McCain’s cluelessness on the Middle East

Despite Hillary's ridiculous claims of late that she and John McCain are ready for that 3am phone call and McCain is not, McCain has recently been exhibiting his confusion on the basic state of ethnic politics in the Middle East.  Shia and Al-Qaeda do not work together.  Al Qaeda is thoroughly and radically Sunni.  An excerpt from what my favorite blogs seem to agree is the best commentary on the matter. 

“Sen. John McCain, traveling in the Middle East to promote
his foreign policy expertise, misidentified in remarks Tuesday which
broad category of Iraqi extremists are allegedly receiving support from
Iran.

He said several times that Iran, a predominately Shiite country,
was supplying the mostly Sunni militant group, al-Qaeda. In fact,
officials have said they believe Iran is helping Shiite extremists in
Iraq.

Speaking to reporters in Amman, the Jordanian capital, McCain said
he and two Senate colleagues traveling with him continue to be
concerned about Iranian operatives “taking al-Qaeda into Iran, training
them and sending them back.”

Pressed to elaborate, McCain said it was “common knowledge and has
been reported in the media that al-Qaeda is going back into Iran and
receiving training and are coming back into Iraq from Iran, that's well
known. And it's unfortunate.” A few moments later, Sen. Joseph
Lieberman, standing just behind McCain, stepped forward and whispered
in the presidential candidate's ear. McCain then said: “I'm sorry, the
Iranians are training extremists, not al-Qaeda.””

It's important to be clear about exactly how clueless this is. It's
like saying that some neo-confederate group is secretly funneling money
to Louis Farrakhan, and then having an aide have to whisper: no, no, it's the Aryan Nation; wrong extremists!
It's like suggesting that McCain is making a play for Kucinich voters,
and having to be told that, no, you really meant Ron Paul: wrong losing
candidate! No one who had any understanding at all of Iraq, or for that
matter about the Shi'a/Sunni split and which side Iran was on, would
get confused about this, any more than someone with any knowledge of US
politics would get confused about whether neo-confederates were likely
to be supporting blacks, or conservatives were likely to be supporting
the Socialist Workers' Party. It is exactly that clueless.

At least Hillary knows John McCain is ready to face the problems in the Middle East.  I'm not so sure.

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