Excellent article by Peter Canellos in the Boston Globe (via TPM).
Canellos notes that the top 3 Republican candidates for president are following the Bush deception plan of implying that we are fighting Bin Laden's followers in Iraq.
He quotes without comment a particularly dumb effort to explain what McCain meant so that the sophisticated don't think he is deceiving the rubes
A McCain spokesman said the senator did not mean to suggest in his debate comments that bin Laden was in Iraq. But aides to Romney and McCain, in interviews, insisted that the candidates are not exaggerating when they speak of bin Laden and the link between Al Qaeda and Iraq.
"The larger point shouldn't be in dispute," said Randy Scheunemann , McCain's foreign policy adviser. "If there's a territory where Al Qaeda is left unmolested, free to plan, conduct, and train for operations, they will do so."
Can you say "Northern Waziristan" Mr Scheunemann (can you say "Mr Scheunemann" Mr Waldmann ?) ? Remember the tribal area which the Pakistani military has agreed not to molest, where tribal leaders may or may not have had disagreements with al Qaeda but certainly haven't washed any of that dirty linen in public. And what exactly is the chance that, if we leave, al Qaeda will be left "unmolested" anywhere in Iraq. Shouldn't McCain's guy argue that, if we leave, there will be a civil war, which would tend to molest everyone ? Has he not noticed that Iraqi Sunni Sheiks have turned against al Qaeda ? Does he just completely dismiss everything he hears from Pundits the MSM and the US government (not necessarily such a bad idea unless you come up with even more obviously ridiculous nonsense on your own as he does) ?
Canellos shows some bloggers were over sophisticated when they objected to Romney's absurd statement
Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney identified numerous groups that he said have "come together" to try to bring down the United States, though specialists say few of the groups Romney cited have worked together and only some have threatened the United States.
"They want to bring down the West, particularly us," Romney declared. "And they've come together as Shia and Sunni and Hezbollah and Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda, with that intent."
Canellos notes that Shia and Sunni are Islamic denominations not terrorist organizations and that Romney was suggesting that all Moslems (except maybe Alawites and Druze) are terrorists. The much much too sophisticated Matthew Yglesias noted that the Moslem Brotherhood is not a terrorist organization. That impressed me (I had thought that the Syrian Moslem Brotherhood was (in particular responsible for seizing the grand Mosque in Mecca) until Havez Assad killed them and everyone else within miles of them in Hama). But really Matt, the American people need to have it pointed out that "Shi'ite and Sunni" are not necessarily terrorists.
Of course it is also worth making the point that Shi'ite and Sunni terrorists are currently coming together only to kill each other. The idea that terrorists have come together "as Shi'ite and Sunni" is crazy, totally aside from the sloppiness of not explicitly noting that some Shi'ites and some Sunnis aren't terrorists (I hasten to add that many Mormons (for all I know all Mormons) aren't terrorists either).