June 3, 2008, - 11:11 am
By Debbie Schlussel
We already know that Barack Obama does NOT understand the Iranian threat and that he wants to break pita with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. That’s a foregone conclusion.
But the troubling thing is that the candidate who claims he DOES understand the Iran threat–John McCain–has made some very inconsistent statements on Iran and what he intends to do, and other statements indicating he doesn’t really know what’s going on, that he doesn’t know what American policy has been thus far.
Exhibit A is McCain’s speech, last night, to the annual conference of AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee–the pro-Israel lobby dominated by liberals and self-appointed rich Jewish bullies who constantly pressure Israel to give up–give up land, give up homes, and just give up. AIPAC, itself, has been openly phony and tw-faced on Iran. More on that later.
Last night and prior to that, McCain said he wants to get tough on Iran. That was the theme of his speech and has been the theme of several of his speeches, lately.
But friends of mine who attended a May 5th Michigan fundraiser with McCain at the home of billionaire Pete Karmanos said McCain was hesitant and not exactly tough on Iran then . . . at least not as tough as Hillary Clinton. That’s troubling. One strong face at AIPAC, another–much weaker–at a Michigan billionaire’s home.
The week before, both Hillary Clinton and columnist Charles Krauthammer said that if Israel is attacked by Iran, we should attack Iran. McCain was asked at the Michigan fundraiser whether he would attack Iran if Israel was attacked. His response was a non-response. At first he hesitated, telling his audience that he needed to think about it for a moment because it’s a tough question and he’s not sure. Then, he gave a non-answer. Not exactly tough on Iran.
Then, last night, at the AIPAC speech, McCain’s new “get tough” on Iran policy was actually more of the same sanctions we’re already imposing and which are having little effect to stop Iran’s nuclear ambitions or Ahmadinejad’s madness.
McCain told the AIPAC audience
he would drastically ramp up financial pressure on Iran’s rulers by targeting the country’s gasoline imports and imposing sanctions against its central bank
This is also AIPAC’s phony public position (while it quietly has worked against clamping down on Iran).
But in an op-ed in today’s Wall Street Journal, Senator Charles Schumer (most of whose politics I abhor, but who is right on Iran) notes that we already boycott Iranian banks, as do European central banks. Schumer calls this “the mildest of economic sanctions.” He claims this “has already produced an economic slowdown, and unrest among Iranians.”
Maybe so. But since we are already doing this, I’m not sure how McCain imposing the same old, same old will get different results. Ahmadinejad is still in power and still striving to achieve his nuclear reality.
McCain also said that he would support AIPAC’s purported policy of
international divestment from companies doing business in Iran, while also seeking more unilateral U.S. sanctions against Iranian state instutitutions, such as the central bank.
Again, see my comments above about how we’re already boycotting Iranian banks, including its central bank.
Sen. McCain said he supported this approach, arguing that “as more people, businesses, pension funds and financial institutions . . . divest from companies donig business with Iran, the radical elite who run that country will become even more unpopular.”
Great, but as Jerusalem Post columnist Caroline Glick pointed out, the group he was speaking to–AIPAC–has been working (despite its public position for divesting from Iran) to stop all legislation around the country aimed at promoting Iranian divestment:
[Ohio State Rep. Josh] Mandel’s initiative received a body blow from an unexpected direction. AIPAC representatives asked him to pare down his bill’s divestment requirements to include only companies that invest more than $20 million in Iran’s oil and gas sector.
Mandel was surprised. Why should companies that invest in Iran’s defense, telecommunications and other sectors be immune from divestment? AIPAC went over his head to Ohio House Speaker Jon Hustead. Hustead amended the bill along AIPAC’s suggested lines.
Mandel’s experience is not unique. . . .
[I]n Texas and California, AIPAC lobbyists led by AIPAC’s policy director Brad Gordon, advocated that divest terror bill sponsors take North Korea and Syria off their bills. As they did in Ohio, they also strongly recommended that divestiture from companies invested in Iran be limited to companies that invest more than $20m. in Iran’s oil and gas sector.
In Texas, AIPAC’s interference so frustrated the bill’s sponsor, State Senator Dan Patrick, that he allowed the initiative to fizzle out. In California, the bill passed into law reflected AIPAC’s view, except that at the insistence of the bill’s sponsor Assemblyman Joel Anderson, it also divested California from companies involved in Iran’s defense and nuclear sectors.
In Florida, AIPAC pre-empted supporters of broad-based terror divestment. It advocated its pared-down, Iran only, oil and gas sector only divestment plan before a broader-based initiative could get off the ground.
Currently, AIPAC is working to pare down bills in Massachusetts, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Georgia.
Too bad McCain doesn’t know this, what AIPAC is really up to, regarding Iran. Too bad, if he does know, that he didn’t have the guts to call this fraudulent group on it. And too bad, he doesn’t know that most of what he’s calling for–limp economic sanctions, we’re already doing . . . to little effect.
If AIPAC’s policy–limiting divestment to those companies who do more than $20 million in biz with Iran and only in gas and oil–is President McCain’s policy, look for Iran to continue chugging along with its nuclear destroy-Israel policy attainment.
Without absolute divestment from Iran, Iran will absolutely win. Remember the oil-for-food “exceptions” for Iraq and how they worked so “well”?
The problem is, as I’ve repeatedly noted on this site, even with our economic boycott of Iran, there are so many loopholes, that we’re still shipping Pepsi and Coke to the Iranians.
Think they’re suffering, when they can get anything they want from America, even Pepsi and Diet Coke?
We must really get tough on Iran and that means not only closing the loopholes, but militarily going in and taking out those weapons, a tough proposal to undertake.
But none of the people running really wants to do it.
All wimps with no heart. So sad that Hillary Clinton was the only real man among them when it came to Iran.
Two-faced (on Iran) John Mccain at two-faced (on Iran and so much else) AIPAC.
Which face will be serving at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue?