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April 08, 2008

McCain mixes up Sunni and Shi'a
Posted by Ilan Goldenberg

So, I've watched this video a number of times because I really wasn't sure at first.  But McCain did genuinely mix up Sunnis and Shi'a again.  Saying that Al Qaeda was a Shi'a group before quickly correcting himself.  Now, I know that there is a bit of gotcha going on here.  But this man claims that his greatest qualification for the Presidency is that he understands foreign policy.  But the differences between Sunni and Shi'a matter.  They matter a lot!  And this nasty habit of mixing it up just seriously needs to stop.


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He also said "sect" in reference to al qaeda, as if they were some kind of religious sub-group. He has no clue what he is talking about.

Seems to me he refers to three (or four) separate threats: "Do you still view al Qaeda in Iraq as a major threat?" No. And then if Patraeus sees some shiite 'obscure sect' as a major threat. Or any sunni group or "anyone else". Sure, John McCain is a fool and a disaster, but in this case I don't think he mixed them up. At most he deliberately put al those groups together in a few seconds; as if they're all the same, except for their religion or something else...

ThinkProgress seems to think he caught himself in the screwup and corrected himself. If so, he did it really badly by adding "Or Sunnis or anybody else"?

Is it just an obscure Al Qeada sect of Mormons overall?

And Petraeus gives us a "Major Major" moment. Beautiful.

Dominique - no. He was asking about Al Qaeda and their power in Iraq. Notice the smirk when he asks the "obscure sect" question. This is in direct response - in McCain's really twisted reasoning - to the shit he took since his last gaffe, some of it pointing out that Al Qaeda didn't exist in Iraq before this shithole of a war.

And the word "obscure" has been used to describe Al Qaeda before, and is a catch word for Rs trying to paint Ds as deluded about THE TERRORJIHADOKILLALLOFUS.

At that time, most experts say, this description of Al Qaeda simply wasn't true. It was little more than an obscure group of extremist thugs, well financed and intermittently lethal but relatively limited in their global and regional political pull. On 9/11, they got lucky — but despite the unexpected success of their attack on the U.S., they did not pose an imminent mortal threat to the nation.

I watched it again, and indeed, he seems to refer to al-Qaeda: he starts his sentence before Petraeus ends and tries to make al-Qaeda relevant, by stating that while its threat is not as major as it used to be, it has not been minimized to an obscure sect, a shi'ite sect.

Yup. There' your major threat, and then there's your Major Major threat.

I thought that McCain was implying that one of his opponents or some other critic of the war, had reduced Al-Quaeda to an "obscure sect". I am not aware of anyone doing that. Of course, (Shi-ite, Suni, whatever} are just trivial designations for McCain.

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