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McCain’s confusion on Iraq goes from embarrassing to scandalous

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It doesn't much matter what the root cause of John McCain's confusion is. Maybe he's confused because he's old. Perhaps he's pretending to be confused to impress the Republican base. It's possible he's confused because he just isn't the sharpest crayon in the box. I don't know, and frankly, don't much care.

Whatever the source, the bottom line remains the same: when it comes to Iraq, John McCain is hopelessly incoherent about the basics. To be sure, geo-political crises can be complicated, but McCain isn't flubbing policy minutiae at an advanced seminar on foreign policy. As of yesterday, he doesn't seem to even know what the surge is.

Kate Couric: Senator McCain, Senator Obama says, while the increased number of US troops contributed to increased security in Iraq, he also credits the Sunni awakening and the Shiite government going after militias. And says that there might have been improved security even without the surge. What's your response to that?

McCain: I don't know how you respond to something that is as– such a false depiction of what actually happened. Colonel McFarlane [phonetic] was contacted by one of the major Sunni sheiks. Because of the surge we were able to go out and protect that sheik and others. And it began the Anbar awakening. I mean, that's just a matter of history.

Remember, according to McCain, he's an expert on foreign policy. The basis of his entire presidential campaign is his ability to handle matters like the war in Iraq, and the notion that his unparalleled expertise makes him uniquely qualified.

Except the man is shockingly confused, and embarrasses himself more and more with each passing day.

These comments to Couric may be the single most striking mistake any presidential candidate has made in years. In 1976, Gerald Ford said, during a nationally televised debate, "There is no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe." It was a bizarre error that contributed greatly to his defeat.

And McCain not understanding what the basics of the surge is at least as dramatic.

http://www.thecarpetbaggerreport.com/

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Senility's a b!tch... :pop:


"Tolerance implies no lack of commitment to one's own beliefs. Rather it condemns the oppression or persecution of others.

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Obama had NOTHING to do with increasing stablility in Iraq yet he uses it as a photo op.

Most of the coverage of Obama's trip so far seems to be of him shooting basketball. He's starting his own team, the Chicago Globetrotters.

I've never seen a presidential candidate do so little and get so much high-profile positive coverage.


David & Lalai

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All of which might be true, but doesn't change what the OP article is contending.


Refusing to use the spellchick!

I have put you on ignore. No really, I have, but you are still ruining my enjoyment of this site. .

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However, this article is far more interesting and gives a better insight into policy:

Link

Wow.

It certainly is a bit rich to go around expecting to be lauded for his efforts to help clean up the mess via "The Surge", when he himself helped make the mess in the first place...

Edited by Number 6

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All of which might be true, but doesn't change what the OP article is contending.

If you're relying on Katie Couric for an argument, you've already lost.

McCain was right. The U.S. did helped out local Sunni leaders but only in some provinces. If you read stories from last year about arming the Sunnis, you'll see there were plenty of people who thought it was a bad idea. It takes a while to see the which counter-insurgent actions will work to judge their effectiveness. People who make military decisions after the fact aren't very useful. It's also pretty insulting to American troops to imply most of the credit for a more stable Iraq should go to the same Sunnis who killed Americans than the American soldiers who had to stick their necks out for Iraq.

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/162/story/16989.html

http://rawstory.com/news/2007/US_confirms_...gents_0610.html

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2007/jun/12/usa.iraq

http://goliath.ecnext.com/coms2/gi_0199-67...nd-Through.html

http://www.indypendent.org/2007/09/10/meet...-back-for-more/

http://www.spiegel.de/international/0,1518,487785,00.html

Edited by alienlovechild

David & Lalai

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I wasn't relying on anything. My point, such as it was, was that whatever Barack Obama does and doesn't think is rather irrelevant to a discussion of whether McCain is or isn't able to maintain a coherent argument regarding his policy in Iraq. Personally, as I pointed out, I don't think that's a particulary useful avenue to journey down but if one is going to...


Refusing to use the spellchick!

I have put you on ignore. No really, I have, but you are still ruining my enjoyment of this site. .

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It was a nuanced question. Short of being caught offguard (which can happen - though I tend to think that presidential candidates are "coached" to some degree to ensure that mistakes don't happen) I don't see why McC can't approach the answer in a nuanced way as well.

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I wasn't relying on anything. My point, such as it was, was that whatever Barack Obama does and doesn't think is rather irrelevant to a discussion of whether McCain is or isn't able to maintain a coherent argument regarding his policy in Iraq. Personally, as I pointed out, I don't think that's a particulary useful avenue to journey down but if one is going to...

Do you always quote sources you don't rely on to make a point? It might helped if you could explain why McCain was completely wrong in his statement. You just post a link to an article you don't rely on to make a point that you can't elaborate on. By contrast, I explained you're dealing with events in the recent past so it is helpful to know what the conventional wisdom was at the time. The links back my version of what was going on in Iraq during both the surge and arming of Sunni militias. Obama enters into the equation because he and his surrogates must belittle the importance of the surge and McCain's contribution to it. It's no coincidence that this stuff about the surge is going on to cover Obama's butt so it doesn't mar coverage of his trip. The second purpose is claim any (preceived) mistake by McCain must be due to senility.

It was a nuanced question. Short of being caught offguard (which can happen - though I tend to think that presidential candidates are "coached" to some degree to ensure that mistakes don't happen) I don't see why McC can't approach the answer in a nuanced way as well.

Scary. I actually agree with you on that. Most voters and political operatives don't understand nuances. It takes too long to explain and assumes one already has some background knowledge on the subject.


David & Lalai

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I guess you are being deliberately obtuse in a bizarre attempt to make yourself look more intelligent after your debacle with the beer. Well, good luck with that one.


Refusing to use the spellchick!

I have put you on ignore. No really, I have, but you are still ruining my enjoyment of this site. .

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Scary. I actually agree with you on that. Most voters and political operatives don't understand nuances. It takes too long to explain and assumes one already has some background knowledge on the subject.

All it surely requires is to actually engage in a debate on the subject at hand, and not affect outrage at the opposition's every statement (no matter how mundane) in front of TV cameras.

To clarify I don't think McCain's answer reflect any nuances - given his rebuttal amounts to "*splutter*splutter* "The surge! The surge! The Surge worked. Obama's naiive. Doesn't understand history. That's the only thing that's important".

Frankly I get rather tired of every criticism of government foreign policy being turned into some sort of insult to the armed forces. The only insult done to the military was to be used and misused by an incompetent administration.

Edited by Number 6

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