Every once in a while John McCain says something to remind
s us that he really doesn’t know much, despite Hillary Clinton’s assertion that he has obviously crossed the “commander in chief threshold.” (Not that you need to know much to become President…)
AMMAN, Jordan — 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.”
“Al Qaeda,” for people like McCain and Bush, has just become a term which you toss out whenever you want to describe an enemy of the U.S. who happens to be Muslim, and scare people into supporting your endless war. It’s just a knee-jerk response, with no real meaning, and it’s become such a habit that McCain doesn’t even notice he’s doing it anymore. You know you’re in trouble when Joe Lieberman warns you that you’re inaccurately conflating all Islamic extremists into one big enemy.