Both Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Barack Obama, D-Illinois, today delivered stern messages condemning Russian’s invasion and aggression towards Georgia.
But their messages were quite different in their ways.
Not least of which, in their last paragraphs.
To wit, Sen Obama: "Let me be clear: we seek a future of cooperative engagement with the Russian government, and friendship with the Russian people. We want Russia to play its rightful role as a great nation – but with that role comes the responsibility to act as a force for progress in this new century, not regression to the conflicts of the past. That is why the United States and the international community must speak out strongly against this aggression, and for peace and security."
And Sen. McCain: "Our united purpose should be to persuade the Russian government to cease its attack, withdraw its troops, and enter into negotiations with Georgia. We must remind Russia’s leaders that the benefits they enjoy from being part of the civilized world require their respect for the values, stability and peace of that world. World history is often made in remote, obscure countries. It is being made in Georgia today. It is the responsibility of the leading nations of the world to ensure that history continues to be a record of humanity’s progress toward respecting the values and security of free people."
Maybe you think Obama is being soft, appeasing. Maybe you think he’s being diplomatic, statesman-like.
Maybe you think McCain is being bellicose, war-mongery. Maybe you think he’s being tough, a fighter for freedom.
Either way, there’s no question that their styles are starkly different.