One might not expect Donald J. Trump to take much of what Sen. John McCain has to say all that seriously … even about things with which he is intimately familiar.
After all, Trump said McCain wasn’t “really a war hero” during the Vietnam War, adding that “I like people who weren’t captured, OK?”
McCain, though, offers a serious word of advice to the president-elect: Do not make nice with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
According to Politico: “Vladimir Putin has rejoined Bashar Assad in his barbaric war against the Syrian people with the resumption of large-scale Russian air and missile strikes in Idlib and Homs,” the Arizona senator who was the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, said in a statement. “Another brutal assault on the city of Aleppo could soon follow.”
“With the U.S. presidential transition underway, Vladimir Putin has said in recent days that he wants to improve relations with the United States,” McCain added. “We should place as much faith in such statements as any other made by a former KGB agent who has plunged his country into tyranny, murdered his political opponents, invaded his neighbors, threatened America’s allies and attempted to undermine America’s elections.”
And Trump wants to try to get Putin on our side? He wants to link arms with the Russians in a fight to the death against the Islamic State?
McCain is correct to underscore Putin’s one-time role as the head of the Soviet spy agency, the KGB.
I’m no fan of McCain, although I certainly honor his service during the Vietnam War. He’s a war hero, no matter what Trump has said about him. McCain also understands the world stage in a way that Trump hasn’t even begun to grasp.
I almost can hear Trump now: “Who is this guy McCain telling me how to conduct foreign policy. I mean, I won a presidential election. He’s a loser.”
Sure, McCain lost the 2008 election. He knows his way around the world stage. The new president would do well to heed this man’s advice.