The McCain campaign can start drinking heavily:
The major Sunni sheik who John McCain said was protected by the surge and subsequently helped lead the Anbar Awakening, was actually assassinated by an al-Qaeda led group in midst of the surge.
On Tuesday evening, McCain falsely claimed that the downturn in violence in Iraq’s Anbar province was a result of the surge, when in fact the surge began months afterward. Moreover, he said, if it weren’t for the work of U.S. forces, the major Sunni figure leading that awakening wouldn’t have had the protection he needed.***
The Arizona Republican’s campaign went further the next day, claiming that the major figures that turned around Anbar province would have been killed had the surge policy not been in place. “If Barack Obama had had his way, the Sheiks who started the Awakening would have been murdered at the hands of al Qaeda,” said spokesman Tucker Bounds.
Sadly, that murder took place even with the surge underway. In September 2007, Abdul Sattar Abu Risha, the sheik widely credited with persuading Sunni leaders to turn against al Qaeda in Iraq, died in a bomb attack in Anbar. His work, prior to then, was held as a major effort in transforming the province from one of Iraq’s deadliest areas into one of its safest.
This has gone from a serious campaign into something of a hybrid modern art masterpiece/comedy sketch. To call the McCain campaign a train wreck is to portray it too positively. Seriously, all these self-inflicted wounds this week are on his strong topic. On his weak topic, the economy, he tries to go to an oil rig to get some press attention, and has to cancel because of an oil spill and a hurricane.
*** Update ***
Off topic but not worthy of a separate post, I have a super hot scoop for Patrick Ruffini– sometimes, when foreign companies advertise their products in the United States, they use English, and not their native tongue, as you would have thought. It turns out that if you are Volkswagen, and you are wanting to reach people in the US, you should use English rather than German. I know, I know, that sounds crazy, but it is true.
Also, they even pronounce Volkswagen differently here in the states! I am sure there is a story in there somewhere.