I’ve been looking for video of his full statement, as there’s a bit more to it than you see here per AmSpec and the Times, but this is the best I can do. He knows full well what Obama wants to talk to Iran about; it’s the same thing Condi Rice wanted to
talk to them about earlier this year. A “grand bargain,” i.e. lifting U.S. sanctions and restoring diplomatic ties if only they’ll agree to give up their nuclear trump card and figure out some other way to influence Iraq that doesn’t involve supplying weapons to Shiite militias. The question McCain should be asking is what Obama intends to do if that deal is struck and then we discover that Iran’s cheating, just like it was cheating in concealing its nuclear program in the first place prior to 2002 and just like it’s guaranteed to try to cheat post-bargain given how effectively nuclear facilities can be concealed these days. And instead of whining about “hypocrisy,” Obama should hit him with the counterfactual: What exactly is Maverick’s plan for dealing with them? We’re on the clock here; they’ll have a bomb circa 2015 at the latest. Is he going to fold his arms and wait for Israel to deal with it or is he prepared for airstrikes, an admission Obama doubtless would love to wring out of him? To which McCain’s reply, of course, will be to ask if Obama’s ruled out airstrikes no matter how dire the situation is. It’s going to be a long summer.
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