In yet another stunning twist of the facts, Sen. John McCain asserted that Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr asked for the ceasefire that has momentarily calmed the vicious battle between Iraqi government forces and al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army in Basra and Baghdad. In fact, every major news outlet reported that Iraqi Shiite lawmakers traveled to Iran in an effort to persuade al-Sadr to accept the Iraqi government’s offer of a ceasefire.
This clearly establishes a pattern of foreign policy confusion and falsehoods on the heels of McCain’s repeated false charges about Iran aiding al-Qaeda. While most media outlets are failing to truly hold McCain accountable to this series of errors, McCain’s latest gaffe was reported on Countdown with Keith Olberman. Video courtesy of CrooksandLiars.com.
In McCain’s fairytale version of events, a ceasefire initiated by al-Sadr is proof that Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s US-backed assault on Basra was a success that weakened al-Sadr. McCain, a longtime cheerleader of Bush’s surge strategy and a presidential hopeful staking his candidacy on his foreign policy chops, has been drinking too much administration koolaid. And this isn’t his first major flub on Iraq. I’d be amused if this wasn’t possibly the next commander of the most powerful military in the world. After the last eight years, we need a president who both reads and understands the news.
The fact is that al-Maliki turned to the US for a military solution to his Sadr problem, and together they failed. Iraqi lawmakers turned to Iran, Bush’s enemy #1, to broker a ceasefire, underscoring Iran’s power in the region. Al-Maliki’s military failure shows that the writing is on the wall for Bush’s almost purely military approach in Iraq.