Bomb, bomb McCain Turns Boom Box! Undermine Iran’s Sovereignty?

10 December 2009

By Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich

It is extraordinary that the presidential candidate who hoped to occupy the White House by showing no qualms about 'bomb, bomb, bombing Iran' is now singing a different tune. The man who wanted to bury the voices of men, women, and children under the debris of bombs, has decided that he should not 'just bombard Iran with messages from America' but become their boom box - VOICE for Iranians[i].

Perhaps some voice has triggered McCain's conscience to have turned this trigger happy senator into a man who now "supports the values the U.S. stands up for". Naturally, the values Boom box McCain supports and the U.S. stands for would include violating international laws, and a 1981 binding bilateral agreement[1] signed between the United States and Iran. VOICE is intended to finance the creation of proxy Web servers and Web addresses that would fall outside the reach of Iranian government censorship. Curious that the “maverick” -- as his running mate, Ms Sarah Palin used to address him, should delve into this venture given that he admitted to not being able to use a computer during his 2008 presidential campaign. Perhaps he can take a crash course himself.

Love for Iranians has turned bomb, bomb McCain into a new person. Indeed, of late, this hate-to-love has become quite an American phenomenon. Only a couple of years ago, on September 4, 2007, The Columbus Dispatch of Ohio had a glaring map of Iran in its “opinion” page depicting Iranians as cockroaches and Iran as a sewer on a map of the Middle East. It is a relief that among others, The Dispatch is looking towards the Iranian people as humans again. The ones who speak of 'human rights' that is.

All media, VOICE, and VOA, are eager to speak of human rights and violations in Iran. Needless to mention that this excludes any act by 'America' (and allies) towards the people of Iran such as sanctions. The very sanctions that Boom box McCain and his neocon cohorts promote -- the very same Iranian-loving (but Iran-hating) neocons who want to give VOICE to Iranians, undermine Iran’s sovereignty, flaunt international law, and most importantly, demand that collective punishment continue to be imposed on a nation of 70 million.

These same Iran lovers who pushed for the violation of the Chicago Convention which has been the casualty of the U.S. embargo on trade with Iran. Iranian Airlines have been prohibited from updating their American aircrafts and America has prevented Europe from selling parts to Iran. Not only do these sanctions violate the 1944 Chicago Convention, but they have led to the loss of innocent civilian lives. One has to ask if the VOICE supporter neocons ever question whether there were Iranians on board who wanted to be heard but whose voices were downed as the planes spiraled down.

Certainly many support Iran's nuclear program which was illegally sent to the UNSC by the neocons. This abuse of power led to more collective punishment in violation of Article 33 of the Geneva Conventions. There was no outlet for the Iranians to speak - no VOICE. Surely one is prompted to ask what has inspired Boom box McCain, his cohorts, and the neoconservative dominated media in this country to seemingly embrace Iranians and put aside such language implicit or implied as 'bomb', annihilate', cockroaches?

The pro-Israeli think tank, the Saban Center at the Brookings Institute, released a publication in June 2009 penned by neocons Martin Indyk, Kenneth Pollack, et al, titled: "Which Path to Persia? Options for a New American Strategy Towards Iran"[ii]. Chapter 6 appears to be a strong indication of their motivation.

“The United States could play multiple roles in facilitating a revolution. By funding and helping organize domestic rivals of the regime, the United States could create an alternative leadership to seize power. As Raymond Tanter of the Iran Policy Committee argues, students and other groups “need covert backing for their demonstrations. They need fax machines. They need Internet access, funds to duplicate materials, and funds to keep vigilantes from beating them up.”

Beyond this, U.S.-backed media outlets could highlight regime shortcomings and make otherwise obscure critics more prominent. The United States already supports Persian language satellite television (Voice of America Persian) and radio (Radio Farda) that bring unfiltered news to Iranians (in recent years, these have taken the lion’s share of overt US funding for promoting democracy in Iran). U.S. economic pressure (and perhaps military pressure as well) can discredit the regime, making the population hungry for a rival leadership......”

Boom box McCain may have lost the 2008 bid for the White House, but he has not lost his determination to promote the neocon agenda. The pack are determined to plunge Iran into chaos and turn a united and proud nation into a divided country in the belief that VOICE, VOA and the like will deliver Iran to the devil - or from their boom box "liberate it". However, to paraphrase Edmund Burke: ' it is a liberty without wisdom, and without virtue. It is the greatest of all possible evils; for it is folly, vice, and madness, without tuition or restraint.

-- Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich has a Master of Public Diplomacy from USC Annenberg for Communication and USC School of International Relations. She is an independent researcher and focuses on US foreign policy in the Middle East and the influence of lobby groups. She can be reached at


[1] Algiers Accords; point I.1 of which states: “The United States pledge that it is and from now will be the policy of the United States not to intervene, directly or indirectly, politically or militarily, in Iran’s internal affairs.”





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