McCain Gets Everything Wrong on Iran
You may have heard already heard McCain's condescending dismissal of Obama's strategy of engagement with Iran:
"The idea that (the Iranians) now seek nuclear weapons because we refuse to engage in presidential-level talks is a serious misreading of history," McCain said, citing unsuccessful efforts by President Bill Clinton's administration to engage with Iran.
"Even so, we hear talk of a meeting with the Iranian leadership offered up as if it were some sudden inspiration, a bold new idea that somehow nobody has ever thought of before.
"We should privatize the sanctions against Iran by launching a worldwide divestment campaign," McCain told a meeting of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), comparing such a move to similar efforts that helped bring an end to apartheid in South Africa.
"As more people, businesses, pension funds and financial institutions across the world divest from companies doing business with Iran, the radical elite who run that country will become even more unpopular than they are already."
Of course, McCain's bold new sanctions proposal came with some factually incorrect background information:
"The idea that they now seek nuclear weapons because we refuse to engage in presidential-level talks is a serious misreading of history," McCain said.
"It's hard to see what such a summit with President Ahmadinejad would actually gain, except an earful of anti-Semitic rants, and a worldwide audience for a man who denies one Holocaust and talks before frenzied crowds about starting another."
The fact is, Ahmadinejad has never spoken of starting a second Holocaust. And someone should remind Senator McCain of the fact that Iran became much stronger and more hostile after Clinton left office than it had been during the period of constructive engagement.
Also, I have to wonder how committed McCain is to the idea of divestment. Up until last month, the McCains had shares worth $2million in mutual funds that invested in Sudan. McCain's campaign manager, Rick Davis, lobbys for foreign citizens and companies that do business in Iran, including Ukranian billionaire Rinat Akhmetov and Chinese oil conglomerate CNOOC.
Also, notice how McCain condescendingly mocked Obama for using stale old ideas instead of McCain's fresh new "divestment" strategy. It might seem odd to you that it's McCain who's got the bold vision and Obama who's a little slow on the uptake. In reality, of course, it's McCain who's behind the curve.
(via Rachel Maddow) (cross posted at appletree and Liberal Avenger)