In a conference call with bloggers this morning, Senator John McCain argued that the United States should convene a League of Democracies to get friendly nations to put more severe pressure on Iran.This is an idea that has a lot of instinctive appeal to Americans, who are tired of being hamstrung by a UN that gives Sudan and Libya as big a voice in the General Assembly as Germany and the United States. But here's the problem: when you get down to cases, what an organization like this really means is "everyone except China." And that's just not going to work. Nobody, least of all China, is going to be fooled, and any global organization focused on Asia and the Middle East that excludes both China and every Middle Eastern country is doomed to irrelevance. Like it or not, we really have to move beyond this idea. China isn't going away just because we'd like them to.
I was able to get in the first question and followed up on this idea, asking whether he was talking about a "NATO Plus" organization or something else. McCain replied that he envisioned something more along the lines of ASEAN or the G-8....that NATO was a military alliance whereas his League of Democracies would focus mostly on non-military solutions such as economic sanctions, trade, diplomacy, and public relations....The main advantage of McCain's proposal is that it includes states not currently in NATO such as Japan and Australia.