McCain May Actually Not Know Sunnis from Shiites

| Thu Mar. 20, 2008 3:39 PM EDT

mccain_closeup_250x200.jpg The blogosphere poked some fun a couple days ago when McCain said dominantly Shiite Iran was aiding dominantly Sunni al Qaeda and had to be corrected by his traveling buddy Joe Lieberman.

But I'm starting to wonder if McCain simply doesn't have a strong grasp of the subject matter. He said it twice at the March 18 press conference where he was corrected by Lieberman. He made the same assertion last month, and said it on the radio on March 17. And to commemorate the 5th anniversary of the war, he sent out a statement (likely written by his staff) that appears to repeat the claim.

The McCain campaign's explanation is that McCain "misspoke" at the press conference with Lieberman. I'm starting to seriously doubt that. But what's the actual explanation? McCain can't possibly be so ignorant of foreign affairs that he thinks Iran and al Qaeda are in bed together, can he? After this many years in the Senate? Perhaps he was having a series of what my parents call "senior moments."

For a man who has staked his entire campaign on Iraq and his understanding of foreign policy, this is bizarre.

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