Bay Ridge, Brooklyn – NY – At this morning’s campaign stop in the Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn, John McCain vowed that if elected, he will “defeat the forces of Nazism in Iraq, and also the Japanese forces that are there, which is well known.” The comments were the latest example of what many see as confusion on McCain’s part regarding the makeup of the Iraqi insurgency. He has referred several times to cooperation between Iran, a predominately Shiite nation, and Al Qaeda in Iraq, a group which is largely Sunni. Earlier this week McCain seemed to repeat the error once again when questioning Iraq commander Gen. David Petraeus in Senate hearings.
Today, McCain only furthered suspicion that he might not be as certain of the realities of the ethnic and religious divisions within Iraq and the greater Middle East. “My friends, I’m not the kind of guy to say ‘I told you so,’ but I knew we needed to stop Hitler at Munich. Unfortunately, my warnings were not heeded,” said McCain, who was two years old when the Munich Agreement was signed in 1938. “And now, my friends, the Nazis are in Iraq, making the challenge our troops face there even tougher. And it’s a shame. It’s just a shame. Because we’ve already got the Al Qaeda there. And the Sunni. And the Shia. And the Japanese. It’s just a mess. And it must be very crowded.”
Following the statement, it was a young woman in the audience, not a reporter, who confronted McCain about the inaccuracies in his comments (members of the news media have taken a blood oath never to confront Mr. McCain directly regarding any error or misstatement he may make). “Senator McCain, neither the Nazis nor the Japanese are in Iraq,” the audience member, who did not give her name, pointed out. “I am rather frightened that you don’t know that, or that you’re—that you appear to be confused about these facts. These very important facts.”
McCain shuffled his feet and chuckled a bit. “Well, young lady, everyone is entitled to their opinion, even young people. No, but I’ve been to Iraq several times now, and I know what the truth is on the ground over there. And these roadside bombs that the Nazis are blowing up all over the place, they’re not a figment of my imagination. They’re real. I may be old, but I’m not crazy. You mark my words. If we don’t defeat the Nazis now, they’ll go on and probably invade Poland. I’m telling you.”