We should privatize the sanctions against Iran by launching a worldwide divestment campaign. As more people, businesses, pension funds, and financial institutions across the world divest from companies doing business with Iran, the radical elite who run that country will become even more unpopular than they are already.
Here is Barack Obama speaking to AIPAC today:
I was interested to see Senator McCain propose divestment as a source of leverage – not the bigoted divestment that has sought to punish Israeli scientists and academics, but divestment targeted at the Iranian regime. It’s a good concept, but not a new one. I introduced legislation over a year ago that would encourage states and the private sector to divest from companies that do business in Iran. This bill has bipartisan support, but for reasons that I’ll let him explain, Senator McCain never signed on. Meanwhile, an anonymous Senator is blocking the bill. It is time to pass this into law so that we can tighten the squeeze on the Iranian regime. We should also pursue other unilateral sanctions that target Iranian banks and assets.
Here is an excerpt from John McCain’s press conference today:
Reporter: Are you familiar with his disinvestment bill?
McCain: No, I am not familiar with it at all. I do not know if it passed the senate or had any hearing or anything else. I had, so, literally thousands and thousands pieces of legislation are proposed every year. I know what he did. He voted against the Iranian revolutionary guard being declared a terrorist organization.
Background from Sam Stein at the Huffington Post:
The admission could prove damaging for a variety of reasons. For starters, Obama’s bill, which passed overwhelmingly in the House of Representatives, is currently being held up in the Senate by Republican Sen. Richard Shelby. More significantly, two McCain surrogates, Sen. Joseph Lieberman and Rep. Eric Cantor, are co-sponsors of Obama’s measure despite, on Wednesday, ripping the Illinois Democrat for not having the experience to deal with Iran.
So even Joe Lieberman, who has become McCain’s point man for attacks on Obama’s Iran policies, is a co-sponsor of Obama’s bill, yet McCain himself is unfamiliar with its existence because, gosh, there are just too many bills to keep track of (that excuse doesn’t bode well for the guy who wants to run the executive branch). I’m not really surprised that John McCain is clueless about foreign policy despite his purported strength in that area, but doesn’t he have advisers whose job it is to, for example, brief him on Obama’s actual record so that he can answer questions from reporters without embarrassing himself?