I just got back from a Manhattan Insitute speech from John McCain here in Manhattan. You got the impression while delivering the speech he might be phoning it in (which, frankly, would still be a good speech) – or maybe I was projecting — but not so once he got to the topic of Israel.
He spoke passionately about their right to defend themselves, and his disappointment in our European allies who would call on them to restrain themselves. They should restrain themselves, sure, McCain said in his biggest applause line at the event, but “only in keeping with what they need to do to protect their security.”
“No nation would react any differently,” McCain said.
He clearly tied the Israeli issue to the global struggle against terorrism and pointed blame at “the leadership of Iran and to a lesser extent Syria.” Without ever putting too much confidence in our diplomatic establishment, he pointed to that U.N.. resolution post-the-Hariri assasination that called for the disarmament of Hezbollah.
He was good.