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June 26, 2008 04:25 PM UTC

McCain Getting Tough on Iran or Selling Out?

  • 2 Comments
  • by: Go Blue

For all of his tough talk, McCain’s record on Iran is not sitting well with many Jewish Dems.

On Thursday, Sens. Frank Lautenberg and Ben Cardin, alongside more than half-a-dozen members of the House of Representatives and the National Jewish Democratic Council, will host a press conference highlighting a vote McCain made that helped corporations like Halliburton continue doing business with sanctioned countries like Iran.

The vote, McCain’s critics argue, demonstrates a strand of political hypocrisy — on the campaign trail, the Senator has repeatedly called for divestment from Iran — and pokes holes in his attacks on Barack Obama.

“John McCain has been arguing that he is Mr. Tough Guy on Iran,” said Ira Forman, Executive Director of the NJDC. “At the AIPAC conference he talked about how he would introduce stronger sanctions and boycott measures. He’s also saying Obama is naïve and can’t be trusted to deal with the Iranians. But when it came to deciding to be tough on Iran or supporting Halliburton, he stuck with Halliburton. It is easy to talk the talk but it is not so easy to walk the walk.”

In July 2005, Sen. Lautenberg introduced an amendment to the Defense Authorization bill that would have closed a loophole allowing U.S. corporations to do business with terrorist-sponsoring nations by setting up foreign shell companies. The measure had broad support as it became evident that several major companies, including Halliburton, had taken advantage of the system. Frank Gaffney, the neoconservative columnist, opined that the situation was an “affront to the letter and spirit of the law.”

But when the provision came to the floor, the vote split almost entirely down party line. Only two GOP Senators supported the amendment and neither had the last name McCain.

And let’s not forget about the involvements of his top advisor:

As demonstrated by the Lautenberg amendment, McCain’s resume isn’t entirely without weak points. This list include his campaign staff, which currently includes Charlie Black, whose firm was paid $60,000 to lobby on behalf of the Chinese oil conglomerate doing business in Iran; and Carly Fiorina, who as CEO saw her company Hewlett-Packard trade with the Iranians

With all of his recent talk of a World War III and a draft, now is the time to examine McCain’s record and foreign policy rhetoric to see what he would do as President. From what you’ve seen of McCain, what do you think of his foreign policy creds?

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