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Omid Memarian

Omid Memarian

Posted: March 23, 2008 10:59 AM

Behind a Gaffe: Is Sen. McCain's Expertise in Foreign Policy Expired?


Senator McCain relies strongly on foreign policy experience for two significant reasons; firstly, it masks his incapability to address the most important national issues such as the economy, health care, education and immigration.

Secondly, his campaign hides behind his patriotic rhetoric and focuses on his heroic past, masking his mediocre knowledge and judgment about the most important issues facing the US including the war in Iraq and the Middle East crisis.

This week's glaring example was Senator McCain's blunder about alleging that Iranians are training al-Qaeda (one of their most hated enemies) in Iran -- a "Gaffe" as the Washington Post and other media outlets called it.

Any novice in politics who follows the news from the Middle East (which has dramatically increased since 9/11) knows that Shiite Iranians are thorough enemies of the Sunni Al-Qaeda. In fact, one of the reasons that Iranians supported the US in attacking Afghanistan in 2002 was the strong alliance between the Taliban and Al-Qaeda.

Also, the nature of insurgency in Iraq and the composition of different parties in this bloody conflict indicate Al-Qaeda members are fighting against Shiite groups, which are allegedly supported by Iranians. During the last two years, the Bush administration has accused Iranians of many things, but even he has not accused Iran of training al-Qaeda.

While the US is striving for a new approach to foreign policy that can resolve the widespread conflicts in the region, from Afghanistan to Iraq and Palestine, the presidential nominees should represent the highest level of understanding of the most crucial issue in US foreign policy.

His mistake may not appear as a big deal to many Americans, but for people suffering the consequences of these issues, such a mistake underlines McCain's lack of understanding of the nuances of the conflict in the region and consequently raise serious doubts about his reasons for supporting the war in Iraq.

It's now comprehensible why many people believe Senator's McCain's presidency will at best be an extension or third term of Bush presidency.

Despite Senator McCain's heroic past and service to the country, unfortunately, his experience and judgment in foreign policy seems to be expired.

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