Senator McCain might be a maverick after all. His propensity for doing a double back flip and shot himself every forty eight hours seems to be picking up pace. He and his campaign staff seem to want to do one a day, kind of like vitamins, McCain Gets History Of The Surge Wrong, CBS Doesn’t Air Footage
During a CBS interview on Tuesday, John McCain made a stone cold error on a subject about which he claims expert knowledge: the “surge” strategy in Iraq. In an interview with anchor Katie Couric, the Arizona Republican said, inaccurately, that the surge strategy was responsible for the much-touted “Anbar Awakening,” in which Sunni sheiks turned against Al Qaeda, helping in turn to reduce violence in the country.
From the transcript:
Katie Couric: Senator McCain, Senator Obama says, while the increased number of US troops contributed to increased security in Iraq, he also credits the Sunni awakening and the Shiite government going after militias. And says that there might have been improved security even without the surge. What’s your response to that?
McCain: I don’t know how you respond to something that is as– such a false depiction of what actually happened. Colonel MacFarland was contacted by one of the major Sunni sheiks. Because of the surge we were able to go out and protect that sheik and others. And it began the Anbar awakening. I mean, that’s just a matter of history.
In fact, as Spencer Ackerman and Ilan Goldenberg have reported, the record firmly establishes the opposite: instead of being caused by the surge, the key signs of the Anbar Awakening occurred not only before that strategy was implemented, but before it was ever conceived.
Yet McCain’s error was not seen by any CBS Evening News viewers. As MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann noted (video below), “CBS curiously, to say the least, left it on the edit room floor. It aired Katie Couric’s question, but in response, it aired part of McCain’s answer to the other question instead.” (Ironically, this edit came on the same day that McCain’s campaign released a video mocking the media’s “love affair” with Obama.)
As HuffPo notes CBS has since put the entire interview on-line. For a foreign policy guru that belongs to the supposed political party of foriegn policy gurus if serious deceptions like this this one were felonies they’d all be in jail, but hey its just politics mixed with a little life and death, right. McCain has an uncanny ability not realized before his current presidential run that he is his own best proof that is he not only unqualified to be president, but has no business being a U.S. Senator. This latest inability to understand what is happening on the ground in Iraq points to another problem for the Right who have becoming increasing shrill over the claim that the “surge” worked. Much of the violence in Iraq subsided for several reasons. Many tribal leaders like those in Anbar formed alliances for their own reasons and while they struck back against foriegn fighters from North Africa, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan they still see American troops as occupiers. Between the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis that have been killed and the two million Iraqi refugees there is literally fewer people to engage in sectarian violence. The “surge” is only one of the contributing factors to the down turn in violence. If the Right, like McCain wants to screw around with the facts, create a narrative that provides yet more cover for lying us into an unnecessary war, well that is what we have come to expect.
Joe Klein at Time must be taking his meds. In a moment of pure sanity he sees what many of us have already seen, McCain Meltdown
John McCain said this today in Rochester, New Hampshire:
This is a clear choice that the American people have. I had the courage and the judgment to say I would rather lose a political campaign than lose a war. It seems to me that Obama would rather lose a war in order to win a political campaign.
This is the ninth presidential campaign I’ve covered. I can’t remember a more scurrilous statement by a major party candidate. It smacks of desperation. It renews questions about whether McCain has the right temperament for the presidency. How sad.
Sure its sad as Klein says, but its more then that. Its where a sense of entitlement meets unhinged anger. McCain some years ago did some honorable service for his country and suffered during the course of it. Now he’s married to a millionaire, he’s kissed Karl Rove’s ass, he’s a “staright talker”, and he’s a Republican damnit; no intelligent upstart with actual ideas and leadership skills has the right to McCain’s presidency.
I don’t do concern trolling so when I hear McCain surrogates talk about experience as being the end all of qualifications for president, I have two words for them, George Bush. Jus keep talking about experience and where people like George, Dick and McCain have gotten us. Here’s a slogan they can use, Vote for McCain get more of the same.
In sports they say that making the other guy play your game is the path to victory. Obama’s Iraq Trip Changes McCain’s Position On Iraq