Sunday, February 17, 2008

McCain? The Arizona Hawk

Is John McCain different? Will he bring a new agenda to Washington? To be sure, he is in the pocket of a slightly different group of capitalists than the Bushs. He does not pander as much to the religious right as some other Republican candidates.

However, he is a hard-core right wing war hawk and will do everything in his power to undermine and subvert the left both domestically and abroad. He has already done so, in fact, and as president he will accelerate his agenda using the full power of the state, including espionage, war and outright terrorism (in the form of assassinations, etc).

McCain's agenda is very close to being fascist insofar as his aim is to liquidate opposing world views by force with no heed paid to a democratic process nor how many people are hurt.

Hopefully he will not be elected as President of the United States. However if he is we can only expect the worst and anticipate increased world instability as a result of his reckless and hawkish policies.
Now that John McCain has presumably wrapped up the Republican nomination, it's natural to wonder what kind of foreign policy he might pursue towards the rest of the world if he were elected President. For example, how would the "maverick" McCain deal with Latin America?

In recent years, the region has taken a decidedly leftist turn; new leaders such as Hugo Chávez of Venezuela, Evo Morales of Bolivia, and Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua have openly challenged U.S. diplomatic and political influence. McCain's record suggests that he would pursue a very hawkish and antagonistic policy in the hemisphere. It's even possible that the Arizona Republican, who has suggested that the United States might be in Iraq for hundreds of years and might "bomb, bomb, bomb, Iran," could ratchet up military tensions in Latin America and escalate conflict with countries like Venezuela.

The International Republican Institute (IRI)

McCain has chaired the International Republican Institute (IRI) since 1993. Ostensibly a non-partisan, democracy-building outfit, in reality the IRI serves as an instrument to advance and promote the most far right Republican foreign policy agenda. More a cloak-and-dagger operation than a conventional research group, IRI has aligned itself with some of the most antidemocratic factions in the Third World.

On the surface at least, IRI seems to have a rather innocuous agenda including party building, media training, the organization of leadership trainings, dissemination of newsletters, and strengthening of civil society. In reality, however, the IRI is more concerned with crushing incipient left movements in Latin America.

One of the least known Washington institutions, IRI receives taxpayer money via the National Endowment for Democracy and the U.S. Agency for International Development (U.S. A.I.D.). The organization is active in around sixty countries and has a budget of $74 million. On the board of IRI, McCain has been joined by a who's who of Republican bigwigs such as Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, former National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft, and former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Jeane Kirkpatrick.

Kozloff, Nicholas. 14-February-2008. CounterPunch.

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