Harold Meyerson, in today’s Washington Post, talking about John McCain:
His perfervid support for the Iraq war has blinded him to the bigger strategic picture, which is that the predictable pro-Iranian tilt of Iraq’s post-Saddam Hussein leaders has helped Iran in its drive to become a regional superpower. Now, McCain speaks of war against Iran to undo the consequences of the war in Iraq that he has championed.
That’s reading a lot into McCain’s ten-second song parody, “Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb bomb Iran.”
While Meyerson’s sentence may bring Michael Ledeen to exclaim, “finally!”, let’s observe that McCain has said repeatedly that the military option is the last option, and he laid out his views thus:
Iran, the world’s chief state sponsor of terrorism, continues its deadly quest for nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them. Protected by a nuclear arsenal, Iran would be even more willing and able to sponsor terrorist attacks against any perceived enemy, including the United States and Israel, or even to pass nuclear materials to one of its allied terrorist networks. The next president must confront this threat directly, and that effort must begin with tougher political and economic sanctions. If the United Nations is unwilling to act, the United States must lead a group of like-minded countries to impose effective multilateral sanctions, such as restrictions on exports of refined gasoline, outside the UN framework. America and its partners should also privatize the sanctions effort by supporting a disinvestment campaign to isolate and delegitimize the regime in Tehran, whose policies are already opposed by many Iranian citizens. And military action, although not the preferred option, must remain on the table: Tehran must understand that it cannot win a showdown with the world.
We’re going to hear a lot of folks calling McCain a crazed warmonger eager to start a war with Iran.
Never mind their lawmakers leading chants of “death to America,” never mind the threat to wipe Israel off the map, never mind the sponsorship of Hezbollah, never mind the fact that the regime had nothing but praise for terrorists who murder Americans like Imad Mugniyah, never mind the fact that “the commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks has concluded that Osama bin Laden’s terrorist network had long-running contacts with Iraq’s neighbor and historic foe, Iran.”
Those who are going to hit McCain on his stand on Iran are essentially arguing that the correct position is to declare that no matter what happens, the United States will never take military action against Iran.
McCain’s position is essentially, ‘be ready for anything, including war.’ The opposition demands that we not prepare for this possibility.