McCain decries GOP 'isolationism'

WASHINGTON, June 19 (UPI) -- Veteran U.S. Sen. John McCain said Sunday he's concerned some Republican Party members are taking an isolationist stance in overseas conflicts.

Speaking on ABC's "This Week," McCain of Arizona, who is also the senior Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said watching debates between contenders for a presidential nomination concerned him with regard to policy on U.S. involvement in Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan.


"I was more concerned about what the candidates in New Hampshire the other night said. This is isolationism," McCain said. "There's always been an isolation strain -- isolation strain in the Republican Party, the Pat Buchanan wing of our party."

The senator, a decorated Vietnam veteran who was interned as a prisoner of war, said the United States' own belief in democracy meant there are obligations to others.

"The fact is, our interests are our values. And our values are that we don't want people needlessly slaughtered by the thousands if we can prevent such activity," McCain said.

McCain referred to the growing "war weariness" in the country that is 10 years into fighting in Afghanistan, eight years in Iraq and most recently a NATO role in Libya since late March, but said there was only one moral choice.


"We cannot repeat the lessons of the 1930s, when the United States of America stood by while bad things happened in the world," he said. "We are the lead nation in the world, and America matters, and we must lead. But sometimes that leadership entails sacrifice, sadly."

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