McCain Mixes Up Shiites, Sunni Extremists
First John McCain went to Iraq and and had a hard time getting anyone to notice it in the midst of the ongoing Democratic presidential contest.
Then he got Shiite and Sunni extremists mixed up. But they're all the same, right?
Well, yes and no. Catholic and Protestant extremists in Northern Ireland both used violence, but they were certainly not the same in ideology, nor were their goals the same.
So you would think that Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain, who has made his knowledge about the Iraq war a key part of his campaign to be the president, would know the difference between the two. But on Tuesday in Jordan, the Washington Post reports he seemed to mix the two up.
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 Post notes that 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."
3:54 PM ET | 03-18-2008 | permalink