and naive, demanding that American troops be sent in shooting blindly and without a plan.
Egypt and Libya now have regime changes, Syria is giving up its chemical weapons (albeit slowly) and Iran has at least stalled its nuclear program and agreed to international inspections — all this without a single American soldier firing a shot or returning home in a body bag.
POWER OF DIPLOMACY
Yes, they all certainly still have plenty of personal problems, but perhaps we should not dismiss the power of diplomatic relations as offhandedly as pretending a serious debate can be solved in 140 characters or less.
Would you prefer a few hundred American soldiers die each week in Syria?
And please spare me the pointless Neville Chamberlain analogies, as we live in a much different world today, with military hegemony quickly becoming an obsolete concept.
By this time next week we will know the election results in Crimea, but come on people, this ain't rocket science; it's political science.
Russia and China are in an economic crisis alongside the rest of us. (Who's to blame is irrelevant at this point.) Neither will risk war with the U.S., and it's a fool's game to assume so.
Putin's issues are really just fuel for his enormous ego and his nationalistic urge to control the price of natural gas, and he will use Crimea as perceived leverage to power his narcissism and maintain his access to the Black Sea for the obvious economic reasons.
Either way, these two nations have been separate since the Golden Horde came pounding through and were only put back together after World War II. The Russian people see the Ukrainian people as their underlings, and the Ukrainians see themselves as a free people and, let's face it, never the twain shall meet.
But as long as we don't have to listen to McCain spout off any more than is necessary for our troops to enjoy the moment, I could care less.
Richard Carnes, of Edwards, writes a weekly column. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.