There really are truths behind “the more things change, the more things stay the same.” In this case, the US is seeing a bit of Red Scare resurgence—new strain (our political characters being Senator John McCain, Rand Paul and Vladimir Putin). The two, US senators have been butting heads for some time, so it’s not absolutely shocking to learn of McCain pointing a figurative, conspiratorial finger at Paul.
While Putin was on the sidelines in this particular play, McCain more than validated the Russian’s existence while on the Senate floor, pushing for a bill to pass—one that would ultimately allow Montenegro to be part of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization). Additionally, he called out Paul’s opposition on this bill. “You are achieving the objectives of Vladimir Putin…trying to dismember this small country which has already been the subject of an attempted coup. … If they object, they are now carrying out the desires and ambitions of Vladimir Putin, and I do not say that lightly.”
A little after McCain requested all to be in favor of the bill to progress, Paul stepped up, reinforced his opposition and made an unforgettable exit. Upon Paul being done “hearing it,” McCain seemingly didn’t like that reaction, so he continued with his struggling-to-maintain-composure rant. “I note the senator from Kentucky leaving the floor without justification or any rationale for the action he has just taken. That is really remarkable—that a senator blocking a treaty that is supported by the overwhelming number (perhaps 98, at least, of his colleagues) would come to the floor and object and walk away. The only conclusion you can draw when [Rand Paul] walks away is he has no justification for his objection to having a small nation be part of NATO that is under assault from the Russians. So I repeat again, the senator from Kentucky is now working for Vladimir Putin.”
Is McCain right in his assumption(s)? That has yet to be determined, but this replay’s certainly worth a few handfuls of popcorn:
[Video: courtesy of C-SPAN via RT America]
“Senator McCain believes that the person who benefits the most from Congress’s failure to ratify Montenegro’s ascension to NATO is Vladimir Putin, whose government has sought to destroy the NATO alliance, erode confidence in America’s commitments to its allies, overthrow the duly elected government of Montenegro, and undermine democratic institutions throughout Europe,” a McCain spokesperson wrote to the media. “Senator McCain, and certainly the people of Montenegro, would appreciate an explanation from Senator Paul as to why he sought to prevent this small, brave country from joining in the defense of the free world,” they added.
But Senator Paul had his own words for the media, dismissing Senator McCain’s behavior and sticking to the main points. “Currently, the United States has troops in dozens of countries and is actively fighting in Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Yemen (with the occasional drone strike in Pakistan),” Paul wrote. “In addition, the United States is pledged to defend 28 countries in NATO. It is unwise to expand the monetary and military obligations of the United States given the burden of our $20 trillion debt.”
And Senator Paul’s not alone in his opposition. President Trump’s not exactly feeling the NATO situation either, as he said it’s “obsolete” and “costs us a fortune.” Nevertheless, McCain stood firm on his proposition.
What of Vladimir Putin? Well, his take is yet to be seen—if at all. Either way, it’s always wise to stick to the facts—leave the suppositions, assumptions and accusations to lawyers and Hollywood (when they make a blockbuster out of all the political drama).