Tuesday, April 29, 2008

McCain Provides for the Common Defense (I)

A month ago, John McCain outlined his foreign policy in a speech before the Los Angeles World Affairs Council. In one key part of the speech, McCain stressed the need for leading democracies to pull together, and added the U.S. must do a better job of listening to our friends:

 President Harry Truman once said of America, "God has created us and brought us to our present position of power and strength for some great purpose." . . . There is the powerful collective voice of the European Union, and there are the great nations of India and Japan, Australia and Brazil, South Korea and South Africa, Turkey and Israel, to name just a few of the leading democracies. There are also the increasingly powerful nations of China and Russia . . .

 We have to strengthen our global alliances as the core of a new global compact -- a League of Democracies -- that can harness the vast influence of the more than one hundred democratic nations around the world to advance our values and defend our shared interests. At the heart of this new compact must be mutual respect and trust. Recall the words of our founders in the Declaration of Independence, that we pay "decent respect to the opinions of mankind."

 [We should ensure] that the G-8, the group of eight highly industrialized states, becomes again a club of leading market democracies: it should include Brazil and India but exclude Russia. . . Western nations should make clear that the solidarity of NATO, from the Baltic to the Black Sea, is indivisible and that the organization's doors remain open to all democracies committed to the defense of freedom.

Comment: Democracy is the best form of government. It’s not something to force down someone’s throat; it’s something that evolves when a people embrace it. Democracies should offer a positive example to others, and democracies should support each other. McCain is right to favor drawing the democracies together in common purpose, and to call out by name some of the larger democracies. But why form an exclusive club that leaves out Russia or China? Since democracy is about people power, why not focus on the larger states—democratic or not—and work to draw them together in common purpose? I named those nations and called for such unity here.

No comments: