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In a bold leap forward in his nationalistic rhetoric, John McCain yesterday warned the World to get off America's lawn. Addressing the American Legion Convention in Phoenix, McCain complained about Barack Obama's Berlin speech of last month. Obama had declared that by working together the nations of the world could more effectively address international terrorism and other problems we face in common. You'd have thought that was pretty uncontroversial, but you wouldn't have reckoned with John McCain's slick presidential team. It decided that what Americans want to see is more confrontation with the rest of the globe, in the guise of "leadership". It turns out that America also wants to be reminded yet again that McCain was once a POW.

From McCain's speech:

My opponent had the chance to express such confidence in America, when he delivered a much anticipated address in Berlin. He was the picture of confidence, in some ways. But confidence in oneself and confidence in one's country are not the same. And in that speech, Senator Obama left an important point unclear. He suggested that the end of the Cold War proved that there was, "no challenge too great for a world that stands as one." Now I missed a few years of the Cold War, as the guest of one of our adversaries, but as I recall the world was deeply divided during the Cold War -- between the side of freedom and the side of tyranny. The Cold War ended not because the world stood "as one," but because the great democracies came together, bound together by sustained and decisive American leadership.

Steve Benen wonders "Why would a man running to be Leader of the Free World publicly reject the notion of international cooperation on global challenges?"

McCain seems to have gotten Obama's speech backwards. Obama talked about taking on global challenges -- counter-terrorism, global warming, counter-proliferation, the international drug trade -- and encouraging Europeans to join with the United States because, "No one nation, no matter how large or powerful, can defeat such challenges alone. None of us can deny these threats, or escape responsibility in meeting them."

[...] As Obama described it, encouraging our allies to follow our lead ultimately serves our interests, and the interests of free people around the globe.

McCain perceives this as lacking "confidence in America." I'm afraid today's bizarre criticism says more about McCain's twisted worldview than Obama's faith in American strength.

'Bizarre' is one word for McCain's hyper-nationalistic chest-thumping. He went on in his speech to insist that oppressed people around the world "do not resent or resist America's democratic influence in the world". Nope, no resentment at all - especially not in the neocon proving ground for exporting democracy, Iraq.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Wed Aug 27, 2008 at 06:50 AM PDT.

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