web analytics
August 30, 2014 / 4 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



Home » InDepth » Monitor »

McCain: Kerry Revisited?


Media-Monitor-logo

Arizona Sen. John McCain, the early front-runner for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination, had a potential John Connally/Mike Dukakis/John Kerry moment earlier this month, and hardly anyone seems to have noticed.

What McCain did was make some disturbing informal remarks to the Israeli daily Haaretz – informal only in the sense that as a still undeclared candidate, his comments, as Haaretz’s Amir Oren wrote, “reflect the personal opinion of a senior and influential figure in the area of defense policy in the United States Senate, rather than an attempt to formulate policy guidelines for his administration.”

McCain told Haaretz that as president, he would “micromanage” U.S. policy toward Israel and the Palestinians and would dispatch “the smartest guy I know” to the region, presumably to jump-start a new push for a comprehensive accord.

Asked who that “smartest guy” might be, McCain responded: “Brent Scowcroft, or James Baker, though I know that you in Israel don’t like Baker.”

McCain foresaw “concessions and sacrifices by both sides” and indicated that Israel would be expected to “Defend itself and keep evacuating.” Asked whether that meant “movement toward the June 4, 1967 armistice lines, with minor modifications,” McCain, reported Haaretz, “nodded in the affirmative.”

McCain’s statements are jarring not only because they reflect the view, long championed by the State Department and both the moderate and liberal wings of the Democratic party, that the U.S. can somehow “micromanage” a fair and equitable Mideast peace (code for unilateral Israeli concessions, since the Palestinians have nothing concrete to concede), but as well for the almost cavalier dismissal of concerns about an interlocutor on the order of a James Baker.

(McCain’s mention of Scowcroft, whose Mideast views and chilly attitude toward Israel are indistinguishable from those espoused by Baker, is equally instructive and should serve as one more caveat for McCain supporters in the pro-Israel community.)

Judging from the Mideast-related mishaps of previous high-profile presidential wannabes, the reaction to McCain’s comments would have been far less muted had he made them later in the campaign cycle (the first presidential primaries are still some 20 months away and McCain, as noted by Amir Oren, hasn’t officially declared his candidacy). Time will tell whether his remarks in Haaretz were an aberration or a harbinger.

McCain’s reference to James Baker was especially curious given the flurry of criticism that descended on John Kerry during the 2004 presidential campaign when the Massachusetts senator told the Council on Foreign Relations that if elected president he would appoint the “uniquely qualified” Jimmy Carter, James Baker or Bill Clinton as his Middle East peace envoy.

Kerry only made things worse when he claimed afterward – despite evidence to the contrary in the “as prepared for delivery” version of the speech posted on his own website – that the offending passage had been inserted into the speech at the last minute by staffers.

Michael Dukakis was another candidate who stumbled badly when attempting to lay out a Mideast policy. Speaking at a forum sponsored by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations in April 1988, the Democratic Massachusetts governor appeared unfamiliar with basic Israeli history and unsure of where he stood on a variety of important issues. Many in the audience of Jewish leaders pronounced themselves decidedly unimpressed, and the next day’s Daily News article on the meeting was headlined “Duke is milk and honey, and waffle.”

Kerry and Dukakis both went on to win their party’s nomination, though both had their White House hopes dashed by men named George Bush. John Connally didn’t even come close. The Democrat-turned-Republican former Texas governor gave a speech in October 1979 to the Washington Press Club in which he demanded that Israel halt what he called its “creeping annexation of the West Bank” and return all territory captured in 1967.

Connally was lambasted by conservatives and liberals alike (times certainly have changed), and his once promising presidential campaign quickly withered. By the time he dropped out of the primaries, he’d spent $11 million and won the support of exactly one Republican convention delegate.

About the Author: Jason Maoz is the Senior Editor of The Jewish Press.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “McCain: Kerry Revisited?”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Anti-Semitic Briitsh MP George Galloway poses with a lump on his head after being assaulted.
British Man Beats Up Anti-Semite George ‘Hitler’ Galloway
Latest Indepth Stories
IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz reviewing maps on the Golan Heights.

The bad news is that ISIS and Al Qaeda are on the Syrian Golan. The good news is that every terrorist in Syria is killing each other.

TorahScroll AoT17

The congregants, Ethiopians spanning generations, were beaming with joy and pride.

Troodler-082914

The withdrawal from the Gaza Strip nine years ago did not enhance Israel’s security.

Eisenstock-082914

How does a soldier from a religious home fall in love with a soldier from a non- religious kibbutz?

In 19th century entire ancient Jewish communities fled Palestine to escape brutal Muslim authorities

Responsibility lies with both the UN and Hamas, and better commitments should have been demanded from both parties in the ceasefire.

But the world is forever challenging our Jewish principle and our practices.

If this is how we play the game, we will lose. By that I mean we will lose everything.

Reportedly, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates have formed a bloc that seeks to counter Islamist influence in the Middle East.

One wonders how the IDF could be expected to so quickly determine the facts.

While there is no formula that will work for everyone, there are some strategies that if followed carefully and consistently can help our children – and us – gain the most from the upcoming school year.

We risk our lives to help those who do what they can to kill to our people .

Twain grasped amazingly well the pulse of the Jewish people.

The entertainment industry appears divided about the conflict between Israel and Hamas.

More Articles from Jason Maoz
Charles Krauthammer

Wye would be seen to have set the groundwork for the creation of a Palestinian state

Presidential-Seal-062014

These are not necessarily the best all-around biographies or studies of the individual presidents listed (though some rank right up there), but the strongest in terms of exploring presidential attitudes and policies toward Israel.

The Clintonan “engagement” liberals remember with such fondness did nothing but embolden Arafat and Hamas and Hizbullah as they witnessed Israel’s only real ally elevate process ahead of policy.

What really makes one wonder about the affinity felt by certain Jews for Grant was the welcome mat he put out for some of the country’s most pernicious anti-Semites.

With 2013 marking half a century since Kennedy’s fateful limousine ride in Dallas, the current revels are exceeding the revisionist frenzies of years past, with a seemingly endless parade of books, articles and television specials designed to assure us that, despite everything that has come to light about him since his death, JFK was a great president, or at least a very good president who would have been great had his life not been so cruelly cut short.

As someone who for the past fifteen years has been writing a column that largely focuses on the news media, I’ve read what is no doubt an altogether unhealthy number of books on the subject. Most of them were instantly forgettable while some created a brief buzz but failed to pass the test of time. And then there were those select few that merited a permanent spot on the bookshelf.

George W. Bush has been getting some positive media coverage lately, with recent polls showing him at least as popular as his successor, Barack Obama, and a big new book about the Bush presidency by New York Times chief White House correspondent Peter Baker (Days of Fire, Doubleday) portraying Bush as a much more hands-on chief executive than his detractors ever imagined.

Readers who’ve stuck with the Monitor over the years will forgive this rerun of sorts, but as we approach the fortieth anniversary of the Yom Kippur War – and with the stench of presidential indecisiveness hanging so heavily over Washington these days – it seemed only appropriate to revisit Richard Nixon’s role in enabling Israel to recover from the staggering setbacks it suffered in the first week of fighting.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/media-monitor/mccain-kerry-revisited/2006/05/10/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: