McCain Reminds U.S. Of Bullet It Dodged In November

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"McCain Reminds U.S. Of Bullet It Dodged In November"

Speaking to Fox News this morning, former presidential candidate Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) condemned the Iranian elections, stating that “it’s really a sham that they’ve pulled off and I hope that we will act.”

CARLSON: Senator, let me ask you this, because you said it’s important how we react. And to me that’s the most important part of this story today. How will the Obama administration react to this? Will they come out directly and say that this is unconscionable, that this can go on when they claim to be a democracy, or will they take an easier tact (sic) on it?

MCCAIN: 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.

Watch it:

But Trita Parsi of the National Iranian American Council told Spencer Ackerman that the Obama administration “is doing exactly the right thing.”

The framing that Ahmadinejad is presenting is one in which essentially the whole [opposition] is a Western media conspiracy…If the [Obama] administration is saying things or doing things before Moussavi and the opposition figures out what the plan is, then that’s a real problem, because then it seems like it’s between Ahmadinejad and the west and not Ahmadinejad and the opposition. So the administration is doing exactly the right thing. They’re not rushing in and they’re not playing favorites. They might prefer the democratic process to be respected, but that’s different than [supporting a] specific faction.

Were the U.S to clumsily wade into this Iranian political crisis, as McCain would have us do, it would support Ahmadinejad’s main arguments against his domestic opponents, and likely provide the perfect pretext for a more intense crackdown. In other words, the preferences of hardliners in Iran and the U.S. are pretty closely aligned here.

As with McCain’s impetuous response to the Georgia crisis last summer, his first reaction to the events in Iran is condemnation and a call to “act.” Fortunately, we have an administration in power that understands that knowing when not to act is as strategically important as knowing when to do so, and that the most productive thing the United States can do for Iran’s reform movement — and human rights — at the moment is to keep itself, to the extent possible, out of the equation.

Full transcript below.

CARLSON: Fair or fraud? Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declared the winner in Iran’s presidential elections, but now the country’s supreme leader calling for an investigation into the results.

So was the election rigged?

We are back with Senator John McCain. Of course Republican from Arizona and former presidential candidate.
By the way, Senator Lieberman has a proposal that we put sanctions on countries that sell gasoline to Iran.

CARLSON: Oh, interesting.

MCCAIN: Maybe we ought to think about passing that legislation.

CARLSON: Well, Senator, let me ask you this, because you said it’s important how we react. And to me that’s the most important part of this story today.

How will the Obama administration react to this? Will they come out directly and say that this is unconscionable, that this can go on when they claim to be a democracy, or will they take an easier tact (sic) on it?

MCCAIN: 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.

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