Senator John McCain was not happy about Vladimir Putin’s op-ed Wednesday in the New York Times. He said the other day he was “offended” by Russia, and he was not happy about Putin’s plan for Syria.
He told Jake Tapper on The Lead that he hoped negotiations between the U.S. and Russia succeeded, but now that they have, he’s upset that they did. He and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) say the deal is an “act of provocative weakness on America’s part.”
Hell, even China gave the OK to the U.S.-Russia deal.
So what’s McCain’s problem? Sure he’s grumpy, and he seems to have nearly as many positions as Rand Paul. And while he presents President Obama as being confused and weak, he seems rather confused himself.
Take his attempt to write an op-ed for Pravda in a sort of revenge stroke for Putin’s op-ed. But the New York Times is an independent American newspaper. It is not owned or operated by the government, the Republican Party, or the Democratic Party. Pravda, on the other hand, is the official organ of the Communist Party, established in 1912 even before the October Revolution put the Communists in power in 1917.
One problem is that McCain forgot to tell Pravda anything about his plans.
The other is that on Friday his spokesperson, Brian Rogers, said McCain had accepted an offer from Pravda to write an op-ed response to Putin’s. Time Magazine and Politico both were taken in and carried the announcement on Friday.
But Pravda made no such offer.
Pravda knew nothing about it. Boris Komotsky, Pravda’s editor, took to the party’s website to answer, in a piece titled Sen. John McCain wants to answer? saying, “There is only one Pravda in Russia, it is the organ of the Communist Party, and we have heard nothing about the intentions of the Republican senator.”
First Secretary of the Communist Party Gennady Zyuganov opined via the party’s website in a piece titled, GA Zyuganov – John McCain: “If you support the position of the Communist Party on Syria, then publish your article that “it is surprising that McCain did not bother to inform either the leadership of the party or the editors of Pravda.”
Zyuganov stressed, that neither Pravda nor the Communist Party was in negotiations with McCain to publish an op-ed to answer Putin.
Oh, oh dear.
It turns out that The Cable, Foreign Policy’s website, in its attempt to set up the deal, did not contact Pravda. They contacted pravda.ru, a website which has nothing to do with Pravda or with the Communist Party (Joshua Keating at The Slate calls it “whose content is a kind of cross between WorldNetDaily and the National Enquirer”) instead of gazeta-pravda.ru, which is where you will find THE Pravda.
McCain, who is so up-in-arms over Obama supposedly making the U.S. appear weak and foolish, has done just that with his Pravda faux pas.
Zyuganov says, sure McCain can write something for Pravda. But he has to follow the party line to do so.
Our answer to McCain is this: if you support the position of the Russian Communist Party on Syria, then we will publish your article.
But the Communist view is that Syria is Russia’s ally and that the U.S. is “trying to destroy our last ally in the Middle East, Syria. And one of the most rapacious hawks calling for direct aggression is Senator John McCain.”
John McCain, Zyuganov says, is a “russophobe.”
Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.
Well, that’s only fair. It’s true. And John McCain is an Obamaphobe who wanted to do some grandstanding of his own.
Unfortunately for McCain – or as McCain would put it – for the United States, McCain’s attempt to get some petty revenge on Putin has backfired.
The Russians can laugh, the Communists no doubt have laughed, and even we liberals can laugh. But that doesn’t change the fact that people like McCain occupy positions of power and authority in our national government, and that it is precisely these sorts of schoolboy antics that got us into two wars that lasted a decade apiece the last time the Republicans were in charge.
Be afraid world. Be very afraid.
Photo from The Guardian