I’m not the only one who noticed McCain’s use of the term “KGB”

I noticed John McCain bandying about the term “KGB” during the first presidential debate:

“Russia has now become a nation fueled by petro-dollars that is basically a KGB apparatchik-run government.  I looked into Mr. Putin’s eyes, and I saw three letters, a “K,” a “G,” and a “B.” And their aggression in Georgia is not acceptable behavior.”

Just a little Russophile sidenote here, the KGB ended after the breakup.  It’s the FSB these days.

McCain technically isn’t incorrect, since many of Putin’s cronies cut their teeth in the KGB during the Soviet era.  I also understand candidates have to couch their rhetoric in terms that will be understood by virtually everyone (and this line indeed earned scattered applause).  But given McCain’s frequent use of this term, I wouldn’t be surprised if McCain had no inkling about this distinction. Indeed, this represents the rotted core of our Russia policy – a bullheaded ignorance of and refusal to try to understand the Russian mentality, which is based on its unique location, history and culture. A legacy of inferiority complex is being lived out here, just as it has been for hundreds of years.

In a great post on McCain, blogger Ivanov goes further to make the case that such statements indicate “McCain sees the world not as it is, but as he chooses to remember it.”  A scary thought about the man who might be president.

Also interesting: In this debate, Barack Obama said he and McCain “agree for the most part” on Russian issues.  Most Russians support Obama because they believe (probably rightly) that McCain will be antagonistic toward Russia.  This comment, were it picked up by the Russian media, would likely shake their support.


3 Responses to “I’m not the only one who noticed McCain’s use of the term “KGB””

  1. … Technically, the same one can say about the USA. Currently the country is ruled by the Bush Dynasty. The G. Bush, Sr., before becoming the President served as the Chief of CIA. So USA is run by CIA? Would this argument hold in court? 🙂

  2. Samuel Rider Says:

    Who should lead us? A coward who can’t be expected to fathom foreign policy issues like russia and more importantly rogue states like Iran? Or a senile military man ?

  3. McCain is an old guy. Nothing points to this more than when he says things like this line about the KGB. I think this is why the country is gravitating towards Obama, who grew up in different countries around the world and has a modern attitude, speaking with subtle nuances towards countries and the people in them and refusing to label them in terms of “terrorists” or “KGB.”

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