After the tragic shooting down of the Malaysia Airlines jet – allegedly by pro-Russian rebels – in eastern Ukraine, it hasn’t taken long for some pro-war Republicans to point the blame finger.
Their target? United States President Barack Obama.
Senator John McCain, whose answer to almost any overseas security threat is a US military response, accused Obama of running a “cowardly administration” that failed to give the Ukrainians weapons to defend themselves.
“If we had given them weapons, perhaps they could have taken that part of Ukraine back and that attack never could have been mounted,” McCain said after the crash that killed 298 people.
Blaming Obama for failing to intervene in a territorial conflict in old Soviet regions is grossly unfair and draws a tentative link at best.
Still, McCain’s argument does underline a growing debate about US world leadership and whether Obama has withdrawn the US too far from its traditional global police role.
On Capitol Hill, there are concerns among Republicans and even a notable number of Democrats that Obama has swung his foreign policy pendulum too far in the opposite direction of predecessor George W Bush.
The former president left behind two disastrous wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is no surprise the US public is sick of war.