Maybe We Should All Buy Him a Time-Share There

by Kevin Jon Heller

John McCain on Guantanamo Bay, during a question-and-answer session with Walter Isaacson:

it may be one of the nicest places in the world to live in.

Hyperbole or not, shouldn’t comments like that disqualify someone from being president?

ADDENDUM: This is a pretty good one, too, concerning Russia’s invasion of Georgia:

My friends, we have reached a crisis, the first probably serious crisis internationally since the end of the Cold War.

11 Responses

  1. Are you saying the 2nd statement is wrong?

  2. Yes. The Balkan Wars, perhaps?

  3. Wow. We’ve had plenty of wars, small and large, and even a couple of genocides since the end of the Cold War, and McCain has conveniently forgotten about those because they did not involve Russia? Nice.

  4. Una – It is not that he forgot them, it is just that these wars are not characterized as international problems.  The genocides you speak of, were these the killing fields of the great leap? 

    KJH – The Balkans was important.  But, wasn’t the involvement by the US illegal?  Remember, the UN security counsel did not approve, thus it is illegal.

  5. Dreadnaught,

    With respect, your response to Una is incorrect.  The Security Council created the ICTY and ICTR after it specifically found the conflicts a threat to international peace and security — hence its invocation of Chapter VII in both cases.

    Moreover, whether NATO’s involvement in the Balkans was illegal has nothing to do with whether it was a “serious crisis internationally.”  Indeed, if NATO launched a large-scale bombing campaign contrary to international law, doesn’t that mean that the crisis was more serious, not less?

  6. None of those incidents really threatened to renew the Cold War.

    Additionally, I’m sure Gitmo is a pleasant place to live… of your own accord and free, that is.

  7. Perhaps a blatantly partisan response without even the pretense of an honest assessment should disqualify someone from being a professor?

    All kidding aside, regarding the Georgia quote, McCain appears from the video to be talking about the first serious international crisis since the Cold War vis a vis Russia.  

    It is a shame that this site is frequently devolving into poor attempts at “gotcha politics.”

  8. HLS,

    Your response is priceless.  Accusing me of a “blatantly partisan response without even the pretense of honest assessment” and then claiming that McCain was limiting his comment to Russia — a limitation that has absolutely no support in the video itself and simply reflects your own partisan desire to defend a candidate who descends ever further into self-parody with each passing day.  Maybe in your world “internationally” is somehow code for “internationally involving Russia,” but in our world we interpret what people say, not what we wish they had said.

    As for your equally ridiculous criticism of the site, the response is an obvious one: if you don’t like it, don’t read it.  It is, after all, a free country.

  9. Professor Heller,

    Here’s the issue.  Any remotely reasonable person would acknowledge that McCain recognizes that there are (or have been) at least several serious international crises since the Cold War.  Only your blind hatred prevents you from attributing to McCain even a modicum of intelligence.  As such, you decide to take the straight, literal interpretation of a small quote without regard to context or possibly considering it in the whole of what McCain says in general.  Only a “blatant partisan” does that. 

    The fact that McCain doesn’t limit the particular statement in this quotation to Russia is a mistake.  However, consider what he is saying.  McCain says “since the Cold War.”  Hmm, who was the other major player in the Cold War?  The Soviet Union.  Perhaps, just perhaps, that provides one clue to the context. 

    The fact that you attribute such a ridiculous level of stupidity to your political opponents says far more about you, than them.

    If you want to continue in this “gotcha politics” perhaps you should ask Obama why he thinks there are some 57-58 states? But, let’s don’t. It really is all quite ridiculous.

  10. Actually, let’s do it. It should be fun. Here is the link

    So, Professor Heller as you can see from the video Obama believes that there are 58 states.  As you say, “in our world we interpret what people say, not what we wish they had said.”  Obama clearly stated there are 58 states.  Also per your criteria, we can’t consider limitations or other evidence not in the video clip. So, how can you support a candidate that is very clearly, according to your criteria, so incredibly stupid that he thinks there are 58 states?

    I’d suggest it is your hyper partisanship that is descending into parody territory.

  11. Wow, what a pitiful comparison!  A simple slip of the tongue — much like McCain with Czechoslovakia, but only once instead of three times — versus a statement that either demonstrates woeful ignorance (at worst, and unlikely) or the inability to communicate clearly concerning matters of tremendous international significance when on a world stage (at best, and more likely).  Yeah, the examples are really equivalent.  Remind me, whose hyper-partisanship is a parody?

Trackbacks and Pingbacks

  1. There are no trackbacks or pingbacks associated with this post at this time.