Crooks and Liars:
I know the two Democratic presidential candidates seem inclined to go after one another right now, but the more they criticize John McCain, the better it is for the party and our chances of winning in November.But apparently the impossible is possible...just like it's been for the last 7 years.At a news conference in Amman, McCain said Iran supported the Sunni group al Qaeda in Iraq, until he was corrected by a colleague. U.S. officials believe predominantly Shi’ite Iran has been backing Shi’ite extremists in Iraq, not al Qaeda in Iraq, a Sunni group.When McCain gives them a golden opportunity — such as repeatedly screwing up the basics of Iraq, Iran, and al Qaeda — it’s important to take advantage.
It was the first stumble of note that McCain has made since clinching the Republican presidential nomination early this month, and Obama quickly pounced on it.
“Just yesterday, we heard Senator McCain confuse Sunni and Shi’ite, Iran and al Qaeda,” Obama said.
“Maybe that is why he voted to go to war with a country that had no al Qaeda ties. Maybe that is why he completely fails to understand that the war in Iraq has done more to embolden America’s enemies than any strategic choice that we have made in decades,” the Illinois senator said.
Mark Kleiman added, “Given McCain’s buffoonish performance in Jordan, wouldn’t this be a good time for Hillary Clinton to say, ‘Gee, I thought he was ready to be Commander-in-Chief, but it sure doesn’t sound like it. The least we should expect from the President is some basic knowledge about who our enemies are.’”
...Really? They are bringing al Qaeda in and out of Iran and funding them? The group that they fanatically oppose? Could we get some sound evidence?
But while the McCain campaign is backing away from the specific claims about Iranian training of Al Qaeda, it is asserting that Iran collaborates with Osama bin Laden's organization.
Mr. McCain's national security adviser, Randy Scheunemann, told The New York Sun, "There is ample documentation that Iran has provided many different forms of support to Sunni extremists, including Al Qaeda as well as Shi'ia extremists in Iraq. It would require a willing suspension of disbelief to deny Iran supports Al Qaeda in Iraq."
...Oh good, some with a presumed name with an inside story. Am I the only one that remembers this stuff from...five years ago was it?
A subsequent story, based on an interview with a Kurdish prisoner who went by the name Osman the Small, said Iran's revolutionary guard and domestic intelligence service had issued the Kurdish jihadist group political refugee cards, identifications that made it possible for them to cross back and forth into Iraq from Iran.
Josh Marshall has some added thoughts on McCain "thinking" on Iraq, and what it means for the US and the world.