Wednesday, July 23, 2008

More depressingly predictable oopsies from the McCain campaign

So McCain has been going around saying that the surge strategy is to be credited for protecting the main architects of the "Anbar Awakening", Sheikh Abdul Sattar Abu Risha and other Sunni tribal leaders that decided to ally with US forces against Islamist militias in that province:

"Colonel MacFarland was contacted by one of the major Sunni sheiks," said
the Senator. "Because of the surge we were able to go out and protect that sheik
and others. And it began the Anbar awakening."

The Arizona Republican's
campaign went further the next day, claiming that the major figures that turned
around Anbar province would have been killed had the surge policy not been in
place. "If Barack Obama had had his way, the Sheiks who started the Awakening
would have been murdered at the hands of al Qaeda," said
spokesman Tucker Bounds

Just one problem. That "major Sunni sheikh" referenced by McCain (most likely Sattar) was indeed killed in a terrorist attack in September 2007. Actually, two problems, since the "Awakening" had its origins in late 2006, well before the surge began to be implemented in late 2007. The truth is that the truce with Sunni tribal leaders and the troop surge are two separate events that occured independently of each other.

But don't think a little teensy-weensy mistake like that would faze McMaverick. No sir, he had other plans, such as attempting to upstage Obama's Berlin address with a publicity stunt on an offshore oil rig. He was going to talk about how great and environmentally friendly they are. Key word, "was", since the whole thing had to be cancelled because of an oil spill and a hurricane. Seriously. I'm not making this shit up.

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