Wednesday, October 11, 2006

McCain the stooge

Oh, great. Another Republican stooge who's a presidential contender:

Sen. John McCain, a likely 2008 U.S. presidential contender, blamed former President Bill Clinton on Tuesday for failing to stop an unfolding nuclear threat from North Korea in the 1990s.

The Arizona Republican also took a swipe at Clinton's wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton, a New York senator and possible Democratic rival for the White House.

"I would remind Senator (Hillary) Clinton and other critics of the Bush administration policies that the framework agreement of the Clinton administration was a failure," McCain said in a statement, referring to a 1994 deal under which North Korea agreed to halt work on a plutonium-based nuclear facility, partly in exchange for free fuel oil deliveries.

"The Koreans received millions of dollars in energy assistance ... and what did the Koreans do? They secretly enriched uranium," McCain said.

"We had a carrots-and-no-sticks policy that only encouraged bad behavior. When one carrot didn't work, we offered another."

So explain, why did Bush give North Korea $95 million in 2002 without the Framework "requirement that North Korea allow inspectors to ensure it [had] not hidden away any weapons-grade plutonium from the original reactors." ??? And why did Bush antagonize North Korea by violating the Beijing agreement? McCain conveniently didn't offer any explanations because that would be completely truthful. He's another Republican who's not too swift on facts but full of bull... um, propaganda. Just what we don't need--another GOP kook. Digby has more:

What were they thinking? Now you have McCain out there talking total nonsense about North Korea and since he's been portrayed not only as an expert, but as a highly moral and decent man whom everyone including the president should trust, the media and everyone else are raptly listening to his crazy utterances like a bunch of fangirls.

The problem is that he's going to be an even worse problem than Bush in many ways as he emerges as a presidential contender. He's just as much of a warmonger, and just as wrong about everything, but he's got this phony bipartisan "credibility" that's going to make the slam dunk run-up to the Iraq war look like a a serious foreign policy debate. Which Democrats are going to be able to summon the nerve to oppose the great McCain when he tells tells the country that in his "expert judgement," we need to launch WWIII?

The country just can't afford any more of these kooks running the government --- and McCain is as kooky as any other Republican, possibly even more than most when it comes to national security. Unless the Democrats start yanking him off that pedestal soon, it's going to get more and more difficult for them to do it.

For the real scoop on the North Korea situation, this article by Fred Kaplan remains the gold standard. Hint: Massive screw-up, and it wasn't Clinton's.

Doesn't the GOP have anyone better that McCain? Nah, they don't. Too much red Kool-Aid rots the brain to the point that the reflexive response is to serve up another "It's Clinton's fault" red herring. Despite all the finger-pointing at Bill, he's still way more popular--before he left office and even now--compared to Bush. Democrats need to jump on McCain ASAP to unmask Curly before the GOP forces another stooge on voters trumped up as a viable candidate in 2008. Nothing could be further from the truth. Na-ah-uh-ah-uh-ah-uh-ah.