That McCain has surrounded himself with such like-minded advisers who support the narrow PNAC agenda speaks to his unwillingness to hear and consider alternative perspectives. In fact, six out of 10 civilian foreign advisers to McCain are PNAC veterans. Even the newly appointed deputy communications director of the McCain campaign, Michael Goldfard, has been a research associate for PNAC. A die-hard adherent of the “unitary authority” of the chief executive, he recently stated that the framers of the United States Constitution advocated an “executive with near dictatorial power in pursuing foreign policy and war.”
Add to this list other major PNAC figures such as Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Pearle, Zalmay Khalilzad, and Dick Cheney who would probably play a significant role in a McCain administration and it is clear in what direction this nation would be moving.
A McCain administration would be likely to:
Invest incredible amounts of money in sustaining multiple, simultaneous wars overseas at the expense of neglecting pressing concerns at home, including the economy, health care, the environment and education.
Stockpile nuclear weapons, while seeking to prohibit its adversaries from having them.
Attempt to shield the U.S. with a multilayered missile defense system based on land, at sea, in the air and in space, while demanding that nations that are not its allies become sitting ducks.
Strive to develop more potent chemical and biological weapons—not to mention the genotype-specific variety, while at the same time claiming to be fighting a “war on terror.”
Legalize “Total Information Awareness”—going through all Americans’ phone calls, e-mail messages and other personal records without needing probable cause.
Take control of the Internet, globally using it as an offensive political weapon—while claiming to be spreading democracy throughout the world.
Dispense with checks and balances in favor of the “unitary executive authority” of the president.
Alienate nations that refuse to join our war coalitions.
Deny that there is (or can be) a United Nations.
A McCain administration would rule by fear, perceive right in terms of military might and subscribe to the idea of “do as I say and not as I do.” As a consequence, instead of rebuilding the image of America as a model of justice and civility, it would further sully respect for this nation throughout the world.
Elliot D. Cohen, Ph.D., is a political analyst and media critic. His most recent book is “The Last Days of Democracy: How Big Media and Power-Hungry Government Are Turning America Into a Dictatorship.” He was first-prize winner of the 2007 Project Censored Award.