Sen. John McCain kept up his call for US action in Iran today, while on CBS’ Face the Nation. McCain continued to criticize Obama’s approach to the violence in Iran, but when pushed he admitted that the United States has few options when it comes to dealing with regime. McCain justified meddling in Iran on the principle of freedom.
McCain continued to call on Obama to turn up the rhetoric, “Well, I think we’re faced with the same dilemma that we were during the Cold War, throughout centuries. If I could — very briefly, Daniel Webster, one of the great senators in history, spoke about the Greek revolution in 1823. And he said when he was responding to people that said that mere rhetorical support would do no good, and I quote him, he said “I hope it may. It may give them courage in spirit. It may assure them of public regard, teach them that they’re not wholly forgotten by the civilized world, and inspire them with constancy in the pursuit of their great end.” And then he said, “whether it helped or not,” he said, “it was due to our character and called for by our own duty.”
The Arizona senator continued, “Daniel Webster was right then. Ronald Reagan was right. Harry Truman was right. Scoop Jackson was right. Jack Kennedy was right when he said we’ll go anywhere and bear any burden. The fact is that America has been and will be the beacon of hope and freedom. And we are not saying that the people who are now risking their lives and some giving them in the streets in cities — of cities and towns in Iran, but we are saying we’re on their side as they seek freedom.”
Host Bob Schieffer asked McCain what America’s other options are besides moral support. He answered, “Actually, we don’t have a lot. We didn’t have a lot during the Cold War. And we may have made a mistake when we gave too much encouragement to the Hungarian revolution. But during the Prague spring and in Poland, but still — talk to Polish people today. They’ll say you were a beacon. You were the hope. And yet there were many who said, no, no, you will incite violence, there will be further repression. Bob, we’ve seen this movie before. And again, it’s not so much about Iran, although it certainly is at the moment, but it’s also about being on the right side of history. And I don’t consider it meddling when you stand on the side of the principles that made our nation the greatest nation in the history.”
Let me see if I have this straight. According to McCain, this isn’t even about Iran. We should meddle in another nation’s domestic affairs because we need to uphold our own principles. Did it ever occur to McCain that this is a domestic situation that America does not have a right to interfere in? McCain seems unable to comprehend that direct US support of the protests would give the regime the cover which they need to fully crack down.
McCain’s beacon of freedom would likely result in the detention or murder of thousands of protesters. This situation isn’t about the US spreading freedom. Iran can’t be handled like a Cold War era issue. Iranians have yet to issue a unified call for regime change.
We don’t know if this is the beginning of a revolution, or what issues beyond the election are the root causes of these protests. If this is a revolution, then the Iranians need to determine their own destiny without US interference.