Monday, August 11, 2008

John McCain "Prescient" On Russia And Putin

"It's particularly a moment where John McCain can claim to have been prescient." -- The Washington Post's David Broder

The Washington Post's David Broder: "It's Particularly A Moment Where John McCain Can Claim To Have Been Prescient." NBC's DAVID GREGORY: "David Broder, is this a 3 a.m. moment for foreign policy for these candidates?" WASHINGTON POST's DAVID BRODER: "It is and it's particularly a moment where John McCain can claim to have been prescient. Because in his basic foreign policy speech two months ago and in an interview that I did with him last week, he draws a very sharp line when it comes to Russia. He says these people are being aggressive and imperialist. There is no confusion, in his mind, about the character of the Putin-Medvedev government and he is prepared, I think, to make the case that this is a demonstration of exactly what he has been arguing for." (NBC's "Meet The Press," 8/10/08)

· Watch David Broder This Morning:

The Politico's Jonathan Martin: John McCain "Appears To Have Been Ahead Of The Curve In His Assessment That Moscow Was The Bad Actor Here." "When violence broke out in the Caucasus Friday morning, John McCain quickly issued a statement that was far more strident toward the Russians than that of President Bush, Barack Obama and much of the West. But, as Russian warplanes pounded Georgian targets far beyond South Ossetia this weekend, Bush, Obama and others have moved closer to McCain's initial position. It has been a rough few weeks for McCain on the foreign policy front -- paging Dr. Maliki -- but he appears to have been ahead of the curve in his assessment that Moscow was the bad actor here." (Jonathan Martin, "McCain Prescient On Russia?" The Politico, 8/10/08)

Chicago Tribune's Jill Zuckman: "It's Not Just This Part Of The World, But Senator McCain Has Been To So Many Exotic Places Like Waziristan And South Ossetia, And He's Very Comfortable With These Issues. He Knows What He Thinks." "And it's not just this part of the world, but Senator McCain has been to so many exotic places like Waziristan and South Ossetia, and he's very comfortable with these issues. He knows what he thinks. He's been in contact with the leaders involved in these places for many, many years. So it's really sort of a perfect thing for him. And so the question is each time something like this pops up randomly, we may see a cautiousness on the one hand by Senator Obama who has not been dealing with these things for years and maybe a little more aggressive voice from Senator McCain. And I'll just tell you his favorite thing to say about Vladimir Putin is, When I look into his eyes, I see a K, a G and a B. ' He's been very, very tough on Putin for quite some time." (Fox News' "Fox News Sunday," 8/10/08)

The Weekly Standard's Bill Kristol: "McCain Was Right About Putin." "McCain was right about Putin. He warned about Russia under Putin's ambitions. He wanted Russia excluded from the G-8." (Fox News' "Fox News Sunday," 8/10/08)

· Click Here To Read More About John McCain's Trip To South Ossetia In 2006:

· Watch Jill Zuckman And Bill Kristol This Morning:

The Washington Post's George Will: "Certainly Their Initial Responses, They Were, As You Say, Different. Mr. Obama's Initial Response Was To Say That Both Should Show Restraint: The Invader And The Invaded. That's Not What's Going On Here." "Certainly their initial responses, they were, as you say, different. Mr. Obama's initial response was to say that both should show restraint; the invader and the invaded. That's not what's going on here. What is going on here is an enormous world historic moment. Ballistic missiles, according to the United States administration including... plus a naval blockade, tanks, heavy artillery, and strategic bombers operating by Russia against a European nation." (ABC's "This Week," 8/10/08)

· Watch George Will This Morning:

The New York Times' Matt Bai: McCain "Does Understand What's Happening In That Region." "I know from my own reporting, he does understand what's happening in that region. He's been in Georgia. I know he's met with opposition leaders in Georgia." (ABC's "This Week," 8/10/08)

· Watch Matt Bai This Morning:

The Politico's Ben Smith: World Leaders And Barack Obama Coming To John McCain's Position On The Russia-Georgia Conflict. "McCain came out strong against Russia almost as soon as the crisis in the Caucasus ignited. Now, more world leaders are there, including Bush and Obama, whose new statement casts the blame more clearly." (Ben Smith, "Condemning Russia," The Politico, 8/9/08)

FLASHBACK: McCain Prescient On Russia And Putin In 1999 and 2000

John McCain, 1999: "The Mindless Slaughters Being Conducted By A Russian Military That Seeks To Reassert Itself Not Only In The Former Soviet Union, But Also To Extend Its Reach Throughout What Used To Be The Former Soviet Union In An Attempt To Fold Back Into The Russian Empire Those Countries That Have Broken Away From It, Most Notably Georgia."

"First, let's talk about Chechnya. The Chechen people are now subjected to a level of slaughter and massacre that we have not seen in Europe, perhaps since World War II. The mindless slaughters being conducted by a Russian military that seeks to reassert itself not only in the former Soviet Union, but also to extend its reach throughout what used to be the former Soviet Union in an attempt to fold back into the Russian empire those countries that have broken away from it, most notably Georgia, which is headed by one the great men in the history of the world, Mr. Shevardnadze. Also, t his obviously has a great effect on the next election in Russia. The Russian Prime Minister now is playing this to a great political gain. The Russians must be told that they will not only not be anymore IMF funding, there will not be any more export/import funding, and the United States will gauge its relations on the treatment of the Chechnans because what is happening right now is an unconscionable set of circumstances which if allowed to continue will then encourage Russia and the military to continue to this kind of expansion into the region and overthrow the embryonic nations that are there. The Russians have to understand that this is not something that we can turn a blind eye to, and we must have it stopped. Otherwise, it will have severe implications for our relations for years to come." (Republican Presidential Debate, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, 11/21/99)

· Watch John McCain On Russia And Putin In 1999:

John McCain, 2000: "I'm Very Concerned About Mr. Putin. I'm Afraid Mr. Putin Might Be One Of Those Who Wants To Make The Trains Run On Time." CNN's LARRY KING: "Senator, would you meet with, assuming Mr. Putin is elected in March, would you want to meet with him as a candidate? Other candidates have gone overseas while running for office, or right before the campaign begins."

JOHN MCCAIN: "I'm not sure that would be necessary, might be an interesting experience, because I know what's going on in Russia, so do a whole lot of my friends ... Well, we know he was a Apparatchik, we know he was a member of the KGB, we know that he came to power because of the military brutality and massacre that is taking place in Russia today -- I mean in Chechnya today. We know that he worked a deal with Yeltsin so that Yeltsin would have immunity and he would be assured the presidency rather than basically a contested. I'm very concerned abo ut Mr. Putin. I'm afraid Mr. Putin might be one of those who wants to make the trains run on time. So, yeah, I would meet with him as a candidate, but I think that what I would really like to do is send a message to Mr. Putin that we expect certain behavior out of the Russians and particularly what's going on in Chechnya today, a cessation of that brutality, and that it's a very important strategic part of the world for us." (CNN Republican Presidential Debate, Columbia, SC, 2/15/00)

· Watch John McCain On Russia And Putin In 2000:
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