McCain Calls for Action against Iran

2008 Republican nominee, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) once again demonstrated his itchy trigger finger today by calling for US action against Iran due to the dubious outcome of their recent presidential election. While appearing on Fox News, McCain said, “It really is a sham that they’ve pulled off, and I hope that we will act.”

Here is the video from Think Progress:

McCain said, “The fact is the reaction of the Iranian people shows their discontent with this regime, but to think they’re gonna shake loose from it anytime soon would be a bit optimistic, but it is really a sham that they pulled off, and I hope that we would act. By the way, Sen. Lieberman has a proposal that we put sanctions on people who sell gasoline to Iran. Maybe we ought to think about passing this legislation.”

Iran has been forced to import gasoline because, although they produce more crude oil than they need, their oil refineries are outdated, and can’t keep up with the surging demand for gasoline that a created by a domestic subsidy that kept the price as low as 12 cents a gallon. When the nation tried to increase gas prices in 2007, violent protests broke out.

When asked about the Obama administration’s reaction, McCain said, “Well, initial reports by, quote, administration officials, are that they say that they’re not going to change their policy of dialogue, et cetera, et cetera. I think they should be condemned, and it’s obvious that this was a rigged election and depriving the people of their democratic rights. We are for human rights all over the world.”

McCain didn’t say this, but during the campaign Obama supported cutting off the foreign gasoline supply to Iran. During the October 7 presidential debate, Obama said, “Iran right now imports gasoline . . . if we can prevent them from importing the gasoline that they need . . . that starts changing their cost-benefit analysis. That starts putting the squeeze on them.”

Iran gets its gasoline from five companies, the Swiss firm Vitol; the Swiss/Dutch firm Trafigura; the French firm Total; British Petroleum; and one Indian company, Reliance Industries. This question here is one of timing. Is a domestic election the proper circumstance for the US to use to put the ban in place? Should the US be interfering in an Iranian domestic issue?

The gasoline importation ban is a powerful tool that I think should be used as a deterrent to Iranian development of nuclear weapons. To impose the ban now, would take it away the possibility of its use as a potential stick later. Most importantly, imposing the ban would lend the appearance of American meddling in the domestic affairs in Iran. This is exactly what the regime wants.

What if other nations had imposed sanctions because of the infamous 2000 US presidential election? McCain is pushing for the ban now to encourage regime change, but as N. Korea has demonstrated time and time again, these types of sanctions tend to consolidate power around the regime and harm the people the most. Imposing the importation ban now, would likely backfire by making regime stronger.

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20 Replies to “McCain Calls for Action against Iran”

  1. It doesn’t matter what Obama said during the campaign, several times already he has shifted his positions post-election. The point is that Obama is doing nothing, when it is clear that there was some sort of vote fraud perpetrated (e.g. you can’t hand-count 40 million had-written ballots in less than 3 hours). McCain already has done what the president should have done, and that is to recognize the problems in that election, say so publicly, and vigorously condemn the tactics that are being used in Iran. Instead, Obama says he is concerned and disturbed. The public can be disturbed, the president should be standing up for what is right. That type of watered-down response is usually reserved for when a leader is unwilling to condemn an ally, for fear of harming a good relationship – that’s not what we have with the Iranian regime.

    The gasoline embargo, although not a new topic, was recently brought up by Lieberman, which is what McCain quoted, so don’t go making this about an attack on Obama, the election is over and McCain knows that. If anything, it seems like he is trying to help spur and encourage the administration to some kind of action, which they are clearly afraid or downright unwilling to take.

    Obama is supposed to be this great orator, leader of the free world, and all we have heard is ums and ahs as he stumbles not to say anything bad about the Iranian regime. Meanwhile, the people of Iran are desperately trying to get support from outside, displaying signs in English such as “Where is my vote?”

    Regarding the 2000 election, you are way off base. We had a process, imperfect or no, which was in place, transparent, and a balance of power between branches of govt as well as parties to insure a minimum of fraud. There were no arrests made of peacful protesters. People were not shot in the streets. Internet connections were not shut down, people trying to communicate with the outside worls were not being hunted down like animals, universities were not under siege by Hezbollah goons. How dare you make that kind of comparison, as if this is just a corruption of a previously well-established legitimate electoral system?

    A closer comparison, though obviously not nearly as grand in scale and not directly government sanctioned as it is in Iran, would be voter intimidation in places such as Philadelphia during the 2008 campaign, where black militants were handling “security” in front of some polling stations. Now imagine that, sanctioned by the government, escalated across an entire country, and you start to get the picture of what’s going on in Iran, and why those 100s of thousands of folks are putting themselves at great risk to get out and try to have their voices heard.

    Then get your head on straight and try to focus on what is important, not a weak attempt at making yourself feel good about being an Obama supporter. Who cares at this point anyway?

  2. Using inflammatory rhetoric or prematurely punishing Iran for election results are very bad ideas, plus Obama does not want to appear as if he is a foreigner trying to influence the outcome of the Iranian election. In Iran, that is exactly the kind of argument Ahmadinejad has been using to his followers and would only expand his base because the Iranian revolution before was based upon ending Western influence in their political process such as US backed assassinations of Democratically elected leaders in the world. That is also why Mousavi’s supporters keep saying Allahu Akbar (God is Great) in order to make it clear they aren’t asking for outright regime change, just accountability. If Americans appreciate the desire for all human beings for basic rights such as freedom of speech and meaningful representation in their governments, they will understand that appearing as foreigners to interfere in the outcome of elections is a very bad idea. If the Iranian people decide they want international observers in their elections and reformist candidates provide leadership to ask for that then they have to pick the neutral observers. Hatred of outside influence is exactly why the Shah was deposed and if the United States tries to get involved, then they might strengthen the public base of the hardliners.

  3. It doesn’t seem like an attempt to be an Obama supporter as much as calling out the hypocrisy and revisionist history being employed by the Republican party at this point. They seem to be ignoring the intimidation THEY employed during both the 2000 and 2004 elections, as well as the voter fraud evident in both elections.

    I can see this being the US in a few years if Republicans continue to exist in their little bubble where their thoughts are the only true thoughts, their news the only true news and everything remotely democrat or liberal being instantly demonized, literally and figuritively shot down and our president scapegoated.

  4. As expected he blamed USA, Israel and the UK for intervening and being the major factor behind the uprising in Iran. Now, if Obama had followed McCains advice and publicly supported the protests, declaring the election a scam, it would have been a gift to Khamenei and everyone supporting his suppressive regime. Luckily McCain is not the president and he can keep on humming “bomb bomb Iran”. My heart goes out to the Iranian people marching the streets and protesting. Things are looking very grim now indeed.

  5. […] response to Sen. John McCain’s call for US intervention in Iran, Buchanan said, “My view is that it was very, very irresponsible for John McCain to say some of […]

  6. […] a month ago, McCain said on Fox News, “The fact is the reaction of the Iranian people shows their discontent with this regime, but to […]

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  8. It doesn’t seem like an attempt to be an Obama supporter as much as calling out the hypocrisy and revisionist history being employed by the Republican party at this point.Mens swimwear

  9. In Iran, that is exactly the kind of argument Ahmadinejad has been using to his followers and would only expand his base because the Iranian revolution before was based upon ending Western influence in their political process such as US backed assassinations of Democratically elected leaders in the world. That is also why Mousavi’s supporters keep saying Allahu Akbar (God is Great) in order to make it clear they aren’t asking for outright regime change, just accountability.
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  10. This question here is one of timing. Is a domestic election the proper circumstance for the US to use to put the ban in place? Should the US be interfering in an Iranian domestic issue?

  11. McCain shows exactly why he was not elected and never will be a president of this country. He is hot-headed and erratic, which he showed when he sang “bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran,” to the tune of the Beach Boys’ song “Barbara Ann.” I will also never forget that in his second debate, he clearly stated that he would freeze spending for everything except defense. This recent statement, along with the aforementioned, go a long way toward proving that we dodged a bullet by not sending him and Palin to the White House. There is no easy solution to the problem with Iran, and this country is not the only one that has a stake in how it is solved.

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