On Wednesday, Tillerson stated in remarks to State Department employees that under some circumstances, conditioning national security efforts on someone adopting US values impedes the country’s national security goals.
“We make policy to serve our interests, which are not related to our values,” McCain wrote in The New York Times, referring to Tillerson’s rhetoric. “So, if you happen to be in the way of our forging relationships with your oppressors that could serve our security and economic interests, good luck to you. You’re on your own.”
McCain argued that human rights must remain a priority for the US foreign policy agenda because the United States is “the country with a conscience,” and because to ignore the oppression of others around the world only serves to invite their resentment.
“With those words, Secretary Tillerson sent a message to oppressed people everywhere: Don’t look to the United States for hope,” McCain wrote.
McCain, who sits on the Senate Armed Services Committee, has repeatedly called for US interventions abroad, most recently urging Washington to get involved in the Balkans to avoid a deterioration of the situation in the region.
The situation in the Balkans has worsened after a US-assisted coup imposed on Macedonia an unelected Albanian, Talat Dzaferi, who was former member of the terrorist organization UCK, as speaker of parliament, according to published reports. Additional reports of the United States also intending to impose a government in Macedonia to change the country’s name so as to usher the country in NATO have further raised concerns of a possible regional war, given the various Balkan countries’ aggressive claims on Macedonia’s territory.
US Senator Rand Paul stated in an interview last month, referencing McCain’s calls for US intervention in Syria and Afghanistan, that his colleague has complained the United States is either not at war somewhere or if it is, it leaves too soon.