McCain: The New Churchill?

As Michael Lind pointed out in a brilliant essay published by The Nation almost exactly four years ago, Winston Churchill has been an icon of neo-conservatism for as long as it has existed. Thus, when the neo-conservatives had more confidence in George W. Bush — particularly on the eve of the Iraq invasion and immediately after — they had no hesitation in comparing him to their hero, particularly because they knew that that’s how Bush himself has conceived his own historical role vis-a-vis “Islamo-fascism” in it many forms and that flattery can be very helpful in influencing the president.

So, it’s no surprise that, in their rush to ingratiate themselves with John McCain — with whom, as I’ve noted in a recent post, they already have strong ties anyway — they are now comparing him to the Great Man. In an article entitled “The Model for McCain?” that appeared on the Weekly Standard’s website last week, Michael Makovsky, a Churchill biographer who previously worked in Douglas Feith’s intelligence manipulation office and is now — bizarrely enough — the foreign policy director of the “Bipartisan Policy Center” — points out the many fascinating similarities between Churchill and McCain, concluding that, while “McCain certainly has not reached Churchill’s heights, …he can legitimately claim to be the most Churchillian among the Republicans of his day.” The courtship is well underway.

Michael is the younger brother of David Makovsky, the director of the Washington Institute for Near Policy (WINEP). He also played a key role in re-“organizing” Iraq’s oil sector during the initial phases of the occupation.

Jim Lobe

Jim Lobe served for some 30 years as the Washington DC bureau chief for Inter Press Service and is best known for his coverage of U.S. foreign policy and the influence of the neoconservative movement.


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