Thursday, July 10, 2008

Parsing McCain's Call for Action Against Iran

“It’s time for action. And it’s time to make the Iranians understand that this kind of violation of international treaties, this kind of threatening of their neighbors, this kind of continued military activity, is not without cost."

Senator John McCain, July, 2008.

It is truly amazing that a presidential candidate, one who touts his foreign policy expertise, would make such tactless remarks in public. To anyone living outside of the vast ‘cone of silence’ that shields the American people from actually comprehending what their leaders spout, it must be nearly incomprehensibly impolitic. Let us take the time to parse the Senator’s statement in hopes of uncovering some semblance of truth.

Violation of treaties?

These are charges against a country which hasn’t invaded another in centuries. These charges are against the only nation to agree to the proposition by the International Atomic Energy Agency to a single-source control of enriched uranium for peaceful purposes.

Threatening their neighbors?

These charges are made by a man who sang ‘Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran’ at one of his campaign rallies. More pointedly, these charges are made within a statement that asserts the necessity of military action against a UN member state.

Military activity?

These charges are made by a man whose comments about 100 years of an American military presence in Iraq are all too well-known.

Moreover, to assert that a nation does not have to right to hold military exercises or conduct military tests within its own borders is ludicrous to the extreme. Imagine any other country in the world challenging the US military’s use of White Sands Testing Grounds. This man is severely out of touch with a reality shared by much of the world.

That this does not come as a surprise to this writer and that Senator McCain’s supporters might not think twice about their candidate openly stating such an absurdity (because it so starkly reflects accepted, traditional US foreign policy) should be of great cause for concern for anyone who shares the reality in which rule of law – when right and just – is an ideal to be upheld and peace is the preferred state of international affairs.

As a further test, let’s replace ‘Iranians’ with ‘Americans’ in that list of charges intoned by McCain:

“It’s time for action. And it’s time to make the Americans understand that this kind of violation of international treaties, this kind of threatening of their neighbors, this kind of continued military activity, is not without cost."

‘Violation of International treaties’?

The invasion of a sovereign nation as other than a deterrent to an immediate, obvious threat of attack is a clear and blatant violation of the UN Charter and the Nuremburg principles.

CHECK!

Threatening ‘neighbors’?

Repeated threats by American leaders to attack Iran are multiple violations of the UN Charter and the Nuremburg principles.

CHECK!

‘Continued military activity’?

There are active American military bases and installations on every continent but Antarctica; more than 700 world-wide by several estimates with the likelihood that there are upwards of 1000 if one should be able to count secret, classified ones.

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan would certainly constitute ‘continued military activity’.

The recently revealed allocation of funds to support covert military action against Iran must be included here. Quite unlike the military activity so absurdly decried by McCain, the aforementioned military actions are most decidedly not within the recognized borders of the United States.

CHECK!

So, of the three charges Senator McCain levels against Iran in his brief statement, all three apply with even greater weight to the USA.

One must wonder with trepidation, what the ultimate cost will be of America’s continuing militaristic foreign policy.

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2008/07/07/080707fa_fact_hersh

http://www.alternet.org/story/47998/

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