Etzioni finds McCain in the neocon mold:
Senator McCain's new essay could have been written by a Neo Con in 1995, 2000, or maybe even late as 2003. But even in those days, it would have taken an extremely untutored politician to hold that nations can be democratized in short
order, especially where the sociological conditions are not well prepared. The title of McCain's essay says it all: "An Enduring Peace Built on Freedom." As he sees it, "the protection and promotion of the democratic ideal, at home and abroad, will be the surest source of security and peace for the century that lies before us." Well, if wishes would be horses, beggars could ride.
Regarding Clinton’s essay, Etzioni states:
I have spent too many hours with Hillary, in White House dinners, at the Renaissance Weekend, and elsewhere to be a starry-eyed fan. Still, this essay nails it. She writes: "as we know at home and as we see today in Iraq and Afghanistan, opportunity cannot flourish without basic security." Her use of the term "basic" is essential. We previously defined it as "... the conditions under which most people, most of the time, are able to go about their lives, venture onto the street, work, study and participate in public life (politics included), without acute fear of being killed or injured-without being terrorized. To seek full-fledged security, to obviate all threats, to end fear, puts us on the slippery slope at the bottom of which is a police state." (http://www.securityfirstbook.com/)
Clinton recognizes that forming a Muslim democracy in Afghanistan is a "daunting task". In Iraq, her policy would call for "helping Iraqis, not propping up the Iraqi government." Regarding Russia, although she criticizes Putin's repressive policies, Clinton would focus first of all on issues that concern security; ours, theirs and that of others. She would put high priority "on issues of high national importance, such as thwarting Iran's nuclear ambitions, securing loose nuclear weapons in Russia and the former Soviet republics..."
In general, although Clinton views the promotion of democracy and freedom as a central component of US global leadership, she argues that "we must return to a pragmatic willingness to look at the facts on the ground and make decisions based on evidence rather than ideology." The contrast with McCain could not be clearer. At least in this round, Hillary takes gold; McCain - a wooden nickel.