What would von Kleist’s generation say if they saw our world today? I fear that much about it would be all-too-familiar to them, and they would be alarmed by it.The "von Kleinst" in the first sentence would be Ewald-Heinrich von Kleist-Schmenzin (1922-2013). BTW, he was the last surviving survivor of the 1944 plot to assassinate Adolph Hitler. He first convened the what was to become the Munich Security Conference way back in 1963. From the MSC website:
They 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 toward 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.
Over the past five decades, the Munich Security Conference (MSC) has become the major global forum for the discussion of security policy. Each February, it brings together more than 450 senior decision-makers from around the world, including heads-of-state, ministers, leading personalities of international and non-governmental organizations, as well as high ranking representatives of industry, media, academia, and civil society, to engage in an intensive debate on current and future security challenges.That's the setting for McCain's defense of the west and not-so-subtle criticism of the unnamed Trump.
As for the inability and unwillingness to separate truth from falsehood, we heard more than a few examples at Trump's press conference. I'll leave it to the professionals to fact-check The Little-Handed Pussy-Grabber:
- NYTimes -
‘It was the biggest Electoral College win since Ronald Reagan.’
Mr. Trump won 306 Electoral College votes (and ended up with 304 officially), well above the threshold needed to secure the presidency but well behind several of his most recent predecessors. President Barack Obama won 332 Electoral College votes in 2012 and 365 four years earlier. President Bill Clinton received 370 Electoral College votes in 1992 and 379 in 1996. And President George Bush won 426 Electoral College votes in 1988.
When a reporter pressed Mr. Trump on the claim, he laid the blame elsewhere. “I was given that information,” he said.
- Politifact -
Mostly False: Hillary Clinton gave Russia 20 percent of the United States’ uranium
Trump said he will be in a better position to work with Russia than Hillary Clinton would have been, based on her record as secretary of state.
"We had Hillary Clinton try and do a reset," he said. "We had Hillary Clinton give Russia 20 percent of the uranium in our country. You know what uranium is, right?"
Trump made this claim during the election, and we rated it Mostly False.
This is a reference to the fact that Russia’s nuclear power agency bought a controlling interest in a Toronto-based company. That company has mines, mills and tracts of land in Wyoming, Utah and other U.S. states that amount to about 20 percent of U.S. uranium production capacity (not produced uranium). Clinton was secretary of state at the time, but she didn’t have the power to approve or reject the deal.
- Washington Post -
“Russia is a ruse. I have nothing to do with Russia. Haven’t made a phone call to Russia in years. Don’t speak to people from Russia.”
The Wall Street Journal reported during the campaign that before Trump gave a foreign-policy speech in April, he met with the Russian ambassador: “A few minutes before he made those remarks [calling for improved relations with Russia], Mr. Trump met at a VIP reception with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S., Sergey Ivanovich Kislyak. Mr. Trump warmly greeted Mr. Kislyak and three other foreign ambassadors who came to the reception.”