Yesterday the left-wing media flew into a feeding frenzy at the idea that John McCain, the self-appointed authority on all things military, "misspoke." In his numerous statements, Mr. McCain said that "We continue to be concerned about Iranian taking Al Qaeda into Iran, training them and sending them back."
While McCain rescinded his comments, saying that he meant that Iran is training extremists, not necessarily al Qaeda, news outlets such as the New York Times and TIME Magazine continue to jump on his apparent confusion of Sunni versus Shiite terrorism saying "The United States believes that Iran, a Shiite country, has been training and financing Shiite extremists in Iraq, but not Al Qaeda, which is a Sunni insurgent group."
Although Iran has not yet been linked to the Iraqi Al Qaeda cells, it is not because one is Shiite while the other is Sunni. Iran is a known sponsor of HAMAS, the Sunni terrorist group that operates in the West Bank and Gaza and has connections to Al Qaeda. Sudan, a sponsor of the Sunni Al Qaeda, is known to sponsor the Shiite Hezbollah. In fact, in April 2007, Reuters reported that "Iranian intelligence forces are providing support to Sunni insurgents in Iraq, in addition to Shi'ites, to destabilize the country and tie U.S. forces down."
Admittedly, it is disturbing that McCain didn't immediately realize his error in stating an unverifiable idea. However, his idea is not far-out. Iran, like other sponsors of terror, tends not to care so much about who helps it achieve its horrible ends.
In an election where so much is at stake shouldn't our journalists be focussed on the issues instead of inadvertent slips-of-the-tongue?