war·mon·ger (wôr’mŭng’gər, -mŏng’-)  Pronunciation Key 
n.   One who advocates or attempts to stir up war. 

 (From the American Heritage Dictionary) 


Apparently, Glenn Reynolds (and what looks like the vast majority of the Right blogosphere) are up in arms because Ed Schultz called John McCain a “warmonger” at a North Dakota event where Barack Obama spoke. Apparently this hurt someone’s feelings, and they want Obama to denounce and reject, then denouncingly reject, Ed Schultz. 

I put the definition of “warmonger” there because, whether we — or they — want to admit it or not, that’s what McCain is. His preferred solution to the various problems of international relations — whether inter-state (Saddam vs the World, North Korea, Iran, etc), intra-state (Balkans in the ’90s, Iraq in the ’00s), or trans-state (us vs say, al-Qaeda) — is to, in short, go to war.  

Now, McCain can claim to hate war (as he did in a recent speech), but hating war isn’t the same thing as abjuring war. He still wants to keep troops in Iraq for 100 years (performing an unclear mission) and he still thinks that our default position as a national security strategy should be to go to war (as he himself has said many times). 

In my dictionary, as well as Noah Webster’s, he’s a warmonger. The difference between McCain and the rest of his defenders? 

McCain, at least, has the courage to put himself, and his kith and kin, on the line for his convictions. His son Jimmy is a Marine lieutenant in Iraq, and his other son is at the Naval Academy.


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