McCain's Blunder Encapsulates the Problems

Republican presidential nominee John McCain, at a press conference in Jordan, after his tour of Iraq; he comments here on his concerns about Iranians:

"taking Al Qaeda into Iran, training them and sending them back." Asked about that statement, McCain said: "Well, it's 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."

There are so many things wrong in just those few words, that it is almost too hard to tell where to begin.

  1. al Qaeda is a Sunni group, spawned from the Wahabbi strain of the Sunni faith. One of the Wahabbi core beliefs is that Shia Islam consists of false believers at best. Iran is a Shia Islam nation.
  2. Wahabbism has been given its biggest boost by Saudi Arabia. The ruling Saudi sheiks justified their rule by buying of Wahabbi imans - making them the official state religion; funding their schools; spreading their tracts - while all the while living a life that pays lip service to the tenets of that faith.
  3. 15 of the 19 hijackers on 11 September 2001 were Saudi's - al Qaeda members schooled in the Wahabbi faith.
  4. Saudi Arabia has been funding the Sunni insurgency in Iraq. And why would they not? They cannot allow a productive, democratic Shia Islam nation to arise on their border. How then would they contain their own Shiite countryment? Sure, Iran is a Shia nation, but they are also a Persian nation too.
For John McCain to mis-speak on this point - from just steps away from the border of both Iraq and Saudi Arabia - is to highlight the false consciousness that defines this foolhardy expedition in the first place.

These things matter.

These definitions and distinctions are important.

And just as they were "misunderestimated" by George W. Bush, they are apparently also unknown to John S. McCain.

One cannot win a war against an opponent one does not understand.

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