Home > "Liberal" Media, Election 2008 > McCain: I Know Iraq Better! Let Me Prove It By Getting the Facts Wrong! Liberal Media™ Special Edition

McCain: I Know Iraq Better! Let Me Prove It By Getting the Facts Wrong! Liberal Media™ Special Edition

May 31st, 2008

Maybe McCain should make a few more babysit-a-senator trips to Iraq before claiming he has the expertise which Obama lacks. Citing his superior knowledge of Iraq due to his several visits there, McCain told a crowd that we have drawn down troop levels to “pre-surge” levels:

I can tell you that [the troop increase] is succeeding. I can look you in the eye and tell you it’s succeeding. We have drawn down to pre-surge levels.

Which, of course, is false–we still have 25,000 more troops there now than we had before the surge, and current plans are to draw down to only 10,000 more than pre-surge levels. Later, McCain tried to deny he was wrong; when a reporter tried to ask him if he was wrong about pre-surge levels, McCain forcefully spoke over the reporter, repeating “I said we have drawn down! I said we have drawn down! No, I said we have drawn down!” as the reporter tried to work in the words “pre-surge.” He then went on about how some troops have been withdrawn and there are plans to withdraw more–as if somehow he never said the words “pre-surge,” or that they were not an important element of his claim.

The Liberal Media™ is predictably playing this down, calling it “squabbling” and “bickering” over numbers. Of course, they took it much more seriously when Obama mistook which Nazi concentration camp his grandfather helped liberate. When Obama made that error, The Associated Press said, “Obama mistaken on name of Nazi death camp”; after McCain’s gaffe, it’s “Dems, GOP squabble over McCain’s troop numbers.” Reuters’ headline on Obama’s gaffe read, “Republicans take aim at Obama comment on uncle’s war service”; on McCain’s, they wrote, “Obama, McCain bicker over US troop levels in Iraq.”

Considering that an understanding of current Iraq troop levels is far more important than WWII trivia, especially in the midst of McCain making a huge deal about how he has superior knowledge of Iraq, the McCain gaffe is a much bigger deal–yet the headlines clearly play down McCain’s gaffe as much as they played up Obama’s. Instead of focusing on McCain’s error, its significance, or the fact that he’s denying it when it’s clearly an error, they instead focus on the two candidates disagreeing, using the trivializing language “squabble” and “bicker,” as if there’s little importance involved. Not to mention that they are not reporting on the fact which HuffPo picked up on, which is that there were three suicide attacks in Mosul today, the same city McCain had called “quiet” immediately after saying that we’ve drawn down to pre-surge levels.

John Kerry pointed out why it is indeed important to know the numbers:

If you don’t know the numbers of troops, it’s very difficult to make a judgment about whether or not they’re over-extended. It’s also very hard to have an understanding, as a citizen, about what levels of troops he’s going to keep there. If he thinks 150,000 is ‘pre-surge,’ and that’s where he’s going to stay, that’s a deeply over-extended military, and it raises serious questions about his comprehension of this challenge.

Not that the Liberal Media™ believes that: there are only 40 stories out there right now which have the McCain quote, while there are currently more than a hundred stories about Obama and the concentration camp switch.

A little perspective, please?

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