|Sen. McCain advising a young Swift Boat Captain?|
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry had six hours of talks Friday with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov about the impending vote of the Crimean Peninsula to secede from Ukraine. See US, West Brace For Crimea Vote To Leave Ukraine.
That story quotes Senator McCain making a rare philosophical point:
U.S. Sen. John McCain, in Kiev on Friday, pledged to help send an array of armaments, ranging from combat infantry rifles to anti-tank weapons, to Ukraine as quickly as possible. Ukraine's military is largely poorly trained, but McCain pointed to the looming Russian troops as enough reason to help the country defend itself.
"Would you like them to throw rocks?" said McCain, a hawkish Republican from Arizona. "If that's what they're literally begging for, why should we judge whether we give it to them or not?"
I had never before today seen Senator McCain as a postmodernist thinker, but he asks a very postmodern question. What right do we - the United States government - have to judge anyone or anything? In a world without moral certainty, what is there to think about before entering into the conflict between Ukraine and Russia, or any conflict anywhere, if that's what you feel like doing?
Really, who among us would be so judgy as to criticize what some other party wants? To cast the first stone, as it were?
(Turns out, lots of people would. Something about thinking, willing, and responsibility, to put it in philosophical terms that the newly reflective Senator McCain would appreciate.)
At first, I thought McCain might be alluding to Hamlet's speech about indecisiveness - "thus conscience does make cowards of us all" - as a way to criticize the overly analytical SecState Kerry.
But then I realized where I'd heard it before. I realized ... like I was shot ... like I was shot with a diamond ... a diamond bullet right through my forehead. It came out of Colonel Kurtz's monologue from Apocalypse Now!
|Col. Kurtz, totally not judging|
Fast-forward to the 5 minute mark for the key part of Kurtz's monologue. Or just enjoy the whole freaky thing. I won't judge.