Tags: John McCain | McCain | Tillerson

McCain Hits Tillerson Over US Foreign Policy Vision

Image: McCain Hits Tillerson Over US Foreign Policy Vision
John McCain (AP)

By    |   Monday, 08 May 2017 12:06 PM

Sen. John McCain criticized Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's vision of foreign policy, saying it abandoned U.S. values and extinguished hope for victims of oppression around the world.

McCain addressed Tillerson in a column published Monday in The New York Times, a response to remarks the nation's chief diplomat made to State Department employees Wednesday.

"In some circumstances, if you condition our national security efforts on someone adopting our values, we probably can't achieve our national security goals," Tillerson said. "It really does create obstacles."

McCain, who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee, wrote, "With those words, Secretary Tillerson sent a message to oppressed people everywhere: Don’t look to the United States for hope. Our values make us sympathetic to your plight, and, when it’s convenient, we might officially express that sympathy.

"We make policy to serve our interests, which are not related to our values. So, if you happen to be in the way of our forging relationships with your oppressors that could serve our security and economic interests, good luck to you. You're on your own," McCain wrote.

Critics have scolded President Donald Trump for his overtures to foreign dictators - such as Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Egypt's Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Russia's Vladimir Putin and North Korea's Kim Jong Un - in his efforts to forge higher diplomatic relationships for U.S. interests.

McCain reflected back onto his own experience as a prisoner of war, where he recounted the North Vietnamese captors would "infect us with despair and dissolve our attachment to our country," insisting "the American government and people had forgotten us."

If he and his fellow prisoners had not had the hope of U.S. support, he said some could have "ransomed our honor for relief from abuse."

"We clung to evidence to the contrary, and let it nourish our hope that we would go home one day with our honor intact," McCain wrote. "That hope was the mainstay of our resistance."

McCain described the U.S. as a "country with a conscience” and explained Tillerson was misguided for promoting a policy that was "a straightforward if graceless elucidation of a foreign policy based on realism.”

"It is foolish to view realism and idealism as incompatible or to consider our power and wealth as encumbered by the demands of justice, morality and conscience," McCain said.

"Depriving the oppressed of a beacon of hope could lose us the world we have built and thrived in. It could cost our reputation in history as the nation distinct from all others in our achievements, our identity and our enduring influence on mankind. Our values are central to all three," he added.

The U.S. differed from other nations because "we are not made from a land or tribe or particular race or creed, but from an ideal that liberty is the inalienable right of mankind and in accord with nature and nature’s Creator," McCain wrote, adding, "We saw the world as it was and we made it better."

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Sen. John McCain criticized Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's vision of foreign policy, saying it abandoned U.S. values and extinguished hope for victims of oppression around the world. McCain addressed Tillerson in a column published Monday in The New York Times...
McCain, Tillerson
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2017-06-08
Monday, 08 May 2017 12:06 PM
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