Friday, April 04, 2008

Big Mistakes By Politicians

When politicians talk about things they supposedly know about, and make colossal mistakes, what are we supposed to think? I will grant that some politicians are pretty dense, but most are above average in intelligence. So they're capable of grasping basic facts. So I'm left thinking that the primary problem is one of two forms of disinterest:
  1. They don't actually care about the subject that they are discussing, or
  2. They are unable to break out of their pre-existing constructs about the subject.
Perhaps both.

If we take the Lieberman/McCain Iraq War tag team, first we have Lieberman correcting McCain, that the Iranians are not training al-Qaeda. Now we have Lieberman making a similar gaffe,
If we did what Sen. Obama wanted us to do last year, Al-Qaeda in Iran would be in control of Iraq today.
My impression of McCain is that he just doesn't care about the subtleties. Arab, Persian, Sunni, Shiite, whatever. An insurgent is an insurgent is a terrorist, and to support one is to support them all.

Lieberman, on the other hand, has never failed to surprise me with how little he knows about the Middle East, or pretty much anything else he chooses to discuss, sometimes to the point of being a buffoon. He seems to have tried to brush up on his foreign policy credentials when he thought he could be President, but to demonstrate the acumen of a bored college freshman. Iran? Iraq? We know from his correction of McCain that he knows the difference between Sunni and Shiite, but we can't really expect him to stay on top of the terminology for stuff that was on "last month's test", can we?

But answer this: How ignorant do you have to be of Iraq and its various factions to believe that "Al Qaeda in Iraq" would find a welcome home if we pulled out, rather than being extirpated at the hands of the Shiite majority? "Al Qaeda in Iraq" isn't even popular with Iraqi Sunnis.

Lieberman leaves me wondering if he cares about anything other than reelection, or perhaps scoring a Cabinet post in a McCain Administration.
Update: On a similar note:
[General Odom] blasted the hawks who want to expand the war to Iran, noting that such people are actually seeking to fulfill a key Al Qaeda strategic aim. “One need only take note of the al Qaeda public diplomacy campaign... they implore the United States to bomb and invade Iran and destroy the apostate Shiite regime. As an aside, it gives me pause to learn that our vice president and some members of the Senate are aligned with al Qaeda on spreading the war to Iran.”

Pretty good stuff. Over to you, Dick Cheney, Senator Lieberman, Senator McCain: why are you aligned with al Qaeda on spreading the war to Iran?
You can have valid reasons for not liking the Iranian government, or wanting to replace it, but... pause for a moment and think?

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