Senator John McCain’s joke that we should bomb Iran (to the tune of the Beach Boy’s “Barbara Ann”) has gotten a great deal of attention in the mainstream press and particularly in the blogosphere. With that said, does McCain want to bomb Iran or not? On February 20, 2005 he told Meet the Press:

“I think we have to first convince our European allies of the magnitude of this threat and the necessity to take action. The Europeans, at least to a large degree, are only interested in carrots and no sticks. So we have to convince them of that. Then we have to go to the United Nations for diplomatic and economic sanctions if necessary.

We cannot rule out completely the military option if it’s absolutely the absolute last resort, but there’s a lot of things we can do in between time. Look, a nuclear-capable Iran in this part of the world is incredibly unsettling, including to the state of Israel. So it’s a serious challenge, but I would exhaust every possible measure before considering the military option. But you cannot completely rule it out. First step, let’s get united with the Europeans or have them unite with us as we go for sanctions if it’s necessary.”