Thursday, September 18, 2008

McCain Rains on Spain.....

Is McCain's new foreign policy..."Keep your enemies close, but your friends at arms length... and don't be consistent whatever you do."

During an interview on Spanish radio this week, McCain refused to commit to a meeting with Spain's prime minister, Jose Luis Zapatero.

When the questioner pressed the point a third time, McCain replied: "I have a clear record of working with leaders in the hemisphere that are friends with us and standing up to those who are not."

At this point, the reporter sought to clarify that McCain was not mixing up South America with Europe.

"I'm talking about the president of Spain," she noted.

Given this fourth opportunity to extend an olive branch to Spain, McCain stuck to his guns: "I'm willing to meet with any leader who is dedicated to the same principles and philosophy that we are for human rights, democracy and freedom and I will stand up to those who are not."

That McCain would lump Zapatero in with such Latin American bad guys as Venezuela's Hugo Chavez comes as a surprise, because Zapatero and Juan Carlos, the King of Spain, were the protagonists in one of the most public anti-Chavez moments in the Spanish-speaking world. (WaPo)

When queried on McCain's puzzling stance, McCain's foreign policy adviser Randy Sheunemann backed up McCain remarks, and told the Washington Post in an e-mail that McCain's answer was intentional and that "there is no doubt Senator McCain knew exactly to whom the question referred."

So how does this square with an early-April interview when McCain said: "This is the moment to leave behind discrepancies with Spain."

At that time he added: "I would like for [President Zapatero] to visit the United States. I am very interested not only in normalizing relations with Spain but in obtaining good and productive relations with the goal of addressing many issues and challenges that we have to confront together."

The recent McCain interview suggests that the senator was indeed confused as to who Zapatero and Spain were.... although he had words of praise for the your-land-is-my-land Mexican government.

Maybe McCain needs to join Sarah Palin's foreign countries flash-card tutorial sessions.



No comments: