McCain Comment Shows Senator Confused By Sunni/Shia Distinction
Bruce Wilson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 12:18:37 PM EST
In his 2008 presidential bid, John McCain has been running, in essence, on a 'religious war vs. Islam' platform but Senator McCain, in a comment the Senator made in Jordan during his Mideast tour, appears to be unclear on the distinction between Sunni & Shia Muslims, reports the Washington Post's campaign blog.
As Cameron W. Barr and Michael D. Shear report,

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...

...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.

Apparently, reports ThinkProgress.org (story has audio clip of McCain's blunder), Mr McCain repeated the same mistake, last night, on Hugh Hewitt's radio show - thus indicating his statements in Jordan were probably not a fluke. John McCain seems uncertain about the most basic sectarian division among Muslims, the Sunni-Shiite split. It's analogous, roughly, to the Catholic/Protestant split and McCain's confusion is, frankly, bizarre given his claims to foreign policy expertise. In addition, John McCain's basic premise, that the primary cause of world terrorism is "militant Islam" has been challenged by Department of Defense-funded research, from a University of Chicago academic, whose work suggests a the most important factor driving suicide terrorism is nationalism.

Senator McCain has also been endorsed by a Christian leader, Pastor John Hagee, whose organization "Christians United For Israel" has been charged with choosing, as its original organizational logo, an image of Jerusalem's Temple Mount from which the 3rd holiest structure to Muslims worldwide, the Dome of The Rock, had been airbrushed out - thus symbolically depicting what the state of Israel would consider to be a major and disastrous act of terrorism.

Related Talk2Action/Bruce Wilson videos:

"John McCain's Father Rolls Over In The grave"

John McCain Chooses The 16th Century"

"Dr. StrangeRedPhone"




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nice .... and this man wants to be president?? your diary is bookmarked for the moment i need to send out to the uninformed republicans i know. thanks ;-) re: McCain and Hagee / Robertson the Bushies will say that McCain doesn't have a 20 yr relationship with those preachers that Obama has with Wright-- so you can't compare the 2 in that respect.

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