McCain’s lack of, and inappreciation of foreign affairs.

Philip Giraldi, the ex-CIA man who writes [1] The American Conservative’s invaluable gossip column, Deep Background, notes in the June 16th issue:

   Intelligence analysts who have briefed Sen. John McCain on international issues generally report that he is not very knowledgeable about most parts of the world, despite his years of experience in government and his campaign’s insistence that one of his principal strengths is foreign-policy expertise. When speaking with an area specialist or expert, McCain is primarily interested in stating his own perceptions and is not generally regarded as an attentive listener. Analysts do not like briefing him because he becomes angry and sometimes personally offensive when someone contradicts his view.

   One analyst stated that McCain’s alleged expertise on international issues is essentially bogus. He speaks no foreign language, and his international experience [prior to Congress] derives from brief postings at military bases, junkets while serving as Navy liaison to the Senate, and the misfortune of his rather more extensive stay in the Hanoi Hilton.

   As a Congressman, McCain served on committees dealing with Department of Interior issues, Indian affairs, and the problems of aging-all areas of particular interest to his Arizona constituents. As a senator, he has served on the three committees dealing with the armed services, Indian affairs, and commerce. …

   According to the analysts who have interacted with McCain, his[2] recent misstatements about various Muslim groups and other foreign-policy issues are not slips. They reflect a real lack of interest in other countries that makes it impossible for him to empathize with their problems…

   McCain, whose foreign-policy advisers are exclusively neocons, receives regular briefings from the distinguished scholars at the American Enterprise Institute, which are presumably more to his taste than the less colorful information provided by the $42 billion per year intelligence community.

Quoted from:…

6 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Danny the Red (hair) says:

    its a pretty hard shot from a conservative magazine

  2. Go Blue says:

    What’s really disturbing from this piece is the final two paragraphs. Not only does McCain not understand international relations, but he’d rather listen to a bunch of group-thinkers who will tell him what he wants to hear than experts who will tell him what he needs to know.

    But as the opening paragraph states:

    McCain is primarily interested in stating his own perceptions and is not generally regarded as an attentive listener.

    Facts don’t matter. Just perception.

    • Danny the Red (hair) says:

      Its really disturbing how he dismisses a questioner that is factually correct.

      Its not that he may or may not have known that ahmadinejad was not the ultimate authority in Iran, its that he 1. claims he knows what he is talking about 2. was almost rude in in his dismissal of the question 3. relies on the fact that the “average american” knows who the leader of Iran is when the average american is flat wrong.

  3. Barron X says:


    after all,

    those things are also true of Bush,

    and he did alright on foreign affairs, didn’t he ?


  4. parsingreality says:

    And the simple fact that he doesn’t proves he isn’t a real leader.

    Couple that with the fact he doesn’t use a computer – at all, apparently – how can we expect such a person to have even the slightest grasp of such technical and communications issues?

    AT least Obama has both qualities, I’ll give him that.  

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