Monday, 19 May 2008

Obama and McCain spat continues

The war of words between Senators Obama and McCain has continued into today. John McCain accused Senator Obama of 'inexperience and reckless' judgement.

I find two elements of the McCain position confusing:

i) President Ahmadinejad is in power and it really is irrelevant whether the US hands him a 'propaganda victory' by meeting up with him if that is indeed all it would be. A meeting doesn't change things with regard to Ahmadinejad's position in Iran in the slightest either way. The bellicose approach has failed so what exactly is there to lose?

ii) What is McCain proposing instead? Do what we say or else? What if Iran doesn't comply? Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran (as McCain once hilariously sang to the tune of Barbara Anne by the Beach Boys)?

In no way am I suggesting that any recourse should be taken off the table or under-estimating the threat posed by Iran (in the Middle East at least) but I just don't see how the McCain strategy leads to anything other than embarrassment for the US, an uneasy and probably unsustainable deadlock, or a military strike on Iran. If stand-off diplomacy is the way we are going to continue, then the options and outcomes are narrowed drastically.

The only amazing thing about this spat, is that Senator Obama's position is portrayed as so extreme. It has its risks but there really is very little to lose and everything to gain.

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