Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Mr. Foreign Policy Expert

It's being called a "gaffe" but he has said it repeatedly and it is not an inconsequential matter. If the man on whom the foreign policy mantle has been placed by the inbred beltway pundits keeps confusing distinctions between Sunni Salafists and Iranian Shi'ites, so that he speaks, repeatedly, about al Qaeda terrorists going to Iran for training and returning to Iraq, then he either has bought one of the phony talking points and internalized it to the point where he believes it OR he's lying his ass off to keep us frightened (and Lieberman corrected him because it was just too humiliating to stand next to such bullcrap). And when hawk-talk gets too humiliating for Senator Joementum, it's really bad.

The distinctions between Sunnis and Shi'ites is pretty basic to Middle Eastern politics. I mean, it's really BIG. Granted, President Shit-for-brains wasn't too clear on it right before the invasion of Iraq, but his staff finally felt the need to tell him. For anyone allegedly in the know about MIddle Eastern concerns to be even vaguely hazy on this is a huge red flag.

Is Grandpa McCain having senior moments? Several of them on the same topic?

Would you want someone this unclear on what is happening in Iraq to be commander-in-chief? The person answering the 3 a.m. phone call?

I sure as hell don't.

His reputation is largely undeserved. Give him kudos for what he has done in the past but let's not pretend that (1) he knows what he's talking about in foreign policy or matters of war; (2) he knows anything about the economy--because he's admitted himself that he doesn't--(3) that he's any kind of straight talker (because he panders with the best of them), or (4) a maverick.

I used to believe John McCain was someone with integrity that, if there were no decent Dem choices, I might conceivably vote for. That was some time ago. I have come to see him as among the worst flip-floppers around who tossed his integrity on the ash heap when he embraced Bush and is an extremely dangerous hawk. He also has a notorious anger management problem and we do not need someone who explodes unpredictably with the code to the nuclear football.

If he's not a dunce and not yet senile, then he is deceitful. In any case, he is dangerous.

We must defeat this man in November. We do not need a third "Bush" term and the world cannot afford it either.

You may read about the "gaffe" in numerous places (though I bet it fades from the MSM within the next 48 hours):

TeddySanFran at Firedoglake (where I got the YouTube video)

John Aravosis at Americablog

A J Rosmiller at Americablog

Joe Sudbay at Americablog

Marcy Wheeler at emptywheel

Dday at Hullabaloo here and here and here. Dday comments as follows:
In the previous link on McCain's economic plan (which is basically, "Cut spending!" except for that magic defense spending which doesn't cut any hole in the budget because it's so honorable), Jared Bernstein talks about how he makes a lot of basic mistakes when talking about the economy. But that's true in foreign policy as well. He says things like "Anybody who believes the surge has not succeeded, militarily, politically and in most other ways, frankly, does not know the facts on the ground," when the commander of forces in Iraq has said the exact opposite. He has no overriding views on foreign policy from a historical perspective, engaging in the same method of taking any position that suited him at the time that has characterized his inconsistency on a host of other issues. And his war cabinet is a group of muddled thinkers who have been historically wrong about Iraq and foreign policy generally, people who say things like "Iraq has sponsored the 9/11 attacks" and that there's no evidence that the Shi'a won't get along with the Sunni and 100 other misstatements. They have no fealty to the truth and will continue to bungle around and trying to unify the whole mishigoss under the heading of "honor."
Josh Marshall discusses McCain's error here and has a 7-minute explanation of problems with McCain (clip below).

Juan Cole, professor of Mideastern history, says: "Bottom line, if you are so ignorant or confused that you think Shiite ayatollahs in Tehran are training and arming radical Salafi Sunnis to blow up Shiites in Iraq, you really should not be president."

Glenn Greenwald has a lot to say on this at Salon, including this paragraph:
The media consensus that national security is some sort of great asset for McCain is completely baseless. Just go read McCain's pre-invasion speeches and they are filled to the brim with the most extreme, gullible and false assertions about Iraq. This whole McCain Myth is predicated on the Beltway principle that anyone who supports war and cheers on war and wants to prolong the occupation of Iraq is inherently Serious when it comes to National Security, no matter how little they know and how unbroken a record of Wrongness they've compiled. And in McCain's case, the fact that he was in Vietnam 40 years ago immunizes him from having his National Security expertise questioned (though it didn't for John Kerry).
Hunter writes about it at Daily Kos.
All recent evidence has indicated that McCain has simply internalized the central Bush lesson of his war: if the facts are against your desired policy, make up new facts and continue on your way. A sufficient percentage of the population will believe it.

If you want more, I'm sure those articles will give you links aplenty to pursue.

--the BB


Grandmère Mimi said...

Did you note Lindsey Graham's body language while McCain was making his "gaffe"?

Paul said...

I had not, Mimi. Look down at the ground, hands clasped, not too comfy.