Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

A McCain Gaffe in Jordan


Accompanied by two of his top supporters in the race for president, U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman, left, and U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, right, U.S. Sen. John McCain, center, talks to reporters during his visit to Amman, Jordan, March 18, 2008.(AP.)

By Cameron W. Barr and Michael D. Shear
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."

The mistake threatened to undermine McCain's argument that his decades of foreign policy experience make him the natural choice to lead a country at war with terrorists. In recent days, McCain has repeatedly said his intimate knowledge of foreign policy makes him the best equipped to answer a phone ringing in the White House late at night.

McCain was in Jordan leading a week-long congressional delegation and has stressed that the trip was not political, despite the decision to hold a fundraiser in London later this week.

But advisers said a side benefit from the trip would be the image of McCain standing next to world leaders and showing his expertise on issues of war and terrorism.

The U.S. has long asserted that elements of the Iranian security forces have been training and supplying weapons to Iraq's Shiite militias. Iran is an overwhelmingly Shiite country whose government has applauded the emergence of a Shiite-led government in Iraq but has denied supporting Shiite militias inside Iraq.

Al-Qaeda in Iraq is a predominantly Sunni militant group that is blamed for deadly mass killings of Shiites, along with attacks on U.S. forces. Some extremist Sunni consider Shiites to be heretics and therefore legitimate targets of attack.

The schism between Islam's Sunni and Shiite sects grew out of a dispute over the leadership of the faithful following the death of the Prophet Muhammad in 632 AD.

Shear reported from Jerusalem.

By Web Politics Editor  |  March 18, 2008; 10:56 AM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Scranton Gets to Meet Candidate O'Bama
Next: Obama's Philadelphia Speech on Race and the Race

Comments

ibvp iaxs auvbgmh zwgkq
http://ratetiti.fcpages.com/adverse-reaction-to-generic-paxil.html adverse reaction to generic paxil

Posted by: adverse reaction to generic paxil | August 21, 2008 3:41 AM | Report abuse

qahf cligtf jhcbo
http://ratetiti.fcpages.com/smoking-stop-zyban.html smoking stop zyban

Posted by: smoking stop zyban | August 21, 2008 2:31 AM | Report abuse

khomwdz adcfv
http://ratetiti.fcpages.com/chat-room-about-effexor.html chat room about effexor

Posted by: chat room about effexor | August 21, 2008 2:11 AM | Report abuse

khomwdz adcfv
http://ratetiti.fcpages.com/chat-room-about-effexor.html chat room about effexor

Posted by: chat room about effexor | August 21, 2008 2:10 AM | Report abuse

viep yxafnj yfszvm bfmhr
http://ratetiti.fcpages.com/atarax-drug-interactions.html atarax drug interactions

Posted by: atarax drug interactions | August 21, 2008 1:18 AM | Report abuse

askyi sernw nvcz
http://ratetiti.fcpages.com/nde-risperdal.html nde risperdal

Posted by: nde risperdal | August 21, 2008 12:54 AM | Report abuse

vpqo ukctixv hodj tgzx
http://ratetiti.fcpages.com/lexapro-and-marijuana.html lexapro and marijuana

Posted by: lexapro and marijuana | August 21, 2008 12:43 AM | Report abuse

pnestw wkihr xihdbct vdwfcza
http://thebunio1.exactpages.com/dog-licking-carpets-and-prozac.html dog licking carpets and prozac

Posted by: dog licking carpets and prozac | August 18, 2008 6:37 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: topamax interactions with prozac | August 18, 2008 5:08 AM | Report abuse

gquypcb znhwok kyxvp
http://loangov.envy.nu/celexa-oral.html celexa oral

Posted by: celexa oral | August 17, 2008 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: lexapro 30 mg daily | August 17, 2008 9:33 PM | Report abuse

wpydia yvegr mevcgb hvwsgdm
http://loangov.envy.nu/interraction-between-prozac-and-klonopin.html interraction between prozac and klonopin

Posted by: interraction between prozac and klonopin | August 17, 2008 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: rogaine cocaine lyrics | August 17, 2008 8:03 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: rogaine facts | August 17, 2008 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: rogaine facts | August 17, 2008 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: best hair loss treatment | August 17, 2008 7:48 PM | Report abuse

wibd fwbkzse zkjtcs
http://doaingemanci.100freemb.com/hair-loss-due-to-medication.html hair loss due to medication

Posted by: hair loss due to medication | August 17, 2008 7:40 PM | Report abuse

dxothe wdsmy rqjzy
http://doaingemanci.100freemb.com/hair-loss-treatment-truth.html hair loss treatment truth

Posted by: hair loss treatment truth | August 17, 2008 7:27 PM | Report abuse

bigrdu okfjwn jrput
http://knotlyri.lookseekpages.com/cymbalta-men.html cymbalta men

Posted by: cymbalta men | August 17, 2008 3:02 PM | Report abuse

sqpfuvt sibg bipxnes cpsv
http://grenaeiny.100freemb.com/lithium-and-paxil-with-methodone.html lithium and paxil with methodone

Posted by: lithium and paxil with methodone | August 17, 2008 10:08 AM | Report abuse

wsqkbf
http://idioyyinv.25am.com/rx-medications-lisinopril-atenolol-and-zyprexa.html rx medications lisinopril atenolol and zyprexa

Posted by: rx medications lisinopril atenolol and zyprexa | August 16, 2008 9:07 PM | Report abuse

hxqk lbnw khiuvx zuergq
http://idioyyinv.25am.com/ashwagandha-withania-somnifera.html ashwagandha withania somnifera

Posted by: ashwagandha withania somnifera | August 16, 2008 6:56 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: kamagra gel uk | August 16, 2008 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: depression lexapro medication | August 16, 2008 2:44 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: depression lexapro medication | August 16, 2008 2:44 AM | Report abuse

bdszyte
http://youngercam.00freehost.com/rx-medications-lisinopril-atenolol-and-zyprexa.html rx medications lisinopril atenolol and zyprexa

Posted by: rx medications lisinopril atenolol and zyprexa | August 16, 2008 1:05 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: paxil and kidneys | August 15, 2008 7:13 PM | Report abuse

zuqis lrumby sclyjw jmil
http://moistnicky.1freewebspace.com/ween-off-prozac.html ween off prozac

Posted by: ween off prozac | August 15, 2008 6:10 PM | Report abuse

zuqis lrumby sclyjw jmil
http://moistnicky.1freewebspace.com/ween-off-prozac.html ween off prozac

Posted by: ween off prozac | August 15, 2008 6:10 PM | Report abuse

kyts ybzw thmanxs
http://imnipiteh.150m.com/effexor-dosage-fibromyalgia.html effexor dosage fibromyalgia

Posted by: effexor dosage fibromyalgia | August 15, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

tdkbyvs cakjs deqpv
http://www.yourhealthforum.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=4630 effects pregnancy propecia

Posted by: effects pregnancy propecia | May 12, 2008 10:33 AM | Report abuse

fyjno qpajnw hvbjupc
http://www.yourhealthforum.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=4510 drug information ultram

Posted by: drug information ultram | May 11, 2008 9:00 AM | Report abuse

fyjno qpajnw hvbjupc
http://www.yourhealthforum.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=4510 drug information ultram

Posted by: drug information ultram | May 11, 2008 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: ultram withdrawal | May 10, 2008 7:47 PM | Report abuse

mhkw gbizo
http://www.yourhealthforum.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=4465 er medication recall ultram

Posted by: er medication recall ultram | May 10, 2008 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: http://msnabuse666.info | April 28, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

ydza ktrugvih mkfwocadi napq tduop hrxp bmjgvfo http://www.iufnte.fatce.com

Posted by: irfvexq kxufw | April 16, 2008 9:26 AM | Report abuse

ydza ktrugvih mkfwocadi napq tduop hrxp bmjgvfo http://www.iufnte.fatce.com

Posted by: irfvexq kxufw | April 16, 2008 9:25 AM | Report abuse

xihcgmbyq fguej flvxdgsb dketfbi hbdtnsv dntigao lkanesqby

Posted by: yhvtgz mjkxqfvhi | April 16, 2008 9:24 AM | Report abuse

xihcgmbyq fguej flvxdgsb dketfbi hbdtnsv dntigao lkanesqby

Posted by: yhvtgz mjkxqfvhi | April 16, 2008 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2008 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2008 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2008 5:19 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2008 5:19 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2008 2:44 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2008 12:17 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Anonymous | April 12, 2008 6:41 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Anonymous | April 12, 2008 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Anonymous | April 12, 2008 7:33 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Anonymous | April 12, 2008 12:00 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Anonymous | April 11, 2008 8:18 PM | Report abuse

ycvek hbzwnp yfqokerv bpwjhe lhkv ykhanezw lcgnd http://www.kdwbja.zdahybqj.com

Posted by: pcmvrj ugdreamqw | April 11, 2008 1:14 AM | Report abuse

weyhj hmigcqnez uzybrl ochbj xlekr rifkebvzo gclhtor

Posted by: wdhmayge taqz | April 11, 2008 1:13 AM | Report abuse

xpjour nqibkaj vzimd noeqrcbxw olfxn gbapsjh ohbfcqw http://www.yonktdie.qsgda.com

Posted by: Anonymous | April 11, 2008 1:01 AM | Report abuse

oykc zxnsbmit jctf dviacenfz pzhv yrwx dgneskv

Posted by: Anonymous | April 11, 2008 1:01 AM | Report abuse

McCain may have meant to say "extremists" or "Shia extremists" or whatever rather than al-Queda - but even if not, it would not necessarily have been incorrect.

The idea that Shia regimes do not provide help to Sunni terrorists or vice-versa does not hold up to observed facts.

It's well-known that Iran, a Shia-dominated country, provides training, weapons, and other help to Hamas, a Sunni terror organization.

Alawite-Syria keeps Hezbollah (Shai) going in Lebanon. Alawites are related to Shia but considered a gnostic, heretical sect by Shia and most other Moslems.

So if McCain's "gaffe" is indeed a gaffe, it's a very minor one.

It's not even in the same ballpark as Silvestre Reyes' total cluelessness when it comes to Sunni-Shia stuff. Cong. Reyes is the Chairman of the House INTELLIGENCE! Committee. See this exchange between Reyes and reporter Jeff Stein just after Nancy Pelosi announced Reyes' appointment to the charimanship in late 2006:

http://www.rogerlsimon.com/mt-archives/2006/12/silvestri_the_d.php

Posted by: srosenbach | April 4, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Just what we (don't) need -- another hawk fast and loose in terms of the truth.

Posted by: johnnormansp | March 24, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

If I'm Iranian I would definitely give al Qaeda in Iraq SOME money and bombs to kill a few Americans, you know keep the Americans military worry and occupy. This is by no mean supporting and training al Qaeda in Iraq. This is the Iranian's strategy to keep the American off balance. Remember, an enemy of my enemy is a friend of mine. But once the Americans are out of Iraq, Iranians will never give anything to al Qaeda in Iraq. You guys should read the interview of captured al Qaeda in Iraq. Iranians are using al Qaeda as a pawn against the Americans.

Posted by: thuctho | March 22, 2008 6:51 AM | Report abuse

this's a respond to rat-the.
The Talibans (Sunni) killed Iranians (Shia) diplomats and officials (I believe 8 people total). They almost went to war over this incident. The Iranians never liked the infidel communist Soviet Union, but they did support the Taliban fighting the Soviet as a convenience. Indeed, "an enemy of my enemy is a friend of mine." Don't forget Rumsfeld used to shake hands with Saddam.

Posted by: thuctho | March 22, 2008 6:31 AM | Report abuse

McCain also claims to have "corrected his mistake immediately" which is an outright lie! By my count, he repeated the mistake at least once during his speech and didn't correct it until Lieberman explained it to him. Does that sound like "immediately?"
McCain obviously doesn't know what he's talking about and now he's back-peddling, trying to cover up his own ignorance with indifference.

Posted by: mblarson323 | March 20, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Robert: Your head must be dizzy, spinning the way you do on behalf of McCain.
Wake up, man.

Posted by: vegasgirl1 | March 19, 2008 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Robert: Your head must be dizzy, spinning the way you do on behalf of McCain.
Wake up, man.

Posted by: vegasgirl1 | March 19, 2008 6:02 PM | Report abuse

"Hillary and Obama don't even believe that AQ, extremists or rouge nations exist. My vote is for the guy who at least can name three groups that threaten US interests and security."

Posted by: npvikingman
That is a flat-out LIE, and you know it, vikingman.
People like you, who buy the lies fed to you by right-wing radio, disgust me beyond belief. Shame of you.

Posted by: vegasgirl1 | March 19, 2008 5:59 PM | Report abuse

May God Bless America and the Americans.Wake up America. Your presidents are pupets to Israel. Your presidents advisers are Jews and report everything to their masters in Israel.Americans do not have any say about their forign policy.They are slaves and they cannot say no anymore to Israel. Wake up before it is to late. May be it is too late

Posted by: tigermyname | March 19, 2008 5:12 PM | Report abuse

I'd refer all of you to the 9/11 Commission
report that was cited in this very same newspaper on 7/24/04 (P. A6) describing the links between Iran, Hezbollah and Al Queda. Johnny Mac shouldn't have apologized at all. He was right the first time.

Posted by: fmcdermott | March 19, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

while its clear that dementia is setting in, at least he has his favorite seeing eye dog with him to help him out

Posted by: bredto | March 19, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Give the guy a break. The split between Sunnis and Shia only happened in 632 A.D. It will take some time before this breaking news can be absorbed by Senator McCain.

Posted by: taylorrdc | March 19, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

"Hillary and Obama don't even believe that AQ, extremists or rouge nations exist. My vote is for the guy who at least can name three groups that threaten US interests and security.

Posted by: npvikingman | March 19, 2008 01:29 AM"

Almost certainly the stupidest bit of hyperbole I'll read all day. If npvikingman has a shred of factual evidence that Hilary Clinton and Barack Obama don't believe Al Quaeda, extremists or rogue nations exist, I'll be happy to consider it. But I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for it to be produced.

Posted by: jontorrance | March 19, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

You are (most of you here) like sheep being led to the slaughter. If the Washington Post says it's a gaffe, then it's a gaffe? Look at the major newspapers these days especially the NY Times. These papers are becoming more like tabloids and propaganda machines than newspapers.

Anyway to that extent, McCain's fact finding mission is probably actually finding facts that other intelligence agencies know as facts.

See this article:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/11/14/wiran214.xml

Also see this article:
http://www.strategypage.com/militaryforums/34-577.aspx

As you can see there is well known and documented evidence that Iran is aiding Al Que'da.

A gaffe is known as a politician that tells the truth when they weren't supposed to.

What happened here is McCain told the media the truth and had Lieberman whisper to him that he's not supposed to say that yet because it is not supposed to be for public consumption yet.

It doesn't take away from the fact that no presidential candidate holds a candle to the knowledge of McCain as far as foreign policy goes. He knows more than the others have forgotten.

Just because CNN and the Post say it's a gaffe, doesn't mean he wasn't right. It just means CNN and the Post haven't run the story yet.

Posted by: robert | March 19, 2008 8:32 AM | Report abuse

You said al-Qaeda, I say bomb-bomb-bomb-bomb-bomb Iran . . .

Posted by: light_bearer | March 19, 2008 8:25 AM | Report abuse

Unfortunately, I think most Americans would not have known McCain was incorrect. We are in this mess because most of us including the President do not understand the Iraqi problems or their goals.

Posted by: gfields | March 19, 2008 8:10 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: gla4 | March 18, 2008 01:03 PM:

Sweet...I've finally found America's top foreign policy experts; they hang out in the Washington Post chatrooms! I'm confident that all you would-be secretaries of state will go far in your foreign service careers by concentrating on occassional gaffes...it's a coveted specialty.

Good thing we have a candidate in this race who has never mispeaken, er, uh...
------------------------------------------

gaffe - also gaff (gāf) n.
1. A clumsy social error; a faux pas:
2. A blatant mistake or misjudgment.

You may be minimizing it, but is the above referenced, common description of a "gaffe" what we really want in a president?

We just went through my daughter's lifetime of a consistantly gaffing president. Remember chewing the roll with his mouth open? Remember him trying to recite "fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me"? Remember the war and how he said it was the right thing? Oh wait, that was TODAY!!!!!!

Do we want another president who thinks this current president is ON THE RIGHT TRACK? COME ON! We actually have a chance to radically change the way the country feels. By the way, if my priest says something I may not like, I don't criticize him, I don't walk out of church in a huff, I am an intelligent, right-thinking person who can take what I need and what is inspirational to me, and leave the rest behind, remembering about my preist all the while "he is only a man".

We all know who's trying to bury Mr. Obama and his messages of hope, and shamefully, they look a lot like I look. I think it is time to rise above what our forefather's sins do to us.

Yes, do to us. It's not just the African-Americans, there's a lot of guilt out there and sometimes we don't want the past thrown in our faces, because we didn't cause it, and we always feel the heat from it. It's not fair, but if we ALL heal together, the US could be a truly great instead of a place we just call great - maybe even the best country in the World. I know, we are already supposed to be, but we're not. Not in our hearts and in our spirit.

Posted by: songpimp | March 19, 2008 5:30 AM | Report abuse

I remember when Obama said that 10,000 people had been killed by a tornado that had reciently touched down in my home state when the actual number was only a few. I didn't make much of it even though I am a McCain supporter. It was a simple mistake or slip of the lip. You people are jerks. This is the best you can do? Pathetic.

Posted by: tmspaeth | March 19, 2008 2:35 AM | Report abuse

I remember when Obama said that 10,000 people had been killed by a tornado that had reciently touched down in my home state when the actual number was only a few. I didn't make much of it even though I am a McCain supporter. It was a simple mistake or slip of the lip. You people are jerks. This is the best you can do? Pathetic.

Posted by: tmspaeth | March 19, 2008 2:35 AM | Report abuse

the scary thing for me is the fact that John McCain kind of lost it for a moment in his speech. to have an aid correct him? we do not need a man who can lose it for a second if the phone rings at 3 a.m. the commander in chief will have to wait for an aid to call him at 3:05 or who knows 3:30 to inform him to answer the phone and how to respond. hillary would have to ask bill, obama would respond and not wait for any one to tell him what to do, cool. Obama is the man. feel safe with him.

Posted by: g_faye_rush | March 19, 2008 2:15 AM | Report abuse

Hillary and Obama don't even believe that AQ, extremists or rouge nations exist. My vote is for the guy who at least can name three groups that threaten US interests and security.

Posted by: npvikingman | March 19, 2008 1:29 AM | Report abuse

I just finished reading through all the comments here - and I must say I'm impressed with the quality and thoughtfullness of almost every post, even if I don't agree with every opinion. I particularly liked the well-thought-out posts of mnjam, davestickler, pbiddy10000, editor and b202. It is obvious that a lot of people are taking this election very seriously. So do I, even though unfortunately I can't participate in the election, not being American - the future US president affects the whole world, like it or not.

Of course there are one or two extreme viewpoints here and there in the comments - such as the poster who managed to write the word "zionist" 14 times in two posts (what exactly is a zionist anyway? and is it relevant? I sure hope I'm not one of them, they don't seem to be liked that much by some people)...

Posted by: idlingdove | March 19, 2008 1:13 AM | Report abuse

So much bitterness and bile. I'm not a McCain supporter though if Billary gets the nomination I'll have to take a second look at him, but when we can't accept that someone can mis speak and it must attributable to senility, stupidity or evil, we have lost the ablity to reason our way through a dialogue.

Posted by: agpolsci | March 19, 2008 1:02 AM | Report abuse

"In his mind, I am sure that Al Qaeda IS trained in and run out of Iran.

Posted by: steveboyington"

In reality it is, too. If you see the links several people have provided now, you'll see that the Washington Post itself has reported on Iran training Al Qaeda.

Posted by: editor | March 19, 2008 12:50 AM | Report abuse

A legacy admission to Annapolis (his grandfather and father were alumni) McCain graduated 894th out of 899. He's Bush Lite with a very similar background of special treatment and privilege having mediated his rise.

Posted by: jhbyer | March 19, 2008 12:48 AM | Report abuse

wrong "gaffe" and too bad. McCain should have gotten up and said Jordan is the palestinian state.

Posted by: nosubstituteforvictory | March 19, 2008 12:44 AM | Report abuse

So our presumed Republican nominee, the one who knows so much about "foreign policy", the one who Hillary Clinton thinks is a better Commander-in-Chief than Obama, thinks, and believes that everyone knows, that Iran is supporting and training Al-Qaeda. Did he mean the Al-Qaeda that attacked us on 9/11, as Bush claims, or Al-Qaeda in Iraq?

The Post headline calls it a "gaffe". Perhaps it is not. Leading to the war of choice, Mr. Bush put out the line that Saddam is linked to Al-Qaeda, the one that attacked us on 9/11. So perhaps Mr. McCain is laying down the same sort of thing and preparing us for another war of choice, this time on Iran? How else could he stay in Iraq for 100 years. Oops, sorry, how else could he make the country stay in Iraq for 100 years?

By the way, has Libermann switched party? Is he going to endorse McCain? Well, at least he knows Iran has not been supporting Al-Qaeda. Perhaps he could be McCain's running mate, again?

Posted by: steviana | March 19, 2008 12:24 AM | Report abuse

Even if we give Sen. HundredYearsWar the benefit of the doubt as a couple posters above have claimed and say that there may have been (at least in 2004 when those links were dated) some connection between Iran and Al Qaida, what does it say about the depth and confidence in McCain's knowledge about these crucial issues about that region (and our security) that he would so readily backtrack on what he had vehemently insisted a moment before, after Joe simply whispers in his ear?

It speaks of a man completely lost without his cue cards, that's what. And he's the same man who has hallucinated that AQI could take over Iraq, when no serious analyst of any political stripe thinks that is even remotely plausible.

Unfit for Commander in Chief. Pretty clear.

Posted by: B2O2 | March 19, 2008 12:20 AM | Report abuse

How wonderful(ly embarrassing), they look more like America's 3 Stooges:
Lyndsey, Johnny and Joe

Posted by: DreadPirate | March 19, 2008 12:08 AM | Report abuse

"Not exactly who I want answering the phone at 3 a.m. If he is this senile going in, how bad is it going to be in the future??"he probably doesnt accept collect calls anyway!

yes i agree the dude looks senile and is too old to run our country. when he talks we know he is still stuck in the 1960S vietnam era, all he wants like bush is more war more guns more god and no gays!!
thats the old republican mantra. lets have soon some new blood like mr obama or ms clinton either one will serve our country well!! we just cant loose with either one of them!!

Posted by: WILLEM1 | March 18, 2008 11:58 PM | Report abuse

a few people here are saying that al Qaeda IS being trained by Iran. So why did Lieberman correct McCain on the point? Al-Qaeda in Iraq was blowing up as many inncent Shiites as it could before the Sunnis got tied of their incredible brutality and religious fanaticism. Why would Shiite Iran have anything to do with AQI? I assume McCain will be getting a briefing on Shiites and Sunnis and Iraq and al-Qaeda, but then he's already gotten some and apparently isn't interested in learning. He is one scary fellow, even if he's very genial as long as no one is giving him a hard time.

Posted by: newageblues | March 18, 2008 11:49 PM | Report abuse

Remember, Hillary put herself in the same sphere as McCain on Commander in chief readiness. What does this say about her?

Posted by: infuse | March 18, 2008 11:44 PM | Report abuse

Rat - try to post on what you know. Okay, that might limit you to a post or two a day. Anyway... Iran was resolutely opposed to the Taliban. An unstable country on their border was not their friend. It's why Iran was actually amenable to U.S. action following 9/11. There was an opening following the fall of the Taliban, but that all ended following the Axis of Evil speech.

Also, care to substantiate your claim that Iran disavows Hezbollah?

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | March 18, 2008 11:41 PM | Report abuse

John McCain should continue to shoot off his mouth and let us see just how "informed" he is about international affairs.

He should also continue to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with George W. Bush and show his agreement with the War in Iraq.

It is becoming more and more clear that a vote for McCain will simply continue the idiocy that has gone on for the past seven years.

What surprises me is that there are people in this country who STILL think that Bush has done a good job, and that his policies should continue in the person of John McCain.

Yes, McCain needs to continue on his present course. It will virtually ensure that the Democratic candidate is elected in November.

Posted by: dogandbirdlady | March 18, 2008 11:35 PM | Report abuse

boy,go figure that means the enemy of our enemy is our enemy? thats a first

Posted by: adosaad | March 18, 2008 11:32 PM | Report abuse

My fear is that it's worse than senility. My fear is that it's an administration line they're testing in advance as they seek to start a war with Iran, and that Lieberman didn't get the memo somehow.

Also, it doesn't threaten to undermine. It more or less points out that McCain doesn't have what we need to do the job.

Posted by: alexander.chee | March 18, 2008 11:17 PM | Report abuse

One poster wrote: "McCain inadvertently revealed both his tactic and his goal: identify Al Qaeda (terror) with Iran in order to justify Bush's impending attack on Iran, and the escalation of McCain's Hundred Years War." I assume this is sarcasm. I would not even give McCain that much credit in intellect. So Hillary is willing to tear apart the Democratic Party and risk having this person installed to answer the 3am phone? God bless America if they fail to elect the only viable remaining candidate.

Posted by: KT11 | March 18, 2008 11:10 PM | Report abuse

Not exactly who I want answering the phone at 3 a.m. If he is this senile going in, how bad is it going to get a couple of years in?

Go Obama!

Posted by: SarahBB | March 18, 2008 11:01 PM | Report abuse

Hedgerow-LOL!

You can try to lead Libbies to the Water of Thought,

But you can't make them Think! :-(

Cripes, you even plugged the LINKS! ;~)

Posted by: rat-the | March 18, 2008 11:00 PM | Report abuse

The first order of business for a commander during hostilities is to know the enemy. Given his first opportunity since winning the Republican nomination to express that knowledge, Old Man McCain failed. Even after five years he doesn't know who we are fighting where. The old man is so eager to bomb bomb Iran that he's making up the reasons as he goes. Isn't that what got us into the quagmire in Iraq?

Of course al Qaeda are Sunni Muslims. And Iran is a Shia country. How could Old Man McCain have that confused after five years?
Say NO to Old Man McCain and his war mongering. There's no telling how many other countries he imagines as the enemy.

Posted by: infuse | March 18, 2008 10:57 PM | Report abuse

In his mind, I am sure that Al Qaeda IS trained in and run out of Iran.

In his mind, I am sure one Middle East extremist group is the same as all of them, and they are all affiliated with Al Qaeda.

That would explain his belief that the US withdrawal would lead to an immediate takeover of Iraq by "Al Qaeda".

That would explain why he buys the Bush administration press releases on "Al Qaeda".

What a doofus.

Posted by: steveboyington | March 18, 2008 10:51 PM | Report abuse

It shows he simply doesn't care enough to get it straight. *4 more years of this?!*

Posted by: missmelodius | March 18, 2008 8:20 PM | Report abuse

It's funny how once these memes get started they just sort of stick, and our lazy media just programs them into their word processors to make their work easier. Somehow, perhaps by default and a generally defense-ignorant MSM, John McCain has become known as a respected voice on foreign policy and military strategy. The evidence, however, just seems to run about 150 (though not quite 180) degrees counter to that notion.

I accept that the man served honorably, and his bravery in captivity - the "songbird" swiftboating garbage about him notwithstanding - is admirable. But does POW status confer some sort of military expertise on a person, or just build character of a sort? I can imagine little argument for the former, unless the POWs were running their own mini War College tapping out in morse code on the cell walls. That's unlikely given that according to his own bio he spent most of those years in parts of camps where there were few (and sometimes no) fellow POWs.

Before that, he attended Annapolis. Where he graduated 894th of 899 in his class. He is widely known to have drunk his way through the Academy, and even makes jokes about it. It seems reasonable to guess that he wouldn't have gotten an appointment there at all were it not for the fact that John McCains I and II were admirals. Not really all that far off from the George W. Bush career path: be born on 3rd base and jog home on the sacrifice fly. A major difference being that his took a harrowing and unenviable detour through the horrors of a Vietcong prison camp (and not to dismiss 30-some missions over territory considerably more hostile than those flown by the Texas Air National Guard).

Which brings us to the recent years. First he - along with many other Republicans and Democrats of course - supported the worst blunder in American military history since Vietnam. Okay, that's a given, and so did Hillary. Obama spoke out against it at a time when the vast majority of the public was behind it. In any case, now we have to figure out the best course forward from here.

He's gotten credit for supporting Bush's surge, which arguably has made a difference - getting closer to the 200,000 soldiers Shinseki was canned for publicly saying were needed probably didn't hurt, if you were going to try for a military solution. I tend to think that the credit given to the surge is overblown and ignore other reasons for the decrease in violence there: namely the ethnic cleansing by separating out communities, and just the long time attrition of fighters in the various factions. This occupation has lasted longer than WWII, remember. But the surge has no doubt played a helpful role in that respect, even while it has been a boon for Al Qaida worldwide recruiting, according to all 16 of our intelligence agencies. (In that sense any presence in Iraq is a mixed bag for our security.)

Then a couple weeks ago, in keeping with a long Bush history of misleading the country with irrational fears to get them to back his policies - he let loose a real doozy. In response to Obama talking of an Iraq pullout, he claimed that if we did that, Al Qaida would most certainly take over the country. This, despite the fact that no serious analyst considers that notion anything but ridiculous. AQI makes up only 5-10% of the insurgent forces, and they have little (and declining) support among the civilian population. It's ludicrous, but he said it, and the press didn't bother to get quotes from any random defense analyst (of any political stripe) who would have told them how far fetched it was.

And now the latest. On his trip to the middle east, McCain waxed eloquent about how Iran was aiding, arming and training Al Qaida in Iraq. He reiterated this three times. Then Joe Lieberman whispered in his ear. He then backtracked and corrected himself. The man who would be Commander in Chief doesn't seem any more informed about our enemies than 52% of Republican voters did on the eve of the 2004 election (they still thought Saddam had attacked us on 9/11). I expect that kind of ignorance from the typical yahoo out there (and it should be noted that 34% of Democrats had similarly been misled by the years of Saddam-9/11 brainwashing from President Bush. But doesn't it seem just a little dangerous to have it embodied in the Commander in Chief? Especially one surrounded by an aura of being informed on such issues, and therefore less likely to be critically questioned on such matters?

http://blog.washingtonpost.com/the-trail/2008/03/18/a_mccain_gaffe_in_jordan_1.html

I think McCain is a decent guy and I wouldn't be as appalled at having him as president as I've been of Bush (how's that for faint praise, well sorry, that's the best I can muster). But I think the Democrats are making a big mistake if they do not pounce on this surprisingly spotty history of gaffes and bad judgement. McCain is much more vulnerable on defense matters - beyond just the association with the whole Iraq war - than I think most people assume. I don't pretend to know how the Dems would go about attacking that angle rhetorically, but it seems like soft spots abound.

Obama notably has had his own gaffes in defense matters, but that isn't his advertised expertise and presumably he would have to surround himself with experienced hands. But really, as far this issue goes, it doesn't seem like they're as far apart as many assume.

Posted by: B2O2 | March 18, 2008 8:18 PM | Report abuse

This guy needs to be at home enjoying his great-grandchildren. It's shameless, the addiction to power by some.

Posted by: shag11 | March 18, 2008 8:13 PM | Report abuse

"Them's all toweltops, ain't they? Y'all stay the course, na'!"

Posted by: sawargos | March 18, 2008 8:00 PM | Report abuse

I'm astonished. This is the individual who is traveling in the Middle East to advertise his foreign-policy bone fides, and he demonstrates that he doesn't even remember what he reads in the Washington Post. At the same time, John Murtha who does know the difference endorses Hillary and Barack makes a historic speech. I think this gaffe will be remembered with his 100 years in Iraq.

Posted by: Elinor.Miller | March 18, 2008 7:51 PM | Report abuse

After Jordan McZionist went to his real home Israel to kiss the hand that gives him his orders,but not before his boss Sen.Joe(Mr.Zionist)Liberman put the yamie on his head so he could reveal his true self a ZIONIST JEW,PLEASE STAY IN ISRAEL where your heart is John we need a man that puts the needs of the U.S.A.FIRST not the WAR MONGERING ZIONIST JEWS of Israel,a word to the people of CT.its time to kick that ISREAL-FIRSTER out of office and back to his real state Israel!!!!!!!!

Posted by: izwingman | March 18, 2008 7:51 PM | Report abuse

The WASHINGTON POST itself links IRAN to Al Qaeda in 2 seperate articles:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A4191-2004Jul21.html

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A6581-2004Jun25.html

If you're going to blog from their site... at least read their paper.

Posted by: hedgerow420 | March 18, 2008 7:43 PM | Report abuse

GETTOFF MAH LAWWN! Comes to mind when I read this story. LOL

Posted by: fallinup420 | March 18, 2008 7:32 PM | Report abuse

McCain is just as ignorant about the middle east and foreign policy in general as the typical Republican voter - who by now hopefully is figuring out that Saddam did not attack us on 9/11. A couple weeks ago he was chiding Obama for talking of an Iraq pullout, claiming that if we do that, Al Qaida will surely take over the country. No serious analyst of ANY political stripe believes that to be even remotely plausible.

This country cannot, I repeat, simply cannot afford any more blind, willful ignorance in the White House. The GOP seems to be showing itself to be imbued deep and wide with this sort of cluelessness. I guess maybe all those groups over there are "ferren", olive-skinned, talk funny and therefore are the same. That's the kind of stupidity that got us into Iraq after we were attacked by a group of mostly Saudi and Morrocan militants.

Posted by: B2O2 | March 18, 2008 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: davenp35 | March 18, 2008 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Gee willikers, I stumbled upon a group of liberal hacks. Well, think about this...while you worry about GW, Joe Leiberman, and and revel at John McCain making "gaffes", your leading candidate is sinking like the Titanic in front of your very eyes! How could this happen? NOT AGAIN! And Hillary? I don't think so...and your gut knows that to be true, as well. It's a beautiful day to encounter so many knuckleheads gathered in one place, whining as usual.

Posted by: scrm95 | March 18, 2008 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Actually, Iran training Al Qaeda HAS been widely reported in the news. He meant to say extremists, but his original statement was accurate too. Look at the 9-11 Commission Report, page 61 or The New York Sun 11/14/06, or USA Today 4/11/07, The Guardian 5/22/07, and on and on. Sheesh! Could someone please at least PRETEND they aren't just looking for any little thing to crucify McCain over? Nobody seemed to notice when Obama told a Texas audience that we should stop buying oil from Iran (something we haven't done since the 1970s).

Posted by: bequi99 | March 18, 2008 7:19 PM | Report abuse

I genuinely don't enjoy being cruel, but McCain really is just a crazy old man.

Posted by: nicekid | March 18, 2008 7:17 PM | Report abuse

I really don't enjoy being cruel, but McCain really is just a crazy old man.

Posted by: nicekid | March 18, 2008 7:17 PM | Report abuse

McNut is a Senile stupid Politicians on the order of Bush Jr.. Obama is an American hating black racist, Hillary is a lying piece of feces that will say or do anything for votes.. Really great choices we have to vote for!

Posted by: american1 | March 18, 2008 6:59 PM | Report abuse

McCains father was a ZIONIST MOLE just ask the crew of the USS Liberty after he tossed them under the bus to protect the Zionists back in 1967,now we have his son John McZionist the burnout in Jordan with the two of the top Zionists Lieberman and Graham pounding the war drum for the next WAR FOR ISRAEL,McCain is the next zionist puppet now that G.W.Bush has run out of time without killing everybody that will not go in lock step with Israels LAND GRAB that started back in 67 with the six day war that Israrl started,the sight of Lieberman wispering in McCains ear should make everybody with a brain in the U.S.think about who will be running the show if McZionist get in,BOMB BOMB BOMB,BOMB BOMB THE ZIONISTS,one last thing if Obamas minister had marched in lock step with the zionists and not condemning them for what they are doing with the aid that the the U.S.taxpayers give the zionists to build their settlements after they have put the people that have lived on the land for over a 1000 years in the grave you would not have even heard his name,he should have known if you cannot say something good about Israel and their warmongering zionists then you better not say anything at all or you will be pushed into the same grave with the Pals.

Posted by: izwingman | March 18, 2008 6:57 PM | Report abuse

I guess if we all learn the players, the back ground, the reason why the blow themselves up, the reasons why the oppress women and minorities, the reasons why they hate everyone (even fellow "true believers"), than we can go to there and give them a big hug and everything will be okay.

Grow up. You can't tell the players without a scorecard over there. The allegiances have the shelf life of mayonnaise left out in Washington, in august.

Good luck if Obama wins, they will play him like a cheap guitar.

Posted by: Billy1999 | March 18, 2008 6:06 PM | Report abuse

I guess if we all learn the players, the back ground, the reason why the blow themselves up, the reasons why the oppress women and minorities, the reasons why they hate everyone (even fellow "true believers"), than we can go to there and give them a big hug and everything will be okay.

Grow up. You can't tell the players without a scorecard over there. The allegiances have the shelf life of mayonnaise left out in Washington, in august.

Good luck if Obama wins, they will play him like a cheap guitar.

Posted by: Billy1999 | March 18, 2008 6:06 PM | Report abuse

This is just another of those occasions when an office-seeker makes a mistake and the people who are opposed to him seize upon it. McCain is a self-described conservative. As a moderate, I hope he doesn't get elected. But I sure wish I could witness a campaign fought on differences of opinions rather than gotchas.

Posted by: jackbutler5555 | March 18, 2008 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps if an Iraqi politician were asked about the internal politics in the USA, they would also make a mistake in identifying who was fighting for what. I am not a fan of John McCain however, just because a person can speak volumes of flowery words does not prove that he lives by them - he just has better speech writers and more time to assess what he should say and then prepare.

Posted by: malik_toni | March 18, 2008 5:57 PM | Report abuse

McCain't is a real gem now, isn't he? First he sings "Bomb-Bomb-Bomb...Bomb-Bomb Iran" followed by how we just can't leave Iraq (maybe for a hunderd years no less!), and now he's telling us all about his MIS-interpretation of the bad characters at play in Iraq, and to FINALLY TOP IT ALL OFF, is also now saying that we can't leave Iraq, for fear of Iranian influence in the reqion. This thinking is a recipe for a 2 or 3 TRILLION $$$$ DISASTER! This is just what the economic forecast for the U.S. needs. ELECT McCain't and the Republicans, and we can all kiss our BANKRUPT FUTURES GOOD BYE!

Posted by: TimH94595 | March 18, 2008 5:29 PM | Report abuse

I don't see a lapel pin on any of them. Isn't that considered unpatriotic?

Posted by: yogid38 | March 18, 2008 5:24 PM | Report abuse

This is what's wrong with America. I totally understand why Obama is taking a hit, he has based his candidacy on unifing people, but choose to affiliate himself with a divider. His speech was great and answers some questions but the media will never let this go. John McCain's candidacy is based on a war but he can't idenify the major players and what side they are on. He was asked to elaborate and still repeated and expounded on his erronous statements. The irony of this is that the media won't bat and eye. Obama is taking a huge hit on a complicated issue like race, but it is not life and death. McCain is talking about life and death and America's foreign policy and he makes a mistake like this? C'mon America, let's get serious about what the real issues are in this world

Posted by: Karee5 | March 18, 2008 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Either McCain is senile or does not grasp foreign affairs. Not long ago, he admitted he does not know much about the economy. When is he going to confess that he does not know much about foreign affairs? We are tired of having presidents who are ignorant and embarass us around the world. That's why we need new leadership. America has a lot of brilliant minds, and we can no longer afford to be the laughing stock of the world.

Posted by: wisdom0055 | March 18, 2008 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Maybe, just maybe, our next president should actually know something about the region. The last guy sure didn't seem to and we see how well that turned out. Sadly, I'm afraid alchartreux may be right.

I don't think McCain simply got his words twisted, he just has no idea what he's talking about. Or he is really starting to get an itchy trigger finger.

Posted by: Martine23 | March 18, 2008 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Will Bush pull the trigger on Iran so McCain can get elected and the GOP stay in power?

Paul Craig Roberts, former Reagan administration official (see www.counterpunch.com) seems to think so.

Will the defense agencies play into this nonsense yet again? (Where is Colin Powell? At some Wall Street firm?)

Where are the stand-up men and women in our intelligence services?

We don't need World War III while our economy is in meltdown, unless you think World War III is the only way to avert that meltdown and is the lesser evil.
Which is stupid and selfish thinking.

(Me, I have no bomb shelter nor access to one.)

Can Bush's father and mother talk sense to him? Or is he too isolated or unable to comprehend what's going on?

McLean, do your duty, even if it means risking your pensions.

The movie is 10 minutes from being over, and you can not get back the price of your admission.

Posted by: peartree | March 18, 2008 4:40 PM | Report abuse

EricW65-You are correct about Iran turning over some Taliban Fighters. However, that does not mean they turned them over BECAUSE they were Taliban Fighters.

Iran takes a hard line against many things. It is possible that those Talibans, simply got Tali-baned!

OH LOOK America and the World! Lookie! Aren't WE the Closed Iranian Society, Just SOOOOOO Innocent and helpful! ;~)

Posted by: rat-the | March 18, 2008 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Gaffes usually reveal something that the speaker believes which is not politically correct, but which may have some veracity to it. McCain's gaffe reveals either a fundamental lack of understanding of the ME, or once again shows his ability to tell a bald-faced lie that will further the agenda of an endless US occupation of Iraq.

Rat-The @ 12:34pm, Iran is no friend of the Taliban, and Iran helped us along the border with Afg. by capturing some of them and turning them over to us in the early days after 9/11.

Posted by: ErikW65 | March 18, 2008 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Talk about a not-so Freudian slip. McCain would love to get his finger on the red button and bomb Iran so his buds in the military-industrial-complex can pocket even more taxpayer funds than they are currently. And this from the main selling himself as Mr. Foreign Policy Expert? The scary thing is, most Americans, in their ignorance and prejudice, will have no problem believing Iran is backing al-Qaeda if the tune is played to them over and over again...see Entry, Saddam and al-Qaeda.

Posted by: alchartreux | March 18, 2008 4:06 PM | Report abuse

.

Got ahead of himself on that one... That's for NEXT years speech!

Remember, the one where we make our case for war in Iran?

McLieberman..."Making the world safe for Israel, one nation at a time."

.

Posted by: LeftwithNochoice | March 18, 2008 3:58 PM | Report abuse

This is not the first time he said this. He said the same thing on Hugh Hewitt's radio show last night:

http://hughhewitt.townhall.com/talkradio/transcripts/Transcript.aspx?ContentGuid=ae522a49-6c82-4791-a76e-44ebb718bf32

He's obviously losing it.

Posted by: awktalk | March 18, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

mul,

McCain didn't say it'd be a 100 year long war. He's talking about a presence -- like the ones we've maintained in Japan and Germany for decades.

----

McCain made a mistake. Last year Obama charged that Canada has a President. Does that disqualify him?

----

Has the Washington Post issued a correction for the Petraeus article the other day?

"Iraqi leaders have failed to take advantage of a reduction in violence to make adequate progress toward resolving their political differences, Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, said Thursday.

Petraeus, who is preparing to testify to Congress next month on the Iraq war, said in an interview that "no one" in the U.S. and Iraqi governments "feels that there has been sufficient progress by any means in the area of national reconciliation," or in the provision of basic public services."

Funny thing is, Petraeus and MFN-I don't seem to know they said that. They released a press release demanding a correction. And WaPo's going to criticize others for gaffes?

Posted by: editor | March 18, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

This is just more proof that the man who brags of strolling safely through the markets of Baghdad does not know Shiite from Shinola.

Posted by: neg | March 18, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

I guess a cat got his tongue 5 years ago when the same wilfull lie was being broadcast daily about Iraq. I guess he, Hillary and rest of the fake left, were too busy reading up on all the intelligence.

Posted by: wharwood | March 18, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

I love McCain,

But at this time, we need a President that can show assertiveness, strategy, diplomacy, and intelligence for the world to emulate.

It is time for an Idealist as President. To put the US in front of the pack.

Lately, America has been running to the side and looking over our back.

It has put profit vs. life vs. ego vs. complacency.

We need Senator Barack Obama to address this issue. OBAMA 08.

This is my view, a DISABLED GULF WAR VETERAN. A person who have seen & smell the bloody flesh, treated the "enemy" as well as ally. A person who is suffering from bad Veteran Affairs Policy that has cost me a Living WAGE.

Posted by: pbiddy10000 | March 18, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse

I would like to know why the tax payers are paying for this McCain campaign trip. I think the Senate ethics committee should look into this waste of money for what is nothing but a campaign show. Look who is on the trip with him! Both of his strongest senate backers! Give me a break! Then John "I'm a jerk" McCain is going to London for a campaign fund raiser.!Question: is McCain's campaign fund paying all the expenses for this trip or are we taxpayers paying?

Posted by: chitown95 | March 18, 2008 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Good grief! All these folks talking about that 3 a.m. phone call, haven't we learned yet that the various terrorist organizations around the world crave media attention and visibility almost as much or more than their stated "objectives"? They aren't going to pull some big terrorist attack in the middle of the night, they'll do it in the daylight so the mainstream media can analyze it to death, obsessively run and re-run the footage of the destruction, howl about threat levels and such, pretend to be experts on the group or groups which take responsibility for the actions, and make predictions for the future targets of said groups. The terrorists want to make a big splash; the middle of the night is not an optimum time for making a big splash since you can't see much in the dark.

Running for President on that tired old 3 a.m. scenario is stupid. I don't much care about the 3 a.m. phone call...I care about the high noon crisis. Just because you visit various countries does not mean you have the diplomatic chops to negotiate settlements peacefully. Instead of touting how tough you are Mr./Ms. Candidate, how about showing us that you have enough judgment to know when speaking softly is more useful than wielding the big stick (known as the U.S military)? Hasn't enough American blood and treasure been wasted in the past eight years for you? Do we really need to pour out more just to secure a bit of temporary security while sacrificing essential liberties?

By the way, Mr. McCain, "common knowledge" has a way of turning out to be uncommonly stupid. (Iraqi WMD's ring a bell?)

Posted by: talidapali | March 18, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Uh, this is serious.

Even if a slip of the tongue , or "typo", this gives a window into his mind were: islamic extremist = Al-qaeda = Enemy of the US = the new 100-years war.

Please keep this guy away from the Oval Office.


Posted by: tonymakhlouf | March 18, 2008 2:07 PM | Report abuse

I don't know why one would have to worry about McCain as long as Lieberman is whispering in his ear. When he is elected president, he'll be whispering "bomb,bomb, bomb Iran." That is, if Bush doesn't do it first this summer.

Posted by: llyonnoc | March 18, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans are improving. At least Sen McCain knows there are Sunni's and Shiites in Iraq. President Bush did'nt even know that when we first got into this mess.

Posted by: don100569 | March 18, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse

So, is this gaffe widely reported?

Or do us WaPo birds know about this?

A HUNDRED YEARS of getting our facts wrong?

Obama '08.

Posted by: tony_in_Durham_NC | March 18, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse

"But advisers said a side-benefit from the trip would be the image of McCain standing next to world leaders and showing his expertise on issues of war and terrorism."


Ha ha ha. D'oh! Sorry Walnuts.

Posted by: JohnY63 | March 18, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, Yeah, John Boy, and Iraq had WMVs too!

Posted by: sageworks99 | March 18, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Is what he said a mis-statement or an out right lie? How much more irresponsible can he be? He's promoting an war agenda and the truth be damned. If the Republicans had a tiny bit of ethics they would step away from this senile coot.

Posted by: Bikerdude | March 18, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Senator McCain needs to withdraw from the race after this comment. It's painfully obvious that he has no idea what is going on in the world. He seems to be about as qualified to be president as GWB.

Posted by: toosinbeymen | March 18, 2008 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Messrs;
Cameron W. Barr and Michael D. Shear
===================================
It is not serious to use a simple LANGUAGE GAFFE to write an article and absurditly state that such "undermine" his long time arhuments.

This speaks badly of you and the Washington Post

caminito

Posted by: caminito | March 18, 2008 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Great ... another Bush Bafoon. Can't wait for this clown to be Idiot-in-Chief.

Posted by: rgenise | March 18, 2008 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Pulled a McCain!-"You get Millions, that your then Spend, all to get a Job that only Pays 300K" ;~)

Posted by: rat-the | March 18, 2008 1:14 PM | Report abuse

The headline calls it a gaffe, but it's not a gaffe. It's not a typo, as someone claimed above. People don't repeat typos when invited to elaborate on them. It's a revelation of deep, fundamental ignorance.

Ignorance so extreme that it shocks even people like me, who already had a low opinion of McCain.

It's not just the ignorance, it's the laziness behind it. McCain takes pride in doing nothing for Arizona, saying his defense and foreign policy work comes first.

This, plus schmoozing, is ALL HE HAS TO DO. Yet he can't get a D-minus in foreign policy 101. He couldn't be bothered to read a 90-page NIE on Iraq in 2002.

Behind that laziness lurks the arrogant sense of entitlement of the admiral's son with the heiress wife who thinks he's the natural leader whether he bothers to learn his shiite or not.

Exactly like GW Bush.

Posted by: kenonwenu | March 18, 2008 1:13 PM | Report abuse

McCain is not a foreign affairs expert. He is not a economist or an environmentalist, both deeply needed by this country now. He is quite simply the last thing this country needs, a a militarist who is already lobbying for a military response to an already failing state Iran.

If you like Bush's Iraq, you'll McCain's Iran. Stop him while you can-- in the voting booth.

Posted by: mhitchons | March 18, 2008 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Let's hope McCain picks Lieberman as VP. Then we can see if sock puppet John can talk while Joe is drinking a glass of water.

Posted by: DesertLeap | March 18, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

gla4- Think about it, you get MILLIONS to get a thankless Job that pays $300,000/Year.

IMHO-You would have to have at least one loose screw to take the Job! ;~)

But, occasionally, you will get supremely successful People like The Governator, or Mitt Romney, who are willing to actually do the Jobs for FREE! :-)

Posted by: rat-the | March 18, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Stickler:

Please, which one of these extended remarks is the incidental one word in error? Looks liek to me he really thought this was true, and went into detail as to why he thought so. The only thing comparable is Gerry Ford freeing Poland.

"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.""

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | March 18, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

He came up with the wrong word. It happens. He corrected himself when it was pointed out that he had used the wrong word.

Similarly, Obama's pastor has occassionally said some controversial things in the roughly 4,000 sermons that he's given, a substantial fraction of which have been taped or televised. If he's sometimes given voice to ignorant feelings that are, frankly, widely held in urban black communities, it doesn't mean he's never done anything worthwhile, and it doesn't mean that someone who belongs to his church doesn't see those beliefs for the ignorance that they are.

It would be nice if our political process were about selecting candidates based on their merits, and not the perpetual search for anything that could seem bad if you adopted the worst possible (and most context-free) interpretation.

Posted by: davestickler | March 18, 2008 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Never mind who McCain's VP candidate is.

Who is his neurologist?

Posted by: Bud0 | March 18, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Sweet...I've finally found America's top foreign policy experts; they hang out in the Washington Post chatrooms! I'm confident that all you would-be secretaries of state will go far in your foreign service careers by concentrating on occassional gaffes...it's a coveted specialty.

Good thing we have a candidate in this race who has never mispeaken, er, uh...

Posted by: gla4 | March 18, 2008 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Anybody who disagrees with McCaine is corrupt ! Corrupt I tell you !If he says it is the Sunnis , then it is the Sunnis . Corruption everywhere !Maverick/Jomentum 08

Posted by: borntoraisehogs | March 18, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

McCain is not an expert in foreign affairs. If he pretends to be one, he is arrogant. Nations are complex and they have complex relationships with each other. Bush did not understand that, and neither McCain apparently.

Posted by: Logan6 | March 18, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

This seems to me to have far more bearing on the candidates' fitness for office than any of the trash I'm seeing featured in the news headlines, yet it's relegated to a small headline in a campaign blog.

If Obama made such a huge, basic error about Iraq, it would be a banner headline, a campaign-killer. Coming from McCain, you can bet it somehow won't get media traction, won't really get noticed by most people.

The media will still breathlessly question how Obama or Hillary could ever hope to match McCain's "national security credentials".

Posted by: kevrobb | March 18, 2008 12:56 PM | Report abuse

McCain's gaffe, which he could not have made if had a firm understanding of the history and sociology of the Middle East, underscores two basic points:

(1) An academic background in foreign relations (e.g. Bill Clinton, Obama) is a far better foundation for and predictor of foreign policy competence than years spent on some Senate Committee (McCain, Hillary). Such studies (1) reflect an early and deep interest in the rest of the world and (2) sustained interest in the rest of the world.

(2) Extensive overseas travel as a private citizen (Bill Clinton, Obama) is likewise better preparation for understanding and dealing with social and cultural differences, the core task in foreign policy, than traveling in an official bubble (Hillary, McCain).

The latter type of experience counts for very little -- it's not much different than the "experience" of aging well-to-do tourists on package luxury tours. That's pretty much what Hillary and McCain are touting and it's baloney.

Posted by: mnjam | March 18, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Typical American

Posted by: dmls2000 | March 18, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

John "killem-all-and-let-god-sortem-out, I'll-see-your-two-scorched-earth-surges-and-raise-you-a-preemptive-invasion, any-war-is-a-good-war" McCain just accomplished the political equivalent of addressing the church congregation with lipstick on his fly. Never mind, by tomorrow he won't remember it happened, and by next week the Neocons will have re-written that particular bit of history to their liking...

Posted by: valleyforge | March 18, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Today's speeches by Obama and McCain provide illuminating contrasts, don't they? Obama delivers a landmark dissertation on the complexities of race in America characterized by humility, honesty, and blazing intelligence. McCain delivers a speech which reveals his fundamental confusion over the most basic of facts about Iraq and the tangled politics in the Middle East.
Obama was right: there was no Al Qaeda in Iraq before the United States launched its unprovoked attack five years ago. The fact that McCain believes that Iran is backing the Sunni Al Qaeda is a serious blow to his claims for being an experienced leader. With these remarks, McCain trips over the "commander in chief threashhold" and falls flat on his face. In this election, Obama is the only candidate we can count on to provide us with mature, reasoned, informed, and sensible leadership in international affairs.

Posted by: dee5 | March 18, 2008 12:49 PM | Report abuse

This obscene sort of sloppiness and intellectual laziness is precisely why we haven't made one inch of progress in the War on Terror, in Iraq or anywhere else. And it perfectly captures how we've managed to gloss over all of this for all these years:

http://www.asecondlookatthesaudis.com

At least McCain has Tom Loeffler to set him straight:

http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/Story?id=4228113&page=3

Posted by: BillinChicago1 | March 18, 2008 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Holy Shiite! It's impossible to imagine a bigger, stupider, more basic error than that.

That's probably the biggest presidential campaign gaffe I've ever heard, but the funny thing is the American people will probably forgive him, since they can't tell their Sunnis from their Shia either.

For that matter, three members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, when tested by Congressional Quarterly's National Security Editor Jeff Stein, said AQ was a Shiite organisation.

America is a very strange country. Its govt appears to suffer from Attention Deficit Disorder.

McCain has no basis for claiming to be learned on Iraq. Like Hillary Clinton, he neglected to even read the classified National Intelligence Estimate on Iraqi WMD before voting for the war in Iraq. They literally didn't bother to check the facts, laid out in a few short pages, before deciding a question of war and peace.


Posted by: bourassa1 | March 18, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Not sure you can pass this off as jet lag- its fine if you misspeak and quickly correct yourself, but when you are asked to elaborate and you continue saying completely wrong statements, about an area that you supposedly are very proficient in, that's not knowing your subject.

Of course, it may not matter, since most Americans can't find Iraq on a map, let alone describe who the various factions are. I guess it would be ironically fitting for us to have a president that reflects our national ignorance.
-dd

Posted by: drek0002 | March 18, 2008 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Oh, OK, so Obama can spend 20 years at the feet of an avowed racist and Jew hater and he still has credibility and "uniter" but John McCain basically has typo and he is suddenly disqualified as a candidate.

In the Wash Times today it notes that while 36% of the nation identifies itself as conservative, the media has a mere 8% that identify as conservative. Hence this is why get such biased reporting from morons like the writer of this dreck

Posted by: wellworn444 | March 18, 2008 12:41 PM | Report abuse

One hundred years of war - who cares who we are fighting.

Help us HRC you are our only Hope.

Obama gave a 2012 speech. It is nice but not his message.

Posted by: mul | March 18, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

How many times has McInsane said something completely off base and than had to crawfish on what the said? We already have one idiot that can't get it right do we really need another one just bad?

Posted by: Gonnuts | March 18, 2008 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Possibly wasn't a Gaffe, Just Unsubstantiated.

One of the best known sayings in that part of the World;

"The Enemy of my Enemy, is my Friend".

Iran can try to deny it ALL they want, but they DO support Hamas(Sunni), and the Taliban-who work with al-Qaeda.

And Russia, and Chavez, and FARC, and... ;~)

Posted by: rat-the | March 18, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Oh, yeah. Look at those three senators ... foreign policy experts all, on a fact-finding mission. Maybe among the three of them they can find one fact.

and, the correction is from Al-quaeda to "extremists"? That's pathetic. Is it too difficult to actually name the major players? You know, Iran, Shia, Iraq, majority Shia. Saddam, Sunni ... Osama, Sunni. Hard to know who the good guys are, isn't it?

Posted by: freddiano | March 18, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Reichfuhrer McCain can not get defense policies info correct without Father Liebermann which bodes ill for his presidency.Just being a figurehead for David Rockefeller(wants Iraq oil) and Joe Liebermann (Israel's protector) is not a change for the better. Supreme Court is only reason I would vote for McCain.

Posted by: mascmen7 | March 18, 2008 12:31 PM | Report abuse

This must be what they meant when they said people over 71 begin to experience a loss of brain function. Looks like we know that McCain isn't exempt.

Posted by: thecrisis | March 18, 2008 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Hey, you seen one Muslim, you seen em all, eh McCranky?

Posted by: Spectator2 | March 18, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Dear John,

Please don't speak in future without the script. We understand you know nothing of foreign policy, so we rely on your hired speechwriters to fill you in. We know you know nothing of domestic issues (you have the bedroom issues covered, but nothing outside that). We know you understand military means kill, and we know your desire to kill. We know you have no knowledge of people, but your speechwriters can fake that quite well.

So, never, ever, go near a microphone without a script. If you do, learn to mispronounce words and stumble over grammar and issues to appear you are having a bad day, to hide your unbelievable ignorance.

Keep supporting your pedophile buddies and the night visits by male prostitutes in the White House, and keep talking about waterboarding to hide the issue of torture,

Dear John, you need to find someone else. I have found another, think you should do so, too.

Posted by: 274627 | March 18, 2008 12:27 PM | Report abuse

McCain inadvertently revealed both his tactic and his goal: identify Al Qaeda (terror) with Iran in order to justify Bush's impending attack on Iran, and the escalation of McCain's Hundred Years War.

Posted by: patriot76 | March 18, 2008 12:27 PM | Report abuse

I hope McCain gets his facts right.

Posted by: ravitchn | March 18, 2008 12:21 PM | Report abuse

I hope McCain gets his facts right.

Posted by: ravitchn | March 18, 2008 12:21 PM | Report abuse

I linked back here from the Huffington Post. I've said it here before, and I'll say it again, Obama will win the debate on AQ in Iraq with McCain. This gaffe by McCain proves he's either delusional, vastly misinformed, or just plain senile.

Posted by: ErikW65 | March 18, 2008 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Gerald Ford was said by LBJ to have played too much football without a helmet; his debate gaffe on Poland remaining free of the Soviet empire was in some minds linked to his supposed battering on the football field of battle.

Does Grumps McCain intend to invoke some excuse, such as imprisonment for over 5 years in wartime Vietnam, for his serious show of ignorance about Iraq...and for gaffes apt yet to come?

Posted by: FirstMouse | March 18, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Good thing he had the despicable Joe Lieberman there to help him out!

Posted by: szspam | March 18, 2008 12:10 PM | Report abuse

He was probably jet lagged from all that travel. I'll give him a pass on this one, just don't make the same mistake again John!

/sarcasm

Posted by: walkdwalk2001 | March 18, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Ok, So McCain is potentially as senile as Reagan. But, let's talk about Reverand Wright instead.

Posted by: collacch | March 18, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Good gracious. Doesn't he know that al Qaeda are Sunni, and that they have the same warm feelings for Iran that the IRA does for the Archbishop of Canterbury?

It's been a close question as to whether McCain's eagerness to flip-flop (on torture, tax cuts, the virtues of the "stay the course" approach to Iraq, etc.) was calculated, or simply a result of not knowing anything about anything.

The latter theory just took the lead.

Posted by: eelvisberg | March 18, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Our economy is sinking and we are worried about extremists that have nothing to do directly with us? That is why Obama, for instance, would likely beat McCain;

Obama vs. McCain- The Internet Indicators:

http://newsusa.myfeedportal.com/viewarticle.php?articleid=48

Posted by: davidmwe | March 18, 2008 11:09 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company