Is McCain Hijacking Trump’s Foreign Policy?

By Pat Buchanan

John McCain
Is McCain Hijacking Trump's Foreign Policy?
Pat Buchanan
Patrick J .Buchanan

USA –  -( “The senator from Kentucky,” said John McCain, speaking of his colleague Rand Paul, “is working for Vladimir Putin … and I do not say that lightly.”

What did Sen. Paul do to deserve being called a hireling of Vladimir Putin?

He declined to support McCain's call for a unanimous Senate vote to bring Montenegro into NATO as the 29th member of a Cold War alliance President Trump has called “obsolete.”

Bordered by Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Kosovo and Albania, tiny Montenegro has a population roughly that of D.C., and sits on the western coast of the most volatile peninsula in Europe.

What strategic benefit would accrue from having Montenegro as an ally that would justify the risk of our having to go to war should some neighbor breach Montenegro's borders?

Historically, the Balkans have been an incubator of war. In the 19th century, Otto van Bismarck predicted that when the Great War came, it would come out of “some damn fool thing in the Balkans.” And so it did when the Austrian archduke was assassinated in Sarajevo June 28, 1914 by Serbian ethnonationalist Gavrilo Princip.

Aflame with ethnic, civil and sectarian war in the 1990s, the western Balkans are again in political turmoil. Milo Djukanovic, the longtime Montenegrin prime minister who resigned on election day in October, claims that he was targeted for assassination by Russia to prevent Montenegro's accession to NATO.

Russia denies it. But on the Senate floor, McCain raged at Rand Paul: “You are achieving the objectives of Vladimir Putin … trying to dismember this small country which has already been the subject of an attempted coup.”

But if Montenegro, awash in corruption and crime, is on the verge of an uprising or coup, why would the U.S. issue a war guarantee that could vault us into a confrontation with Russia — without a full Senate debate?

The vote that needs explaining here is not Rand Paul's.

It is the votes of those senators who are handing out U.S.-NATO war guarantees to countries most Americans could not find on a map.

Is no one besides Sen. Paul asking the relevant questions here?

What vital U.S. interest is imperiled in who comes to power in Podgorica, Montenegro? Why cannot Europe handle this problem in its own back yard?

Has President Trump given McCain, who wanted President Bush to intervene in a Russia-Georgia war — over South Ossetia! — carte blanche to hand out war guarantees to unstable Balkan states?

Did Trump approve the expansion of NATO into all the successor states born of the bloody breakup of Yugoslavia?

Or is McCain hijacking U.S. foreign policy on NATO and Russia?

Get Trump
Is McCain hijacking U.S. foreign policy on NATO and Russia?

President Trump should tell the Senate: No more admissions to NATO, no more U.S. war guarantees, unless I have recommended or approved them. Foreign policy is made in the White House, not on the Senate floor.

Indeed, what happened to the foreign policy America voted for — rapprochement with Russia, an end to U.S. wars in the Middle East, and having rich allies share more of the cost of their own defense?

It is U.S., not NATO defense spending that is rising to more than $50 billion this year. And today we learn the Pentagon has drawn up plans for the insertion of 1,000 more U.S. troops into Syria. While the ISIS caliphate seems doomed, this six-year Syrian war is far from over.

An al-Qaida subsidiary, the Nusra Front, has become the most formidable rebel fighting group. Syria's army, with the backing of Russia, Iran, Hezbollah and Shiite militias from across the Middle East, has carved out most of the territory it needs.

The Turkish army is now in Syria, beside its rebel allies. Their main enemy: Syria's Kurds, who are America's allies.

From our longest war, Afghanistan, comes word from U.S. Gen. John Nicholson that we and our Afghan allies are in a “stalemate” with the Taliban, and he will need a “few thousand” more U.S. troops — to augment the 8,500 President Obama left behind when he left office.

Some 5,000 U.S. troops are in Iraq, helping to liberate Mosul from ISIS. In Kabul, Baghdad and Damascus, terrorist bombings are a weekly, if not a daily, occurrence.

Then there is the U.S. troop buildup in Poland and the Baltic, the U.S. deployment of a missile defense to South Korea after multiple missile tests in the North, and Russia and China talking of upgrading their nuclear arsenals to counter U.S. missile defenses in Poland, Romania and South Korea.

In and around the waters of the Persian Gulf, United States warships are harassed by Iranian patrol boats, as Tehran test-fires anti-ship and anti-aircraft missiles to send the Americans a message: Attack us and it will not be a cakewalk war.

With the death of Communism, the end of the Cold War, and the collapse of the Bushite New World Order, America needs a new grand strategy, built upon the solid foundation of America First.


Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of the new book “The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority.

  • 33 thoughts on “Is McCain Hijacking Trump’s Foreign Policy?

    1. Dave. You are so very right. Could not agree more.
      As for McCain being reelected by the people of AZ it’s because no creditable Rebublican has run against him. So, it’s either vote for McCain or his Democrat rival.

    2. John McCain, Sir – Thank you for your service. Now please retire before you destroy the ability of this administration to FINALLY get some stuff done, including the VA. It’s not about your camera time, it’s about America!
      You are no longer part of the solution, you are part of the problem!

    3. It’s getting to hard to tell the difference between McCain & Pelosi! I think maybe they should make it a team effort to resign and split a room at the retirement home.

      1. Google McClain “songbird” and then tell me again that he’s a war hero! He turned on his fellow POWs, and made a recording for his captors. He actually got legislation past to cover up his collusion.

        1. I did. Read the last sentence:

          I also knew USAF COL Bud Day briefly, along with 6 other Navy pilots who were POW’s. Most were CO’s when I went through the training command, and I was able to talk to them again over the years while I rose through the ranks. Col Day and I last talked before Ronald Reagan’s funeral at a gathering of MOA awardees. We talked about his friendship with McCain, and he praised the man for all the extra stuff he went through by the enemy with his dad commanding all Navy forces in the Pacific.

          One of the POW’s was a former CO of the U of MN NROTC unit that I later commanded. I used to bring him back to talk to the Seniors on the Code of Conduct as the capstone of our leadership course. Never a dry eye in the room when he talked about what they went through. Must admit it got to me too. OBTW, he’s a matter of fact kind of guy…never complained and always said “I never talk about this stuff to anybody except when asked to speak about it specifically…I’m not a “career” POW.” He was also in camp with McCain and Day and had nothing but praise for them. He also said that those who were collaborators are dead to the group and never mentioned by name, ever.

          Now, is this “proof” that what you say didn’t happen? No. Virtually every man in Vietnam broke eventually. A few were so nasty to their captors that they were killed, though.

          Recommend you read “When Hell was in session” by Jeremiah Denton if you can find a copy. It is an amazing tribute to what those guys went through.

          All of them had good things to say about McCain’s conduct as a POW. Had the chance to talk to Col Day as an 01 and again as an 06, total of about 45 min.

          1. Politifact is a far left winger organization and about as believable and trust worthy as SNOPES. I wouldn’t trust either of them to scoop doggy poop.

            1. I agree that it is a left leaning organization. How far left? Well, they did criticize Obama several times, esp on the “If you like your doctor” lie…made their “lie of the year in 2013. Not a lot of news organizations ever did criticize Obama.

              Trying to understand the thought process here. McCain is right leaning, probably more of what used to be a centerist. I don’t think he’s a leftist, do you?

              So, why would a left leaning (or far left leaning) organization as you say) support someone to the right of them? Just trying to make him look good? For what purposes?

              This is from Newsmax, not exactly leftist.

              I did not find a single website that cited anything about McCain’s being called a “songbird” by any named source, period. It was always “POW’s say.” Many of those sites were also not credible sources, just “I heard” and “I believe”.

              Understand where I’m coming from. I separate the service from the politician. I think the politician has stayed too long at the dance, and is part of the swamp that needs draining now. McCain was not a great officer before he got shot down, and even says that. I have seen nothing to convince me he was a traitor. If you believe that, we can agree to disagree.

              You can see some of the crazy stuff said above that was flat out wrong about his dad/grandad. All Internet legend and BS.

              I’ve met and talked to numerous POW’s for several hours during my 30 years of service as a Naval Aviator. Not one single one crinkled up his nose, turned away or said something negative about McCain. None. In addition, Bud Day, who was his room mate thought the world of him. Not making that up, he said it both in private and in print. Believe me, this is not bunch of PC guys who would be afraid to criticize him if they thought he went off the ranch. They ostracize the guys they thought were traitorous POW’s…and they don’t ostracize him.

              I was just a dumb Ensign when I worked for McCain, wasn’t even an aviator then, just stashed with his squadron awaiting flight school. He was fresh out of POW camp and the CO of the East Coast A-7 training outfit. Thought he was a hard ass, but I respected him.

              Watched him as I climbed the ranks and did not care for him as he got involved in politics. Given the other options, I did vote for the man for President.

              So, like many of the folks here, I think he’s been there too long, has forgotten “why” he was elected and should go home. Good case for term limits.

              The good Lord blessed me and kept me alive through 3 combat tours. Got shot at but never hit, and as a professional, read everything I could find on POW’s. Can’t imagine what it was like to be tortured and starved for year upon year. So, understand, I do not treat someone throwing around the term “traitor” lightly. I do not think the guy is a traitor in any sense of the word. My opinion, and YMMV.

              Maybe there are others on the board who have more experience, more insight, or more definitive proof, and I’m always glad to listen and learn.

          2. You sound like your in love with him . Tell me do you have his picture on your bedside table?
            Do you have one of those projector things that projects his photo on the ceiling so the last thing you see is his face before you go to sleep?
            Do you kiss his picture before sleeping, and upon waking?
            You say you have done all these things in reference to military duty, but offer no proof. To drop names that are public info. is all well and good especially when you can remain anonymous.

            1. No, no, and no. Hope that answers your questions. I am sorry that anything I said offended you, but to the best of my knowledge, nothing I said was a distortion, or untrue.

              Also, if you read my comments, you will also see that I threw no rocks at anyone I addressed, but treated them with respect. Did you?

              It is easy for guys to throw rocks at someone anonymously over the Internet as some here have done based on what they “heard.” Like the gents who had all sorts of things they “knew” about his grandfather…even though the gent was dead long before alleged events happened. Like the gent that said McCain blew up the USS Forrestal, when all McCain did was survive the fire. An F-4 across the flight deck shot a Zuni which hit the aircraft next to McCain. No involvement by him at all.

              Check the facts.

              I’ve seen the Senator exactly once since I worked for him. He didn’t have a clue who I was.

              I have seen all sorts of allegations and whispering about McCain. Unfortunately, as you rightly point out, the Internet is full of posers, armchair warriors and folks who say things that would get them poked in the nose, if they said it in person.

              As far as the when: I worked for McCain in 1977 in VA-174 right after
              he was released from POW camp. I met Bud Day at McCain’s outgoing COC. Made a real impression as a full bird Colonel spent 15 min talking to me, an Ensign with no warfare specialty in a room full of guys with DFC’s, Silver Stars, and other major awards. Met him the second time at the end of my career when he was long retired, and before he died of cancer. Wrote him a note the weekend before he died telling him how grateful we were for all the things he did for the military both in the service and as a lawyer after he retired.

              I met with the MOH awardees at the World Famous “I” bar in 2004. I was there running national NROTC training on NS San Diego as the officer in charge (seconded from my U of MN CO job). That night I was shooting the breeze with the CO of the Ronald Reagan, CAPT Jim “Symo” Symonds and catching up on old times. He was an A-6 guy, I flew EA-6B’s. Symo didn’t think Reagan would be in port the month I was there, then when President Reagan died, he called and asked me to come over for a drink. The USS Reagan served as the public memorial service for the President.

              I wasn’t invited to the dinner for the MOH men, but got introduced to all of them and spent about an hour chatting with them.

              The guy who spoke to my NROTC Seniors is named CAPT Arvin Chauncey. He was CO of the unit after his release from Hanoi. Google his name. Arv is an amazing man.

              OK, as to your reference to being a name dropper yeah, I really do have proof. When you get to be one of the top Captains in the US Navy before you retire, you’ve probably met a few folks, some greats and some not so greats. You might also get angry when people throw around the word TRAITOR like it was pocket change. Part of the anonymity thing again. None of these people ever said anything bad about McCain in my presence. Does that mean anything? Maybe not. But Arv Chauncey had ample room to do so in the privacy of my office, and Bud Day certainly had nothing to gain by distorting the truth…and they did mention “traitors” and said they never named names…part of a decision they made as a group en route home…but the traitors were shunned by the group.

              I don’t think McCain is doing anybody any good right now…pretty much in line with many of our politicians…that is why the country is sliding downhill fast. But remember, this is also a nation that elected Feinstein, Pelosi, Reid, Obama and so on again and again.

              However, staying too long and getting addicted to the DC power structure is the people of Arizona’s fault for sending him back. And if someone calls someone a traitor, I’d ask that they put up the reliable source, not just “I heard” or “I think.” or cite a website that is also full of “I heard and I said” things. I do not admire the Senator, but I do not think him a traitor. Just lost.

              Here is my bio btw, not that you care. Plus someone (not me) posted a check in that I gave to new Midshipmen at the U of MN.



              Former other POW CO’s.: Ray Alcorn, CO of VT-25, POW Bob Flynn CO of VT-86 (held in China) Spent a lot of time at the bar with those gents. Most had severe emotional or physical injuries that they came back from.

              Would be a lot of effort to just “create” this so I could address someone who blasts me over the Internet, don’t you think?

              I look forward to reading your own biography and why you hate McCain so much.

    4. McCain should be censored then sent out to kiss ass with the liberals. He is just as bad as Obama and that makes him a turncoat.
      In so far as him being a hero, not what I think is a hero. A hero isn’t a prisoner of war but a combatant that fought
      to the very end and refused to be taken prisoner. The hero lived to fight and save those he could,and not give up because it’s easier than the alternative.
      For every good point McCain has ever had he has blown it with ignorance of what the people who hired him to do for Arizona and the rest of America.

      1. I served as a Naval Flight Officer from 1960 to 1967, overlapping part of McRino’s career. Even before commissioning, while in Pre-Flight, my classmates and I were ordered to memorize the Code of the US Fighting Man.

        1. I am an American fighting man. I serve in the forces which guard my country and our way of life. I am prepared to give my life in their defense.
        and following articles. Look it up.


          1. I am an American fighting man. I serve in the forces which guard my country and our way of life. I am prepared to give my life in their defense.

          2. I will never surrender of my own free will. If in command, I will never surrender my men while they still have the means to resist.

          3. If I am captured, I will continue to resist by all means available. I will make every effort to escape and aid others to escape. I will accept neither parole nor special favors from the enemy.

          4. If I become a prisoner of war, I will keep faith with my fellow prisoners. I will give no information, or take part in any action which might be harmful to my comrades. If I am senior, I will take command. If not, I will obey the lawful orders of those appointed over me and will back them up in every way.

          5. When questioned, should I become a prisoner of war, I am bound to give only name, rank, service number and date of birth. I will evade answering further questions to the utmost of my ability. I will make no oral or written statements disloyal to my country and its allies or harmful to their cause.

          6. I will never forget that I am an American fighting man, responsible for my actions, and dedicated to the principles which made my country free. I will trust in my God and in the United States of America.


          Prior to the Vietnam Conflict, violation of any of the above code elements could result in trial by Courts Martial. After learning of the atrocities inflicted on our personnel held prisoner in that action, it was determined that requiring strict compliance to such a demanding code was not always possible. It should stand as a guide to personal conduct but enforcement as a point of law is questionable.

    5. I think Trump should nominate McCain for janitor at Abu grab. He could empty the buckets of his Muslim friends, and keep them informed about US plans for dealing with ISIS (Ignorant Stupid Islamic Idiots). Just like he did at the Hanoi Hilton.

    6. McCain is a Wiesel who damn near blew up the aircraft carrier Forestall and caused the death of over 140 sailors and injured countless others. The coverup was well done by his famed Navy admiral grand dad and his father also an admiral influencing the tradition loaded Navy not to courts martial him. He is one soft talking incredibly nasty media monger with an incandescent temper who hates Trump and will do whatever he can to kill him off!

      1. This Naval Aviation “prince” should have been grounded after two training aircraft crashes and sent to serve the rest of his service commitment aboard a tin can in the Pacific, but his father was a captain and his grandfather an admiral in charge of the Naval Aviation Training Command.

        1. Honestly, where does this stuff start?
          Once again, his grandfather was D-E-A-D….DEAD. Died 4 days after getting home from WWII. His father may have been influential in keeping him in during his first crash which WAS when he was a student, I don’t know. Second crash was when he was a flight instructor and the engine quit. Not much he could do about that.

          If you are going to disagree, please give me your sources.

      2. Ah, not to spoil your day, but John McCain III’s grandfather Admiral John “Slew” McCain Sr. died four days after returning from WWII. Unless he reached beyond the grave, he wasn’t involved.

        His father John “Jack” McCain Jr. was CINCPAC during his imprisonment but was in London as CINCNAV Europe when the FID accident happened and the FID was in the Gulf of Tonkin off Vietnam.

        Now as to your coverup theory, could you please explain how McCain blew up the FID? (That is First in Defense, Forrestal’s motto, BTW…her Sailors called her that). From there, please explain how his father extended his reach from Europe to make a cover up in the Pacific fleet, to change the videos, eyewitness testimony and facts supporting the accident investigation?

        You see, to intentionally fire a missile on deck, you would have to hold down the weight off wheels switch to simulate the aircraft being in flight, turn on the master arm switch, select the arms station, and depress the trigger. Instead, an electrical surge caused a Zuni missile from the LAU-10 launcher on an F-4 to fire, striking an A-4 next to McCain. Basically from there, the mostly WWII/Korean war ordnance went off.

        McCain was a light attack pilot flying A-4’s NOT the F-4 that started the FID fire.

        McCain’s involvement with the FID fire was basically scrambling out of his aircraft and living through the resulting inferno. Unfortunately, as you pointed out, many people did not.

        Feel free to criticize him all you want, but if you are going to re-write history, please state the source and your facts. If it is just “there was a cover up and I know the inside scoop”, you should write your own book and get it published because it counters all written history of the fire.

        30 yr Naval aviator, 2 cruises on the FID, McCain was my first CO in the Navy. (Not a big fan of his Senate service).

        Like I said, not telling you not to criticize him, it is just there is no evidence that anything you said is true and a lot was false.

        1. Jim, to answer your question: he gets reelected by Arizona’s retired geezers (I am one, but I hate the bastard!) who live in places like Sun City and Green Valley and vaguely remember his imprisonment at the Hanoi Hilton, but not the disgraceful betrayal of his fellow POWs. Juan McRino has parlayed his misfortune into a campaign advertisement.

    7. McCain is an embarrassment to Arizona and a majority of Americans. He is the poster child for term limits in D.C.
      I standby to work tirelessly on his recall. We need to end his career in the abject failure and scorn it deserves.

    8. I wish Arizonans could get their heads out of the dark place and recall this traitorous piece of ordure. He was nicknamed “Songbird” by his fellow POWs at Hanoi Hilton, and rendered a detailed Hanoi Jane-like declaration fulminating the USA and the Navy. “Juan McRino” belongs on a multiple scaffold, alongside John Kerry, Jane Fonda and Buttcrack Hussein O’Bunghole.

      1. durabo, you don’t know the half of his treason. for over six years he subverted the Military of the U.S. He sang his guts out just to get good clean and pressed cloths, medications and care, better food than all the other POW’s, just he would look and be cute for all the volunteer movies he and his Nam friends made to demean America. Why he wasn’t put immediately upon setting foot on U.S. soil still mystifies thousands of GI’s who knew what he did in Nam!! But my God what is a bigger mystery is what in Hell is wrong with the minds of the Arizona Voters.??

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