In a speech at the Munich Security Conference, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) did not name the perennial target of his criticism -- President Donald Trump -- but it was immediately apparent that he was slamming the current occupant of the White House when he said today, “this administration is in disarray.” McCain has been a critic of statements made by Trump during the presidential campaign that NATO and other US allies must share a greater burden of the common defense, a policy that Secretary James Mattis reiterated this week on his visit to Germany.
Reuters reported that McCain said that watching what Trump does is more important than what he says. As to the recent resignation by former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn -- a critic of the defense and intelligence establishment -- and Flynn's contacts with Russia, McCain asserted that it reflects deep problems in Washington.
Echoing criticism hurled at Trump by Democrats and globalists, McCain appeared to suggest that the West is especially endangered today. Suggesting that the situation is worse now than under the tutelage of Barack Obama, McCain said, “In recent years, this question would invite accusations of hyperbole and alarmism; not this year.”
McCain added, “If ever there were a time to treat this question with a deadly seriousness, it is now.”
Eliminating doubt as to the target of his criticism, McCain said:
"[The founders of the Munich conference] would be alarmed by an increasing turn away from universal values and toward old ties of blood and race and sectarianism.”
“They would be alarmed by the hardening resentment we see towards immigrants and refugees and minority groups -- especially Muslims.”
“They would be alarmed by the growing inability -- and even unwillingness -- to separate truth from lies.”
"They would be alarmed that more and more of our fellow citizens seem to be flirting with authoritarianism and romanticizing it as our moral equivalent."
“But what would alarm them most, I think, is a sense that many of our peoples, including in my own country, are giving up on the West, that they see it as a bad deal that we may be better off without, and that while Western nations still have the power to maintain our world order, it's unclear whether we have the will.”
“I know there is profound concern across Europe and the world that America is laying down the mantle of global leadership. I can only speak for myself, but I do not believe that that is the message you will hear from all of the American leaders who cared enough to travel here to Munich this weekend. That's not the message you heard today from Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis. That is not the message you will hear from Vice President Mike Pence. That's not the message you will hear from Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly. And that is certainly not the message you will hear tomorrow from our bipartisan congressional delegation.”
In conclusion, McCain then took another shot at Trump for supposedly drawing a moral equivalence between the Western nations and their enemies. He said, “I refuse to accept that our values are morally equivalent to those of our adversaries.” Finally, he said, “I am a proud, unapologetic believer in the West, and I believe we must always stand up for it. For if we don't, who will?"