Obama’s Mideast Gaffe (opinionjournal)

Obama’s Mideast Gaffe
From the Chicago Tribune:

[Barack] Obama teased [John] McCain, a supporter of the war, for a mix-up in the Middle East Tuesday in which the Arizona senator said several times that Iran was providing support to al Qaeda in Iraq, one of the Sunni insurgent groups there. . . .

“Just yesterday, we heard Sen. McCain confuse Sunni and Shia, Iran and al Qaeda,” Obama said. “Maybe that is why he voted to go to war with a country that had no al Qaeda ties. Maybe that is why he completely fails to understand that the war in Iraq has done more to embolden America’s enemies than any strategic choice that we have made in decades.”

Since Obama is going around teasing McCain, we thought we should not let an Obama “gaffe,” from his “major speech on race,” go unremarked. In describing the comments of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright that he found unacceptable, Obama said this:

They expressed a profoundly distorted view of this country–a view that sees white racism as endemic, and that elevates what is wrong with America above all that we know is right with America, a view that sees the conflicts in the Middle East as rooted primarily in the actions of stalwart allies like Israel, instead of emanating from the perverse and hateful ideologies of radical Islam.

To characterize the conflicts in the Middle East as “emanating from the perverse and hateful ideologies of radical Islam” is only a partial truth. In fact, Arab states have sought Israel’s destruction since its creation; and many of Israel’s enemies over the years–Nasser’s Egypt, Assad’s Syria, Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, Yasser Arafat’s PLO–have adhered to secular ideologies.

It is true that the growth of radical Islam over the past 30 years has given anti-Israel belligerents a more religious consistency. For example, Hamas, which now controls the Gaza strip, from which it frequently fires rockets at civilians in southern Israel, is an Islamist group.

The other day blogger Tom Blumer reported that Obama’s “spiritual mentor,” Jeremiah Wright, had reprinted in his church bulletin an op-ed piece by Hamas’s Mousa Abu Marzook under the headline “A Fresh View of the Palestinian Struggle.”

Uh-oh, more trouble for Obama? Don’t worry. Hamas is a Sunni fundamentalist group. It receives support from Iran. But Iran is Shiite. Therefore Hamas does not exist. Take that, John McCain.


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