Thursday, July 24, 2008

Neither gaffes nor mistakes

When John McCain has made false statements, like mixing up Shia with Sunni, saying Iraq instead of Pakistan when talking about the boarder area where Al-Qaeda/Taliban remain, saying that Iran is allowing Al-Qaeda [in Iraq] to move about freely across their boarder, or saying the Surge is responsible for the Anbar Awakening, he is not (as some have claimed) confused or senile or ignorant of foreign policy .

Rather, it appears that these are intentional mistatements, ones designed to convey a message: that we should attack Iran, stay in Iraq indefinitely, and beef up in Afghanistan.  (Where all of the troops and equipment necessary for such efforts would come from, he never explains.)  

The misstatements are perfect precisely because they can be chalked up as mistakes.  This gives McCain the ability to claim that he didn't mean what he said when  fact checkers call him on it, but when not confronted with reality, he can get his message across to those who don't follow the details.

The whole thing is a revival of the Bush Administration's tactics to get us into war with say things to suggest more than even their flimsy evidence would support.  But the literal meaning of the statements allowed them to wriggle out of what they had hinted at. [Like the famous 16 words, "The British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."]

Oh and my verdict on McCain repeatedly saying Czechoslovakia instead of the Czech Republic? Force of habit, like some older people who still say the now passe version of words like "Asian" "African-American" "Russia" and in McCain's case "Vietnamese"

No comments: